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Old 01-23-2011, 07:44 PM   #1
Tugmaster
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Default Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I'm not trying to sound like a cheap ass cause I'm really not. I'm just trying to figure out which would be more cost effective.
Here is the deal. For my new project I am considering either getting a 283 and rebuilding it or buying a GM350 290HP crate motor. I have never rebuilt a motor so I have know idea what it costs. I would do all the assembly myself and have a local machine shop do all the machininging amd measuring. I wuold also have them rebuild the heads. 283's are fairly plentiful and can be had for not alot of $$ A friend of a friend has one complete top to bottom front to back for $100.
Now the GM Crate motor is about $1500. But it is just a long block and I'm worried about getting nickeled and dimed to death with all the other stuff I will need for it and it will cost me more in the end than rebuilding the 283.
This car is going to be just a cruiser so I want a simple and reliable set up.

Thanks as always, Todd

Last edited by Tugmaster; 01-23-2011 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild?

I don't think you can rebuild one for $1500, I'd say crate motor
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild?

you should be able to buy a complete crate motor for less than $2500. That would be the most cost effective, in the long run
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:01 PM   #4
James 5:16
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild?

Crate engine! I bought one a few years ago for my o/t truck, I have built my share of engines over the years and enjoy doing them, but at the time I didn't have the urge to do it so i bought a crate engine and dropped it in, hooked everything up and hit the key. I figured up the costs of machine work and labor, parts, etc. I came out ahead by buying the crate by around 500.00!
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

The high end of having a good machine shop completely go through your enigne should be around $2,000 including parts, labor, etc., plus your $100 283 and you've got a much cooler engine than the crate for the same or less money.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:06 PM   #6
Squablow
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

When it comes to SBC's, maybe we just have it easy up here in Wisconsin, but good runners that don't need a rebuild can still be had for 3 or 4 hundred bucks. I bought a sweet running '70 Impala wagon with a 300hp 350 in it for $600, it's too nice to part out but stuff like that is all over.

Over all the cars I've built, I've only spent the money to have one engine rebuilt, and that was only because it was a 348, not many of those around in running shape for sale.

If those are your only two choices, I'd buy a motor and have it rebuilt, your $100 core has all the important pieces there and by the time you're done you'll have about the same amount of money in them, that being the case I'd rather have the 283.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

If you have no knowledge or experience in reassembling an engine get the crate engine. Putting an engine togaether is not just a simple task of bolting parts together - you have to know what clearances are - measure them and ensure it goes together correctly. Have you a decent torque wrench to get the right preload for the big ends, mains and head bolt settings?
I used to have a machine shop and we would see one failure through wrong assembly for every two engines that came in - not a good way to start esp if you are on a budget
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:10 PM   #8
Tugmaster
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squablow View Post
When it comes to SBC's, maybe we just have it easy up here in Wisconsin, but good runners that don't need a rebuild can still be had for 3 or 4 hundred bucks. I bought a sweet running '70 Impala wagon with a 300hp 350 in it for $600, it's too nice to part out but stuff like that is all over.

Over all the cars I've built, I've only spent the money to have one engine rebuilt, and that was only because it was a 348, not many of those around in running shape for sale.

If those are your only two choices, I'd buy a motor and have it rebuilt, your $100 core has all the important pieces there and by the time you're done you'll have about the same amount of money in them, that being the case I'd rather have the 283.
Some good points. I just don't want to buy a "it ran when pulled" and then end up with a pile-o-shit. Todd
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I've run a shop for a long time and quit doing "stock" rebuilds on SBCs at least 10 years ago. There is no way of doing a top notch rebuild (not "rings and bearings") for the price of a crate motor. And the last crate engine I put in for a customer came with a 3 year/50,000 mile warranty. I can't (or won't) match that.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

You'll get more torque out of the 350. What car is this going in? 283's are kinda wimpy unless you rev the crap out of them.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I'm pretty sure there's a rebuilt 283 in the classifieds. Around $1300 or so if I remember right. Might be worth checking out.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

A GM crate motor is the way to go. All the bolt ons from the 283 will fit the 350.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I love the "Little 283 engine that can!"

I should be able to dingle-berry/Krylon overhaul a 283 El-Cheapo and it will be FINE.

In fact I have one out in my garage that I'm going to turn into my next junk301 so flat know!

I have everything except a cheap set of 301 pistons. Gonna shift her at 8,000 rpm just for the fun of it.

Install no more than the old -097 Duntov solid lifter cam in her and go up to like 7,500 with new points, but only 7,000 rpm a week later once the point spring set goes away.

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Old 01-23-2011, 08:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I've done it both ways and the crate 290 SBC you're talking about is a good choice I've used them with NO PROBLEMS and thats what it's all about put them in and drive the tires off of them..............
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Buy the crate, I have 3 grand in my 283 that I rebuilt right!!
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:46 PM   #16
Vandy
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry T View Post
I've run a shop for a long time and quit doing "stock" rebuilds on SBCs at least 10 years ago. There is no way of doing a top notch rebuild (not "rings and bearings") for the price of a crate motor. And the last crate engine I put in for a customer came with a 3 year/50,000 mile warranty. I can't (or won't) match that.
Larry T

Every thing must be bigger in Texas even the cost of rebuilding a 283.
I build crate motors for the Hot Rod market and my selling price on a Master kited 283 is $950 this includes the core. A no lead upgrade to the heads is $150 & includes Bronze wall liners, 8 new SS 1 piece exhaust valves & 8 Hard seats. I have 3 in stock. I ship all over the world, I don't sell to many here as most "buy a crate GM motor" from Mexico. BTW a new GM crate motor is OFF TOPIC here.

Forgot to add = all my motors are assembled with a Hipo cam, brass plugs, Hi vol oil Pump, roller chain set. All 283's have Power Pac heads

Last edited by Vandy; 01-23-2011 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Forgot
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by 35desoto View Post
If you have no knowledge or experience in reassembling an engine get the crate engine. Putting an engine togaether is not just a simple task of bolting parts together - you have to know what clearances are - measure them and ensure it goes together correctly. Have you a decent torque wrench to get the right preload for the big ends, mains and head bolt settings?
I used to have a machine shop and we would see one failure through wrong assembly for every two engines that came in - not a good way to start esp if you are on a budget

X2... if you want it done "right" it will cost. The crate motor may be the way to go.

I've "assembled" my own engines, and then worked for an engine builder who did a lot of roundy round and drag engines. After I saw the light, unless you are really dialed in on stuff, you are better off not doing it. He was fanatical about cleaning everything, measuring tolerances, and had all the right tools... and a bitchin' run-in stand. He also had a ton of tricks and solutions to problems that I didn't even think about during my "rebuild."

Those of you that do nothing but engines, I tip my hat to you. Anyone can assemble one, but not everyone can build one and have it be "right."
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:51 PM   #18
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Just went through this exercise, 350 long block from Chevrolet $ 1,600.00.

Rebuilt 283 block done right; bored, decked,new pistons and rings, bearings,new cam, lifters, reconditioned rods, crank ground, short block assembled $ 1,900.00 327 double hump heads, new valves,spring and hardened seats $ 600.00. This work was done by one of the best engine shops in Blane MN.

So total old school engine $ 2,500.00

New chevy 350 engine $ 1,600.00

So I payed the extra for the old style hot rod engine, does it make a differance, do many people know the difference ...............?
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:51 PM   #19
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Crate motor....$2000. Rebuilding your first motor yourself and bring new life into some old iron.......Priceless!
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:09 PM   #20
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

$1500!!!!!! go 302 - 3.00"stroke + 4.00"bore = 302 Z28 (high rev)

$100 - used 283 crank/rods/balancer/pulleys/starter/flywheel
$150 - balancing
$100 - bearings
$150 - used small jurnal 327
$100 - block clean/surface
$750 - Edelbrock aluminum heads @ Pepboys
$ 60 - used aluminum intake
$ 80 - new HEI

how much is that? And all you need is a 9/16", 5/8", & a torque wrench
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:12 PM   #21
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandy View Post
Every thing must be bigger in Texas even the cost of rebuilding a 283.
I build crate motors for the Hot Rod market and my selling price on a Master kited 283 is $950 this includes the core. A no lead upgrade to the heads is $150 & includes Bronze wall liners, 8 new SS 1 piece exhaust valves & 8 Hard seats. I have 3 in stock. I ship all over the world, I don't sell to many here as most "buy a crate GM motor" from Mexico. BTW a new GM crate motor is OFF TOPIC here.

Forgot to add = all my motors are assembled with a Hipo cam, brass plugs, Hi vol oil Pump, roller chain set. All 283's have Power Pac heads
^^^ Do that....!!!
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:13 PM   #22
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I build crate motors for the Hot Rod market and my selling price on a Master kited 283 is $950 this includes the core. A no lead upgrade to the heads is $150 & includes Bronze wall liners, 8 new SS 1 piece exhaust valves & 8 Hard seats. I have 3 in stock. I ship all over the world.

Am I seeing this right? You sell a fully assembled 283, plus heads for $1100.00?
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:15 PM   #23
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Crate motor with a 2 or 3 year warrantee is very cost effective and quick. The satisfaction of saying I built it myself was worth the difference in price and I know exactly what parts went into the build.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:15 PM   #24
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandy View Post
Every thing must be bigger in Texas even the cost of rebuilding a 283.
I build crate motors for the Hot Rod market and my selling price on a Master kited 283 is $950 this includes the core. A no lead upgrade to the heads is $150 & includes Bronze wall liners, 8 new SS 1 piece exhaust valves & 8 Hard seats. I have 3 in stock. I ship all over the world, I don't sell to many here as most "buy a crate GM motor" from Mexico. BTW a new GM crate motor is OFF TOPIC here.

Forgot to add = all my motors are assembled with a Hipo cam, brass plugs, Hi vol oil Pump, roller chain set. All 283's have Power Pac heads
this sounds like a solution right here, and if you have an issue it's someone on the hamb, not an anonymous person who you will never speak to. If I have to buy something I try to support the little guy first.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:16 PM   #25
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by MATACONCEPTS View Post
$1500!!!!!! go 302 - 3.00"stroke + 4.00"bore = 302 Z28 (high rev)

$100 - used 283 crank/rods/balancer/pulleys/starter/flywheel
$150 - balancing
$100 - bearings
$150 - used small jurnal 327
$100 - block clean/surface
$750 - Edelbrock aluminum heads @ Pepboys
$ 60 - used aluminum intake
$ 80 - new HEI

how much is that? And all you need is a 9/16", 5/8", & a torque wrench
He has to find a small journal 327 first. I defintly build that over the 283. Almost did before i built my 383. I had the block and crank complete with rods and pistons. Just decided i wanted more power.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:18 PM   #26
Larry T
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by MATACONCEPTS View Post
$1500!!!!!! go 302 - 3.00"stroke + 4.00"bore = 302 Z28 (high rev)

$100 - used 283 crank/rods/balancer/pulleys/starter/flywheel
$150 - balancing
$100 - bearings
$150 - used small jurnal 327
$100 - block clean/surface
$750 - Edelbrock aluminum heads @ Pepboys
$ 60 - used aluminum intake
$ 80 - new HEI

how much is that? And all you need is a 9/16", 5/8", & a torque wrench
Let's see. Just off the top of my head, what about pistons, rings, gaskets, timing set, oil pump, cam/lifters, rocker arms, pushrods, boring block, vatting parts (not just the block), turning crank, rebuilding rods, installing pistons on rods....................................
You can buy a set of Edelbrock heads at Pepboys for $750.00? Good price on the rest of your parts too.
Larry T
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:21 PM   #27
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrod40coupe View Post
Buy the crate, I have 3 grand in my 283 that I rebuilt right!!


About 7 years ago ... I spent almost 3 grand rebuilding this 283 !!
I have built lots of engines over the years.

My engine was

1 ) bored .060 ( new pistons )
2 ) turned the crankshaft, resized the rods ...
3 ) rebult the heads ( new valves, valve seats, springs, keepers ect )
4 ) new 097 camshaft and lifters ... new push rods and rocker arms too.
5 ) All new bearings
6 ) new oil pump. oil pump shaft
7 ) resurface the flywheel.
8 ) deck the block, bore with head plates.
9 ) surface the 283 heads
10 ) BALANCE the rotating assembly
11 ) Fe-Pro gasket set
12 ) New ARP rod bolts and head bolts

>>>>>>>>>

It runs GOOD ... and has that lopey 283 sound but I would have at least a grand less money in a 350 crate engine with a warranty
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:22 PM   #28
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I'd go crate as well.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:23 PM   #29
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBYBMR View Post
I build crate motors for the Hot Rod market and my selling price on a Master kited 283 is $950 this includes the core. A no lead upgrade to the heads is $150 & includes Bronze wall liners, 8 new SS 1 piece exhaust valves & 8 Hard seats. I have 3 in stock. I ship all over the world.

Am I seeing this right? You sell a fully assembled 283, plus heads for $1100.00?
Nothing wrong with your eye sight. Yes fully assembled on a Pallet & banded. 99 percent go to Berlin the rest New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, 1 percent here in the US. All motors ship with new chrome Valve covers and timing cover.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:38 PM   #30
Vandy
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce Roadster View Post


About 7 years ago ... I spent almost 3 grand rebuilding this 283 !!
I have built lots of engines over the years.

My engine was

1 ) bored .060 ( new pistons )
2 ) turned the crankshaft, resized the rods ...
3 ) rebult the heads ( new valves, valve seats, springs, keepers ect )
4 ) new 097 camshaft and lifters ... new push rods and rocker arms too.
5 ) All new bearings
6 ) new oil pump. oil pump shaft
7 ) resurface the flywheel.
8 ) deck the block, bore with head plates.
9 ) surface the 283 heads
10 ) BALANCE the rotating assembly
11 ) Fe-Pro gasket set
12 ) New ARP rod bolts and head bolts

>>>>>>>>>

It runs GOOD ... and has that lopey 283 sound but I would have at least a grand less money in a 350 crate engine with a warranty

I buy a ton of GM crate motors from the Chevy Dealer that are returns and haven't found one with ARP anything. They do not have Fel Pro gaskets or a resurfaced flywheel. GM crate motors are not professionally hand balanced - not even close. No hot cam ether. Can you post a price list of what you paid for parts and machine work ? A complete master kit costs me $275 with a Hi Po cam, high vol oil pump, roller timing set, brass plugs. These are just the up grades from stock, everything else is included in the kit. Custom balance charge is $120
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:54 PM   #31
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I bought a 290HP 350 from Pace Performance for $3200 delivered...came complete from air cleaner to oil pan. Also came with a new serpentine belt drive system with a/c compressor, alternator, power steering pump, and water pump.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:25 PM   #32
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Here is a complete and running 327 on CL for $275.00

http://columbiamo.craigslist.org/pts/2168763659.html
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:31 PM   #33
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Crate bud, no one will build you and warranty you a motor for anywhere near the time a crate motor can. Just my .02cents but I don't build anything....
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:42 PM   #34
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

oh yeah $200 for pistons/etc. If the girls keep crying, don't buy the aluminum heads.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:55 PM   #35
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tugmaster View Post
I'm not trying to sound like a cheap ass cause I'm really not. I'm just trying to figure out which would be more cost effective.
Here is the deal. For my new project I am considering either getting a 283 and rebuilding it or buying a GM350 290HP crate motor. I have never rebuilt a motor so I have know idea what it costs. I would do all the assembly myself and have a local machine shop do all the machininging amd measuring. I wuold also have them rebuild the heads. 283's are fairly plentiful and can be had for not alot of $$ A friend of a friend has one complete top to bottom front to back for $100.
Now the GM Crate motor is about $1500. But it is just a long block and I'm worried about getting nickeled and dimed to death with all the other stuff I will need for it and it will cost me more in the end than rebuilding the 283.
This car is going to be just a cruiser so I want a simple and reliable set up.

Thanks as always, Todd
Cool factor
No brainer for me, 283
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:02 PM   #36
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I build my own motors with the help of friends. I'm not really trying to save money. I'm in hot rodding for the experience. I never built a motor until I built the first one. It is not rocket science.

You never know what your core engine will need. It is like a crap shoot. You may get one that needs everything. And then again, you might get lucky. The 283 that is going in my Model A was given to me. Had fresh machine work and forged flat top pistons. Not counting the tri-power and valve covers I have about $600 in it.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:09 AM   #37
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by Bib Overalls View Post
I build my own motors with the help of friends. I'm not really trying to save money. I'm in hot rodding for the experience. I never built a motor until I built the first one. It is not rocket science.

You never know what your core engine will need. It is like a crap shoot. You may get one that needs everything. And then again, you might get lucky. The 283 that is going in my Model A was given to me. Had fresh machine work and forged flat top pistons. Not counting the tri-power and valve covers I have about $600 in it.


You must be an old time hotrodder
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:19 AM   #38
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

283! 283! not much difference in cost, 283 would be way cooler, better be a light car though
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:25 AM   #39
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Cheaper way is not always the best way. I am not a fan of crate motors just for principal purposes. I would rather give my money to a local machine shop then to some other country just to save a few bucks. Plus I like 283's...just a good running motor.

What car is this going in...sorry if you posted it already and I missed it.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:27 AM   #40
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

To me it comes down to what you want out of the experience. If you want it done and to drive it then go crate. If you enjoy the process of the rebuild then assume a much longer cycle time and rebuild it. I'm a rebuilder so very biased but the pride of building it myself is well worth the few extra bucks. In either case though, have lots of fun 'cause that's what its all about.

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Old 01-24-2011, 08:30 AM   #41
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Here's the deal.

You can build the 283 on a budget but it takes time to get all the components together. Plus, your gambling on the assembly.

I say buy the crate and run it in the driver.

Put the 283 on a stand and build it for fun in your spare time. Slide it off in a cool project when it's done.

End of problem...
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:38 AM   #42
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I waited for a rebuilt 283 to turn up on ebay australia for my 59 chev. came w/ most accessories, starter, flywheel, 2 sumps, 15 thousand km since rebuild, mild cam, semi high manifold, few other mods and shiney bits for like 800 bux AUD. This guy had it shop rebuilt and says it was rebuilt as a 300hp (rear wheel) engine. We'll see about that but hey. i have it on my father in law's shed floor and its nice. A 350 would have been nice because the 59 is so heavy, but i like the 283 and it can be bolted in without having to get engineer certificates because this is an orig factory offered config (currently its a 235 six) which between that and old school cool factor sold me on it. 800 bux it cost me for a pretty fresh engine. in australia that is cheap.

Deals are out there to be had for the quietly patient. Just sayin'
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:46 AM   #43
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I agree that the crate motor is the most cost effective way to go. However the experience and self satisfaction that you will get from doing the work yourself is well worth the cost difference.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:57 AM   #44
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

It's a no brainer. Buy the crate motor. How many rebuild horror stories have you heard?
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:01 AM   #45
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

It's your decision. You say you've never rebuilt one, now may be the time to learn. There's great satisfaction building your first motor, you only do it once. In the end, doing it yourself & doing it right will cost ya a bit more.

However- a crate motor is ready to go & has a warranty.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:12 AM   #46
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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I buy a ton of GM crate motors from the Chevy Dealer that are returns and haven't found one with ARP anything. They do not have Fel Pro gaskets or a resurfaced flywheel. GM crate motors are not professionally hand balanced - not even close. No hot cam ether. Can you post a price list of what you paid for parts and machine work ? A complete master kit costs me $275 with a Hi Po cam, high vol oil pump, roller timing set, brass plugs. These are just the up grades from stock, everything else is included in the kit. Custom balance charge is $120
I bought EVERYTHING separate ... which is NOT the best way to buy ... BUT I got the parts I wanted and the brands I wanted. The rockers, push rods, lifters and pieces came from the Chevy dealer. The rest was bought at the speed shop. My engine had BETTER stuff than a crate engine. Yes, it was balanced. But it was also twice the money. I built the engine to keep. I had owned the car for awhile and had no intentions of selling it. Then I got 1932 Ford 3W fever and convinced myself I needed to sell the 40 to build a 32. I did not ... and I have regretted selling the car ever since. The current owner drives it a lot and the engine runs GREAT ... with no issues. It has developed a small oil leak ... at the front crankshaft seal.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:36 AM   #47
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I have done it many ways
Built stroked, bored 283......cost a fortune
Had 350 built...... cost a fortune
Bought 300HP GM crate motor .....cost a bit but not a fortune

Which was more dependable?? ...Crate Motor
Which was more powerful?....Tie between Pro built 350 and crate motor.
Which was less hassles?....Crate motor.

Crate Motor will be my next choice on any other project.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:50 AM   #48
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

If you buy new yes, you will be nickel and dimed by the long block for $1500

My current engine (I bought it from a friend) was a $600 long block with another $600 in carb/intake/waterpump/fuelpump/balancer easy.

If money is an issue, buy your friend's 283 and rebuild everything including carb. Use a new water and fuel pump. Re-use the distributor.

So you're up to $200

Disassemble the heads yourself, have the machine shop do a valve job on them for around $200 and put them back together yourself. you may or may not have to pay for them to be hottanked, $40-60

get a cheap engine rebuild kit, spend $100 for bearings and rings, or $300 if you want new pistons and cam.

I wouldn't do a bit of machine work unless you absolutely *have* to .

But you'll know that just by tearing it down and you'll only be $100 into it and still have the block as a core if you decide to get an exchange engine.

With a little luck all you'll need to do is run a hone in the bores and call it done, borrow one from a friend.

You don't even need to spend $200 on the valve job, just get the carbon off the valves with a wire wheel, use new seals for $20? and clean the heads real good with oven cleaner or something. I've seen shops grinding valves for $1 each, do that and lap them into the heads.

Nope, it's not the 'right' way for lots of guys these days, but I'll tell you what, it's the way tons of guys did things before they had tons of money to put into these cars, and it'll probably be fine for whatever you do with the car exept racing.

IMHO most warranties on engines aren't worth a damn, and I've read here on the hamb about GM crate engines being denied.

Some people demand the best and spend $3k plus.

That doesn't mean you can't DIY for 5 or $600 and get a good running engine that'll be hassle free for years and thousands of miles.

I also know guys that spent big $$$ and got a real POS, too.

I'm just saying there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Besides, build it yourself and get the pride of accomplishment that'll last , at least for me, longer than the vehicle

Good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:55 AM   #49
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Cheaper way is not always the best way. I am not a fan of crate motors just for principal purposes. I would rather give my money to a local machine shop then to some other country just to save a few bucks. Plus I like 283's...just a good running motor.

What car is this going in...sorry if you posted it already and I missed it.
I agree
My 283 in my 57 was done by the local shop. I never asked about a warrenty since I figured if done right wasn't a big deal. I also know they stand behind their work. Total cost top to bottom 2200 taxes in and we have 15% tax here.
Buy local!! and support the folks in your neighborhood!!
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:03 AM   #50
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Last 283 I built was hard to do.

I had to tear down three motors before I found a good set of rings and bearings.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:06 AM   #51
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I went with the $1500 crate motor in one of my rides. It was dependable and didn't find any problems because most of the stuff I took off my old motor bolted up fine. As long as it isn’t the Vortec style; the intake, exhaust, starter was no problem. It's not a power horse but great for normal cruising and it came with a GM warrantee.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:43 AM   #52
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Do both. Buy the crate motor and get your car on the road. Then rebuild the 283 as you get time, parts and knowledge. Once you get it running right, you can decide if you want to replace the crate motor and sell it, or not. Then,you have a rebuilt motor either way to sell.

No offense to Vandy-I don't rebuild engines-but I don't see how in 2011 you can rebuild any motor with new parts and machine work and make a profit at $1100. Kindly educate me.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:32 PM   #53
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Do both. Buy the crate motor and get your car on the road. Then rebuild the 283 as you get time, parts and knowledge. Once you get it running right, you can decide if you want to replace the crate motor and sell it, or not. Then,you have a rebuilt motor either way to sell.

No offense to Vandy-I don't rebuild engines-but I don't see how in 2011 you can rebuild any motor with new parts and machine work and make a profit at $1100. Kindly educate me.

No offence taken, as I posted earlier the parts cost is $ 275 & I pay about $50 for 283 cores. I machine everything in house but the crank. For crank grinds I pay $37.00 so I have under $400 in costs. My basic profit is $500 minimum any motor I build & goes up from there. When I buy 327 cores I usually pay $400 or more, 350's cost me $200. It's really simple math.
What I don't understand is why anyone would want to buy a Chevy motor made in a foreign country ( Mexico) From a bankrupt car company. I would bet not one person in the assembly room can even read a micrometer.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:04 PM   #54
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

If its a 350 crate ,More cubes more bang for your buck ,283 are not alot of cubes .Im sure you can build one thats killer.Id go with the crate ,Plus you get a warranty ,,,,,,
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:25 PM   #55
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Crate motors are boring.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:07 PM   #56
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

as builders go you can't get much cheaper than a SBC, but I'd say go crate.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:40 PM   #57
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by flatheadfever View Post
I agree
My 283 in my 57 was done by the local shop. I never asked about a warranty since I figured if done right wasn't a big deal. I also know they stand behind their work. Total cost top to bottom 2200 taxes in and we have 15% tax here.
Buy local!! and support the folks in your neighborhood!!
I agree, buy local @ all this mention of warranty, the builder I used said don't worry about breaking it, and if you do bring it back and we'll fix it! That was eleven years ago, beat it like a rented mule everyday and it's still kickin'!
A 406 ci sb with a Hot hyd. cam & Edelbrock heads, dynoed 400 HP & 470 lbs. torque.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:43 PM   #58
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

i just bought a new GM 5.7 vortex for my daily, 3 year 100,000 warranty delivered to my front door for $2399, long block test run. I rebuilt my 265 for my shoebox and had more than that in it!
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:46 PM   #59
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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No offence taken, as I posted earlier the parts cost is $ 275 & I pay about $50 for 283 cores. I machine everything in house but the crank. For crank grinds I pay $37.00 so I have under $400 in costs. My basic profit is $500 minimum any motor I build & goes up from there. When I buy 327 cores I usually pay $400 or more, 350's cost me $200. It's really simple math.
What I don't understand is why anyone would want to buy a Chevy motor made in a foreign country ( Mexico) From a bankrupt car company. I would bet not one person in the assembly room can even read a micrometer.
1) Where are you getting all these 283 cores? Don't worry---i'm not trying to steal your stash, i'm not an engine person; i'm just curious as to wether there are that many 283's around?
Do you have a website?

2) The basic "goodwrench" crates are made in Mexico, but i'm still trying to confirm if the higher end crates-----i.e., zz4 350, zz383 etc. are built in Michigan by only 2 gm employees?

3) Personally, i would generally go crate because i'm not an engine person. Also, you have to factor in the time----time going to/from machine shop, looking for core(s)/taking chances on cores, putting it all together with precision etc.
So i believe crate is generally more cost effective for me.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:51 PM   #60
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

My question is why does anybody have faith in these warranties?

I saw a guy with a goodwrench engine denied here on the hamb. He thought the warranty would be through a dealer. Nope. Wouldn't touch it.

I'd like to hear somebody that has experience with them besides that.

It seems like 1 in a million engine builder that warranties a bad engine, for whatever reason.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:30 PM   #61
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Thanks for all the great responses. No I have never rebuilt a motor before, but I can follow directions in a book, I can read a dial indicator and a venner (sp) caliper so I know I can do it. There is alot of good books on the subject. On my 50 Chevy build I did EVERYTHING myself. It was a great satisfaction to do it my self.
Like everyone. I live and operate within a budget. If I can do it for close to the same price I will do the 283.
On thing for sure as soon as I am done with this post I am sending Vandy a pm about one of his 283'S!!! Todd

I forgot to mention the motor will be going in a 38 Chevy coupe. A fairly light car.

Last edited by Tugmaster; 01-24-2011 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:06 PM   #62
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

All good points above.
One thing to me is important......Old School (to me anyway)
I just dropped a rebuilt 283/4 speed into my '63 Biscayne project. It is beefed up a bit, and a lot of folks said 3fty 3fty 3fty........but everyone around here runs them, and I wanted a 283....so I have one.
Hope to have it fired up in a week or so, but I like it, and that is what is important to me......total cost would have been about the same.....
You are driving it, so go for what you like, and want..
Good luck, and let us know what you do !!
Cheers,
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:40 PM   #63
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Crate motor....Warranty!
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:13 PM   #64
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Default

Not gonna place my opinion here, but for engine parts, you CANNOT beat the prices from Competition Products and Northern Auto Parts. It is worth your time to check out their engine kit deals.


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Old 01-24-2011, 07:22 PM   #65
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Your first question was about cost effectiveness. Apples to apples the crate motor will win EVERY time. No way can "one at a time" beat mass produced in any situation when the question is "cost affective". Quality, personal involvement, etc. puts another dimension into the conversation.

Frank
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:27 PM   #66
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I put a crate motor in my 56 had it on the road in two days with a warranty.
you can't go wrong
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:50 PM   #67
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Not gonna place my opinion here, but for engine parts, you CANNOT beat the prices from Competition Products and Northern Auto Parts. It is worth your time to check out their engine kit deals.


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Ditto on Competition Products. I have bought from them many times, GREAT prices and so far (Knock on wood) no problems.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:55 PM   #68
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

In 1995 or so I was building my 55 Chevy Wagon, the 283 was going south.

I called up GM High Performance after reading about their crate motors. They put me on to a guy that was putting a 350/700R$ combo in a 55 Chevy Coupe for the GM High Performance booth at the SEMA show.

He convinced me that was the way to go...and I went there, still running great.


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Old 01-24-2011, 08:17 PM   #69
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Check me on this, but I want to say that an early to mid '60's "round bottom" 283 will bore to .155" just like the 302 and 327 blocks will bore to .030" over.

But sonic check so that you know for sure.

I'm looking at two ways to build my next junk engine and they are as follow's, (depending on availability of cheap pistons because that's all I need!).

1. a 292"er with flat-tops with shims and cut to 50 or so cc -601 heads.

2. a 301"er with stock domed and shims and my good set of stock big valve -291 or my stock big valve -461 heads.

Cam will be a 280/246, 108/108, .498" gross lift and hot-lashed .030" on both sides AND with 1.6 rockers, the net lift will be .500". Along with Z-28, (aka, -142), springs.

A new still in the box Holley 300-36 along with a 3310-2 750 tuned carb and a cheap set of 4-tube, long tube headers!

Hell, I might not even balance it because my last one wasn't!!!

pdq67

PS., and I might even install a 6.25" SJ rod/6.00" rod .030" overbore 350 piston conbination in her if my block will sonic check to .155" overbore?
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:56 PM   #70
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I talked to VANDY today. REAL nice guy. I got a good feeling. I will be going wit one of his motors once I figure out shipping. Todd
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:42 PM   #71
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

That's probably the best way to do this one if you want to have a completely fresh engine for a competitive price.

As usual the other guys prices are all over the place but a lot of that has to do with

The going rates for quality machine work varies greatly from area to area. What may cost me 60.00 an hour may cost a guy 800 miles away 110 an hour for equal work while another guy in another area may be able to walk in and get it done for 40.00. That isn't a difference in quality but a difference in the going rate for the area.

Then we get to parts. Vandy and some of the rest may have a lot better buying power than some of the guys who only build and engine every couple of years or so.

Plus some guys can't seem to find a deal on anything to save their ass and always end up paying full list price on everything.

Northern Auto Parts was mentioned earlier
The baseline master rebuild kit from them for a 283 is 324.99 then you start adding on the extras. http://www.northernautoparts.com/Pro...uctModelId=707
I've used a lot of their kits in the past and have 70K+ on a 350 with one of their rering kits in my daily now. But you still have to add the price of machine work, doing the heads for unleaded and most likely new valves and springs to that total.
You can buy one of the how to rebuild your small block chevy books on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/How-Rebuild-Yo...5998114&sr=8-1
Or at the local book store or a lot of parts houses. I'd have to dig but I used to use one version or the other when I was teaching the engine rebuilding section of my auto mechanics class to form my lesson plans.

Do a little homework and price things out and see where you stand.

The external pieces, such as Intake, carb, exhaust, fuel pump, water pump, pulleys, belts, hoses, distributor or tune up pieces will be the same for either a crate motor or one you do yourself.

And if you do decide to do it yourself there is always the HAMB helpdesk with several people who will do their level best to give you straight forward and honest no nonsense answers to each and every question no matter how many times we have answered them before.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:02 PM   #72
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Hey man Vandy seems to be the real but FWIW and posterity I got this book and I like it and the DVD

http://www.amazon.com/Rebuild-Small-...ref=pd_sim_b_2

and I also got this one

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1557882452/...t_sb_ti_sims_1

I like them both for different reasons
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:07 PM   #73
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Hey man Vandy seems to be the real but FWIW and posterity I got this book and I like it and the DVD

http://www.amazon.com/Rebuild-Small-...ref=pd_sim_b_2

and I also got this one

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1557882452/...t_sb_ti_sims_1

I like them both for different reasons
I got the book/dvd also. Lots of great info. Todd
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:12 PM   #74
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I think the SA Design books are awesome. Since there's a JEGS down the street from where I'm at in ohio I've bought 8 of the suckers, I love them.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:02 PM   #75
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Crate motor...
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:01 PM   #76
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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No offence taken, as I posted earlier the parts cost is $ 275 & I pay about $50 for 283 cores. I machine everything in house but the crank. For crank grinds I pay $37.00 so I have under $400 in costs. My basic profit is $500 minimum any motor I build & goes up from there. When I buy 327 cores I usually pay $400 or more, 350's cost me $200. It's really simple math.
What I don't understand is why anyone would want to buy a Chevy motor made in a foreign country ( Mexico) From a bankrupt car company. I would bet not one person in the assembly room can even read a micrometer.

I find it interesting how cheap the parts are for an engine rebuild kit as mentioned $ 275.00, on my 283 rebuild I had one questionable rocker,do you think I could find one made in America, Chevrolet does not sell them any more NAPA Summit and Jegs sell them all made in China, I needed a couple of push rods same thing most of them listed in the catalogs of the parts warehouses are made overseas. It is my understanding that all these parts are made by the same manufactures overseas and all the parts warehouses get there parts from the same sources and just market the parts. So my question is how good are the parts in a $ 275.00 rebuild kit vs. a crate motor made in Mexico.

I sure wish I could buy a Chevy rocker for a small block Chevy engine, not a overseas repo !
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:26 PM   #77
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by patina steve View Post
I find it interesting how cheap the parts are for an engine rebuild kit as mentioned $ 275.00, on my 283 rebuild I had one questionable rocker,do you think I could find one made in America, Chevrolet does not sell them any more NAPA Summit and Jegs sell them all made in China, I needed a couple of push rods same thing most of them listed in the catalogs of the parts warehouses are made overseas. It is my understanding that all these parts are made by the same manufactures overseas and all the parts warehouses get there parts from the same sources and just market the parts. So my question is how good are the parts in a $ 275.00 rebuild kit vs. a crate motor made in Mexico.

I sure wish I could buy a Chevy rocker for a small block Chevy engine, not a overseas repo !
Quality parts cost $$$ ...
when I rebuilt the 283 that I had in my 40 Ford coupe, I used new rockers and push rods from the Chevrolet dealer. They were at least 10 yeas old ... ( but still NOS ) Same for the pistons. I had them from years ago ( but NOS ). I did buy a new Duntov 097 and lifters. New springs, keepers and retainers also. Added a set of new Poly*Loks. The only used parts in my 283 were the block, head castings, crankshaft and rods. The rods were resized and had ARP rod bolts. The head bolts were also ARP. The timing chain was Cloyes double roller. The oil pump was a new Mellings. All the bearings were TRW ... and had Grant rings. The heads were decked ... the block bored with head plates and the entire assembly balanced ( machine costs were in the $350 range ) the heads had new hardened valve seats installed and new valves.

I worked as a machinist for a few years so I have ALL the precision measuring equipment and know HOW to use it. My machine shop guy knows this and knows I double and triple check behind him. The engine went together perfectly ... and cranked with about 2 or 3 turns of the crankshaft ... after I had primed the oiling system.

IMHO,
there is no way to compare the new parts in a $275 rebuild kit to the parts I installed. My pistons and pins cost more than that

That said ... a engine can be redone for far less ... BUT ... you use a LOT of used valve train parts and other stuff.

The new GM crate engine has ALL NEW parts for not a lot of money more. Plus the local Chevy dealer does not charge SHIPPING.

Not knocking anyones engines ... just trying to lay all the facts out for consideration.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:40 PM   #78
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by patina steve View Post
I find it interesting how cheap the parts are for an engine rebuild kit as mentioned $ 275.00, on my 283 rebuild I had one questionable rocker,do you think I could find one made in America, Chevrolet does not sell them any more NAPA Summit and Jegs sell them all made in China, I needed a couple of push rods same thing most of them listed in the catalogs of the parts warehouses are made overseas. It is my understanding that all these parts are made by the same manufactures overseas and all the parts warehouses get there parts from the same sources and just market the parts. So my question is how good are the parts in a $ 275.00 rebuild kit vs. a crate motor made in Mexico.

I sure wish I could buy a Chevy rocker for a small block Chevy engine, not a overseas repo !
Hey Steve
Yes you can buy the rocker from Chevy
All the new crate motors Chevy sells now use the self align rockers. It is a over the counter part and will drop on any early model motor. The dealers and knowledgeable mechanics have been using that rocker to fix early motors with worn out pushrod guides in the head (the slot becomes egg shaped) On the new crate motors the holes are just bored round with out the slot and you must use them. Buy a set or just one.
Van
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:00 AM   #79
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Quality parts cost $$$ ...
when I rebuilt the 283 that I had in my 40 Ford coupe, I used new rockers and push rods from the Chevrolet dealer. They were at least 10 yeas old ... ( but still NOS ) Same for the pistons. I had them from years ago ( but NOS ). I did buy a new Duntov 097 and lifters. New springs, keepers and retainers also. Added a set of new Poly*Loks. The only used parts in my 283 were the block, head castings, crankshaft and rods. The rods were resized and had ARP rod bolts. The head bolts were also ARP. The timing chain was Cloyes double roller. The oil pump was a new Mellings. All the bearings were TRW ... and had Grant rings. The heads were decked ... the block bored with head plates and the entire assembly balanced ( machine costs were in the $350 range ) the heads had new hardened valve seats installed and new valves.

I worked as a machinist for a few years so I have ALL the precision measuring equipment and know HOW to use it. My machine shop guy knows this and knows I double and triple check behind him. The engine went together perfectly ... and cranked with about 2 or 3 turns of the crankshaft ... after I had primed the oiling system.

IMHO,
there is no way to compare the new parts in a $275 rebuild kit to the parts I installed. My pistons and pins cost more than that

That said ... a engine can be redone for far less ... BUT ... you use a LOT of used valve train parts and other stuff.

The new GM crate engine has ALL NEW parts for not a lot of money more. Plus the local Chevy dealer does not charge SHIPPING.

Not knocking anyones engines ... just trying to lay all the facts out for consideration.

Before you insinuate that a master kit has inferior parts, why don't you check the two suppliers that are the largest motor parts kit suppliers in the world. If you can find one thing to single out I would be very surprised. Try Engine Tec and EPW (engine parts warehouse) They are on line. As for pistons my kits have Silvolite - and are a major OEM supplier and have been making pistons before you were born. As for your crate motor - I buy a ton of them from the Chevy dealer who delivers their return warranty motors to my door. I know every part inside & I gota tell ya it an't good news for you. You should know that their pistons - Federal mogul are now made in INDA. Know what you are talking about before spewing bullshit.

Last edited by Vandy; 01-26-2011 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:10 AM   #80
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Before you insinuate that a master kit has inferior parts, why don't you check the two suppliers that are the largest motor parts kit suppliers in the world. If you can find one thing to single out I would be very surprised. Try Engine Tec and EPW (engine parts warehouse) They are on line. As for pistons my kits have Silvolite - and are a major OEM supplier and have been making pistons before you were born. As for your crate motor - I buy a ton of them from the Chevy dealer who delivers their return warranty motors to my door. I know every part inside & I gota tell ya it an't good news for you. You should know that their pistons - Federal mogul are now made in INDA. Know what you are talking about before spewing bullshit.


Are all the parts in your $275.00 rebuild kit made in USA/Canada?
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:15 AM   #81
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Before you insinuate that a master kit has inferior parts, why don't you check the two suppliers that are the largest motor parts kit suppliers in the world.

Know what you are talking about before spewing bullshit.
I did not say your stuff was inferior ... I just said yours has a LOT of used parts. Does yours have new rockers, push rods and and ALL NEW valvetrain ?? How about new camshaft and lifters ? And you did not say that all of the parts in your 275 dollars kit came from the US of A either. Silvolite ... does not make the pistons I put in my rebuilds.

Why would I pay 900 dollars for a used engine with some new stuff ( 275 dollars worth ) when I can buy a NEW engine ( everything new ) for 600 dollars more ??

The original poster has already said he is going to buy one of your engines. That's OK and good by me. IF he cannot build his own engine ... your engines may be a good choice for him I do really hope everything turns out great. But I will not be buying a engine with a 275 rebuild kit in it. I will either buy a GM crate engine or build one myself ... with the good stuff I select ... and Badger and Silvolite will not be on my parts list.

My friends and I have bought / and or / installed over 2 dozen Chevrolet crate engine without one single failure.

Have a nice day ...

.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:27 AM   #82
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Just to muddy the waters a little more, Silvolite and Keith Black pistons are made by the same company.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:31 AM   #83
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

A lot depends on how much rebuilding the 283 needs, and what your machine shop charges you for their end of the bargain.

On a 283 I would say that normally it is going to cost you about the same minimum. I did a 283 a couple of years ago new pistons, camshaft, and rods sized with crank turned .010. Total cost with my time was about 1300.00. But I normally get a pretty good discount on my parts.

I would doubt that you could build the 283 for less than the cost of the crate motor and you don't get a warranty so that's the con.

On the pros side, you get a more period correct motor in your period correct rod, you know what's in it because you out it in there and the satisfaction of building your own mill.

I'm real big on building your own so I'm probably not the correct person to ask but if it were mine I would build it myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tugmaster View Post
I'm not trying to sound like a cheap ass cause I'm really not. I'm just trying to figure out which would be more cost effective.
Here is the deal. For my new project I am considering either getting a 283 and rebuilding it or buying a GM350 290HP crate motor. I have never rebuilt a motor so I have know idea what it costs. I would do all the assembly myself and have a local machine shop do all the machininging amd measuring. I wuold also have them rebuild the heads. 283's are fairly plentiful and can be had for not alot of $$ A friend of a friend has one complete top to bottom front to back for $100.
Now the GM Crate motor is about $1500. But it is just a long block and I'm worried about getting nickeled and dimed to death with all the other stuff I will need for it and it will cost me more in the end than rebuilding the 283.
This car is going to be just a cruiser so I want a simple and reliable set up.

Thanks as always, Todd
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:37 AM   #84
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I would have to build the 283 but a crate motor is tempting
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:43 AM   #85
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

"Know what you are talking about before spewing bullshit."

Me thinks Vandy needs a hug.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:44 AM   #86
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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I would have to build the 283 but a crate motor is tempting
Crate motors and gold chainers have given the SBC its bad rep. I don't have anything against them they are a good deal for someone who either doesn't have the time or the know how to build one from scratch. They are handy if you shell a motor on Tuesday afternoon and need to be at work Wednesday morning, but if its your rod my thoughts are take the extra time and do it yourself.

If I shelled the mill in my parts hauler today I may have a crate motor in it by Saturday. Just handy, but my parts hauler isn't my rod.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:45 AM   #87
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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crate motor....$2000. Rebuilding your first motor yourself and bring new life into some old iron.......priceless!
ditto!
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:06 AM   #88
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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I'm pretty sure there's a rebuilt 283 in the classifieds. Around $1300 or so if I remember right. Might be worth checking out.
Yep, I got one for sale.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:08 AM   #89
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I get it , time is money and not evrybody has the inclination to build their own engine. The one in my car right now is a rebuilder motor a friend of mine sold me. I didn't have a garage and he let me use his driveway to do the swap, so it was the only way to go for me.

No shame in the game. Maybe next time he 'll build his own. That's my plan, I'm gathering parts for another engine, now that I have a garage, and I can take my time with it. Planning and gathering the bits and pieces is a lot of the fun for me. gives me something to think about while I'm working in the coal mine ;-)

I guess I thought the cheaper GM crate engines were heche in mexico? But they use all USA parts? the block/valvetrain/rotating assembly, all made in USA?

I don't have a dog in this hunt, I'm just trying to get the facts straight in my head. Not that it's a big deal, a crate motor is so far out of my budget it's just academic LOL

edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by porknbeaner View Post
Crate motors and gold chainers have given the SBC its bad rep. I don't have anything against them they are a good deal for someone who either doesn't have the time or the know how to build one from scratch.
yeah somewhere along the line it became a law to put a ZZ something or other crate motor in your street rod. I'm sure they're probably great engines, but at least in my mind they got lumped in with the billet crowd and it's kinda guilt by association.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:08 AM   #90
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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you get a more period correct motor in your period correct rod



And the outward appearance of either the 350 crate motor or the 283 is........?
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:27 AM   #91
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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I don't have a dog in this hunt, I'm just trying to get the facts straight in my head.
That is a consideration ...

Consider WHO is selling engines in this thread and has no financial interest in this.

Not everyone wants a to build a engine ( or cannot )
Not everyone wants a engine with a bunch of used stuff in it.

Different budgets require different solutions
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:42 AM   #92
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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I did not say your stuff was inferior ... I just said yours has a LOT of used parts. Does yours have new rockers, push rods and and ALL NEW valvetrain ?? How about new camshaft and lifters ? And you did not say that all of the parts in your 275 dollars kit came from the US of A either. Silvolite ... does not make the pistons I put in my rebuilds.

Why would I pay 900 dollars for a used engine with some new stuff ( 275 dollars worth ) when I can buy a NEW engine ( everything new ) for 600 dollars more ??

The original poster has already said he is going to buy one of your engines. That's OK and good by me. IF he cannot build his own engine ... your engines may be a good choice for him I do really hope everything turns out great. But I will not be buying a engine with a 275 rebuild kit in it. I will either buy a GM crate engine or build one myself ... with the good stuff I select ... and Badger and Silvolite will not be on my parts list.

My friends and I have bought / and or / installed over 2 dozen Chevrolet crate engine without one single failure.

Have a nice day ...

.

It's not my stuff and this thread isn't about my motors. You posted about the quality of the parts in a master kit but did not list one part by name that you used in your rebuild, but ARP, which is not in any crate motor. You said you laid out the facts but laid out nothing. If a person wants all new valve train parts in a rebuild, that's not a big expense. All new valves, new springs, pushrods, rockers = $150 xtra.
Parts used in the rebuilding industry are as good or better than parts used by any new motor manufacturer.
Take the time to list all the parts manufacturers used in the GM motor for all here to see. And where is the list of parts you used in your motor ?
You now say you won't use Badger or Silvolite but use crate motors with Sterling = Federal Moguls made in India.
Post some facts or put on your parachute and bail out of this thread.

I have to add this
I love crate motors as this gives me a continuous supply of rebuildable chevy motors, because as they die the dealer drops them off at my door. I do realize that after I rebuild them they will never be as good as another new crate motor because now they have too many used parts.

Last edited by Vandy; 01-26-2011 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:49 AM   #93
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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"Know what you are talking about before spewing bullshit."

Me thinks Vandy needs a hug.
OK I need one
Along as it doesn't look gay
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:42 PM   #94
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by Vandy View Post
Post some facts or put on your parachute and bail out of this thread.
No parachute for me ...
I did not see you list all the parts in the 275 rebuild kit ... either

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandy View Post
I have to add this
I love crate motors as this gives me a continuous supply of rebuildable chevy motors, because as they die the dealer drops them off at my door. I do realize that after I rebuild them they will never be as good as another new crate motor because now they have too many used parts.
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Now really ??
I see where you are in LA ... a large area and there are most likely a larger number of crate engines sold there than my rural sothern area ... but just how many new crate engine have problems ???

To ALL other readers of this thread ...

How many crate engine have you known/heard about/ had experience with
to be bad ??

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I did have a crate 454/450 HP LS-6 engine go bad ... 40 years ago.
Back then ... the dealer got the engine back and destroyed the engine.
That was GM's policy at the time. The part manager was a friend and he could not even save the engine.

Maybe things are different now.

.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:55 PM   #95
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I went through the same thing with my '61 Suburban, and bought the 290hp crate engine from GM.
You'll need an intake, carb, fuel pump, water pump, thermostat and all those gaskets for both engines, so take that off the table. You'll also probably need a distributor for the 283, so again, you'll need that for both.

That leaves construction of the long block.
If you can:
Have the block hot-tanked and bored
Turn the crank
Buy rod, main and cam bearings
Buy freeze plugs and oil galley plugs
Buy pistons
Buy rings
Have the rods magnafluxed and rebuilt, including new fasteners
Buy an oil pump and pick-up
Buy a timing chain
Buy a new cam and lifters
Have the heads magnafluxed
Have a valve-job done
Buy new valves
Buy new spring
Buy new pushrods
Buy new seals
Have new guides installed
Buy a gasket set
And fix anything else like busted rocker studs, stripped threads, bent or hole-poked oil pan or timing chain cover, and then have it all put together for less than $1500....


You'll still make less power than a 350.

But chances are pretty good you won't be able to have all the block and head prep done, and buy that whole list of parts, for $1500. Let alone have someone assemble it all for you.

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Old 01-26-2011, 02:03 PM   #96
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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BTW a new GM crate motor is OFF TOPIC here.
The one I have with an Edelbrock C3B, open-element air cleaner, chrome 327 valve covers, rams horn manifolds and 37,000 miles in 3 years says you can pucker up and kiss the fattest part of its ass.

Choosing the smallest cubic inches with the least amount of power because "it's cool" has NEVER been what hot rodding is about.

Making the most power you can afford, and driving the damn thing, is what hot rodding is about.

-Brad
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:12 PM   #97
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Advice is free, Talk is cheap and crate motors (290 hp) cost more than $1500 in the LA Chevrolet dealerships. Used SBC's in good running shape can be had for $500 or less. The choice is up to you, building a motor is part of being a do it yourself home builder. The thumping of the heart when you first start the motor after building it yourself is "Priceless". My 2 cents.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:15 PM   #98
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I spent $1,350.00 at the machine shop and assembled my self. full rebuild machine work.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:17 PM   #99
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by Vandy View Post
Every thing must be bigger in Texas even the cost of rebuilding a 283.
I build crate motors for the Hot Rod market and my selling price on a Master kited 283 is $950 this includes the core. A no lead upgrade to the heads is $150 & includes Bronze wall liners, 8 new SS 1 piece exhaust valves & 8 Hard seats. I have 3 in stock. I ship all over the world, I don't sell to many here as most "buy a crate GM motor" from Mexico. BTW a new GM crate motor is OFF TOPIC here.

Forgot to add = all my motors are assembled with a Hipo cam, brass plugs, Hi vol oil Pump, roller chain set. All 283's have Power Pac heads
Hey Vandy,
Don't mean to hi-jack the thread but, since your prices not only seem reasonable, but since your also local, do you mind giving me some contact info? I'd like to keep you in mind for any future rebuilds. You can PM me if you'd like.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:54 PM   #100
Vandy
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by Brad54 View Post
The one I have with an Edelbrock C3B, open-element air cleaner, chrome 327 valve covers, rams horn manifolds and 37,000 miles in 3 years says you can pucker up and kiss the fattest part of its ass.

Choosing the smallest cubic inches with the least amount of power because "it's cool" has NEVER been what hot rodding is about.

Making the most power you can afford, and driving the damn thing, is what hot rodding is about.

-Brad
Well Brad
I read a lot of car magazines & it seems a lot of people are way off your track, but me however that's a different story. my daily driver is a 67 Scout, I've had for 30 years. It's power comes from a 460 Ford backed with a ZF 5 speed. Any time you want to try that 350 crate motor out against it, I'm game. The tail lights are round you will see them when I am driving away.Yes I stuffed it with a big cam Yes I ported the heads, hi compression pistons, Big headers, Holley carb. I even ported the aluminum intake. If I put the most power I could afford in it, I could use one of the 3 - 545 cube blown 460's with TFS-A heads that are in my garage in it. The OP asked about a 283 not me, I didn't put him down for asking, and I think he's on the right track for what he wants- not what you think hot rodding is. Ryan - yes the guy whose board you are using prefers to run a Flathead, I'm pretty sure he could afford a bigger and faster motor
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:21 AM   #101
Vandy
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by Larry T View Post
Are all the parts in your $275.00 rebuild kit made in USA/Canada?
Larry T
Hi larry
I buy master kits from many sources, and with the exception of King bearings (Israel), and adding Mexico to your list.I would say yes. I and most motor builders don't just build SBC's and the parts sometimes very as to who is in production of the part needed. Anytime someone asks me "whose parts are you using" I answer that I will use whatever part makers product they prefer. No if's or any bull, If a part is specified by a customer he gets it. Whats really funny is that most just don't ask and don't care as they wouldn't know who's part is what. They do care that it runs good & so do I, as repeat customers & referrals are gold.
Please understand My shop a closed shop, I do not offer machine services or sell any parts. I build crate motors for hot rods only. And to the Hamb member that stopped in today, You didn't see that 528 BBF boat motor that dynoed at 736 HP on pump gas, It wasn't there.

Last edited by Vandy; 01-27-2011 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:42 PM   #102
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

no dog in this hunt,and opinions are like buttholes everybody has one. but i was wondering because vandy ,you seem to have a good thing there and fairly good named brand parts. you may have posted it and i didn't see it.but what kind of warrenty do you have on a base 350 c.i? just curious. CARRY ON MEN. popcorn is poppin
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:50 PM   #103
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Choosing the smallest cubic inches with the least amount of power because "it's cool" has NEVER been what hot rodding is about.

Making the most power you can afford, and driving the damn thing, is what hot rodding is about.



I'd hafta agree.......
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:30 PM   #104
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by Vandy View Post
Well Brad
I read a lot of car magazines & it seems a lot of people are way off your track, but me however that's a different story. my daily driver is a 67 Scout, I've had for 30 years. It's power comes from a 460 Ford backed with a ZF 5 speed. Any time you want to try that 350 crate motor out against it, I'm game. The tail lights are round you will see them when I am driving away.Yes I stuffed it with a big cam Yes I ported the heads, hi compression pistons, Big headers, Holley carb. I even ported the aluminum intake. If I put the most power I could afford in it, I could use one of the 3 - 545 cube blown 460's with TFS-A heads that are in my garage in it. The OP asked about a 283 not me, I didn't put him down for asking, and I think he's on the right track for what he wants- not what you think hot rodding is. Ryan - yes the guy whose board you are using prefers to run a Flathead, I'm pretty sure he could afford a bigger and faster motor
Sorry, I guess I should have said "Choosing to spend more money on a 283 rather than buying a cheaper, more powerful 350 that looks externally EXACTLY like a 283, just so you can say "I've got a 283 and spent more money on it than a crate 350, but hey man, IT'S TRAD!" is stupid.
The guy asked for an opinion: cost and inexperience were factors, as was the intended use: "A cruiser."

I'll stand by what I wrote.


-Brad
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:14 PM   #105
Vandy
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

So as a Chevy guy you think that a 283 looks exactly like a 350 crate motor. I will agree that a 350 could be disguised to look similar but at minimum it would require a change of heads to at least a set of Power Pac's. I would have to say that I get requests all the time to do this very thing, most often using Camel humps for the 327 look. This disguise is not to try to fool a Chevy guy, but to fool a fool who thinks he's a Chevy guy. Please don't be offended.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:20 PM   #106
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

I am sold on Vandy. Sounds like he really knows what he speaks. When i get ready for a SBC I will be looking you up Mr. Vandy......thanks for all the great info......
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:53 PM   #107
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by Vandy View Post
So as a Chevy guy you think that a 283 looks exactly like a 350 crate motor. I will agree that a 350 could be disguised to look similar but at minimum it would require a change of heads to at least a set of Power Pac's. I would have to say that I get requests all the time to do this very thing, most often using Camel humps for the 327 look. This disguise is not to try to fool a Chevy guy, but to fool a fool who thinks he's a Chevy guy. Please don't be offended.
Yeah yeah... casting marks on the front of the heads, versus accessory bolt holes... which the OP will really appreciate if he runs an alternator, power steering pump or A/C.
Oh, wait... those aren't Trad either. Never mind.
If I cared that much, it'd take 30 minutes with a die-grinder and some JB Weld, and the "disguise" would "fool a Chevy Guy."

It's a cruiser. And for what he asked, I'll still stand by my statements.
Had he said he wanted to build a period-correct car, my suggestion probably would have been different.

-Brad
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:51 PM   #108
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

Im looking into rebuild versus crate for my 35 and had heard rumors about GM crate motors being made out of country. That is just a sad state of affairs. I realize that offshore products are cheaper and maybe we can put together a couple more cars for less. But if youre going for period correct, then you should make damn sure how your grandfather would feel about parts from overseas in his Chevrolet or Ford!!!!! But if fiberglass were my game I guess I wouldnt mind putting a foreign motor in it. As for me I'm gonna cling to the last bit of America left. And yes I know that it would be near impossible to put on shoes and socks and walk out the door without overseas stuff, but come on! Traditional rodders with a oh well attitude?

Aside from that i'm sure the mexican GM motors are good, but so are Hondas and you can bet youre ass I aint gonna be buying one of those soon. A dude at work just touted his new Kia, and said its "the new sorento! the first Kia to be made in the U.S." I said yah, then I could do a couple other things that suck.

Dont have the answers, and I'm sure parts for my motor will have to be made overseas, but I'm gonna try my best to stay Red White and Blue.

And what is up with the fruity emotocons/avatar face thingies

Last edited by carcass; 03-25-2011 at 09:55 PM. Reason: forgot a thing
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:33 PM   #109
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

i love my 283, but to do it over again, i would buy a 290 horse 350, sounds great, and very dependable. and for around 2k cant beat it for the $$
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:48 PM   #110
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Default Re: Which is more cost effective: Buy a crate motor or rebuild a 283

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Originally Posted by Fordor Ron View Post
Here's the deal.

You can build the 283 on a budget but it takes time to get all the components together. Plus, your gambling on the assembly.

I say buy the crate and run it in the driver.

Put the 283 on a stand and build it for fun in your spare time. Slide it off in a cool project when it's done.

End of problem...
This makes sense to me!!!
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