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Hot Rods Anybody ever bought a used motor?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by loveoftiki, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. treb11
    Joined: Jan 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,735


    There's a guy at my work who wants to sell his build 383 SBC to put in an LS motor. He can't give it away.
    gimpyshotrods and loudbang like this.
  2. rjones35
    Joined: May 12, 2008
    Posts: 865


    I've had friends that would just run cheap used engines in their drag cars. Buy a cheap engine, throw their intake, carb, distributor, etc. on it, AND a big bunch of nitrous. Run it a little bit, blow it up, do the same thing again. One of these guys couldn't find a motor mount bolt one time, so he used a screwdriver jammed in the hole instead.
    loudbang likes this.
  3. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,293


    :D Over the years,I have bought quite a few used engines.So far,they have been pretty reliable.Even bought a few Continental and Lycoming aircraft engines.Did`nt use them myself,but I knew quite a few guys and gals into air boats.Made a good profit on them too.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    loudbang likes this.
  4. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,556


    It’s a coin toss man sometimes you win sometimes you lose. I kind of take everything a guy tells me with a grain of salt over the years you get a feeling in your gut if they are selling you a piece of trash. Check everything you can and if its in a running car take it for a drive. Many motors i bought ran for years without no problems a few didn’t. Good luck
    loudbang, Deuces and osage orange like this.
  5. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 6,439

    from Oregon

    sounds perfect. Good for you.
    loudbang and osage orange like this.
  6. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,289


    I had better luck with untouched used motors then with used motors that were rebuilt,just dropped in a 351-W in my 66 f100 that is one of those it ran when pulled and will see how it does. I usually try to buy running parts cars but they are kind of getting hard to find for a reasonable price.
    SlamIam, loudbang and osage orange like this.
  7. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,550


    I have never bought a new engine.
    sunbeam, Bandit Billy, Paul and 2 others like this.
  8. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,330

    Lone Star Mopar

    Yessir, especially now that everyone's LS swapping. As long as I can hear them run im good. Bought a really nice 350hp 327 a few years back for our wagon still runs great for 900$ complete carb to pan. Bought a nice running TPI 350/200r4 combo from a buddys 40 Willys for 1,000$ resold the intake and computer off that for 450$. The key is hearing them run, otherwise I'd treat them all as cores.

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    loudbang likes this.
  9. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 11,523

    jimmy six

    I bought an IMCA modified alcohol engine from a guy who wrecked his race car. 14.3 to 1. 356 cu in. He said it had 1 full night of racing and a heat race. Took the heads off to change the gaskets for lower compression for gasoline. 13.7 to 1. He had all he reciepts. IMCA are technically $2k claimers. It had the best of everything allowable; heads, crank, rods, pistons, cam, springs, rockers, etc. and was spotless inside. Made 490 hp on the dyno at 6200 without much tuning using a carb we had and a back up MSD. I couldn't by the parts for what I paid plus the gaskets.
    loudbang likes this.
  10. I reciently bought this long setting locked up 317 Pontiac. I paid $100 for it and part of the vehicle. I think it was a bargain! 216 pontiac 001.JPG
    loudbang and steinauge like this.
  11. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,383


    Like running any used part, and lately like buying some reconditioned parts, it's a gamble on how well the part/engine will hold up and for how long. I've absolutely done it. Bought a used 383 B Mopar for $300 after mine wiped out a main and used that short block with my top end to make one good engine. Stuffed that in the car and has been running fine since 2006. Same with a free 289 (that turned out to be a 302) that I jammed in a 63 Fairlane when we were piss broke kids, eventually would drive that car 600 miles a week commuting to work from law school. Neither engine was/is perfect. The Mopar needs rings and smokes, but is otherwise OK. My Father in Law has had mediocre luck buying used SBFs from guys in the Mustang scene to run in a 89 Ranger we run in the 24 Hours of Lemons, but those engines get abused worse than any street car should ever. You just can't bet more than you're willing to lose. And realistically, since you've got the engine out of the car in the first place, it doesn't hurt to throw a basic gasket set on it before installing it.
    loudbang likes this.
  12. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 2,056


    Don't discount donor cars either. Late 90's Eddie Bauer Explorers came with roller 5.0's and GT40 heads along with 4R70W trannys and 8.8 rears with good gearing. Buying a running/driving car allows you to really check it out before purchase and more often than not, take what you need, part the rest and make some $$! Michigan road salt tends to eat frames so you can find 'em for a song. Here's one...……………..
    loudbang and Old wolf like this.
  13. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,252

    from Burton, MI

    My first 'hot rod' was a V8 S10 Blazer. I bought a complete carb-pan 350/350 with a dyno sheet for $750. It made 421 HP at the wheels in a bitchin' Camaro. Never had to do anything to it the whole time I owned it. Doubt that kinda deal will ever come around again...
    loudbang likes this.
  14. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,402


    Here is a picture of the Exploder engine (well actually of the crap above the engine) that Evintho linked to.
    Amazing to realize that by peeling away all the hideous modern crap, there is a nice looking engine under there:

    loudbang likes this.
  15. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,383


    Well, rational minds can disagree on that point haha
  16. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,289


    Recently I picked up a mid 80s 351-W for my 66 F100 for a little over 200 that seems to be good,did not hear it run and according to the grease on it looks to be in the 100,000 mile range. After it got dropped in and ran I installed a timing chain set and knocked the frozen distributor out and hope to run it for a few years.
    loudbang likes this.
  17. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 7,150


    upload_2018-8-30_3-28-59.png Back to Dec 1959

    We saw plenty of used motors in the Drag News classified weekly paper. We did go by to see some of them. But, in support of our local (2 miles away) speed shop, we always checked there before purchasing anything else. Well, after three visits to other "for sale and searches" for an SBC motor, we dropped by our favorite small speed shop on the way home. Low and behold, there on a motor stand was a long block SBC motor with finned valve covers.

    The speed shop had a nice display of manifolds and carbs, but nothing on the SBC. So, we were asked how we were going to use the 282 ci SBC motor. When told that it was going in a Willys coupe for the gas coupe and sedan class, our friend, the sales guy’s eyebrow raised up. Forget the dual quads, we needed fuel injection. But, at the time, no one knew how to make it run on the street, with a simple start, fire up and drive away at any time or speed. So, the Hilborn Injectors were out.

    Then, he had a sale on the 6 Strombergs on a new, Weiand SBC manifold. That was the ticket. It also was well matched with the Isky Roller Cam in the 283. The owner said that it would push our Willys to top speeds and be really quick. So, we bought the 283 long block, the 6 Stromberg Carbs on the new Weiand Manifold and, we were on our way.

    How did we know the motor was going to run? The reputation of this small speed shop was going to be tested as we would be at the Lions Dragstrip almost every weekend and with our local contacts of our hot rod group. It took a while to put everything together for the complete build. Finally, it fired up and ran well after we were able to adjust the 6 carbs.

    The sound of the first fire up and then backing up in our narrow driveway to the street, brought our neighbors and our mom running out of the house for a "what the #&%%" moment. Upon acceleration in front of our house, the Willys took off well and threw us back in the seats. So much quicker than the acceleration of the 58 Impala.


    The reputation of any legitimate speed shop and builder is always on the line with the products they sell or construct. We liked our favorite, Reath Automotive shop and gave them lots of business. With the new build, they bored the 283 up to 292 and gave us deals on various parts necessary for the upgrade. This was the Long Beach standard for a big name speed shop with quality work, super friendly owner/staff and parts.

    But, this other small shop had a growing business to last for several more years. When we purchased a 671 from a diesel shop, that was the start of the new build. From Reath Automotive, we bought a new Edlebrock blower manifold, larger Jahns Pistons, balanced crank & rods, and had the heads ported/polished, we did not forget our small speed shop.

    The highlight was, they gave us a deal on a Joe Hunt Vertex Magneto, a Weiand/Stromberg manifold, and the Howard 8 Cycle, Roller Cam/Kit for the newly constructed 292 c.i. SBC. The 292 SBC now housed the 671 with the same 6 Strombergs from the original purchase we got from them to start this whole hot rod/drag racing scene.

    Because the small shop was a few minutes away VS. an across town drive to Reath, they also supplied much needed necessary speed parts as we went along during the build. It was a real local, backyard, hot rod build. Our valuable, local auto parts store just two blocks away handled the everyday gaskets, nuts/bolts, lube, plugs, wires, etc.
    upload_2018-8-30_3-29-28.png A very similar 671 and 6 Strombergs on an SBC motor photo… B. Balogh 1960

    When we drove up to the small shop's front door upon the 40 Willys completion, their eyes were so wide with joy and happiness. They had never seen a 671 blower with Strombergs on a 292 SBC, in a Willys coupe or anything else for that matter. The Isky/Gilmer blower drive set up was new on the market and a first for them. Did it sound good?

    They were impressed with the progress we had made from early January, from the long block 283 and Strombergs we initially bought from them. We were very happy, too. The sound and acceleration was tremendous, while moving away from their shop. So, we were sure they were justified and happy, too. This mantra still rings true: “Support your local speed shop and builder. Don’t do cheap”

    Hnstray and Gman0046 like this.
  18. A good friend bought a '63 1/2 Falcon Sprint(lovely car) from another 'friend'. It supposedly had a new 347 stroker in it.;) The motor was super clean & had a new balancer, flywheel & other external goodies. After a few months of driving it regular & pass or two down Mason Dixon drag way, it started smoking when the throttle pedal was released. Now mind you Bob paid a pretty penny for this very sweet car.:confused: He decided to pull the '347' apart last Winter. He found a gussied up, stock bore 302.:mad: Needless to say Bob has one less friendo_O
    loudbang likes this.
  19. Bounder
    Joined: Oct 31, 2011
    Posts: 251


    I bought my 351 W used. It ONLY had 800 miles on it and the C-6 trans. Well I went to put a big cam in it and the cam bearings were black. You could see hone marks in the cylinders so I called the guy, He said it only had about 800 miles but it had sat for 12 years without being touched. Long story short after a rebuild kit and the bigger cam , it runs fine. But careful about how long a used engine has been laying around.
    loudbang likes this.
  20. Haha
    I see a lot of those “rebuilt” engines with fresh blue paint for sale..some with 180k miles, but 20k on rebuild..etc. when I make a desicion I’ll try to buy a “hear it run” or look for such a smoking deal that I’m comfortable going in it will need a rebuild.
    loudbang likes this.
  21. joee
    Joined: Oct 9, 2009
    Posts: 484


    didn't ED run a ford powered altered? not dragster
    loudbang likes this.
  22. Bigchuck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,156

    from Austin, TX

    Holy shit!! That has to be the worst orange pookie use ever!
    loudbang likes this.
  23. I bought a 31 Vicky in the mid 80's. It had been completed in the mid 70's with Pinto running gear. By the mid 90's I needed an upgrade. Went to the local junk yard. Picked up a seven year old 4.3 V6 and 700R4. They started it sitting on the floor. Sounded good, good oil pressure. Stopped quick when they killed ignition.

    Took it home. Pulled throttle body intake. REALLY gunky in the valley. Didn't disturb the gunk. Installed it with four barrel intake. Drove it 100k miles with no problems. That was a great hot rod!

    loudbang likes this.
  24. hotrod428
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 301


    I always prefer to buy a fairly low mileage vehicle for the engine. I bought a 89 Lincoln town car with 60k miles and used the engine and AOD trans for my 50 pickup. I converted it to 4 bbl carb and v-belts and have less than $600 in it including the price of the car. While I had it apart I threw in a new timing chain and oil pump. I now have more than 30k on it and it never uses a drop of oil.
    loudbang likes this.
  25. badgascoupe
    Joined: Jul 22, 2011
    Posts: 161


    Bought a 39 Chrysler pu with a fresh sm blk chevy,a stalled project.Well the engine was fresh ,40 over on bore.They had parked it outside for awhile(told me 6 mons) The engine filled the back to pass cyls with rain water,pitted so bad not worth using.Have found a 55 hemi for it so it will workout for the btter.
    loudbang likes this.
  26. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 40,137


    Dragster was first then he moved on to the ford altered. I posted some photos of it in the altered thread. :)
  27. Seeing I've never owned a new car, pretty sure all my engines have been used, Hot Rod's included.
    Old wolf and pprather like this.
  28. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,257


    It all depends on the cars purpose. If its a for sale build why not use a used engine. If its for something I'm going to keep for a while I only use rebuilds with good components.

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
    loudbang and Truckdoctor Andy like this.
  29. Stock Racer
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 852

    Stock Racer

    Depends. Bought many stock core engine. As long as it turns free and its priced as a core, Id buy it. Race or Hot Rod engines that someone else built, I'd have to steal it to buy it. I'm as financially challenged as the next guy so I like to look for deals on used parts and put it together myself.
    loudbang likes this.
  30. Back in the mid sixties my father bought a sears allstate rebuilt short block. 283 bored 060. crank turned .010 -.010. Cost $125. I installed it in the 64 that truck he bought new. and that engine was shot at 40,000 miles. It had a flat cam on a exhaust lobe. and diluted the oil with gas and ate the bearings. The sears mill Lasted longer than the truck because I totaled it in 1971. Ive had several blocks bored and put them together them myself. Back in the day at the junk yard and these stock car guys where shopping for a used engine. The owner had two that we started and let them hear run. One was priced at $100 the other was $150. I heard them talking they agreed to buy the $150 engine. Because you will win more races with the more expensive engine. However the price was based on how much money the owner had invested in the vehicle. The $100 engine more than likely was just as good.
    loudbang likes this.

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