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What would YOU do? rebuild a 292 y-block, or look for a new motor

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by luvzccr, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. luvzccr
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 668


    for the past few weeks i have been so torn between what to do. I've gotten some advice from fellow hambers and I finally decided to post a thread...

    last summer i drove my 58 fairlane to the gym, and on the way it just made the most awful sound you can imagine.... i took the motor apart finally a few days ago, and when i took the oil pan off, a rod came out that had been broken in a few pieces. plus..
    a chunk of the cam was in the oil pan

    needless to say it just looked so bad... makes me wonder how in the hell something like that happens??
    im still a young guy, just turned 20... this is my first time im tackling a project like this on my own. i took my 58 apart myself, got the motor out by myself, and am taking this motor apart by myself. my dad is helping me out telling me a little bit, but he said just take everything apart and take it to a machinist and have them rebuild it for me.

    now... i dont know how much something like that will cost me. he said it might run me 800 dollars?
    now.. if i went to craigslist, i might find a 390 for a few hundred bucks.
    or even a 351 or something that might need a little modification to fit into my 58.

    i dont wanna spend over 1,000 dollars on rebuilding my 292 if i can get a new motor for like 500. but when i say "new motor" i simply mean one off craigslist....

    i'm really torn between what to do..
    look for a motor off craigslist, and part out my 292 for parts?
    or... rebuild my 292 and hot rod it out big time...
    any advice guys?
  2. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    from MN

    I like the y-block route. But it sounds like money is tight so I roddin' it out would exceed what you would like to pay.

    Is there a way that you could do both? Keep the 292 till you can rebuild it. Collecting the pieces you need over time and get a CL motor to get you up and running.

    I think if you sell the y-block some day you will be wishing you didn't.

    Joined: Dec 14, 2007
    Posts: 97


    I say keep the 292 and be unique. They are a cool engine!!
  4. Sometimes the cam takes something with it when it lets go. Rods sometimes take a piece of the block rail out with it. I'd have it cleaned and checked out thoroughly. I'm more familiar with the 352-390 family, check out how that might bolt up while you get the 292 together.


  5. If you can swing it, try to keep the Y-Block - they are cool engines and can be made to go pretty well (just watch to ensure there's sufficient oiling on the top end. If a rebuild is out of your budget then bolt in a decent FE and keep the old boat anchor for another project...

    I worked on these mills after they'd lost their popularity to SBF and FE engines and with a few tricks they make reliable power. I had a friend with a '58 Custom 300 fordoor sedan with a basically stock 292/Fordomatic (!) that would regularly leave 283 Chevelles and Impalas in its wake in late night drags.
  6. You need to think about the costs associated with swapping the motor to a 351 or an FE. The bellhousings are different, mounts are different, exhaust will be different, small things like linkages and pulleys. You see where I'm going? If you are ready for all that and can fabricate and modify than by all means the more modern 351W would be the way to go.
    If not,
    I would rebuild the Y block and get back to cruising - but be prepared, it COULD cost a lot more than $800 if it is worn out and you really want to do it right.
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,286


    I love those old Y blocks but those cars are also really nice with the Bigger engines in them and the 352/390 family of engines pretty well are a bolt in in those cars.

    The other option and probably the easiest and least expensive is to find a decent running Y block and stick it in and go.

    FE wise I'd find a later model like 68/70 something car or pickup with a 390 and matching trans that I could drive home, pull the engine and send the left overs off to the junk yard. There is bound to be a decent running rust bucket floating around for a few hundred or less somewhere in the area.
  8. Captain Freedom
    Joined: May 6, 2009
    Posts: 262

    Captain Freedom
    from Upstate SC

    Buy an old truck off of CL (one that runs), and don't tell 'em you need just the motor. Strip the truck/car you bought, install the new engine (SBC maybe?), throw the blown-up Y block in the new truck/car and tow whats left away to the crusher and get about $300+ back.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  9. davidwilson
    Joined: Oct 8, 2008
    Posts: 595

    from Tennessee

    FE is the way to go
  10. TERPU
    Joined: Jan 2, 2004
    Posts: 2,303


    Yep, that's a good plan.

  11. I love y blocks. Im running a y block in my 56 fairlane with a tri power and all the other extras for that motor. Im also running y blocks in my two hot rod projects with 6x2 manifolds. The y block is a cool motor. I say stay with it. Speeking of the fe, thats an awesome motor aswell. I will be running a 390 with a 6x2 in my three window. It all takes money and lots of it. What motor do you like best?
  12. 57blueboat
    Joined: Feb 20, 2010
    Posts: 19

    from California

    I vote keep the Y-block and take your time with it, always a nice sound hearing it in the morning. Then again I believe in keeping this cars as original as possible.
  13. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 9,179

    from Phoenix,AZ

    The 390 FE is an easy bolt in,parts are more available than the 292 and cheaper , since you have a limited budget should be an EZ choice.
  14. 59flatbedford
    Joined: Apr 24, 2007
    Posts: 97


    well im a big fan of the y-block so stick an fe in your car and send your y-block to me so i can use it for my projects lol. i would stick with the y-block and rebuild it (it will likely be expensive but probably worth it in my mind) or find a running 292 that someone has pulled for a bigger motor.
  15. sonim38
    Joined: Apr 29, 2007
    Posts: 213


    either get a 312 y for cheap. y blocks have very expensive parts.i just put a 460 in my 57 368 would have been way too much.
  16. kevinwalshe
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 428


    I have found a ton of parts reasonably priced at and for my 55 Merc. It has a 292. Check ebay, I found COMPLETE rebuild kits with a new Isky cam for 500-800 bucks. Machine shops should be able to hone the bores for relatively cheap. If not, google "y block criagslist" and find another motor/block! I'm only 25 and it feels good to have a motor in my car that is more than twice as old as me, as well as original. The older guys will respect you more too, if that means anything.
  17. If you take your time you should be able to find a running 292 or 312 for far less than your planned swap and you get to keep around the spare.
  18. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,380


    That's the plan right there. I'd personally go for a SBF, since they're plentiful, strong, powerful and cheap. Go find yourself a running car, like a old grand marquis or beat up 5.0 mustang, and take everything. It looks like you drive your stuff a lot and are on a tight budget. I'd dump a SBF or SBC in there and be done wit it.

    BTW, my Y block did exactly the same thing. Rod, cam in 4 pieces, all in one shot. You have a stick in that or an automatic? I think you can get a bellhousing to bolt up SBF to the 3 speed
  19. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,584


    #1 Y-block
    No other choices IMHO....
  20. 59 brook
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,017

    59 brook

    just made that choice in my wagon and i went with a 5.0 due to the fact i want it to be my daily driver and the 292 runs but on 7 cylinders if you were closer i would lone it to yo while you rebuild your 292 . in the long run i think the rebuild would be cheaper due to less having to be changed .plus the 292 had a really nice exhaust sound with a full dual exhaust with some glasspacks. my vote is for the 292

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