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Are parts store engines really that bad?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MJF, Apr 28, 2003.

  1. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    I want to do something to my engine. I thought about rebuilding it myself, but I really have no idea what I'm doing. Plus I priced out the parts I would want & it ended up being more than a crate motor.

    Then there's the crate motor. $3000 +tax + shipping for the 330 horse & $3600+ extras for the 383. I'm way too cheap to throw down that much cash.

    Then there's the Kragen engines. I haven't researched them but I'm guessing they would run around $1000-1500.

    Has anyone had one of the Kragen ones? Was it a POS or was it a viable solution for a tired old 350 until the funds are available to get a nice crate motor? I won't be needing anything super powerful, but I would like it to last a few years until I can afford waht I want.

    I need your opinions.
     
  2. Don

    Don 1/2 ton status

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    Check out their warranty first, before you lay down the dough. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  3. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    If you just need something that'll last a couple years till you can afford what you really want, consitter a used motor. I've bought cheap vechiles for motors befor. I've bought $100.00 cars with strong motors. They may be some old 4 door beater bomb, but a good strong running motor can be found really cheap sometimes that way. Just check it out good first. Just thought I'd mention it becouse I've gotten good motors that way. If you don't mind swapping the motors yourself, it's a something to think about.
     
  4. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    you get what you pay for. A guy who came to my work all the time with his k5 got a new crate motor from auto zone I beleive and it broke a valve spring within a couple hundred miles. Check local engine shops you may be able to find a 350 in some guys barn and have it rebuilt much cheaper than the good crate option(still more than the kragen's. My engine cost me $1500(not including complete engine I started with) and a family friend assembled it free. I would expect to pay about 2k or so to have it done, again you get what you pay for don't ask some random grease monkey to build you an engine.
     
  5. mdm365

    mdm365 1/2 ton status

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    I bought a crate motor from gm for 1500 its the best thing I have done so far from what I had.Went from 6 cyl to a 350.gm gives a year on the motor not bad.Not one problem so far. /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif mike
     
  6. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, parts store engines really do suck. I have one that the PO installed and it SUCKS!
     
  7. tecton

    tecton 1/2 ton status

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    i was talking to my dad the other day about my truck and my plans...

    he brought up an interesting point....rarely, can u do better than the engineers who built the thing...there is always compromise

    you get what you pay for
    want a 1000$ engine...you wont get a 10000$ one...youll get a 1000$ one
     
  8. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    <font color="green"> Mike, I bought a GM base model 4 bolt crate motor, then swapped a Comp Cams K-kit into it. About $1500 all said and done and close to 300 HP with headers and a good aluminum intake. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif </font>
     
  9. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    You can pick up a basic GM crate engine from any GM dealership for around $1800. They're very good NEW motors.
    Id spend the money on a factory new than a parts store rebuilt. When it wears out, you have a good core for a follow-on rebuild. Most Part Store engines are "Referbished"(sp??) or is it "Rubbbbished".

    Heres a good link on a CHP series of taking the crate motor and for under $2500 in bolt-ons made a 400+HP and 400+lbft street motor. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  10. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    <font color="green"> $1800! Damn, they've gone up in price! I got mine for like $1250 about 4 years ago... </font>
     
  11. Swanson52

    Swanson52 1/2 ton status

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    I purchased a 'Marshall' reman engine about 6 years ago. It ran OK for about 6 months, then fell apart. When we tore into it, we found that the head on one side was cracked around an exhaust valve. Upon further inspection, we found 2 or 3 of the cylinders were standard, the rest were .030 over. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif Last one I will buy.
     
  12. Don

    Don 1/2 ton status

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    Yah, after reading some other User's post's, I completely forgot about G.M. they usually have good price's on their totally new Goodwrench engine's. Plus they have that 3 year warranty. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  13. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I'll just leave my old tired 350 in there until it dies. I'll start saving for a crate motor.

    It's funny, when I started looking at crate motors I told my wife, "I'll just pick up a 330 horse crate for $3000." But you can't help looking at the ZZ502. Then after looking at the 502, you start thinking, "Is 330 horse gonna be enough? Why not spend the extra $500 &amp; get a 350 horse. If I'm gonna spend $3600, I might as well spend $500 more &amp; get the ramjet 350. But then......." And it keeps going until you've decided you might as well get the ramjet 502 since you're spending the money anyway. Have you ever tried to pitch it to your wife that it's a good idea to go ahead &amp; get a $5000 crate motor to go into your $1000 truck? It usually doesn't work out the way you picture it in your head.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  14. DuneRunner

    DuneRunner 1/2 ton status

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    Yo Yo Yo... 3 months ago....

    $1,285.00 = 350ci.--- 250 hp --- 3 yr. 50,000 mile warante. (sp) What kind of warante you ask??? ALL GM dealers stand by it in the lower 48 states. If its something wrong in the motor your drop off the truck and they take care of it. Even if you install it. Ryan B. and I did mine with the help of my Dad, 4x4HIGH, &amp; UseYourBlinker.

    core charge of 100.00 (no big deal) I ended up spending $1,450.00 New intake, and harmonic ballincer) (GM ballincer and all new gaskets.

    I picked mine up in Concord at Fitzpatrick Chevrolet (925) 689-6500 (Good people) They are the largest seller in the Bay Area and their cost for the motor is almost always $1,285.00 Give them a call... GOOD LUCK!!! Also if you get a motor through them you get an addition 25% off all aditional parts... for the life of the motor or because you got it through them you get the discount I can't remember. (i'm heading up there this week to drop off my crate motor I'll see what the cost is now for the motor if you want!) /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
     
  15. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    sound slike you talked youreself out of it but I had forgotten these guys are a right a nice completely stock completely new Crate GM engine would be the way to go!
     
  16. georgiared84

    georgiared84 1/2 ton status

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    I put the "universal GM 350 crate" for 1250 in my black 84 when I blew up the 305. Then I gave the whole thing to my brother in law 4 months later. OWWWWWCH. I love the GM crate deal. Just about can't build one right for that price, and when you build it ,only the parts are warranteed. I don't think crane or any of the other companies that sold you parts are going to pull the motor for you if their part turns out to be bad. Don't get me wrong. I do like building motors. But if I was to buy another long block I'd definitely get another GM crate.
     
  17. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    The $1800 was kinda a wag, I figured after taxes and additional options you would be into it for about $1800.

    I just rebuilt the 350 crate I had in my Elky. Ran it for 155,000 miles, tore it down, cleaned up the block and have a 325HP daily driver which should go another 150,000.

    If im not mistaken, the crates come with 4-bolt mains (at least mine was) Really hard to beat!
     
  18. GM Man

    GM Man 1/2 ton status

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    I bought one of those and it came with a really weak cam in it. They built it that way so you couldnt spin the motor, thus the 5 year warranty probably wouldnt be used.
     
  19. spoolnaround

    spoolnaround 1/2 ton status

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    The $1285 350 sounds like the way to go. Re-cam it and put a good intake on it and away you go. I built my 383 myself and it ran me over 2K with top quality parts and good deals along the way (this was 14 years ago). If I was going buy a new motor I would go the GM crate motor way.
     
  20. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    I just built a new 355 and I agree if I was gonna go new engine I would go the GM Crate way.
     

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