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Old 03-15-2010, 05:03 PM
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Any problems with rebuilding a burnt down engine?

I may be able to purchase a period correct 427/390 engine for my 69 corvette. It's a complete 75k engine, but it was in a car that caught on fire. The top end of the engine (carb/intake manifold)was burned down pretty bad.

Are there any problems with rebuilding a burnt down engine?
Can engine fire destroy the engine block or the internals?

Thanks
Raj

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Old 03-15-2010, 05:12 PM
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Steel and that is subjected to fire can often loose any heat treating.
The block,heads and crank are probabily usable, after close inspection.
Components made of other materials will be junk. I'd ditch the connecting rods and all fasteners, reguardless.
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:26 PM
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Done this before, in-car fire can't really result in enough heat to really hurt anything with these old heavy castings. All that was hurt in my case was paint, rubber, and gaskets. Carb was sorta melted, but not bad, distributor cap melted, hoses and wires burned off. Regasketed it, new waterpump, distributor, harmonic balancer and carb.

Car had underhood fire from broken plastic fuel filter and electric pump, burnt the interior and glass out, tires still held air and were unhurt. I bought it cheap, '69 SS 396 Chevelle, made 3x what I paid parting out wheels(alum slots), rear end(12-bolt), trans(Muncie). and kept engine.

I would be more worried about metal integrity if yours was in a building or house fire, a lot more heat involved there.
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:33 PM
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I did a couple years ago and I agree with Eric. In most car fires the fire is above or behind the engine. Usually the carb, intake and distributor take the bulk of the heat abuse. Both that I recall we did we replaced the above mentioned parts, replaced the water pump and sensors. Fired up and ran. The key is if the water was purged from the cylinders and the pan in a timely fashion. If not then you could have rust filled cylinders. If it turns you most likely are ok.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:09 PM
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Thanks guys,
The owner says that it was a car fire and not a garage fire.

The engine apparently ran after the fire. The fire damaged the carb and spread to the intake after which it was put out.

I'll share some pics in a few hours.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:34 PM
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If it ran after the fire there is definately nothing wrong with it beyond the stuff being burnt on the outside.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:57 AM
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Assuming that there are no cracks in the block, what would be a fair price for this motor?

I will be buying this to rebuild it to original GM specs.

Last edited by rajsid; 03-19-2010 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:34 AM
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Can't help you with the value, lots of variables there like location, how bad you want it, how bad does seller want to sell, etc. I would play up the fact that it was in a fire to my advantage , even though I know it to be nothing more than cosmetic damage.

Just a guess would be $250-500 as a rebuildable core engine.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:39 AM
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Like he said- it's core. It's a crapshoot as to if it's already bored to the max, has cracked castings (unrelated to the fire), crank 30/30, etc.

I wouldn't give $500 for it, w/o an internal inspection or a written agreement to return it for a refund if it was non rebuildable.

But that's me. Maybe $350 max, as-is. If I made out, fine. If not, no biggie.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajsid
I will be buying this to rebuild it to original GM specs.
Because those specs were so amazing...

I understand wanting to look and sound like it did, but why leave performance on the table?

I guess that's why I don't do restorations...
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:13 PM
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WooooW!!!
How does an asking price of $3500-$4000 sound?

The seller told me that it has no cracks and it was a 75k miles motor before it burned. It also comes with the original manifolds and pulleys.

It is a period correct motor for my Corvette and I am willing to pay a little more than the reasonable price.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajsid
WooooW!!!
How does an asking price of $3500-$4000 sound?
In a word- ridiculous!

Quote:
It is a period correct motor for my Corvette and I am willing to pay a little more than the reasonable price.
That's all well and good- but w/o the correct SUFFIX (never mind the partial VIN that won't match, regardless) it's just another block w/possibly "believable" cast dates and casting numbers- if that.

I'd keep looking, unless it's EXACTLY what you "need". Even then, no freaking WAY would I give him anywhere NEAR that much for it!!
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:08 PM
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Agree with Cobalt there, engine is nothing special at all, likely came from a Caprice or Impala station wagon, not worth that much unless it was the exact #'s matching original block for your Vette - and it isn't.

Even if it came from another Corvette it ain't worth that,... except to the guy who has the only #'s matching vin Vette it belongs in

send me some of what the engine owner is smokin', sounds like it must be some preeetty good stuff

Some people have strange ideas about what the "almighty 427" is worth, see oldsters all the time who think "427's", "327's", and "Corvette engine" equals big dollars. They just don't have the real information.

Period correct means absolutely nothing to the Corvette Resto crowd, believe me I know, step dad owns two vettes - an all original '69 350/350 hp 4-gear and a resto mod '64 327/300 hp 4-speed. We spent a bunch of time and money hunting down the period correct pieces for the '64, but without the correct suffix code on the block it was all a waste of time to the #'s matching crowd, it was still a "bastard child" to them and valued accordingly.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:01 PM
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I guess I am going to pass on this one.
Just out of curiosity, where can I find a good period correct block at a reasonable price?
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:06 PM
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Define what you need by "period correct", as all BBC's from 65-85 look the same unless you dig into the casting or application suffix numbers. Only the bolt on stuff on the outside looks different.
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