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64Duece 08-26-2005 11:12 AM

AR RACING 383 Motor
I read long time ago a post referring to AR Racing Engines from VA. I just received one and will install this weekend. Couple of points - you cannot build this engine yourself for the price you pay, I compared it to the ZZ4 which I was almost ready to buy. Although everybodies engine on the NET is built from a seasoned (old block) it is the specific builders capabilities and internal parts that make the deal for me. I paid ************** for shipping and got the motor delivered to Clearwater, FL in 3 days. It is a 383 with Dart Iron Eagles, Eagle crank, Eagle I-Beam rods, rest of the rotating assembly is Speed-Pro. Valve springs and complete valve train is Comp Cams XE series. Motor built with the best of bearings and ARP fastners throughout. For those interested, AR Racing is a "Machine Shop" all work done in-house, not parted out to vendors, therefore assembly is overseen by a couple of guys from start to finish. The numbers are conversative on the HP/Torque side. I shopped engines since last year when the NOVA was undergoning restoration, and I will agree there are many builders on the NET that make some ridiculos claims to HP - mainly in Ariz. and Cal. The reputable ones will talk to you and tell you what you can expect!!! Face it - a small block is a small block - but the internals and the assembly of matching components is what differiniates one from the next. I went with AR since Mark always accepted my numerous phone calls and described the details of his process of engine building up to the time I ordered the motor. No pressure, no hard sell whatsoever. Be aware of those that build "garage motors" and make claims of big-time engine builders, some are on Ebay Any motorhead knows you ain't gonna get 500HP from a 355 with dished pistons and a mild (488 lift) cam, but I see the same motor with diff pistons and cam claiming very diff HP/Torque ratings, and those guys scared me away. Simply put - I couldn't find a better motor/deal than from AR, and they build 4 a week nationally. A small shop doing good things. Engine are not dynoed, but very few do that for the low prices advertised. Check out Jon Barrett engines in OK. They build a nice product and you will even get a sales rep calling every day to push the order. The ****** motor ends up costing you bout **** cause they dont want to dyno the motor and then remove the ingintion/fuel system and whatever else is on the advertised inital price. _ I will follow up with my own personally viewed rear wheel dyno #s in a week or so.

Siggy_Freud 08-26-2005 12:19 PM

Smells a bit too much like an advertisement . . .

57NAPCO 08-26-2005 04:15 PM

Uh-Huh, me 2

Classix_Lover 08-26-2005 04:38 PM

Ha, no kidding.... :spank:

Jmark 08-26-2005 04:53 PM


many builders on the NET that make some ridiculos claims to HP - mainly in Ariz. and Cal.
Hey!! I"m in AZ and I can build ya a 900hp small block for under 2 grand!!! Show me the money and i'll show you the ponies!!!

firestone 08-26-2005 05:34 PM

Thanks for the info. It is nice to know where the good shops are.


66Caprice 09-01-2005 10:30 AM

I second the recommendation - bought my engine from AR Racing because the shop is "local" to me and Mark was very honest and helpful and his prices are great for a custom engine. I don't think this is a plug at all! I don't think Mark is on this BBS either... At least he wasn't when I asked him.

454me 09-01-2005 10:35 AM

I like to see recomendations for places that do you right. Too many people think its an ad. Someday I might need to buy a motor and will need to know where to go. Let us know how the engine runs when you get it in.

engineczar 09-01-2005 11:43 AM

The problem (if it is a problem) is that there's quite a few engine builders (including myself) that post regularly on this board. We do so not to drum up any business but because we enjoy cars and enjoy helping people out by sharing some of what we know. It's great that 64Duece was happy with his engine. But I'm also sure K-star, nairb, chuck, Tom, Bob, Mike and lots of others have plenty of happy customers too, they just don't come on here and talk about it. The follow up thread by 454me saying that someday he might need a motor so now he knows where to go interests me. Maybe I'd like your business, or someone local to you who also posts on this board would like your business. Heck their product, price, and service might be every bit as good or even better than AR Racing. Think about it.
Like I said, i'm not sure that a post about a good experience is a problem but to me it is something that makes you go "hmmm" when you look deeper at it.

454me 09-01-2005 02:54 PM

I always over analize everything. When I said thanks for the recomendation I didnt mean that I would go out and buy that motor. Its just another place to look into. I would probably build the motor instead of buy one but sometimes the parts cost more than the completed thing. I keep seeing Larry's performance out of Calif mentioned in High Performance Chevy. I would consider talking to him also if I was buying. I asked here if anyone had ever used one of his motors but no one had. We just bought my son a car. I didnt go to the first dealer and get it. We went to 40 different dealers and looked at all the used cars they had. We ended up with a new 2005 Grand Am GT. Got it for not much more than the 2 year old used ones. To my surprise they will go lower than the employee discount. Wasnt what I was expecting to get but thats the way it turned out. I guess thats why when I was looking for my Chevelle it took me 2 years to find the one for me.

engineczar 09-01-2005 07:21 PM

454me don't take my response personally. I was only using your statement as an example. I can fully respect someone using a word of mouth recommendation when making a major purchase. We all do it. I was just trying to get people thinking about what a fine line it can be between someone posting an advertisement disguised as a thread to benefit themselves and someone just trying to help out fellow rodders. When I read the original post I wasn't sure where it was going.

wildman926 09-02-2005 11:16 AM

AR Racing...Yeah right
I want to say that I could not be any UNHAPPIER than if I let my 17 yo son build my motor.

I too bought a motor from them, and it was one thing after another. There were either missing bolts, untorqued bolts, port work (what port work!!!) issues, etc. I was to recieve forged pistons, got KB Hypers instead, I had to retorque all bolts, and all were loose on everything outside of the motor. And when I called to complain and that I would be dropping the oil pan to check the internals, he said that I would void the warranty.

The motor has smoked like a chimney since day one. I found that since the heads and block were milled, the new RPM intake was not sealing at the bottom of the ports. He also used the wrong intake gaskets. I correct that issue and cut the smoking in half. It is drawing oil down the new bronze valve guides some how. I even put new valve stem seals on, and no difference. He may have used the small valve stems with 3/8th inch valve guides. I will know for sure when I tear it down. I just know that it does not smoke if sitting for over a week, when the oil has a chance to drain completely. Once the oil hits the top of the rockers, it is like a mosquito truck.

I have complained to Mark Lim, and he would not return calls or emails. The only way I got him to return a call was to file a claim with the BBB out of Va. And when he finally called, he did state that he had another BBC returned for the very same reason.

I have decided to punt, and just take my *********** like a man, and move forward in rebuilding my BBC myself. I have all new parts for the bottom end. Cat Stroker 4340 crank, Eagle Stroker 4340 H-Beam rods, SRP Pistons, Moroso street/strip pan with integral scraper and windage tray, and oil pump/pickup, 781 heads ported and polished exhausts and chambers myself, And I ported the intake ports to match the new GMPP intake squared off oval ports. I am reusing the valvetrain, and all external items (carb, fuel pump, dist, etc.).

What I thought was a good deal, now I am paying regular price if not more after machining. Hopefully, I I have to worry about is milling my new heads, and boring and honing the block.

johnsongrass1 09-02-2005 12:16 PM

Has anyone noticed that it's his 1st post?

And he hasn't responded?

ratlover 09-02-2005 12:24 PM

HMMMM....... :rolleyes:

66Caprice 09-02-2005 03:18 PM

Well, I'll post again - sorry to hear you had such problems, Wildman. When I researched A.R. Racing, including the central Virginia BBB, I couldn't find any complaints and I also noticed that there had been no negative ebay feedback for 12 months or more. I was going to visit the shop since it's about a 1.5 hour drive away, but never did.

The 383 I bought was delivered to my driveway, wrapped in pastic, with documentation and instructions. It fired up just fine, break-in went well and I've put about 400 miles on it with no problems at all.

It's not my job to defend A.R. Racing and I'm not going to. All I'm saying is I didn't have any problems and I got no regrets and would probably buy from them again.

If 64Duece was a one-post and disappear type person, than maybe it was an advertisement and this thread should go to the dump!

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