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Old 07-11-2009, 03:42 PM
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Crate vs Rebuild

I have a 78 vette that my Dad owned and is all original. It really needs some horsepower. What are the pros and cons of going with a crate motor vs using the original motor and rebuilding it with some add ons. Will I devalue the car (it is not worth that much to begin with) by taking out the original motor? What are the best mods for the basic 350s from that era? Comments? Thoughts?

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Old 07-11-2009, 04:04 PM
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Well I can't answer all your questions but when you get a crate motor you don't know what your getting. I am not saying all crate motors are bad but when you build it yourself you know what all is in it clear down the the last bolt. I have read bad stories about people getting crate motors with holes that where stripped out things not put on right etc. I have heard good things about the gm crate motors though but they are build down in mexico etc. I had wondered the same thing and eventually I just got a haynes manual and dvd's on building a sbc motor and I took my parts too the machine shop to get done what needed done and built it with my dad so I know it was all done right. As far as value on the car etc I would not have a clue.
Eric
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markkr14
I have a 78 vette that my Dad owned and is all original. It really needs some horsepower. What are the pros and cons of going with a crate motor vs using the original motor and rebuilding it with some add ons. Will I devalue the car (it is not worth that much to begin with) by taking out the original motor? What are the best mods for the basic 350s from that era? Comments? Thoughts?
keeping the original engine adds value to the car. I would have a reputable builder rebuild what you have
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:24 PM
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Thanks.. that's helpful. With a crate motor, it seems like I can get more horespower for the money and with a bit less time investment. But it would be nice as you suggest to know what I have and keep the original numbers matching.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:33 PM
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crate motors roll down an assembly line and go by different people with different jobs, so if someone is having a bad day or just got a paycut or didn't get laid last night then they probably don't give a **** and give it the ok. I believe there is a difference in a rebuilt engine and a remanufactured engine.
Rebuilt to me: Tear the engine down clean parts have rotating assemble machine and put together with new pistons ring and gaskets.

Remanufactured: Tear the engine down clean parts throw away rotating assembly and put in good scat parts and good felpro gaskets and you damn near have a brand new engine that is going to go more miles than the rebuild.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:50 PM
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So are there any remanufacturers out there that will take my old engine... remanufacture it and return that exact block back to me?
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:59 PM
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Doubt it, dont think it always work out that way, you send your in and you get back another they have already done. JMO. Cole
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:12 PM
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if you don't want to build the engine yourself then find someone to do it, they will be more than happy to use brand new parts over old machined parts. If you are going to go with a new rotating assembly you might as well stoke that 350 and build a 383 for about another 50 bucks in the crank. Buy the scat rods with arp cap screws and that will be less marching you would have to do on the block. what state is st. louis in
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:47 PM
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:02 PM
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Thanks for the advice... much appreciated. STL is in MO
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crussell85
what state is st. louis in

Kids today! Have no apprecaition for the birth place of toasted ravioli, icecream cone, hot dog, and the best BBQ pork steak you will ever find... Makes you wonder why we also have an obiesity problem...


Seeing that this question is from a fellow STL native, I suggest to you pulling your engine and taking it down to Buttons Automotive Machine shop- its way out in St. Peter's off highway K but they do great work and they don't over charge you. They can take it all apart and tell you what needs to be done, do it, and then put in all the go fast goodies that you buy or ask them to provide. I know several people that go there, including myself and all of us were pleased. I have tried other shops and have yet to find the same great service.

That being said I like building your own engine (or havinga shop do it) because you can get EXACTLY what you want. you can go as cheap or as top shelf as you want, pick your pistons, cam, bearings, etc- and be sure that you are happy knowing what you have.

And in all reality the price is about the same either way.
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:37 PM
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Thanks... I know of Buttons... At least they used to years ago. Then they were off of Hwy K in O'Fallon. It is nice if you are from a town that has a shop like that. Seems like in today's world of internet and FedEx, someone would create a company that could do exactly what we're talking about regardless of whether you live in St. Peters MO.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markkr14
I have a 78 vette that my Dad owned and is all original. It really needs some horsepower. What are the pros and cons of going with a crate motor vs using the original motor and rebuilding it with some add ons. Will I devalue the car (it is not worth that much to begin with) by taking out the original motor? What are the best mods for the basic 350s from that era? Comments? Thoughts?
Are you a wrencher? I purchased a stroker short block from The Engine Store in MN. I was able to spec the brand and part #s of internals I wanted. I built the rest of the engine, as I wanted (heads, cam, intake) and I am still happy with my build, after 4 years.

Short block price was fair. I checked clearances on the block before I assembled, they were dead nuts on. Put my stock L-48 1976 'vette engine in storage, just in case.

Kent, the owner, was a pleasure to work with. He will not lead you astray, if you want an other than standard build. Do not buy through E-Bay (he has a site) but call them direct with your questions and specs.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:27 PM
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If you are worried about losing value, you should either buy a complete motor to rebuild, or get a crate engine from a reputable builder. Take your original, numbers matching engine(carb, distribtor, water pump, everything thats original) , bag it all up(air tight), and stick it in the corner somewhere. Should the time come that you want to, or need to, sell your car, you have all the original stuff available.
There is always the risk of a motor breaking for simple reasons, and its a shame to lose a numbers matching set up because a valve or something broke.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:31 PM
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I would stick the original motor in storage and pick-up a crate motor> there is a big difference between the performance crate motor and the replacement motors that GM sells. But there are many other companies that are selling "crate motors" now, take some time and do some shopping.
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