thx for all the advice. i have a couple questions and comments.
first, i definitely dont want a rebuilt or kicking motor. The main thing i'd like to get out of this hobby is the knowledge of tearing it down and fixing it and putting it back together. Then i want to bolt it into a body that i've re-stored, turn the key and go happy into the sunset looking for my next one.
So that being said, i'm going to call the numbers and other resources you all mentioned here, and see what they have to say.
question: when you say "block", do you mean, literally, just the block itself, or the block, pistons, cam, etc? Or maybe a better question is, should i concentrate on just getting a good block, and then replace all the guts as i go? And if that's the best case, quality wise, is it also much more expensive then fixing wht you can and replacing what you must?
This may be silly, but are there any simple tests when looking at prospective motors, to see if they are cracked or shot?
Can i pour oil into them or water or something that will leak out or should i pretend i never asked that question and slink away back to my dungeon and get to turning wrenches?