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Old 05-11-2005, 08:22 PM
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New to hotrodding, building a motor?

I'm 15, 16 in august, I'm gonna have a car to drive from my parents. I have about $3000 in the bank that I could use for a project car/motor. I'm pretty well read on this stuff but have little experience turning a wrench and my dad's a car guy but not a gearhead so no help there. I'd say I'm mechanically inclined from the little experience that I have. I've thought about buying a motor and rebuilding it this summer and then putting it into a car later, once I get a job. My dad has some tools and might help me out buying new ones. I'd like to do a bbc but thats probably not realistic. Basically, can a well read, inexperienced but not dumb 15 y/o with the right tools build a motor? Thanks, John

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Old 05-11-2005, 08:26 PM
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If I were you I wouldn't try to take a full project on at your age. Money always seems to be a problem when your a teenager (unless your rich or a drug dealer lol). If I were you what I would do is try and find a decent car you like that needs a few thing done to it that are within your skill level and cash flow. Also if you donut have to tap into your savings you really shouldn't, your going to want that money later.
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:29 PM
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I am a ford guy but I would say you probably want to look into a small block chevy. Cheap and plentiful, plus there is lots of books out there on how to build them and there is obviously a lot of performance potential.
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:55 PM
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The exception to that IMO is the ford 302, theres tons of them out there and there pretty cheap to build up if you do some research into them. They are of course limited in power potential by their displacement but how much power do you really need at 15/16 years old.
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Old 05-11-2005, 09:00 PM
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a 5.0 fox body was also a thought and would be the only non gm car I would consider. Supposedly some of them have forged pistons stock, not sure on the years though.
I'm not sure that I could afford a decent car and still have money to mess with it, at the moment. Thats why I was thinking about just doing a motor this summer.

Last edited by spyderdude; 05-11-2005 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 05-11-2005, 10:38 PM
Chevy stuff makes a Ford Tough
 
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it's not that hard to build a motor at that age. I built my first motor at your age with the guidance of a Chilton's book. Just do your research on the parts for the motor such as cam/intake combo, etc. and call a few distributors like Jeg's or Summit because they can be helpful in the guidance of what to put in the motor. In your first car you don't want too much power because it can be overwhelming. I thought it was better to start off with a mild motor and get experience with turning wrenches and figuring out how things work and how to diagnose problems.

Like Segge said, don't throw money into your project now because, trust me, you will want that money later. I'm having to deal with college expenses along with buying parts for a new motor and other hobbies. Soon you'll realize that you have to give things up to keep something going.
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:13 PM
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With a lot of research and reading I think that you could probably do it. I find at times that the Chilton manuals can be a bit to understand, and find the Haynes books easier. I think I would stick with a small block Chevy tho. Parts are easily interchangeble. If you want to build an engine for a daily driver I would look at a 305 for a first engine. They did come in Camaros ya know . I just did one and it was fairly easy, if you have the right tools. Some parts stores, like AutoZone, will loan some of the specilaty tools such as a ridge reamer, for just a deposit. Return the tool, and you get your money back. If you want to build an engine for a rod, I would suggest looking at atleast a 350, which can be bored to a 383. In my area you can pick up the block with the bottom end at the junkyard for about $250 for either engine. And if you get stuck on something, don't be afraid to ask questions. The thread for my 305 rebuild is here.
http://forums.kurtclark.com/viewtopi...4a89efa9bab1a7
and here.
http://www.hotrodders.com/t61503.html

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Old 05-12-2005, 10:18 AM
Chevy stuff makes a Ford Tough
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kringold
suggest looking at atleast a 350, which can be bored to a 383
sorry just correcting you. You can STROKE a 350 to make it a 383. Ithink the best way to go would be to build a mild 355 (350 bored .030 over)
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:47 AM
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If space is not a problem, consider a small pickup such as a Ranger, S-10 or Dakota. It should save you on insurance. (cashflow is critical) The little pickup will get you around and make a good parts chaser. For your project, don't be in a hurry! I realize that at 16 3-6 months can be an eternity, but hurrying will give you the kinds of experience you don't need. Look around some and find that first project with this in mind, forget the ragtops, coupes may be out of you range too. A 60's or 70's car, RWD, 4 door or maybe a 2 door in a less than desireable marque will get you more bang for the buck. Can you afford a '68 Camaro or Mustang? likely not, but say a late 60's stationwagon (build a "sedan delivery") or a 4 door sedan, very likely. You can actually still find a few "grandma's cars" that will be good starting points. Start out with the less glamorous parts of the car, brakes, suspension, cooling, acessories etc. This will get you familiar with the car on a "systems" basis. Any make should be OK, just stick with a smallblock from one of the big 3. Once the car is pretty much just waiting for an engine build you can start to figure out just what kind of engine will be best for your application, and select parts accordingly. Do it Once, Do it Right.
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:24 AM
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I would look into early 60's fords and dodges. you can come by them pretty cheap. a lot of them had small v-8's. they were pretty cool cars like an early faclon or polara. they are aslo pretty light and cheap to find parts for. And remember that you don't need shiny paint and nice interior to have a cool car.
I rebuilt the motor for my 65 comet for about a grand and it's pushing 300 hp. but it's just my daily driver. but my 64 comet is alot more expensive. My heads for my 64 cost more them the whole motor in my 65. it just shows that one can go to either end of the spectrum.
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Old 05-12-2005, 12:40 PM
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For a start, I would look into obtaining an already built shortblock (basically it will have the block, crank, pistons, all assembled). That way you dont have to worry about the rotating assembly and you can start by concentrating on the upper half of the engine. Learning to properly install a cam, heads, water pump, intake, carb, exhaust, etc is more than plenty to begin with.

For 3000 bucks though, I am sure you can find a cool old car with an already decent running engine in it. From there you can slowly make upgrades while still having a running, drivable car.

I only go into cars about 4 years ago when I bought my truck. It had a torker intake and plain jane 4 barrel carb. No too quick or intimidating. In 4 years of tinkering and reading I have learned so much. Now Id say its very fast for a truck, its fuel injected, great interior, i can program chips for it, welded the exhaust up, etc. Not going on a bragging trip, just simply trying to explain how much experience and knowledge can come within just a few years.

Budgetwise, you can never really beat a SBC as a project.
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:47 PM
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This car wouldn't be a daily driver but a fun low budget car to learn with, I found a 69 skylark with a 455. It sounds really good but almost too good for $2100. A little rust on the pass quarter, ok interior and bad paint. I know buick parts aren't as common as chevy. I worry that if I buy a car like this I'm going to run into problems that would be expensive and then I would have to sell it for nothing and lose $2k. Thanks for all the comments, keep them coming!

Last edited by spyderdude; 05-12-2005 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 05-12-2005, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyderdude
This car wouldn't be a daily driver but a fun low budget car to learn with, I found a 69 skylark with a 455. It sounds really good but almost too good for $2100. A little rust on the pass quarter, ok interior and bad paint. I know buick parts aren't as common as chevy. I worry that if I buy a car like this I'm going to run into problems that would be expensive and then I would have to sell it for nothing and lose $2k. Thanks for all the comments, keep them coming!
The Buick engine is a great engine to build for power, but performance parts are extremely expensive.

On the positive side, you don't need a lot of aftermarket performance parts to get good performance with one, My first engine was a Buick 455 and I built it for under $1,000...of course this was 20 years ago. It was a basically stock rebuild, I ported and polished the heads myself, added a Kenne-Bell torque cam (forget the specs offhand), found a used Weiand intake at a swap meet, put on an old Holley 750 that I rebuilt and made my own headers. It was a great performer and I was even getting almost 20mpg at the time.

Of course I ended up stroking it out to a 492 later on ($2,000 Kenne-Bell kit)...

Research your options, ask a lot of questions, work hard and save your money. We had a friend's mother that would put our money in an envelope and keep it safe for us. She would only allow us to use any if we could justify it in her eyes.
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:58 PM
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One samll thing to add here is looking into the future. If you catch the bug liek so many of us here have you will want bigger and better more power and to be sucked to your seat. You have to play a balance game here. You can build a nice engine for 3000 but you need something worthwhile to put it into.
If you get a car or truck and fix it up you may respect it that much more and really take pride in your work. Then you get your engine built and you have one heck of a machine.
Just a thought but the SBC 350 would be one of the cheaper routes to take. There are countless amounts of parts out there and some are priced well within the budget build limit. As was said the 350 can be stroked to a 383 (seems very pop. at the time).
Another thing to think abotu when starting off is having something that other people/friends will want or know how to work on. Some guys only cna work on fords other chevy so that is a calling all its own. I would say most people will have some exp. with a chevy sb.
Plan out your built take small step one thing I hate to see is someone just getting into really building and then they go over their head and give up all together. I got a bunch of books when I started and read them through how many times talked to tons of people and still do (why im always on here)

Learn before, while, and after your building.

Chris
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Old 05-12-2005, 07:50 PM
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Damn I wish I was getting this advice BEFORE I started!
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