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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-18-2003 08:04 AM
DesertPanel Glad to hear you've made a decision! Good luck on your rebuild. Do you have an engine already or are you still looking for one?

Now that you've decided to take the plunge, just remember a couple of things.

1. For every hour you spend bolting on nice shiney new parts, you'll spend two hours removing greasy, rusty, nasty old unidentifiable pieces of metal and trying to find a place to put them.

2. ORGANIZATION! It's easy to tear something apart. It's quite another to get it back together. Take lots of pics, make drawings or sketches, take notes, and have several books on hand when it's time to start assembly.

3. Keep it clean! The bag idea is a great one. You've got to keep things cleaner than a nun's vocabulary when it's time to put it together.

4. Take your time and have fun. It's easy to get in a hurry when the plan is coming together. I still have to sometimes force myself to slow down and relax. Take a break, stand back and look at it for a few minutes. Go back over the instructions and mentally make sure you're really done with a step before proceding.

Personally, the hardest part of hot rodding for me is making up my mind what to do. The possibilities are endless in most cases. I guess the most important piece of advice I can give you is to take your time.

Now, you have another big decision to make. What's this engine going to go into when it's done?
10-15-2003 06:20 PM
minesblown good luck on your project. the first things you are going to need tool wise are as follows 1. decent socket set 3/8 and 1/2 inch drive (i figure you have this already) 2. combination wrench set 2 sets is better 3.dial caliper (i don't know how i did without one of these for so long) 4. set of feeler gages 5. engine stand 6. lots of parts cleaner this should be enough to get you started. if you are able to find bare blocks or short blocks a couple things you should know 1. if a pistons is oversized it will usually say so on the top, you can also measure with dial indicator. 2. oversize bearings say so on the back but you have to take it apart to read, if you can memorize as many clearance tolerances as possible particularly main clearance and check as much as possible before you buy the block. 3. the ridge at the top of the cylinder bore is a good indicator of engine care and wear. oh by the way if you have a harbour freight near by they have best price i know of on calipers and have engine stands reasonable as well. hth and keep us posted
10-15-2003 11:16 AM
burningsquirrels hot rodding will never die.
10-15-2003 04:58 AM
78SilverShark Hot Rodding is surely not dead in our generation.

Thanks for all the replies, guys!!

10-14-2003 09:58 PM
adryan16 WOW!. Well, one things that's awesome is to see all the young people post, and help me realize that hotrodding in my generation isn't dead! (It just seems like it in my po-dunk town!) I thought smurph's was the best! Like I said I have enough to worry about with school, and such monetarily, but as many others have said, I guess it comes down to what YOU want to do. Obviously you've got a vision, and a will as well. And we all know that where there's a will....
10-14-2003 12:40 PM

i was only 18 for three months before i built my first engine... handled it all myself with the machine shop(s) and lotsa runs to summit ( i live 40 mins away).. take your time and do it right, being young and impatient, we tend to cut corners... you do this on a motor build and itll newver work out... dont rush it, itll be done b4 you know it. choose your machine shop wisely ,cause theyre the etermining factor of how good your motor will be... can your build it??? hell yea!!!! once you get all the shop work done, its not too tough to put it together at all. My 4wd remote control car was harder and more time consuming to put together. mine holds great oil pressure, runs strong,and with over 3k miles on it now, ive seen no signs of any problems.... sometimes you just have to go for it... but remember one thing... how fast you want to go is directly related to how fat your wallet is, so make sure the money is there before you even tear the engine apart...
10-14-2003 12:09 PM

don't worry, i'm also 17. ive been into muscle cars since i was real little, and it was my dream to get one. i saved up all of my money i ever had to one day get one. actually, the day after i received my liscense, i went searching for one, and found my dream, 71 gtx. i have had lack of funds too, but all that i did is go slow. every once in a while i would purchase something. i have a job, but about 70% of my money goes away to my future, and the rest i spend on my car, not wanting to be in debt or anything.

as you can see from most of my posts, i am a novice, and i appreciate the help that many of these experienced people give me. just take your time like i have, it will come together. i am still having problems. i still want to do things to my car that i am not 100% sure what to do, and that is what time and research is for. in the time for the research and learning, just save up.
10-14-2003 07:54 AM
burningsquirrels very sound advice, smurph....

the other thing i would do is subscribe so some chevy mags... they usually have great engine buildups that ran them for a couple grand or so and made great power, not to mention being chock full of engine building tips!
10-14-2003 02:02 AM
smurph Or, you can do what I did when I was 20: Build an aluminum rod roller cam big block 468ci blower moter and go $10,000 in debt!

Really, I wouldn't recommend that. But it was/is a really nice engine. I'm 35 now and I still have it. What am I saying? Of course I'd do it all over again if given the chance. Only I'd chunk the carburators and go with fuel injection to begin with!

Storage: If you have to store it for a long time (more than 6 months), use more than WD-40. Use grease on all machined surfaces. Just a thin smearing will do. And bag it. It will out live you if kept like that. If you don't have a garage, keep it in your bedroom. You would not be the first to do so.

Money: Spend it on cylinder heads. Don't even fool with stock "300 horse" heads. Dart sportsmans at least. Don't worry about superlight pistons, or steel rods, etc... Silvo-lite pistons and a basically stock bottom end is all that is required for your 400 HP project. Have your rods checked and get some good rod bolts. Get the rotating assembly ballanced as well. To me, this is money well spent. But the best dollars spent will be on a good "How To build" book. A complete understanding of what your are contemplating will limit costly mistakes.

Tools: Assuming a machine shop is going to do the machine work, the only special tools you will need are a torque wrench and a ring compressor. Borrow them if you can. The rest is just sockets and wrenches.

My parents didn't want me to work in college either. I don't know if this was a good idea or not. Never the less, since you are not working and after your studies are done, you might want to spend some time at your local machine shop asking questions and watching if they'll let you. The less mysterious engine building seems, the better.
10-13-2003 03:36 PM
mathjew im also 15, i have a '65 chevy with a 383 stroker and it is fun to drive.but not in town he he he.i live in MNT. View AR (hillbilly town) but u can pick up a 383 kit from summit for around $1200.00 an thats comes with everything. or u can just buy a crate 383 and it will have a bout 340 hp stock. well i guess just do what ever u want.
10-13-2003 02:04 PM
78SilverShark Okay, I'll have to look into this further. Thanks a lot! I'm pretty familiar with WD-40. I do use it a lot, it is a godsend.

BTW, I'm from Middlesex County. What part of Jersey are you from?

10-13-2003 02:00 PM
burningsquirrels in this jersey weather of ours, keep it inside a garage where it doesn't get too cold. you want it to be as clean as possible; jeg's sells engine bags for ten bucks. they're like giant zip-loc bags that help keep the elements out and the oil in.

it's a good idea to spray stuff with wd-40, except areas that use assembly lube. wd-40 would go on the outside surface of the block, heads, etc. to keep rust from forming.
10-13-2003 01:54 PM
78SilverShark I've made up my mind. Drum roll please...

I'm going to rebuild a 350 SBC as initially planned. I'm sure I'll be able to do it, and it'll be fun and a learning experience. Thanks for the help!!

BTW, would it be okay if the engine could stay outside under a tarp? Or would it be necessary that it is in the garage?

Thanks again, all!

10-13-2003 10:57 AM
Robinson Robin Buying a crate engine may not cost to much more in the end that building it your self but you don't get the pride of doing it your self. I believe you will be fine but get some good books there are many on small block chevs and read them over a bunch of times and then follow the steps as you do it. Rebuilding engines isn't that hard but its the attention to detail that makes or breaks it. When I first started working on cars that was the hardest thing for me was having the patients and not rushing things. Make sure you have a good place to work and a nice engine stand and go slow methodical and you will be just fine besides of you run into any problem the guys are always here to ask.
10-13-2003 10:26 AM
burningsquirrels btw, where in new jersey are you from?
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