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Old 10-29-2012, 03:22 PM
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Top things to do when buying a used motor to drop in.

Well im just looking for some advice from the old school. About to go hear a vortec 350 out of a wrecked 99 suburban, it has 179,000 miles on it for 300 bucks.. Apparantly it runs very well with no smoke or leaks, We will see

300 bucks on the complete engine leaves me about 600 in the budget. Dad sais if it runs and doesent smoke or tick-knock with zero leaks i should leave it the F alone, drop it in and drive it till it dies then do the rebuild i really want. which sounds like a pretty good idea since im in a big hurry to have transportation.

It would just be really hard to not touch it and i dont want to get left high and dry one day with no cash to fix it.... I have a little money now and thats rare with a three year old at 22. Its only getting worse too.


Buy a used carb and intake, Have a valve job done on the heads , mild aftermarket roller cam and hopefully used headers? Or would my money be beter spent all in the bottom end and aquire top end upgrades as i go? Or do as my dad sais leave it alone and spend the money on front end repairs.

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Old 10-29-2012, 03:51 PM
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Do the best cleaning and paint job as possible and perform a typical "ring and valve job" with new valve springs, new timing set, new rings and new rod bearings, before you install the engine.

Machine shop labor for a good valve job on a V8 will cost about $300. That involves vatting the heads then grinding the valves and seats and installing the new valve springs you furnish.

Last edited by MouseFink; 10-29-2012 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0trbo4myCHEVUICK View Post
Or do as my dad says leave it alone
There's your answer.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0trbo4myCHEVUICK View Post
Well im just looking for some advice from the old school. About to go hear a vortec 350 out of a wrecked 99 suburban, it has 179,000 miles on it for 300 bucks.. Apparantly it runs very well with no smoke or leaks, We will see

300 bucks on the complete engine leaves me about 600 in the budget. Dad sais if it runs and doesent smoke or tick-knock with zero leaks i should leave it the F alone, drop it in and drive it till it dies then do the rebuild i really want. which sounds like a pretty good idea since im in a big hurry to have transportation.

It would just be really hard to not touch it and i dont want to get left high and dry one day with no cash to fix it.... I have a little money now and thats rare with a three year old at 22. Its only getting worse too.


Buy a used carb and intake, Have a valve job done on the heads , mild aftermarket roller cam and hopefully used headers? Or would my money be beter spent all in the bottom end and aquire top end upgrades as i go? Or do as my dad sais leave it alone and spend the money on front end repairs.
If you don't have extra money leave it the F alone and get it running first!

That being said while it is out you may want to check the bearings while it is not in a car, its easy enough to check and if they're wiped its a PITA to fix after your engine is in the car.

Down the road if everythign is running good then you can start shopping around for a used intake and a good carb, some used headers etc.

Don't be in a rush to spend money when money is short.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:20 PM
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You are in a hurry for transportation? You have just answered your own question. I do agree with ap that new rod and maybe main bearings are cheap and quick while the engine is out.
You said that Dad's idea sounds good so why are you doubting the old adage "Father knows best"? - especially if the front end is unsafe and needs repairs.
Terry
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:59 PM
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Let the oil pressure tell you the condition of the bearing oil clearances. Let the compression tester tell you the condition of the rings, valves, and guides. As long as the compression test is uniform cylinder to cylinder within 10% or so, and the engine shows 10 psi per 1000 rpm (up to around 45 psi if the pump has a stock spring in it), do exactly as your Dad said. He sounds like he's been in a rodeo or two already.

If I were going to do anything "just because", it would be to replace the timing set.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:27 AM
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Well me and dad were in the truck ready to head out and couldn't get the guy to answer the phone again. Maybe someone beat me to it. Only one other vortec(that is still running in vehicle) is available local, and its 650 bucks with the comp. Double the price and more miles.
The other deal im looking at is a wrecked 1989 chevy truck tbi 350... body's F'ED UP but I can still drive it home for 500 bucks. I have to bring the transmission back to the guy. The odometer reads 445,000 and I've seen it run with no smoke or tick knocks. leaking alittle water out of thermo housing...



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Old 10-30-2012, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0trbo4myCHEVUICK View Post
Well me and dad were in the truck ready to head out and couldn't get the guy to answer the phone again. Maybe someone beat me to it. Only one other vortec(that is still running in vehicle) is available local, and its 650 bucks with the comp. Double the price and more miles.
The other deal im looking at is a wrecked 1989 chevy truck tbi 350... body's F'ED UP but I can still drive it home for 500 bucks. I have to bring the transmission back to the guy. The odometer reads 445,000 and I've seen it run with no smoke or tick knocks. leaking alittle water out of thermo housing...



LOL, 445,000 miles? Are you in a great need of scrap steel or something? the engine isn't worth more than the price of scrap. If it ain't under 100,000 miles don't even waste your time looking at it- unless of course you just need a core to tear apart and rebuild.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnovot View Post
You are in a hurry for transportation? You have just answered your own question. I do agree with ap that new rod and maybe main bearings are cheap and quick while the engine is out.
You said that Dad's idea sounds good so why are you doubting the old adage "Father knows best"? - especially if the front end is unsafe and needs repairs.
Terry
Yes i threw a rod in my current motor and im in a big hurry to get the truck back but im also in a BIG hurry to NOT worry about throwing a rod anytime soon..

Dad's def. right about me needing to put money into my front end as well while the engine is out. All the advice has been a great help.
With whatever engine i end up getting I should beable to afford a major tune-up with bearings and front end parts. All while keeping majority of the engine intact..
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ap72 View Post
LOL, 445,000 miles? Are you in a great need of scrap steel or something? the engine isn't worth more than the price of scrap. If it ain't under 100,000 miles don't even waste your time looking at it- unless of course you just need a core to tear apart and rebuild.

Im absolutely with you man... but my thing is... NO WAY thats the original engine internals. I mean that thing could be on its 5th rebuild by now! whos to know? The freeze plugs were not rusted and i know a engine with 445,000 would have rusted freeze plugs lol. atleast. I would think at 445,000 miles the engine would look ALOT different than it did and smoke and tick and not start right away cold like it did and so on and so on.


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Old 10-30-2012, 11:06 AM
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Here's a conversation that I had with my kids, and perhaps it applies here.

NEEDS versus WANTS

I'd do whatever you absolutely NEED to do to meet your immediate transportation needs. Get it runnung, make it SAFE to drive.

The next time you have some spare cash, invest it in what you WANT.

Buy a "running core" (always the best idea, IMHO) and take it to a trustworthy engine machine shop, and ask them to evaluate it's viability for a rebuild. In the case of the 450,000 mile TBI ... it may be running pretty good right now, but the bores might be tapered to the point that they can't be rebored to the maximum limits of the casting. (Now it's a boat anchor.)

ANY core should be hot-tanked and magnafluxed to check for cracks, then measured up for taper and warpage. A 4-bolt main engine is preferable. It should be align-honed and everything "squared up". Call it the "engine foundation" if you will.

Once you have verified the integrity of the block, you can decide what you want to use for a rotating assembly. i.e. crank, rods, pistons, cam, bearings, bolts, etc.

You can take some time doing this, and make good decisions, because your immediate transportation needs have been met. If this process takes a couple of years or more ... as your budget permits ... it's not a big hardship.

Putting aside some cash isn't as hard as you think. It just means sacrificing some of the less important (to you) expenses.
Here's my own personal "sacrifices"
Pack a lunch instead of going out.
Quit smoking or going out to the bar ... neither of those are good for you anyway! LOL

Girls.
Ahhh never mind ... nobody is ever going to give up on that.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:20 AM
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I don't know how you've been doing your search, but take a look at this list, using "Vortec 5.7" in the Dallas craigslist.
dallas auto parts - all classifieds "Vortec 5.7" - craigslist
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:35 AM
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Im with ya, my mind is made up on finding the best running vortec possible for under 600, performing a tune up and leaving it alone.. money left over for front ball joints and stuff..
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:03 PM
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I don't know how you've been doing your search, but take a look at this list, using "Vortec 5.7" in the Dallas craigslist.
dallas auto parts - all classifieds "Vortec 5.7" - craigslist


yes I've been checking craigs list mostly in fort worth but some checking in dallas and have seen many of those postings.
Some seem like really great deals but this isent my first time buying a motor and ive been ripped off before.
The list gets alot shorter when you want to hear it run before you buy it. I get alot of "oh i already sold the starter"
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:29 PM
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k have a meet at 6 with a guy parting a 99 yukon. 400 bones for the vortec 350 and i can hear it run.
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