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Discussion Starter #1
Got a question for you guys about what you think is a fair price for an engine. I know alot of pricing concerns come from what engine it is specifically, but I want to take that out of the equation for the moment and see what you think. Read through the specs below and let me know what you think, hypothetically speaking.

Mass produced i.e. not race specific but high end factory performance V-8
5 years of availability in factory produced cars and available from the dealer catalogs for an additional 5 years or so
Not a piece you trip on at every corner but their are plenty of them out to be found if you know where to look
Cast iron block, steel crank forged rods and pistons
Engines were available from mild to wild configurations, I'm looking at just a short block only meaning block crank rods nothing more and short blocks are all the same no matter what configuration the top end came in
The short block I'm looking at specifically is a used part as in it has been running and driving at some point in its life but has been on a shelf assembled as a short block only for a long time
The block has been cracked and professionally repaired bores are standard never overbored, crank is standard dimension on the both rod and main journal never ground

What do you guys think for pricing??
 

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There's a lot of open variables there. What you just described could be anything from a gen1 chevy small block up to a chrysler hemi SRT8, or anything in between. Given what info we have, I would say it would be worth somewhere between $500 and $5000. For a more specific price range, we would need to know exactly what kind of engine it is, what block, crank, rods, and pistons were used.

Also, for what it is worth, a few months ago I was looking to put together a stroked 351W. After pricing out the different stroker kits, machine work, 351W roller blocks, and the time spent on the assembly, I ended up ordering a fully assembled 427" Dart Windsor shortblock. I paid $3800 shipped for the shortblock, and for that I got an already balanced rotating assembly with a cast crank and hypereutectic pistons (which is fine since I am not planning on boosting it), I get the larger 4.125" bore, better oiling setup than a stock block, all new components, and no surprises. I don't know what the availability for aftermarket blocks is for what you are looking at, but after seeing how small a price difference there was, for a SBF I won't bother trying to piece anything together again, it simply isn't worth the time and aggrivation only to end up with almost as much money invested in an inferior engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
See thats just it Mike, your making my point for me. Say you break it to big block and small block and leave it at that. Small block will just about always be cheaper than big block, just for the simple fact that they produced probably 3 times as many small blocks as any big block. So take small block out of the equation since I'm after a big block. As far as I know the short block for a 426 Hemi is the same as a 426 wedge, yet your going to pay 3 times as much for a 426 Hemi short block. Same goes for a 427 Cammer, the short block is the same as a 427 wedge, or for the most past there is a small difference, but the wedge short block can be made to work. And as far as I know all 454 short blocks are the same yet your going to pay a ton more for an early LS6 shortblock than one that came out of a later model or a more base model. I can't really use the ZL1 427 vs the standard Vette 427 since some were aluminum blocks, but same arguement applies for the iron block 427 motors. Yet in all those engines basically they are the same, but the top end makes the difference, why should the short block automaticaly cost 5k or more?

Bottom line is I don't agree with the econimics of it. I know that those engines, all of them, add significant value to any car they get put into and thats why they cost so much for original parts, but I don't agree with that at all. Its an iron block, steel crank, forged rods and pistions, nothing more nothing less. In my opinion, any readily available used part should be half as much as a new replacement. If it is exotic or super rare obviously that goes out the window and it's worth what the market will bear based on demand. I just see how the common guy, like me should be forced to pay 3k-4k for a bare block and from 5k-10k for a short block in need of freshening when everything is available brand new for the same money, or less. Isn't the point of buying used parts to save money from having to buy new ones?? Sorry I'm just ranting and grumpy about the situation is all, figured I'd come here and vent to you guys, lol.
 

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OK, so we're looking at older big blocks. The main expense of the high end older big blocks, like the 426 Cammer or LS6, is that if someone is looking to make a numbers matching car, they will need the serial number to match what was available in that year, so you have a very limited supply, and then you have a demand from people with deep pockets who might already be $40K into a restoration, so what's another $5K for the right motor.

Even the run of the mill big blocks now are getting scarce since the last cars they went into are now over 35 years old, so if you want a budget big block, in my opinion, the place to look is to heavy duty trucks from the late 80s and early 90s. The Ford 7.5 is an EFI version of a 460, and Chevy's 7.4 is a 454. Assume that any truck that old will have a lot of hard miles on it, and the engine should be rebuilt, but if you find a beat up running Ford F250 or Chevy 2500, and if all the cylinders have good compression numbers, you'll have a good starting point for a rebuild. All the truck engines had restrictive heads and low compression since they were not built for high rpm horsepower, but if you're rebuilding it, you can change out the pistons to domed ones to raise the compression, and if you're replacing the heads, rather than looking for the rare high end castings from 40 years ago, companies like Edelbrock and Trick Flow make new aluminum castings that make much more power than any of the old big blocks used to, and it would probably end up being cheaper than tracking down a set of late high performance factory heads and having them gone through.

If you want to do a budget big block build, I would start by looking for a running HD EFI big block truck, and if you keep an eye out, you can probably find one that runs but the body has seen better days for around $1000. After pulling the engine, you can scrap the rest of the truck for $500, so that leaves you with $500 into the engine. Figure another $1200 for machine work and internals, and another $2000 in heads, cam, and intake, and you now have a freshly rebuilt 500+hp big block for under $4K and a little work on your part. That doesn't sound like a bad deal to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I understand everything your saying, and I know every argument under the sun. And your right cheap 460's and 454's, even cheap 429's and 440's are easy enough to come by. I just find it frustrating that guys have massive stockpiles of those types of motors and demand top dollar prices for them, just because they fit into a certain date code range. But your right, the guys doing 100k restorations don't care about 5-10k for an engine. And I know I'm not doing that kind of build nor will I ever, like I said it just irritates me that what I want happens to fall into that category and as such I have to stomach absurd pricing just because what I want can tack 20k worth of value into the correct date coded car. Especially when there really isn't a shortage of them out there to begin with, just people hoard them and only advertise them as top end date coded correct restoration pieces with pricing to match.
 

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I'm with ya Cableguy, I watch Mecum and Barrett all the time and when a genuine COPO Camaro or a 429 Boss Mustang, or forget about if a genuine Shelby Cobra comes across the numbers are staggering. Yet you can get (at the same auction) a replica, which would be done to the EXACT same specs etc etc. for about 1/10th the price in some cases. The way I look at it is, if they want to hoarde the parts, and ppl are willing to pay for them, then good for them bad for us. But there are soooo many other choices out there, that you can make a serious budget built big block, with all the parts that YOU want for a fraction of what they want to charge. Then you have the bragging rights of saying that you didn't have to re-finance your house or take your kids' college fund to build it. You and they will have just as much fun driving it, the difference is you will have money to put fuel in it after you had your fun :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thats just it, I can buy every single part I want to build the motor I want brand new. But everything brand new costs just as much money as the original pieces, and that just irritates me. 50 year old parts that are not hard to find should not cost just as much as brand new parts that are engineered better since they have had 50 years to work out the kinks. Me the average normal man should not have to spend 10k to build an engine, which is what a new 500hp big block should cost by the way, when I see plenty of them all day every day. But everything I see thats original is still 10k and up just for the simple fact it's original. I know I'm just being grumpy amnd ranting about this and nothing is gonna change, but yeah I'm mad about it, lol. Stupid expensive parts hahaha
 

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I think you can build a high performance 500hp Big Block for under 10k

This link is to a Turn Key 500 HP 501 cid with all the goodies, already put together ready to go for $11,500

http://www.proformanceunlimited.com/specs/460_500drop.html

You could probably build the same engine, finding a junkyard 460 and starting there for about 5-6k I would say.

Edit: That top link is a ford 460 stroked to a 501 This next link is a Chevy 502 for $11,800 - Remember these are completely built to the customer's specs and turn key.

http://www.proformanceunlimited.com/specs/502_600.html
 

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I dont know what brand your working with, but have you thought about the fact if you dont care about numbers. Buy a set of heads and convert a diesel engine. Ive done it with 350 olds motors and numerous other generic motors engines. The same should apply. This was before I saw the light and came over to ford. Dont stone me to much
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input guys. I'm jut venting my frustrations more than anything. No mateer what I think the market is what it is, no matter I like it or agree with it or not. As the old saying goes you wanna play, you gotta pay.
 

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Thanks for the input guys. I'm jut venting my frustrations more than anything. No mateer what I think the market is what it is, no matter I like it or agree with it or not. As the old saying goes you wanna play, you gotta pay.
Yup. I always say "Your car will be as fast as your pockets are deep."
 
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