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Estimate of hours required to change heads, cam and timing chain


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I am almost ready to get the work done and was hoping someone could give me a reasonable estimate of how many hours it should typically take an experienced shop to change the heads, timing gear and cam on a 73 351c. 

While I realize that there is no definitive answer, it should at least give me an idea of how much I need to budget for the work (assuming nothing catastrophic occurs/is found). 

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Are you pulling the engine out, or leaving it in the car?

 

Edit: nevermind I misread your post. It depends a lot on your shop, but I would assume anywhere between 8-16 hours labor for that.

Edited by Galucha
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If it's only un-bolting, clean & replace while in car without thinking much and assuming all goes fine, a good day is all you need.
But chances are high it will take much longer. Depends how you deliver the heads for instance. If all parts are the right ones, if they remove the engine to work or not. How stubborn some parts may be, like the headers.. if they need/you want them to clean up stuffs real well like the intake, bolts or sandblast/sound clean. Which is handy if you want the engine to be painted as well...

What is stopping you to do this yourself btw? I ask, because the thing with this kind of work is that if something goes/is found wrong,
then you are pretty much depending on their good will, agenda and the bill may grow significantly...

73 modified Grande 351C. (Finally back on the road woohoo!) 

71 429CJ. ( In progress )

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I don't think I have a flat rate manual for this new. Dealers have a manual that gives them a flat rate to quote for all jobs. Someone here might have one. It is probably a toss up on removing engine or removing grill to get the cam out and in. You should put in new bearings so I believe I would pull the engine. Be certain the shop understands the importance of the depth you press in the front cam bearing. Too deep and you loose oiling to bearings. Too shallow and you will eat the gear up on cam and distributor and not get enough oil there. They need to check manual for exact step my memory cells have all died.
If the engine has not been built lately replace the core plugs while you have the engine out and easy to do.
Also have them take a picture of the head gaskets on the block before they put the heads on. I have fixed several with on backwards done by professional shops. They are clearly marked FRONT but they still put them on wrong.

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??:P

David

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The headers were just installed about 2 - 3 months ago when I swapped the intake manifold for a 1970 square bore. Initially I was considering just swapping the heads, but was convinced by the accumulated knowledge of this board that changing the timing chain made good sense. And, with the engine disassembled that far, WHILE I'M AT IT, it made sense to do the cam (and probably the water pump (I have no idea when/if it was last replaced)). And, since I have to remove the header, this was the best time to swap steering boxes a 12.6 close ratio. I've already replaced the freeze plugs.

I know if I pull the engine and do bearings, I'll probably end up swapping pistons (in which case why not change rods too to make it a stroker, and, and, and....)

Part of me has considered getting another engine and doing a full build, then swap it in for my fun and refresh the numbers matching original engine and pickle it. But then I start thinking if I am considering that, why not go for a built 429CJ ((or, for that matter a coyote?)

But the reality (for me) is that I am enjoying driving the car too much to sideline it while I change everything. So a little more power and a few small upgrades, should satisfy me (at least for the present), I hope.(though a 5 or 6 speed would be nice, too.

Ah to sleep, perchance to dream....

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Well, where is your passion?  Is it in the building and the “I did this” factor.  Or is it in the pleasure of driving the car.

With the classic look already in hand, the restomod  luxury is quite appealing.  A crate Coyote, or Shelby engine from a newer car to give quick starts, high torque, and fun drive ability is not a bad proposal.

kcmash

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A flat-rate estimate is a good start, it will provide you with a minimum.  If you are considering to get your dollars worth, you should also know that the camshaft should always be degreed to verify timing, and you'll want to do this with the right head ( #1 cylinder exposed) off, to dial indicate #1 piston TDC. Flat rate won't include degreeing the cam. Installing the timing set "dot-to-dot" is throwing power away 75% of the time. I've found, that occasionally all of the variables ( cam gear dowel hole, crank gear keyway, accuracy of cam grinder's indexing, etc.) , can stack up against each other to locate cam timing in a less than correct location. The worst I've experienced had me setting the crank gear in the 8 degree retarded slot, to actually get 4 degrees advanced to the intake lobe centerline. I'm not saying this WILL happen with your installation, but it's worth checking. This takes additional time. I do engines, so I'm used to this. You will take much longer than I would to do this same process, as I use a computerized camshaft degreeing devise called CamLogic.

Also, while the heads are off, you, ( or whomever ), should clean all of the carbon from the piston tops , to do a professional job. Cylinder by cylinder, this takes time also, so add that to the labor bill. By all means, do change the water pump now. You may inadvertantly get some coolant seep into the oil pan when removing the timing cover, so expect to change the oil and filter now as well. Think generously when figuring time, things generally take longer than you'd like them to.

Just to show the CamLogic system, here are two photos of an FE being built for a boat, being degreed, note photo #2, the lower display reads 109.8.....within two tenths of ONE degree perfect ( 110 ) for that cam. You just can't get that acuracy with a degree wheel and coathanger pointer.....

IMG_3054.JPG

IMG_3061.JPG

Edited by Spike Morelli
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A cool looking system. I agree with always degreeing the cam. Stack up errors cam move the cam around a lot. Glad to see someone is still using the Ford FE engines, my first love. Chuck 

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C9zx, that engine is a cross-bolted, aluminum headed '63 406, Holman/Moody equipped, slated for a flatbottom ski boat. 

IMG_3164.JPG

IMG_3163.JPG

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8 hours ago, Spike Morelli said:

C9zx, that engine is a cross-bolted, aluminum headed '63 406, Holman/Moody equipped, slated for a flatbottom ski boat. 

IMG_3164.JPG

IMG_3163.JPG

Wow, what a good looking engine! 

Is it especially sealed for sea or water purposes?

Tim

 

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly :runninpony:

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No special sealing is required. Hopefully the owner is smart enough to never use this engine in salt water. Marine engines require some different clearancing, and component choices, as opposed to useage in a car, and usually get more "dolled up" due to the fact that most everything is visable. The boat is purple metalflake and white, which is why the owner requested the block match in purple metalflake. 

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42 minutes ago, Spike Morelli said:

No special sealing is required. Hopefully the owner is smart enough to never use this engine in salt water. Marine engines require some different clearancing, and component choices, as opposed to useage in a car, and usually get more "dolled up" due to the fact that most everything is visable. The boat is purple metalflake and white, which is why the owner requested the block match in purple metalflake. 

Thanks, interesting :thumb:

Tim

 

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly :runninpony:

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