Crate or Rebuilded engine

72FOYTANG

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My 72 conv. has the original 351C 2v(H) in it. One of the previous owners installed a MSD ignition, Holley 650cfm 4bbl carb, and Edelbrock performer intake. To my knowledge nothing else has been done to the engine and I know it needs a rebuild. I have talked to a few people around here and I keep hearing that rebuilding a 351C is very expensive and I should consider installing a crate engine. I would like to hear options & opinions from this forum. I not worried about making the car original, as some mods have already been made.

Thanks

 

cazsper

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I am certainly no expert on Cleveland motors. But in general, buying a crate engine can be risky because you never know who is building your motor. On the other hand, who's going to do the rebuild?

What's nice about having your engine rebuilt is that, not only can you pick and choose what parts are going into you build, most builders are more than fine if you want to stop buy and check out the progress, take pictures, etc..

I had my old 302 rebuilt and wasn't happy with it at all. I then had my 351w rebuilt and couldn't be happier. But I also bought a short block 393w from Coast High Performance. I topped it with AFR heads and an Air gap intake and dropper it in my daily driven '68 coupe. I love it.

Crate motor or rebuild. I think it all comes down to "who's building/rebuilding?" And "what parts are being used?". If they are both using good parts and they know what they are doing, there's no reason they shouldn't both end up being good motors.

 

Jim and Jutta

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I'd rebuild the original Cleveland in it over a crate engine.

Jim

 

cobra3073

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Having relatively recently had a 472 built and currently building a 545, I believe it would have been far cheaper for me to have gone with the crate engines for my particular applications.

There are a number of very good companies "out there" that will pretty much build to your specifications to include breaking in the engine.

That having been said, I know there are many people who really like the idea of rebuilding their motors.

BT

 

Jeff73Mach1

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The real reason everyone wants to put a crate engine in your car is that it is very uncommon to find automotive shops that actually rebuild engines one at a time anymore. Even the local NAPA doesn't carry basic parts such as rings and bearings locally. Call an automotive machine shop and the answers will start to change.

Rebuilding a Cleveland to stock is only a little more expensive than building a 351 W or a 350 C&*#@)($. Gaskets are a bit more, but machine work is the same. Rings and bearings are similar in cost, pistons, if you need them, can run a few dollars more.

Now if you want to go build a high powered race engine-you'll spend more money, but you'll get more too.

Replace stock intake and exhaust valves with one piece units-this is one of the biggest weak points in a cleveland engine.

Replace rod bolt hardware with ARP parts

Bore engine only as far as it needs to go to get a round bore. .020 is better than .030, but piston choice is limited.

Here is an example of a moderately priced parts kit. Combine that with 6-750 for machining and cleaning and another few hundred for assembly and the rebuild looks pretty reasonable all of the sudden.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/fem-csmhp732-331?seid=srese1&gclid=CKCnxbzB6rsCFeJF7AodhXgAOg

 

BenD

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boring/honing and the work it takes to rebuild a cleveland isnt more expensive than a 302 or 350 chebby..

when you have to buy parts like aluminium cilinderheads, then it becomes expensive

 

Mister 4x4

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A rebuild of the 351C-2V will not cost as much as a crate engine... period. Obviously, the farther from stock you go, the more it costs, but a basic rebuild (not requiring major machine work and you rebuild it yourself) could cost as little as $1000. Try finding a crate engine for that.

The other side of the expense is that you'll need to potentially buy all of the new performance parts you currently have (intake manifold, distributor, etc.) as the crate engine will most likely not be a 351C-2V crate engine, meaning you won't be able to re-use those performance parts on your new crate engine. You'll also need to purchase the proper parts for your new engine just to get it back into the car (engine mounts, exhaust manifolds/headers, flywheel, transmission bell-housing adapter, etc.), along with various bracketry required to hang all of your accessories back on the new engine (alternator, power steering, air conditioning, etc.). You might as well by trying to stuff a Chevy 350 in, since the 351C blocks and accessories are so much different than the standard Windsor-style crate engine. So now you have the expense of the crate engine itself, along with another several hundred dollars (possibly into the thousands) worth of parts just to fit the crate engine into the car.

What sounds more expensive now? ;) :D

 

alarmrick

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I just had to make that choice for my 65. I went with rebuilding the 289. I just think it is better to have the original engine.

 

cobra3073

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I will agree that rebuilding a stock 351C 2V to stock specifications MAY be cheaper than purchasing a modified 351C 2V.

That having been said, I would suggest you check with your LOCAL machine shops for pricing on areas that you would like to see addressed in YOUR rebuild and compare those prices with the "to the door" prices on the engines identified in these two "representative" links of modified 351C:).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FORD-351C-340-HP-CLEVELAND-HIGH-PERF-BALANCED-CRATE-ENGINE-/201012664634?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2ecd49d93a&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FORD-351C-445HP-CRATE-ENGINE-w-ALUMINUM-HEADS-BY-TUFF-DAWG-ENGINES-/161189919462?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2587aafae6&vxp=mtr

Good Luck with whatever approach you decide to take.

BT

 

Mister 4x4

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I will agree that rebuilding a stock 351C 2V to stock specifications MAY be cheaper than purchasing a modified 351C 2V.

That having been said, I would suggest you check with your LOCAL machine shops for pricing on areas that you would like to see addressed in YOUR rebuild and compare those prices with the "to the door" prices on the engines identified in these two "representative" links of modified 351C:).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FORD-351C-340-HP-CLEVELAND-HIGH-PERF-BALANCED-CRATE-ENGINE-/201012664634?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2ecd49d93a&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FORD-351C-445HP-CRATE-ENGINE-w-ALUMINUM-HEADS-BY-TUFF-DAWG-ENGINES-/161189919462?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2587aafae6&vxp=mtr

Good Luck with whatever approach you decide to take.

BT
He didn't specify which crate engine he was looking at, which is why I mentioned the "additional expenses" of going with a crate engine. Could be a roller cam 5.0... could be a Rousch 428... who knows, as he also said he didn't care about keeping it stock or original.

Wow BT - those Tuff Dawg engines run anywhere from $4400 to over $10K. Geez - for that kind of money, I'll happily rebuild his engine. Even with $3200 in machine work (piston mounting, cam shaft bearing installation, 3-angle valve job, balancing, blueprinting, CNC-boreing, and the pistons & cam kit itself), I'm only a total of about $7500 into my engine... and that includes everything in the engine bay. Stuff like intake, carb, coil, distributor, engine mounts, pulleys, brackets, PS pump, alternator, radiator, hoses, clamps, hardware, etc., basically empty engine bay to a running engine... minus the exhaust system.

I say he should rebuild it - he'll save money and learn more about his car in the process. Just my opinion, though. ;) :D

 

cobra3073

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I will agree that rebuilding a stock 351C 2V to stock specifications MAY be cheaper than purchasing a modified 351C 2V.

That having been said, I would suggest you check with your LOCAL machine shops for pricing on areas that you would like to see addressed in YOUR rebuild and compare those prices with the "to the door" prices on the engines identified in these two "representative" links of modified 351C:).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FORD-351C-340-HP-CLEVELAND-HIGH-PERF-BALANCED-CRATE-ENGINE-/201012664634?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2ecd49d93a&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FORD-351C-445HP-CRATE-ENGINE-w-ALUMINUM-HEADS-BY-TUFF-DAWG-ENGINES-/161189919462?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2587aafae6&vxp=mtr

Good Luck with whatever approach you decide to take.

BT
He didn't specify which crate engine he was looking at, which is why I mentioned the "additional expenses" of going with a crate engine. Could be a roller cam 5.0... could be a Rousch 428... who knows, as he also said he didn't care about keeping it stock or original.

Wow BT - those Tuff Dawg engines run anywhere from $4400 to over $10K. Geez - for that kind of money, I'll happily rebuild his engine. Even with $3200 in machine work (piston mounting, cam shaft bearing installation, 3-angle valve job, balancing, blueprinting, CNC-boreing, and the pistons & cam kit itself), I'm only a total of about $7500 into my engine... and that includes everything in the engine bay. Stuff like intake, carb, coil, distributor, engine mounts, pulleys, brackets, PS pump, alternator, radiator, hoses, clamps, hardware, etc., basically empty engine bay to a running engine... minus the exhaust system.

I say he should rebuild it - he'll save money and learn more about his car in the process. Just my opinion, though. ;) :D
Yeah, the Tuff Dawg engines are really much more modified than the first option which based on his original post appear to be more in line with what he is looking for in his possible purchase.

I included the Tuff Dawg link for those who may possibly be considering a more performance-oriented option.

I agree, one can learn an awful lot (both good and bad) in rebuilding their engine themselves. The outlay or treasure can mount up very quickly:). Hence, the recommendation for him to check with his LOCAL machine shop to verify prices for comparable services.

BT

 

72FOYTANG

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Thanks everyone. I was leaning toward a rebuild and with info provided that will be my route. Now I just need to figure out what I need to do to make it a great driver that sounds great. A good classic conv that I will not be hot rodding.

 

Jim and Jutta

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Thanks everyone. I was leaning toward a rebuild and with info provided that will be my route. Now I just need to figure out what I need to do to make it a great driver that sounds great. A good classic conv that I will not be hot rodding.
Very cool, I always like it when people keep our old cars in tact when they can. Since you're not looking at hot rodding, and just want a great driver, it sounds like it has everything already you need, MSD ignition, Holley 650cfm 4bbl carb, and Edelbrock performer intake. Slap on a pair of flowmaster 40's (or similar) and you have the great muscle car sound you're looking for. The rebuild should be straight forward.

Jim

 
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Paul of MO

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Also do not be afraid to do it yourself. It is not hard and it is fun!

Have the machine who checks and machines the parts also get you the needed rebuild parts. Have them put the heads together as well as installing the cam bearings.

The rest is just careful bolting together. Lots of great books and online resources to get it right. Any special tools you need are free to borrow from various auto parts stores.

Nothing is more fun that watching someone who puts their first engine together watching it fire up for the first time. My 16 year old son and his friend just refreshed a 302 that went into a somewhat sad 67 coupe.

- Paul

 

hyena429

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I am certainly no expert on Cleveland motors. But in general, buying a crate engine can be risky because you never know who is building your motor. On the other hand, who's going to do the rebuild?

What's nice about having your engine rebuilt is that, not only can you pick and choose what parts are going into you build, most builders are more than fine if you want to stop buy and check out the progress, take pictures, etc..

I had my old 302 rebuilt and wasn't happy with it at all. I then had my 351w rebuilt and couldn't be happier. But I also bought a short block 393w from Coast High Performance. I topped it with AFR heads and an Air gap intake and dropper it in my daily driven '68 coupe. I love it.

Crate motor or rebuild. I think it all comes down to "who's building/rebuilding?" And "what parts are being used?". If they are both using good parts and they know what they are doing, there's no reason they shouldn't both end up being good motors.
+ one to that folks!!

My freind got this crate ..From M&R engines in Glendale cali ...It was a stroker and he was tring to save a little money by buying a crate instead of rebuilding...M&R engines had a good rep at the time...But soon after he started hearing horror stories about engines from there..and then they got shut down....And heard from some that there Engines where banned from some race tracks due to flying apart..We decided to take it apart...Sure enough...They did not even notch the block for the stroker crank...When we first turned the motor by hand it was hitting the side of the block!!..We had to completely take it apart...have the crank sent and checked ...He had to notch the block.

Then even worse...the Engine was made for nitrous and needed to have the piston rings gapped...they did not do that either...had to gap them.....In the end he did not save anything..costed more...Make sure if you do get a crate...Its from a good place.....This crate Engine would of lasted about 1 minute..and would of exploded soon as the nitrous hit...I have a hard time trusting crate motors after that.

Here is the crate ...We had to rework it all...In the end costed much more than if we would of done it..After having to buy a new stud kit and gasket kit..then all the hours fixing the block and gapping the rings...Plus the company went out of bis before we stuck it in the car...They was around for a long time...Must of got some bad management in the end and workers...He got this motor a year before the company went out..And had it sitting and ready to go in a drag car..Lucky he ran into the right people talking about bad M&R engines or it would of been a total loss.
 
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Widowmaker00

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I always thought crate engines were meant for the ease of getting the car up and running, not cost effectiveness. It seems to me rebuilding yourself would be way cheaper.

 

mdan575

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Heard and seen way to many horror stories from crate motors unless they came from a major manufacturer. IE Ford Racing or GM

Alot of finger pointing goes on and the owner never really knows who is at fault. You didn't use the proper break in oil or other such excuses. Rebuilding these old push rod V8's is easy compared to the newer over head cam designs. Find a good machine shop a book and go. Thats what I am doing. At the same time I can convert to a roller motor and gain some added benefits from modern design they include in the early 70's.

 

mustang7173

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72FOYTANG,

+ 1 on cobra3073's recommendations. The E-bay listed 351C is a good bench mark to compare with. Also, if you have a local shop perform the maching, see if they could assemble the short and cylinder valves and then you could perform the final assembly yourself.

mustang7173

 
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