Engine Rebuild v. Crate Engine

CaliFury

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Hey all,

I have a 66 Fury convertible with the original 383 commando engine that needs rebuilding/replacing (she's got a rod knock). The engine is out of the car now, and I have another 383 in there. The engine in the car doesn't have a rod knock, but likely burnt valves, so the car isn't moving long distances (i.e., runs like crap). Anyway, it would be nice to keep the numbers matching engine, but I'm having a tough time tracking down any builders in the Sacramento or Greater Bay Area of CA. Do you all know of any builders that could do a ~400-500hp rebuild in Nor Cal?

The car is meant to be driven so I don't need a strip engine/build. Just something that can give me the burnt rubber smell, plus take on road trips.

Conversely have any of you had any luck with crate engines from places like, Carolina Machine Engines, ATK Engines, Performance Injection Equipment (PIE), or Eddies Performance? Looks like some of these long block crate motors run anywhere $6,500-$9,500, and I'm not sure if a relatively local builder could match that price, let alone a warranty. Your thoughts and experience would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Davea Lux

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For starters, there is no "numbers matching" in '66. This refers to the late '69 and following engines that have the VIN stamped on the block. If you want to keep the car as original as possible, your factory block will have the appropriate year casting number, so I would have that engine rebuilt. The quality of crate engines vary greatly, some will have a .030 over bore and others will have eight repair liners pressed into the block. If all else fails, contact a classic car restoration company, they should be able to refer you to a rebuilder that specializes in classic engines.

Dave
 

CBODY67

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ONE thing that I perceive to work well and not break the bank. What is it? When any engine rebuild is considered, there is a strong desire to "make it better" than not, which usually does little except raise the ultimate end price of the engine. So, specify parts which are OEM-level (at least) rather than heading to "better" as the default mode.

In reality, by the middle 1960s, most OEM-built motors were usually suspected to last 80K+ miles before needing anything other than regular maintenance and a timing chain. NO special parts, just normal production parts. With modern oils and lubes, that 80K+ durability can be extended quite a bit, I suspect. Considering that our '66 Newport 383 had over 150K when I stopped driving it. In that time, one valve job (#7 exh valve) and a timing chain . . . bottom end still "OEM".

Then add the suspected-better machine work that is now possible (as a matter of course) and the durability can get even better.

So, what you'll need to inquire about is the machine shop's equipment and such. ONE power hone machine (Rottler, Sunnen, or similar) can deck the block and then power hone the cylinders (with or without deck plates), after honing the main caps to size (which all of the other machining operations are centered off of). BUT as magical as the power hone operation might be, having a good operator perform that function can prevent having egg-shaped (vertically) cylinder bores, as my late machien shop operative noted once. An operator who knows the machine and watches the load meter gauge. I suspect that most crate engine sellers do their engines this way, too, as it can speed production.

Not to sound flaky, but it seems to me that people in search of a crate engine (or engine reduilder) always tend to name some horsepower figure they desire (for whatever reason). No mention of what's IN the motor, just the power output. To me, if the cam and other items are chosen wisely, the "power" will be there AND still be daily-usable with decent fuel economy. How much tire smoke you smell can relate to the quality of the tires (expensive tires smell expensive when smoked, by observation) than ultimately to the power output of the engine. Just my observation, no more no less. But for the price of better tires these days, you might desire "less smoke" than otherwise, by observation.

Considering the "car culture" in CA, I highly suspect you will not need to go out of state for an engine, crate or rebuilder. Should something unfortunately go wrong, having somebody close to use is better than talking to somebody on the other end of a phone line, too. Not to forget shipping expenses, too.

To be sure, there are several good crate engine companies. Just investigate to determine what it takes to get one of their motors. Also, you might end up with an engine from a different model year which might take different accessory mountings, too.

Enjoy!
CBODY67
 

CaliFury

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ONE thing that I perceive to work well and not break the bank. What is it? When any engine rebuild is considered, there is a strong desire to "make it better" than not, which usually does little except raise the ultimate end price of the engine. So, specify parts which are OEM-level (at least) rather than heading to "better" as the default mode.

In reality, by the middle 1960s, most OEM-built motors were usually suspected to last 80K+ miles before needing anything other than regular maintenance and a timing chain. NO special parts, just normal production parts. With modern oils and lubes, that 80K+ durability can be extended quite a bit, I suspect. Considering that our '66 Newport 383 had over 150K when I stopped driving it. In that time, one valve job (#7 exh valve) and a timing chain . . . bottom end still "OEM".

Then add the suspected-better machine work that is now possible (as a matter of course) and the durability can get even better.

So, what you'll need to inquire about is the machine shop's equipment and such. ONE power hone machine (Rottler, Sunnen, or similar) can deck the block and then power hone the cylinders (with or without deck plates), after honing the main caps to size (which all of the other machining operations are centered off of). BUT as magical as the power hone operation might be, having a good operator perform that function can prevent having egg-shaped (vertically) cylinder bores, as my late machien shop operative noted once. An operator who knows the machine and watches the load meter gauge. I suspect that most crate engine sellers do their engines this way, too, as it can speed production.

Not to sound flaky, but it seems to me that people in search of a crate engine (or engine reduilder) always tend to name some horsepower figure they desire (for whatever reason). No mention of what's IN the motor, just the power output. To me, if the cam and other items are chosen wisely, the "power" will be there AND still be daily-usable with decent fuel economy. How much tire smoke you smell can relate to the quality of the tires (expensive tires smell expensive when smoked, by observation) than ultimately to the power output of the engine. Just my observation, no more no less. But for the price of better tires these days, you might desire "less smoke" than otherwise, by observation.

Considering the "car culture" in CA, I highly suspect you will not need to go out of state for an engine, crate or rebuilder. Should something unfortunately go wrong, having somebody close to use is better than talking to somebody on the other end of a phone line, too. Not to forget shipping expenses, too.

To be sure, there are several good crate engine companies. Just investigate to determine what it takes to get one of their motors. Also, you might end up with an engine from a different model year which might take different accessory mountings, too.

Enjoy!
CBODY67
Thanks guys, some good information which is truly appreciated, particularly re: parts used and quality machining process. I'm not trying to discount any advice, and I apologize that my written delivery is not always on-point. However, what I'm looking for feedback on are two questions:

1. Can anyone recommend a reputable Mopar machine shop/builder in Nor Cal?
and/or
2. Can anyone recommend a reputable Mopar crate engine retailer?

Thanks All.
 

MightyMats

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Hey all,

I have a 66 Fury convertible with the original 383 commando engine that needs rebuilding/replacing (she's got a rod knock). The engine is out of the car now, and I have another 383 in there. The engine in the car doesn't have a rod knock, but likely burnt valves, so the car isn't moving long distances (i.e., runs like crap). Anyway, it would be nice to keep the numbers matching engine, but I'm having a tough time tracking down any builders in the Sacramento or Greater Bay Area of CA. Do you all know of any builders that could do a ~400-500hp rebuild in Nor Cal?

The car is meant to be driven so I don't need a strip engine/build. Just something that can give me the burnt rubber smell, plus take on road trips.

Conversely have any of you had any luck with crate engines from places like, Carolina Machine Engines, ATK Engines, Performance Injection Equipment (PIE), or Eddies Performance? Looks like some of these long block crate motors run anywhere $6,500-$9,500, and I'm not sure if a relatively local builder could match that price, let alone a warranty. Your thoughts and experience would be appreciated.

Thanks!

RPM Engine, owned by a guy named Nate Cutler i believe. 560 Martin Ave suite c, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

No bullshit shop
 
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