deannathegeek
deannathegeek New Reader
8/17/18 11:27 a.m.

I was doing some research on parts for my upcoming project, and came across crate engines-whole engines pre-assembled as opposed to buying just the engine and parts separately and assembling them myself. Has anyone around here used a crate engine in their project? It kinda feels a little like cheating to me, but as a noob it feels like a good choice, so long as the cost is the same or lass than the sum of the parts.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry HalfDork
8/19/18 8:30 a.m.

Tons of people use them and as long as you get a good one (from a reputable company for example), they can save a lot of time. 

Whether or not it is cheating is up to you and your rules :)

deannathegeek
deannathegeek New Reader
8/20/18 7:12 a.m.

I'm on the fence about how to go about my first project car, especially with so little knowledge apart from Google and YouTube. Can you (or anyone here) recommend good places to look for crate engines and parts?

759NRNG
759NRNG SuperDork
8/20/18 9:29 a.m.

What have you decided on as your object of creation/desire?

deannathegeek
deannathegeek New Reader
8/21/18 2:23 p.m.

I found a 1969 Chevy Impala 2 door, no engine in it, at a salvage yard. I'm looking to put a 7.0 L 427 in it. I know I'll only get about 3 meters to the gallon, but I'll look badass doing it :)

pirate
pirate Reader
8/22/18 12:57 p.m.

I think it depends a lot on your experience building engines although it is not rocket science and there are also a lot of “how to” information out there. Also depends on what kind of tools you have available such as engine stand, torque wrench’s, hand tools, precision tools and your ability to use them, etc.

Depending on engine, a crate engine may be cheaper then the sum of parts you would need to buy to build an engine yourself. Also don’t forget machine shop costs for a block and head/heads such as boring, decking, line boring, possibly balancing, resurfacing heads, valve seats to name a few.

 Depending on how complete engine you buy it may have actually run on a test stand to seat rings, break in cam and give you a certified horsepower plus a warranty. Crate engines can also be a piece of mind thing knowing all components are compatible rather then you ordering parts without complete knowledge and ending up with a problem. A lot of satisfaction building your own engine but I don’t think it is cheating. Only you can answer that!

deannathegeek
deannathegeek New Reader
8/23/18 7:45 a.m.

Part of me wants to build it myself, but part of me thinks a crate engine really is the way to go. I'm still in the early learning stages of working on cars and I really don't wanna mess everything up.

Also, I'm finding it very, very difficult to convey my feelings on the subject without using curse words. It's frustrating indecision

jfryjfry
jfryjfry HalfDork
8/23/18 8:03 p.m.

Either buy a crate motor if you think you can be happy with it for a long long time (try summit or jegs for pricing)

or

buy a used motor if you think you’ll want to build it yourself later. 

 

This way you can get the vehicle going quickly and revisit building the motor later if you so desire.  Building a car takes sooooo much more time and money than you’d estimate.   The quicker you can get the car drivable, the more you’ll enjoy it. 

deannathegeek
deannathegeek New Reader
8/24/18 7:41 a.m.

Now I'm super torn about what size engine to get. I really want to get a 7.0L 427, but a lot of these sites I'm finding (like Jegs) only go up to a 350. I know if I go down to a 350 it'll be a little cheaper, but I really, really want a 427. The planning stage is probably gonna take as long as the actual rebuild at this rate.

pirate
pirate Reader
8/24/18 10:00 a.m.

Crate engines of all size and horsepower are out there and there are a lot of reputable builders. Do a google search. The 350 is probably the most common and cheapest of all the crate engines which is why it is used so much for transplants. It can be configured pretty easily for horsepower say up to 400 hp. I guess the old adage of horsepower costs money applies. The bigger the cubic inches the more horsepower the more it costs. You really have to think about how the car will be used and what you really will be most happy. Most car projects end up being a compromise.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry HalfDork
8/24/18 11:44 a.m.
deannathegeek
deannathegeek New Reader
8/27/18 8:12 a.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

Yup, I found of all of these already, but thank you!

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 SuperDork
8/31/18 7:57 a.m.

If there's any way to make a project easier on yourself without cutting corners, take it. 

I understand the appeal of building an engine yourself and learning that and the satisfaction that comes from that, but in the end that is only one small part of the project. Your project WILL take longer, cost more, and be harder than you plan, so plan accordingly. ;) Not trying to discourage you here! My opinion would just be to make it easier on yourself where you can and you're a lot more likely to finish it. 

JAGwinn
JAGwinn New Reader
9/23/18 2:25 p.m.
deannathegeek said:

Part of me wants to build it myself, but part of me thinks a crate engine really is the way to go. I'm still in the early learning stages of working on cars and I really don't wanna mess everything up.

Also, I'm finding it very, very difficult to convey my feelings on the subject without using curse words. It's frustrating indecision

Hello Deanna,

Understand your yearning. I might suggest getting a 1 or 2 cylinder garden tractor engine as your learning project for rebuilding an engine. You can sharpen your skill on the same mechanical principles as if it were a 427, but for a lot less money in parts. When you are done, in the typical urban area, you can sell it when finished to a wider base of buyers as a power plant for a multitude of devices.

The principles and concepts of mechanics are the same.

John

frenchyd
frenchyd UltraDork
9/28/18 7:31 p.m.

In reply to deannathegeek :

 I bought a GM target master a lot cheaper than the parts alone.  Tossed it into a vintage race car and thrashed the snot out of it race after race. Replaced it with a really serious $15,000 engine as compared to the less than $1500 target master 

lap times went down on a 4 mile track by 1 second. 

Put the target master in the tow rig, 2 ton  truck with a camper and ramp on the back that would pull a second car on a trailer. 

Hauled race cars and up to 8 crew members to vintage races all over the country.  Sometimes 2-3 races a month. East coast west coast north and south. 

Normal driving technique was foot flat to the floor as fast as that rig would scoot. 

Did that for another 4 years, changed oil whenever we felt it had been a long time.  

Sold rig out west he had it got years before he called and told me the engine blew up.  

I’d guess around 50,000 miles and 30 race weekends in the race car. 

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