Author Topic: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs  (Read 5484 times)

Offline 70cudaFun

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Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« on: May 03, 2017 - 03:16:34 am »
Hi all,

I'm wondering if some of you may have crossed this road before and know what a budget 440 rebuild would cost.  I'm trying to weight some options here and wonder what it would take to rebuilt a 1973 440 block motor to approximately 450 - 500hp.  This would only be a street car.  The motor is completely stock and most likely was out of a truck/RV so it doesn't have the nicer components.  With machine costs and necessary parts to make this a 450hp+ motor, could one get a motor (Oil pan to intake) rebuilt for $3,000 and produce this HP level?  Would it cost much more?  Less?

I know the request is vague.  I'm just looking for some assistance to see if a budget 440 rebuild is even possible.

Thank you.




Offline xtopfuel

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017 - 05:31:17 am »
I would say if you are building yourself and have a good machinist to do a kick ass head job and match a cam to the heads and intake then should be feasible at $3k or around there, I am sure there are quite a few combos for 450-500hp on 440 budget builds, IMO the power is in the heads and good machine shops are rare and expensive, I will say this, most make mistake of purchasing the cam first and as an engine builder the cam should be ground to the specs of heads, intake, carb along with many other specs, also for not much more money a roller is far more efficient, makes more power

Offline 1 Wild R/T

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017 - 12:25:10 pm »
Heads are definitely a big part of making power, but compression & cam selection are important too....  Honestly these days I wouldn't put any money in stock heads... Trying to stick to the budget   Bolt on a set of http://store.440source.com/Stealth-Aluminum-Cylinder-Head-COMPLETE-SINGLE-HEAD/productinfo/200%2D1055/   $1000 for a pair... Makes no sense to put $700 or more into a set of open chamber iron heads...   
Summit has F/M rebuild kits with forged pistons, rings, bearings, oil pump, freeze plugs, etc all for $749....
https://www.summitracing.com/search/department/engines-components/part-type/engine-rebuild-kits/make/dodge/engine-size/7-2l-440/engine-family/mopar-big-block-rb/piston-style/flat-top-with-four-valve-reliefs?N=4294949512%2B4294882322%2B4294951331%2B4294951317%2B4294951315%2B4294882365&SortBy=Default&SortOrder=Ascending
 When piston selection comes up make sure to select  flat top with four notches... That gets you a good compression height...
That leaves a cam & machine work...   Order this  https://www.summitracing.com/parts/lun-10230703lk/overview/make/dodge & your cam is done... Leaves you $1000 for machine work.... 

You still need a timing chain set, pushrods & I'm sure I'm missing a few things but nothing big....

I'm not covering intake, carb, exhaust or ignition....

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-g3511/overview/make/dodge   Oil pan $95
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-g3508/overview/make/dodge   Oil pick up tube  $20
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/cca-2109/overview/make/dodge   Timing set   $53
http://store.440source.com/Bolt-Kit-Cylinder-Head-12pt/productinfo/109%2D1514/ head bolts required because of the aluminum heads.. $59

Push rods need to be ordered based on a measured length but can range from $25 to more than $200.. For your needs I'd be looking at a $40-$50 set....
I'd expect to reuse the original rockers, Cheap aftermarkets aren't worth buying & good aftermarkets aren't in the budget...

« Last Edit: May 03, 2017 - 12:42:14 pm by 1 Wild R/T »
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Offline 73sixpack

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017 - 12:40:59 pm »
Don't plan on using the stock rocker arms with any springs that are stiffer than the stock ones, even the six-pack springs are too stiff for stock rockers, except the six-pack rockers. Given a little time the pushrod will push through the ball socket on a stock rocker and throw a lifter, then you lose oil pressure at the least.

Offline 1 Wild R/T

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017 - 12:47:26 pm »
Don't plan on using the stock rocker arms with any springs that are stiffer than the stock ones, even the six-pack springs are too stiff for stock rockers, except the six-pack rockers. Given a little time the pushrod will push through the ball socket on a stock rocker and throw a lifter, then you lose oil pressure at the least.

Funny, I've run them for years on springs with 330# over the nose..... Yeah, you might push a hole through one, it happens but I know lots of engines that have run 500+ lift cams & 300#+ springs for years with stock rockers....  I wouldn't throw money at cheap rockers.... When stock rockers fail they don't send bits of aluminum or steel bearings through the engine....
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017 - 12:49:08 pm by 1 Wild R/T »
JS27N0B 70 Challenger R/T Convertible  FJ5 Sublime, Show Poodle w/90,000 miles since resto
WS27L8G 68 Coronet R/T Convertible  PP1 Bright Red, Project
RM21H9E 69 Road Runner Coupe R4 Performance Red, Sold...
5H21C  65 Falcon 2 dr Wagon... Dog Hauler...

Offline 73sixpack

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017 - 12:53:49 pm »
Funny, I've run them for years on springs with 330# over the nose..... Yeah, you might push a hole through one, it happens but I know lots of engines that have run 500+ lift cams & 300#+ springs for years with stock rockers....  I wouldn't throw money at cheap rockers.... When stock rockers fail they don't send bits of aluminum or steel bearings through the engine....

Mine pushed through the first year of racing, only running a 484-284 MP cam with six-pack springs, put six-pack rockers in and had no problems the last 5 years we raced it. Maybe I'm unlucky.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017 - 12:55:59 pm by 73sixpack »

Offline 1 Wild R/T

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2017 - 01:03:38 pm »
Luck is certainly a factor, I agree better rockers would be a good upgrade but working with a tight budget means rolling the dice on stuff thats easy to change later.... Build a good solid bottom end... Heads, you could save for later but I can't see throwing $$$$ at open chamber iron heads..

Rockers, better intake, better headers can all come later..

Pushing a lifter out is a very real concern but hopefully he pays attention to his oil pressure, this is a place where an idiot light actually has an advantage over a gauge.....
JS27N0B 70 Challenger R/T Convertible  FJ5 Sublime, Show Poodle w/90,000 miles since resto
WS27L8G 68 Coronet R/T Convertible  PP1 Bright Red, Project
RM21H9E 69 Road Runner Coupe R4 Performance Red, Sold...
5H21C  65 Falcon 2 dr Wagon... Dog Hauler...

Offline xtopfuel

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2017 - 06:14:48 pm »
I have to agree with wild R/T if in fact you can buy a set of heads that cheap its a no brainer

Offline 70cudaFun

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2017 - 07:24:22 pm »
Heads are definitely a big part of making power, but compression & cam selection are important too....  Honestly these days I wouldn't put any money in stock heads... Trying to stick to the budget   Bolt on a set of http://store.440source.com/Stealth-Aluminum-Cylinder-Head-COMPLETE-SINGLE-HEAD/productinfo/200%2D1055/   $1000 for a pair... Makes no sense to put $700 or more into a set of open chamber iron heads...   
Summit has F/M rebuild kits with forged pistons, rings, bearings, oil pump, freeze plugs, etc all for $749....
https://www.summitracing.com/search/department/engines-components/part-type/engine-rebuild-kits/make/dodge/engine-size/7-2l-440/engine-family/mopar-big-block-rb/piston-style/flat-top-with-four-valve-reliefs?N=4294949512%2B4294882322%2B4294951331%2B4294951317%2B4294951315%2B4294882365&SortBy=Default&SortOrder=Ascending
 When piston selection comes up make sure to select  flat top with four notches... That gets you a good compression height...
That leaves a cam & machine work...   Order this  https://www.summitracing.com/parts/lun-10230703lk/overview/make/dodge & your cam is done... Leaves you $1000 for machine work.... 

You still need a timing chain set, pushrods & I'm sure I'm missing a few things but nothing big....

I'm not covering intake, carb, exhaust or ignition....

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-g3511/overview/make/dodge   Oil pan $95
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-g3508/overview/make/dodge   Oil pick up tube  $20
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/cca-2109/overview/make/dodge   Timing set   $53
http://store.440source.com/Bolt-Kit-Cylinder-Head-12pt/productinfo/109%2D1514/ head bolts required because of the aluminum heads.. $59

Push rods need to be ordered based on a measured length but can range from $25 to more than $200.. For your needs I'd be looking at a $40-$50 set....
I'd expect to reuse the original rockers, Cheap aftermarkets aren't worth buying & good aftermarkets aren't in the budget...


WOW, this is exactly what I was looking for.  Thank you for taking the time to put this together.  I actually made a similar list and most of the parts I used for a budget build were some of the same parts you mention.  The difference was the Eddy RPM heads here:  https://www.summitracing.com/parts/edl-60929/overview/make/chrysler

I'm not sure if the Eddy heads are better than the Stealth heads but they are about $400 more.

I added up ALL the parts needed and there is no way the 3k will cut it.  Here is the list I created.  Let me know if I'm way off on any of these:

   
Machine Shop Work (Engine Hot Tank & Magnaflux)    $250.00
Machine Shop Work (Bore, Hone, Engine Assembly)    $1,300.00
Replace Cam, Rod, Main Bearings & Freeze Plugs    $325.00
Oil Pan, Gaskets, Windage Tray, Bolts & Oil    $300.00
Piston Kit (.030 over - 440source)    $599.00
Edelbrock Power Pack (Heads, Cam, Intake, Lifters, Timing Chain, lifters & more)    $2,200.00
Water Pump & Housing    $150.00
Oil Pump    $100.00
Power Steering Pump w/Reservoir    $175.00
Fuel Pump    $100.00
Harmonic Balancer    $145.00
Crank, Water Pump & Power Steering Pulley    $150.00
Starter    $120.00
Alternator    $100.00
Distributor    $75.00
Carburator    $600.00
Radiator    $250.00
Miscellaneous Parts    $300.00
   
   
 Total $       $7,239.00

These aren't even the higher quality parts I wanted to go with such as the Trick Flow heads and the 440 Source Stroker Kit which would add another 4k to the total price.

Offline 1 Wild R/T

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2017 - 09:38:56 pm »
WOW, this is exactly what I was looking for.  Thank you for taking the time to put this together.  I actually made a similar list and most of the parts I used for a budget build were some of the same parts you mention.  The difference was the Eddy RPM heads here:  https://www.summitracing.com/parts/edl-60929/overview/make/chrysler

I'm not sure if the Eddy heads are better than the Stealth heads but they are about $400 more.

I added up ALL the parts needed and there is no way the 3k will cut it.  Here is the list I created.  Let me know if I'm way off on any of these:

   
Machine Shop Work (Engine Hot Tank & Magnaflux)    $250.00
Machine Shop Work (Bore, Hone, Engine Assembly)    $1,300.00 seems pretty high
Replace Cam, Rod, Main Bearings & Freeze Plugs    $325.00 should be included with assemble engine... Which I do myself
Oil Pan, Gaskets, Windage Tray, Bolts & Oil    $300.00 What oil pan are you looking at?  If I were going to drop $300 I'd drop$500 & get the road race pan which doesn't need a windage tray
Piston Kit (.030 over - 440source)    $599.00  I'd do the
Edelbrock Power Pack (Heads, Cam, Intake, Lifters, Timing Chain, lifters & more)    $2,200.00
Water Pump & Housing    $150.00
Oil Pump    $100.00
Power Steering Pump w/Reservoir    $175.00
Fuel Pump    $100.00
Harmonic Balancer    $145.00
Crank, Water Pump & Power Steering Pulley    $150.00
Starter    $120.00
Alternator    $100.00
Distributor    $75.00
Carburator    $600.00 Before I drop $600 on a Carb I'd drop $1000 on FiTech
Radiator    $250.00
Miscellaneous Parts    $300.00
   
   
 Total $       $7,239.00

These aren't even the higher quality parts I wanted to go with such as the Trick Flow heads and the 440 Source Stroker Kit which would add another 4k to the total price.

So what you really want is 600+HP... If your budget is 3K you need to make choices... Last year I freshened my motor & spent less than $1500... And since I built the heads a year earlier & bought the cam six months prior I spread that $1500 over a year.... 
JS27N0B 70 Challenger R/T Convertible  FJ5 Sublime, Show Poodle w/90,000 miles since resto
WS27L8G 68 Coronet R/T Convertible  PP1 Bright Red, Project
RM21H9E 69 Road Runner Coupe R4 Performance Red, Sold...
5H21C  65 Falcon 2 dr Wagon... Dog Hauler...

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2017 - 10:13:08 pm »
Hi all,

I'm wondering if some of you may have crossed this road before and know what a budget 440 rebuild would cost.  I'm trying to weight some options here and wonder what it would take to rebuilt a 1973 440 block motor to approximately 450 - 500hp.  This would only be a street car.  The motor is completely stock and most likely was out of a truck/RV so it doesn't have the nicer components.  With machine costs and necessary parts to make this a 450hp+ motor, could one get a motor (Oil pan to intake) rebuilt for $3,000 and produce this HP level?  Would it cost much more?  Less?

I know the request is vague.  I'm just looking for some assistance to see if a budget 440 rebuild is even possible.

Thank you.

This may not be what most people want to hear but I think it's worth putting out there. You want a street engine with 450 HP. I'm not sure what you want to do with it exactly but if you're like most folks, you just want a fun street cruiser that can roast tires at will. For that, you want torque and a moderately built 440 is more than up to the task. Best of all, it can be easily done within your budget.

Good machine shop work is a must of coarse. I helped a buddy with his 440 build last year and we used a local builder I greatly trust. We ran stock iron heads, intake, HP exhaust manifolds, 9.5 to 1 compression cast pistons, and a modest but torquey cam that didn't require massive spring pressure so we were able to use stock rocker assembly. It didn't have too much lift so we were able to use the stock pushrods. We spent some money for a good quality higher stall converter though and it was well worth it. In the end, it had a nice rumble to it and you could destroy a set of tires very quickly. It might not have won 1/4 mile races but it sure was no slouch. Best of all, the build cost $2700 fully assembled and there was no special buddy pricing. Torque converter was another $400 though but again, worth every penny.

The advantage of going this way is you stay within your budget and can enjoy the car sooner. If it really eats at you, you can still enjoy the car while you save money to build a second motor for later replacement.

Just my two cents.

Offline 70cudaFun

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2017 - 02:10:24 am »
So what you really want is 600+HP... If your budget is 3K you need to make choices... Last year I freshened my motor & spent less than $1500... And since I built the heads a year earlier & bought the cam six months prior I spread that $1500 over a year.... 

Okay so glad to hear that some of the prices are higher than expected.  I will keep digging for better estimates.  Machine shops around me haven't been easy to find.  At least those who don't want to rip you off.  I swear as soon as they hear "440 Mopar" prices go up. 

I honestly don't need 600hp.  Would I love to have it?  SURE!  But realistically, 450hp to 500hp is perfect.  I don't mind spending money on the parts that make the power (Heads, Cam, lifters, Roller Rockers) for a better investment in the long run.  It's all the rest of the motor assembly that need $$$ to complete the motor.  And those things add up!

Offline 70cudaFun

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2017 - 02:18:59 am »
This may not be what most people want to hear but I think it's worth putting out there. You want a street engine with 450 HP. I'm not sure what you want to do with it exactly but if you're like most folks, you just want a fun street cruiser that can roast tires at will. For that, you want torque and a moderately built 440 is more than up to the task. Best of all, it can be easily done within your budget.

Good machine shop work is a must of coarse. I helped a buddy with his 440 build last year and we used a local builder I greatly trust. We ran stock iron heads, intake, HP exhaust manifolds, 9.5 to 1 compression cast pistons, and a modest but torquey cam that didn't require massive spring pressure so we were able to use stock rocker assembly. It didn't have too much lift so we were able to use the stock pushrods. We spent some money for a good quality higher stall converter though and it was well worth it. In the end, it had a nice rumble to it and you could destroy a set of tires very quickly. It might not have won 1/4 mile races but it sure was no slouch. Best of all, the build cost $2700 fully assembled and there was no special buddy pricing. Torque converter was another $400 though but again, worth every penny.

The advantage of going this way is you stay within your budget and can enjoy the car sooner. If it really eats at you, you can still enjoy the car while you save money to build a second motor for later replacement.

Just my two cents.

Solid input Beekeeper.  $2,700 sounds more than reasonable.  That sounds like a good plan with building a side motor down the line if needed.  I will really have to dig around for machine shops who can take this on.

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2017 - 09:35:18 am »
Solid input Beekeeper.  $2,700 sounds more than reasonable.  That sounds like a good plan with building a side motor down the line if needed.  I will really have to dig around for machine shops who can take this on.

I could be wrong on this but I think I motor like I described is more forgiving to being built by an average machine shop. If I were putting 6k plus into parts for a more advanced build, I'd want the best machine shop around (with references) just to ensure they didn't cut small corners here and there which ruin it later. from what little I know, things become a lot more critical when you're producing that kind of power, especially if you want the motor to last.

You don't sound like someone who would do this but avoid the temptation to put a giant cam into an otherwise stock engine. (I've done this a few times in my youth because you're never wrong when you're young). You will be seriously disappointed if all the components aren't suited to working together. Likewise, ive seen modestly built motors with thoughtfully matched components that performed far beyond what you might think at first glance.

Offline 73cudabr

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2017 - 11:11:56 am »
Whats wrong with your current engine? Are pistons bad to start with? Leaking oil? If your bottom end is in good shape then you should be able to pick up some ponies with cam, heads and get a dual plane intake for some down low meat if you don't already have one. You can likely find some articles on Hot Rod Magazine for some old mopar builds.

Aluminum heads and replacing the old water pump will save a lot of weight in the front of the car. So you couple that with a decent cam/intake and it will feel good on a budget. I'm certainly no expert, but if you're on a budget, and the rotating assembly is good. Just work the top end, and save your money for the bottom end down the road. (stroker kit). If you're pulling the bottom end apart and buying pistons for it that require a .030 instead of a dingle ball clean, well you're not far off from just picking up the stroker kit and being done with it.

If it is leaking some oil and you do want to stay on a budget, you can break it down, dingle ball hone, piston rings, cam bearings, put it back together stock, and freshen up the top end and still be on a budget. We just did this with a chevy 350 and it runs mint. Just food for thought.