Author Topic: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs  (Read 6120 times)

Offline 70cudaFun

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2017 - 11:28:37 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.

Hi 73cudabr,

I had taken the motor out of the car to inspect the internals and found a milky white residue around the crank, heads etc.  Also, I had found small metal pieces in the oil pan.  It seems as though one of the valve spring retainers broke or something else broke in the motor and spit metal around.  The motor was still running when I took it out but it wasn't running well.  I actually think the bottom end is "OK" and could be salvaged but since I am in it, it makes sense to replace pistons and freshen the bottom end.  As many have mentioned here, if you are going to put new pistons, you may as well go with a new Stroker setup (like the one 440source sells).

The motor was stock so truthfully, if I did put a cam, heads and a dual plan intake, it would definitely pick up some ponies.  The long run game would be questionable though.

This seems to be a classic "Do it once and do it right" scenario.  I'm going to load up the short block and drive it over to some machine shops to get some opinions.  The top end definitely needs work.  Now the only question is how bad the bottom end is and if we can salvage anything worth salvaging.




Offline 70cudaFun

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2017 - 11:33:51 am »
I'm a ways away from completing my Cuda project.  Do you guys think it's fairly easy to put together the top end of a 440 if I have the bottom end done by a machine shop?  Meaning, I take the 440 motor to a machine shop and they hot tank, inspect the block then install the stoker kit or piston rebuild kit only.  Then I would install everything else such as heads, intake, Carb, distributor myself.  Is this something that most have tackled with no problem or is it just not worth the savings to have a machine shop do only half the work?  I have the tools but I have never put together a motor before so I would be learning as I go with books and videos.

Offline 73cudabr

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2017 - 12:05:08 pm »
Hi 73cudabr,

I had taken the motor out of the car to inspect the internals and found a milky white residue around the crank, heads etc.  Also, I had found small metal pieces in the oil pan.  It seems as though one of the valve spring retainers broke or something else broke in the motor and spit metal around.  The motor was still running when I took it out but it wasn't running well.  I actually think the bottom end is "OK" and could be salvaged but since I am in it, it makes sense to replace pistons and freshen the bottom end.  As many have mentioned here, if you are going to put new pistons, you may as well go with a new Stroker setup (like the one 440source sells).

The motor was stock so truthfully, if I did put a cam, heads and a dual plan intake, it would definitely pick up some ponies.  The long run game would be questionable though.

This seems to be a classic "Do it once and do it right" scenario.  I'm going to load up the short block and drive it over to some machine shops to get some opinions.  The top end definitely needs work.  Now the only question is how bad the bottom end is and if we can salvage anything worth salvaging.

If you have the funds then go ahead and build it right. Can't beat the stroker kit. Lots of guys here can help. My engine builder had his own way of doing things, and time will tell if it will work out. Hopefully mine is on the chassis dyno in a few weeks and I can recommend my build or steer people away from it. But there are lots of proven engine combos here. Get a build sheet, fill it out with what you want for piston to head clearances (quench area), what compression ratio you want etc, and use that as a template for the builder to go by.

Offline 1 Wild R/T

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2017 - 01:03:43 pm »
One bit of advice.. Unless the machine shop has a background in performance builds don't let them order your parts.... To many times they grab the catalog & order up standard replacement pistons which leave the piston .060-.170 down the hole... & you get a pig... If you stay stock stroke you want a 2.065 compression height.....

Beekeepers plan of a mild build absolutely make sense except again there's no way I'd be throwing money at a set of 906 heads... If you can find a set someone else threw money at then upgraded fine, but freshening up heads these days can easily kill 25% or more of your budget & being open chambers means no quench...
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Offline Blasterb

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2017 - 04:08:54 pm »
I noticed you had a edelbrock RPM kit in you build sheet. Make sure you read the fine print. Most of their kits I looked at required headers with 2" or bigger tubes. the only place I could find them was TTI and they weren't cheap.

Offline 70cudaFun

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2017 - 03:42:32 am »
I noticed you had a edelbrock RPM kit in you build sheet. Make sure you read the fine print. Most of their kits I looked at required headers with 2" or bigger tubes. the only place I could find them was TTI and they weren't cheap.

I didn't know that.  Thanks for the heads up!  Yeah, TTI stuff is awesome but very $$$.

I don't think I will be going the Edelbrock RPM kit route, even though it looks like a great value deal.

Offline 70cudaFun

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2017 - 03:49:04 am »
One bit of advice.. Unless the machine shop has a background in performance builds don't let them order your parts.... To many times they grab the catalog & order up standard replacement pistons which leave the piston .060-.170 down the hole... & you get a pig... If you stay stock stroke you want a 2.065 compression height.....

Beekeepers plan of a mild build absolutely make sense except again there's no way I'd be throwing money at a set of 906 heads... If you can find a set someone else threw money at then upgraded fine, but freshening up heads these days can easily kill 25% or more of your budget & being open chambers means no quench...

Yeah, I don't plan on letting the machine shop order anything without first finding out how much he will take off my cylinder walls and mapping out the whole build.  I'm seeing local machine shop costs at $1500 alone so the whole budget build isn't going to be less than 5k for the whole motor.

I like the idea of doing the stroker motor with Stealth heads for now and swapping them out later on when I can or need more power.  At least that way, the short block will be completely done.  My build needs much more than a motor so I can't go too crazy without finishing the rest of the car.  After all, the most amazing motor that is left on the engine stand for a long time before the car could get done isn't the best idea.

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2017 - 10:21:46 am »
I'm a ways away from completing my Cuda project.  Do you guys think it's fairly easy to put together the top end of a 440 if I have the bottom end done by a machine shop?  Meaning, I take the 440 motor to a machine shop and they hot tank, inspect the block then install the stoker kit or piston rebuild kit only.  Then I would install everything else such as heads, intake, Carb, distributor myself.  Is this something that most have tackled with no problem or is it just not worth the savings to have a machine shop do only half the work?  I have the tools but I have never put together a motor before so I would be learning as I go with books and videos.

Doing all this is not hard but I think once you have them build the short block, you might as well let them install the cam, heads, intake, etc. it's not that much more work for them so can't imagine you'd save much by finishing the top end yourself. The other advantage is they will get the valvetrain stuff correct and if they run into last minute issues, it's their responsibility to get it all right. They might not want to warrantee an engine they didn't fully assemble also. Keep in mind that things like carb, distributor, etc. are things you generally install after the engine is in the car.

Offline xtopfuel

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2017 - 03:48:41 pm »
I would say if you plan on machine shop building the engine plus machine work plus parts the budget is blown, I was under impression from beginning you were building this motor

Offline 70cudaFun

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2017 - 05:32:55 pm »
I would say if you plan on machine shop building the engine plus machine work plus parts the budget is blown, I was under impression from beginning you were building this motor

Yeah, that's why the numbers weren't adding up for me originally.  The cheapest estimate I was able to come up with including parts and machine shop costs is as follows:

Machine Shop Work (Engine Hot Tank & Magnaflux)    $100.00
Machine Shop Work (Bore, Hone, Engine Assembly)    $1,400.00
Oil Pan, Gaskets, Windage Tray, Bolts & Oil    $250.00
New Piston Kit bored .030 over + Additional Machine Work (Rods, Crank, etc)    $800.00
Stealth Heads    $1,000.00
Cam, Lifters, Rockers, Pushrods, Timing Chain, Intake, Gasket Kit & Intake/Head Bolts    $985.00
Carburator    $600.00
Oil Pump    $150.00
Distributor    $75.00
Misc Parts    $150.00
   
 $      $5,510.00

Offline Beekeeper

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2017 - 05:39:48 pm »
Another advantage of the lower budget build is you can feel more comfortable reusing many little thing like head bolts. When you build a higher HP motor, you don't take chances so all those little things get replaced with fresh new parts which just eat your budget alive. I would venture to say that every few horsepower built into your new motor is going to drive the cost up exponentially. Wouldn't surprise me if some guys lose interest in the hobby simply because they didn't budget out a build in a realistic manner.

Offline 73cudabr

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2017 - 01:26:39 pm »
For reference my costs were as follows

Vat Cleaning - 50
Sq Deck and rails - 150
Bore and hone - 300
Cam bearing install - 50
Lighten Scat crank - 100
Balance rotating assembly - 250
Assemble Rotating assembly - 300

1200 dollars for the short block build not including the parts. I thought it was reasonable as it would have taken me much more time, and the risk of making a critical mistake is less with a professional doing it.

Offline 70cudaFun

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2017 - 05:17:47 pm »
For reference my costs were as follows

Vat Cleaning - 50
Sq Deck and rails - 150
Bore and hone - 300
Cam bearing install - 50
Lighten Scat crank - 100
Balance rotating assembly - 250
Assemble Rotating assembly - 300

1200 dollars for the short block build not including the parts. I thought it was reasonable as it would have taken me much more time, and the risk of making a critical mistake is less with a professional doing it.

Thank you.  That is helpful for a point of reference.  Seems close to what I was quoted.

Offline xtopfuel

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2017 - 08:08:39 pm »
Seems very low to me, machine work maybe but assembly hmmmmm

Offline 73cudabr

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Re: Budget 440 Rebuild Estimated Costs
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2017 - 10:37:44 am »
Seems very low to me, machine work maybe but assembly hmmmmm

I see that being reasonable? Somebody who does this day in and day out with the proper tools on hand. Its torque specs, and compressing rings, it shouldn't take long when you can do it in your sleep. But then again it is a forum, and you don't have the benefit of seeing his shop/customer service. I feel he should have charged more for his work but glad he didn't. On the flip side I may put that block in this weekend and it will blow a rod after my first mile. I doubt it, but time could still prove you right  :popcorn:

As for the OP, let me know if you have any questions around other costs. I'm not the technical person, but I've purchased a ton of parts recently. This book is dollars well spent. Will outline engine recipes, parts and why they matter.

How to Build Max-Performance Mopar Big Blocks
 
Andy Finkbeiner