Author Topic: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities  (Read 5012 times)

Offline 74 challenge

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1247
360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« on: December 08, 2011 - 09:40:01 am »
So here is my scenario:

Currently have a 74 Challenger with a 318 that has blown a rear main seal, obviously the cheapest thing to do is to pull the engine, change the faulty seal, put it back in and run it till I plan a full on resotration (Approx. 5 years)

However this makes me think why not just build up an engine and drop it in place, and because my car is a 74 the 360 engine is my go to plan.

I have sourced a 73 360 truck block that would be a drop in however it requires a full rebuild. It is currently bone stock, all the parts are there minus the water pump, alternator, distributor and intake ( all parts I would replace in a build anyways)

I live in eastern Ontario (so the car is put to bed for the winter currently) and have some time to really think about my options.

I have searched around and found about a million different engine combo's that are good bang for buck builds, I understand the cost of machining the engine will be, but by the time I build this engine I will be within a couple hundred dollars of just buying a crate engine.

If i were to do a light 360 build it would probably look like this:

Deck the block, machine a bit off the head (these would be based on alowable tolerances to raise the compression slightly) Get some mild headwork done, a light honing of the cylinders, a good Cam, intake, carb, use the current tube headers from the 318, drop it back in and give it some nice timing. No idea of power with this set up but likely not enough to destroy my A904, and give me more pep then my 318.

Also does anyone have any ideas of a good engine rebuild kit out there? I can only find the same few out there and no idea how good they are. I am looking for a kit that contains pistons, all the rings, gaskets, freeze plugs, cam breagins, crank bearings etc...looking for quality parts too.

IF anyone has any leads on a quality crate engine you can send those along too.

I'm 25, long time mopar fan but i only got my car 2 years ago so still super new. I have pretty good mechanical abilities, and allt he tools required to do this job.
1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2




Offline HP2

  • Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 4478
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011 - 10:51:07 am »
Another consideration you did not mention is time. With the winter weather upon us, most gear heads are descending on shops with work. If you build your own mill, you will have to get in line with those guys and adhere to the schedule the shops have on doing the work you need. This means there is the possibility you may still be waiting on work and/or performing assembly when spring time comes around.

Conversely, a good quality crate engine will arrive tested with the initial run in complete so all you need to do is perform the swap. On eeh other hand, a cheap crate engine will almost certainly require a tear down and inspection to ensure there are no assembly errors, which puts you in a position where you are still doing a lot of work, but you wont have to pay or wait for machining.

Offline 74 challenge

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1247
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011 - 11:26:44 am »
Another consideration you did not mention is time. With the winter weather upon us, most gear heads are descending on shops with work. If you build your own mill, you will have to get in line with those guys and adhere to the schedule the shops have on doing the work you need. This means there is the possibility you may still be waiting on work and/or performing assembly when spring time comes around.

Conversely, a good quality crate engine will arrive tested with the initial run in complete so all you need to do is perform the swap. On eeh other hand, a cheap crate engine will almost certainly require a tear down and inspection to ensure there are no assembly errors, which puts you in a position where you are still doing a lot of work, but you wont have to pay or wait for machining.

I didnot consider shop availiability, but i will add that to the list of considerations. If i lose a month of my short driving season to assemble things correctly without rushing i am more then okay with that.

i am really thinking about replacing the rear main seal in the 318 and building this engine on the side. When it is done to my standards i can throw it in the car.
1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2

Offline Jamiez

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1981
  • Retro
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011 - 12:26:15 pm »
Since originality doesn't seem to be a concern to you, you don't have to limit yourself to a 360.  Numerous others have mounted big blocks in the later year challengers.  Just some food for thought

Offline 74 challenge

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1247
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011 - 02:15:29 pm »
Since originality doesn't seem to be a concern to you, you don't have to limit yourself to a 360.  Numerous others have mounted big blocks in the later year challengers.  Just some food for thought

MY car is currently numbers matching 318, numbers a904 etc... and i will keep these stuffed in the back of the garage in case i ever think the 318 is desirable, i just want it to look like it came from the factory with whatever engine i put in it.  I like the ability to make a good maount of power from the Small block, keep weight down etc... I know everyone in the world has thier own point of view but i really like the small block engine and I doubt i will ever require the power of big block to take the car to local cruise in's cruises around town etc...  I think a big block would be over kill.
1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2

Offline cudazappa

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 709
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011 - 02:50:23 pm »
Personally, build your own engine.

Get the experience of doing it.  GAIN the knowledge of having it done RIGHT.  Screw up and learn from your mistakes.

Sure, you may save some money, but you know what's in it.

Play with the numbers to get an idea on what pistons to buy compression ratio all that jazz.

Send the block out.  Get it bored and get the deck height brought into "spec".  Send out the rotating assy for balancing.  Spend the money on good quality components that'll give you a bulletproof motor for plenty of miles.  You may find you'll be more than just a couple hundred ahead when you see the stuff you get in your rebuild vs. "theirs"
1971 Challenger - AutoX project
2015 Dart GT - Daily Driver

Offline Cuda54

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 237
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011 - 12:10:31 pm »
I think it was Car Craft or Hot Rod that did a 318 build with 400Hp or something like that. It was a junkyard 318 that was redone and dynoed. You could keep it numbers matching and have the tranny redone to hold up to the engine. You could have one BAD AZZ 318 with the same or more power. Just a thought!
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011 - 01:30:57 pm by Cuda54 »

Offline Chryco Psycho

  • Administrator
  • C-C.com Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 36623
  • 70 Challenger R/T SE 70 tube Chassis Cuda now sold
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011 - 08:01:59 pm »
more ci = easier hp , small engine will make great power but always cost more

Challenger - You`ll wish You Hadn`t

Offline Cooter

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1207
  • There goes the lone Challenger............
    • christinecarclub.com
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2011 - 08:23:24 am »
Hor Rod mag forgot to tell everybody when they got 400 Plus HP out of that "Little 318", that it takes ALOT of camshaft to get that kind of power out of a naturally aspirated small block with almost as many cubic inches as Ford's inline 6. That being said, I think it's certainly doable with the 360. However, it all depends on how much cam you can live with on the street as to how much HP a small block makes naturally apirated. Of course, once Forced induction comes into play, all this goes out the window, but again, you mentioned money is a concern so a $6000 blower/Turbo set up isn't exactly what we are talking bout here.

Myself? I'd build my own engine. I don't trust "Crate motors", because of the Lack of care in assembling "Production line" engines. I like my sh*t to be built for me and only me.

Start with a good .030 overbore just to clean and straighten the cylinders for a good ring seal.
I'd stay away from Hypereutectic pistons myself, but understand if the compression ratios look appealing to you.
Get around 10.0:1 Compression at any rate.
Cam with something like .500 Lift and around 220-230 Duration @ .050
Eddy Dual plane intake (Air Gap)
650-750 Double pumper Holley.
MSD ignition and dump that problematic Chrysler sh*t. (Sooner or later, you'll be on here after buying a replacement box, asking WTF won't it run)
GOOD heads. I rec. a set of aluminum as by the time you invest ALOT of $$ into a set of iron heads, you coulda had aluminum.
Headers are a must
Maybe a stroker crank if you got the jack.
1958 plymouth Belvedere 2dr hd top "Christine" [OO)====V====(OO]
1969 dodge Charger "General Lee"         [___|______I______|___]                        
1968 Dodge Dart 2dr sedan 505" Stroker    (O]=0==========0=[O)                
1970 Challenger R/T Clone "Kowalski Special"   (OO) [___________] (OO)

Offline brads70

  • C-C.com Expert
  • ********
  • Posts: 18743
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2011 - 12:55:59 pm »
Personally, build your own engine.

Get the experience of doing it.  GAIN the knowledge of having it done RIGHT.  Screw up and learn from your mistakes.

Sure, you may save some money, but you know what's in it.

Play with the numbers to get an idea on what pistons to buy compression ratio all that jazz.

Send the block out.  Get it bored and get the deck height brought into "spec".  Send out the rotating assy for balancing.  Spend the money on good quality components that'll give you a bulletproof motor for plenty of miles.  You may find you'll be more than just a couple hundred ahead when you see the stuff you get in your rebuild vs. "theirs"

I agree, build your own! That way you get the satisfaction and experiance of building it and you will know it's done right and exactly whats inside. I'd look at stroker kits and aluminum heads as buy the time you redo the stock stuff your only spending a little more on the aftermarket stuff and have the potential for more power and still have it looking stock. :2cents:
Brad
1970 Challenger 451stroker/4L60 auto OD
Barrie,Ontario,Canada
Proud to own one of the best cars ever made!!!!!

My restoration thread 
http://www.cuda-challenger.com/cc/index.php?topic=59072.0
 My handling upgrade post
http://www.cuda-challenger.com/cc/index.php?topic=73985.0

Offline AARCUDADEN

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1693
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2012 - 09:51:47 pm »
I personally would build my own for two reasons, learning experience for one and two i would know for sure what i've got and know for sure its done right. I know the crate engines are a good bang for the buck but i feel they are also built quickly for resale and that concerns me. Me and nephew are going through the same exact thing as you are and thats trying to decide weather to build his own or go with a crate motor for his Comet. I want him to rebuild his own and had him all for it but everyone else tells him to buy a crate motor. What people don't realize is he don't have the kind of money to buy something already done. Good luck with whatever you decide to do  :wave:
Dennis,Ohio

Offline jimynick

  • Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 4009
Re: 360 Build VS. Crate Engine - possibilities
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2012 - 11:00:37 pm »
Chrysler sells a 380hp 360 crate for around $4000-4500. Having said that, Eagle sells a cast steel crank, forged piston, moly ring, wrist pins, forged 5140 rod, main and rod bearings kit for approx. $1100. You can also order it with a balancer and flex plate as well as balanced for about $200-300 more. RHS (Racing Head Service) makes a nice, better than 340 head, in iron OR aluminum that comes complete except for rockers, for under $1000 for the iron head. Maching will run approx. $500 if you shop it around. Don't let price be the only guide and ask questions of the shop. There's lots of good threads on here about cams and Chryco Psycho has made many good recommendations about cams and valve gear. Like the boys say, build it yourself and not only gain that knowledge, and save some money, but have the satisfaction of knowing how it all works and that YOU did it!  :2cents:  :thumbsup: