Crate Engine Recommendations - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 27th, 01, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hi All,

I'm looking for recommendations on custom crate engine manufactures. I'm trying to put together a 383 stroker for less than $3000 that will put me above the 400hp mark. I have checked out the following sites and the speedomotive 383 Street Master Engine looks really good.
www.amerspeed.com www.beckracingengines.com www.allchevyengines.com www.mp-auto.com www.speedomotive.com

My other option is to order a kit and pay to have a machine shop put it together using a block out of a 77 camaro. I'm a little weary of this one as I could forsee the labor and the extra cost of parts not included in the kits putting me over my spending limit.

Has anyone ordered any crate engines from the sites listed above? Were your experiences good or bad? Would I be better off finding a quality machine shop to build the engine using a kit? What would you recommend?

Thanks in advance,
Steve
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 04:32 AM
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John
 
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I have heard good things about American Speed, but they are expensive and you won't be able to get an engine there on a $3000 budget. I too have been looking at All Chevy Engines and they seem to have the best prices for the best packages all around (just my opinion). I like that they use forged rods and things of that nature. Beck has good packages, but they are also expensive and I think you can get more engine for your money somewhere else.

Balboni was telling me about a guy who runs a shop that makes engines and sells them on Ebay. His username is [email protected] (you can search for his auctions) I checked out his stuff and have contacted him and he has very good prices on what appear to be good combinations. He is located in West Virginia and sells 5 or 6 engines a week on Ebay.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 05:25 AM
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I've heard nothing but positives about AllChevy Engines. I have had problems and have heard NUMEROUS complaints about Speedomotive; you can use their parts but don't let them do any of the machine work or assembly. If you want an assembled engine look elsewhere. I've also heard a few negatives recently about Beck's, which surprised me.

Jody
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 07:44 AM
 
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Ever consider a Goodwrench crate engine???
The complete long block is about $1300
I have a Goodwrench 350 in my 69.
I started off with a stock Goodwrench 350 then after about 20,000 miles I replaced the cam with a CompCams 275 DEH cam kit (lifters and cam.
Last year CHEVY HIGH PERFORMANCE did a series of modifications to a Basically stock Goodwrech 350, they built it up in stages.
Well lets cut to the chase, they got 408 horses. The key was the VORTEC heads
I have about 60,000 miles on the engine and have never had any problems... I see 6500 RPM all the time and It never skips a beat.

Here is a Cost breakdown

$1300 Goodwrench engine
$ 250 Camshaft and lifters
$ 80 Matching Valve springs
$ 400 Vortec Heads
$ 150 Edelbrock intake (vortec heads)
$ 65 Felpro steel shim Head Gaskets (.015)
$ 100 Centerbolt valve covers
$ 100 (estimated) miscelleaneous parts
$2445 TOTAL....

or it may be cheaper to by the engine with the vortec heads already on it I think it is $2300, but it makes 330 horses which isn't what you wanted.

any other questions let me know



------------------
1969 Camaro RS/SS
350 Goodwrench Vortec Heads
E.T. [email protected] no posi
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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69CamaroRS/SS: Did you do the work yourself or did you have a shop do it for you? If you had a shop do it how much did labor run?

Thanks everyone for your advice I really appreciate it,
Steve
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 10:34 AM
 
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I did all the work myself.
P.S. it is much easier to do all the mods to the engine before you put it in the car.

I put the engine in first, then I decided that I needed more power.... you know the rest..... Its like an addiction!!!



------------------
1969 Camaro RS/SS
350 Goodwrench Vortec Heads
E.T. [email protected] no posi
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 01:47 PM
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S_Snitily
I couldn't refuse this one. About a year ago I decided to put the fourth motor in my '67 Camaro. I've used many reputable machine shops in my area but still wasn't happy with the workmanship and overall power output of the motors, so I called American Speed thinking they were one of the best. I ordered their 525 hp motor. After I upgraded the connecting rods and ordered a flywheel and a few other small items, the price soared to about $6500. I gave them my distributor and Demon 750 to dyno the motor. I finally received the motor, dropped it in the Camaro, and as soon as I started the thing, there's oil flowing out of the galley plug under the driver side head. Now, anyone that has ever built a small block Chevy knows that once the head is on the block only half of the bore that this plug sits in is exposed and can't be tightened up unless the head is removed. I'M PISSED!!!!!! I call Gale the next day, and my options are "send it back" or "fix it myself". No way am I pulling it out again and re-crating it, so he sends me all the gaskets, etc. to do myself. I'M PISSED!!!!! At that point, nothing could really satisfy me. I'M STILL PISSED!!!!! After disassembly, all looked well and everything went back together okay. On the brighter side, the motor runs real strong. It was just very disappointing because the whole intention was to reduce the amount of my labor in getting the car back together. Maybe this was just a flukey situation. Overall, though, I'm very happy with the motor despite the ordeal. I'm not sure if you are going to be able to purchase a 400 hp motor for $3000 from him. Just my story--Good Luck!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I figure they would have cought the oil leak during the dyno. Did you get the results they advertised from the dyno? - Steve
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 03:08 PM
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You beat me to it...they COULDN'T have dynoed it!!!!! At least not without noticing the HUGE oil leak.

Did they claim to run it at all? I'd be curious how. If they did the plug couldn't have been missing. If they didn't and you paid for it they owe you some money. Or they ran it and had a problem that required a complete tear-down, they forgot the plug on the re-assembly, and didn't say anything to you about it.

Jody
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Feb 28th, 01, 03:38 PM
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Steve,
Gale was very surprised, because he personally checks the motors after they're run. The motor was definitely dynoed, 525hp and 528ftlbs of torque. He sent me all the documentation. It pulls hard.
I've heard some mixed reviews about GM, although it might be a good start to build on. A friend had a loose main bearing cap on a short block. Just check everything out thoroughly. 69camaroRS/SS has a good idea, sounds cost effective. Don't forget--these motors make a lot of power through their lungs, so a good cam and head combination is essential.
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