Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 15, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

Not sure if this is the correct place for this question so moderators please relocate it if it belongs elsewhere.

While at my first cruise night of the season, I had a gentleman approach me and ask if I had any interest in purchasing a 302 short-block he's had sitting for sometime. He told me all the machine work has been done, claims it has the original 302 crank, rods which he said were resized, block bored .030" over, new forged pistons and a new 30/30 cam shaft. No stampings on block as it was decked. He doesn't have the heads or intake, just the un-assembled short block. He claimed the block was an early 69 casting.

My 69 Z/28 with a 01A build date has the original numbers matching M21 transmission and correct coded rear differential, but the original 302 is long gone and it now has a very fun 406 in it which I enjoy and have no plans to replace. So I'm wondering if I should consider purchasing this short block to put in the corner to go with my car some day. Though it would not be the original numbers matching engine, if it is date correct, would it add enough additional value to my car if/when my car is sold someday to justify the expense of purchasing and assembling it?

I took his name and phone number and told him I'd think on it and possibly call him and schedule a time to go and look at what he has. Before I spend any time or effort doing so, I wanted to get a sense from the forum members if I should bother to proceed further. He wants $1,500.00 for what he has. If the consensus is that it would be worth my while to check it out, I'd go and get good photographs of what he has and then post them here for all of you to verify if it really is what he claims it to be.

So there it is, thanks in advance for input on this?

69 Camaro Z/28 RS, original Azure Turquoise, M21 & 3.73 12-bolt posi. NOM 406ci, AFR 210 heads, Straub hyd. roller cam & Dynatech 1-3/4" > 1-7/8" headers, QuickFuel 750 Annular. Photos at:
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 15, 09:08 PM
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

If you do r want it I'll take it and pay the shipping.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 15, 11:24 PM
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

If the block is decked, it's just another 4" bore block IMHO, albeit (possibly) with a suitable date code. An original 1178 crank if std-std or only lightly turned could be worth maybe $800 or thereabouts, 8 pink rods (if that's what they are) maybe $150-250 for the set, non-original pistons and camshaft probably won't add anything, just initial cost.
Even if the value of the parts meets or exceeds the asking price, as you don't plan to flip them, I doubt if they would add $1500 to the perceived value of your car; others may disagree!

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 15, 04:20 AM
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

The VIN would still be on the block by the oil filter.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 15, 05:12 AM
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

I agree with Tim. The real value lies in the stampings, which have been decked off. If you are happy with your 406, I think I'd pass. It may be nothing more than a 327 or 350 block with the 302 guts in it. Still worth a little bit if the internals are really 302 parts, but I don't think you've ever get your money back out of it.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 15, 07:13 AM
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

If you bought it based upon his claims would you disassemble it to verify every part was date coded and correct. Probably not. Matter of fact with a 302 decal on the air cleaner you will find a buyer for your numbers matching date code correct Z/28 even with the 406 in it. He won't be any more inclined to take it apart than you would be.

Considering the number of big block powered Z/28 Camaros I see at car shows I would consider your 406 powered Z a contribution to pushing forward peoples appreciation of the hobby.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 15, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

Well thank you to each of you that have replied thus far, I'm still hoping others will chime in if they have something to add.

John Vega$69 sounded like he was interested in it but I think he had a typo in his reply so I can't be sure?

Tim your reply is pretty much inline with what my thoughts were when I posted the question. I'd have to counter offer and get it for much less than $1,500.00 if it were to be a worthwhile endeavor. I'm thinking the guy that offered to sell it to me is trying to get his machine work expenses out of it plus a little extra spending money...

Everett's mention of the VIN possibly being on the block by the oil filter is a maybe (not sure what year that started, and if it was on all blocks) and if it is there, they can be very hard to read and I'm not sure it would have the rest of the block ID with the DZ code? If no DZ code it doesn't really prove it's a true 302 block or am I missing something?

Brian what you wrote is also pretty much where I was at when I posted the question, it could be any of those other blocks posing as a 302 and I'd still have to verify the crank and rods were real.

Dave, your points are all valid but this short-block is already disassembled so it should be easy to photograph the parts and then check to make sure they are correct before purchasing. And I would think anyone looking at my car to purchase at some point many, many years down the road when I can no longer drive would be educated enough to recognize a 406 block from the other small blocks and I would not try to fool a perspective buyer into thinking they were buying something they were not. Like you Dave I consider my 406 to be a great upgrade for my car and would think most other enthusiasts of the hobby that own a classic car like mine that want to drive it so others can enjoy it would feel the same. If they don't, they should be looking at a different 69 I guess

Even if everything checked out and I could get it for less then he is asking (which I probably could, but no idea how much less), I'd still need to find and purchase correct heads, intake, and all the other accessories and brackets and that would cost far, far more. Right now I'm not feeling it would be a good investment of my time to even check it out, but I'll continue to think on it and wait for other TC replies, all of which I greatly value.

69 Camaro Z/28 RS, original Azure Turquoise, M21 & 3.73 12-bolt posi. NOM 406ci, AFR 210 heads, Straub hyd. roller cam & Dynatech 1-3/4" > 1-7/8" headers, QuickFuel 750 Annular. Photos at:
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 15, 07:54 AM
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

My views are thus:
1) IF you wanted a 302 in your car, it seems that the $1500 is a fair price (given original crank, rods-reconditioned, new pistons, cam etc).. sometimes 1178 cranks are worth almost that, and forged pistons run close to half that amount... BUT
2) You've said that you *love* your 406... and the 302 is drastically different in behavior than a long stroke 400 motor! You'd probably NOT be happy with the 302, AND it's still not original to your car...

So it seems to me that you are only interested in the 302 IF you can buy it cheaply enough to resell it at a profit???.. or ??

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 15, 07:59 AM
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

Anything other than the motor that was originally installed in the car and is identifiable as such is just another non-original motor in my opinion. I would pass. Without the deck stamping it's not even identifiable as a 302. The crankshaft will have some value


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 15, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

I agree with the consensus and plan to pass, thanks for the input everyone. Tonight I went to my second cruise night of the season, different town, different cars, different people present and it happened all over again but with a different person and a different offering!

A guy comes up to me and tells me he has a complete 69 DZ 302 that came out of a running car, has the carburetor, distributor, brackets, etc claims everything is there. He's looking for $10,000.00 for it (I'm not interested as it's not my matching VIN due to how much later the car was built) but I told him he should go to the CRG site and put it out in the orphans section and maybe it can be reunited with it's original car, if by chance that car still exists.

How weird is that, two nights in a row, are the planets in some special alignment right now or what!

69 Camaro Z/28 RS, original Azure Turquoise, M21 & 3.73 12-bolt posi. NOM 406ci, AFR 210 heads, Straub hyd. roller cam & Dynatech 1-3/4" > 1-7/8" headers, QuickFuel 750 Annular. Photos at:
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 15, 03:37 AM
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

Maybe you should turn the table on these guys and start offering to sell them your car "at the right price" to match their engines? I am sure that would get some interesting responses.

Phil


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 15, 03:40 PM
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Re: Should I consider the purchase of a 302 shortblock?

You can build your own for $1500 and know exactly what you have.

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