How reliable are Rebuilt / Remanufactured engines? - Team Camaro Tech
Engine General Engine Discussion.

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 02, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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How many people in here have bought a rebuilt or remanufactured 350ci engine from either Pep Boys or Autozone before? If so, How reliable are they and what are your recommendations for it. I am still shopping around for another engine for my 68 and I want to make the BEST choice possible, Whetever engine I buy will be the one that I will be stuck with for a very long time, so I'm trying my very best to avoid as many mistakes as possible..Please assist..Thanks
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 02, 04:16 PM
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I myself have seen too many bad posts about those autozone specials to ever risk it on one. You sound like you want something very reliable. My advice would be to stay away from those and spend the extra $$$ for quality, even if you have to wait longer to save up.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 02, 04:23 PM
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Many years ago I bought a short block from RHS as the price was better than doing the work myself even without a core and even including shipping. I assembled the engine and broke it in according to the instructions and then it was time to see what she would do. I ran her up through the gears and it just screamed. I was thrilled! Then when I was slowing down I noticed it was missing badly. I limped it home and pulled the plugs. One had anti-freeze green on it. The kiss of death!

I pulled the heads and saw the cylinder wall scored in one cylinder. I sent the short block back and they returned it back to me ready to run as it was covered under warranty. It had apparently tossed a wrist pin. The shipping was refunded as well as an additional $100 to cover the labor. Not the best experience you could have but nice to know some people will stand behind their work. They are not in business anymore or I would still consider buying from them.

Keep this experience in mind when selecting your crate engine vendor. They are not all the same and price alone is not the best way to decide.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 02, 05:14 PM
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The only experience I've had was a friend decided to buy one for his truck from Shucks/Kragen. I was stabbing the motor in for him. We picked it up and it was sitting on a wooded crate wrapped in plastic. I noticed the pallet was broked up on one side but dismissed it and we loaded it my truck and to the shop we went. Got it on the engine stand, not really paying to much attention to it doing other prep work.
When it was time to put on the oil pan I was having a hard time with the rear gasket. Upon further inspection, the rear main bearing cap was cracked, tweaked pretty good. Wow. I then rolled it over to look at the rockers & push rods closely. Oh My! This motor had been dropped during shipment and I mean dropped hard.
They made it good with a replacement and Shucks kicked us down some goodies for the hassle, like a case of oil & some oil absorbent stuff. It ran fine after we got a good one. I don't know the longevity of it because he sold the truck about 6 months later.
If your low on funds it may be your best option. And I mean low on funds. It's the only way I would go that route, but that's just me.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 02, 06:03 AM
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Hello Garfield,

I asked the same question myself a few months back, as the cost to get an Autozone shortblock is less than building it yourself.

As with you, the others here quickly talked me out of that idea because of all the horror stories about poor quality workmanship on these engines.

If I had the money, I would just order a 350HO crate motor. Since I don't have about 3k to spend, I'm going to just re-build my original 327 with a few good quality hi-po parts like Vortec heads,cam,headers,etc.

Let us know what you decide to do.

Mark P.

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[This message has been edited by Granny's 69 (edited 09-04-2002).]
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 02, 03:03 PM
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The Mr. Goodwrench is a decent new engine to start with. Heck, just run it until it's worn out and rebuild the core the way you want.

Plus, the guarantee is pretty good for the price. pdq67

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 02, 03:32 PM
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Call Ian at Engineworks down in Mattoon. (217)258-8383 He can probably build you a nice custom engine for a lot less than you think, and offer every bit as good a warranty. He used to work for me before he moved back to his wife's home town in Ill. He is one of the best machinists I have every known and a great guy to boot. I think he is about an hour and a half drive south of you.
Tell him I sent you...
Hope this helps,

Bill Koustenis
Advanced Automotive Machine
Waldorf Md
1971 Chevelle "Heavy Chevy" original owner
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 02, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks.. I'm gonna call him first thing in the morning

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 02, 04:49 AM
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Don't get an autozone engine. I have a an AC-Delco poster, and it says "If you're settling for a No-Name Engine, be sure you Buy Name-Brand Shoes." And it shows a guy walking and his car in the background with the hood open. AC-Delco offers a 12-month, 12,000 mile warranty parts and labor.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 02, 06:52 AM
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Jasper Engines offer a 3year 75,000 mile warrenty and also pays labor if there is a problem with the engine.

[This message has been edited by Mr. C (edited 09-05-2002).]
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 02, 08:39 AM
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The same outfit that builds 'em for Summit, builds 'em for pep boys and most others. I have had good luck with them. I have also had shipping damage ususally the result of the engine rolling over on the rockers during transit, Make sure to prime it well, these can sit on a shelf for quite some time

(nothing beats a custom machine shop for a custom engine though)

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 02, 01:14 PM
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I will tell you a story about people shipping stuff.

I had to ship a gunite machine to our own people on a job years ago and had a pinned metal shipping skid made just for such doings!!

Seems the guy's on the job were too lazy ta put the hold-down pins in place and the sucker literally "rolled" in transit coming back!!

I billed our Construction Office for like $2000 ta fix the sucker!! Was I pissed-off! pdq67

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 02, 10:16 AM
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Check out ARCE Enigines in your area for all your engine needs. Tell Dave or Raymond that Joe Harrison sent you. They will treat you right and do great work. As with anything everyone has some problems. they keep them toat a minimum and don't charge an arm and leg to things done. 619-448-1171. Pretty sure that the number I have not worked there for a few years. They advertise in your local Trader every week. Or they used to. You can find Dave most Sat nights racing at Elcajon Speedway.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 07:36 AM
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Get a Goodwrench 350 engine from your local Chevy dealership. For $1400.00, you get a great engine with a great warranty. I think Chevy High-Performance magazine did a build-up on this engine and dyno'd some really impressive numbers.
The only down-side is that once you modify the engine with new cams, etc, the warranty is void.
Either way, it's a good deal.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 02, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Just out of curiosity, what is the HP rating for this engine and at what RPM? The reason I ask is that I was looking at another chevy Hi-performance engine that cost quite a bit more. These are the specs:

cubic inches: 350 cubic inches
liters: 5.7 liters
horsepower: 330 Horsepower @ 500 RPM
compression ratio: 9.1 to 1
block: 4-bolt cast iron,
4.000" bore
crankshaft: Cast nodular,
3.480 stroke
head,chamber size: Vortec,cast iron,
64cc chamber
valve sizes (i/e): 1.940"/1.500"
camshaft lift(i/e): 0.435"/0.460" hydraulic cam duration (i/e): 212/222 degrees @0.050
warranty: 1-year/12,000 mile
limited warranty
Price$ 2495 "brand new"
You can read more about it at After reviewing all the info, tell me, do you think that its worth the money? As of now I was planning to place the order for it next month when I'll have all the money saved. Tell me what you think

Chasing a dream one bolt at a time
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