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Discussion Starter #1
Was wondering about the quality of the crank kits from the chain stores. I`m looking for opinions on whether to purchase one or just get my original re-ground. Auto Zone has them for $ 200.00 bucks. What would an approx. cost be for having it turned & fit with matching bearings?
Thanks,
 

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I love autozone as much as the next person,but when it comes to things like this I would spend the money and get a quality crank.Check your local machine shop they might have one that somebody never picked up or something.Also check summitt they are pretty reasonable on engine rebuild parts.
 

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Gene,
As long as your crankshaft is regrindable, I would most definitely go that route. Most of the crank kit cranks are done on a production line type basis and they vary all over the place as far as size and stroke goes. A lot of them started out with spun bearings and have been welded up etc. The only thing is, make sure you get a good recommendation on someone to grind your crankshaft, there are guys that do it correctly, and some that really dont seem to care :( In this area, magnafluxing and regrinding is running in the $160 range. Bearings will be another $70 or so. Not that much more than the crank kits.
 

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What's wrong with the crank you have? Does it need turned (i.e. spun bearing) or just polished? If it's std and just needs polished, I'd get it polished and a set of slightly undersized bearings. For $200 there was a speed shop selling "NOS 6223 Forged" 396 cranks and the price included the shipping. A buddy of mine bought two of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The crank had a spun bearing.The bearing was replaced with nothing being done to the crank. Then it sat & was never re-fired... I bought it from a co-worker who had lost interest in it for $200.00. The motor had approx.8000 miles on it since the rebuild. Anyway, the crank has scoring on one of the main journals & I`m not willing to roll the dice with out replacing or re-grinding.
 

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Gene,
you are not going to want to hear this but ... if it actually "spun" a bearing, meaning that the bearing moved in the connecting rod, then you need to replace the rod .. period. Also, metal from the spun bearing is probably everywhere in the engine. So you had better figure on tearing the entire engine down for a go through.
 

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you can get good new cast steel cranks for only a little bit more than the cost of grinding your 35 year old cast iron piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bill, I do plan on tearing everything down for cleaning & inspection. I`ll also replace the oil pump & pickup as well as the cam & lifters... What should I be looking for on the connecting rod? novaderrik,who has the new 396 / 427 cranks?? All I see in 454 & larger...
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well, i'm sure someone makes a 396 crank- they just don't get listed in Summit or Jeg's.
 

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Gene,
If the bearing spun in the rod, you should be able to tell by looking but the best thing to do is take the rod to your machine shop and have them bolt it together and check it on a rod gauge.
 

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This sounds exactly like the 396 i picked up last summer. the guy I got it from pulled it from his camaro before he ever saw it run. when I tore into it I found a spun bearing on the number 8 rod. I couldn't find a core around town,the crank was already 20-20 and beyond repair but checker auto took it as a trade in and ordered a $150 crank kit for me. then they lost the order and reordered from their other supplier whichh they ate the difference in price, the second one was almost $300 and I got it in 2 days and it's only been ground down 10-10. I had the rod resized, now I just have to get around to put it back together. Jim
 

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I hate to say this but you can get up to .100" undersized bearings for BB cranks somewhere AND they are fine!! Don't fall for that old, "they don't make them that small an undersized" crap...

If a 350 SB crank can run 9,000rpm with a 1.8" dia Honda rod, I figure a .100" under BB crank running 6,000rpm is fine, imho!! Even a cast crank too!!

And if anybody is interested, I have an old rusty forged 396 crank that would probably have to have heli-coils put in the flange, but I bet it would clean up nice.

pdq67
 

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I believe Howards Racing or Competition Products sells forged 396/427 cranks for around $300-400. They are GM cranks and they are brand new. It is worth checking out.
 

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You can also check Callies Performance, Fostoria, OH. They have everything you'll need.
 
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