View Full Version : average cost to rebuild 350 short block


GM72_SuperSport
06-05-2010, 11:02:28 PM
I have a friend who recently blew his stock impala engine and I've never gotten an engine rebuilt and I wanted to know how much that usually goes for? Machine work and parts. Remember its a stock rebuild not a street performer. Thanks guys

AJ_72
06-06-2010, 12:35:22 AM
If you really want the basic of the basics, get a reman or a replacement crate engine. Comparatively speaking, you can't beat the warranty you get with most reman engines. Machine shop rates are not cheap.

Just for reference... 10 yrs ago I had a block bored .030" over and the crank ground down .010" on the mains and rod journals. The block was "checked over" after being power blasted (flat decks, reinstall cam bearings and plug all the holes after the overbore). But other than those things, it cost me ~$500. That's not including the parts I bought, but have yet to assemble (pistons, rings, bearings, gaskets, fuel pump, oil pump, etc.). Plus the heads haven't been tended to, yet.

The parts alone (in a basic rebuild kit) were ~$450. If I could do it over again, I'd just flop down the money for a rebuilt or replacement engine.

cmonson
06-06-2010, 11:59:48 AM
for a stock replacement motor, you can buy a crate for $1500 or even less:

http://www.jegs.com/i/GM+Performance/809/10067353/10002/-1

Depending on what is involved it is often cheaper to go crate. If you are only doing a basic re-bearing / ring job / valve job, you may consider a rebuild. That said, you won't get a warranty on your own rebuild...

cmonson
06-06-2010, 12:00:56 PM
also, consider buying a used motor if this is just a DD. You ca probably hunt down a used basic engine for $500.

muscl car
06-06-2010, 03:37:27 PM
averages out to about $1k per 100hp

Knuckle Dragger
06-06-2010, 09:47:19 PM
averages out to about $1k per 100hp

You need to shop around if that's what you pay.

Todd80Z28
06-06-2010, 11:49:43 PM
I'm stewing on this now, looking for a low-budget way to stop the "Gulf oil spill" that is my rear main seal leak.:)

Overall, it looks like a typical replacement short block will be within $200 of very BASIC machine work. You can get a new GM 350 (L31) one piece short block from sdparts.com for $1200. Ebay has several in the $1600-$1800 range with new crank/rods/pistons. I don't think I'll save much getting new pistons stuffed into my factory 1980 setup.

mrvedit
06-07-2010, 12:04:38 AM
I have a friend who recently blew his stock impala engine and I've never gotten an engine rebuilt and I wanted to know how much that usually goes for? Machine work and parts. Remember its a stock rebuild not a street performer. Thanks guys

I agree with AJ_72 - think "Crate motor" or a used engine on Craigslist. A re-build kit is $500, another $500 for machine shop work and then labor/time to rebuild it. If the engine was "blown" then you also need to replace any broken parts; it is very possible that the block was damaged beyond repair.

Cardinal
06-07-2010, 12:10:37 AM
When you say your friend "blew up the motor in his Impala", explain what "blew up" means: spun a bearing? timing chain blew which wiped out the valves/heads? or a DEAD engine = connecting rod(s) hanging out the block?

If it's the last senario (rod hanging out the block) you now have to find a replacement short block or complete engine to rebuild which adds to the cost of the rebuild. IF you were lucky enough to find a plain jane 350 SBC that needs to be re-ringed, new bearings, no crank work, then a engine rebuild kit from Northern Auto Parts + the "new" engine would cost under $500 + the cost of freshening up the heads. The short block would need to be in great shape (not boring required) to keep it that inexpensive.

IF the "new" engine needed to be bored that would cost around $150 for eight holes. BUT the machine shop will want to have a clean block to work with ($100 including installing new cam bearings and frost plugs) + about another $100 to hang the new piston onto the old rods. A GOOD machine shop will want to recondition the old rods by magnifluxing, shot peening, resizeing, and new high strength rod bolts which would cost around $150. Plus they'd probably want to measure the crank which would probably lead to them turning the crank for around another $150. All of the above numbers may be high or may be low depending on the machine shop's prices. ASSUMING that I'm not to far off on the prices, it is going to cost somewhere around $1000 (machine work + rebuild kit but probably not including the cost of the replacement engine).

Realistcly, buying a basic Targetmaster is more cost effective if you don't have an enigne to rebuild and the Targetmaster has a warranty (which USUALLY a machine shop won't guarantee an engine that they rebuild).

KansasTwister
06-07-2010, 12:18:38 AM
im looking into the gm zz4 350 shortblock for my build, the lt1 block didnt work out sadly. Plus 11:1 on todays gas would have made the car udnesirable to drive on the street.

Camaroz
06-07-2010, 12:22:07 AM
Ive gotten away with a basic rebuild kit... rings, bearings, gaskets that sort of thing. Generally about $250 ish for parts; but if you want it done right get the machine work done and get the matching parts (ie bearings for the crank if it is turned to say 10-10, or 10-20 etc.) My rebuild I had the machine work done... $500 for the block, crank, cam bearings, freeze plugs, and rods reconditioned with new bolts. The rebuild kit, including pistons, performance cam, everything for the short block was $350, and I got a super deal on some good heads for $150, but I was also quoted $450 to have the machine work done on the original set.

you will first want to tear this motor down and verify what "blew" and make sure that the damage is worth repairing.

The 350 is probably the most plentiful motor available, so you have many directions you can go, if you rebuild what you got then you will know what you got, I would buy a basic long block crate motor before going to the local "shucks" and buy one of their POS rebuilds. Last long block crate motor cost around $1500 from the dealer, not sure what they are now since that was many years ago.

Aceshigh
06-07-2010, 12:41:57 AM
If you really want the basic of the basics, get a reman or a replacement crate engine. Comparatively speaking, you can't beat the warranty you get with most reman engines.

That's the route I'd go.
Or a Junkyard.

Father in Law just put a junker motor in the wife's 1997 Altima after the old one peter'd out after 230,000 miles.
I think it cost him $800.....and he's 64 years old. Did it himself. Guys tough.......and a HUUUUGE gun enthusiast.
We get along very well.

Lifeguard
06-07-2012, 11:23:46 AM
I just had what I thought was the end of the gasket of my L6's oil pan but seems to have been a loosened oil filter. It had me considering having a small block engine handy to swap out when my numbers matching daily driver will need the L6 rebuild but keep it running. Does anyone know a good source for remanufactured 350s in Northern Illinois? Hot Rod Magazine picked up a $520 shortblock from Coast Motor Supply in CA for their 391hp build (and reported that the supplier would have thrown in flat tops for no extra cost):

http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/engine/hrdp_0905_small_block_chevy_build/viewall.html

I think this is probably the best place to start on the cheap for those like me without a core, or just need a replacement for their worn out shortblock. Otherwise like Hot Rod mentioned in the article, a Goodwrench 350 might be a cheap basis for a builder after swapping out the cam and heads.

SG71SS
06-07-2012, 11:43:24 AM
I have a friend who recently blew his stock impala engine and I've never gotten an engine rebuilt and I wanted to know how much that usually goes for? Machine work and parts. Remember its a stock rebuild not a street performer. Thanks guys

I paid just over $1K to have the original numbers matching motor rebuilt on my71SS. Bone stock rebuild. Where in Calif are you? I had it done at Team-C in Bellflower. Overall I'm very happy with the rebuild.

SavingTheBird76
06-07-2012, 12:51:52 PM
Building most engines run the same amount,but it depends on the overall machining bill.
Most guys building a motor chose the largest available...more cubes = more horsepower.
Costs the same to bore a 454 as a 350 etc.
Crate motors are a good deal at $1500 for a 350..,just don't expect them to last 100,000 miles.

5spd540
06-07-2012, 01:12:33 PM
averages out to about $1k per 100hp
I would say that is about right

Lifeguard
06-07-2012, 01:19:50 PM
I paid just over $1K to have the original numbers matching motor rebuilt on my71SS. Bone stock rebuild. Where in Calif are you? I had it done at Team-C in Bellflower. Overall I'm very happy with the rebuild.

Sorry, the short block in the Hot Rod article came from CA. I'm in northern Illinois, so I was looking for a similar source and price for a short block without a core to the one from Coast Engine Supply, in my area.

Rich Schmidt
06-07-2012, 01:43:57 PM
You have to be careful with some of the too good to be true deals. I have seen machine shops hone a well work block to WAY over spec,then knurl the piston skits on any of the loose cylinders. Same for valve guides. Either one is a 10,000 mile fix. Used oil pumps and reusing the lifters if the cam is good ect. If a machine shop is selling reman short blocks for under $800 I doubt you getting anything decent.

Lifeguard
06-07-2012, 01:52:36 PM
You have to be careful with some of the too good to be true deals. I have seen machine shops hone a well work block to WAY over spec,then knurl the piston skits on any of the loose cylinders. Same for valve guides. Either one is a 10,000 mile fix. Used oil pumps and reusing the lifters if the cam is good ect. If a machine shop is selling reman short blocks for under $800 I doubt you getting anything decent.

I know, that's why I'm asking if anyone knows a good reputable source in my area in Northern Illinois. Hot Rod seemed to be confident of the remanufactured block from Coast Engine Supply. And at $560 for a 2-bolt, early block, cast crank, assembled and with cast flat tops thrown in; it sounds like a cheaper way to go than a GM Goodwrench crate (when you add oil pump, rocker arms, timing chain, oil pan and timing cover with gaskets and bolts to the cost; which would be on the Goodwrench). I'm trying to budget for what would be the basis of a cheap street 350 build to swap out with my L6.

AJ_72
06-07-2012, 02:02:20 PM
To find a good source in northern IL, you'd be better off asking this question at www.chitownracing.com

You have to register there (obviously), but it can take a few days to get your membership approved. They're very thorough about who they let join. Or at least they used to be, and that was back in 2007 when I joined.

Lifeguard
06-07-2012, 04:33:19 PM
To find a good source in northern IL, you'd be better off asking this question at www.chitownracing.com

You have to register there (obviously), but it can take a few days to get your membership approved. They're very thorough about who they let join. Or at least they used to be, and that was back in 2007 when I joined.

Thanks I'll give that a try.

KEVS79
06-07-2012, 11:10:10 PM
I just bought a 350 short block off Craigslist. Paid 50.00 for it. I ended up needed a crankshaft, but the pistons and cylinders were in good shape. I honed it, re-ringed it, new bearings, new fuel pump, cam and lifters, gaskets and timing set. I have about 300.00 in it plus the short block, so 350.00 total. I think I got a pretty good deal on the block though since most you see around here on CL are asking 250.00 or so.
I got all my parts through Advance Auto Parts online. If you plan your moves and use the online coupons avail you can easily get 30-40% off.
The thing that kills the budget is if you have to get it bored out and new pistons. By the time you do all the machine work and parts you might as well go with GMPP short block through Summit or Jegs....1500.00.

81Dave
06-07-2012, 11:36:17 PM
I don't know if they are anywhere else but in San Antonio there is a company called city motor supply, if you have a core you can bring it in and get a rebuilt long lock for around 800 bucks, short block around 425. They are a mass production shop but you can walk in pick from multiple rebuilds laying around and walk out with it that day. I would guess any big city has something similar.

I bought a short block from them changed the cam put a set of used vortecs and had a really fun motor for a thousand bucks and finished the whole Process from spun main bearing on a Friday to back on the road on Sunday afternoon.

Dave