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Discussion Starter #1
I had a knock/tick that the shop has determined came from a bad lifter. The cam ate about 1/2 in off the bottom of it. They're now recommending a total rebuild because of not knowing where the metal went. The ballpark price had me ask how much a new crate engine would cost. I now have two estimates that are pretty close to each other and need to make a decision. I read through old threads here and am leaning toward a new crate 302 from either ATK or BluePrint. Budget is definitely a concern for me. The estimates come out basically 50% parts and 50% labor. The estimate was for ATK and I noticed that they were charging me $400 more that what I could have ordered it for myself. Is this a common practice? It seems shady to upcharge for parts and not tell the customer.

I really just wanted to pay someone to do this because I wanted to get it fixed quickly and for it to be done right. I have no engine knowledge but have replaced many external components (starters, water pumps, alternators, etc.) on my cars over the years. How difficult is it to swap everything that is not included on the long block? Once you get the old engine out of the car it doesn't seem that difficult. I would need help with the final stages (getting everything hooked back up, installing distributer, etc). I'm starting to seriously consider doing this myself. I do have access to tools and some technical help at the Auto Craft Center on base nearby.

Would this be a mistake?


These are the two I'm considering:


https://www.high-performance-engines.com/ford-302-base-engine-300hp-crate-engine-p/hp79.htm


https://blueprintengines.com/products/302-ci-crate-engine-small-block-ford-longblock-bp3024ct


I would appreciate any help that I could get comparing these two as well. I'm looking for a driver that has some power but nothing crazy. I would daily drive it for a couple of months in the spring/summer and have a pretty short commute. I like what I've read about both and they're pretty close in price once I pay the additional $200 for shipping from BluePrint. Thank you all in advance.
 

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One thing about BP, they are the only company that will pay shipping both ways if you should ever have a problem! All their engines are dyno tested before shipment and must be with in 3% or it doesn’t get shipped. Most of the time it makes more power then rated and a dyno sheet is supplied.
 

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Is the motor in your car original to the car? Is so, If it were me, I would work with what you have. Perhaps find a good used engine locally. If you can read the shop manual you can do the work on your motor yourself. There is also a book on rebuilding a SBF motor that will walk you through it. Perhaps one of the guys at the Auto Craft Shop work help you with it. I rebuilt my motor in 2010. The last motor I rebuilt was at least 30 years earlier. I tore it down, took the block top the machine shop and had then boil the block and did the machine work, bore the cylinders, install the cam bearings put the new pistons on the rods. I did all the reassembly using the rebuild book as a reference and one of the guys at shop at Patrick Air Force Base look at my work. You may just need to disassemble, clean the block up and reassemble what you have. In the mean time find a good used engine and put it in your car. That's what I did when I had to rebuild my original motor.

Food for thought. When you finish you can sell the used engine. That's what I did.
 

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Of the two, I like the Blue Print engine... better cam specs that will work with a larger variety of exhaust options, bigger valves, dynoed...


But first, you have to decide what you want to do. Pay someone? Do it yourself? Or, as mentioned above, is the engine in the car now original and you want to rebuild that one? Once you decide on a plan, the rest will fall into place. And yes, you can swap over the parts you need easy enough. It's all bolt on. If you aren't confident, pick up a 1966 Shop Manual and then ask specific questions here.
 

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It looks like the Blueprint Engines are being a bit more honest with their horsepower numbers, too.


It's possible that the ATK motor could be pulling down 300 horses, but with stock E7TE heads and a mild cam like that, I'm thinking their numbers are a bit inflated. You'd have to have some mighty good supporting hardware to really hit that.


But all of this is beside the point: My recommendation would be 'neither'. You could rebuild yours for a whole lot less. If you're still nervous about your motor, find a roller cam salvage yard engine with 100k miles or less for about $300. Then you could decide to use GT40P heads (if you chose your engine from a '98-2001 Explorer or Mountaineer), which would need new springs and a better cam. OR, you could get some aftermarket aluminum heads.


No matter how you look at this, doing a bit of work would get your car back on the road stronger than ever for maybe 1-2k, instead of 3-4k.


If there's a problem with the bottom end on the engine you chose (which would be rather surprising, unless it was really abused), most salvage yards will allow you to exchange with little or no fuss. You'd know right after getting the heads off. Most of these engines have a lot of life left in them.
 

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The estimate was for ATK and I noticed that they were charging me $400 more that what I could have ordered it for myself. Is this a common practice? It seems shady to upcharge for parts and not tell the customer.
A markup on parts is common in the business. Everything a shop puts on your car is likely marked up. That's a revenue stream for the shop.
 

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And seatbelt lifting strap included! Actually $280 which $100 was for the yard to pull the motor plus a $50 core charge. So the motor was actually $130. I paid $450 for my GT40P, sold off what I didn't want for $175. Net cost was $275.
 

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I bought a crate motor for my pickup and had a shop install it. They gave me a couple of prices, one for basic installation plus fluids. The other was for the "deluxe installation" that included fluids, filters, spark plug wires, plus some other similar stuff that I don't remember at the moment. It was around $120 upcharge. For me, I was in it so deep I just told them to hit me with the deluxe so that I don't have to dink around with those minor items should I have had warranty concerns.

Perhaps that explains the why you're seeing a charge higher than you were quoted. It's all of those "extras" like shop towels that add up! :grin:
 

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Summit (and probably Jegs) offer commercial businesses a discount over your price. So the actual mark-up is greater than $400.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all very much for your input. I'm laying out my options.


One of the things I like about going with the crate option is that it comes with a roller cam set up so that I wouldn't have to worry about changing that over. My thinking is that this would be more durable/reliable and would prevent what got me to where I am now with the current issue. I would be able to use regular oil with less worry. Is my thinking correct on this?


If I go with a crate I'm leaning BP. Reading other posts I learned about their warrantee, dyno & shipping policies which are a big plus for me. I really need to have confidence in the company and the product. About confidence, the estimates I received from the local shop are pretty close to each other. I'm looking at $2300 labor if I go with the crate option. That sounds like a lot of money to pull the engine, switch parts and drop it back in. That and their sudden silence when I asked if they were upcharging me for the crate engine has left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm going to go talk to them face to face to clear some things up including how much I will have to pay them to put it all back together so I can do it myself.


Your guy's questions about the current engine have me thinking about other options. I hadn't thought about finding a cheap engine to throw in while I rebuild or to try to sell the current engine to recoup some of the money. Thanks so much for that. I'll be reaching out to the technician at the base auto shop to make sure he has all the tools I'll need. Does anyone know where and how much it should cost to rent a cherry picker? Is an engine stand necessary or can I bolt all the parts on with it on the picker safely? At the end of the day I think the more work I do on this myself the happier I will be. This is not the only thing that needs fixing on the car so saving as much money will go a long way. I feel like I should be able to save at least $1000 - $1500 for other projects that need done.


Also, this should give me something to do with my grandson who needs to learn about getting his hands dirty. Last year I took him fishing and he wouldn't touch a worm because it was icky.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Another thing I forgot to ask earlier. The car has a C4 and the original basic gears in the rear. Will this setup be able to handle the 300 HP in these engines? I'm not a street racer but I do like to get from 0 - 50 as quick as I can occasionally.
 

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FYI GT40P 5.0's are a roller cam engine. You don't "NEED" to swap heads or valve spring for that matter. I swapped heads because I JUST installed a set of Stainless Tri Y's and didn't want to start over. As for valve spring You can run the Explorer cam and springs but they fall on their face at a pretty low RPM
 

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Yes, your trans and rear are fine, not to say the trans won't fail of its own accord. And yes, shops generally add 10-20% for a part they order for their time, effort and risk of getting the wrong thing.

You should googlie for engine rebuilders near you. Not just a shop that can rebuild one but a place that does some volume might get you a semi-cutom build using your block and heads for a good price and little time lost.
Are you near Chesapeake? https://www.barnettesengines.com/allaboutbarnettes
Look at some pawn shops to buy a lift then sell it back to them when done will beat a rental price.
If price and specs are similar I'd pick whichever was close to local for core or warranty returns, even check out Autozone or the other big retailers.
 

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Thank you all very much for your input. I'm laying out my options.


One of the things I like about going with the crate option is that it comes with a roller cam set up so that I wouldn't have to worry about changing that over. My thinking is that this would be more durable/reliable and would prevent what got me to where I am now with the current issue. I would be able to use regular oil with less worry. Is my thinking correct on this?


If I go with a crate I'm leaning BP. Reading other posts I learned about their warrantee, dyno & shipping policies which are a big plus for me. I really need to have confidence in the company and the product. About confidence, the estimates I received from the local shop are pretty close to each other. I'm looking at $2300 labor if I go with the crate option. That sounds like a lot of money to pull the engine, switch parts and drop it back in. That and their sudden silence when I asked if they were upcharging me for the crate engine has left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm going to go talk to them face to face to clear some things up including how much I will have to pay them to put it all back together so I can do it myself.


Your guy's questions about the current engine have me thinking about other options. I hadn't thought about finding a cheap engine to throw in while I rebuild or to try to sell the current engine to recoup some of the money. Thanks so much for that. I'll be reaching out to the technician at the base auto shop to make sure he has all the tools I'll need. Does anyone know where and how much it should cost to rent a cherry picker? Is an engine stand necessary or can I bolt all the parts on with it on the picker safely? At the end of the day I think the more work I do on this myself the happier I will be. This is not the only thing that needs fixing on the car so saving as much money will go a long way. I feel like I should be able to save at least $1000 - $1500 for other projects that need done.


Also, this should give me something to do with my grandson who needs to learn about getting his hands dirty. Last year I took him fishing and he wouldn't touch a worm because it was icky.
I wouldn't worry about the base not having all the tools you need to do the job. I used to live in the DC area and have used Ft Myer, Bolling AFB, Ft Belvior and Andrews AFB and each has had all the tools I needed to pull an engine. I'm confident Quantico's shop has it all as well. They had engine stands to bolt the engine to while reassembling it, torque wrenches, et al.
 

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ATK engines have good reviews on Summits website.

Im considering the ATK 235hp 302 that is complete from carb to pan for around the same money you are looking at spending for the 300hp long block.

I figure my bone stock C-code 289 is putting down 125-ish at the wheels so 235hp should be a 75hp bump at the wheels. Thats a 60% power increase.
 

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Is an engine stand necessary or can I bolt all the parts on with it on the picker safely?
Pretty hard to bolt and torque stuff while the block swings around. I bought a stand from Harbor Freight for my build......I think it was maybe $65 and sold it for $45 after my build. IMO, get a stand. I borrowed a cherry picker and gave a buddy a bottle of rum for it but they are out there to rent also if you don't have a friend.
 

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I would avoid ATK and Blueprint. They have Summit/Jegs/Speedway slinging their engines now. Plus, at least in the case of ATK, they do engines for tons of different vehicles, not just American V8s. They both seem like volume shops, not quality shops. Search the internet and decide if it's worth rolling the dice to be one of the satisfied customers or one of the ones who gets garbage. Because that's what you would be doing. These companies do not care which one you are because they sell enough engines that your individual experience does not matter. They're like Taco Bell. They can screw up 20% of their drive through orders and nobody even cares. Your screwed up engine is just a row in a column in Quickbooks to them.

And let me tell you something about engine warranties- the best one in the world SUCKS to actually use. Install your engine, have problems, pull it out, crate it up, send it back, repeat. How fun does that sound? I don't think there'd be a more devastating scenario than that. Even if you built your engine and didn't have a warranty- you can build it again for less hassle than using a warranty, faster too probably. It just may cost you some money if you screw up that bad- which you probably won't because YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR ENGINE MORE THAN THEY DO!

I promised myself I'd only build my own engines from now on. Not saying that's for everyone but I'd at least look into different shops than these volume engine farms.
 

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And let me tell you something about engine warranties- the best one in the world SUCKS to actually use. Install your engine, have problems, pull it out, crate it up, send it back, repeat. How fun does that sound? I don't think there'd be a more devastating scenario than that.

Install the motor, get it running. After a couple hundred miles the second oil change looks like chocolate milk. Call the builder and no one answers the phone. They had gone out of business. This was a family business that had be around for 40 years. Start taking it apart and it looked like it had been put together in a sand box. Good times.
 
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