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Folks, I am thinking about having a professional rebuild job on my 1970 351C-2V engine. The engine has 71,000 miles. It starts and runs perfectly, with just a little blue smoke upon the initial start-up. It is strong and steady, but it is bone stock and does not look showroom sharp because of 33 years of reliable service with no re-painting, no spiffy new parts, and no machine shop TLC !!

If I decide to go ahead, what are the specific things that I should ask to be done to my engine ? Do you think that the blue smoke will be cured by a valve re-grinding job ? Should the oil pump definitely be replaced at this time ? ( I have already bought a new water pump and new fuel pump for it ! )

BTW, am I correct in that the 351C intake valley pan gasket does not need any sealer upon re-installation ?

What other specific tasks should be performed while the engine is being re-built ? How much is a reasonable price for this type of work ?

Thanks for any advice and helpful hints !!

-Jeff
 

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Jeff,

I'm just about done with my 351C rebuild, and (hopefully) should be firing it up tonight. I had just about everything possible done to the block and heads, and the final bill for the machining came to about $1,600. With new pistons, cam, lifters, valves, springs, etc., the total came to just around $2,200.

New oil pump and shaft is cheap insurance, and is a good idea since the pan will be off.

IIRC, the valley pan gasket needs to be sealed with RTV around the water jacket holes, but not the intake holes.

Hope this helps!
 

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71,000 miles isn't a heck of a lot milage. If it were my car, I'd try installing a new set of valve guide seals first and see how it goes from there. If the car isn't using a lot of oil now, chances are the engine is in good shape.
 

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IMHO, the steps involved would be the same as if the engine were totally worn out and making noises. I'd pull it myself, since you will be wanting to do a lot of cleanup and painting when you carefully put it back together. No machine shop will do this like you would.

After total teardown:
1. take heads to machine shop for bebuild.. hardened seats
2. take block in for hot tank and inspection
3. mike everything (cyl, bearing surfaces)
4. micro polish crank
5. new cam bearings and all soft plugs/expansion plugs
6. check cyl taper and bore as necessary
7. new parts as necessary (pistons, rings, bearings, oil pump, etc.)

These are the basics, with probably a few things left out that others will fill in. Then, there are about a hundred other things that you may want to do such as shot peening, stress relieving, balancing, oil hole chamfering, porting, polishing, ad infinitum. Blue printing an engine takes a lot of time and attention to detail.

Then, there's another option. If the engine has been serviced regularly and never run real hot, it may only need some new valve seals to eliminate the blue smoke. You may get another 50,000-100,000 miles out of it by just doing a valve job. You can pull the engine and do the desired cleanup/painting while the heads are at the machine shop. While it's out, it wouldn't take much to pull the pan and check clearances, replace the oil pump, etc. Of course, at that point "while you're at it", one could pull the pistons and check the ring grooves and taper, hone and replace rings, etc.

Well, there we have run full circle again to a total rebuild. Bottom line, it just depends on what you expect from the engine. If it will not have a lot of miles put on it, and won't be run hard, I wouldn't go much beyond checking out the internals to insure they are sound. Just make sure you do what is necessary to get rid of the blue smoke. If it's going to be raced or used for a daily driver, I'd do it right. Good Luck, and for heavens sake, have fun!
 

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I'd measure the compression of each cylinder before I tore it down. If dry and wet compression are approximately equal and there's little variance between each cylinder, then I'd just replace the valve seals. The two compression tests will tell you what needs to be done, and whether you need to tear down the engine completely.

No sense in spending more $$ than necessary.
 
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