crate or used engine

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Oct 28, 2002
What is my best option, getting a crate 350 from chev dealer, or napa or something like that, or trying to find an old car with a decent 350 and take everything minus trans/xfer....if i do this, should i rebuild it when i take it out, or should i just stick it in?? thanks for any help
I paid $200 for a 91 chev van with a TBI 350 and over 200k on work at all, other than a new oil pan to replaced the rusted one and a bit of paint.

If it's a daily driver, crate. If its a trail-only rig, go cheap, since offroad use is measured in hours and not miles...heh
Depends on your level of commitment. I rebuilt my engine at great expense and should have just gone with a crate in the end. There are almost no shops doing engine rebuilds anymore because of the cost and quality of good rebuilts like Jaspers or going with a warrentied crate. After the machine work is done, it just costs too much to do a really good rebuild.
Swapping a runner in is a good idea if you are not going to rely on it to get you to work every day. Throwing a runner in there until you rebuild is not a bad idea either as a csb is pretty common and cheap.
i think if you have the time I would do what woody has done, 200 bucks for motor and tbi, even if you have to rebuild there is not another motor on the planet that is as easy and cheap to rebuild than a 350. rebuilt kit is $150, depending on what machine work needs to be done, crank-50, boring $10 per cylinder, heads probobly wont need anything, if you want to spend the money you could have it balanced- $150, (its worth it).
One issue I just thot of with crate motors...usually, that's a long block, meaning block and heads all built and done. Prices usually don't include things like exhaust manifolds, water pump, alternator, starter, etc. and this stuff adds up quickly.

Even if you opt for a crate, purchasing a entire beater car can get you parts ahead, even in core charges!
It's true that rebuiding a 350 is the cheapest out there. it's one of the reasons I went with the csb conversion. If I blow it up, I can throw another engine in there cheaply and quickly, as opposed to a 2F that I would have to find and then pay huge money for parts.
I spent so much on my rebuild because I went whole hog. I've got $2000 into it in parts and machine work and I have no warrenty. I could've bought a GM crate for not much more and been done with it. I should've just got a runner and did a rattle can rebuild to run until it died.
Woody has a really good point. If you dan't have all the little things, they will nickle and dime you to death getting them. A whole donor is a good idea and can be had for less than just the engine sometimes.
i went the same route as woody and bought a 79 chevy van. i am going to rebuild the 350 and *slightly* mod it out. cheap and easy, plus i have all the nickle and dime items plus a wiring harness, radiator, etc etc.

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