The Hard Knocks of Engine Shops!

If you have a weak stomach don't look at these pages, however if you ever intend to ever rebuild an engine I hope I can save you some time! Here is the engine just before its first trip to a very reputable San Jose Engine shop. Heads, Block, Crank, and all parts associated parts are loaded up!
Here is the crank, ready for a ride to the shop. I took the engine to the shop and waited 3 weeks for them to give me a quote on the parts and labor. After several phone calls. They called me with a quote. $3400!!! I almost fell over. The engine had no major problems, eg' Cracked heads, warped block etc. It just needed bored .030 over .010 grind on the crank. This shop wanted to charge me $1400 for parts, and $2000 for labor. When I knew from various sources that a good job including parts and labor should be around $2000. $1000 for parts and $1000 for labor. I pulled the engine out of the first shop and went looking for one which would do a good job for a decent price! I found out later that the shop went out of business about 2 months after I had been there. Glad I didn't get involved with them.
I stripped the block myself for several reasons, First I wanted to see exactly what was wrong in the engine before sending it to the machine shop so I could better discuss the overhaul and not be sold a line about problems which they had discovered etc. Second, even the stripped block was to heavy for me to lift. And since I didn't have any helpers, I need to lift the engine in and out of the car myself. I found a new shop near my house which seemed to be up to the job. I took the engine in and they gave me a quote which was almost exactly what they had quoted before seeing the engine, of $975 labor. I bought all the parts myself from Kanter, $1081 with engine and transmission mounts and sent it over.
The stripped block weighs about 200 pounds, which is about the most I can pickup and move. I cleaned it up with Chemtool before loading it in the back of my car.
Here are the bores. They looked pretty good, but were worn .010" over on the top and .030" on the bottom. So a .030" Bore was required.
The main bearings were well worn, but working fine, No Knocks. I had a crank grind, and installed oversized 10/10 bearings. This is pretty standard when doing an overhaul on a V8.

Re-installing the rear end!

Author: Bill McKenna