Need help/advice with motor cost - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Need help/advice with motor cost

Hey there- So I will try to lay this story out the best I can and get feedback from you guys, which seem to know everything about everything when it comes to Mustangs.

I purchased my 67 fastback a few months ago and realized that it was very shaky when driving and that it had a pulsing sound. I did all the usual things like have the driveshaft balanced, replace the ujoints, etc but it was still there. It has also had problems with the oil pressure dropping to zero, overheating, etc. So this week I took it to a very reputable shop here in town and they are telling me that my 302 is shot and that is the cause of my issues. They are saying that it is a later model engine and that it has thrown everything off... Now the issue is not that I do not believe them, because I do, as they have been highly recommended by several people. The issue I am having is with the replacement cost.

They are saying it is going to be between 8-9K to tear down my engine, reuse the block, get it installed with a new water pump, fuel pump, etc and get it running correctly. Does that sound right as far as pricing is concerned? I am asking because I genuinely do not know. I know that I can go online and find a turn key engine for 5-6K but obviously that does not include install, so I am just at a loss for what to do...

Could really use some help on this one... I don't exactly have 9 grand laying around, but I really want my car to work correctly as well...
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Mustangdreamer View Post
Hey there- So I will try to lay this story out the best I can and get feedback from you guys, which seem to know everything about everything when it comes to Mustangs.

I purchased my 67 fastback a few months ago and realized that it was very shaky when driving and that it had a pulsing sound. I did all the usual things like have the driveshaft balanced, replace the ujoints, etc but it was still there. It has also had problems with the oil pressure dropping to zero, overheating, etc. So this week I took it to a very reputable shop here in town and they are telling me that my 302 is shot and that is the cause of my issues. They are saying that it is a later model engine and that it has thrown everything off... Now the issue is not that I do not believe them, because I do, as they have been highly recommended by several people. The issue I am having is with the replacement cost.

They are saying it is going to be between 8-9K to tear down my engine, reuse the block, get it installed with a new water pump, fuel pump, etc and get it running correctly. Does that sound right as far as pricing is concerned? I am asking because I genuinely do not know. I know that I can go online and find a turn key engine for 5-6K but obviously that does not include install, so I am just at a loss for what to do...

Could really use some help on this one... I don't exactly have 9 grand laying around, but I really want my car to work correctly as well...

WHOA, 9K! What are your skill levels and access to car buds and equipment?
You could rent space, rent a cherry picker, buy tools, and purchase a crate motor, and still have money left for your daughter's wedding for $9000. Please do a little more research.....If nothing else, pull the motor yourself and hand over for an estimate.
My 2 cents....
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:02 PM
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Seems extremely high, but I haven't ever paid for install or build labor so I can't say for sure. I bought a Ford 302 long block last year for a '40 I built- it actually came with everything but the accessories and carb- $1,700. It even came with a 12 month warranty. I'd think a guy could have that bought, installed, and running for less than $5,000 easily- especially since you have everything there to swap out already. I'd recommend shopping around, or maybe even get a quote for them to install an engine if you purchase and provide it..

Buckle up- I wanna try something!!
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:03 PM
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RUN! Find another shop, that's just crazy. Putting in a later model 5.0 is very, very common. In fact I just did it with a GT40P. It could very well be that who ever put the motor in if it is a 5.0 used the wrong balancer and flywheel. Maybe just one, maybe both, who knows. While it isn't good to run the engine like that and it can damage the engine I would certainly try replacing the balancer and flywheel first. If the engine is really damaged, you can pick used ones up pretty cheap. I paid $450 for the whole engine and transmission. I sold off the stuff I didn't need for $175. My net cost for the motor was $275.

So first, find another shop and find out exactly what you have before you spend money like that. Here's my swap so you can see what's involved and part numbers. Also post where you live. There could very well be someone here that could help

Got my GT40P up and running in my 66
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Last edited by Huskinhano; 02-16-2017 at 12:06 PM.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:09 PM
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I'm guessing they don't really know what's going on and they want you to pay for their education in shotgunning an engine. RUN!
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Mustangdreamer View Post
They are saying it is going to be between 8-9K to tear down my engine, reuse the block, get it installed with a new water pump, fuel pump, etc and get it running correctly. Does that sound right as far as pricing is concerned? I am asking because I genuinely do not know. I know that I can go online and find a turn key engine for 5-6K but obviously that does not include install, so I am just at a loss for what to do...

Could really use some help on this one... I don't exactly have 9 grand laying around, but I really want my car to work correctly as well...
They are thieves. If you drop $6k into a crate engine, that leaves $3k for installation. At $85/hour, that's about 35 hours for installation. That means the technician would be doing nothing but your car for a whole week. Really?
Quote:
They are saying that it is a later model engine and that it has thrown everything off...
Now, I have seen some "parts collections" that were mix-and match junk that wouldn't install or run properly. However, you could take any Windsor smallblock, even a post-production FRPP engine, put your 67 timing cover on it, install a "5.0 conversion" balancer and appropriate flywheel, paint it all Ford Corporate Blue, stick it in your car, and it would likely take an expert to spot it as not being the original 67 engine. Needless to say, perfect operation is a given.

Now, this engine retails from Summitracing for $2885, plus shipping. Even if the shipping were a few hundred, that's barely three grand for a complete engine sitting on the floor in your garage. Now, the included cam is a stock C5AE-V, but substituting a C9OZ-C would get you to a little over 300 hp.


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:45 PM
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i thought it sounded fair till i realize this isnt the Porsche forum! Is it that jerk of a TV show shop? Its the Fastback Tax.

I bet he is guessing that the flywheel or damper is imbalanced wrongly and it has eaten your crank. (why PO sold it?)

Did you specify a scat crank and top shelf AL heads & intake
But still, $8K for even an awesome 302!?! Lets say you can build a near world beater of an engine for under $5K, he still figures 3K+ for R&R, thats almost 3X more than excessive.

You could ask him to break out that price to see if they are trustworthy enough to even let them R&R a crate engine for you.
Crates dont need to come from across the country either. Search in the nearest large city for machine shop/engine wholesalers/refurbishers, get at least 1yr warranty.

But mostly, find another opinion.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies. Does anyone know of a shop around DFW I could take it to for a second opinion?

Also, if I purchase a turnkey crate engine what would you guys recommend? I would like to keep it a 302 and not break the bank if possible. I am running an automatic C4 transmission, no AC, and no power steering. I want one that is as easy as possible to install and has the water pump, fuel pump, etc... Are the engines in the link below something I could use? (just using these as an example) and if so, what else would I need to put with it in order to drop it in and drive, balancer, flywheel, etc.

Ford Turnkey Crate Engines for Ford 302 and Ford 351Windsor TURNKEY packages
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustangdreamer View Post
Hey there- So I will try to lay this story out the best I can and get feedback from you guys, which seem to know everything about everything when it comes to Mustangs.

I purchased my 67 fastback a few months ago and realized that it was very shaky when driving and that it had a pulsing sound. I did all the usual things like have the driveshaft balanced, replace the ujoints, etc but it was still there. It has also had problems with the oil pressure dropping to zero, overheating, etc. So this week I took it to a very reputable shop here in town and they are telling me that my 302 is shot and that is the cause of my issues. They are saying that it is a later model engine and that it has thrown everything off... Now the issue is not that I do not believe them, because I do, as they have been highly recommended by several people. The issue I am having is with the replacement cost.

They are saying it is going to be between 8-9K to tear down my engine, reuse the block, get it installed with a new water pump, fuel pump, etc and get it running correctly. Does that sound right as far as pricing is concerned? I am asking because I genuinely do not know. I know that I can go online and find a turn key engine for 5-6K but obviously that does not include install, so I am just at a loss for what to do...

Could really use some help on this one... I don't exactly have 9 grand laying around, but I really want my car to work correctly as well...
I delivered my block and heads to a shop and $3,100.00 later had a very nice balanced engine.. This is from a shop that specializes in hot rod engines.

Hunts Machine, Schenectady, NY


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351Windsor, 4sp, 8" 3.40 TracLok
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 03:17 PM
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FYI, here's my GT40P made to some what resemble a vintage 289


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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 03:34 PM
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Thank you for the replies. Does anyone know of a shop around DFW I could take it to for a second opinion?
There are a few, as far as rebuilding your motor. Wells Racing in Duncanville came highly recommended to me. I had them do some work on the aluminum heads on my 351. Wells Racing Engines

Other options are City Motors in Dallas and Wayne Calvert in Denton. I don't think any of them will pull your motor for you.

No oil pressure is definitely a motor problem. That needs to be investigated. The vibrations may or may not be. I've been chasing vibrations in my '65 for the last year. I have now pretty much chased them all away, but it could be 50 different things all adding up. I've never heard of a motor "throwing everything off." You need to diagnose the source of the problem before you start throwing money at it. Trust me on this. Does it vibrate badly when you rev it in neutral? If not, then it is probably not a mis-matched balancer/flywheel. In that case it could be motor mounts, tranny mount, u-joint angles, suspension components, you name it.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:12 PM
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I know of about a dozen engines, 3 intimately, that had come from this place late '80 early '90, all very good experiences. Auto Engine Repair & Rebuilding - Blaines Motor Supply - Dallas - TX
You bring in the block out of car and exchange or leave yours. Warranty is good but you're on the hook to pay your own R&R where ever.
I read reviews of their lower end exchanges being iffy because they only refurb worn parts most times, They are a victim of their own success a bit, turning out such a variety of engines at volumes.
Their website sucks now, no price or warranty info I could find. They used to advertise some "hot cam" specials and kit builds using yours or their parts aimed at the dirt track and off road crowd. A few years ago they even listed as having many C5 and even more C6 blocks.
Their main trade now is "gimme a cheap engine, my 4 cyl or V6 car so I can get to work" crowd.

Call and ask for a deal on a semi-tweeked, old skewl Windsor Ford long block out the door and see what they have to say.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:16 PM
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Ok, so just went back and re read your original question and I wanted to pose a question. When they say "throwing everything off" do you believe they mean that possibly the crankshaft is a 50oz but the flexplate and dampner are 28oz? I have never run an engine like this and have no idea how severe the vibration would be. But I would suspect pretty damn bad, like un-drivable bad. but as I said, I don't know. I guess I ask because it makes sense to me that someone would have gone to the JY and grabbed a fox era 302 and then put the old motors 28oz stuff on it. And figured 302 is a 302 is a 302. But of course we all know that with ford, that's not exactly the case.

In respect to the vibration it's easy to isolate honestly. Does it do it all the time? Does it do it in park? How about in neutral if you rev the motor a bit. If it does it standing still then it's not in your driveline and you can stop balancing stuff back there. It has to be somewhere between your dampner and the flexplate.

Also can you describe what you mean by "shakey" that could mean it's misfiring or even just generally running rough. And to be honest that shop you took it to sounds exactly like the kind of place that would tell you that you needed a whole new motor when really all you need are a properly adjusted carb and a new set of points. Cause it's fouling the plugs and misfiring like a $%$^. Which brings me to my next question. What tells them that it is "shot" did they do a compression check? Throw a scope in the plug hole and see badly scored bores? The 0 oil pressure issue certainly tells us it needs to be torn down either way, that's not normal ever. But for all we know you have a bunch of old gasket material in your pan and it's getting on the pickup screen.

I guess my point to all of this is that there are still a ton of unanswered questions. So need to start there. But one I think we can all agree on is that 9k for that job is highway $%$^ing robbery and they should be ashamed of themselves. Even with having to pull the old motor and stab the new one. I can do that by myself in a residential garage with just a cherry picker in literally a few hours. These things aint exactly complicated and with a windsor motor in a 67 you have even more room than I do to work with. So either way, you need to find a new shop cause those jokers ain't where you want to be. For that kind of money if you were willing to get your hands a little dirty you could have a 351 based stroker that would put a grin on your face as wide as the burnouts it would do. LOL In fact I would go that route either way, but that's just me spending someone else's money.


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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:25 PM
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Wells built my 289. He took it from stock 195hp to 325 without even doing a stroker kit. Call them and talk to Jamie. If you need someone to pull the engine and replace it, PM me, I have a great Mustang guy that has done 4 Mustangs for me, and will probably run you around $1000 total (out and in), and he can fix up your bay for just a few bucks more.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 04:40 PM
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Yeah, 9k is wayyyyyy too much! But dang, I should go work at that shop!

I rebuilt my motor for just about 2k. And almost 1k of that was just them fixing my heads, which were totally trashed.

For your reference, it is entirely possible to remove, disassemble, reassemble, and reinstall an engine in less than 24 hours. I did it with a friend in 18 once and that included finding, modifying, and painting a new bellhousing, finding and redrilling a flywheel, machining a new pilot bushing, machining a new bearing retainer for the transmission, chopping and modifying a clutch linkage, modifying a clutch fork, digging up a new block plate, and some other stuff in there... in other words a significant amount of "jury-rigging"-type hot rodding. If you don't include machine work, an engine removal, disassembly, reassembly, and install can be done in something like 12 hours, conservatively. So that's $1200 labor... a complete rebuild and reinstall of a pretty basic (not high performance) motor shouldn't cost more than 4 grand IMO.


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