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Old 07-06-2018, 04:24 PM   #1
plowro8
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Engine build and swap price

I got a quote from a local machine guy who builds engines. To build a 350 into 383, from scratch including all necessary machining, cam, alum intake etc, he is asking $2950, then another $1000 to do the swap/install. Just wondering if this is a decent price for basically a new engine that puts out about 355hp?
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:13 PM   #2
AussieinNC
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Re: Engine build and swap price

Check out SP383 from GM as a crate engine...

Brand new, factory built...just google SP383 for pricing or check out Jegs...

These use vortec style heads...435 HP...

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Old 07-06-2018, 08:24 PM   #3
plowro8
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Re: Engine build and swap price

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Originally Posted by AussieinNC View Post
Check out SP383 from GM as a crate engine...

Brand new, factory built...just google SP383 for pricing or check out Jegs...

These use vortec style heads...435 HP...

Wish I had that kind of money to spend. I was just wondering about the question I asked above. Wondering if it's a decent price for the 383 build and install.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:39 PM   #4
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Re: Engine build and swap price

The $2950 seems a little light to me...

383 Master kits with crank, pistons etc...run around $1300...then you have heads...Vortec iron sets runs around $1000, then manifolds, misc etc...plus machining, and assembly...plus core costs...

Seems very light really...

Ya get what you pay for...

Why 383...Vortec 350 will give you plenty of power...

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Old 07-06-2018, 08:42 PM   #5
plowro8
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Re: Engine build and swap price

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Originally Posted by AussieinNC View Post
The $2950 seems a little light to me...

383 Master kits with crank, pistons etc...run around $1300...then you have heads...Vortec iron sets runs around $1000, then manifolds, misc etc...plus machining, and assembly...plus core costs...

Seems very light really...

Ya get what you pay for...

Why 383...Vortec 350 will give you plenty of power...

I am not sure, really. I am new to this (I am a carpenter by trade) and I am only somewhat mechanically inclined. The guy said he would build a 350 into a 383, whatever that means.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:49 PM   #6
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Re: Engine build and swap price

To get a 383 you buy a 350 core, replace the 350 crank with a longer stroke crankshaft, new rods, pistons...bore if necessary (it usually is)...new cam, lifters...

Adding the longer stroke crank means there are clearance issues internally that the machinist needs to correct...

Buying a 350 core...you risk cracks in water galleries...excessive wear...etc

$2950 seems very light ...what exactly is the guy offering...?

Piece by piece...
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:59 PM   #7
plowro8
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Re: Engine build and swap price

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To get a 383 you buy a 350 core, replace the 350 crank with a longer stroke crankshaft, new rods, pistons...bore if necessary (it usually is)...new cam, lifters...

Adding the longer stroke crank means there are clearance issues internally that the machinist needs to correct...

Buying a 350 core...you risk cracks in water galleries...excessive wear...etc

$2950 seems very light ...what exactly is the guy offering...?

Piece by piece...
He has the 350 in his shop already, and he has tested it. He is offering all of the things you mentioned above. The only items he is going to be using from my current motor are the aluminum intake and the new Q jet 4 barrel carb. He mentioned needing to bore it 20-over, but he didn't want to remove more material than that. I think he is doing this to help me out, and as a fun project as well. Now days, he mostly works on building newer engines, so this will be a change of pace for him, although he has built hundreds of older engines in the past.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:04 PM   #8
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Re: Engine build and swap price

Personally, I would keep it a 350 and put some nice Vortec style heads on it...

383's are over rated IMO...

Is the 350 a roller cam engine?
Is it a Vortec 350?

If its an older flat tappet cam style engine, its not harder to build but I dont build them very often now...most of the time I grab a late series 350 Vortec style as they give you more bang for the dollar spent.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:21 AM   #9
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Re: Engine build and swap price

As far as building the engine for 3k I think that's a fairly decent price maybe a tish high. I just dropped my 350 off at the machine shop and was quoted 2k to get it rebuilt. I believe that price was considering that the crank was in good condition. I prepped the heads for them and did a majority of the teardown. I'm also hoping my cam is good. All those things would bring my price down.

As far as the price for the swap that's kind of all on how much it's worth to you. If you have some friends who would be willing to help for a day you could get it done for a whole lot less but more labor on your end. Or you could spend the money and have the machinist do it and it should be timed and tuned when you go pick it up.

Let us know what you decide!
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Old 07-07-2018, 06:54 AM   #10
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Re: Engine build and swap price

You didn't mention if his work included doing the heads or what heads will be used. The heads on the 350 core he has? If it includes doing the heads, it's a reasonable price. Cam selection will be based on CR (pistons and heads used) and where you want power.
Is your truck a 2WD or 4WD? Pulling an existing engine and installing a new one in a 4WD is more work than a 2WD. If it is a 2WD, $1000 might be a little high, but if you don't have the equipment or know how, it's probably better to have him do it. You can do a side job using your skills and be money ahead.
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Old 07-07-2018, 05:04 PM   #11
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Re: Engine build and swap price

I would do some research on the guy. It sounds nice, but what if he takes forever, what if there are problems with the finished motor? When is the cash due? Warrantee?

As stated above, 383's are overrated. And there is a bunch of extra work that goes into making a 350 into a 383, so I say, why?

Lots of good 350's out there, and down the line, parts will be easier since it's just a 350.

Consider a crate engine, consider a motor that you see running from a car being parted out. Lots of good deals for the patient buyer on Craigslist.

I got my 350 off Craigslist for 800.00. It had all the stuff I was going buy anyway; a Holly carb, edelbrock manifold, etc. I put it in with a friend and learned a bunch while doing it.

I just don't like doing business with a shop that has my money and I have to hope that they do it correct and in a reasonable amount of time. Hopefully, he is good and honest.

Good luck whatever you do.
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:34 PM   #12
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Re: Engine build and swap price

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Originally Posted by AussieinNC View Post
Personally, I would keep it a 350 and put some nice Vortec style heads on it...

383's are over rated IMO...

Is the 350 a roller cam engine?
Is it a Vortec 350?

If its an older flat tappet cam style engine, its not harder to build but I dont build them very often now...most of the time I grab a late series 350 Vortec style as they give you more bang for the dollar spent.
Okay, so I am leaning away from the stroker and asked him what he would build the 350 for. He says he can build it with:

350 block bored and honed .030 over with new 9.5:1 compression pistons and rings. Performance flat tapped camshaft with .454/.454 lift. Ported runner cast iron cylinder heads with 2.02 intake and 1.60 exhaust valves. Custom matched valve springs with hardened retainers, high volume oil pump and double roller timing set. Says he can do that, plus offer a 3yr unlimited mileage warranty for $3368 installed. Deal or not? Not enough head work?
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:34 PM   #13
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Re: Engine build and swap price

I’m swapping in a turbo’Ed lq4 6.0 liter out of a 2001 pickup. Bought the entire pickup for 1800 and sold maybe 1000 of parts from it. I’m going much further than what is necessary (especially because of turbos, I.e; injectors, fuel delivery system, intercooler, exhaust manifolds, etc) but that put the engine at around 800 if I don’t sell anymore parts. I put 1000 of gaskets, seals, rings etc (but again this was overboard as none of it was actually necessary). These engines are supposed to be damn near bulletproof. I got the trans and all associated parts as well. Just throwing it out there as a very viable option. Few swap adapters and you might be into the whole thing for 1000 bucks.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:16 PM   #14
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Re: Engine build and swap price

X2 on everyone who suggested a vortec swap
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:55 AM   #15
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Re: Engine build and swap price

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X2 on everyone who suggested a vortec swap
Why a vortec swap? I am asking because I really want to know.
I have a '70 K20 with the NP 205 TC, and not sure of the trans (granny gear and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, R) with a 350 (of some sort, haven't run the numbers yet).

I was thinking of going with LQ9 and 4L80E trans. Would it be easier to drop in the vortec? My intentions with the truck are: Towing over mountains a nice camper and possibly showing it off at local shows.

Sorry if I am hijacking the thread.

Thanks,
Jopaul
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:57 PM   #16
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Re: Engine build and swap price

Example of low ball estimates. See my truck, the color is white. I was quoted $1500 for the paint job back in the 80s. What I negotiated. Painted inside out. All trim holes brazed. All dents lead filled. I got everything... eeee haw. Then the next day the owner of the shop called me and told. Me, "we don't lead fill, we're not brazing the holes, nor can we fill any holes with anything or paint the interior for that price. So, I negotiated with him and only caved on brazing and lead filling. He painted the truck inside out and pulled and filled dents and holes with bondo. Yes he lost money. But kept his shops good name. The guy who wrote the estimate got fired. And I always feel kind of bad about that paint job!

So, apply that to any cheap estimate. Something has to give. Not an engine, but I like telling that story!


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Old 07-10-2018, 04:57 PM   #17
Eddie H.
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Re: Engine build and swap price

You can buy a NEW, not rebuilt L31 350 crate engine for $2000. It has all the latest improvements, like a roller cam, one piece rear seal, and vortec heads. Get someone to help you with the swap, and you're good to go. You will need to run an electric fuel pump since the L31 doesn't have provisions for a mechanical pump.
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:34 AM   #18
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Re: Engine build and swap price

Quote:
Originally Posted by jopaul View Post
Why a vortec swap? I am asking because I really want to know.
I have a '70 K20 with the NP 205 TC, and not sure of the trans (granny gear and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, R) with a 350 (of some sort, haven't run the numbers yet).

I was thinking of going with LQ9 and 4L80E trans. Would it be easier to drop in the vortec? My intentions with the truck are: Towing over mountains a nice camper and possibly showing it off at local shows.

Sorry if I am hijacking the thread.

Thanks,
Jopaul
Your LQ9 would be a vortec engine. Sorry for the confusion if you thought I meant the older vortecs from the early 90’s. But as far as why to go that route, there’s a huge bang for the buck when it comes to the gen 3 iron block ls motors. Parts are cheap and plentiful, I’ve never had to search for anything. Loads of power from literally just bolt ons. Can handle gobs of boost in stock form, and can be pretty much bulletproof with forged parts. All around a very simple and extremely effective fuel injected engine for a very low price. Been swapped in nearly everything so there’s tons of info and kits/tricks. Especially easy to swap into these trucks, it’s as simple as motor mount adapters and an adapter for the factory transmission, or grab an electrical gm trans that was meant to be behind the vortec (your 4l80e for example) and then find a new crossmember. There’s also plenty of budget build options ranging from economical, to street, to strip. Probably my favorite was a rebuild I’d read about: $100 engine core, rebuilt with forged parts, turbo cam and heads, and single 80mm turbo. Entire set up hit under $5k and made ridiculous torque and hp. I’ve ranted on long enough haha, but there’s definitely a lot to be said about them.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:39 PM   #19
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Re: Engine build and swap price

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Originally Posted by WhiteCST View Post
Your LQ9 would be a vortec engine. Sorry for the confusion if you thought I meant the older vortecs from the early 90’s. But as far as why to go that route, there’s a huge bang for the buck when it comes to the gen 3 iron block ls motors. Parts are cheap and plentiful, I’ve never had to search for anything. Loads of power from literally just bolt ons. Can handle gobs of boost in stock form, and can be pretty much bulletproof with forged parts. All around a very simple and extremely effective fuel injected engine for a very low price. Been swapped in nearly everything so there’s tons of info and kits/tricks. Especially easy to swap into these trucks, it’s as simple as motor mount adapters and an adapter for the factory transmission, or grab an electrical gm trans that was meant to be behind the vortec (your 4l80e for example) and then find a new crossmember. There’s also plenty of budget build options ranging from economical, to street, to strip. Probably my favorite was a rebuild I’d read about: $100 engine core, rebuilt with forged parts, turbo cam and heads, and single 80mm turbo. Entire set up hit under $5k and made ridiculous torque and hp. I’ve ranted on long enough haha, but there’s definitely a lot to be said about them.
I was under the impression that the vortec motors were specifically the LM7 motors...
Which one would be the easiest and cheapest to go with? I have an extra 350 sbc with heads that I have torn apart and ready to rebuild soon to replace the tired one in the truck. But if I can get a decent vortec/ls motor to do what I want with the truck, then which one fits the bill?
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:24 PM   #20
plowro8
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Re: Engine build and swap price

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Originally Posted by AussieinNC View Post
Personally, I would keep it a 350 and put some nice Vortec style heads on it...

383's are over rated IMO...

Is the 350 a roller cam engine?
Is it a Vortec 350?

If its an older flat tappet cam style engine, its not harder to build but I dont build them very often now...most of the time I grab a late series 350 Vortec style as they give you more bang for the dollar spent.
I decided to go with this:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/mll-bp3501ctc1

I have a buddy who is going to put the motor in for me, so I figured I would take the extra money I'm saving on install and get this new one. Thoughts on this motor? Any other suggestions for that price range and hp range, that come fully (or almost fully) dressed?
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:36 PM   #21
clay68c10
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Re: Engine build and swap price

I'd personally go with this since it has a roller cam. I wouldn't run a flat tappet these days, the rollers are so much better.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/m...et?prefilter=1

You would have to come up with an intake and flex plate, but all your current accessories would bolt right on
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Old 07-12-2018, 12:45 PM   #22
plowro8
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Re: Engine build and swap price

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I'd personally go with this since it has a roller cam. I wouldn't run a flat tappet these days, the rollers are so much better.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/m...et?prefilter=1

You would have to come up with an intake and flex plate, but all your current accessories would bolt right on
I have an aluminum intake on my current 305, but I would also have to use my carb as well, it appears. I have a 4 barrel Qjet carb on there now, with Ramshorn manifolds. So, would I have to get a new distributor and all that jazz? I like the idea of the dressed motor because it takes a lot of the tinkering out of the equation
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:01 PM   #23
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Re: Engine build and swap price

Your distributor would require a new gear that is compatible with the roller cam, and the intake is a different bolt pattern with Vortec heads.
It’s really not a lot to change out, and that would be a very stout runner. And no camshaft lobe wear worries about what oil to run or if you get some dry starts when the truck sits for a while.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:02 PM   #24
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Re: Engine build and swap price

I've always thought 383 where over rated.If i wanted power and down right torq I build a 400 small block
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:51 PM   #25
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Re: Engine build and swap price

After a quick look, I didn't see any torque numbers on the engine you purchased. If you are going to tow a trailer, it is extremely important that you have an engine with good low end torque. I'm not familiar with these engines, but it's definitely something that should be considered. Maybe it has enough for your application?
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