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Old 07-08-2018, 11:37 PM   #1
Nitis
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Crate SBC best deal?

I am looking for a crate 5.7 for my 72 K10 actually my brother is likely in the market as well. We aren't looking for crazy horsepower or trying to go fast. And we will likely both run the Fitech or holley sniper EFI system.

I have been away from the truck scene for a couple years as I just have not had the time to deal with it and the basic GM crate motor sure seems to have shot up in price as it looks like its running close to $2k now while the crate L31 and TBI replacements really haven't gone up in price. Am I missing something?

Also it doesn't have to be GM whats a reputable builder even on ebay for that matter

Thanks guys look forward to your
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Old 07-09-2018, 04:59 PM   #2
Kudzupatch
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Re: Crate SBC best deal?

L31 is the best bang for the buck but keep in mind it is replacement engine, not a performance engine. But it comes with roller cam, optional 4 bolt mains, one piece rear main seal, Vortec heads, It is a brand new engine, not a rebuild and a one year warranty.

I did some rough numbers and that is about what a complete rebuild would cost me.
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:38 AM   #3
chevy_mike
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Re: Crate SBC best deal?

Agree, L31 is the best bang for the buck, especially if you are going EFI, since it does not have the hole drilled to run a mechanical fuel pump rod.
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:01 PM   #4
sixty4bigwindow
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Re: Crate SBC best deal?

Since I'm far from an engine or motor expert, other than time to build, and driving around to machine shops, warranty, etc. Is there a bonus to going the crate motor route rather than finding a solid (no cracks or major damage,) block and building from there? Is it really cheaper now to buy a crate 350? I just remember as a kid, everybody always said that a chevy 350 was the most common motor, and therefore the aftermarket was flooded with everything for them. Is it just because the LS has been such a huge hit, that people are going away from the regular 350s and the price has increase?

Sorry for so many questions lol. I've just gone back and forth a zillion times if I want to keep my 327 and go FI from carb, and just maintain the motor, or just take the plunge and go the LS route.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:30 PM   #5
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Re: Crate SBC best deal?

I priced machine work and parts to a rebuild my 350 and it was roughly $1,800. This assumes boring the engine and new pistons. If I wanted the roller cam that is another $250+. Then of course my time to assemble. I enjoy that part but it does take a lot of time and there is the risk of making a mistake or the machine shop making a mistake.

One other big advantage to the L31 is it comes with Vortec heads. These are often said to be the best heads Chevy offered.

So if I add vortec heads I am well over the $2,000 price of a new engine. Plus I wouldn't have one piece rear main, roller camshaft or warranty.

For me it was a no brainer. Plus I have the new engine sitting in the shop before i start taking my old one out. I could have it back on the road over a weekend if no issues.

Last edited by Kudzupatch; 07-20-2018 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:04 AM   #6
sixty4bigwindow
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Re: Crate SBC best deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kudzupatch View Post
I priced machine work and parts to a rebuild my 350 and it was roughly $1,800. This assumes boring the engine and new pistons. If I wanted the roller cam that is another $250+. Then of course my time to assemble. I enjoy that part but it does take a lot of time and there is the reist of making a mistake or the machine shop making a mistake.

One other big advantage to the L31 is it comes with Vortec heads. These are often said to be the best heads Chevy offered.

So if I add vortec heads I am well over the $2,000 price of a new engine. Plus I wouldn't have one piece rear main, roller camshaft or warranty.

For me it was a no brainer. Plus I have the new engine sitting in the shop before i start taking my old one out. I could have it back on the road over a weekend if no issues.
See, when you put it that way, it really is a no brainer. And you can sell your current motor for at least a small amount back on what you put out for the new setup. Its all making more sense now lol.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:33 AM   #7
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Re: Crate SBC best deal?

I would chalk up the price increase to inflation more than anything. When you consider the prices of energy and fuel these days it's got to cost significantly more to manufacture and ship a 350 than it did even just a few years ago. I've sure noticed that the prices of the commodities needed to run my business are definately up.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:10 PM   #8
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Re: Crate SBC best deal?

I am in the same boat. I have a 350 sbc that I was going to rebuild but now just going to buy an entry level 350. Called the machine shop and to just work on the block it was going to be about $1200 to $1400. If they were going to do stuff with the heads and pistons, bearings, etc then the cost went to over $2k. Then I found one of my cylinder heads was cracked. I've been looking at the Gen0 350 from Jegs on Ebay for under $1700 shipped. Also found on Ebay Radley Chevrolet ships a Gen 0 for around $1850 + a gift card and a L31 for just under 2k. These are brand new motors. On this board I think a lot of guys have ordered from Radley and been very happy. I'm trying to decide to stay old school and bolt all of my old stuff up to a 350 SBC or go L31. Also saw there is a L31 R. Not sure which would be best? From other posts the L31 vortec needs different from 350 sbc that may add to the cost: new flex plate, new intake, electric fuel pump, different headers/manifolds.

Did you decide on an engine?

I read that the 350 blocks were made in Mexico still. I am wondering if the recent trade deals/embargo is affecting the cost?
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