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Old 12-03-2008, 11:54 PM   #1
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I need a quick estimate of what people have paid for labor for block work only (no head involved) as I have a very reputable shop ready to do the work, just want to know if I should keep shopping or if the prices are about right. (I personally feel the final assembly labor is a tad high from various threads I've read in the past, but I may be mistaken.)

And because I know someone will ask, here's what I've been quoted (remember, this is just labor, I've already gotten all the parts taken care of):

--Balance crank -- $125.00
--Balance flywheel -- $35.00
--Hone block -- $85.00
--Install freeze plugs -- $20.00
--Soda blast and rebuild oil pump with new gears -- $35.00
--Assemble short block -- $425.00
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:00 AM   #2
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TLAR

Assembly seems high but if it includes honing rod ends, proper plastigauging and grinding big ends if needed and all the other little niggling things as opposed to just bolting everything together, it seems fair.

I assume that the block deck will be checked, etc. when they hone.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:04 AM   #3
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Might have them radius and polish the crank too before balancing it. And they should balance each part separately, then balance it as an assembly with the crank/flywheel/pressure plate/ harmonic balancer all bolted up.

Labor rates are about right. It really depends on the shop doing It. What they know, what they check, etc. Anyone can bolt **** together. It's know what to check, how to check it, and interpreting the measurements correctly to make the right adjustments that separates the good from the best. I would HIGHLY suggest having a race oriented machine shop do the work vs. a "in-and-out" shop that's known to do lots of regular engine rebuilds. Cause a regular rebuild and a race/performance oriented rebuild techniques are vastly different.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:07 AM   #4
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Stein, yes, I didn't get into the details of everything, but that assembly cost does include everything you mentioned, especially since we're installing CAT rods.
Basically with that labor cost, coupled with the final parts I need (bearings, rings, wrist pins, and freeze plugs) and them surfacing my turbine housing I'm looking at $1,000 dead on.

Pat, they are indeed balancing things in that fashion as well. What does radiusing the crank do? And I assume you mean polish the journals?
And this shop is notorious for building some extremely high power pushrod motors. Between the 3 guys that basically run the shop, there's 75 active years of experience between them, and who knows how much experience passed down to them. They do great work and I have no doubts in the shop or the guys. I care less about the cost than I do about the quality, and I know that's good, just want to make sure that I'm getting a fair price too.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:14 AM   #5
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Stein, yes, I didn't get into the details of everything, but that assembly cost does include everything you mentioned, especially since we're installing CAT rods.
Basically with that labor cost, coupled with the final parts I need (bearings, rings, wrist pins, and freeze plugs) and them surfacing my turbine housing I'm looking at $1,000 dead on.

Pat, they are indeed balancing things in that fashion as well. What does radiusing the crank do? And I assume you mean polish the journals?
And this shop is notorious for building some extremely high power pushrod motors. Between the 3 guys that basically run the shop, there's 75 active years of experience between them, and who knows how much experience passed down to them. They do great work and I have no doubts in the shop or the guys. I care less about the cost than I do about the quality, and I know that's good, just want to make sure that I'm getting a fair price too.

That's a good deal then. You won't gain anything looking around to save $100 or so.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:18 AM   #6
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Good to know. Just want to make sure. It's a hefty chunk of change to throw down.
And I'll be boxing up and storing my '99 head since that bumped the price up way too high for me right now. Get to that at a later date.

Here's a 1360hp (without the nitrous) engine they were working on while I was there (sorry for the crap cell phone picture, didn't have my digital on me):
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:21 AM   #7
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psh, my miata has more anodized AN fittings than that, weaksauce

(wtf is it btw?)
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RotorNutFD3S View Post
Stein, yes, I didn't get into the details of everything, but that assembly cost does include everything you mentioned, especially since we're installing CAT rods.
Basically with that labor cost, coupled with the final parts I need (bearings, rings, wrist pins, and freeze plugs) and them surfacing my turbine housing I'm looking at $1,000 dead on.

Pat, they are indeed balancing things in that fashion as well. What does radiusing the crank do? And I assume you mean polish the journals?
And this shop is notorious for building some extremely high power pushrod motors. Between the 3 guys that basically run the shop, there's 75 active years of experience between them, and who knows how much experience passed down to them. They do great work and I have no doubts in the shop or the guys. I care less about the cost than I do about the quality, and I know that's good, just want to make sure that I'm getting a fair price too.
If they are good, they can pretty much name their own price. Quality, performance oriented machinist/engine builders are hard to find. As long as they are known in the racing world and know this is a performance build that's gonna be turbocharged, I wouldn't worry.

Hard to explain radiusing. Basically the would radius the corners where the journals stop and radius the holes where oil comes from the crank to lube the bearings. Makes the journals stronger and oil flow better. If they're a race shop, they'll do this or check to make sure the factory radius' are fine.

Best peace of mind is knowing the shop that built the engine knew what they were doing.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazda/nissan View Post
psh, my miata has more anodized AN fittings than that, weaksauce

(wtf is it btw?)
lol
It's an engine that's out of and going back into a dirt racing truck of all things. The welds that their welder does are f-in gorgeous, he handmade that intake manifold. I'm taking my digital the next time I go up there to drop off some more parts.

Yeah Pat, when we were first talking about what I wanted done, he was pretty much a step ahead of my requests almost every time. And when he saw the turbine housing, he knew.
I'll ask if they are doing that as well. I know they will be addressing the journals anyway.
And your last statement hits the nail on the head.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:52 AM   #10
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Yeap, I'd hate to be someone like the levnuhbin guy who comes here saying "my machinist said these parts are too tight and they should be a slip fit, but they aren't, is something wrong???" If that happened to me I'd grab my **** and haul ***. I could never beat on an engine and enjoy it when I question the quality of the machine work.

If I ever build an engine, I want to O-ring a few things. Like the deck and head, intake manifold, thermostat housing, etc. Makes it so that instead of having gaskets everywhere you have o-rings that are much stronger, never fail, and don't require sealant or a waiting period for sealant to dry, don't cause alignment issues or interfere, etc. Really the way to go. If you got the coin you could splurge for that... But it's not really necessary. More of a true race car kind of thing. Ask him if that engine in that pic has a head gaskets or intake manifold gaskets. Bet he says "nope".

Also, make sure you break the engine in properly. Talk to the shop and they'll advise.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:59 AM   #11
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Oh yes, have no fear, the engine will definitely be broken in properly. Just hope I don't have another injector issue...
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:03 AM   #12
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If I were you I'd sell/get rid of those "just rebuilt" injectors if they're the same ones that failed last time. No way I'd reuse them. That doesn't go along with the "peace of mind" concept whatsoever. Buy new ones, good ones. What brand are the ones that failed originally?

EDIT: And let me elaborate on why to get new ones. Some things just can't be rebuilt for unknown reasons. Example:

I used to work at a lawnmower shop. Whenever we take in a small engine for repair it was standard procedure to put new plug, clean carb, clean gas tank, install new fuel filter, new fuel line, etc. Just doing it all at once because that needs to be right to give reliable service for the customer. Well, every once in a while we'd rebuild a carb and it wouldn't work right. Notably, about one out of 60 or so would run fine, but the needle seat would leak after it sat a while. IE-if it sat an hour it would work fine. But if it sat a week it would slowly leak all the gas into the intake manifold. Well, for unexplainable reasons, about 20% of these troublesome carbs could not be fixed. We'd press in a new seat, polish it, put a new rubber tipped needle, set the float height conservative, and so forth. We'd do everything, and let every mechanic in the shop rebuild it, but it would still leak a spec. It was weird. Sometimes you get a bad part and it just needs to be replaced, even though rebuilding it should 100% restore it's functionality.
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:13 AM   #13
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R/C Engineering from my FM turbo kit. So yeah, good ones. And there is actually no way to prove there was a problem at all, I was just being sarcastic. The injector on the #1 cylinder (which contained the bent rod) was in perfect shape when retested.
They're currently at Injector Rehab right now waiting until I'm ready for them. Then they're going to reservice them and send them back to me to make sure they're right.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Oh yes, have no fear, the engine will definitely be broken in properly. Just hope I don't have another injector issue...
My machinist told me to run 1-tank for fuel through it, change the oil, then put it on the dyno...lol (he also said that after about 5k miles, expect 25% better numbers on the dyno). I was kind of surprised but he went into the techniques he uses that essentially burnishes some surfaces and polishes others so they're "broken in."

I don't know wtf is going on with my motor, but it makes 20psi more oil pressure according to the stock gauge, and it feels so much stronger without the wastegate, even with the turbo on the side when compared to my other 1.8 with I/H/E.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:40 PM   #15
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Well, just got off the phone with them. They dropped the assembly price by $100 on the block. Which evens out cause they charged me $75 to finish disassembling the head, soda blast it, and tumble the small parts. So it's perfectly clean now and ready to store until I'm ready to deal with it.
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:30 PM   #16
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Do you know how much it would cost to have your engine builder hone down a set of Belfab rods for me?
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:49 PM   #17
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Probably no less than what a machinist out there in California would charge. I don't remember what they charged me for that work though.
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