Expert Tips You Need To Know: Buy A Crate Engine Or Build One?
Instead, what they find is a difficult process where nothing goes their way and parts don’t fit correctly – and even if they do manage to piece it together, many times major errors have been incurred along the way.
In this post, we will examine the process of building an engine versus buying an engine to help you make a better informed decision for your restoration project.
What Is Your Objective?
There are many things that can go wrong during an engine build, and if you lack experience, you will probably encounter many of them. Errors are expensive in both time and costs, and your first engine build will likely end up costing thousands more than what you originally budgeted for.
If your goal is to prove to yourself that you have what it takes to build an engine on your own, building an engine may help you meet that goal. However, meeting this goal means:
- You will spend more; probably thousands of dollars more than you would have buying an engine from a professional builder.
- It will take longer to build. You will spend weeks doing tasks that a professional factory could do in hours.
- It might not work out. It’s very likely that you will run out of money or patience while building an engine; meaning that you’ll spend through your whole budget and still not have a completed engine in the end.
Who Are The Real Engine Experts?
First-time builders don’t usually have the experience to choose a proper parts combination on their own, which leads to problems during installation – or worse, problems while on the road. Even if you find a parts combination that works well for general function, it may not be the perfect combination for your specific objective.
On a forum, it is difficult to decipher whether someone is an expert crate engine builder; a first time engine builder with too much confidence; a parts supplier trying to sway people to buy their parts; or someone with limited knowledge attempting to present themselves as an expert. The point is, you never know who you are really communicating with on a forum.
Can Your Machine Shop Outbuild A Factory?
Machinery and Specialty Tools
If your uncle wanted to update his garage to match the capacity of our factory, at minimum he would need:
- CK11 cylinder honing machine: $80,000 (**Note: we have two of these in our factory = $160,000)
- Line honing machine: $45,000
- Crankshaft grinder: $120,000
- Diamond rod machine: $100,000 (1/10,000ths accuracy)
- Profelometers: $10,000
- Mititoyo gauge: $10,000 (½ millionth of an inch)
- Spin test machine: $35,000
- Dyno: $75,000
- Balancing machine: $45,000
- Liquid magnaflux for block testing: $18,000
- Serdi machine for cylinder heads and valves: $60,000
- Hot tank for block cleaning: $40,000
- A variety of torque wrenches and other measuring tools that are re-calibrated twice per day
These machines and tools allow our factory to build engines with the highest level of accuracy, quality and speed.
In comparison, your local machine shop will have a much lower investment into their machinery and tools; resulting in an inability to be extremely precise and accurate in every aspect of the build.
In addition to the right experience and the right tools, factories also have processes in place to prevent issues during the build.
This is where experience comes in – the ability to know what problems can occur, and to put the right processes in place to prevent them before they happen.
The Real Cost Of Building An Engine
Your local machine shop may provide some level of warranty, but it will likely be extremely limited and probably won’t cover the most expensive parts or systems. In most cases, small machine shops don’t have the profit margin to afford extending a proper warranty.
Is Your Engine Built To Last?
Contact us today and take the first step towards bringing your dream vehicle to life!
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