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2003 Sonic Money Pit
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I am looking at weighing my options on either building an engine from scratch, buying a complete build from MMR, and then the last being buying a Street Mod 750 from MMR and then having my heads P&P'd and installing stage 2 blower cams. Never built and engine or really done any major work on it minus a supercharger install. Which of these would be the best option? I've considering doing the build from scratch but every time I look at it I am immediately overwhelmed by the amount of choice and things you have to know when spec'ing the build and then actually assemble. And then on top of that when I do start pricing **** out I end up being damn near just as expensive at MMR and at that point why would I build my own? And then for the last option, how difficult is rebuilding the top end with new cams? Also lastly, is there a book or a thread that kind of breaks down what needs to be done for a build from start to finish? What I am trying to build is a mid 525-550rwhp engine that is lighter weight for road course use.
 

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US Air Force (retired)
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13,542 Posts
The most cost effective way depends upon how much work you can do yourself. I looked long and hard at MMR long blocks and that was before they came with TrickFlow heads. They also come with a warranty.

Their Street Mod 600 is designed to handle up to 600 rwhp. It costs roughly $7,000. For an additional $600 they will install and time aftermarket cams. I doubt you could pay someone to tear down your motor and build it back up for the same cost.
 

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Rent Asunder!
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11,806 Posts
Spend the $250-300 for a dial bore gauge, CC cylinder and stand, and other basic engine building tools and build it yourself. The reward is so much greater. Nothing will put a bigger smile on your face than when you fire up your very own built engine for the first time that you built yourself. It's a matter of pride. There's obviously somethings you can't do yourself such as the machine work. Let a machine shop do the bore/hone, and clean and sonic check the block, and balance the rotating assembly. Then you take it from there.
 

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Torchin tires...
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2,206 Posts
I just went through the same thing. Save yourself the time and effort and if you can afford it just buy a complete engine. If you want to learn a lot you can build it yourself, but getting stuff done at a machine shop is very time consuming and costly. It would have been nice to just have an engine shop up at my doorstep and throw it in the car lol.
 

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King Trashmouth
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21,891 Posts
Most machine shops can help you with putting one together. That will save you a good chunk of change. They will take your components, measure everything, get everything in spec, and hand you the components for final assembly. You can also have them do some of the minor work that might seem daunting; assembling the piston and rod, gapping rings, deburring the block. Then you just put the big parts together. That will save big on the labor, but keep in mind building an engine is veeeeeeeery time consuming. Either you pay for it in dollars at the machine shop, or you pay for it in your own time putting it together.

I would also add that if you disassemble everything before taking it to the machine shop, that will help you get a grasp of what you're doing, and what goes where.

If you've got the money but not the time, it's a no brainer, go with a built shortblock. If you want to learn or have more time than money, you can cut your teeth building it just as much as anywhere else.

Personally I took mine to the machine shop, let them spec everything, and assembled it myself. It gave me a lot more flexibility, had a better grasp of specs than I did, and saved some $$$ in the process. http://www.moddedmustangs.com/forums/99-04/477513-even-idiot-can-build-teksid.html
 

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This is a no brainer, if you have zero skills of assembling a engine then buy a long block. There are to many things in the assembly that you can screw up for a first timer. The last thing you want to be doing is constantly putting a engine in and out because you forgot something or engine making a strange noise.

If you want to get your hand dirty then buy a fully assembled shortblock and do the rest yourself. That will make down time shorter, professional assemble the short block (less worries hopefully) and you gain knowledge on installing heads and cams.

I chose buying a long block because I am not a engine builder, no plans on being one and wasn't going to buy any special tools to only use once. I did not want the down time on a long build and I had the money to pay.

I went with a Mmr900s. It's been in the car for about 5+/- years now with no issues. I had less than a month of down time and very satisfied. So far it's holding up to 16psi quiet nicely.
 

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US Air Force (retired)
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13,542 Posts
It was a long time ago but the first engine I built lasted 500 miles. I didn't have the money to do it again so just to get the car running I went to a salvage yard and bought a motor.
 

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2003 Sonic Money Pit
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
So I am curious if I was to build and got a new block would I still need the block to be inspected, align honed, decked, etc?
 

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Rent Asunder!
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So I am curious if I was to build and got a new block would I still need the block to be inspected, align honed, decked, etc?
Even a brand new production block will need machine work. The reason is because the manufacturer has no way of knowing what pistons are going in the block. Many new blocks are shipped .005-.010" under-bore to allow for room to bore/hone the block to match the pistons going in it. It probably won't need to be inspected/checked but it doesn't hurt. Many machine shops will check it over anyway as a courtesy and to be sure they're putting a quality block on their machines.
 

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Find a machine shop you can trust and source your own parts. Have them do machine work and assembly. The other choice would be if you have a buddy that has built one have him help you assemble it. A mod motor is an expensive motor to learn on.
 

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Premium Member
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3,380 Posts
All motors are expensive when building them with forged parts. Dont get why people say 4.6's are more expensive. They are cheaper than a regular 302 if you building it for over 500rwhp.

Buy a teksid block with a good stock bore. Then have the machine shop take a look at it and see if you can get by with just a clean up hone for stock size pistons. Buy a set of Molnar rods and use your stock crankshaft. It is good for 600hp easily. My new build is gonna be pretty nasty and I've have been buying my parts from Apocalypse Performance ? Performance parts to put you out front.
Jefferey will take good care of you for your new parts.
 
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Still slow.
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Spend the $250-300 for a dial bore gauge, CC cylinder and stand, and other basic engine building tools and build it yourself. The reward is so much greater. Nothing will put a bigger smile on your face than when you fire up your very own built engine for the first time that you built yourself. It's a matter of pride. There's obviously somethings you can't do yourself such as the machine work. Let a machine shop do the bore/hone, and clean and sonic check the block, and balance the rotating assembly. Then you take it from there.
This x100. I couldn't have said it better myself. Its very rewarding and will save you a good chunk of money. I was 19 when I rebuilt mine, 3 years ago. It was such a good learning experience.
 

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I went with an mmr900 shortblock as well. Did the heads and cams myself. Next time I build an engine I will get the bore gauge, micrometer etc. And assemble it myself. Just really didn't want the extra work on the build I have just done. Time for me has been slim lately.


Don't really have any regrets about the shortblock though.
 

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2003 Sonic Money Pit
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Even a brand new production block will need machine work. The reason is because the manufacturer has no way of knowing what pistons are going in the block. Many new blocks are shipped .005-.010" under-bore to allow for room to bore/hone the block to match the pistons going in it. It probably won't need to be inspected/checked but it doesn't hurt. Many machine shops will check it over anyway as a courtesy and to be sure they're putting a quality block on their machines.
Ok thank you, that makes sense.

And I guess lastly, is there anyone on here that has a machine shop that they would suggest that is local to LA or San Bernardino county in SoCal?
 

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US Air Force (retired)
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I wish you luck. You are talking to the success stories. Over the years I have seen members come and go. Building a motor is an expensive endeavor. Screw it up and you get to do it again. A lot of guys started but never finished so they sold off the parts they collected at a discount or they finished and when things went wrong they quit entirely. Some were very active on the forum until everything when wrong and then they just disappeared.
 
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2003 Sonic Money Pit
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262 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I wish you luck. You are talking to the success stories. Over the years I have seen members come and go. Building a motor is an expensive endeavor. Screw it up and you get to do it again. A lot of guys started but never finished so they sold off the parts they collected at a discount or they finished and when things went wrong they quit entirely. Some were very active on the forum until everything when wrong and then they just disappeared.
Thanks Eagle and I value your input whenever you comment on my posts, keep in mind though I still haven't decided. It is a toss up for me between building or buying. I have no shortage of time so I can definitely build it up slowly which would be nice. But where I feel I am lacking is knowledge. Fortunately the forums are usually helpful with that and I am hoping I can find some local knowledge for me. I just know that I want to get something in the works for when my poor stock block gives up the ghost haha. I don't think I would just drop off the forums if the engine went bad (Would probably take a small break to go scream at the engine for about a month).
 

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Sounds like you have some experience, but when tolerances are down to 10 thousandth of an inch and there's precise TQ specs and TQ sequences that must be adhered to. Even a little thing like knowing how to clock rings and measuring the ring gap is important. It might be better/easier to at least buy the short block already assembled.

Beside buying a block if used. Then having it magnafluxed, measured, and machined then buying a rotating assemble and having it balanced. If you buy a used crank the same will have to be done for it. You're not saving as much as you think. Then after all that if there is problem and the engine goes you're instantly out of that money. Not saying you can't but there will be a steep learning curve. I'm sure people would do their best to assist you if you do decide to build your own on here, but there's only so much you can do over the internet.

If I was going to get a machine shop to do the machine work on the block etc. I'd have them measure the all the main caps and cylinders etc with their bore gauge. If the crank is used have them measure the journals etc. Unless you plan on building several engines why buy all the necessary micrometers, dial gauges and a bore scope for one project engine. That money could be spent towards other mods.

I have built engines several times and still bought a MMR MOD 900 shortblock. It was almost as cheap and I didn't have to run my ass off buying parts having machine work done yada yada yada. I ran my stock heads and intake the first year.
 

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^^^^^ this exactly.
 
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