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Discussion Starter #1
I am reaching out to those that have already crossed the engine hurdle with your projects as I really want to learn before I buy. In my project car there is currently no engine. A 1965 nova could have come with a 283 cu in V8 or a 327 cu in V8 so that is what I am leaning towards now as I like the idea of keeping within the original offerings for the car. It may get migrated to fuel injection, and more updated technologies in time, but at the present I am starting to research what to look for.

So for those that have had to either source an engine for your project, or for those that have re-powered your ride, what was important in your search? Did you go with an older engine and rebuild, a new crate engine, or a late model engine swap?

With a 283 or 327 in mind, what would be reasonable for a used engine? I know that this will depend on the condition, but feel free to throw out a range for a basic stock built engine. I see them here in the northeast from $300 (you need to rebuild) through $3000 (already rebuilt) but how would I know if one really is a better deal than another? If there are other posts out there on this, i would appreciate any tips as to where to find so I can read up on the advice. I do not have any power now in the project, but I do not want an anchor...:D
 

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Not just cost to consider, cubic inchs matter too, if your thinking 283 or 327 may as well go for a 350, same basic engine with more cubic " and will move the car a lot better, maybe your trying to stay closer to stock though. Which I understand because I have the original 327 in my Acadian. Nothing like a crate engine with warranty if affordable.:D
 

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Can't hardly go wrong with a new crate engine. With a rebuilt one you don't know what parts was used.Some are ok others are not.
 

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You can still buy what they used to call the "Goodwrench" engines for $2k or less and you get a warranty.
Can't really never go wrong there and can build on it a bit later if you want to or as you go.:yes:
 

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If you want "original"

The serial number will tell you what size engine came in the car, but without the true original engine, I don't think the value of the car is enhanced. Something to check out. And yes, I have seen ads from folks looking for a particular serial number block and heads to get the original block and heads for a a total numbers matching car.
That being said, it's open to what your goals are for the car. You can have a real sleeper motor with an all orange plain engine that really cranks the power or one that looks awesome and is nothing special. That's part of the fun. BTW, you can also get crate performance engines from GM. Just get the drive train to coordinate and complement with the engine.
 

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I am reaching out to those that have already crossed the engine hurdle with your projects as I really want to learn before I buy. In my project car there is currently no engine. A 1965 nova could have come with a 283 cu in V8 or a 327 cu in V8 so that is what I am leaning towards now as I like the idea of keeping within the original offerings for the car. It may get migrated to fuel injection, and more updated technologies in time, but at the present I am starting to research what to look for.

So for those that have had to either source an engine for your project, or for those that have re-powered your ride, what was important in your search? Did you go with an older engine and rebuild, a new crate engine, or a late model engine swap?

With a 283 or 327 in mind, what would be reasonable for a used engine? I know that this will depend on the condition, but feel free to throw out a range for a basic stock built engine. I see them here in the northeast from $300 (you need to rebuild) through $3000 (already rebuilt) but how would I know if one really is a better deal than another? If there are other posts out there on this, i would appreciate any tips as to where to find so I can read up on the advice. I do not have any power now in the project, but I do not want an anchor...:D
What are your power goals? Are you looking to have the motor be comparable to what was in the car originally for cosmetic rather than power reasons?

If originality isn't an issue, as mentioned a 350 block stroked to a 383 would be a great engine to have. If you want to forego all the work of having to put EFI on your engine I would look for a junkyard LS1, 2 or 6 and install that into the car. The plus here is you will have comparable power as the 350 but will also get better gas mileage. You could also go with one of the crate motor offerings if you're worried about having a warranty.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow, and thank you for the response

The intent of the car is to return to stock-ish. Original car had a 6 cylinder in it that is lone gone, so forego the numbers matching idea. The body tag says it was for V8 and I would like to go this route. Since I want the car to be a driver/cruiser that occasionally spins the tires, it is not necessary to go for the huge power. I can live that through your cars...I know not the same, but close enough for now.

As far as crate engines go, this is an appealing option to me as I am finding that the used engines are so widely varied in price that it seems more risky. This is my first build and I recognized that there would be some parts that I would have to buy new. Just tough to pass on the idea that an engine could be a couple hundred and not couple thousand. This will be a gamble best taken if I had more experience.

Thanks for the tip on a "Goodwrench" engine, I will look these up. Do any of you have experience with these?
 

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Find a crate motor with a roller cam. If you're starting from scratch it's foolish to mess with flat tappets. It's usually cheaper to swap cylinder heads for better ones than to convert a flat tappet motor over to a roller setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Find a crate motor with a roller cam. If you're starting from scratch it's foolish to mess with flat tappets. It's usually cheaper to swap cylinder heads for better ones than to convert a flat tappet motor over to a roller setup.
Well this is new territory for me, why would a roller cam be better? I saw the crate motor in the earlier post on the Jegs website, but did not yet search for one with roller cam.

Thank you for the suggestion, I will look into this.
 

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Read the 'sticky' at the top called " Flat Tappet Warning! Lack of Zddp and modern oils". The oil has changed over the years so that any sort of aggressive flat tappet cam is in danger of eating itself and sending metal particles thru-out the motor. There are additives and/or special oils you can use but combine that with the added power that a roller gives due to the faster ramps and the days of the flat tappet are over. It typically costs over $1000 to convert to a roller cam so it only makes sense to start with one from the beginning.
 
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