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Trifive on Facebook Admin
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After some serious thought ive decided to rebuild my bel air's original 265. Im not the most experienced mechanic, and ive never rebuilt an engine before. any advice, things to look out for?
 

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Yes!! Look out for a good engine builder :) If your not a mechanic or have not done this before a lot can go wrong that could cost you time and money. There is a book available I think called "building your first small block chevy" (or something like that). It's good reading and will give you an understanding of what needs to be done so that when your talking to the shop you don't sound like a rube. I leave the engine building to the engine builders cause that's what they do. If you choose to do it yourself your still going to need a good engine machine shop do all the machine work. Ask around who in your area has a good reputation. Nothing worse than having to pull a freshly built motor back out of that newly painted car. It happens all the time...Ask me how I know this. I've had two motors done in the last couple of years. If I needed to build another motor this time I would buy a crate engine..no doubt in my mind.

Don
 

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After some serious thought ive decided to rebuild my bel air's original 265. Im not the most experienced mechanic, and ive never rebuilt an engine before. any advice, things to look out for?
since your in la quinta i would talk to the guys at waynes engie rebuilders in riverside,ca they did a motor for me on my truck a few years back and they did really good work for a fair price. hope that helps.
 

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:sign0016: to bowtie-trifive crew zen!

If you want to remain "stock", I can see you wanting to rebuild the 265, take the advice so far given about pro engine builders. If your not worried about keeping the car stock, I might go with a new Crate SBC, it also depends if you have a budget.


:anim_25:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
some good advice all around. what im looking to do is take it to my friends shop, hes done countless engine rebuilds and specializes in classics, and we're gonna rebuild it together. I figure this is probably the best way to learn how to rebuild an engine, and should keep the cost down. any idea what the average cost to rebuild one of these engines is?
 

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rebuilt 265

When I had my 283 rebuilt, parts and labour was about $2500.00. In your case your labor is free. My advice is to use quality parts and don't skimp, you may save a few $$$ but you will end up taking it out in 2 years maybe. You can also get the generator, starter and carb etc. rebuilt at the same time .
The rebuilt was the best move I made with a car. It drives like new now....

Peter
 

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I did a bit better than Peter. My complete rebuild with a new Edelbrock manifold installed ran me about $2300 with tax. Figure dis-assembly and hot tank, magna-fluxed the block, new pistons, rings, oil pump, New Crane Cam and lifters with all related parts, rebuilt rods, bearings, polished or cut crank and machining of the block with head work and gasket kit at around $15-$1600. The rest was assembly and the intake manifold.

Don
 

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...magna-fluxed the block,...
Don
Why is it necessary to have the block magna-fluxed? The heads I can imagine, but the block isn't under that much of stress. Is this done to determine old casting defects?
 

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It is not necessary but It is done to search for cracks which can occur from overheating or freezing. This according to a how to article I have in my files. If you know the history of your engine I would imagine you could skip this step. I was given a motor I knew nothing about (other than it was std. bore) and wanted it magna-fluxed before I would put any money into it.

Don
 

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1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible; ZZ4 w HEI ign; 700r4; 9" rear w/3:50 gears; pwr disc fr w drum rear
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You are fortunate to have a friend with a shop willing to help you out. That sounds like a fun project. Great opportunity to research exactly what you want to do......and supervise that only top quality parts go into that engine.

sorry.....no idea on cost, just envious of your opportunity to down a few (hundred) beers with a buddy, problem solve, have some laughs, learn something new, and the feeling of accomplishment when you get it dialed in and can say "I did it."

Ace
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It is not necessary but It is done to search for cracks which can occur from overheating or freezing. This according to a how to article I have in my files. If you know the history of your engine I would imagine you could skip this step. I was given a motor I knew nothing about (other than it was std. bore) and wanted it magna-fluxed before I would put any money into it.

Don
Great suggestion. The original owner let it sit in a field for 40 some odd years before we bought it (with 70,000 orig miles) and with some of the problems ive been having with the engine, having it magna-fluxed ought to clear up some questions
 

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WTG, that you have a mechanic friend with a shop and will be helping you, what a great project. I still can remember back in the day working on my first engine, it was a 283 and I was 16, many hours of reading, tearing down, checking tolerances, etc., my B-inlaw at the time worked at a machine shop and let me use the tools I needed and his old Glenn's manual 1953-64, he would check in on my progress to see how I was doing, that was really cool.

Have fun!


:anim_25:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
yeah im real excited for this. ive been wanting to rebuild the engine for some time now, ive just never had the money, tools, or much of the knowledge to do it but I really didnt want to have to take it into a shop. I figure this will be a great way to learn for future projects
 

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Rebuilding an engine can be lots of fun, especially if you're not in a big hurry or trying to make any money on it. Attention to detail is a big thing.

Working with an experienced mechanic looking over your shoulder will help you avoid any common pitfalls. Previous advice about getting a rebuild book is one that I believe in. I've found that a book pays for itself twice over the first time that you use it.

Two things that alot of people overlook is parts compatibility (not an issue for stock rebuilds, GM engineers did the homework for you) and another big offender in my opinion is cleanliness. You can't have your engine too clean! No dust allowed. All old gunk must go, All clean parts must be bagged until installed. Lots of hot, sudsy water and a variety of scrub brushes and rifle brushes. I may be too extreme but, in my opinion, hospital clean is barely good enough. Alot of guys get away with less, and my dad laughs at me about this, but scrubbing is cheap insurance.

This scrubbing takes alot of time and isn't all that much fun. The assembly is loads of fun,though.

Go for it!
 

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One more thing. Have your machinist check for cracks in unusual places too. These are old castings and may have been overheated a few times. My machinist checked for cracks in all of the usual places, then did a beautiful job machining my 265 only to find some previously hidden cracks in the deck when he was doing a final cleaning. Painful lesson for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
well you know what they say about cleanliness. definitely some good advice. its little things like that often get over looked, although i am a bit of a clean freak myself, ESPECIALLY when it comes to the bel air.

i wonder if zip lock makes a bag big enough for the block:D
 
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