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Author Topic: CrateEngine Suggestions  (Read 1111 times)
stevekarlo
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« on: January 08, 2019, 10:19:25 PM »

My 73 has a '68 383 that was rebuilt about 28 years ago. Its time for an upgrade and I am considering dropping in a crate motor. Looking to see  what the members here think of the different manufacturers out there and if anyone has suggestions who to use. CME Engines? Indy Cylinder? OR buy something like a Source 440 stoker kit and find a good engine builder to use my existing block. (Don't really know anybody.)

Not looking for crazy power, maybe 475-500 HP

Really would like a 440 and possibly a 6-pack. I know 4bbl are easier to tune and often better performing, but looking for some wow that would go with the RamCharger hood I have.
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 11:20:53 PM »

I heard good things about Blueprint engines, I don't see any big blocks in stock right now.

https://blueprintengines.com/
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2019, 03:12:00 AM »

I bought my 505 here:

http://www.competitionwedge.com/

Todd made a very good job.
Because I live in Germany, I had to find someone with a really good reputation.

Mario
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Challenger340
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2019, 05:31:22 AM »


Not looking for crazy power, maybe 475-500 HP

Really would like a 440 and possibly a 6-pack. I know 4bbl are easier to tune and often better performing, but looking for some wow that would go with the RamCharger hood I have.

475-500 HP is easy-peazee on a 440 even using stock Rods, Crank, etc.
Long read, but some ideas here:
http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,106687.0.html 

That said, and unfortunately because Forged Crank 440 "cores" as starting points are difficult to come by, the "Stroker" route is about the only realistic option being serviced as "crate" engines.

Just a suggestion here whatever you decide to buy, but if you go the Stroker "Crate" route ? Get it Dyno'd/Proven BEFORE acceptance.
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2019, 11:22:05 AM »

My 73 has a '68 383 that was rebuilt about 28 years ago. Its time for an upgrade and I am considering dropping in a crate motor. Looking to see  what the members here think of the different manufacturers out there and if anyone has suggestions who to use. CME Engines? Indy Cylinder? OR buy something like a Source 440 stoker kit and find a good engine builder to use my existing block. (Don't really know anybody.)

I bought a 408 stroker from CME and had nothing but problems; wrong crank, flywheel was for an externally balanced engine, oil leaks. Their suggestion was for me to pull the engine and ship it to them at my cost, and if they found a problem they would fix it but then shipping back would also be on my dime.  Indy has the worst customer service of any company I've dealt with and could only imagine how you would be treated if there was a problem. 440 Source makes some good parts but no experience with their complete engines.  Personally, I would not buy a crate engine from anyone that is not local to you. The best solution is to find a local engine builder, sit down with them and tell them exactly what you want and select the parts together balancing power with budget.  Then if there is a problem you only need to get the car/engine back to them instead of shipping across the country.
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2019, 12:14:32 PM »


Not looking for crazy power, maybe 475-500 HP

Really would like a 440 and possibly a 6-pack. I know 4bbl are easier to tune and often better performing, but looking for some wow that would go with the RamCharger hood I have.

475-500 HP is easy-peazee on a 440 even using stock Rods, Crank, etc.
Long read, but some ideas here:
http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,106687.0.html 

That said, and unfortunately because Forged Crank 440 "cores" as starting points are difficult to come by, the "Stroker" route is about the only realistic option being serviced as "crate" engines.

Just a suggestion here whatever you decide to buy, but if you go the Stroker "Crate" route ? Get it Dyno'd/Proven BEFORE acceptance.
Thanks for posting the link to the 440 build.  I'm considering a rebuild to the 440 in my Charger and may take a similar route.  I am, however, trying to maintain a stock engine appearance and, unless I missed it, did not see any mention about what type of exhaust manifold or headers you use to obtain the claimed horsepower.  I assume stock magnum manifolds would be too restrictive for this build or am I mistaken?
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Challenger340
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2019, 04:11:16 PM »


Not looking for crazy power, maybe 475-500 HP

Really would like a 440 and possibly a 6-pack. I know 4bbl are easier to tune and often better performing, but looking for some wow that would go with the RamCharger hood I have.

475-500 HP is easy-peazee on a 440 even using stock Rods, Crank, etc.
Long read, but some ideas here:
http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,106687.0.html  

That said, and unfortunately because Forged Crank 440 "cores" as starting points are difficult to come by, the "Stroker" route is about the only realistic option being serviced as "crate" engines.

Just a suggestion here whatever you decide to buy, but if you go the Stroker "Crate" route ? Get it Dyno'd/Proven BEFORE acceptance.
Thanks for posting the link to the 440 build.  I'm considering a rebuild to the 440 in my Charger and may take a similar route.  I am, however, trying to maintain a stock engine appearance and, unless I missed it, did not see any mention about what type of exhaust manifold or headers you use to obtain the claimed horsepower.  I assume stock magnum manifolds would be too restrictive for this build or am I mistaken?


I believe the final #'s on those 440 Dyno examples were with 1-7/8 Headers ?
However,
we've done other 440/451's  for a collection where they had to appear "bone stock", and using the factory HP Exhaust Manifolds/Dual Snorkel Air Cleaner we still stayed above 515 HP and 560-570 ? Ft/lbs using a custom Cam grind and different Head Port work in the Stealth's.

Yes, the factory Exhaust Manifolds/Dual Snorkel Air Cleaner are restrictive, because the above mentioned engine was at 580-590 HP I think ? before when using the 1 -7/8" headers,
so
changing to the Exh Manifolds and Snorkel Air Cleaner before finishing the Dyno session it dumped around 65-75 HP ?  
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 04:51:03 PM »


Not looking for crazy power, maybe 475-500 HP

Really would like a 440 and possibly a 6-pack. I know 4bbl are easier to tune and often better performing, but looking for some wow that would go with the RamCharger hood I have.

475-500 HP is easy-peazee on a 440 even using stock Rods, Crank, etc.
Long read, but some ideas here:
http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,106687.0.html  

That said, and unfortunately because Forged Crank 440 "cores" as starting points are difficult to come by, the "Stroker" route is about the only realistic option being serviced as "crate" engines.

Just a suggestion here whatever you decide to buy, but if you go the Stroker "Crate" route ? Get it Dyno'd/Proven BEFORE acceptance.
Thanks for posting the link to the 440 build.  I'm considering a rebuild to the 440 in my Charger and may take a similar route.  I am, however, trying to maintain a stock engine appearance and, unless I missed it, did not see any mention about what type of exhaust manifold or headers you use to obtain the claimed horsepower.  I assume stock magnum manifolds would be too restrictive for this build or am I mistaken?


I believe the final #'s on those 440 Dyno examples were with 1-7/8 Headers ?
However,
we've done other 440/451's  for a collection where they had to appear "bone stock", and using the factory HP Exhaust Manifolds/Dual Snorkel Air Cleaner we still stayed above 515 HP and 560-570 ? Ft/lbs using a custom Cam grind and different Head Port work in the Stealth's.

Yes, the factory Exhaust Manifolds/Dual Snorkel Air Cleaner are restrictive, because the above mentioned engine was at 580-590 HP I think ? before when using the 1 -7/8" headers,
so
changing to the Exh Manifolds and Snorkel Air Cleaner before finishing the Dyno session it dumped around 65-75 HP ?  

Great.  Thanks.
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BSB67
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 06:52:53 PM »

475 to 500 with manifolds is not hard, but you need the right cam and everything else right as rain.  600 HP is possible too with a 500 inch motor , but it will cost you.
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500" NA, Eddy head, pump gas, exhaust manifold with 2 1/2 exhaust with tailpipes
4150 lbs with driver, 3.23 gear, stock converter
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2019, 07:14:34 PM »

Personally, I would not buy a crate engine from anyone that is not local to you. The best solution is to find a local engine builder, sit down with them and tell them exactly what you want and select the parts together balancing power with budget.  Then if there is a problem you only need to get the car/engine back to them instead of shipping across the country.

Same
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500" NA, Eddy head, pump gas, exhaust manifold with 2 1/2 exhaust with tailpipes
4150 lbs with driver, 3.23 gear, stock converter
11.68 @ 120.2 mph
Challenger340
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2019, 09:22:39 AM »

Personally, I would not buy a crate engine from anyone that is not local to you. The best solution is to find a local engine builder, sit down with them and tell them exactly what you want and select the parts together balancing power with budget.  Then if there is a problem you only need to get the car/engine back to them instead of shipping across the country.

Same

Agreed,
and that's exactly the reason I decline most requests for "crate" engines as well ? even the "lowly 440's" exampled earlier in this thread.

What I mean is this,
unless the customer is willing to travel and attend the Dyno session on their engine in person and actually see it running, the paces we put it through, tuning, etc., there just isn't that learning curve so important to final customer continuity.
They get to see that the extra 2 degree's of timing bubba beer buddy wants to add later does nothing, same goes for someone's "magic" jetting, and on and on......
Not to mention when they leave with it.... they KNOW what they have !

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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2019, 10:58:04 AM »

Personally, I would not buy a crate engine from anyone that is not local to you. The best solution is to find a local engine builder, sit down with them and tell them exactly what you want and select the parts together balancing power with budget.  Then if there is a problem you only need to get the car/engine back to them instead of shipping across the country.

Same

Agreed,
and that's exactly the reason I decline most requests for "crate" engines as well ? even the "lowly 440's" exampled earlier in this thread.

What I mean is this,
unless the customer is willing to travel and attend the Dyno session on their engine inperson and actually see it running, the paces we put it through, tuning, etc., there just isn't that learning curve so important to final customer continuity.
They get to see that the extra 2 degree's of timing bubba beer buddy wants to add later does nothing, same goes for someone's "magic" jetting, and on and on......
Not to mention when they leave with it.... they KNOW what they have !

Completely agree. I was in constant contact with CME, they sent me a video of the dyno of "an" engine but not my engine because the distributor, wires and valve covers were different, and they claimed they pressure test all engines and didn't believe it was leaking. I sent them pics of the oil pool under my car and video of their flex plate clearly showing it was for an external balanced engine.  I'm sure they have produced other good engines and there are happy customers, but I will never buy a create engine again.
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 12:01:01 PM »

For me, building an engine is a journey.  A process that I not only want to be involved with, but also take responsibility for.  Its about building relationships.  Its important for me to get to know the people, and equally for them to get to know me.  You cannot do that well unless you're face to face.  Most guys that I've used have been for rides in my cars.  But that's just me.

But let me tell you a story.

I have a really well regarded guy build me a transmission.  If you go on every Mopar forum and ask who is the best Mopar tranny guy, his name will always be mentioned several times as the best.   He's a great guy.   The tranny doesn't shift right.  It takes three phone calls just to convince him that just maybe I didn't screw it up.  Weeks go by with me doing all kinds of stuff.  Buying gauges, pressure tests, valve body replacements until finally I remove the tranny and ship it back.  I'm doing all this on my back in an unheated garage in December and January.  Oops.  Looks like we forgot a seal.  Sends it back fixed.  I put it back in.  Shifts fine.  He was reasonable, tried to be fair, and we came to an agreement.  In short, he made a mistake, he lost, and I lost.  If he was local, I know he would have diagnosed the problem, R&R the tranny and fixed it, but he couldn't because he was 600 miles away.

Let me repeat the key point:  Everyone will make a mistake, even the best guy.  If there is a mistake and a problem, it will be far more painful for you to get it fixed, no matter what, if he is not local.
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500" NA, Eddy head, pump gas, exhaust manifold with 2 1/2 exhaust with tailpipes
4150 lbs with driver, 3.23 gear, stock converter
11.68 @ 120.2 mph
Challenger340
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2019, 08:26:53 AM »

For me, building an engine is a journey.  A process that I not only want to be involved with, but also take responsibility for.  Its about building relationships.  Its important for me to get to know the people, and equally for them to get to know me.  You cannot do that well unless you're face to face.  Most guys that I've used have been for rides in my cars.  But that's just me.

Let me repeat the key point:  Everyone will make a mistake, even the best guy.  If there is a mistake and a problem, it will be far more painful for you to get it fixed, no matter what, if he is not local.

Well said  2thumbs

And just to add from a Builder's perspective, Builder's should be the last guys on the PLANET who want any untested "junk" out there, and that's why if there is going some unforeseen problem that can/will occur ? we want to know FIRST by Dyno'ing, in the customer's presence.
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2019, 09:15:02 AM »

If one cannot travel, would the better solution be to ask the board for a reputable engine building in some geographic region?  Or is it better to dig around locally?  And if so, how does one who does not build engines look for or ask to assess the quality and competence? 
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stevekarlo
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2019, 11:03:20 PM »

If one cannot travel, would the better solution be to ask the board for a reputable engine building in some geographic region?  Or is it better to dig around locally?  And if so, how does one who does not build engines look for or ask to assess the quality and competence? 

Yes I have considered looking for a (relatively) local builder, but I didn't think they could build for a price like I can get from the crate companies. Plus I'd have to source a 440 block as I've got a 383 right now. But I'm certainly open for suggestions of anyone near Pittsburgh.

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Challenger340
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« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2019, 11:18:48 AM »

If one cannot travel, would the better solution be to ask the board for a reputable engine building in some geographic region?  Or is it better to dig around locally?  And if so, how does one who does not build engines look for or ask to assess the quality and competence? 

Yes I have considered looking for a (relatively) local builder, but I didn't think they could build for a price like I can get from the crate companies. Plus I'd have to source a 440 block as I've got a 383 right now. But I'm certainly open for suggestions of anyone near Pittsburgh.



And therein lies at least some, IMO, of the misconceptions fpr many people around Engine acquisitions(not just the OP here), with what are invariably 50 year old designs.

With Engines, you indeed get exactly what you PAY for.

There is no "magic", nor real value savings in the false belief that for some reason "crate" engines are able to be sold cheaper under the misconception in scale of volume ?
It very simply does NOT work that way today on 50 year old low numerical antiques, unless you are talking "runs" of 10's or 20's of a particular Engine(440), which is just NOT happening anywhere including the so called "Crate" Engines.
just say'in....
If I had 20 or so 440 cores in my Shop right now..... and keep in mind I AM a full service Machine Shop..... and I am DIRECT WD for parts and buy the parts as cheap as anyone.... If I decided to build all 20 the same way to a proven HP/Trq level like even the "lowly 440" series seen here
http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,106687.0.html
 
there is NO WAY I could realize much more than a very few Dollar savings per Engine !
unless....
I were to cut corners, skip operations/checks, and generally allow lower quality control on all engines to facilitate the speed to completion.
And even then I would have to then warehouse/store and advertise/market those completed Engines for sale further compromising base costs into a LOW demand market !

People are fooling themselves/misguided believing "Crate" Engines offer some magical scale of volume cost savings..... ain't happening !
If I can't do it and keep the lights on.... with a Full Machine Shop, specializing in Mopars, and with the Parts lines ? How the heck does anyone figure somebody else can ?

FIND a good local builder with a good reputation who knows mopars that you can have continuity with.

The PAIN of poor quality later, will hurt waaay more that initial misguided "glee" of cost savings.

My apologies for ther rant, I am a product of my environment......
that being,
I am so sick and tired of people wanting to bring their cheaply purchased elsewhere 440/Stroker Engines to us for "repairs", usually FAILED for whatever reason within a year or so ?
We are so fed up with being Engine JANITORS....Our policy now is NEW Builds only.... and if it wasn't built here originally GO AWAY !
I get 2 to 3 guys a month literally CRYING on the phone about "I just wanna FIX it"

True story
We're doing a new build 500 hp "lowly 440" for a guy now.
What happened was this.....
The guy had initially bought a well priced(or so he thought) "Crate" 512/Aluminum Head Stroker from somewhere, installed it... 2 weeks later all the Bearings wicked out of it.
He removes and sends it back to the Shop.... arguement.... HIS fault they say !
Negotiation to "help him out" ensues.
The Shop ends up taking/keeping his failed 512/Aluminum Head deal, and in exchange they build him a "440" parts cost only in trade.
He receives and installs the 440... 2 weeks later it FAILS !
So....  after now 2 FAILURES....
He finally contacts a Mopar specialty shop that we do business/Machine for(he thought they were too expensive initially), which we as a "courtesy" to that Shop(good customer), they ship it here and we dis-assemble the FAILED 2nd 440 to assess core viability.
Long story short....
We couldn't even USE his failed 440 as a "core" for the NEW build.... junk, garbage..... did NOT meet our specs for reuse.
So now a new "passed" core....
and,
 he now will have close to $25K in Labor/Parts, time, effort, and aggravation in 3 Engines.... to find out what he could have had in the first place, initially, for a FRACTION of that $25K now spent in total !

Don't be THAT guy, STOP dreaming that "Crates" that are somehow magically cheaper for the same thing, they are NOT !
Crates use cheaper parts, or cheaper labor.... and usually a combination of BOTH !
 
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c00nhunterjoe
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« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2019, 11:46:34 AM »

If one cannot travel, would the better solution be to ask the board for a reputable engine building in some geographic region?  Or is it better to dig around locally?  And if so, how does one who does not build engines look for or ask to assess the quality and competence? 

Yes I have considered looking for a (relatively) local builder, but I didn't think they could build for a price like I can get from the crate companies. Plus I'd have to source a 440 block as I've got a 383 right now. But I'm certainly open for suggestions of anyone near Pittsburgh.



And therein lies at least some, IMO, of the misconceptions fpr many people around Engine acquisitions(not just the OP here), with what are invariably 50 year old designs.

With Engines, you indeed get exactly what you PAY for.

There is no "magic", nor real value savings in the false belief that for some reason "crate" engines are able to be sold cheaper under the misconception in scale of volume ?
It very simply does NOT work that way today on 50 year old low numerical antiques, unless you are talking "runs" of 10's or 20's of a particular Engine(440), which is just NOT happening anywhere including the so called "Crate" Engines.
just say'in....
If I had 20 or so 440 cores in my Shop right now..... and keep in mind I AM a full service Machine Shop..... and I am DIRECT WD for parts and buy the parts as cheap as anyone.... If I decided to build all 20 the same way to a proven HP/Trq level like even the "lowly 440" series seen here
http://www.dodgecharger.com/forum/index.php/topic,106687.0.html
 
there is NO WAY I could realize much more than a very few Dollar savings per Engine !
unless....
I were to cut corners, skip operations/checks, and generally allow lower quality control on all engines to facilitate the speed to completion.
And even then I would have to then warehouse/store and advertise/market those completed Engines for sale further compromising base costs into a LOW demand market !

People are fooling themselves/misguided believing "Crate" Engines offer some magical scale of volume cost savings..... ain't happening !
If I can't do it and keep the lights on.... with a Full Machine Shop, specializing in Mopars, and with the Parts lines ? How the heck does anyone figure somebody else can ?

FIND a good local builder with a good reputation who knows mopars that you can have continuity with.

The PAIN of poor quality later, will hurt waaay more that initial misguided "glee" of cost savings.

My apologies for ther rant, I am a product of my environment......
that being,
I am so sick and tired of people wanting to bring their cheaply purchased elsewhere 440/Stroker Engines to us for "repairs", usually FAILED for whatever reason within a year or so ?
We are so fed up with being Engine JANITORS....Our policy now is NEW Builds only.... and if it wasn't built here originally GO AWAY !
I get 2 to 3 guys a month literally CRYING on the phone about "I just wanna FIX it"

True story
We're doing a new build 500 hp "lowly 440" for a guy now.
What happened was this.....
The guy had initially bought a well priced(or so he thought) "Crate" 512/Aluminum Head Stroker from somewhere, installed it... 2 weeks later all the Bearings wicked out of it.
He removes and sends it back to the Shop.... arguement.... HIS fault they say !
Negotiation to "help him out" ensues.
The Shop ends up taking/keeping his failed 512/Aluminum Head deal, and in exchange they build him a "440" parts cost only in trade.
He receives and installs the 440... 2 weeks later it FAILS !
So....  after now 2 FAILURES....
He finally contacts a Mopar specialty shop that we do business/Machine for(he thought they were too expensive initially), which we as a "courtesy" to that Shop(good customer), they ship it here and we dis-assemble the FAILED 2nd 440 to assess core viability.
Long story short....
We couldn't even USE his failed 440 as a "core" for the NEW build.... junk, garbage..... did NOT meet our specs for reuse.
So now a new "passed" core....
and,
 he now will have close to $25K in Labor/Parts, time, effort, and aggravation in 3 Engines.... to find out what he could have had in the first place, initially, for a FRACTION of that $25K now spent in total !

Don't be THAT guy, STOP dreaming that "Crates" that are somehow magically cheaper for the same thing, they are NOT !
Crates use cheaper parts, or cheaper labor.... and usually a combination of BOTH !
 

I'll drink to that. Well said.
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stevekarlo
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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2019, 10:43:34 PM »

Ok Challenger 340, I think you really sold me! (Sorry for the delayed response to your post... Life gets in the way sometimes!) But you make a lot of good points. "The PAIN of poor quality later, will hurt waaay more that initial misguided "glee" of cost savings." Well said! So now my search begins!
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2019, 07:37:51 AM »

On my build, I took my 440 core engine to a reputable MOPAR shop 2 1/2 hrs away. They are a magazine featured mopar builder. I told them I want a roughly 500 hp engine capable of power tour dependability. I speced a 493" stroker, aluminum heads, six pack(just because) and that I would rather not use import parts, but to do whatever they are familiar with. Then I said price was not really an object, this was my big build of my lifetime, and if they could give me a price range to expect, which was $9000-$13000. I said, go for it, how much do you want down, and gave them $5000 and my engine. 6 months later we had the Dyno session, and it made 505 hp, but had some lifter noise,which they poo-pooed, and I didn't think it was tuned as far as it should have been. But, I was convinced it was good and to bring it home. Installed engine and it drives like crap, pretty much only good at WOT, and puked lifters. Ultimately, pulled engine, bottom end was goog with good quality parts, but top end was replaced (heads were milled stealths that were obviously off a blown engine by the carnage that showed in the combuston cambers. Called Porter racing, got a new top end, and now good.
Should have had my local meticulous Chevy engine builder build it with a Porter speced top end and the six pack built and tuned by one of the guys who do that like promax.
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« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2019, 10:39:45 AM »

I dont recall if your issue has been discussed before, but why did you accept an engine with heavy lifter clatter and not running right? Thats the whole purpose of paying for the dyno session.
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« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2019, 12:27:33 PM »

They convinced me it was ok. I was a dumbass.
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