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Confused...When you buy a CRATE ENGINE

Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
151
Location
Sussex, WI, USA
Corvette
1980 330HP / 1963 L75 Roadster
Having recently installed a GM crate engine with Vortec Heads in a 1980 there were only two minor modifications required.

The original TH350 Auto Kickdown Bracket had to be modified because it was manufactured for the old style manifold which had angled bolts and a smaller bolt center to bolt center dimension versus the new style Vortec setup which has vertical bolts and a larger bolt center to bolt center dimension. I used a hacksaw to partially split the Bracket, heated it with a torch and spread it until it had the needed bolt center to bolt center dimension. The Bracket was then placed in a vice and bent to change the mounting angle to accomadate the vertical bolt pattern. I then fill welded in the gap which resulted from spreading the bracket to get the proper bolt center dimensions. After sand blasting and painting the bracket looks stock and the Kickdown Cable is in the correct position.

The other modification was the way the air conditioner and the Smog Air Pump attached to the block. The top air conditioner bracket also attaches to the block via the manifold bolts so it was not usable for the same reason the Kickdown Bracket had to be modified. Because I live in Wisconsin eliminating the air conditioner isn't a hardship so I used the lower air conditioner bracket to mount the Smog Air Pump. The only real modification was to remove some material off of the back side of the Air Pump's aluminum pully spacer to get the belt to run true.

Eugene
 
H

HighlyFanatic

Guest
how much does labor on a project like that run (considering i am not technical minded)
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
151
Location
Sussex, WI, USA
Corvette
1980 330HP / 1963 L75 Roadster
Sorry but I have no idea what someone would charge for these modifications. I'm cheap so I try to do everything myself and find the experience enjoyable trying to figure out how to make something look, fit and work properly.

The engine itself was approximately $3.200 delivered to Milwaukee by Lattof Chevrolet in Illinois. The Holley 600 Carb was sold on Ebay and the money received was used at a local Carb Shop to modify my original Quadrajet. The waterpump that came on the crate engine was replaced with one from Summit; $80 or so. Add aroud $300 for things like new hoses, u-joints and a mini starter so for less than $3,700 + your labor you could have a 330HP 350. In my case I spent aother $550 and replaced the restrictive 1980 exhaust system with a larger diameter, high flow exhaust system from a 1982 Corvette and a Street/Strip TH350 transmission from A-Meritron Transmission of Canton, Ohio was $450 delivered to Milwaukee. The origianal L48 350 and TH350 were placed in storage.

I hope I've not offended anyone by talking about prices or specific dealers.

Eugene
 
F

fc3

Guest
labor

I was quoted $600-$800 to install a crate in my '72 today. A ZZ4 350. Any problems would be extra.
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
It's the little things...

... that sneak up on you and hose you down, so I for one am glad that Eugene mentioned those parts and their respective costs. Then comes the "well I already have it out so I might as well replace it" attitude that drains the wallet further. Unfortunately, it's not till you start tearing things apart that you realize all the things you need.

--Bullitt
 

Evolution1980

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,302
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
I have the ZZ4 in my car. The only things I had to deal with were:

1) It doesn't come with an oil filter adapter, so you'll need to get one.

2) They use a different style water pump on the engine. I seem to recall it was a longer, and this caused a problem with the original clutch fan not clearing the shroud.
FIX: Went to to aftermarket waterpump which fit fine, except then I had to file down the head on one of the bolts on the timing chain cover. No big thing.

3) The alternator bracket had to be filed just a hair to give the proper hood clearance and belt tension.

You can check out some pics of my installation at http://photos.yahoo.com/thethingsido

Since going to a FlexFan and aftermarket hood, I've had no clearance issues. The intake manifold on the ZZ4 is a hair higher than the OEM. So be sure to carefully check air cleaner-to-hood clearance before dropping the hood. A good trick is to roll up a ball of aluminum foil and place it on the top of the air cleaner. Gently lower the hood and close it. The foil will flatten out. Open up the hood, check the now-flattend foil ball. That's the clearance you now have.

Also note: Since you have the engine out, might as well replace the worn OEM motor mounts with some nice polyurethane mounts. Also, might as well scrub that part of the frame and slop some generous amounts of rustoleum on there...
 

Jack

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
1,825
Location
Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
Corvette
71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
/Evo80 ... So be sure to carefully check air cleaner-to-hood clearance before dropping the hood. A good trick is to roll up a ball of aluminum foil and place it on the top of the air cleaner. Gently lower the hood and close it. The foil will flatten out. Open up the hood, check the now-flattend foil ball. That's the clearance you now have.

:upthumbs GREAT TIP!
 

Evolution1980

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Feb 25, 2002
Messages
4,302
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Corvette
ZZ4, 700R4, Steeroids rack & pinion, VB&P Brakes
HighlyFanatic,

Just went back and re-read your post again. You left the link for the Edelbrock engine, so I'm assuming that you are looking at that engine.
IMHO, that seems a bit expensive considering that the GM ZZ4 directly from GM Detroit is only about $3500, and produces more HP and much more Torque. Considering the $1300 difference in price, I'd go with the ZZ4. BTW, the ZZ4 is rated at 355hp and 405ft/lb torque. More HP & torque for less money going with the ZZ4. Plus a 1 year / 12K mi warranty. Hmmm..... And your current 750cfm Q-Jet will bolt right up and work just fine!
 
F

fc3

Guest
Scoggin Dickey(www.sdpc2000.com) in Lubbock Texas is a source for zz4's. They can provide a zz4 (not fast burn 385) with 390 hp with more torque for about $4200. FC.
 
H

HighlyFanatic

Guest
Evolution1980 said:
HighlyFanatic,

Just went back and re-read your post again. You left the link for the Edelbrock engine, so I'm assuming that you are looking at that engine.
IMHO, that seems a bit expensive considering that the GM ZZ4 directly from GM Detroit is only about $3500, and produces more HP and much more Torque. Considering the $1300 difference in price, I'd go with the ZZ4. BTW, the ZZ4 is rated at 355hp and 405ft/lb torque. More HP & torque for less money going with the ZZ4. Plus a 1 year / 12K mi warranty. Hmmm..... And your current 750cfm Q-Jet will bolt right up and work just fine!

yes i realized that and ditched that

for the money and performance i think this is worth it

http://www.dallasexportsales.com/383390LB.htm
 

AKRAY4PLAY

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2001
Messages
584
Location
Wasilla, Alaska, U.S.A.
Corvette
'77 L-82, black on black. Full mod 406 small block
you need to decide exactly how much you want to modify your car. please take into context your daily intension for useage. the more ponies you throw under the hood, the more quarky you car will run. the zz4 motor is a great kit engine for the daily street rod runners. EVO '80 is on track for getting you the best bang for your buck. please make a hard decision about how you want your car your run, how often and how much cash you are willing to throw at her. yes all of these variables are inter-related. the balance line will be up to you to draw. i, along with everyone, will try to give you the best info so you can weigh options and make your own decision about your pending investment. keep us posted on your asperations, and we will try our best supply you with our info on certain options you have. best of luck, brian
 

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