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3 hours ago, dan dan said:

I happen to know a guy that has a big block. Looking to get a new one and engine builder he talked to it was between 50 and 70 grand. All depended on what he wanted. 

It must depend on which driver wants it.  I read a post on fb that they never paid more than 30g for a big block.  Were they just stirring the pot? Not sure but that's what it said. 

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Threads like this make my blood boil, mainly because so much of what has been said on here is simply not true. I read some of the posts and as someone who builds engines for a living I just sit here and shake my head. 1st off in the BB vs STSS debate you are spending just as much on a “open small block” as you are on a big block. We just did one and it was $49,000, a brand new big Block is 49,500, both were built with the absolute best of the best parts, the big Block you turn 7500 rpm, the small block you turn 8500-9000+ rpm so the people on here saying it’s cheaper to rebuild a Sb than a bb you are WRONG. A big Block will run 1500-2000 laps before freshening, a small block at 9000 rpm, 1000 laps is a safe number. The harder you turn it the more stress on the parts. I can guarantee you all the fast guys in “the working mans series” are not racing with a $10,000 used latemodel engine that they bought a steel block and put the parts in... they are all running the latest and greatest mikes 13° head with all the bells and whistles. I’m sure there are guys who are running old latemodel stuff and are competitive but the same argument can be said with guys with older big blocks. Open rules are good and bad, the small guy can build a nice engine or buy a used one for a fair price but the big guy is going to have a engine built that the small guy will never be able to afford even if he sold both kidneys on the black market. Anthony Perrego debuted a 358 ci pro power ford a few weeks ago at Fonda, turned it 9100 rpm in heat race and as a engine builder myself I loved hearing that thing scream.... oh yea it was also $55,000. That’s what everyone in that series is racing against. There’s no good answer to this but i atleast want facts to be learned in this thread vs the he said/she said stuff that is said in this thread. Please don’t take this the wrong way but  I would be curios as to how many people that have replied to this have a nickel invested in a actual  racecar vs just being a fan in the stands who likes to weigh in on topics like this.

 

Dan Dan, tell your friend whoever quoted him 70 grand for a big block to call that person to tell them to pound salt, while I know my engine at $49,500 is no where cheap I know exactly to the penny how much we have just in parts and you cannot buy any better than what we put into that engine. Between parts/machine work and labor you definitely aren’t taking wheelbarrows of money to the bank as a engine builder.  We could probably build a big Block for $30,000... run a cheap crank, cheap rods, stock GM Block, timing chain, cheap camshaft but it’s not going to last. We build a killer piece from the start with the best parts that will last for years and years. I said it before, we just used dart block serial #37,465 and We have a customer with serial number #256 and it also has the first original prototype Mike’s Racing heads on it. That engine is about 13 years old and won a few races last year. 

 

Any other engine related questions ask away and I’ll try my best to answer. all I do is build badass engines Monday-Friday 8-5 😎

Rob Hile 

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Rob you posted a while back that you guys were building 358s nearly on par in price with the W16 and they were winning at Fulton.

Is that engine still in use by the guys that were successful with it earlier?

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7 hours ago, Rebob0510 said:

“the working mans series”

No Such Thing Anymore!!!! No way any true 40 hr a week working man can compete in either series anymore!

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1 hour ago, WheelsUpHammerDown10 said:

For someone who knows very little about engines, what does a typical “freshening” of an engine cost and what is done during that process?

Typically the spark plugs and air filter are replaced at a cost of about 5 grand. Perhaps Rob can go into greater detail.

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21 hours ago, Eagleonemotorsports said:

John, 

Using the Lords name in vain isn’t much better.

I agree....

Jesus Christ!

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9 hours ago, Rebob0510 said:

Threads like this make my blood boil, mainly because so much of what has been said on here is simply not true. I read some of the posts and as someone who builds engines for a living I just sit here and shake my head. 1st off in the BB vs STSS debate you are spending just as much on a “open small block” as you are on a big block. We just did one and it was $49,000, a brand new big Block is 49,500, both were built with the absolute best of the best parts, the big Block you turn 7500 rpm, the small block you turn 8500-9000+ rpm so the people on here saying it’s cheaper to rebuild a Sb than a bb you are WRONG. A big Block will run 1500-2000 laps before freshening, a small block at 9000 rpm, 1000 laps is a safe number. The harder you turn it the more stress on the parts. I can guarantee you all the fast guys in “the working mans series” are not racing with a $10,000 used latemodel engine that they bought a steel block and put the parts in... they are all running the latest and greatest mikes 13° head with all the bells and whistles. I’m sure there are guys who are running old latemodel stuff and are competitive but the same argument can be said with guys with older big blocks. Open rules are good and bad, the small guy can build a nice engine or buy a used one for a fair price but the big guy is going to have a engine built that the small guy will never be able to afford even if he sold both kidneys on the black market. Anthony Perrego debuted a 358 ci pro power ford a few weeks ago at Fonda, turned it 9100 rpm in heat race and as a engine builder myself I loved hearing that thing scream.... oh yea it was also $55,000. That’s what everyone in that series is racing against. There’s no good answer to this but i atleast want facts to be learned in this thread vs the he said/she said stuff that is said in this thread. Please don’t take this the wrong way but  I would be curios as to how many people that have replied to this have a nickel invested in a actual  racecar vs just being a fan in the stands who likes to weigh in on topics like this.

 

Dan Dan, tell your friend whoever quoted him 70 grand for a big block to call that person to tell them to pound salt, while I know my engine at $49,500 is no where cheap I know exactly to the penny how much we have just in parts and you cannot buy any better than what we put into that engine. Between parts/machine work and labor you definitely aren’t taking wheelbarrows of money to the bank as a engine builder.  We could probably build a big Block for $30,000... run a cheap crank, cheap rods, stock GM Block, timing chain, cheap camshaft but it’s not going to last. We build a killer piece from the start with the best parts that will last for years and years. I said it before, we just used dart block serial #37,465 and We have a customer with serial number #256 and it also has the first original prototype Mike’s Racing heads on it. That engine is about 13 years old and won a few races last year. 

 

Any other engine related questions ask away and I’ll try my best to answer. all I do is build badass engines Monday-Friday 8-5 😎

Rob Hile 

Rob, is it safe to assume that about nearly half the cost of the high powered engines are in the non standard configuration of head angles like the 12, 14 18, etc degree angle heads & the work involved in attaining the non standard heads? Both small & big blocks get the power by changing these angles, resulting in significant power increases for both, but at much higher costs. I realize "the horse has left the barn" but had these modifications been restricted our engines would be considerably less money, be it a small or big block!

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43 minutes ago, BobMiller said:

I agree....

Jesus Christ!

I’ve also heard the term “Jesus H. Christ”....after some research, i’ve Learned that the “H” stands for “Horatio”. He had some Greek in him, on his Mother’s side.

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10 hours ago, Rebob0510 said:

Threads like this make my blood boil, mainly because so much of what has been said on here is simply not true. I read some of the posts and as someone who builds engines for a living I just sit here and shake my head. 1st off in the BB vs STSS debate you are spending just as much on a “open small block” as you are on a big block. We just did one and it was $49,000, a brand new big Block is 49,500, both were built with the absolute best of the best parts, the big Block you turn 7500 rpm, the small block you turn 8500-9000+ rpm so the people on here saying it’s cheaper to rebuild a Sb than a bb you are WRONG. A big Block will run 1500-2000 laps before freshening, a small block at 9000 rpm, 1000 laps is a safe number. The harder you turn it the more stress on the parts. I can guarantee you all the fast guys in “the working mans series” are not racing with a $10,000 used latemodel engine that they bought a steel block and put the parts in... they are all running the latest and greatest mikes 13° head with all the bells and whistles. I’m sure there are guys who are running old latemodel stuff and are competitive but the same argument can be said with guys with older big blocks. Open rules are good and bad, the small guy can build a nice engine or buy a used one for a fair price but the big guy is going to have a engine built that the small guy will never be able to afford even if he sold both kidneys on the black market. Anthony Perrego debuted a 358 ci pro power ford a few weeks ago at Fonda, turned it 9100 rpm in heat race and as a engine builder myself I loved hearing that thing scream.... oh yea it was also $55,000. That’s what everyone in that series is racing against. There’s no good answer to this but i atleast want facts to be learned in this thread vs the he said/she said stuff that is said in this thread. Please don’t take this the wrong way but  I would be curios as to how many people that have replied to this have a nickel invested in a actual  racecar vs just being a fan in the stands who likes to weigh in on topics like this.

 

Dan Dan, tell your friend whoever quoted him 70 grand for a big block to call that person to tell them to pound salt, while I know my engine at $49,500 is no where cheap I know exactly to the penny how much we have just in parts and you cannot buy any better than what we put into that engine. Between parts/machine work and labor you definitely aren’t taking wheelbarrows of money to the bank as a engine builder.  We could probably build a big Block for $30,000... run a cheap crank, cheap rods, stock GM Block, timing chain, cheap camshaft but it’s not going to last. We build a killer piece from the start with the best parts that will last for years and years. I said it before, we just used dart block serial #37,465 and We have a customer with serial number #256 and it also has the first original prototype Mike’s Racing heads on it. That engine is about 13 years old and won a few races last year. 

 

Any other engine related questions ask away and I’ll try my best to answer. all I do is build badass engines Monday-Friday 8-5 😎

Rob Hile 

Thank you for sharing. The takeaway for me is, at the highest level, this is a rich man’s game. You want to play with the big boys you better bring your cheque book to run up front. Yes, of course you need skill and set up, but all the skill in the world won’t win titles if you aren’t able to afford some of the must haves. 

 

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Rob, when I see him I'll tell him to call you. I myself thought 70 was a tad high, and 50 was probably average. 

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“Late model motor” just means build whatever the hell you want, as long as it has one cam, 8 cylinders, two pushrods per cylinder and a carburetor. It just so happened that everybody figured out that the most efficient package under those pretty much wide open rules is a dry sump aluminum spread bore small block punched out to 430ish. 

Steel block late models follow the same scope of rules, but require that the block is steel. Thing is, such a package is perfectly legal, and as I understand it, pretty popular in the STSS. That would seem to me that “late model motors” are already a thing for modifieds in the northeast. 

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Awesome replies. Great to hear different perspectives. Thank you everyone. Been a learning experience. 

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16 minutes ago, 80K said:

Awesome replies. Great to hear different perspectives. Thank you everyone. Been a learning experience. 

This has been one of the most informative threads I've ever read on this board. I appreciate people being able to share first-hand experience and knowledge on the subjects. I love the sport of dirt track racing and have had uncles, cousins and friends involved in it, but I've never really heard the intricacies of the finances, especially when it comes to engines. This has been a great thread and I do hope Rob has the time when he's not building some "bad ass engines" :) to reply about the freshening aspect. Would love to know more about that. 

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6 hours ago, leakin_fluids said:

Rob you posted a while back that you guys were building 358s nearly on par in price with the W16 and they were winning at Fulton.

Is that engine still in use by the guys that were successful with it earlier?

We are still having great success with that engine package, Currently Jeremy Dygert, Ben Bushaw, Pat Ward and Tim Sears jr are all running very well with that ECO 358 engine package.

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6 hours ago, WheelsUpHammerDown10 said:

For someone who knows very little about engines, what does a typical “freshening” of an engine cost and what is done during that process?

This is a very good question, This process varies from engine builder to engine builder but I will explain our process and what is replaced. when a engine comes back for rebuild the entire engine is tore down to a bare block, we replace many parts and also re use many parts. The parts that are going to get re used get checked over and then cleaned and laid out on a assembly cart. On every rebuild we do big block or small block we replace 90%of the same parts. Some items are probably replaced way sooner than they need to be but $500 now can save you thousands down the road in repair bills. The Pistons, Rings, Crank/Rod/Cam bearings, timing chain/belt, all gaskets, Intake and exhaust valves, Lifters, head gaskets are replaced at every rebuild. The block gets honed for the new pistons, then washed and painted, the connecting rods and pistons get fit to the wrist pins, and if work out a oversize wrist pin will be installed. The Cylinder heads get completely disassembled, then they get a valve job done to ensure proper sealing of the valve. Once all the parts are clean and everything is ready to go back together it rolls into the assembly room, on average it takes about 20 hours to assemble a rebuilt engine. The its off to the dyno to ensure quality control of the engine and back to the customer. A typical Big Block rebuild is right around 10 grand and a small block is around 6 grand.  Like I said we could re use the lifters and save $600 but its one of those items that you are better off changing early than having a issue and causing serious damage.

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1 hour ago, Rebob0510 said:

This is a very good question, This process varies from engine builder to engine builder but I will explain our process and what is replaced. when a engine comes back for rebuild the entire engine is tore down to a bare block, we replace many parts and also re use many parts. The parts that are going to get re used get checked over and then cleaned and laid out on a assembly cart. On every rebuild we do big block or small block we replace 90%of the same parts. Some items are probably replaced way sooner than they need to be but $500 now can save you thousands down the road in repair bills. The Pistons, Rings, Crank/Rod/Cam bearings, timing chain/belt, all gaskets, Intake and exhaust valves, Lifters, head gaskets are replaced at every rebuild. The block gets honed for the new pistons, then washed and painted, the connecting rods and pistons get fit to the wrist pins, and if work out a oversize wrist pin will be installed. The Cylinder heads get completely disassembled, then they get a valve job done to ensure proper sealing of the valve. Once all the parts are clean and everything is ready to go back together it rolls into the assembly room, on average it takes about 20 hours to assemble a rebuilt engine. The its off to the dyno to ensure quality control of the engine and back to the customer. A typical Big Block rebuild is right around 10 grand and a small block is around 6 grand.  Like I said we could re use the lifters and save $600 but its one of those items that you are better off changing early than having a issue and causing serious damage.

And it sounds like depending on how much you’re racing, you might have to do this process potentially a couple times a race season which each engine you run? 

I would imagine the Sheppards, Wights, Rudolphs, Friesens, etc of the world that race 70+ times a year would need to do this a few times judging by discussion earlier in this thread. 

So general big block engine maintenance say you bought a new one and assuming nothing breaks all season, you’re looking at 70ish grand right off the bat sounds like between purchasing the engine and then potentially 2 refreshes or so.

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1 hour ago, rpm72x said:

What package does Larry have? Along with Erick Rudolph 

Not sure what Erik has, but I would love to know haha. As for Larry his engine is 90% the same as the eco 358 package. The only difference is a crower crank and connecting rod vs a scat and a K1 connecting rod. The difference is about 3# rotating weight and about $2500. We offer the eco 358 with a better crank and rod if the customer is looking for a little bit lighter parts and longer life expectancy. We will run a crower crank and rods for 10 years in a small block, where the scat crank and K1 rod we strongly suggest replacing every 2-3 years. The scar crank will hold up but for $600 the connecting rod is the only question mark in the engine so we cycle them out a little bit sooner.  Same block, same heads, same valvetrain, same pulleys, other than crank and rods they are 99% the same. 

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5 minutes ago, WheelsUpHammerDown10 said:

And it sounds like depending on how much you’re racing, you might have to do this process potentially a couple times a race season which each engine you run? 

I would imagine the Sheppards, Wights, Rudolphs, Friesens, etc of the world that race 70+ times a year would need to do this a few times judging by discussion earlier in this thread. 

So general big block engine maintenance say you bought a new one and assuming nothing breaks all season, you’re looking at 70ish grand right off the bat sounds like between purchasing the engine and then potentially 2 refreshes or so.

That is correct, a Friday night racer who hits some series races here or there could be pretty close to running all year on 1 engine, that is typically what we do with my brothers engine. Freshen it over the winter and can normally run it that 1500 laps throughout the summer. Now a Friday night driver and a series driver... now you need some inventory. We just changed engines in both Larry’s and Billy’s car after the rainout at Middletown. Both started the year at volusia, run every Friday night at Brewerton and the full series. Larry’s has about 1500 and deckers around 1400. Right now they each have about 250 laps on them from Quebec, add  50 from brewerton this Friday, 120 at weedsport, 120 at Sharon, 120 at Eldora, 50 more at Brewerton and by months end that fresh engine already has almost 700 laps on it. They will probably run those till Lebanon valley and the ones we just took out will be turned around and freshened up and will more than likely finish the season off. If you run weekly and the full series you need 2-3 engines, that way you are prepared for whatever is thrown at you along the way 

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59 minutes ago, Rebob0510 said:

That is correct, a Friday night racer who hits some series races here or there could be pretty close to running all year on 1 engine, that is typically what we do with my brothers engine. Freshen it over the winter and can normally run it that 1500 laps throughout the summer. Now a Friday night driver and a series driver... now you need some inventory. We just changed engines in both Larry’s and Billy’s car after the rainout at Middletown. Both started the year at volusia, run every Friday night at Brewerton and the full series. Larry’s has about 1500 and deckers around 1400. Right now they each have about 250 laps on them from Quebec, add  50 from brewerton this Friday, 120 at weedsport, 120 at Sharon, 120 at Eldora, 50 more at Brewerton and by months end that fresh engine already has almost 700 laps on it. They will probably run those till Lebanon valley and the ones we just took out will be turned around and freshened up and will more than likely finish the season off. If you run weekly and the full series you need 2-3 engines, that way you are prepared for whatever is thrown at you along the way 

all that =BIG$

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23 hours ago, dan dan said:

I happen to know a guy that has a big block. Looking to get a new one and engine builder he talked to it was between 50 and 70 grand. All depended on what he wanted. 

I think what he should want is another engine builder. 70K for an engine?

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