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Premium Member
17,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious. I know things will vary regionally, but just looking for a ballpark estimate on rebuilding a Big Block. I can estimate the price of parts (from Summit, etc), but really unsure about labor costs...

hone (torque plate),
hone lifter bores
resize rods,
install new rod bolts,
press pistons on rods,
install cam bearings.
Align hone/bore?

Check crank?
Balance rotating assembly

valve job (multi angle?)
surface heads
install new guides

I currently have two "core" 454 2-bolt short blocks, a "std/std" forged steel 396 crank (was magged and polished 20+ years ago, been stored ever since (standing on end, bolted to a flexplate).

I figured maybe I should build that 427 I have always wanted... Looking for a street motor, probably use an "L78/L72/LS6" etc cam stock L78 intake and carb, currently stock oval port, closed chamber heads (#702s), and I am planning on stock exhaust manifolds.

Looking at an "L78" visually (and sound), but with lower compression for 91 octane pump gas... I am sure I will hammer the throttle often, but probably rarely see the track, so I am not worried about absolute performance, more a nice driver that looks and sounds like a factory performance musclecar.

I saw some KB pistons that (according to KB website) will give about 10:1 cr, for Closed Chambered heads.


I am debating assembling it myself. I have built 5-6 engines over the years, but its been at least 16+ years. Most of mine had no labor costs, because I was working at an auto parts store with a full machine shop, so the machinists helped me when they had some spare time...

But how much does a shop typically charge for final assembly?

Any comments or suggestions?


Looking at maybe this summer. I currently have a 396, but it was a used motor... Loks sounds okay, but I still worry. Had the heads and pan off, and had it run in my car for 30 minutes (but no driving)...

10,465 Posts
I haven't had any machine work done in a while, but they should have a price list available either in person or online. If they don't have a pre-made list of prices I'd be wary they are going to make adjustments based on who sources the parts.

Steve R

Premium Member
4,970 Posts
Last fall, I had a 454 shortblock with issues. They provided a good used cast crank and a rear cap, align honed and fitted the crank, sized rods and reinstalled pistons, finish honed cylinders, replaced cam bearings, main and rod bearings and rings, and did the assembly. I was out the door at $950, and this was at one of the best shops in the Houston area. I thought it was a pretty good deal, and it took him a week once I got the engine to him.

2,030 Posts
BES Machine Shop Services
• Balancing
• Crank Grinding
• Engine Dyno • Flow Bench
• Head Porting
• Sheet Metal Intake Fabrication

Bore & Hone Block Hone Block
V8: $260 V8: $122
V6: $231 V6: $117
Inline 6: $217 Inline 6: $117
Inline 4: $157 Inline 4: $102
With torque plate add: $130* With torque plate add: $130*
* Includes tapping head bolt holes
Install cam bearings: $85 (plus cost of fitting if needed)
Hot tank and install freeze plugs: $146 (includes removing & installing all oil galley plugs and magnaflux)
Deck Cylinder Block
V8: $159 Inline 6: $123
V6: $159 Inline 4: $123
• All blocks are decked off main saddle •
Line bore block standard: $290
Line bore block & add steel caps splayed: $85/hour
Magnaflux block: $43
lnstall cylinder sleeve: $203 plus price of sleeve
Install bronze lifter bore sleeves: $702
O-Ring block: $318
Resize big end of rods: $25 each
Rebush rods: $25 each plus price of bushing
Shot peen rods: $53 for 8
Magnaflux Rods $6.25
Polish Beams $23 each
Grind – Race Crank: $85/hour – Includes chamfer oil holes, magnaflux and polish
Straighten: $85/hour
Chamfer oil holes, magnaflux and polish: $86
Weld journals: $85/hour
Balance assembly V8: $300
Balance assembly 6 cylinder: $253
Balance assembly 4 cylinder: $219
Stroked or internally balanced crank: $85/hour plus heavy metal
Drill & tap nose: $85
Custom crank grinding: Call for Quote
Pin fit: $8
Press pistons on rods: 8-$92, 6-$78, 4-$60, 1-$35
Digitized and CNC piston domes: Call for Quote
Flycut for canted valves: $25
Flycut pistons: $21.50 each
Custom work: $85/hour
Degree Camshaft: $85/hour
Valve grind (hot tank, magnaflux and assemble): V8 $312 (pair)
V6 $275
Inline 6 $253
Inline 4 $224
Competition valve grind (set spring height): V8 $398
V6 $363
Inline 6 $363
Inline 4 $282
Overhead camshaft: $85/hour
Install cast iron guides Install bronze guides (includes hone fit)
V8: $152* V8: $261*
V6: $148* V6: $247*
Inline 6: $130* Inline 6: $247*
Inline 4: $102* Inline 4: $224*
Apiece: $40* Apiece: $50*
*Does not include price of guide
Flow test heads: $92
Straighten heads: $85
Install hardened valve seats: $12.50 each plus price of seat
Surface grind: $37 each
Mill heads: $59 each up to .030" – add $8 for each additional .010"
Mill intake face: $59 each up to .030" – add $8 for each additional .010"
Cut for screw-in studs V8: $252/pair
Cut for bigger springs: $79/pair
Cut for PC seals: $59/pair
Set springs height: $65
Porting: $85/hour
Mill intake manifold 3 sides: $215 and up
Bead blast intake manifold: $85
Street port: $340
Cut heads for receiver groove: $218
Pressure test heads: $43
Engine Assembly: $85/hour with a $250.00 Minimum
Flat flywheel: $51
Recessed flywheel: $65
Recessed flywheel with pins: $80
HD or steel flywheel: Price varies
Call for price: 812-576-2371
Prices effective April 2014
***Prices subject to change without notice***

© 2017 BES Racing Engines

Premium Member
2,173 Posts
A local one-man shop operated by the owner, who has 40 years automotive machining experience just finished machining my 1969 L78 block and heads two days ago. His prices are very similar to BES Racing, including the hourly rate of $85.

Jim Ciganek of Enginious Machine Werks of Kingston, WA performed the following to my low-mileage, never-been-rebuilt 4-bolt main block and rectangular port heads:

1. hot tanked and glass beaded my block, heads, oil pan and timing chain cover
2. bored and honed the block with torque plates
3. honed the lifter bores
4. magnafluxed the block and heads
5. hung the pistons on the rods (press fit)
6. chased all threads-block and heads
7. flushed and brushed oil galleys
8. installed cam bearings (bearings included in price)
9. chamfered cylinder bores
10. surfaced heads-decks and exhaust surfaces
11. recut valve seats for 5-angle valve job
12. lapped and seated valves
13. checked spring tension
14. assembled heads with .015 spring shims (shims included)
15. pressure tested each combustion chamber for leakage
16. helicoiled stripped starter bolt holes
17. checked main bearing bores for alignment
18. straightened several of my "dimpled" rods
19. soap and water washed engine block
20. and probably a few things I have forgotten

Jim outsourced balancing, connecting rod bolt replacement and resize of big ends, honing of aftermarket harmonic balancer, crank polishing and final sizing of journals to my specifications.

No block decking, no align honing, no guide replacement needed.
Block and heads were returned in beautiful condition, cylinder head ports and combustion chambers polished; block, pan and timing cover spotless bare metal. Seattle shop that did the balancing and crank prep is highly respected.

Total out-the-door, including outsourced work and sales tax: $2,020

280 Posts
When I had my 496 built in the here in the Bay Area, I supplied all parts and for machine work and assembly of the long block was $1600, I paid $300 extra to have the block cleared for the stroker crank. I bought new heads so no head work was involved.

Premium Member
17,566 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If I lived where you live I'd check out Wolfplace AKA Mike Lewis Racing Engines.
Mike Lewis is still quite a ways away (more than 200 miles away from me)... Although I think I did see his truck here in town a few years ago... I hear he does great work, but I am just looking for a basic "street" engine, so I am sure there are more than a few competent local shops in my area...

617 Posts
Mike Lewis is still quite a ways away (more than 200 miles away from me)... Although I think I did see his truck here in town a few years ago... I hear he does great work, but I am just looking for a basic "street" engine, so I am sure there are more than a few competent local shops in my area...
Good luck! I had to deal with Las Vegas shops last year, and it was a crap shoot! Not like the old time shops in So. Cal.

Glad I got my 327 parts out of jail for 'ONLY' $1700. No itemization of work done, no price breakdown.

I think this was the first 327 small journal they ever dealt with, and the shop has been there forever! :frown2:
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