2022 Cost to Rebuild Engine Vs Crate Motor Vs LS Swap

Doc Russ

1970 SS/RS Camaro
Oct 15, 2011
10
Grand Junction CO
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. In fact, the last thread I had going was very similar, but life took over (baby) and so I had to put it off. Now I’m getting the itch again after having saved up some money. My coworker has a 400 from a truck sitting in his backyard he’d be willing to sell. He also has a 327, and I’m tempted to build a 8000+ rpm motor out of it.

Last time, I had my mind set on just going with a Blueprint 400 sec and calling it good. Now, in late 2022, they seem to cost a couple thousand more than they did a few years ago. This also makes me believe machining costs have gone way up, so finding my own 400 and building it myself, like I want to do, will be just as, if not more expensive. Both of these factors make the higher cost of doing a complete LS3 swap seem not so high any more.

Anyone have any sage advice? Take these points into consideration (I want, at least, 2 out of the 3):

1.) I’ve never built and engine, and I REALLY want to take this opportunity to make that happen.
2.) I’m saving up to buy a home… in 2022… in California, so budget-friendly is a huge factor.
3.) I want to reliably make 450-550 hp, capable of 7000 rpm, and plan to use it mostly for autocross, but still want streetability.
 
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. In fact, the last thread I had going was very similar, but life took over (baby) and so I had to put it off. Now I’m getting the itch again after having saved up some money. My coworker has a 400 from a truck sitting in his backyard he’d be willing to sell. He also has a 327, and I’m tempted to build a 8000+ rpm motor out of it.

Last time, I had my mind set on just going with a Blueprint 400 sec and calling it good. Now, in late 2022, they seem to cost a couple thousand more than they did a few years ago. This also makes me believe machining costs have gone way up, so finding my own 400 and building it myself, like I want to do, will be just as, if not more expensive. Both of these factors make the higher cost of doing a complete LS3 swap seem not so high any more.

Anyone have any sage advice? Take these points into consideration (I want, at least, 2 out of the 3):

1.) I’ve never built and engine, and I REALLY want to take this opportunity to make that happen.
2.) I’m saving up to buy a home… in 2022… in California, so budget-friendly is a huge factor.
3.) I want to reliably make 450-550 hp, capable of 7000 rpm, and plan to use it mostly for autocross, but still want streetability.
Not sure about California but it's hard to beat the price of a crate motor. Anyone that has done this and honest knows by the time you calculate the price of parts, balancing, and the time you put into a build done correctly, the crate motor will be cheaper and possibly have a warranty. However the satisfaction of building your own motor is unmatched because your blood, sweat, and tears went into doing it.
 

Doc Russ

1970 SS/RS Camaro
Oct 15, 2011
10
Grand Junction CO
I
Anyone know why Blueprint has this 400 with 6” rods listed as a 400? Wouldn’t the 6” rods mean it’s stroke is less than a normal 400 crank would be?


It’s also $2K more expensive than their normal 400.
I'm from CA and have a 70SS. I would go with a crate motor. Otherwise I love the 377 destroked 400. I bought my 434 small block from Skip White Performance and the power is abundant. Runs cool 180. Pump gas 91 octane. 630 hp dyno proven. I use hydraulic lifters as I am tired of adjusting. My 377 made 513 with solid lifters. Both motors were full roller upper end. As long as your vehicle is smog exempt you'll be ok. Builds take many many months. Crate takes about 2 weeks. I lived in Mira Mesa in San Diego.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. In fact, the last thread I had going was very similar, but life took over (baby) and so I had to put it off. Now I’m getting the itch again after having saved up some money. My coworker has a 400 from a truck sitting in his backyard he’d be willing to sell. He also has a 327, and I’m tempted to build a 8000+ rpm motor out of it.

Last time, I had my mind set on just going with a Blueprint 400 sec and calling it good. Now, in late 2022, they seem to cost a couple thousand more than they did a few years ago. This also makes me believe machining costs have gone way up, so finding my own 400 and building it myself, like I want to do, will be just as, if not more expensive. Both of these factors make the higher cost of doing a complete LS3 swap seem not so high any more.

Anyone have any sage advice? Take these points into consideration (I want, at least, 2 out of the 3):

1.) I’ve never built and engine, and I REALLY want to take this opportunity to make that happen.
2.) I’m saving up to buy a home… in 2022… in California, so budget-friendly is a huge factor.
3.) I want to reliably make 450-550 hp, capable of 7000 rpm, and plan to use it mostly for autocross, but still want streetability.
 

procharged81

Veteran Member
Nov 16, 2011
139
NE PA
Wow! and I have several people bitching about my price on one of the 468 BBC's $4500 I had for sale as a complete engine carb to pan.
Amen!! I have my complete SBC with Brodix heads for $3500 and have guys offering $2000 🤣🤣. I understand you don’t know what you are buying, but I know what it is, and for that price I’ll buy another project car to put it in.
 

jetech1

Member
Sep 20, 2007
70
San Antonio,Fl.
Anyone know why Blueprint has this 400 with 6” rods listed as a 400? Wouldn’t the 6” rods mean it’s stroke is less than a normal 400 crank would be?


It’s also $2K more expensive than their normal 400.
Actually no. The piston pins are raised which leaves the oil control rings unsupported in the area above the pins. here is a pic
 

G72Zed

Veteran Member
Sep 8, 2015
4,220
Canada
Anyone know why Blueprint has this 400 with 6” rods listed as a 400? Wouldn’t the 6” rods mean it’s stroke is less than a normal 400 crank would be?


It’s also $2K more expensive than their normal 400.
Actually no. The piston pins are raised which leaves the oil control rings unsupported in the area above the pins. here is a pic

@sandiego74 - Connecting rod lenghts have no impact on the engine's final cubic inch (bore x stroke). As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.



@jetech1 Agreed^^^, But the better quality (4.125 x 3.750) based 400 builds in many cases use the 6.00 rods with 1.125 CH piston for a "0" deck along with the use of metric ring packs.

Better seal & conformability, less parasitic loss & ring drag, with no need for the additional oil support rail. Dyno tests showing the differences only tell's 1/2 the story.

By-by John Deer ring packs....should of happened 20 years ago LOL. Here's a pic of what I used.
 

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