2022 Cost to Rebuild Engine Vs Crate Motor Vs LS Swap

Knuckle Dragger

Mayor of Simpleton
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Nov 2, 2002
16,994
Waddell AZ
Currently there are NO emission control requirements for a ‘74. I’m not sure what you are talking about when you say “certified officer”. I am retired 30 years + law enforcement and have never heard of such a designation.
I personally watched a LA Sherriff go through a young mans s10 and send him the referee to confirm he was emissions legal. I also worked as a smog technician for about 15 years of my 35+ in the industry and very shortly for the B.A.R. I can tell you without a doubt there are emissions requirements for a 1974 vehicle. By law the vehicle cannot be altered from the factory configuration save CARB approved parts. It's not tested so everyone get's away with it. If an officer suspects the vehicle has been altered he can write a citation the vehicle will have to be inspected by the referee to confirm compliance. Where or when this was allowed I don't know. I have first hand knowledge it happened to the guy in the S10 and the LA Sherriff.

Just because your agency didn't participate doesn't mean it wasn't/isn't a thing.
 

besserspat

Veteran Member
Jul 8, 2009
109
Montreal,Canada
I come from the road racing world, the very last thing you need is hp. Once the car fully "sorted out" here are my suggestions for cheap power upgrade.

1-Buy a used running SBC from a circle track team or just performance built , I see those all the time selling for less than what it will cost you to machine a block. change the cam to suit your needs and call it a day. no swap, no built , no hassle , just driving...

2- You really want to build your own engine but keep it as affordable as possible (at your own risk of tiny mistakes that can cost you big)... The I would just build a 383 short block or buy a used and running Vortec 5.7 roller cammed block. then put decent... meaning not Chinese aluminum heads on it, a vic Jr intake and fine tuned 750 DP and some headers.

3- You really plan on one day switching to LS? Then I would buy and ALL aluminum LS like LS1 (cable TB ) or L33 leave it stock maybe change the cam if you really want to say youve "built" it and build the car around to accept the swap...LS swaps usulaly nickel and dime you to death and take more time waiting for little swap related silly parts but at least your car will be now ready for a LS3 or LS7 in the future if thats really what you want.

I dont find that the weight savings from an IRON blocked LS are worth the hassle in a Autocross and RR scenario... Then a aluminum heads , WP, intake and headers on a SBC with ultra simple maintenance and access would be my take over Iron Block LS.... All aluminum then it starts to make sense. Weight is EVERYTHING.

Peter
 

sandiego74

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 23, 2009
1,189
San Diego, CA
I guess my idea was that, if it were cheaper to build my own motor, that I could start now and piece it together over the years while continuing to save money, instead of buying-once/crying-once with a crate motor. But, sounds like the crate motor is the way to go!

I’m waiting on the economy to crash to buy a house, so I’ll continue to wait for that before I do anything major to the car. Thanks, everyone!
 

sandiego74

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 23, 2009
1,189
San Diego, CA
if you want to build your own do it. It may not be cheaper but it is a good experience and one you can take pride in. Find someone who has done it before to help guide you through the process.
I think I’ll just rebuild my 350 when I eventually pull it out, and that’ll be my rebuild experience for another future project.
 

1980RS

Veteran Member
Jun 17, 2006
6,645
MN
Last year I sold a 400 SBC with some of my good Vortec heads, 268H CC GM Vortec intake carb to pan for $2200 bucks. Had 5 buyers and this one guy who has a lot of bucks got it. Now he's trying to get me to put it in his car for free (when pigs fly) as he seems to be hustling me to try and recoup his money back.
 




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