Engine builders...this machining cost sound excessive?

Small Block Mopar Engine

  1. JoePole1

    JoePole1 A dude in a B body FABO Gold Member

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    I got a call from my machinist today. I dropped my block and new pistons off requesting a .030 bore and R&R pistons onto rods. Nothing more. I am picking it up Friday. He has had it about 10 months. I haven't been hounding due to other obligations but we spoke a few times and he gave me some updates after the fact while he had it. Here is what I got....

    Block cleaning - subbed out of house. I degreased and cleaned block prior to dropping off.
    Brass freeze and oil plugs.
    Cam bearings. I am hoping he align honed but he asked me to bring my cam.
    Prime and paint. Said he had to paint it prior to boring. He did ask what color I was going with.
    Overbore with torque plate.

    My bill is $850. We did not discuss cost (my fault, no lecture please) but I was expecting around $350 for my requested work. My number was from asking others about their projects. Needless to say this was supposed to be a budget build on a low mileage Magnum 360.
    Between the cost of the block, machine work, pistons, rings and bearings I am close to the price of an assembled short block but I really want to build this mill myself.
    Does this sound about right? What would you charge for the work that was done?
    I would appreciate if you broke it down if possible.
    Thank you.
     
  2. Ron816

    Ron816 Mopar forever

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    sounds fair to me
     
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    • Tooljunkie

      Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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      Last time i priced boring, was a long time ago. $80 per hole.
      So no, that’s not out of line at all. the difference in cost for a built shortblock would end up about the same ,less your labour to assemble it.
       
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      • Tooljunkie

        Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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        A friend bought a chevy crate engine, $1900 cdn. Can’t home build it for that.
         
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        • JoePole1

          JoePole1 A dude in a B body FABO Gold Member

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          Ok. So I guess I can chalk it up to lesson learned on my part. This is my first build from scratch. The machinist is a one man shop and he has a good reputation and he knows Mopars. That accounts for alot. Thanks for the input guys.
           
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          • 67/6barracuda

            67/6barracuda FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            That’s about right. I wanted to have my slant 6 machined, .030 over, quote was 600-800. 1600 if he assembled it. I Thanked him for his time and walked out surprised. Bought a running 360/727 out a low mileage RV for $325 still in the car 5 yrs later.
             
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            • plymouth67

              plymouth67 It be a lot cooler if you did...

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              Ya...I think it's about average cost. I was thinking it's around $80 a cylinder to bore..
               
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              • toolmanmike

                toolmanmike Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                Sounds reasonable.
                 
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                • famous bob

                  famous bob mopar misfit

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                  You were wanting to do the work urself , and u said for him to r-r pistons -----------------?
                   
                • JoePole1

                  JoePole1 A dude in a B body FABO Gold Member

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                  My original thought was a re-ring or maybe replacement pistons. My bores were nice and still had cross hatching but I figured start fresh. My new slugs are factory replacement H655-CP's. I didn't want to get into engine balancing.
                   
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                  • JoePole1

                    JoePole1 A dude in a B body FABO Gold Member

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                    R&R pistons onto rods. No install.
                     
                  • cudascott

                    cudascott It’s a sickness!

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                    Sounds right to me the one I had done was 1000
                     
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                    • Plymouth 65

                      Plymouth 65 Floorable Deplorable

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                      The cost of the work performed is reasonable. If you install new pistons the rotating assembly should be balanced IMO. 65'
                       
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                      • teringer

                        teringer FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        that's cheap in the dc,md area
                         
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                        • famous bob

                          famous bob mopar misfit

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                          i paid $1250 for hot tank clean up, a bore and hone ''supposedly w/ a torque plate,( supplied the new pistons for measurement) , new cam bearings honed to fit , (had to supply the cam for fitment), zero decked , and freeze plugs installed '' by the same machine shop that does a some of street outlaws stuff.
                          Got a good friend that works there now , wish he would have been there back then tho.
                          rotating assem. was race balanced by hughs engines , smooth as a cats ass!
                           
                        • robert flippo

                          robert flippo Well-Known Member

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                          Must be a difference in location, just took my 1967 318 block to a guy that builds dirt track cars, bored 030, put all new freeze plugs and polished the crank, had it 2 weeks , $400 , some of the prices quoted seem to think its fair, my question would be ,is why you can buy a short block for $800 to $1200 ?
                           
                          Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
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                          • Donnie514

                            Donnie514 Well-Known Member

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                            Building a motor is not cheap. There's no way you cleaned that block as good as he can.
                            Do you even own a set of bottle brushes? Do you think the cam bearings are ok? Why not spend that little bit of money to make them correct? Painting it is a good idea. And paint it again after assembly. If before final assembly you clean it correctly ( i.e. Dawn blue dish soap ) it will start rusting before your eyes as you blow it off. Have some WD40 ready. when it is finished and going down the street you will feel great knowing you did it.
                             
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                            • Demonracer

                              Demonracer 71 Demon 00 Ram 16 Chrysler 300S 05 Caravan FABO Gold Member

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                              The prices sound reasonable, but maybe you should ask what your cost is on the machine work prior to just dropping it off. I've always asked my machinist about prices before the work began, that way I can budget for it.
                               
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                              • RustyRatRod

                                RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                                That's not bad. That is to say, as long as it is quality work.
                                 
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                                • RAMM

                                  RAMM Well-Known Member

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                                  And I get flamed here quite often for my pricing. I charge $60/hole w/torque plates up to .030" over. Block cleaning 'cuz they are never clean is $95 before and after honing. Re/re cam bearings is $15/journal non blind. Cut caps and align hone is $100/journal. Line bore is the same. Resurface block is totally time dependant. Just a clean up is $250-Machining to a target/calculated dimension is $95/hr. Oh and YR will like this--sleeving a block is $95/hr and NO I can't sleeve a block with a finished cylinder ready for assembly in an hour and a half. Takes me like 5-6 hours (but you can't tell it was sleeved after) Re/Re pistons on rods (perfectly centered and rods not overheated-blued) is $25/rod .Keep in mind the exchange rate.

                                  All that being said at first blush I would say to the OP that it was expensive --however I KNOW his machinist did all kinds of other little necessary extras that don't really get mentioned. Furthermore if his machinist did a top notch job and the cylinders are round and straight within a few tenths--then he certainly got what he paid for. J.Rob
                                   
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                                  • Mtrhead

                                    Mtrhead Ace of Spades ♠️

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                                    Cost me $670 to do all of that in 2005
                                     
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                                    • yellow rose

                                      yellow rose Overnight Sensation

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                                      You work too damn cheap!!! I’ve said that before. Way too cheap. You are better off raising your prices and doing less work for the same money than lower prices and doing more work. You aren’t in a production shop.

                                      LOL...I still don’t know what takes you so long to sleeve a cylinder!!!!
                                       
                                    • JoePole1

                                      JoePole1 A dude in a B body FABO Gold Member

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                                      Thanks for your input guys. Feeling much better about it now. I should have asked him for a price first so shame on me. I'm sure the money spent now will be bringing big smiles when I hit the go pedal.
                                       
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                                      • Matts440

                                        Matts440 Well-Known Member

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                                        Sounds normal, a fully prepped block ran me $2000 but that's bored, line honed can and crank, decked, install roller cam bearings etc. But my other engine I built over bored, hot tanked, new cam bearings was about the same price. X2 on getting the balanced done, doesn't hurt and make things smoother.

                                        Resized_20190706_191026_8648.jpeg
                                         
                                      • 1963dartgt

                                        1963dartgt Well-Known Member

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                                        I feel bad for all y'all. I just got my slant 6 done. Hot tank, bored .030 over.cam bearing install,crank ground, head decked, stripped hole in head fixed and a full rebuild kit minus cam for $850 out the door.
                                         
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