Total "bill of material" for Aluminum head swap / Advice on where to save $ welcome...

Magnum Engine Swaps

  1. MRGTX

    MRGTX Well-Known Member

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    This is what I have as a BOM for an aluminum head upgrade...I'm leaning toward the new Trickflow heads as I'm under the impression that the Edelbrock castings really need to be cleaned up before they can be used which adds time and wipes out the price difference...

    I have to be honest that I thought it could be done cheaper. This is encroaching on Blueprint engines crate motor territory after factoring in the sale of the stock/healthy Magnum long block (and the many hours of labor that I will put into the install). Any advice is welcome regarding this BOM.


    Trickflow Heads
    TFS-6141T784-C00
    $1200x2

    Rocker arm shaft studs
    TFS-61400613
    $60

    Cylinder head studs
    TFS-61400613
    $200

    Harland-Sharp roller rockers
    S72026K
    $900

    Head gaskets
    TFS-61494040-040
    $90

    Pushrods
    $??

    custom cam
    ~$450

    Break-in oil, consumables
    $??

    Did I miss anything?
    Would the end product be worth the ~$4500 investment?

    Compared to...
    BluePrint Engines 408CI Stroker Crate Engine | Small Block Chrysler Style | Longblock | Aluminum Heads | Roller Cam
    $6300

    And it comes with a warranty too. :D

    Thanks for any input!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  2. j par

    j par Well-hung Member

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    It sounds like whatever you're upgrading isn't brand-new either.. blueprint sure does make it difficult...
     
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    • MRGTX

      MRGTX Well-Known Member

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      Yeah...
      Every time I embark on a project with this car, I learn a ton and bond with the car even more. I've already done the engine swap job so that work would actually be a bit boring.
      Installing new heads would be new to me...but the value of a dyno tested/guaranteed stroked small block is really tempting.
       
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      • DrEamer

        DrEamer I suffer from cars on the brain!

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        There are a couple of places to cut cost if you want. PRW rockers are about $450, head bolts are less then studs, and a custom cam from Oregon Cam Grinders is about $325 for a new billet. This the route I am looking at. Mine is just a street engine though.
         
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        • 66fyssh

          66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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          Add:
          New timing gear set $150 ish
          Hardened pushrods $250 ish
          Car oil pan $??

          I just did a 5.9.

          $400 for the engine
          Tore it down and had a machine shop do all new rings, bearings, hone bores, and polish crank.

          Then I did the following:
          Edelbrock heads
          Sent my cam to Oregon Cam Grinding for a regrind ($163) ( he's out of cores)
          Double roller timing set
          Hardened pushrods
          Roller rockers
          Edelbrock Air Gap intake
          Used 750 carb
          All new gaskets
          Doug's headers
          Torque converter

          I quit counting at $5200.

          But I got headers ($750 on sale), and a custom PTC torque converter ($525). .

          I got to thinking the same thing about a Blueprint engine but i really wanted to do my first build.
           
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          • dukeboy_318

            dukeboy_318 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            I guess we should ask, what is the intended use of the engine?

            Also, I'd want to know what Aluminum heads they are using as well as the other components as well. Blueprint does have a good rep but if they are using different/cheaper/more cost effective parts, it wont be a true apples to apples comparison. For example, if they are using Speedmaster or Pro Comp heads, that cost less than half of what Trickflows do, then thats part of where the price savings for them is. Trickflows are amongst the best heads in the market but also priced accordingly. They aren't a cheap aluminum knock off of a factory head either. Not saying Blueprint is using low quality parts, but it does need to be asked.

            Also, that $6399 is not for a complete engine it appears. So you're still gonna need probably another 1000-1200 in parts on top of that. Maybe more.

            "
            • $6,399 Longblock Includes: Oil pan, timing cover, valve covers and individual dyno results
            • $7,299 Fully Dressed includes: Above plus Carburetor, intake manifold, distributor and harmonic balancer installed.
            • $7,799 Drop In Ready includes: Above plus waterpump, air cleaner, spark plugs and spark plug wires"


            I'm not sure why people have that impression of the Edlebrock heads. I had mine spec'd by a good machine shop and and they didn't need a thing. Cost me 50 bucks for the task but that's the second set of Edlebrock heads I've owned, one each of SB and BB and neither have needed anything out of the box to work just fine. Any cylinder head you order should be checked out by a qualified shop. Cost is minimal but a good idea just to ensure quality control did their job. Yes, I'd even have the Trickflows checked.

            You did miss roller lifters as well. That's any where from 400-700. You also didn't mention anything about the rotating assembly. What are your plans there?

            As for your custom cam, call Oregon Cam Grinders. They have a great rep. They quoted me 75 for a regrind with a used core. They simply regrind the core to your specs. Or If I wanted a brand new cut one from a fresh blank, 150 bucks. Roller or Flat Tappet, same price. They also sell roller lifters for a better price as well.

            Comp Cams have some decent roller rockers for about half the price of the Harland Sharps.

            You can also save things on good quality used parts as well. Such as the intake, valve covers, carb etc. You don't always have to go name brand, or brand new either. Really depends on the engine.

            Now, I'm building a 440 currently. After the machine costs, the head work and the rest, I'm gonna be in for about $4,000. If my combo turns out as good as the one I'm duplicating, I'm looking at around 550-600 hp with a modest compression ratio. Rarely do you find BB crate motors, but for something like that, they're usually about 8-10 grand.
             
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            • MRGTX

              MRGTX Well-Known Member

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              Great info here. Thanks!

              Use of the engine is general hooligan driving. Motor aside, the car is built to be as well-rounded as possible with suspension/brake upgrades, weight reduction and chassis mods. I'm really interested in a responsive motor that makes mid-400s and pulls to (or close to) 6k. So...more roadcourse than drag strip. I plan to never commute or be stuck in traffic in this car.

              I was planning on leaving the bottom end alone though I realize that 6k is asking a lot of this rotating assembly and I would have to upgrade this sooner rather than later.

              Good call on the lifters. I'd have to add that in...
              Trickflow specifies the Harland-Sharp rockers. Part description says "must use." It sounded like there was something specific about those particular rockers but f there's a lower cost alternative, that would be helpful.

              Yes, I was comparing the head swap on the current motor to the Blue Print long block because I'd likely be able to transfer my intake/carb/water pump/balancer etc. over to the new motor.

              It looks like they do use Edelbrock heads so you're absolutely right that it's not an apples:apples comparison in that regard. IMO, because they dyno test the motor I wouldn't worry so much about some janky head castings causing flow problems. It's good to hear that the Edelbrock heads may not be as rough as I have heard though!

              As for your big block build, how are you making that kind of power for so cheap? I know the OEM heads are pretty damn good on those engines...and IIRC the performance versions have forged cranks, right? But there certainly is no replacement for displacement. :)
               
            • MRGTX

              MRGTX Well-Known Member

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              Yep...keeps adding up.
              Thanks!!

              How did your motor come out with that combo? Are you happy with it?
               
            • dukeboy_318

              dukeboy_318 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              I'm duplicating a copy by well known engine build IQ52 on here. Its not too hard.

              1970 440 Block.
              1970 440 Forged Crank
              LY Rods
              All told that was 100 bucks from a guy locally
              L2355 Forged Pistons- Summit racing had a sale going at the time, normally 450 bucks, got them for 280 after the sale and discount codes stacked.
              King Main Bearings-90
              King Rod Bearings-90
              Speed Pro Rings-150+275
              Cam- 150 custom ground roller from Oregon Cams
              Roller Lifters-399 from Oregon Cams
              Comp Cams timing set- 50
              Torker II intake- came with the engine already
              Comp Cams Roller Rockers- brand new still in box at a swap meet for 275, normal price is about 450
              Comp Cams Push Rods-90
              Engine Gasket Set- 75
              Cometic Head Gaskets- 90
              Holley Fuel Pump-65
              Brawler 850- 375 bucks
              Edlebrock RPM heads- 1000 new from a member on here.
              Hooker Headers- 75 from a swap meet.

              Subtotal in parts- $3354

              Machine work to include a bore to .030 over, decking and a line hone and balance $650

              Oil pan, valve covers, and timing cover all came with the engine

              Grand total - ~$4004.
               
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              • cawcislo

                cawcislo Well-Known Member

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                Anyone know what heads the blueprint aluminum heads are? There's a lot of price difference between heads. For example speedmaster aluminum heads bought on black Friday would probably save you big bucks compared to high end trick flow heads. I think speedmaster heads were like 40% off.
                 
              • DrEamer

                DrEamer I suffer from cars on the brain!

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                Blueprint uses Edelbrock RPM's for Magnums engines. I believe they buy them bare and do their own assembly. The Magnum based heads are not much less then the Trick Flows. One plus for the Trick Flows is that they are drilled for the LA intakes, which as you know have a lot more options available.
                 
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                • 66fyssh

                  66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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                  I haven't had it on the road yet (need to pull the power steering box, probably going Steer and Gear) but I love the way it sounds. I literally just fired it up for the first time this past weekend.

                  Here's 10 seconds with open headers.

                   
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                  • 66fyssh

                    66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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                    @Johnny Dart
                     
                  • MRGTX

                    MRGTX Well-Known Member

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                    sweet music! keep us posted.
                     
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                    • TripleL

                      TripleL Well-Known Member

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                      Call Mike at b3. He will hook you up with everything you need correction kit for roller rockers and his pricing is to low to print! He really is better than Summit pricing in the end with a wealth of knowledge as you experience questions
                       
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                      • MRGTX

                        MRGTX Well-Known Member

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                        B3? I didn't know that Bed Bath and Beyond carried hotrod parts! :D
                         
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                        • RustyRatRod

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

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                          Let Oregon grind you a cam. 79 bucks for a flat tappet regrind 125 for a roller. DO you NEED head studs? Are they a REQUIREMENT for those heads? Those rockers are nice, but over rated for their price, IMO. A good set of the 273 rockers bushed and reworked is about half the price and will stand a .650 lift roller.

                          From a financial and warranty standpoint, yes, the Blueprint engines look great. From an experience and "I did it myself" standpoint, there's nothing more satisfying than doing it yourself. Either way has it's advantages and disadvantages. One way you get the complete package with warranty and all for a bit more cost. The other you save money at the expense of losing your warranty. Does the Blueprint engine come with the Trick Flow heads? They are the best right now. I would also consider THAT as well.
                           
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                          • dukeboy_318

                            dukeboy_318 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            and I would add to read the fine print on those warranties. MOST warranties do not cover things that happened during say "spirited driving" or "competitions". I don't know what Blueprint engine's is though. But just read carefully

                            Edit: I found BluePrint's warranty disclaimer and terms.

                            upload_2020-1-7_9-33-3.png
                             
                          • MRGTX

                            MRGTX Well-Known Member

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                            Good point. It's understandable that they wouldn't cover people adding boost to a motor...but their use of "racing application" seems to be open enough to interpretation.

                            Honestly, if I blew up a motor by doing something stupid, I wouldn't try to get someone else to pay for it...but if the motor chucks a rod on the drag strip while being operated within safe AFR/RPM ranges...but they would cover it if you were just ripping around on the street, it would be shame if they denied that claim.
                             
                          • gzig5

                            gzig5 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                            You should be able to do the rockers for about half of the cost of HS ones. Speedmaster and PRW stainless rockers come from the same place and I think the SM are cheaper. About $250 not on sale for the SM. Even if you have to get a correction kit from B3 it would still be about $450 or less. Mike might have package deals ready to go for the TF heads. SM head studs or bolt kits are decent and a lot cheaper. If you are using pushrod oiling rockers, the Promaxx Shocker heads would probably give you close to the same power are a few hundred less than the TF. Your numbers are high on a few things but overall not that far off. The changes mentioned would save you almost $1000. If you want to use the top of the line names, you can't complain about the cost. It's a tough call sometimes.
                             
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                            • Johnny Mac

                              Johnny Mac www.blueprintengines.com FABO Vendor

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                              I don't know what decision was ultimately made here, as i see i missed this from January, but for the sake of future readers, the aluminum headed roller motor does in fact use a bare edelbrock casting, that we assemble/machine here. Also...you guys know how warranties work. There's the legal jargon, and then there is how we personally deal with warranty issues. You guys know i have your back with all that. We're a good company, and we treat customers right. Not like i'm difficult to find if you need me.

                              sorry i missed the thread, i think someone tried to tag me but got another "johnny" instead. take care
                               
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                              • RogerRamRod

                                RogerRamRod The Older I Get, The Faster I Was FABO Gold Member

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                                Late to the party here. Going back a few posts, Trick Flow specifies Harland Sharp rockers on a magnum block because they are a LA shaft arrangement. You need to get oil into the shaft/rocker interface.

                                Magnum/AMC oil through pushrod arrangement only gets pressurized oil to the top of the push rod, then splashes the pivot point. Those particular specified Harland Sharps are made with a passage to get oil to the shaft.
                                If you have an early Magnum, with the oil holes drilled from cam bearings 2 & 4, you can use (almost)any LA style rocker. Factory style iron 273 adjustable rockers apparently don't work because the TF stands were relocated to correct geometry for use of roller rockers. My understanding (could be wrong) is that Mike @ B3 had a hand in this. Now the question is; which rockers offer the best OOTB geometry?
                                In later Magnums, in order to get around the oiling issue, some people are oiling the shaft with an external connection off of the oil pressure sender port to each head. I was going to go this route when I get there, but found oil holes in my Magnum block when I opened it up.
                                I planned on going to Johnny Mac for a Blueprint engine because of the OUTSTANDING support he has shown to provide to guys here that have bought from him. My problem is that I really want to do an engine myself at least once. I like the feeling of accomplishment, & I like being able to do things that most people I know couldn't fathom. If I ever do this again, I will probably pick up the phone & call Johnny. That or if I f**k up an expensive pile of parts on the 1st go 'round.
                                 
                                Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
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                                • Phreakish

                                  Phreakish Well-Known Member

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                                  For what it's worth, the PRW stainless rockers have the same provision to take pushrod oil and direct it toward the pivot/shaft. Only issue I had with the PRW rocker was the adjuster threads having tons of burrs. I chased all threads an re-cleaned the rockers and they were good to go.

                                  Can confirm. BPE did me a huge favor when I screwed up my own engine with my own stupidity. Unless the customer has done something extremely wrong, you can expect PLENTY of support from BPE and Johnny himself. The warranty/customer-service they offer is worth more than the cost of a pair of trick flow heads, in my opinion.
                                   
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                                  • RogerRamRod

                                    RogerRamRod The Older I Get, The Faster I Was FABO Gold Member

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                                    Hope I'm not hijacking MRGTX's thread, but this may be info he can use as well. PWR & Mancini rockers are not far off in difference of price.
                                    I have LA type head oiling, based on that, what are thoughts on:
                                    PRW are Stainless with cup adjusters, needing ball pushrods. I assume requiring pressurized oil for PR/cup interface, either from lifter/PR direction OR reversed, coming FROM shaft, since the cup is inverted.
                                    -VS-
                                    Mancini-H/S are Aluminum with ball adjusters needing cup pushrods. I guess capture oil flying around inside valve cover since cup is upright.

                                    One method over the other AND/OR one material over the other?
                                     
                                  • mopar65

                                    mopar65 Well-Known Member

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                                    I agree mike set me up with a set of trickflow heads and Roller rocker arms for push rod oiling for a great price.
                                     
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