Do you build your own engine?

SteveTX

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Just curious how many of you do. Seems like fewer and fewer folks actually take their parts to the machine shop have the cranks turned or balanced, rods sized, blocks bored, etc. My grandad was a retired mechanic and taught me to build my own engines when I was 16 or so. Seems like it is a lost skill for the individual.
 

Big Trev

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We did all the assembly and fine tuning, but the machining etc was done by others, we just don't have the equipment or skills to machine anything.

It started out as a fun project with my twin sons to enable them to learn about cars and to keep them from doing stupid shit on public roads

We were circuit racers not drag racers
 

SteveTX

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I think most people back in the day did the same thing. Almost none of us had the machines or the knowledge to do our own machine work but we could read a mic and could check the fitment as we assembled our engine. Had the Chilton books for torque and specs if you didn’t remember. Ahh the good days.
I do remember the epa helping to close several machine shops here locally. I remember the horrible job the parts washers did compared to the old vats. The old vats would take everything off and possibly a layer of steel.:LOL: Now days garbage you find old paint and grime still that just tells me the water jacket probably is still partially gunked up.:mad:
 

DHR Darren

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I used to but as hp & demands increased I farmed it out.
 

Blackracing

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I do but not machining as you noted. It's half the fun to me really. But to DHR's point I'm not building high end engines (motors? :p) either.
 

SteveTX

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I do but not machining as you noted. It's half the fun to me really. But to DHR's point I'm not building high end engines (motors? :p) either.
Exactly I enjoy doing the research, hand selecting every component, then assembling it knowing everything is on the line when you bust it off. 😊 Not to mention the satisfaction element.
 

SteveTX

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Remember back in the day, a lot of auto parts stores had quite the machine shop out back.
Yup and today if they turn rotars they consider themselves machinists 🤣🤣🤣
 

lumen8

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I have put some engines together. As mentioned, had the parts machined then checked and assembled myself.

Right now im playing with SBE (stock bottom end) LS 'junk' though, been a while since I have put a gas motor (cue GLHS60 :p ) together, have done a diesel more recently including sleeves.

I know, or perhaps the correct word is knew as its been a while, a number of people who build or went onto build high performance engines every day for a living but I didnt go down that path, there are enough people doing it here anyway, and where I am there isnt even a track open. I worry too much to build engines for others :larf: and years ago when it even crossed my mind the lack of track even back then, the on and off and the strange politics that seem to stop a functioning dragstrip from existing where I am made me stay away from it all.

One thing about the LS is so many vendors sell parts machined that are usually ready to go, rotating assemblies for example, and the GM blocks are sold finished... im noticing people will put LS engines together themselves so people building their own engines has not completely gone away.
 

Steves32

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Another thing- back in the day we ran some pretty loose combos, Ran 60 wt or more oil pressure
I had a dual quad 427 SBC built for my 34- traded a job for it. I ran Valvoline VR1 10w30 full synthetic racing oil in it. I would consider it a tight build.
 

SteveTX

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Another thing- back in the day we ran some pretty loose combos, Ran 60 wt or more oil pressure
I had a dual quad 427 SBC built for my 34- traded a job for it. I ran Valvoline VR1 10w30 full synthetic racing oil in it. I would consider it a tight build.
That first refresh getting that hone one more time seemed to loosen them up just right. :LOL: I knew several of the more constant winners at the local circle track that I swear had .060 over bore with .020 piston. They swore that was what they wanted. Hard to say so many old timers were so tight with their money not sure if they didn’t want to pay for new pistons and a bore job.
 

F☆☆k yellowbullet

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That first refresh getting that hone one more time seemed to loosen them up just right. :LOL: I knew several of the more constant winners at the local circle track that I swear had .060 over bore with .020 piston. They swore that was what they wanted. Hard to say so many old timers were so tight with their money not sure if they didn’t want to pay for new pistons and a bore job.
Or they drop their plastic dial caliper in kitty litter and it not work so fine..
 

SteveTX

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Built 2 in the last year. Just took the last one to the track last Saturday.
I have 2 on stands being assembled now and we are for sure doing a third this year for my brothers 55.
 

JLB943

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I bought a junkyard LS to fully go through build process myself. I had done partial assembly but never full. Had machine work on block done and purchased bottom end kit. I gotta say it has stressed me out. I am afraid of making a minor mistake that ends up resulting in a lot of money wasted. I think it will be worth it in the end. If I do another one, I will be much more prepared.
 

Crazees

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I'm afraid I'm developing OCD. I really try to be careful and take my time, but still question stuff after it's all buttoned up. When I start tearing them down to double check I'll quit. :sick: Had one failure years ago, lasted over 300 passes but chucked a rod. When I put it together one rod bolt squeaked every time I torqued it down. Redid it a couple times and said screw it, not positive that was the cause but everything has got aftermarket rods since then.
 
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