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Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,743
Shop Shark
Cool topic and hijack.
To the OP I don't have any input or answer to your question.

re. Blueprinting an engine.
It is MHO that blueprinting an engine is to coat one side of all mateing surfaces (head, block, bearing caps etc.,) w/a blue machinists dye (I don't recall the official name at this time) torque the mateing pieces, remove the pieces and check for any uneven and/or problems with perfect fitting. The lack of blue on the piece that wasn't coated indicates a problem with the surface at that point.
Ofcourse I could be wrong grin

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 8,386
Extreme Gabster
I have seen enough LS engines in old cars to last me a lifetime already. I notice the ugly plastic cover at a car show and just walk on by. They are a bigger turn-off to me than the goofy looking amber turn lenses.

Just my opinion, you are entitled to yours.

"It's just a phase. He'll grow out of it." Mama, 1964

1956 Chevy 1/2-ton 3100
1953 Chevy 6100 "The Yard dog"
1954 GMC Suburban Now with a new proud owner.
My TRUCKS website
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 24,576
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
Good answers, folks! I'm glad to see a few people actually understand precision engine building. The term "blueprint" has been hijacked by places that barely meet OEM standards in a lot of situations.

My precision engine jobs start out with a line bore and a very slight block decking job to assure everything else that gets done such as cylinder boring is exactly square. Then once all the connecting rods are reconditioned to exactly the same center-to-center length there might need to be another decking job to get the right deck clearance. All bearing clearances EXACTLY the same, even if individual crankshaft journals have to be polished to slightly different diameters, all reciprocating parts weight matched to 1/10 gram, then spin-balanced, camshaft degreed, and a huge number of other precise buildup operations. Most clearances will be wider on a brand new race engine than the ones on a 100,000 mile street engine. It's designed to go very fast for a very short time- - - - -who cares if it rattles like two skeletons copulating on a tin roof, or uses a little oil?

Then, after 1,000 laps or so around a 1/2 mile asphalt track, or about 800 on dirt- - - -do it all over again! Doing race engine stuff on a street engine would be horrendously expensive, and totally unnecessary!

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 426
Shop Shark
FWIW, I had my 216 Balanced and Blueprinted when I restored my truck, the guy that did the work pretty much explained the procedure as Jason did above. Maybe it wasn't necessary, but after 12 years it still runs like a sewing machine. Glad I had it done, I think the money was well spent.

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,851
Shop Shark
yeah, my 216 only lasted 35 years or so without being blueprinted.

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 319
Shop Shark
Originally Posted by brokenhead
yeah, my 216 only lasted 35 years or so without being blueprinted.

LOL...yeah, I've had a number of long-lasting engines built with factory specs. Apparently, not all OE engineers are stupid.
I understand the desire for close-tolerance work in a racing situation, and the theme still seems to be that some sort of "blueprint", or guidelines, are followed. But I think that's a very small fraction of rebuilt engines.



If you can't fix it with a hammer and screwdriver, you need a bigger hammer.
1965 Chevy C10
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 192
Well, as long as you use the engine in the manner the factory specs were created for you will be fine. It's when you try to use the stock specs and double or triple the factory HP that you will have problems. That's when a truly blueprinted engine becomes a worthy investment if not a necessity.

We cannot solve our problems today using the same thinking we used when we created them!

Albert Einstein
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 299
Shop Shark
Just my 2cents on the crate engine. Long story short I wound up going with a base 290hp GM 350, from GM Performance. I found another engine I liked better, but went with the GM motor because of the warranty. I bought the motor from Jegs, and I put it in a 60 vette. As soon as I fired it up, it was out of balance. I went thru everything in the bell housing, believing that it couldn't possibly be the motor. Again long story short, it was the motor. The crank was out some, but the pistons are absolute junk, out of balance, and the skirts are flared out bigger than the bores, as much as .008. The piston scuff had already started to score the crank. I live near San Diego, and I first started going round to get help with this thing from, GM Performance, GM customer service(no phone numbers or e-mail, a written letter is only recourse), and the regional manager, were absolutely no help. I tried all of the GM dealers in San Diego County, no help. The dealerships are independent, and obviously GM has no power over the service dept. None of them would even begin to talk about repairing it, even before they knew what it was in. I am sure others will have stories of just the opposite, but this is my side. The low horse power motors are built in Mexico, they have a bad track record. There only good for 5300 rpm, and mine is a real gas hog. Don't buy because of the warranty, good chance it won't do you any good without a battle. There are a lot of them in a lot of various vehicles out there, but some time your not that lucky. If I had to do it over again, I would keep searching for a very good(someone who can make a true bore, not common out here), reliable engine machine shop, and build what you want form scratch. Less headache, and you know what you have inside in the end. The more expensive GM motors I believe are made in the states, and have a better record. As far as the warranty, I think your better off trying to get the guy down the street to fix it, than some large corporate entity. Good luck.

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 882
Shop Shark
Read the warranty before you buy. Most crate motors need to be shipped back ON YOUR DIME for repair. If they don't agree to fix it (deny your claim) then you get to pay to get it back. HUGE PITA.

Even if you did your research you can always get a dud motor.

Unless it was an exotic super high HP motor I'd never pay for a crate engine. Cheaper to do it yourself. Plus as many have said you are the ultimate QA inspector. Not some guy on the line at 3:30 on a Friday thinking about getting drunk rather than your motor.

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,532
Red dot, center of chest ...
True, but as he said, he's in no shape to do it himself. I didn't do a crate motor, but I had mine done by a professional, and I'm very happy with the results. Different strokes for different folks. Here at Stovebolt we don't judge anybody for the choices they make.

Paul Schmehl CI 6
Stovebolt Staff: Geek
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