My son is leaning to having the original engine rebuilt. Gentleman here will put in all new valve seats, valve guides, so it can run unleaded, convert from Babbitt to Inserts, new pistons, timing chain and gears, camshaft bushings. In short a thorough job. Jeffrey
In the long run, not a bad idea. I would do the same if I could swing it. You can often pick up a running engine for $4-500 to put in and get the truck back on the road until the original is ready to go back in. I know how badly downtime can hurt a business.
Tuesday I brought home a 1954 235 that was originally in a 3800. We are getting that engine rebuilt. 19 more HP, less work because the engine does not need to be worked to replace the Babbitt bearings with inserts.
Hope that there are no major issues hidden preventing the 54 engine from being rebuilt.