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1926 Engine Rebuild - cost estimate contest


Rogillio
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I am having the engine rebuild for my '26 DB coupe?  I bought the parts - pistons, rings, valves, valve guides, valve springs, piston pins and gasket set - to the tune of about $1k from Myers and provided them to the mechanic.  The mechanic will sent the head out to a machinst to be checked for cracks and machined flat.  He will do all dissambly and resassembly.  (The last time he did a rebuild he had to cut the exhaust off and then weld a sleeve to couple it back together.)  He will adjust the valves and hone the cylindars, adjust the carb (if necessary), set/adjust the points, etc.  He charges $80/hr.

 

Given that I provided most of the parts how much will the rebuild cost?

 

Take your best guess (of what it should cost) and I will put the actual cost when I get the bill.

 

 

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Until the condition of the cylinders, crankshaft journals, main and rod bearings are known there is no way to estimate the costs.

There are two schools of thought about cylinder honing too.

One school suggests if the cylinders are in good shape leave them alone and install a ring set with chromed top rings for faster seating.

The other school suggests honing no matter what.

I'm somewhere in between and suggest only enough to break the glaze if the bores are within specs.

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Why not find an engine rebuilding shop? Most I've delt with charge in that neighborhood. They will have the specialized equipment and the experience to do the job correctly. If he has to send the head out for Magnafluxing, he may not have the cylinder boring equipment or other devices necessary to do the job. If you are paying him to take the motor apart, send everything to a rebuilding shop to get the machining done and then to put it back together, you are wasting your money. I actually took my DL motor apart at the rebuilder's shop, then they hot tanked the block, sonic cleaned it, cleaned the oil passages, magnafluxed the block, head, crank and rods. They did the machining, replaced the pistons, rings, valves, valve springs and valve guides after we examined everything and decided what needed replacing. I was lucky, the Babbitt bearings were in almost perfect shape. They installed all new gaskets, a new timing chain and then reassembled the motor and resurfaced my flywheel. Total cost of parts and labor was $1600.00.

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Will he re-babbit the main bearing inserts and rods?

 

I don't know.  I don't even know what questions to ask.  What does this mean anyway?

 

So Myers has 3 sizes of Pistons with rings....(0.030, 0.040 and 0.060).  At the risk of sounding stupid, is that the bearing inserts or is that the oversize of the pistons themselves or is that different size piston and rings.  Only engine I ever rebuilt was a 4 cylindar Farmall Cub tractor.  You could get oversized inserts for the connector rods to account for wear on the cam shaft.  I wasn't sure if they is was the same thing?  Myers shows a picture of the piston but doesn't show the connector rod so IDK if that comes with the pistons or not? 

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Why not find an engine rebuilding shop? Most I've delt with charge in that neighborhood. They will have the specialized equipment and the experience to do the job correctly. If he has to send the head out for Magnafluxing, he may not have the cylinder boring equipment or other devices necessary to do the job. If you are paying him to take the motor apart, send everything to a rebuilding shop to get the machining done and then to put it back together, you are wasting your money. I actually took my DL motor apart at the rebuilder's shop, then they hot tanked the block, sonic cleaned it, cleaned the oil passages, magnafluxed the block, head, crank and rods. They did the machining, replaced the pistons, rings, valves, valve springs and valve guides after we examined everything and decided what needed replacing. I was lucky, the Babbitt bearings were in almost perfect shape. They installed all new gaskets, a new timing chain and then reassembled the motor and resurfaced my flywheel. Total cost of parts and labor was $1600.00.

 

I really didn't want to have to try to pull the engine.  I don't have the equipment to pull the engine.  I like what you are saying but since I will probably only put 100 miles a year on the car, my hope is it will last another 10 or 15 years till I give it to my son or grandson.....then they can have it seriously rebuilt. 

 

:-)

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You might get lucky and not have to buy pistons. When your engine builder measures the bore of the block your pistons might be in range. Then all you need are the rings.

Chrome top rings were mentioned in an earlier post but be advised that a chrome ring is harder than your block. I always prefer an aggressive cross hone with cast iron rings. Builders choice I guess.

If your builder finds bad parts make him show you whats wrong and why!

Good luck!

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That is the oversized pistons specs. Once you open up the motor you will know the condition of the bores and if they have been bored out previously. And I'm sure you meant crankshaft when you mentioned rod inserts on your Farmall rebuild. You mentioned you already bought the parts from Meyers, how did you know what size you needed if the motor hasn't been opened up? Your car does not have shell bearing inserts like you find on later motors. I know mine were bronze backed with Babbitt, a metal alloy, poured into them and then line bored to the correct size. Technically they are a form of removable insert, but not interchangeable like more modern insert bearings. I defer to owners of Dodges of your vintage, but I think your motor has this type of bearings.

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That is the oversized pistons specs. Once you open up the motor you will know the condition of the bores and if they have been bored out previously. And I'm sure you meant crankshaft when you mentioned rod inserts on your Farmall rebuild. You mentioned you already bought the parts from Meyers, how did you know what size you needed if the motor hasn't been opened up? Your car does not have shell bearing inserts like you find on later motors. I know mine were bronze backed with Babbitt, a metal alloy, poured into them and then line bored to the correct size. Technically they are a form of removable insert, but not interchangeable like more modern insert bearings. I defer to owners of Dodges of your vintage, but I think your motor has this type of bearings.

I got everything except the pistons. When my mechanic measures thing he will let me know and I will have Myers send them directly to him.

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If the available pistons start at 30 thousand over size you will most likely have to bore the block as it is probably standard bore.

If your mechanic charges $80 an hour he should be equipped to do all of the machine work. If he is not and has to send the machine work out that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't know what he is doing but probably wont be the most economical way to go about this.

There are may things to consider here and of coarse with no information on what problems the engine is giving you we will not be able to make good recommendations here.

If you are thinking only 100 mile per year you are making a pretty big investment in an engine that may not need it.

From some of your comments it would seem that you are not familiar with engines therefor I hope your mechanic steers you in the right direction.

Fun stuff these old cars.

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)
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If the available pistons start at 30 thousand over size you will most likely have to bore the block as it is probably standard bore.

If your mechanic charges $80 an hour he should be equipped to do all of the machine work. If he is not and has to send the machine work out that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't know what he is doing but probably wont be the most economical way to go about this.

There are may things to consider here and of coarse with no information on what problems the engine is giving you we will not be able to make good recommendations here.

If you are thinking only 100 mile per year you are making a pretty big investment in an engine that may not need it.

From some of your comments it would seem that you are not familiar with engines therefor I hope your mechanic steers you in the right direction.

Fun stuff these old cars.

Understand. This has been a wonderful learning experience for me. I probably spent /wasted a lot of money I didn't need to but it's just money. Can't take it with me. I'm having fun an learning. Much rather spend money on this than on green fees and bass boats.

I trust the mechanic....for the most part. I think he thinks I am rich though. Last rebuild I pulled the plug at $4k and finished myself. My hope is he will come in under $2k. Since I provided the parts. I'm already upside down on this car. Into it about $10k. Prolly worth $7500 IF it were running.

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Understand. This has been a wonderful learning experience for me. I probably spent /wasted a lot of money I didn't need to but it's just money.

Into it about $10k. Prolly worth $7500 IF it were running.

 

If it was all about money I think most of us would be collecting box tops.......  :unsure:

I already unloaded two cars at a loss.

I expect the other five will go the same way but I'm having more fun with them than I could buy anyway so........  :P

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If it was all about money I think most of us would be collecting box tops.......  :unsure:

I already unloaded two cars at a loss.

I expect the other five will go the same way but I'm having more fun with them than I could buy anyway so........  :P

Amen Brother!

I stopped saving receipts at the turn of the century. Too depressing. Now I'm having fun spending my kids inheritance.

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Good onya Bill It astounds me when I hear people say that they are putting aside for their kids inheritance.My oldies never put any thing aside for us kids (I even had to contribute a considerable sum of money towards my dads funeral So I am with you mate It may sound selfish but NO ONE gave me a kick start every thing that we have we have worked hard for so we are going to enjoy our twilight years 

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I don't even have any kids to leave my fortune to and from what Iv'e seen of the current crop, they don't amount to much anyway.

My wife and I are planning our retirement. We will sell the business and the house and enjoy what little time we have left together. If the Government thinks it will befit when we are gone they can think again. When my box is full, the cupboard will be bare!

Ray.

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I don't even have any kids to leave my fortune to and from what Iv'e seen of the current crop, they don't amount to much anyway.quote]

Keep the faith Ray! I believe the young ones coming up will change the damage done the last 30 years. I'm beginning to see a slight change already. All you hear about are the slugs. The good ones don't make the news.

P.S. I would be happy to be an heir! My plan is to live to be 100 and shot by a jealous husband......

Bill

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Usually a mistake to take your own parts to a shop for them to install. If something goes wrong, who warrants it? When I had my repair shops and people brought their own parts, and the parts failed, sorry! no warranty. Be careful when supplying your own parts. Ask all the questions regarding who covers it if it fails. I would say 3500.00 in labor but that is with coatings, blueprint and balancing.

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I don't even have any kids to leave my fortune to and from what Iv'e seen of the current crop, they don't amount to much anyway.quote]

Keep the faith Ray! I believe the young ones coming up will change the damage done the last 30 years. I'm beginning to see a slight change already. All you hear about are the slugs. The good ones don't make the news.

P.S. I would be happy to be an heir! My plan is to live to be 100 and shot by a jealous husband......

Bill

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Apologies to Rogillio for off topic ramble.

I know it was important to my Dad that he left a hefty lump sum to myself and my two brothers but there was a darker side to it that he never admitted to. When, on his demise, I cleared out his garage, I realised that the thousands of hours he had spent working on cars would not have been a pleasure. On the contrary, the sheer amount of grime on all his completely worn out tools indicated an unhealthy obsession with work. Whether someone had something on him we will never know but what will always remain with me will be the stench of black greasy grime that covered everything. I have worked in heavy industry myself so I know about dirty working conditions but this was on a whole different level. We didn't just have grief to contend with but a lot of unanswered questions.

As a way of lifting the mood that surrounded my inheritance, I invested in a brand new house, finished in white throughout, and let it to a young married couple with a baby. The rent is set well below market rates and the young family seem to be happy there.

An inheritance can be welcome but it can also come with more than one bargains for.

Quote: "Next to a battle lost the greatest misery is a battle gained" - Wellington - the iron Duke.

Ray.

Edited by R.White (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Usually a mistake to take your own parts to a shop for them to install. If something goes wrong, who warrants it? When I had my repair shops and people brought their own parts, and the parts failed, sorry! no warranty. Be careful when supplying your own parts. Ask all the questions regarding who covers it if it fails. I would say 3500.00 in labor but that is with coatings, blueprint and balancing.

Wish you'd of told me this before I started! :-). Looks like I got the wrong valves from Myers. They said they'd take them back. Mechanic said he can get them but will see if he can grind these.

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Just a tip for removing a recalcitrant cylinder head. With the plugs still in and the wire off the coil, drain the water and undo all the nuts. Then turn the engine over on the starter. Allow the compression to do the job for you.  If that doesn't do it you could  run the motor for a short time. I hope you have not damaged the head/block surfaces.

 

Just my 2 cents as they say over your way.

 

Ray

Edited by R.White (see edit history)
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  • 2 months later...

Bill came to $3900. That includes pistons, rings, some new valves, head bolts, oil pump shaft, gaskets, springs, etc.

Not sure how the oil pump shaft got bent. Got a used one from Meyers. Need new dist cap.....you can see arcing if the video loads.

More than I was hoping for but I trust this guy and know he spent a lot of time on it.

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Edited by Rogillio (see edit history)
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The oil pump shaft needs to be located when the pan is being fitted.  It is possible to get this wrong because as you can't see it,  you need to "feel" the pump shaft locating in it's socket.  The pan was probably tightened sufficiently to bend the shaft ...at least that's my best guess! :huh: 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray. 

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I don't think the exhaust manifold was painted.

So it was probably me that bent the oil pump shaft. I was gonna drop the pan and clean out the sludge. Hot it half off and decided I couldn't get to the bolts under the bell housing so gave up and put it back together. My guess is the oil pump shaft moved in the process.

The engine runs great! Starts up easy and sounds good. But the transmission sounds rough. Clutch needs work too. But she lives again? Been probably 10 years since it ran.

The carb leaks and the radiator leaks....there is major slop around the kingpin.....brakes need adjusting....2 lugs on one wheel are stripped......so much more yet to do with this car.

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To get at those bolts, if I remember, you need a socket with an extension.  The lower front section of the bell housing needs to be removed first.

 

The carb leaking may be due to the float being holed.  I suggest you shake it and listen for fuel slopping around inside.  Replacements are available from Myers.

If the carb is sound the leak is probably the needle valve.  Again, replacement parts should not be too hard to get.

 

The stripped wheel nuts are not a problem.  Stripped studs, on the other hand, are a job and a half.  You can't buy them (as far as I know) and a replacement hub is the easiest way to go.  

 

Best of luck with replacing the king pins and bushes. New sets are $265!   You will need to drill and tap a hole for a grease zerk.

 

Ray.

Edited by R.White (see edit history)
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The transmission makes a godaweful noise! I'm am $14k into this car. It is probably worth $9k if that. Not sure I want to have the transmission rebuilt......think I may sell it.

It still needs new kingpins, stripped and painted, rewiring, headliner, door panels, rear bumper stripped and pc.....and a few other things such as brakes cleaned and adjusted.

Anyone need a project? This money pit can be yours for $11k. I may list on CL for $12....and hope to get $10.

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We used to allow customers to buy their own parts but after many bad experiences with wrong or junk parts our rule is now we buy all engine, brake and fuel related parts. Actually, even with our modest markup the customer often gets the parts for less than what he could buy them himself. An example; In our area if you take a head to the machine shop to be planed it will cost you $67.50. Our cost to have it done is $50, so even with our 20% markup you are saving $7.50. Another thought. We disassemble engines, specify the machine work needing done and send the work out for the actual machining. We then assemble and test the engine. Why? Several reasons. First, the local machine shop likely knows little or nothing about an early engine but they know a great deal about proper machining practices and do it every day. Best of both worlds, let the guy who knows the engine do the disassembly, specify the repairs needed, order the proper parts and do the reassembly and testing. Let the guy who knows machining best do his part. This approach has worked well for us for 37 years rebuilding everything from a 1908 Pullman to a '59 Cadillac..

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The transmission makes a godaweful noise! I'm am $14k into this car. It is probably worth $9k if that. Not sure I want to have the transmission rebuilt......think I may sell it.

It still needs new kingpins, stripped and painted, rewiring, headliner, door panels, rear bumper stripped and pc.....and a few other things such as brakes cleaned and adjusted.

Anyone need a project? This money pit can be yours for $11k. I may list on CL for $12....and hope to get $10.

The worst is over Rogillio........... Throw it in the back of the garage, close the door, and get away from it for awhile. After the holidays go out to the garage and fix the trans............

Keep the faith!

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Agree, time to give it a rest. The king pins are probably a must do soon so it does not drive like a circus car! The transmission issue could be:

1. These did not have synchromesh so need to double clutch to slow down the engine to get the transmission to shift.

2. The clutch may not disengage. Push clutch pedal in and put a block of wood on the fire wall side to hold the clutch pedal fully  disengaged. If still grinding probably need to adjust clutch per instructions. Buy reprint manuals and John B's Vic 6 CD. Understand you have a '26 but still a lot of practical advice. For example, toe in and steering adjustment after king pins. Tie rod ends are not available but if everything else adjusted may not make as much difference.

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