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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Lancaster, NY
    Posts
    3,236

    Question 455 engine rebuild cost?

    I know that this one is tough to answer with all of the factors that could affect it but what would an approximate cost be to rebuild to 1970 455 motor so that it would run well on the street but have a little extra punch to it for fun? I would like to maintain the "stock" look and possibly put 400 valve covers and brackets to make it look like a '68 400 engine.
    I would not be doing the rebuild myself since I have never even rebuilt a lawn mower engine

    I have an opportunity to pick up a 1970 455 (complete) out of an Electra. The motor is not currently in the car and has been sitting in dry storage for a couple of years.

    I am toying with the idea of pulling my numbers matching 400 out of my GS to store it and dropping in a 455 to play with

    30 year 68/69 STEPCHILD NATION member

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Buffalo Gap, TX
    Posts
    3,498

    Default

    Mike,

    I'm in the middle of assembling an obsessively over-built street 455 (iron heads and intake, shorty headers), and here are my numbers off the top of my head:

    $2100 in machining in my street 455 block and iron heads (went to big valves), that's doing nearly everything but an align hone (checked, but not needed). Blueprinted and Balanced, and I'm doing the assembly (well, they put the pistons on the rods).

    About another $2000 in parts, including Forged Wiseco pistons, coated bearings, and arp fasteners, plus an IgnitionMan MSD dizzy, aluminum radiator, and John Osborn Q-Jet.

    By the time I'm done, it'll prolly be right under $5K for everything. But then, I started with NO big-block parts, if you can use some of your 400 bits you'll be ahead of me.
    James BPG #1604
    Still own my first car: '71 LeSabre - the 2NABOT (formerly the World's 2nd Fastest 350-powered Big Buick) Now 455-powered.
    '62 Ranchero w/ '68 200 Six and Column-shift 3-speed. Cruuuuuise-mobile.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    13,550

    Default

    Mikey wants to play ??!!

    I'm not going to go into costs but I will tell you to figure in a tranny rebuild Twhy not a new case while your at it) and a different rear to boot .... Drop the whole drivetrain or you run the risk of grenading those #'s matching pieces too

    Dropping my whole sh-bang for a play system increased the fun factor by 10x at least ... And its even more fun knowIng I can beat the Crap out of it without hurting anything but my wallet
    Alan W

    BPG # 1048 - Charter Member
    NE GS/GN Club - 17 Year Member
    68/69 Buick StepChild Nation - 29 Year Member

    What is a Buick StepChild ?
    Quote Originally Posted by 442w30 View Post
    ... They have awkward proportions from certain angles, and they look dumpy compared to their GM brethren
    ....'68 SportWagon400 "Sportn'Wood"..............'69 GS400 Convert "BigRed"..........

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    West Chester, PA 19380
    Posts
    863

    Default

    I had just over $4000 in my assembled, balanced & blueprinted longblock. Another $1500 worth of parts, and I had about another $2000 in my heads, valvetrain and intake. $7500 is a good budget to assume if you're doing it without cutting corners.

    For a stock, or slightly stock rebuild you can save some money on engine kits, etc. Maddog Racing had a good kit on Ebay that comes with the TRW forged pistons. IMO, if you're putting a motor together don't settle for less than forged--hyperutectics and cast just aren't as strong, but it comes down to preference.

    Some important things to pay attention to (learn from my mistakes):

    0-deck the block if you want true 10.0:1+ compression without cutting the heads severely.
    Make sure the clearances are just right for your application--not too tight.
    Use a REPUTABLE BUICK BUILDER who will stand behind thier work.
    Search "Oil Modifications" for requisite mods
    DO NOT use a FRAM oil filter
    Degree the cam

    Ask a LOT of questions on the boards, and good luck with the build!
    E d H e r a t y

    1966 Buick Skylark 464/400/3.31 12.0x @ 113 / 1.7 60'
    1996 Chev Impala SS LT1/4L60E/3.73
    2009.5 Pontiac G8 GT L92/6L80E/2.93



    My 3rd BBB (464) Build/Assembly with pics

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,793

    Default

    I would say...

    you could be putting anywhere from 750 to 5000 into it.

    I would add to it:

    Slightly bigger cam, new lifters (of course), bearings (of course), shorty headers, intake manifold, have your q-jet rebuilt, get the heads cleaned and maybe even ported/larger valves.

    that would be right around 2000, maybe a little higher.

    The if you needed boring, pistons, and rods you would be right around 4000 with all the bits and pieces and work included.

    i would estimate it at maybe 425-450 horse, depending on cam and compression.
    Steven

    1969 Buick Wildcat Custom 430-4

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Brownstown, MI
    Posts
    1,323

    Default

    Good deal Mike. Time to have a little fun.

    Good idea to pull the #'s motor. As far as the trans goes I wouldn't worry too much about that. You probably could use a rebuild but if it were to grenade you probably wouldn't hurt the case anyway.

    Did you figure out what was going on with the rear end noise?

    It's tough with the 8.2. You could pull it and save it for the #'s thing but if there's something wrong it may be hard to find parts to fix it anyway. It's probably a good time to throw in a 8.5 to beat on and in the mean time maybe you could gather the parts you need for a rebuild on your 8.2.

    I'm picking up a 8.5 out of a 72 Lark in the next week or so because I want more gear and that's a no go with an 8.2.

    You could probably keep the costs down on a rebuild by not going overboard and buying the best of everything. AM & P has some good looking prices in their catalog for basic Stage 1 short blocks good for 400hp or so. I know you won't be beating the snot out of your car anyway so you shouldn't need the "best of everything". Forged pistons, good oil mods and good bearings small valve heads with maybe a little clean up and adjustable pushrods should get you good power without hitting the wallet too hard.
    Just have your carb reworked by Osbourne or Norm Deihle. Norm does some great carbs that will handle all the power and his prices are great too.
    69 GS400 convertible 4-speed
    69 GS STG 2 10.04@130
    68/69 STEPCHILD NATION
    [IMG][/IMG]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Braintree Ma
    Posts
    76

    Default am&p

    Hi What company is am&p and how do I get a catalogue. Thanks Tom

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    15,001

    Default

    Fuel & Brake Systems Engineer
    "I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong." - Feynman
    "Good data is precious. The problem I have is when some damned fool fails to use it properly." - Slingerland

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Ladysmith, WI
    Posts
    255

    Default

    I've got some 8.2 BOP parts if you're interested. Auburn pro series posi and 4.56:1 gears (I know, pretty steep for the street, but you did mention "fun"). Neither have ever been installed, but have been in boxes for a while. I actually have the aluminum TA rear end girdle/cover, as well.

    Nick
    BTail

    73 Riviera (current)
    69 LeSabre (some parts left)
    72 Electra (engine/trans left)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Brownstown, MI
    Posts
    1,323

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BTail
    I've got some 8.2 BOP parts if you're interested. Auburn pro series posi and 4.56:1 gears (I know, pretty steep for the street, but you did mention "fun"). Neither have ever been installed, but have been in boxes for a while. I actually have the aluminum TA rear end girdle/cover, as well.

    Nick

    Nick that 8.2 stuff won't fit the 68-70 Buick rears. It's talked about quite a bit in the gear forum.
    69 GS400 convertible 4-speed
    69 GS STG 2 10.04@130
    68/69 STEPCHILD NATION
    [IMG][/IMG]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Grand Haven MI
    Posts
    1,460

    Default Hot Rod '68

    Mike -

    I did this in parts over the last 6 years. If you only consider the engine this is how it went:

    '73 block core, junkyard score for $75
    Machine work on short block $680
    Short block parts (GSCA) $960 - this includes forged pistons, ARP rod bolts, Cam and lifters, etc.
    Used Stage 1 heads with some porting - $500
    Rebuild heads 5 years later, new Scott Brown cam - $1000

    Lessee, that adds up to $3,215 of which about $200 could be eliminated if I'd not bought the GSCA cam and lifters. Say $3k more or less in the engine for a basic 10:1 455, crank cut, balanced, rebuilt rods, oil pump booster plate and adjustable regulator, ARP bolts, ported heads and intake manifold, Hogged out iron exhaust manifolds, forged pistons, gaskets, seals, and engine paint. Assembly by me.

    Make it $5k for the same deal done by a shop.

    I also changed from a one legger 2.93 rear to a 3.07 posi and put in an 1800 stall converter, rebuilt the transmission, 2-1/2 exhaust.

    This took the car from a low 15 second ride with blue smoke billowing out to a consistant 13.5 @ 103 car with a best of 13.20 at 104.5. Twelves would probably come with some sticky tires and maybe a gear change.
    John Eberly
    '68 GS400
    former '71 Centurion Convertible (gave to my brother)
    former '95 Riviera (gave to my daughter)
    WAITAMINNIT!!! I'M RUNNING OUT OF CARS!!!
    BPG #1430

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Lancaster, NY
    Posts
    3,236

    Default

    This could get very expensive quick I see I guess I have to sell a "BUNCH" of window stickers for this project

    On second thought, I think I will just get a Chevy motor and drop it in


    This is the bad part of having a #s matching car, I can't have as much fun with it as I would like

    Maybe this won't be happening anytime soon but I guess I could pick up the complete motor that I have a chance to get for $200 and park it in the garage for "some" day


    Todd,

    Still not sure what that noise is in the rear but it has not changed in the last 7 years. I may just pull the rear out this winter and have it gone over by a local Buick guy.
    30 year 68/69 STEPCHILD NATION member

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Susquehanna, PA
    Posts
    448

    Wink

    used 72 short block-JE pistons, Cunningham rods, indexed factory crank $1800.00
    Bearings, rings-$330.00
    Heads-TA ST 1 aluminum 2.16, 1.75 ported, polished, equalized chambers, ceramic coated bowls-$3200.00
    Cam & lifters-$240.00
    MSD distributor-$270.00
    MSD 6AL-$190.00
    Plug wires-$85.00
    Plugs-$16.00
    Modified pan & pickup-$150.00
    Roller rockers-$340.00
    Head gaskets-$89.00
    Misc. gaskets-$70.00
    Intake-$175.00
    carb-$365.00

    So lets see, $8k plus the machine shop. Too much dinero and still not done.
    It's running but I want more!!!
    George King
    1970 Skylark 464 Stage 2

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    West Chester, PA 19380
    Posts
    863

    Default

    Heres some real numbers to take a look at.

    I bought my core '73 455 for $250, my SP1/Ported S1's for $1600, the pistons from Ebay for $400, rod/main/head studs (ARP) for $150.

    I spent another $1300 or so with TA for the valvesprings, shims, retainers, cam, bearings and all that jazz.

    And the machine shop bill...




    All told, I spent way too much to have the #6 rod spin and throw after only 20 hours run time. Theres another thread with that story, but I thought my (relatively high priced) machine shop bill might help you for itemizing.
    E d H e r a t y

    1966 Buick Skylark 464/400/3.31 12.0x @ 113 / 1.7 60'
    1996 Chev Impala SS LT1/4L60E/3.73
    2009.5 Pontiac G8 GT L92/6L80E/2.93



    My 3rd BBB (464) Build/Assembly with pics

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,793

    Default

    right at the top of the list, PH 25, that is a Fram oil filter :D

    now im happy at what my machine shop bill is/is going to be.
    Steven

    1969 Buick Wildcat Custom 430-4

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    West Chester, PA 19380
    Posts
    863

    Default

    Hahahahaha...

    Yeah, that thing got ripped off my longblock as soon as I got home. I think 10 of you guys jumped on me for that, it never made it past the "prime" stage... and that was at the machine shop!

    Its sitting with fresh oil in it on my garage shelf if anyone wants it, just pay shipping!
    E d H e r a t y

    1966 Buick Skylark 464/400/3.31 12.0x @ 113 / 1.7 60'
    1996 Chev Impala SS LT1/4L60E/3.73
    2009.5 Pontiac G8 GT L92/6L80E/2.93



    My 3rd BBB (464) Build/Assembly with pics

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Savin Rock, CT
    Posts
    2,490

    Default

    Mike I had Dave Griswald at Center Auto in Stratford, CT do my 400 with all new parts @ stock specs for $2785.00. And it ran a 13.96@98.5mph at ATCO!!!
    David


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Steeler country
    Posts
    5,375

    Default

    Mike,

    The BBB in the 4X4 ran me and my Bro close to $5K. Its a very healthy build. Now remember the .100 overbore was pricey. My buick buds on this board likely saved me a grand in parts and advice, so right off the bat your better off than most folks.
    Dan


    1969 Wildcat Convertible (14.92 @ 91.54)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    NW Illinois
    Posts
    649

    Default

    Does anyone know a good engine re-builder or machine shop in Northern Illinois for my 455 ??

    Thanks

    Norm

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Milwaukee WI
    Posts
    4,601

    Default

    If you don't mind coming about 1.5 hr north to Waukesha, WI. Automotive Engine Rebuilders did the machine work on mine. All the clearances are set up perfectly for a Buick engine. This place has experience in all kinds of engines. from single cylinder go-kart engines to tractor pulling diesels.

    1604 Arcadian Ave
    Waukesha, WI 53186
    262-521-2250
    1970 Skylark Custom convertible
    Megasqurt EFI
    My Build in the Garage
    2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
    Looking for cheap and long '77 Ford F150 bed

    Nate

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GRIMM
    right at the top of the list, PH 25, that is a Fram oil filter :D

    now im happy at what my machine shop bill is/is going to be.

    Im new to buicks and I need to know why fram oil filters are bad. I have one in my 455 1965 skylark right now

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    West Chester, PA 19380
    Posts
    863

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 65buicklark
    Im new to buicks and I need to know why fram oil filters are bad. I have one in my 455 1965 skylark right now

    From what I've been told, they have a bad drain-back design. This can lead to dry starts, leading to bearing destruction.

    Someone chime in if I'm off-base here...


    My machine shop threw on a Fram, and I didn't think anything of it... only from the board did I learn of its bad-design.
    E d H e r a t y

    1966 Buick Skylark 464/400/3.31 12.0x @ 113 / 1.7 60'
    1996 Chev Impala SS LT1/4L60E/3.73
    2009.5 Pontiac G8 GT L92/6L80E/2.93



    My 3rd BBB (464) Build/Assembly with pics

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by daward
    From what I've been told, they have a bad drain-back design. This can lead to dry starts, leading to bearing destruction.

    Someone chime in if I'm off-base here...


    My machine shop threw on a Fram, and I didn't think anything of it... only from the board did I learn of its bad-design.

    If fram is a bad filter then what brand do you recomend? I have been using fram for about 10 months now in a car that I only drive once a week. Im worred about dry starts now.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,793

    Default

    K&N are good, there are some washable ones that are awesome, not sure of the name, someone else will say it for me im sure :D
    Steven

    1969 Buick Wildcat Custom 430-4

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    SE Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,646

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Eberly
    Mike -

    I did this in parts over the last 6 years. If you only consider the engine this is how it went:

    '73 block core, junkyard score for $75
    Machine work on short block $680
    Short block parts (GSCA) $960 - this includes forged pistons, ARP rod bolts, Cam and lifters, etc.
    Used Stage 1 heads with some porting - $500
    Rebuild heads 5 years later, new Scott Brown cam - $1000

    Lessee, that adds up to $3,215 of which about $200 could be eliminated if I'd not bought the GSCA cam and lifters. Say $3k more or less in the engine for a basic 10:1 455, crank cut, balanced, rebuilt rods, oil pump booster plate and adjustable regulator, ARP bolts, ported heads and intake manifold, Hogged out iron exhaust manifolds, forged pistons, gaskets, seals, and engine paint. Assembly by me.

    Make it $5k for the same deal done by a shop.

    I also changed from a one legger 2.93 rear to a 3.07 posi and put in an 1800 stall converter, rebuilt the transmission, 2-1/2 exhaust.

    This took the car from a low 15 second ride with blue smoke billowing out to a consistant 13.5 @ 103 car with a best of 13.20 at 104.5. Twelves would probably come with some sticky tires and maybe a gear change.
    John, may I ask, what did you not like about the GSCA cam? Was it not up to what you were expecting, or did you upgrade to something you needed to match parts to? Thanks.

    Regards, John.
    If a man voices his opinion in the wilderness and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

 

 
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