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Old 12-12-2012, 03:23 PM   #1
ResidentR
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Default To build before or after the failure

I will soon be at a point power-wise where I will be flirting with engine failure on the oem shortblock.

My question is, does it make sense to pull the engine now and preemptively drop in a set of pistons to try and ward off failure, or to just wait till it inevitably does blow a piston or ring, and swap in a lightly built block then? It seems to me that the cost of a new semi-built shortblock is about the same cost as the labor and parts to replace pistons in the engine already in the car. Would like to hear from those with experience.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
slowgenius
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In my opinoin its cheaper to rebuild before a breakdown, because you never know what damage a failure will cause.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowgenius View Post
In my opinoin its cheaper to rebuild before a breakdown, because you never know what damage a failure will cause.
Agreed, especially if you know you can afford it. Planned downtime is much better than unplanned, IMO.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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Rebuild before.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:29 PM   #5
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Def. Rebuild before!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:26 PM   #6
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Rebuild before
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:40 PM   #7
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Sounds like I will be upgrading the engine before the dom2.5 goes on then!

The next question is, is it more cost effective to have a shop add pistons to the shortblock currently in the car, or just buy a built short block and have a shop swap it in?

I am thinking there will be less downtime buying an already assembled short block, and it could mostly pay for itself by selling the oem short block.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ResidentR View Post
Sounds like I will be upgrading the engine before the dom2.5 goes on then!

The next question is, is it more cost effective to have a shop add pistons to the shortblock currently in the car, or just buy a built short block and have a shop swap it in?

I am thinking there will be less downtime buying an already assembled short block, and it could mostly pay for itself by selling the oem short block.
Assuming your block is in good condition and doesn't require much machining, it may be cheaper to have pistons put in your exisiting shortblock. However, I've noticed that pre-built shortblocks tend to have a similar price to doing a full short block build including machining, so it could go either way. You will have much less downtime if you buy a pre-built shortblock. Some shops will take well over a week to machine parts and get them back to you, depending on their current work load.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:17 PM   #9
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I would go with a fresh block. Well let me rephrase that, I DID go with that. It normally would give you less down time (I had different circumstances). Do some research on which shop you would want to build it, I'll obviously recommend Maxwell Power. I haven't gotten my engine yet, but Dom has put up with me and that speaks volumes. Great customer service especially if you have some patience and can understand that they're extremely busy. I had a hard time with the patience part
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:55 AM   #10
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Asuming that by "dropping" you mean complete dissasembly with hoaning cleaning and miking then yes i agree with the rest, if not...
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:44 PM   #11
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Unless youve got a pile of money sittin around waitin for your motor to go, its always easier in my exp to build without rush, I build my own motors so I can set up my shop and work part by part as I have time and cash to drop on the parts I want without making sacrifices by going with whatever is available or Ive got cash for at the moment. It always takes longer than expected and unless youve got another vehicle, or a trust fund..lol. Having a backup build in the works is the best approach to me. I can swap a motor in a long day or two in the event that my motor grenades.. Scenerio#1: Your motor blows.. now you have to get towed home or to a shop. It'll usually happen on a busy highway miles from home in the middle of a blizzard on the week that your rent is due. hahaha. Start figuring out parts you want to buy in a rush, youll prob overlook things and end up not fully thinkin the build out. It'll be rushed, youll pick the wrong builder or build sloppily. Scenario#2: Take your time, hang around the Built Motor section of Nasioc, read alot and get to know what the weak points are that cant be overlooked.. Absorb loads of knowledge about the EJ engine, buy quality parts that suit your needs for your car. Find good deals on parts and meet cool people that help you out along the way. If you dont blow your motor, you can sell it to recoup build costs spent on your new motor. Or keep it and rebuild it with your new found knowledge, now youve got a back up motor.. live happily ever after.. im rambling.. out to my shop to work on my build for a bit happy buildin!

Last edited by 99imprezd; 12-14-2012 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:29 PM   #12
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the block which has been worked before for some k miles is better choise for build VS brand new block. after some hone, piston choosing and line boring main housings, it will be much stronger and durable startpoint then brand new block.

I'm sure some people will agree here and understand what do I mean.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #13
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bako View Post
the block which has been worked before for some k miles is better choice for build VS brand new block. after some hone, piston choosing and line boring main housings, it will be much stronger and durable startpoint then brand new block.

I'm sure some people will agree here and understand what do I mean.
You are speaking of using a "seasoned" block vs. "fresh".

Not sure it applies as much with todays pressure cast aluminum, it WAS true in older cast Iron blocks.
Best bet then was a high mileage block that had decent care, then it was line bored (to get straight perfect holes for the crank & cam), decked (so the head mating surface/surfaces were parallel to the crank and "square" to each other), etc.
The old cast iron blocks had internal casting stresses that could twist the block out of shape with heat cycles.

I'm sure the newer aluminum blocks go through some "relaxing" but I don't believe it's anywhere near as much as in the past.

Oh, to the OP.......unless you have a 2nd set of reliable wheels, I myself would do a block/engine NOW and then swap when ready. I would also likely save the old bits for either your use, or to sell to someone that, "Just had an oops" and needs parts ASAP.

Last edited by Charlie-III; 12-17-2012 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Fix typo.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:04 PM   #14
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Rebuild before. If you do blow a ringland, you will very likely scour the cylinder walls which will require rehoning plus other odds and ends. I do recommend upgrading rods as well!
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:46 PM   #15
PhilD6508
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Rebuild before - I learn't the hard way ($$$$)
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:40 PM   #16
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Before! Always before. lol.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowgenius View Post
In my opinoin its cheaper to rebuild before a breakdown, because you never know what damage a failure will cause.
Plus you can plan for it. So down time can be kept to a minimum.
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