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  #1  
Old 07-09-2011, 12:33 PM
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BOOMERBIRD BOOMERBIRD is offline
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Default Advice for the cheapest 352 Rebuild-on a tight budget.

Ive got an original bumper to bumper 58 bird that was my grandmothers and it has ran great for sometime but its now time to rebuild the 352. Im on a very tight budget and have 3k to get the job done. i would love to do it my self but currently dont have the facility to do it. i may be able to pull the motor my self and take it where ever i need to. i want to get the best rebuild as possible and shave off as much wieght as possible too. If anyone has advice to how i should get this started, parts needed and the job completed please advise. This has been an every day driver for me and i plan to keep it that way because i just love this car and the feel of a classic ride more then any modern car.

thanks,

BOOMER!
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2011, 04:05 PM
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$3K is a fair amount to spend on a rebuild. The hardest part is finding a reputable shop that you trust. Other options are buying a rebuilt 390 short block which are pretty common and having the machine shop redo your heads. Once installed with the original valve covers and intake manifold only an expert would know the difference. As far as trimming weight replacing the stock intake with an aluminum one is an option.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2011, 09:25 PM
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you have to make lists and go shopping for two areas:

* parts and materials (from pistons/rings to gaskets)

* machine shop services (cleaning, head work, boring, crank reconditioning)

* tools - torque wrench, engine stand, winch, caliper

* cleaning supplies: solvents, wire brushes

In both cases you need to solicit other people's opinions and experiences. Car clubs can be helpful for machine shop services in your area. People in this forum and others can provide information on parts.

I can call up a machine shop in this area and ask" What do you get for reconditioning a pair of 8 valve FE heads, including inserting seats?" or "how much to grind a crank and provide new rod and main bearings?" There's no mystery here - they do the same stuff day in and day out. That your motor came out of a TBird is pretty much irrelevant - an older cast iron motor is just that.


A friend with a pickup truck may be a key item!


With effort you can build all this into a spreadsheet and see what the grand total looks like.

Suggestion: buy a copy of Steve Christ's book "How to Rebuild Big Block Ford Engines"

john
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2011, 09:38 PM
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Excellent advice, John. I like the part about asking local clubs because sometimes members own machine shops and they stake their club reputation on their work.

Not to get off subject, but certain members here on Squarebirds do the same, like Jed Zimmerman and his seat cushions, or John Draxler and the excellent service he provides. It's all in our family of restorers.

WARNING: If you do your own engine, you WILL do more in future. The work is very gratifying and you will amaze yourself by realizing you can do much more than you thought. Also, a part of YOU will be in the car and all your friends and family will know it.

Here is the Y-Block I overhauled. - Dave
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2011, 02:34 PM
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The biggest issue with keeping a 352 is the availability of parts. The 352 uses a different length connecting rod than the other FE motors. Along with this is the smaller bore of the 352 makes finding original or oversize pistons more difficult and expensive as well. To my knowledge there are no aftermarket heads for the 352, you need to step up to at least a 390 bore in order to have clearance for the valves (specifically the aluminum edelbrock heads, but many others are the same).
IF you need to bore the engine, a new (rebuilt) 390 short block will probably be cheaper than trying to find oversize 352 pistons, etc. Or, I think you can put the 390 pistons into the 352 rods and turn it into a 360, but do some reading on that. A new aluminum intake is a great inexpensive way to shed weight and will fit any FE.
If the bore is good and you just need a good hone, rings, seals, etc, you should be able to get away under $1000. I just had my 390 machined, a master rebuild kit, and a valve job on the heads for about $900. I already had the tools and put it together myself, so even if you have the machine shop assemble it for you, you should be able to get away well under $3000.
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2011, 11:12 PM
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Default Within budget

I just had mine done a month ago and spent around $2300 at Barnettes. https://www.barnettesengines.com/Home_Page.php
They offer free shipping to the lower 48.

I was recommended there by my local ford dealer, good friend of mine. One of his technicans has a race car and they work on his engine.

I don't have the engine back in the car yet so I can't speak to how it runs yet. Trying to get all the work under the hood done before I put the engine back in.

Just something else to consider.

Dave
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstbird View Post
I just had mine done a month ago and spent around $2300 at Barnettes... I don't have the engine back in the car yet so I can't speak to how it runs yet...
I have never done business with this company but it looks like you got very lucky. Read these reviews:
http://www.complaintsboard.com/compl...s-c395360.html

Here's another. Click on, REVIEWS
http://yellowpages.lycos.com/profile...nes-1845731759

http://www.ripoffreport.com/auto-rep...o-ho-yby65.htm

Again, I didn't write any of these. I sure wouldn't put out my money to a company who doesn't return the same good faith. There are too many great engine builders all over the country who do good work at fair prices.

Engine rebuild warranties normally run two to three years. This one claims, five years, which sounds great until you read the complaints.
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  #8  
Old 07-12-2011, 04:14 AM
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Chad, do you have experience working on engines? Do you have an experienced friend or relative that could help you?

Do you have a Shop Manual for your car?
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  #9  
Old 07-12-2011, 09:51 AM
63-4drpost 63-4drpost is offline
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Wink 352

buy a used pickup engine off craigslist. You can hear it run first. look around, sometimes you can find what yo want for $500.00. You probably do not drive the Bird many miles, and a used engine will get yu by just fine. Why spend $3 grand you aparantly do not want to part with? just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:00 PM
60 T-Bird 60 T-Bird is offline
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My story is a little different than yours as I had a 430 in mine that was going to cost me at first $5000, and $1000 more if I wanted era correct pistons. Plus parts were very difficult to find and lets mention that performance parts were not available. I found a 61 T-bird 390 engine with extremely low miles. The car was being hot rod'd and a 427 was going back in. The engine was just under $1000. So this is another option if you're handy. I had never pulled an engine or installed one in a car before but in a past life I was a motorcycle mechanic. So I know how to proceed with this kind of stuff...lots of questions and patience. Hope this helps.
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