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Old 12-09-2017, 09:38 AM   #1
AnthonyG
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Default Prices for turnkey Flathead?

Looking at a stock 8ba someone had H&H build. It is turnkey. Wanted to avoid the BS sales people so rather than call them thought Iíd ask you guys. Heís lookng to get $6000. Been sitting over a year so no warranty from H&H any more. Iím thinking more like $3000? Thoughts?
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:42 AM   #2
AlexLohmann1
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

I've heard anywhere from 3 to 5 grand. Not saying that's the rule or applies to every shop, rather, that's just what I've heard. I'm actually in the process of helping a buddy of mine rebuild a flathead engine. We're doing all the work on it except for the block machining and balancing and maybe some pump/carb rebuilds.

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Old 12-09-2017, 10:02 AM   #3
JSeery
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

This is the pricing for United Engine Specialist. Remember, this is the starts at price, which is never what something really cost. And, this is similar to a short block, there are a lot of add-on parts not included. It is not difficult at all to get $6k in a flathead engine.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:06 AM   #4
Krylon32
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

I've got a fresh 8BA I just installed in a Model A customer chassis I built and when the engine guy delivered it to my shop I asked about the cost of the engine and he said 8000.00. We're talking apples and oranges because it's a built engine with all the aftermarket heads and carbs and has been broken in on their stand. 6000.00 is probably at the top end for a stocker?
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:07 AM   #5
AlexLohmann1
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

The estimate I mentioned is partly diy.

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Old 12-09-2017, 10:11 AM   #6
tomkowal
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

i have more than that in mine-new scat crank, pistons, etc.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

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Originally Posted by tomkowal View Post
i have more than that in mine-new scat crank, pistons, etc.
That's what I was thinking! Just a few rebuild parts can get you into several K dollars. On a "turn key" engine, if your talking generator, carb, fuel pump, water pumps, distributor, wiring, etc, all this stuff adds up in a hurry!! Might even include clutch and pressure plate. Start adding up all these parts and see where you end up, that should give you an idea. Then there is the issue of the quality of the parts used. That could be a major difference in the final cost. There is also "how" the engine was rebuilt, that also can be a big cost difference. Little things (well sort of) like how was the block cleaned, just tanked or were the cooling passages actually cleaned out. How much testing was performed on the block prior to assembly. On and on, one rebuild is not the same as another.

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Old 12-09-2017, 10:44 AM   #8
TJ
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

Does the seller have the receipts for the work that was done? If so, you will probably find there is way more than $6000 in the motor. Is it a stock motor or does it have speed equipment on it(aluminum heads, multi carbs, etc). I had a flathead built in the 90's for a stock '38 Ford. It was $3500 in those days, so that was 20 years ago. The cost of doing business has risen considerably since those days. You might buy that motor for $5000 but you will insult the seller at $3000 if he has the paper work to prove the work.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

There are too many variables in a rebuild to compare unless you know what went into that one and get a quote for the same job. I know I put $4000 in parts and machining alone in mine without heads and carbs and I had the core. Then there is shipping. I can relate to the guy wanting to recoup most/all his money, but then there is the market for "used" engine.
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

What kind of flathead? I would think a 59A or 99A would be significantly more expensive to do than an 8BA because of core and bearing prices. Then there is the extra cost of fitting the bearings. Using a later type rotating assembly in the earlier engines might mitigate this difference, but it would still be there.
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

If I may add some info here as obviously you are considering either having 1 built or buying 1 complete. I had an 8ba built by a person recommended by a friend. I checked out his shop and he had all the right machine tools, motors all around being machined, and some race engines sitting on stands. I had previously had my block magged and pressure tested. He bored it out, installed all new valve seats, guides, new valves, new oil pump, all new bearings, pistons, rings, cam, cam bearings, in short he did all the work required to get a completed short block back from him. We started at about $2200 but by the time I picked the block up were up to $3200 because of various issues that he ran into, plus he relieved the block and did some other minor machining which made sense to do while it was apart. It is now about a year since I got it back. I installed the heads, intake, distributor, water pumps and so on. I have been attempting to get this motor to run now going on 2 weeks. I have tried everything. I am getting fuel, I am getting spark, and the motor turns over well. It just won't fire. Have numerous times checked to be sure #1 piston is on tdc and timing pointer and pulley dot are aligned. No dice. Ran a compression test and only have about 50 lbs in each cyl. Now it has not been run and the rings may not be seated and that may be why, but the moral of my story is I will NEVER, repeat NEVER, buy another motor without seeing it running on a proper break in stand before I pass over my hard earned money. The same is true of a used motor as well. If I don't see it run with my own eyes the it ran when pulled crap isn't going to cut it. The problems with this motor have ruined the fun of building my car.
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

Gordon, I'll ask the obvious question : Have you talked to the people at the shop? I would think they have a reputation to protect and will go to at least some lengths to protect it. If you really have only 50 lbs compression, there is obviously something wrong with the assembly and they should be responsible.

As an aside, I have learned to stay away from shops that build "Racing Engines" unless I specifically want one. I have been burned twice by these guys applying their "Race Tricks" on my engines with less than satisfactory results.
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:19 AM   #13
Dave Castle
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

For 6000 I believe you are better off having one built at a reputable shop.
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:27 AM   #14
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

Anthony:
Contact H and H and ask them the price of rebuilding an 8BA to stock and ask what "stock" means. I would think that some upgrades must have been made like installing adjustable lifters and perhaps 3 ring pistons plus new oil pump. As has been mentioned, it's not hard to hit high numbers when you rebuild a flathead. Receipts mean a lot in your case. Would the seller let you fire it up on an engine stand if you build the stand?I doubt if there are a lot of folks who would pay $6K for a rebuild flatty rebuilt to "stock", especially at Christmas time.

Last edited by 19Fordy; 12-09-2017 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:27 AM   #15
richard crow
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

8,000 & you wonder why you see so maney early fords with chevy engs
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:35 AM   #16
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tubman View Post
What kind of flathead? I would think a 59A or 99A would be significantly more expensive to do than an 8BA because of core and bearing prices. Then there is the extra cost of fitting the bearings. Using a later type rotating assembly in the earlier engines might mitigate this difference, but it would still be there.

N0 difference in price for a "59" or an 8BA, both run the same!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Castle View Post
For 6000 I believe you are better off having one built at a reputable shop.

Excellent advice, I wouldn't attempt to sell any assembled unit even if it was built here, and we do it for a living!! You have absolutely no way of knowing what exactly has been done to the castings AND no way of knowing what exactly is inside for parts!


Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Having said that above here, there are a handful of members up here building these that I would be comfortable taking an ass'y. They will know who they are here!!
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

I have 6K in mine and I did all the work..
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:27 PM   #18
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

I'd call Mike at H & H and see if he could tell you anything about what went into the rebuild.
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:29 PM   #19
AnthonyG
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

Here are concerns I have with price.
-I believe H&H to be a reputable shop, problem is their eng. warranty 1 yr 12K miles is over cause engine sat for over a yr. should reduce price?
-I know Jerry Livingston from doing bus with him at United Spec., he built my 8BA with lots of bells & whistles for $7500 turn key 1yr 12K & quoted $6000 for turnkey what he calls a stock 8BA wth 1yr 12K
-Canít be sure how well stored or if any prep at all.
With those concerns I think price is too high, I think reduce by $1000 warranty past & ?$1500 for no way to verify storage method. $3000 or $4000 I think fair with risks?
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:46 PM   #20
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Default Re: Prices for turnkey Flathead?

Anthony:
My gut feeling is that if you don't know what was done during the rebuild you should not buy it. Even at $3K you are gambling.
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