How Much Does It Cost To Rebuild A 350 Chevy Engine? [Answered]

If you are thinking about doing a rebuild on your 350 Chevy engine, you might be curious about the cost. This project can be thrilling yet pricey, so let’s delve into the potential expenses.

The cost to rebuild a 350 Chevy engine can fluctuate based on the parts you replace. Nonetheless, a more accurate range would be between $1,500 to $4,500 for a rebuild from a mechanic shop, though prices will vary from one mechanic to another.

Considering a rebuild on your 350 Chevy engine? It's essential to know the parts you may need to replace and how pricing will vary. This article will provide insights and answer frequently asked questions about the Chevy 350 small block engine, so read on!

How Much Does It Cost To Rebuild A 350 Chevy Engine?

The most common 350 Chevy engine rebuild cost is around $2000. However, this price can go up in the range of $3000 to $4000, depending on what parts you want to be replaced. In addition, the cost can be significantly less if you only need a few parts replaced. 

When contemplating a rebuild on your 350 Chevrolet small-block engine, it’s wise to obtain estimates from both a mechanic shop and an auto parts store to get a clearer picture of the expenses.

Replacing certain parts will cause the engine rebuild costs to vary significantly. For instance, replacing rod bearings can be quite costly.

A vehicle mechanic is rebuilding an engine

What is an engine rebuild?

An engine rebuild entails repairing or replacing engine components to restore them to their original operating condition. This includes fixing or replacing parts like the cylinder head, block, pistons, and crankshaft.

The process may involve resurfacing or machining the cylinder head and block, installing new bearings, seals, and gaskets, and replacing valves, rings, and bearings.

To replace or repair engine parts, a mechanic will need to remove old parts from the engine. Often, this entails removing old gaskets, pistons, piston rings, or cylinder heads.

Once these components are removed, a mechanic assesses their condition, installs the needed new components, reassembles the engine, and tests it to ensure proper functionality.

What is the Chevrolet small-block engine?

The Chevrolet small-block engine is a series of V8 automobile engines crafted by the American automotive manufacturer General Motors (GM).

Introduced in 1955, the small block found its way into numerous GM vehicles. The Chevy 350 debuted in the Nova in 1968.

GM developed the small-block engine to rival the compact Ford flathead V8, spurred by the enthusiasm young men showed for the power and performance of the compact Ford engine during a focus group led by Ed Cole, GM's executive vice president of manufacturing.

While debates on whether the Chevy 350 or the Ford flathead V8 reign supreme continue, the Chevrolet small-block engine remains a revered icon in the automotive realm.

Is it cheaper to rebuild an engine or replace it?

Typically, it's more economical to rebuild an engine than to acquire a new one. However, the cost will hinge on your engine’s condition and the extent of the required work.

Comparing prices at both mechanic shops and auto stores is advisable if you’re considering an engine rebuild. It's also prudent to obtain estimates from a mechanic and an auto parts store for a better insight into the price, especially if your engine necessitates specific components that might drive up the cost.

Repairing V10 engine in auto repair shop

What's the difference between an engine rebuild and a replacement?

Engine replacement entails swapping your engine with a new, fully functional one. This option suits those who need a working engine promptly.

Replacement is also viable if your current engine has been severely abused or has become unreliable. However, the cost will fluctuate based on the parts needing replacement and their quantity.

On the other hand, engine rebuilds are for those looking to refurbish their existing engine. This process often includes replacing parts like pistons, cylinders, camshafts, manifolds, valves, and bearings. It might also encompass resurfacing the engine block and cylinder head or replacing them if they are excessively worn.

How long will a rebuilt 350 engine last?

A rebuilt 350 engine can last a long time [100,000 miles or more]. However, it will depend on the engine's condition and how well it was taken care of before it was rebuilt.

With a proper rebuild, an engine can last for hundreds of thousands of miles, provided there were no inherent design flaws or other issues.

What do I need to rebuild a Chevy 350?

Rebuilding a Chevy 350 requires an assortment of tools, including ratchets, sockets, torque wrenches, drill bits, various head screwdrivers, piston ring compressors with punches, and an engine stand puller for the flywheel bolts.

Each mechanic shop possesses unique tools and shop equipment. Some of these might be included in the engine rebuild cost, while others may incur additional charges.

The actual process of rebuilding a 350 can vary based on the shop you choose and the amount of work needed. For a rebuild, you'll need various parts, including pistons, cylinders, valves, camshafts, manifolds, timing chains, gaskets, and bearings.

You might also need to resurface the engine block and cylinder head or replace them if they are too worn. Nonetheless, consulting with a mechanic is crucial to understand better what is needed for your specific engine.

Red 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS

What are the benefits of rebuilding a 350 engine?

Rebuilding a 350 engine comes with several benefits, including cost-effectiveness, potential performance improvement, extended engine lifespan, and the option for customized upgrades. If you possess mechanical skills, you'll appreciate the control you have over the rebuilding process.

However, if you're not adept with tools, the rebuilding task will likely take significantly longer compared to someone with experience.

Lacking the necessary knowledge could lead to mistakes in the rebuilding process. In such cases, it's advisable to seek professional assistance or consider engine replacement as a safer alternative to rebuilding it on your own.

What are the downsides of rebuilding a 350 engine?

The major challenge with rebuilding an engine is the numerous potential pitfalls, especially for those without the requisite experience. It might be difficult to discern the right course of action for your specific engine.

Incorrectly executing the rebuilding process could lead to engine failure soon after. Additionally, there's the expense of acquiring the necessary tools and equipment. Therefore, ensuring the process is done correctly the first time is crucial to avoid further costs.

Due to these challenges, it's advisable not to attempt an engine rebuild without the necessary experience or professional guidance.

How do I find the best price on a 350 Chevy engine?

Various companies offer Chevy 350 engines for sale. It's wise to spend some time browsing online to compare prices among different vendors.

If you reside in a smaller town with limited options, checking with local dealerships for the availability of 350 engines is a good step.

Exploring different auctions is also an option, but ensure you're getting a favorable deal before making a purchase.

Engaging with multiple companies can provide a broader perspective on pricing, helping you find the best value.


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, a well-rebuilt 350 engine can serve you for a long time, provided there are no inherent issues with the original design. The engine's pre-rebuild condition and the quality of the rebuild are significant factors in its longevity post-rebuild.

Rebuilding your own 350 Chevy engine is an option if you're looking to save money. However, without the necessary experience, it's wiser to seek help from a local professional shop.

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A customized 1971 Chevy Malibu 350 CID V8 engine on display at a car show in Hawthorne, How Much Does It Cost To Rebuild A 350 Chevy Engine?

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One comment

  1. A crated 350 long block was cheaper and better warranty. Put 1 in my 80 Chev 4×4 truck and another in a 72 4×4 gmc truck.

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