Opel GT Forum banner

Resonable cost for Engine recondition?

3093 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  jpiper
I recently went to a local engine shop to get an idea of how much it would cost to have my spare 1.9L block and head redone. Being a "green horn" at engine rebuilding and reading all about the engineering marvels some of the members do here on the site, I figured I would ask the experts if this estimate seems resonable.
I was quoted the following prices:
Clean/Magnaflux block-$85
Hone cylinders- $60
Deck the block - $75
Align the block - $ 165
Grind crank (if required)-$140
Bore Cylinders (all 4 if required)- $110
Recondition the head - $184
Resurface (shave) the head -$58
Install guide liners (8)- $68
Recondition piston rods (4) -$68
Recondition pistons (4) -$52
Balance (In-line)- $300
TOTAL = $1365 Canadian (tax not incl)
At the end the block and head would be repainted and ready for reassembly, which I would perform, only with some professional help of course. Does this sound resonable? Is there something missing on the list that I should ask about? One last thing I was asked to confirm is that the Engine specs listed in the manuals are ACTUALLY the correct values? I guess the shop has had experience with specs they had listed differing from those provided by customers with shop manuals.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Heres what I got from my dad, its a 'price sheet' for the stuff he did, what would be charged if it was done normally....

Clean and inspect (mag) block 24.71
Bore and hone 49.16
Recondition rods 31.52
Magnaflux rods 18.12
Bore pins, install bushings, drill for oiling, straighten 40.48 + 10 in parts
Remove and replace cam bearings 13.23 + 17 in parts
Resurface head 20
Replace guides (with chevy 11/32) 40 +10 in parts
Install 4 hard seats 30 + 8 in parts
Bowl hog all 8 to fit new valves 80
balanced the pistons and rods but didn't have time to balance crank and flywheel, had that done for $80 elsewhere
didn't need line bore but would be about 100
polished crank for 20
block was good but he ran the mill over it about .001" to clean it up, same with the head.

All the work he did he charged me $50 including the flywheel (below). Total was $185. Bearings and gaskets were like $150-200.

Some look high, but they are CAD not USD so you have to knock of like 1/3 of all the prices. You may get a better deal if you have it all done. That price would be normal for an assembled and broken in (quick test to make sure no interference) engine around here. Balancing seems really high, normally $100 here for crank, rods, pistons, front balancer and flywheel.

If you plan on an S10 clutch my dad spent 2 hrs cutting it down flat and drilling/tapping the 6 new holes. That would be like $100, plus the clutch was like $85 and bolts new are $15, used pretty much free.
See less See more
Actually Dan, I was going to comment that I thought your prices were low! Really, it all depends on the shop doing the work, and whether they are a specialist shop (more money), and the part of the country you're from. Dan, out here in the Northeast, the prices are pretty much double what you are paying, but that's the price I pay for living in an area full of military contractors (Sikorsky helicopter, Pratt and Whitney, Electric Boat, Hamilton Standard, etc). I've gotten used to car dealerships that charge $65 to $80 an hour, general repair shop and machine shops that charge $50- $70 an hour, $1.80 per gallon gasoline, house prices that would scare almost anyone, car insurance premiums of $800 for an Opel or $1500 a year for a 10 year old Nissan and with no claims or speeding tickets, etc. Damn, I gotta move to northern Vermont soon.......

'getting depressed at the cost of living in Connecticut'
Wow, talk about a cost of living adjustment. Premium here has been hanging around $1.50/gal, Insurance on my Opel is $360/yr, the 99 Audi is $1450/yr and I have 2 speeding tickets, 1 accident, 1 failure to yeild on my record. Houses here are very reasonable. For under 100k you can get a really nice 3bd 2ba 2car in a good neighborhood.
Upcoming Trip

Any chance I can drive up there with 5 or 6 motors and have your dad do some machine work for me? I can be there tommorrow to drop off 3-4 of them. Jpipers prices ar right in line with what the local NAPA and such charge for the work, and quite a bit less than than the place I usually go. For the ammount of work listed, those prices would be either great or just fair depending on how well they stand by their work.
A lot of shops will haggle to some extent to get your business for the whole deal, and you may want to try to get them to budge some. Another important consideration for people who don't routinely rebuild motors will be the guarentee on the work. Most shops offer no guarentees at all if they don't put the motor together all the way. An extra $2-300 for a guarentee may be well worth the investment, and when you get to haggling on price, haggle on the length of the guarentee too. My wife's transmission was a small fortune to get overhauled, and we complained so much they extended their normal 1 year waranty to a 3 year one, which was great when the transmission failed again 14 months later!

For the record, since I am military and my cars are all registered and insured in SD, I pay $8.75 a month for liability on an Opel Kadett. The midwest is so much cooler than the northeast.:D
See less See more
Since he isn't working right now, no chance of getting him to do it. And I doubt I will even get such a good deal next time. The prices are in line with Spokane's standard pricing though. None of the work comes with any gaurantee, other than the sizing and clearancing being in spec... if they polish a crank that should be ground and it needs to be ground and bearings traded they will do that for the difference in price.... about $20-25, and magnaflux and pressure tests are gauranteed too. That sort of thing. Warranties only apply when they assemble and sometimes when installed by a pro not in your garage (some places are pricks about it).
Here's what I'm paying in MA. Not cheap, but I'm comfortable their doing it right.

bake, blast, magnaflux, mill, three angle valve job for SBC valves $250
install exhaust seats $40
install SBC guides $6 each plus $5-6 each for the guide
mill spring pads and set height for dual SBC springs $40
mill guides for viton seals $20 (seals $1-$2 each)
install cam bearings $35

bake, blast, magnaflux block $100
bore and hone $100
square block $50
turn crank $125
narrow rods $15 each
balance complete assembly including flywheel/clutch $250

See less See more
Thanks gentleman for the informative reply. The one thing I didn't think about was the warranty aspect of the hole scenario. Will add this to my list and also incorporate items which I didn't include, from the lists you supplied.
No one mentioned anything about the Engine Specs provided in the Service Manual being correct or not. I can assume that these values are well within tolerance?
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.