Is it worth the risk?

blk7gxn

Royal Smart Person
Feb 7, 2019
1,378
113
One of my long time friends contacted me to see if I was interested in a brand new long block engine that's been covered up in the crate with plastic since new in his shop/ garage, almost 30 years ago. The engine does not have an intake, oil pan or valve covers on it, and when he opened it up to get pictures for me, it appears a bunch of debris that was on top the plastic, is now down in the intake valley and who knows where else. My question is, should I risk buying it, bring it home and throw it on an engine stand and flush everything (hopefully) out with brake clean or diesel fuel and hope for the best, or totally pass on it. I'm not posting up what kind of engine or price, just for the fact I want to stick on topic to perhaps get professional advice on the matter at hand. Hoping someone else has had this experience and would like to share what they did and the outcome as well! Thank you in advance for your help and time G body brothers and sisters.
- Will
 
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ELCAM

G-Body Guru
Jun 19, 2021
712
93
Only if you are willing to tear it all down clean it all and replace all seals/gaskets.
 
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69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
6,854
113
It's a solid start for an easy inspection/rebuild. Other than that, no, you don't just grab an old engine that hasn't moved in probably 30+ years and slap it in and pray. Unless you're stupid.
 
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565bbchevy

Geezer
Aug 8, 2011
9,215
113
Michigan
I would treat it as a core, kind of like when a car doesn't run I consider it a roller
 
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blk7gxn

Royal Smart Person
Thread starter
Feb 7, 2019
1,378
113
Only if you are willing to tear it all down clean it all and replace all seals/gaskets.
That's what I was thinking would be the best and most effective way to do it. A good cleaning and seals, its a brand new engine, it shouldn't need new parts except for seals. Thanks!
 
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Stewie6323

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Feb 23, 2022
12
3
Arkansas
Sounds like it's tore down already so the only seal that'll need replaced will be the rear main. Beside that it should be all new when you put everything on. I'd borescope the spark plug holes to make sure nothing fell on top of a piston and plastigauge the main caps and rod caps and if it looks good clean and send it.
 
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DRIVEN

Geezer
Apr 25, 2009
7,738
113
*CENSORED*
Kind of depends on the debris. Some leaves or cobwebs wouldn't get me too excited. If it was being stored under his grinder, that's a different story.

Here's how I'd probably approach it. I'd be careful not to turn the crankshaft at all. Vacuum out anything you can first. Put it on a stand and pull the heads. It that point you can inspect the cylinders for any debris and/or moisture damage. You can also give the heads a good solvent or diesel cleaning. I'd then give the shortblock a good external cleaning before setting up an oil pump and pan. Then I'd run a primer to rehydrate and flush all the bearings. If everything looks kosher at that point, it should be safe to rotate the crankshaft.

You said it was brand new so I assume OEM factory built. That leads me to believe it was built with good parts under ideal conditions. I'd probably plan to replace the rear main and valve seals (anything rubber) just due to age. Then I'd reassemble and run it.

If it's new, not reman, and never been run, I wouldn't necessarily treat it as a core, but it's definitely an unknown. I don't think it needs a complete teardown because its highly unlikely that debris got inside the bearings or below the rings. I know opinions will vary.
 
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ck80

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 18, 2014
4,547
113
I'm going to be a bit of a contrarian here....

One this is how much can you trust how/what's been done with it.

When he opened it, and dumped the garbage down inside, did he also try turning it over by hand to see if it had gotten stuck? Would he admit it if he did?

Why? Well, the engine matters as far as how far junk would travel. Perfect example for you:

Take a pair of 85 and 86 GN engines. Both externally similar, 30 bolt pans, 8445 heads, blah blah blah. BUT. The lifter valley on the 85 was a pretty rough casting. There were openings on the block casting into the crankcase, and, if you dropped something in there with the top end completely stripped down to longblock, it dropped all the way down until it caught something or hit the pan depending how it bounced. 86 lifter valley was cast solid and closed. Nice and clean. Drop something in there, pretty good shot you're getting it out.

So I dunno. Had the engine been stuck and he muscled it free also a shot he could've done something elsewhere and scored something...

So it comes down to trust.

But, no offense, he does not sound like the sharpest tool in the shed to open a 30 year old sealed engine if he was just going to sell it like he apparently did. I'd be shop vaccing the crap out of it and opening the bag from the bottom sides if i did such a thing.

So for me? I'd price it one of two ways: 1) including a teardown with a written warranty where you get a certain refund if any machining needs doing or parts beyond potentially new bearings and gaskets. Or 2) as a core needing a full on rebuild std/std specs, hone job, polish the journals etc.

He should not get offended or feel lowballed, he screwed the pooch dumping debris inside.
 
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blk7gxn

Royal Smart Person
Thread starter
Feb 7, 2019
1,378
113
I'm going to be a bit of a contrarian here....

One this is how much can you trust how/what's been done with it.

When he opened it, and dumped the garbage down inside, did he also try turning it over by hand to see if it had gotten stuck? Would he admit it if he did?

Why? Well, the engine matters as far as how far junk would travel. Perfect example for you:

Take a pair of 85 and 86 GN engines. Both externally similar, 30 bolt pans, 8445 heads, blah blah blah. BUT. The lifter valley on the 85 was a pretty rough casting. There were openings on the block casting into the crankcase, and, if you dropped something in there with the top end completely stripped down to longblock, it dropped all the way down until it caught something or hit the pan depending how it bounced. 86 lifter valley was cast solid and closed. Nice and clean. Drop something in there, pretty good shot you're getting it out.

So I dunno. Had the engine been stuck and he muscled it free also a shot he could've done something elsewhere and scored something...

So it comes down to trust.

But, no offense, he does not sound like the sharpest tool in the shed to open a 30 year old sealed engine if he was just going to sell it like he apparently did. I'd be shop vaccing the crap out of it and opening the bag from the bottom sides if i did such a thing.

So for me? I'd price it one of two ways: 1) including a teardown with a written warranty where you get a certain refund if any machining needs doing or parts beyond potentially new bearings and gaskets. Or 2) as a core needing a full on rebuild std/std specs, hone job, polish the journals etc.

He should not get offended or feel lowballed, he screwed the pooch dumping debris inside.
Your absolutely correct, in fact, I'm so OCD its overboard. and when he told me he did this and sent pictures, I'm thinking to myself why would you do this!! Only takes one piece of sand or grit and the rest is history.
 
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64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
4,992
113
Upstate NY
Did I miss what the motor is?
 

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