What are fair machine shop prices.

Posted by laserspeeddemon, May 9, 2011
Cylinder Head & Short Block - 4G63 cams, valvetrain, pistons, rods, stroker kits, 6-bolt swaps, hybrids, etc. Read this Forum's Strict Guidelines.

  1. laserspeeddemon

    laserspeeddemon Proven Member

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    Fredericksburg, Virginia
    I dropped my block, crank and head off with a machine shop. I called him last week and he hasn't put together a final price. I just want to make sure that I'm not going to get ripped off. What are fair prices for machine work? I am really looking for people who built the engine themselves or machinist to answer. Please don't answer if you never had these done or have done these services yourself.

    Block:
    Hot Tank
    Align bore/hone the mains
    Bored/Hone Cylinder to 86mm (0.040" over)
    Deck
    (Possibly: Hot Tank a 2nd time)
    (possibly:Install or re-install freeze plugs.)
    Final cleaning

    Crank:
    Clean Crankshaft
    Turn/Polish Main/Rod Journals
    Final cleaning

    Head:
    Hot Tank/Clean head
    Clean Valves
    Square/Resurface Head
    Reface valves
    Lap Valves
    Final Cleaning.


    Also all the machine shops around here a filthy (including the one I took my parts too), is this common thing?
    #1
  2. stukyl28

    stukyl28 Proven Member

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    Quakertown, Pennsylvania
    I had my block at a machine shop got it: hot tanked, line honed, bored .20 over with tourqe plate, new freeze plugs installed, top was cut for a mls headgasket, painted. My crank, rods, pistons, and flywheel were then balanced together. Then he installed everything to spec and it all cost me 1100 I feel that was a fair price for the amount of work he did and he was a great guy, had a lot of NASCAR drivers pictures with him in it and some were autographed saying " thanks for the best block I ever ran"... Guess that's good enough for me haha

    And talking about being clean, they deal with alot of cutting oil and small metal chips it's bound to be dirty. When I received my block it was wrapped in plastic and packed into a cardboard box for me to take home so my block was clean that's all I really cared about. Hope this helps a little bit
    #2
  3. laserspeeddemon

    laserspeeddemon Proven Member

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    It does a bit. JAM was going to charge me about that price using my rods/pistons so it's in the ball park, but I am doing all of the assembly myself.
    #3
  4. D's GS-T

    D's GS-T Proven Member

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    LaCrosse, Wisconsin
    Heres My list.

    Balance 4 cylinder auto-- $130.00

    Degrease engine Block-- $35.00

    Bore and Hone cyl.-- $18 (each) $72 (Total)

    Deck 4 cyl. Block-- $78

    Line hone 5 main-- $130

    Valve job 4 cyl.multi valve-- $140

    R&R pressed guide-- $5 (each) $80 (Total)

    Mill 4 or 6 cyl Head-- $40

    Pressure Test--$40

    Some of this stuff you may or may not do obviously, but this is what i had done. I took those right off of my receipt. I got a new 2.3l crank so i didnt need any of the crank stuff done. I installed everything myself, Final washed it myself ###### 2-3 times, and put in the freeze plugs.
    #4
  5. laserspeeddemon

    laserspeeddemon Proven Member

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    Fredericksburg, Virginia
    This guy is charging me nearly $1000 for machine work.
    #5
  6. RvlutionMtrsprt

    RvlutionMtrsprt Proven Member

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    Eugene, Oregon
    I pay as follows:

    Align Hone Mains $100
    R&R Valve guides $100
    Valve job $135
    Resurface Head $35
    Resurface Block $35
    Hot Tank (Head or block) $25 per trip (usually 2x for head and block)
    Polish Crankshaft $30 (if it needs to be cut you should throw it in the scrap pile)
    Set Main/Rod bearing clearances $75-100 (this is billed on time and it doesn't always take the same amount of time).
    0 Balance Rotating Assembly $100
    Bore/Hone Cylinders with torque plate ~$150 (I don't have this figure memorized)
    R&R Freeze Plugs $75 (if I were to pay the machine shop)

    So that's $960 if I were to pay my machinist to do all of the above work.
    Depending on all the specifics, $1000 is in the ballpark.
    #6
  7. talondave

    talondave Supporting Member

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    My machine shop charged me $400 for just about everything you need done, and they do good work, hell this is the second season on my race motor!!!
    But I put everything together, and measured everything.
    #7
  8. JacksonAuto

    JacksonAuto Supporting Vendor

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    Hanover, Maryland
    We charge $685 for a complete 4 cylinder block prep. It includes ARP main studs, BS bearings, freeze plugs and galley plug.

    Hot tank, clean, inspect and magnaflux block
    Check align bore with ARP studs
    Square deck
    Bore .020" over
    Plate hone
    Final wash
    Install new BS bearings, freeze plugs and galley plugs

    Stroker engines add $120 for deburring the block, clearancing the block and modifying the balance shafts.
    #8
  9. nocardick

    nocardick Proven Member

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    I'm at about $450 at my shop with everything you have listed minus the head work.Mine will also be magnufluxed
    #9
  10. nitrouskris

    nitrouskris Proven Member

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    BadLands, New_Jersey
    $800.00 here nj
    #10
  11. 99gst_racer

    99gst_racer Moderator

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    Some filthy shops do great work, but they're not all filthy. The shop that did my block work has a floor clean enough to lick (if you're into floor licking). And another shop that I've been to is so clean, ALL of their workers wear bright white collared button-up dress shirts on the job. It's funny seeing guys dressed like that while running a bridgeport or dropping a tranny. :)

    That's a pretty decent price for everything listed, as long as they do good work. The price that I paid my local shop for my blockwork was inline with what JacksonAuto quoted above. Also make sure they have a torque plate for boring and honing.
    #11
  12. seattleshawn

    seattleshawn Proven Member

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    Hot tank, Bore & hone, deck, cut and polish crank and line hone and I'm in for 560. This does not include any disassembly, re assembly or head work on the machine shops part including freeze plugs. Ill be spending another 200 for the rotating assembly balance. I don't think 1000 bucks for what you had done is unreasonable. Maybe a touch on the high side but not by much. I personally would rather pay more for first class work than a little less for so so work.
    #12
    99gst_racer likes this.
  13. phunny

    phunny Proven Member

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    Exactly. Get some references and if it's first class work, I'd pay the extra easily.
    #13
  14. laserspeeddemon

    laserspeeddemon Proven Member

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    Well this shop ended up being a TOTAL rip off.

    First they bored the block straight to 86mm without every looking at the pistons. Which has me concerned that the piston to wall clearance is to loose.

    My wife picked up the head back and paid $500, since I plan on sending it off to get ported/polished and my head is FILTHY. He claimed that it was hot tanked twice, but not only is it covered with engine grease and the old valve cover gasket still sticking to the head. But I marked all the camshaft caps with a number and then marked the head where they go. I marked this with DRY ERASE MAKER. The markings are still on the head. I took my finger and wiped the mark away. This guy is a total rip off.
    #14
  15. Guzman08

    Guzman08 Proven Member

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    Man that sounds horrible, what are you going to do next?
    #15
  16. D's GS-T

    D's GS-T Proven Member

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    LaCrosse, Wisconsin
    Id go back and talk to him. He obviously didnt do sh** if it still has crap all over it.
    #16
  17. redyute1

    redyute1 Proven Member

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    I had jacksons machine my block,the whole idea was to assembly it myself but after reading some threads about eagle rods not being within spec,i decided to let them assemble it too.So i had them bore .020,assemble and balance it wisco's on eagles, and what do you know,the big end of the brand new eagle rods were 1/10 of an inch too big,so i had to spend an other $70.00 to have them resized.So i'm glad i did not assemble it myself.Paying the extra for peace of mind priceless.

    Attached Files:

    #17
  18. 99gst_racer

    99gst_racer Moderator

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    Put your foot down man! I know you have it in you. :)

    They promised you a lemon pie and gave you a poo pie. ;)
    #18
  19. laserspeeddemon

    laserspeeddemon Proven Member

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    The problem is I don't have time to deal with this. My wife opens her business in about 1 month. We need 2 cars, now! We got $150,000 into the business. We lose that we lose our home and it's back to the army with me.
    #19
  20. talonDSMerr

    talonDSMerr Proven Member

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    Yikes, heads aren't supposed to be hot tanked, only jet washed. The acid used in hot tanking is known to eat away at the aluminum, and the high temperatures can easily warp the head...
    #20
  21. Tyeler18

    Tyeler18 Proven Member

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    Sounds like the shop I JUST took mine to.

    Local shop known well nationally for their american V8's. I know all the guys personally, and knew they weren't looking forward to working on a 4 cyl. Told them I wanted the block/crank spec'd yadaa yadaa. Go to pick it up on wednesday the block is still filty just like when I pulled it out, crank doesn't look touched. Supposedly they magnafluxed and hot tanked it. How do you magnaflux a block that is caked in oil/grime?

    I paid my $70 for the crank "check" said screw paying for the block, walked into the machine shop and walked out with my block and crank.

    Had I walked in with a chevy 350 and wanted it worked on I would've been like a god to them. Some shops you just can't trust.
    #21

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