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My '76 is getting pretty tired.  I'm trying to find another motor for it.  Don't know if I should go for a rebuild or something used.  Just looking for some direction here.  And obviously trying to get out of this without having to remortgage my house.

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Both ways could be winner or both could go wrong. You need known good used or experienced builder. Determine budget, prepare to double it  and start searching.


Your location might help folks to guide you to right directions.

2002 -73 M2, 2002 -71 forced induction. bnr32 -91

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When I had to go full rebuild I had the choice to either use my existing block and have both the top and bottom end rebuilt, or to go with a new, already built engine that had my same specs (292 cam, 9.5:1 compression).  It came down to timeline more than anything.  Rebuild would've meant waiting several months for parts (this was during covid) as opposed to swapping one engine for another.


If you want, I can give you a rough breakdown of my cost.  I'm in San Diego and the shop is in Orange County.  Just shoot me a PM.



Engine bay OCD is a real problem



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My '73 had head gasket problems at 204k miles back in 2004, and although I had a spare block, I wanted to keep the original engine to have matching engine/chassis numbers.  I had been accumulating parts for years (even a set of standard and 2nd oversize pistons), so didn't have to go out and buy anything major.  There was also a very good machine/engine shop locally that primarily built Detroit Iron race engines, but with all the spec/overhaul pages out of the shop manual had no qualms. about tackling an M10; "engines is engines."  Rebuild was done in a month or so over the winter and all was back together (along with a 5 speed conversion) by the spring driving season.  That was 71k miles ago and it's still running just fine.  


You have three basic choices--especially if you're gonna pull/reinstall the engine yourself and you have a good shop to do a rebuild:

1. find a good used engine, install it so you can continue to drive the car and have your original engine rebuilt

2. pull your original engine and have it rebuilt--try to have at least some of the parts you know you're gonna need, e.g. valves/guides/stem seals, gaskets, bearings, timing/oil pump chains, etc etc to cut down on wait time.

3.  find a good core engine, have it rebuilt at your leisure, then swap out the original one--but save it for a future owner who may want to have matching numbers.


Kinda oversimplified, but that'll get you started thinking...




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'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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To Mikes list I would also add pistons almost sure to need them. If you rebuild a engine you can have it made up just the way you want it, a used engine is imposable to rate with out seeing it, not many real good 70's era m10's around now unless they have been rebuilt of course. I do like the replacement engine route while you have your original engine rebuilt, but that's me and I'm real good at spending others money.

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If everybody in the room is thinking the same thing, then someone is not thinking.


George S Patton 

Planning the Normandy Break out 1944

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make sure the new bullet is made out of billet.


those hypereutectic bullets tend not to expand enough to really seal up good....



would rebuild a spare engine.  For multiple reasons.

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"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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Jeff Chang is near Atlanta and worth a call.


Terry Sayther in Austin builds a reasonably priced very nice motor




Stop reading this! Don't you have anything better to do?? :P
Two running things. Two broken things.


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14 hours ago, Frisch said:

My '76 is getting pretty tired. 

Mine did too, at 137k miles.

However, a CA spec '76 is subject to all kinds of bad emission control gremlins e.g. low compression, EGR, air injection, thermal reactor exhaust, retarded ignition and very lean mixtures etc.

After a refresh of the cylinder head (valves, guides, rockers, rocker shafts), the oil consumption became excessive 5k miles later at 143k miles. A tear-down showed the rings totally clogged with carbon and the cylinders were highly glazed, but still within spec (as were the pistons and rod bearings).

If you are handy, yank the head, drop the oil pan and pull the pistons. Have a look/see to determine what needs to be done.

You may be surprised to see a rebuilt head and new piston rings are all that's needed to get 'er back on the road.

Our '76 cars are the last of the 2002's ... keep them going!



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