How many hours should it take...

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Joined: Fri May 03, 2019 7:05 pm
First Name: Craig
Last Name: Bothwell
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How many hours should it take...

Post by CraigBothwell » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:06 pm

This question is asked of those who have a lot of experience under their belt.

How many hours should it take to re-assemble a T short block AFTER all machining has
been completed. I ask this question so as to get a better idea of the cost
involved. I have taken the engine completely apart and will pay seperately to have
the babbitting done. I ask this question also so I don't fall prey to putting some guy's
son through Stanford.


Craig Bothwell

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Re: How many hours should it take...

Post by Kerry » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:45 pm

Well it depends on what you call all machining, even with ajustable push rods fitted, it can take 4+ hrs to set the valve lash, the valves need to be shortened as well. Sometimes it can take a day just to get a happy magneto, checking for cracks, charging and clearance, another day in trying to get the transmission to turn as close as possible to O run-out. Sometimes you can spend a week on assembly, I've rebuilt many a T engine/trans from scratch babbitt, machining and re-bore etc, none have ever been straight forward to just bolt together, always some issues that take up plenty of time.

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Re: How many hours should it take...

Post by DHort » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:02 am

$4000 to $6000 depending on new parts needed.

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Re: How many hours should it take...

Post by Erik Barrett » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:00 am

It should take several times what you think it will. Every little complication takes all day to correct.

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Re: How many hours should it take...

Post by Jim_PTC_GA » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:00 am

Once I had mine cleaned up and most of the parts here, it took me 80+ hour of actual labor to get the engine and transmission reassymbled. Put together, make it rotate, measure, mark, disassemble, adjust, put together, repeat over and over and over. I'm not a professional, just a barn mechanic.
Just give me time to Rust and I'll be good as new. :) Wabi-Sabi

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Re: How many hours should it take...

Post by DanTreace » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:18 am

Better to get a quote on total $ from a reliable re-builder who has done Model T engines..... than to face hourly shop charges to a large machine shop with big overhead.

In my experiences, the cost of labor to assemble a short block is about the same as the cost of block re-Babbitt and align bore of the mains.

IMO, fixed $ range of re-Babbitt work would be $450-$650 and assembly of short block $200-$500.

You may save some of the final bill, if you buy and pay shipping on new parts to be used, drop-shipped to your re-builder, that sometimes speeds the process as new T parts are on hand. Have done that on things like camshaft, timing gear, crank gear.
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford

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Re: How many hours should it take...

Post by John bevardos » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:50 am

Hi Craig,

who is doing the Babbitt work?


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Re: How many hours should it take...

Post by Allan » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:43 am

I would advise you seek out a reputable builder recommended by others who have had the same work done, and pay him for his work. There can be complications in any build, and these add to labour costs. You pay for expertise to overcome these, and that expertise means you will get a job well done, and at a cost commensurate.

Going into this project with the attitude that you are determined not to be ripped off will put you off-side with trusted tradesmen.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.

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Re: How many hours should it take...

Post by TonyB » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:46 pm

I usually get all the babbitt work done by Antique Engine and valves etc by Mesa machine shop in Escondido. Then final assembly can take 10-20 hours but I find setting up the magneto can add another 4-8 if it’s difficult. Much easier with a distributor. All depends if the bands need work or if the transmission needs work, that can easily double the estimate. Even setting up the fourth main, getting the clearance about right can take a couple of hours.
I know it’s no an ideal answer but it depends......
I have done six this year but I never give firm estimates because there are so many variables😊😊
Tony Bowker
Ramona, California
1909 Touring, 1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.

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