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What is better for mid range hp and longevity?

  • 426

    Votes: 15 51.7%
  • 440

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • forged 6.1 w/ supercharger/twin turbo

    Votes: 7 24.1%

  • Total voters
    29
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Discussion Starter #1
Just as the title says. What is the average cost of a full N/A 426 build? We're talking forged bottom end, cam, heads, headers, intake, exhaust, labor, tuning, etc. I see a lot of builds with no real discussion of what it takes to get to that point. I realize a lot of this forum is in the over 40 category (i.e. more stable/ developed income base).

I have a goal and that is a very reliable high compression N/A 426 with enough power to make me grin on the streets and enough at the track that I can have fun. I don't like to use hp numbers as they get thrown around way to much and seem to have different meanings to everyone. But in this instance I'd say a nice 500rwhp would about do it though.

Is it better to build off the 6.1 block I have or have a shop build a longblock and just swap them out? How much of a build like this could be done by yourself and a buddy with several cases of beer and no time limit? I'm no mechanic but I've done your average maintenance alternator, brakes/rotors, window solenoids,(small time stuff I know). I usually try to do as much research as possible before doing anything automotive related. I like to get it right the first time around.

The price isn't really an issue, the larger the amount....well the longer I save. I'd just like to have a good idea to set a goal. I mean is it gonna take me 1 or 3 years of tucking money back to get where I want to be? Is it more cost effective to do it all at once or in stages?

Many, many questions I know. I just never really see price brought up when discussing these build. I understand some like to be conservative about what they throw out there for personal info. Throw me a bone guys.
 

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I have seen the crank rods and pistons in the 3 to 4 k range depending on what it is and who it is. Short blocks for 5 to 6 with core charge. Long blocks around 10 ish and complete for about 15.

I may be a little off on the higher stuff but it's a lot more than you would think..
 

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There's a lot more to a 426 than just the rotating assembly. You're gonna need heads and cam as well, plus misc. shop supplies. And of course you have options on the motor itself. H beams, I beams, head studs, main studs, etc.

All that said I think 8-9k is a safe number to get the motor to you (4500 for shortblock, 400-500 for cam, 2100 for heads, 1000 for misc. other parts like main studs, gaskets, etc.). Then you can install it yourself or pay a shop around 1800 to do it
 

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One other thing, I wouldn't go 440 uness you a 100% sure you wont add a blower on the setup later. And if you run at a very high compression (11:1 or so) you won't be adding a blower either, but you could spray it
 

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Looks like you're patient and that's great. If it were me and I had to save along the way, I'd add a blower now with a mild level of boost (say 6-8 psi) and an exceptional tune (A.J. hemituner, Adam at Spankin Time, Johan at DiabloSport, Tim at Mr. Norms)...don't mess around with a half ass tune. Or you can use the tune provided if you go with a Maggie or KB. Not so much ProCharger or Vortech IMO.

That will get you close to your goal right there...very close. Then forge (stroke...whatever) when you're ready for the next stage. By the time you're said and done, you're going to be into it between $10K and $20K. $10K for the blower, install and tune and the inevitable things you'll add to it to get it the way you want. Another $5-$10K for the forge, stroke, install, heads, exhaust, etc...

First thing I'd do is call Arrington on the motor and ask for Alex. You can get quotes on all options and they're turn key so you're not getting the motor from one place, blower from another, tune from another, install elsewhere...then you've got no one covering your back ;-)

Final word... While you think you want X power level now, inevitably you'll want more unless you go big right off the bat. I'd take a hard look at a blown 392. You'll get longevity and as much power as you'd like. If you seriously track the car, put a centrifugal blower on it or forget traction...but hey. That's just me ;-)

HemiSam
 

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^^^^What he said^^^^

My first thought at the poll is "Can't we have both (426 and Blower)?" I think I would go with a Low Comp 426 and wait until the Edelbrock comes out to buy a blower. Not saying I would buy the Edelbrock, but I would want to check it out before buying anything else that's out there now.
 

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There are a lot of variables in deciding on engine componets, it is a lot easer if the goal is not two or three phases or money is not a factor, ALL builds are not equal and you should know what the builders are using when getting quotes.
Tout09
 

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Figure on this.....

426 with heads $7k
Cam...............$500
All gaskets.......$200
Fluids..............$150
Headers
Stock 6.1 $000
Long Tubes.... $1500
Labor.......$1000-$1800 depending on shop
Tuning.......$400-800 again depends on shop

Then if you really want to get into it add......
Ported Intake......$600
90mm TB ...........$500
Underdrive pulley $250

You don't need the ported intake,or the long tubes to make power....I am running consistent low 11's at over 4300 lbs with stock 6.1 manifolds,an unported intake but I do have a 90mm.....you will need to add for a converter which can run $400-800 depending on brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My first thought at the poll is "Can't we have both (426 and Blower)?" I think I would go with a Low Comp 426 and wait until the Edelbrock comes out to buy a blower.
I'm not against a blower it was actually my original plan. (I have been waiting on updates on the edelbrock. Interested as it appears like the techco and I really liked techcos design)

The reason I have steered away from it is that I keep hearing the masses say supercharge and done. Then an experienced guy who's already done forging and supercharging jumps in and says if they'd do it over they'd build the motor first. That said I was going with the idea that I would build it up and if I want more I would change out compression and add a blower later.

I just keep coming across all these posts saying they'd do it differently and that it's not a question of if, but when boost will damage a stock motor.

There's a lot more to a 426 than just the rotating assembly. You're gonna need heads and cam as well, plus misc. shop supplies. And of course you have options on the motor itself. H beams, I beams, head studs, main studs, etc.

All that said I think 8-9k is a safe number to get the motor to you (4500 for shortblock, 400-500 for cam, 2100 for heads, 1000 for misc. other parts like main studs, gaskets, etc.). Then you can install it yourself or pay a shop around 1800 to do it
I'm aware of all the small stuff as an expense as well. Those prices seem in line with what I've seen. I guess what I meant to ask is, is it better to mix and match these parts or buy a long block as a package?

Looks like you're patient and that's great. If it were me and I had to save along the way, I'd add a blower now with a mild level of boost (say 6-8 psi) and an exceptional tune (A.J. hemituner, Adam at Spankin Time, Johan at DiabloSport, Tim at Mr. Norms)...don't mess around with a half ass tune. Or you can use the tune provided if you go with a Maggie or KB. Not so much ProCharger or Vortech IMO.

That will get you close to your goal right there...very close. Then forge (stroke...whatever) when you're ready for the next stage. By the time you're said and done, you're going to be into it between $10K and $20K. $10K for the blower, install and tune and the inevitable things you'll add to it to get it the way you want. Another $5-$10K for the forge, stroke, install, heads, exhaust, etc...

First thing I'd do is call Arrington on the motor and ask for Alex. You can get quotes on all options and they're turn key so you're not getting the motor from one place, blower from another, tune from another, install elsewhere...then you've got no one covering your back ;-)

Final word... While you think you want X power level now, inevitably you'll want more unless you go big right off the bat. I'd take a hard look at a blown 392. You'll get longevity and as much power as you'd like. If you seriously track the car, put a centrifugal blower on it or forget traction...but hey. That's just me ;-)

HemiSam
I'm all about getting the right tune, I've seen the result of bad tuning on all kinds of motors

I do like the idea of Arrington (everything under one roof) having a turnkey motors with warranty.

I completely expect that after I've built it to what I think I want, that I will end up wanting more. I've just been under the impression of "If your gonna go big you need to build it first." Am I wrong? Spending 10k slapping a blower on and having it toast my engine 30k miles later is not really cost effective for me. If I get an overwhelming response that my worries are needless I may change my mind.

Really I have quite a bit of time on this subject as I will need to pay the car off before tossing money at it. I'm just wanting to get a head start on the research. I'd love to be able to do this in 10 months but it's just not in the cards for me at the moment.


P.S.
HemiSam - I'm deployed overseas right now out of Ft. Hood. Should be returning in August and would love to meet up with you and some others for the Texas mile next year.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There are a lot of variables in deciding on engine componets, it is a lot easer if the goal is not two or three phases or money is not a factor, ALL builds are not equal and you should know what the builders are using when getting quotes.
Tout09
That's exactly what I expected was all at once would be cheaper as your not doing double and triple labor having parts added and removed.I understand all parts are not created equal. Just looking for where I need to set my bar at.

Figure on this.....

426 with heads $7k
Cam...............$500
All gaskets.......$200
Fluids..............$150
Headers
Stock 6.1 $000
Long Tubes.... $1500
Labor.......$1000-$1800 depending on shop
Tuning.......$400-800 again depends on shop

Then if you really want to get into it add......
Ported Intake......$600
90mm TB ...........$500
Underdrive pulley $250

You don't need the ported intake,or the long tubes to make power....I am running consistent low 11's at over 4300 lbs with stock 6.1 manifolds,an unported intake but I do have a 90mm.....you will need to add for a converter which can run $400-800 depending on brand.

So setting aside 12-13k for a N/A build should give a bit of a buffer from the looks of the prices I'm seeing. No converter(6 spd here), but I will need a clutch and halfshafts I'm expecting.
 

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I would suggest going with the long block and be done also find a shop that will deliver a turn key completed vehicle if it falls into your budget. By that I mean doing everything transmission upgrade if you looking to take here over 525rwhp auto, half shafts, fuel systems, final tune.
A complete 426 will give you great bang for the buck but you will need top make a decision on your compression and the type of pistons also which internals based on your goals and type of use. These all play into the cost of your long block budget block $9,000 unlimited block $12,500 approximate cost. Your best bet is to call around after you decide or talk with some of the engine builders as to there recommendations as there are many opinions about how to take the build in the end it needs to be your decision.
Do what your comfortable with taking on the install on your own can be done but leave the beer for afterward :guiness:
 

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The only thing wrong with the all at once method is that these mods are addictive and if you do it all at once, your next steps with go up dramatically in cost. Doing it a little at a time gives you a moving target line of progression that in the long run is more satisfying. That is, if you are like some of us that don't really need the HP, just have the need to get our project "fix" every few months. I know that may sound silly, but I think it accurately describes many if not most of the guys building high HP cars.
 

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I would get a case of beer find a good sturdy tree throw a chain over a branch and pull that sucka OUT!! There is no rocket science to this car. Go find you a machine shop have them put the rotating assembly together and drop that bad boy back in. I am sure at Ft. Hood they have a machine shop on the base or know of a couple in the area. I would go with a 440 NA call it a day. Bo, Luke and Uncle Jesse Duke always sweared by the raw power a 440 dodge motor. I would run from head studs and performance heads no need waste of $$. Have the machine shop do a 5 angle valve job, port match the heads and resurface then add some LS1 springs and retainers, locks etc keep that a secret yes chevy parts in a Dodge. Call get a big as you can find bump stick and your done. Now once you have the engine back installed do your research and get a tune up. Now ask me why I know it can be done that way?
 

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For those claiming heads are a waste of money, what are you basing that off of?
Longtubes: 5rwhp for $1500
Heads: 30rwhp for $2000

To the op, start with heads, cam, and a ported intake. Then you can add the 426 later.
 

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It seems to me the folks most satisfied with their cars did a turnkey deal. I wanted everything from one place, tune, blower, motor, etc and Arrington had a proven combination so I went with them. I've been very happy with the car and only needed to make slight adjustments since picking it up. Add to that the support has been outstanding and it's been a very enjoyable experience. Sam who posted above and I actually met at Arrington with a third gent from the forum and they did all three of our cars in 5 days while we hung out in town.

I personally like superchargers just because they're cool, but a 426 properly built will give you some serious power as well, I just think you can make the power more easily with a blower.

Properly tuned (and monitored) a supercharger will not hurt the motor, especially one built with a supercharger in mind.

It does cost some coin to go fast though.
 

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I'm getting close to ordering a KB, but have more engine plans in store for the future if the KB doesn't satisfy completely.

As of today, considering getting a low compression short block 426, then putting it together in my basement as time and funds permit until it is complete. Once done, will throw it in the car myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
There are a lot of different ideas here. I don't think any are the holy grail of ways. I'm seeing each persons view as A WAY....

There is a lot of good info here and I'm really appreciating all the input, hopefully this is helping more people than just me. Thanks everyone for your input, looking forward to more.
 

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heads become a waste of money if you are going the forced induction route. N/A heads are a good investment. A spring set and valve job is all that is need for FI. Not to say that you will not gain from ported heads on an FI, but only about 25% of N/A gains. So 30hp translates to about 7.5hp. Is that worth the extra $1500 for a CNC port? Not so much unless you just have more money than you know what to do with. In theory it is better to know which direction you are going before you go. this will save you alot of money in the long run.
 
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