Cost of replacing timing chain?

Engine, Trans & Driveline

  1. jmbass98

    jmbass98 Well-Known Member

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    361. How much should I expect to pay a mechanic to replace the timing chain for me? I don't have the space or time to do it myself right now.
     
  2. Billccm

    Billccm FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Last time I tackled this it was about 4 hours. Labor rates in my area are $115 to $155 depending on the shop. I'd guess $500 range.
     
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    • 1 Wild R/T

      1 Wild R/T FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Now realize while your there you'll probably want to replace the water pump, belts & hoses... Oil & Filter Change... Possibly need to R&R the oil pan..

      Also does the car have A/C? Power Steering?
       
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      • jmbass98

        jmbass98 Well-Known Member

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        Yes, both.
         
      • 1 Wild R/T

        1 Wild R/T FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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        Well those are what we that have worked in the trade call "Adds" they require additional time to deal with.. P/S isn't a big deal but the A/C probably adds a fair bit of work, between the two probably an hour, plus guys who work on old cars kinda expect rusty bolts that may break.... Also is the engine pretty clean? Or crusty & been leaking oil?... I never like digging into something that crusty cause things happen... Gotta expect something to bite ya so know that when you estimate the job...

        Find a shop you trust & see what they quote you... I wouldn't be surprised if parts & labor were in the $750-$900 range...
         
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        • Kern Dog

          Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          OR find a running 383 and swap it for about the same cash!
           
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          • Darter6

            Darter6 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            As stated above most shops are in the $100+ per hour,depending on your location.
            A good shop will be 4 to 6 hours,1Wild R/T hit it real close with the Adds.
             
          • 65-440

            65-440 Well-Known Member

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            Where are you located?
             
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            • YY1

              YY1 Well-Known Member

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              ...then "just" build a stroker 512 and add a 4000 stall converter, sub frame connectors and coil over k frame with rack and pinion.

              ...while you'e in there.


              Actually the water pump is super easy to replace on a BBM, so unless you suspect imminent failure...

              ...of course "Murphy's law"...
               
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              • sam dupont

                sam dupont Well-Known Member

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                What is the timing chain doing that requires its replacement?
                 
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                • Ironbuilt

                  Ironbuilt FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  To add to what everyone stated above, you have to make sure that the mechanic that you choose has experience in older cars. Unfortunately, most shops today are filled with "parts changers", NOT mechanics. Plus, make sure that you have every possible part, gasket and so on BEFORE you take it to the mechanic. Ma Mopar stopped making the 361, and big blocks in general a long time ago. The average shop may not have access to needed parts, and if they do, they are most likely Chinese junk from the local auto parts store.
                   
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                  • Ron H

                    Ron H FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    Yeah one of those jobs to see what else may need replacing such as water pump since there's some disassembly involved to remove chain cover, last time I installed the TC, replaced the pump, fuel pump too, had radiator checked/flushed since I had it out and put on new hoses/belts. In my case, the TC cover was in poor shape (some deep corrosion) having to hunt down another one. Last thing you wanna do, if you can avoid it, is tearing down stuff again for some other ill since those parts are off anyway.
                     
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                    • Longknife

                      Longknife Well-Known Member

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                      If that chain slipped or broke you could have bent valves too!!!!!
                       
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                      • zyzzyx

                        zyzzyx FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                        If you go to the NAPA web site, they have a calculator that gives you a pretty
                        close Idea of what it will cost in your area.
                         
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                        • Ron H

                          Ron H FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          Yep - definitely as Ironbuilt mentioned, common auto service shops aren't into working on old cars and some will decline working on them knowing their limitations. If you indicate your general location, there are likely fellow members who can suggest shops in your area to check into.
                           
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                          • kbfallon

                            kbfallon Well-Known Member

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                            Hey there....I have a resto/pro-touring shop in the Hudson Valley in NY and pulled out one of my Chilton Labor Guides from 1969 and looked up your 361 for labor times to do yours.....

                            Chain and both sprockets/seal and gaskets
                            Factory Time--- 361 ci 3.0 hours
                            Chilton Time--- 3.7 hours
                            Add for a/c ---- .9 hours
                            Add for shroud .2 hours

                            parts price in 1969
                            timing cover gasket $ 0.70
                            seal $ 1.55
                            chain $ 9.00
                            cam sprocket $ 5.90
                            crank $ 3.90
                             
                            Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
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                            • Sparky Anderson

                              Sparky Anderson Active Member

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                              Make the time and do it yourself,plus once your in there you may want to fresh up the rest as other people stated. Much cheaper and better doing it under your own care, even if you don't have all the tools, plus there's a ton of YouTube videos out there.Plus this site, there's a ton of good people that will with give u free advice.
                               
                            • MoparLeo

                              MoparLeo NRA PATRON LEVEL LIFE MEMBER FBBO Gold Member

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                              Post number 15 is right about labor times. Now these are average times for experienced mechanics in this type of work. Not typical actual repair times. Meant as a guide to help you compare from shop to shop on costs.
                              Are you mechanically inclined and would like to do your own work when possible ? No matter, download the proper Factory Service Manual for your car. This will have most of the info and illustrations on doing most repairs on your car. Every one should have one.
                              If you decide to do it your self, it is always best to work with another person. 4 eyes are better than 2 especially if they have experience on this type of work.
                              A clean workspace, just basic hand tools and a quality torque wrench. Buy quality parts and like some members have said, this is the best time to tackle all o the related items while they are removed. Belts and hoses are items that deteriorate with heat and time since they are made from rubbers that harden over time. Coolant and oil/filter change time. Check you brake fluid and transmission fluid conditions as well. If they are more than5 years old consider replacing them as well. Just like keeping your body in shape.
                               
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                              • Ron H

                                Ron H FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                Yeah - when I installed the TC cover my brother helped me on this part as want to be sure the gasket stays set and seats properly, I worked underneath setting it in while he maneuvered the top. Extra hands really helped.
                                 
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                                • hunt2elk

                                  hunt2elk FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                  Also doesn't take into account working on a 50+ year old motors. Rusted, corroded, seized bolts. Maybe someone in the past used a tough to get off sealant/silicone. Cool info though.
                                   
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