Originally Posted by catonsvilleguy
I've been modding SBCs for 40 years and my experience differs dramatically from yours. Usually a good top end rebuild gets 'em purring like a kitten with no oil burn.
Most people automatically think rings when they burn oil - popular misconception.
If you stick to a 2:1 ratio of top end to bottom end rebuilds, you'll save a ton of wasted time and money on bottom end rebuilds - in my experience.
I have lasting memories of decades ago when someone else did a set of heads that badly needed doing, but ignored the pistons and rings. The job was a return in short order, the engine literally sucking oil past the rings and burning oil at a higher rate that before the head job. I think your observation is valid most of the time, I'm just trying to underscore the need to determining the rings are OK to leave as is, and not just blindly assume they are OK - which I know you are not suggesting. And you are spot on about most people erroneously assuming just rings when oil is burning, when in most cases it's intake guide related, be it seals and/or valve and guide wear.
You two can argue whatever you want, but the short of it is like this for me...if I'm going to have a 42 year old engine on the stand, I'm going to give it a solid once-over versus pulling it again. Might even have it bored .030" while I'm at it.
Being that I have 3 young kids at home (3 yrs, 14 months, 4 weeks) and the hospital bills are just rolling in for #3, I don't know that I can justify the rather small expense.
However, my father-in-law's first car was a 1968 Impala 4-door so maybe he will buy it, let me fix it, then sell it to me on the cheap and consider the engine rebuild as cash value towards the car.
a 64 Impala would be better.
Sure, but one isn't on my doorstep for $1,500.
Maybe I'll call my other uncle to see if he is ready to sell the 1969 Camaro rotting in his driveway. I know it is a 2 owner car, all original with a 327. Problem is, he's had it for 30+ years and can't cut the sentimental attachment even though he has no idea how to fix it, nor does he have the cash to pay someone to do it for him. Thus...it rots in his driveway.