A type 1 conversion sounds like it would be cheaper, but ask Zen how many engines he's put in Homer so far. I think he's up to 4 or 5.
Russ is correct. I've put several engines in Homer . . . but if you don't understand what they were and why they were replaced, you could get the wrong idea.
Engine #1 - 1600 single port: Buillt with junk parts from 3 other engines. I had a total of $40 invested in it. Ran the dog poop out of it for 15,000 miles. Spit a rod cap out the top of the block after pushing the bus at or near 75 mph for 3 hours solid.
Engine #2 - 1600 single port: Bought it used for $75 and bolted it in as-is. It had been removed because it was "worn out." Ran the dog poop out of it for 25,000 miles. Broke the #3 exhaust valve at the end of a 150 mile trip stuck in 4th gear. The valve broke as I started down the back side of a mountain after lugging it up the other side. Coasted the last 5 miles down the mountain and stopped right across the road from the Southeastern Bug Fair where I installed engine #3.
Engine #3 – 1600 dual port: Bought a “freshened up” long block for $400 at a swap meet (valves lapped, cylinders honed and new rings installed, case wasn’t split). Bought all the tin at the swap meet for another $50 and installed it with borrowed tools in the horse arena at the Stevens County Fair Grounds. Ran the dog poop out of it for 20,000 miles. It started developing excessive end play, so I pulled it and replaced it with an engine that I had build right from the ground up. This old engine is still waiting on me to get motivated and rebuild it.
Engine #4: - 1600 single port: This one was done right. Line board, all new bearings, crank and cam were used by checked out perfect, new pistons/cylinders, and new exhaust valves, new oil pump, new push rod tubes, etc. Thanks to some help from the Godfather, I was able to source all the new parts for under $200. Ran the dog poop out of it for 10,000 miles and thought I had burnt it up by running it lean due to a vacuum leak. When I tore it down, I found that it was fine, other than two broke head studs. Guess I should have used new head studs too! It was in the process of going back together when it got stolen.
Engine #5 – 1600 dual port: Bought it used for $200. The seller had bought it to help out a friend and all he knew about it was that it was supposed to be a good one. It has been. In the last 4 years, I’ve been to Effingham twice with it, once towing a trailer. My last road trip was from LaFayette, to Huntsville (Decatur), to Murfreesboro, to Knoxville and back to LaFayette in less than 48 hours.
So, while I have put 5 engines in Homer in the past 10 years, I’m still out less than 1000 bucks on all of them combined.