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If it is running strong, no strange noises, and doesn't smoke, it's very likely had a shortblock rebuild at some point in the last 200,00 miles. When dealing with cars that are almost twenty years old, it's usually impossible to know the car's history. My '85 has at least 250,000 on the clock near as I can tell from reading between the lines on it's carfax, but the engine has obviously been freshened up not too long ago.

If you are on a tight budget, like me, I think it makes a lot of sense to buy things like a good set of heads, upgrade the intake, maybe some headers, and other things that can be transferred to a new shortblock in the future.

My car runs real good right now, but I'm saving for a 347 shortblock which I will use my heads, carb, intake and exhaust upgrades with.

Now, if you are bucks up, and can afford it, sure buy a whole new motor now, but I doubt if that's the case. I know if I wanted to buy the whole engine that I want as a turnkey setup it would cost $7k-$8k, not in my budget.
 
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