1975 Chevy Nova

Is it cheaper to rebuild the engine or replace it? Tired of replacing spark plugs via fouling out every month and burning way to much gas.

Thanks, Steve

Probably cheaper to put in a crate engine than pay a professional to rebuild yours, but if you do it it’s cheaper…if it runs when you’re done!

If it is a problem with the carburetor, ignition, or pcv valve it would be overkill to replace the engine. What are the results of a compression test? Have you an observation of how your plugs get fouled and the web info>?

There are shops that do extremely good rebuild work, both local independants and large factories. Are you able to pull and replace it? But, how often do you replace the plug(s)… Likely the No 8 and 6. If the compression on the cylinders is above 110psi and you can drive more than 800 miles before adding a quart of oil you might search for a set of R47TS Delco plugs. They often added a lot of usefull miles to old beaters. Those plugs were hot enough to keep clean in many old small blocks. They should only be installed in the fouling cylinders.

hot plugs may help keep an old engine running, but they can ruin your smog test results.
Look over the pics that waterboy supplied, they are available in most repair maunals, and a good diagnostic tool. The compression test he recomends take less than an hour to do, and the gauge is cheap and a great investment. That test will tell you if the rings or valves are good. Oil fouling can be caused by worn valve seals, when the rest of the engine is still in good shape. If you are not handy, or do not have tools and space to work, get it checked out by someone who you trust and who knows a bit about engines.

As the others said, lots of things can cause the problems you’re having. How many miles are on your current engine? Have you done a compression test? How about a leakdown test (it could be valve seals, which could be fixed at relatively low cost)? Burning lots of gas seems more like a carb problem than a rings/valves problem.

What engine and transmission do you have in it now? You need to make sure the rest of the drive train can handle the new engine if you go that way.

I think what everybody is suggesting, and I agree, is to first evaluate the condition of the current engine. Determine why it’s fouling plugs and burning too much gas. Only then can you make an inteligent decision.

If the problem turns out to be the carburator and you spend thousands on a crate motor (which I agree with Texases is generally a better option than rebuilding locally) and you put the carb on the new motor you’ll have spent a ton of money and accomplished nothing.

If the engine truely is shot, and the rest of the car is in good shape and you want to keep it, I’d go with the crate longblock. The longblock includes the heads.

Have you considered that your problem might be the carburetor and not the engine? You didn’t mention burning oil, just way to much gas. Could be a leaking needle and seat in the carb.

Thanks to all of you. My plugs are a combo of #2 and #4. On the left side of plug conditions page. #2 is common on the pass side of engine where the 2 middle plugs are. #4 is common on the drivers side of the engine where the 2nd, 3rd & 4th plugs are from the front to back of engine. I had the carbo rebuilt due float always sticking and flooding. It still is burning alot of gas though. I will have the compression checked next week or when my mech can fit me in. Thanks again, and I will let yall know the results