To rebuild or NOT to rebuild??? 68 Cug 113,000 miles on engine. Cost to rebuild in CA?
Cheaper to buy a crate motor. Maybe a complete long block. IMO
Lots of variables: small block vs big block, stock vs performance, region of California. Almost impossible to say without just calling a place near you and getting a quote.
You also want to factor in the rarity of your car and the value of keeping the original engine. Having the original engine matters if you have an XR7-G, GT-E, or another rare model.
I have been quoted $5k to rebuild a big block by a business in Auburn. I’m sure others will chime in with more/better info.
What do you have? 289? 302-2V? 302-4V? 390-2V? 390-4V? 427-4V? 428CJ?
In 1968 a lot of the 289 engines had 302 cast blocks. All you would need is a crank shaft change to have 302 cubic inches.
Check the casting numbers on the cylinder heads, if a 289/302. There are differences in the combustion chamber that contribute to the compression ratio. There are later model Ford cylinder heads that flow better. Cast iron and aluminum versions. You may be forced to use different exhaust manifolds, or some variety of headers because of the spark plug angle. Also there are aftermarket aluminum cylinder heads too.
Measure the cylinder bore. Stock is 4.00" for 289 and 302. There is a limit, safe to go one more time after 0.030" I think?
Over 92% of the 1968 Cougars had a 289/302 engine, so I will conclude.
Have not priced new Ford engines in a long time. The 5.0 (non coyote) crate engines were a very good value, maybe still?
I’m not in CA so can’t help you there, I did just have my 302 rebuilt with aluminum heads, rings, bearings, etc. Luckily my block was in excellent shape and did not require any machining. Figure at least 4-5k for a complete overhaul.