These are all the things that worry me about an online motor, many of these online builders offer to good to be true warrenties(one claimed 7 year/100000 mile for a $1500 motor). I do have a certified mechanic buddy that could "be the installer" if anything is wrong with the motor, I also have another vehicle to drive. Even if I just had to pay return shipping though, that could add another $1000.2. Before you buy a rebuilt engine--ESPECIALLY "mail-order" with no local representation--VERIFY the warranty terms.
Who is allowed to install the engine? You? A "certified" shop? Any professional shop?
What else has to be changed to validate the warranty? Radiator? Water pump? Injectors? Something more?
Who pays to remove a defective rebuilt engine? You? Them? Do they pay REAL shop rates, or do they pay 1970s shop rates? Do they cover fluids and filters?
Who pays to ship a defective rebuilt engine back to the rebuilder? You? Them? Do they pay realistic tranport fees?
If their engine is defective, who pays for your rental vehicle while yours is apart waiting for them to supply a replacement engine?
Who pays to diagnose problems with the rebuilt?
Who pays to do minor repairs to the rebuilt--resetting lifter preload, re-sealing a rear main, something that doesn't require returning the engine to the rebuilder? Do they pay realistic shop rates including "hazardous material" surcharges, and "shop supplies" that unethical shops tack-onto the bill to screw the customer?
This statement alone says it all, ATK is out for sure.I sold a few ATK engines when I was at Oriellys
1. Given feedback fuel injection, overdrive transmissions that cut down on RPM/mile traveled, and modern oil, a 250K mile engine may still have so little cylinder taper that re-ringing is entirely feasible. The Vortec short-block I ringed/bearinged/gasketed for my '88 had unknown miles. It came out because of a "rod knock" that turned out to be a broken flexplate. I even re-used the timing set, cam, lifters, and seven out of eight pistons and rods. (One cylinder bored .030 due to rainwater rusting the cylinder wall while the short-block was sitting.) All eight cylinders had only .0015 taper.
In my opinion you're wrong. Modern (and modernish) engines have better metal and machining and don't get the bore taper that was common on '60s blocks. Your only worry is if the block was seriously overheated. Have it magnafluxed before you build it.
This all sounds like my best bet is to put myself at the mercy of a good local builder, have them do a teardown and see whats going on.