Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: dallas tx
Bronco Info: 1996 EB, 351w, basically stock. 1981 custom 351m, long gone.
A crate engine would be a new ford built engine. That would be most expensive but also likely to be best quality.
After that you could pay a machine shop to rebuild it for you. Those are good but don't guarantee no problems. And the warranty will probably be limited.
Then, if you're a big city, you should be able to find a high volume machine shop / engine builder company. They'll do high volume, low cost rebuilds and probably offer a better warranty than a small machine shop.
After that, you'll have the option to rebuild yourself. You can pay either a small machine shop (more expensive) or a high volume shop (less expensive ) to do the machine work and rebuild your heads. Then you assemble everything yourself in your garage. That'll be your cheapest option. And as long as you get the right size bearings and pistons, you shouldn't run into any problems.