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From: Daven Anderson
Date: April 02, 2001
The main disadvantages of the poly 318 as compared to the LA 318 are that some internal parts will be a little more expensive,the poly weighs more than the LA,and performance parts such as 4 barrel manifolds and camshafts for the poly are much more limited.
That said,the poly is a good reliable engine design (I've seen several go over 200,000 miles on their factory builds) and would be a good choice for a regularly driven car. In terms of regular maintenance they don't cost any more than maintaining an LA 318 (periodic valve lash adjustments excepted,but if you do this yourself then it's just your labor).
If the factory engine builds with cast piston rings can go 200,000+ miles,a good rebuild with chrome moly rings should last 300,000+ more miles easily with proper maintenance (basically,oil changes every 3,000 miles).