The ultimate downside of being a shade tree/backyard mechanic is the budget. Read one article on doing engine rebuilds and you quickly find that most of the people who write the articles are working from a company budget. The authors think nothing of spending 7-8 hundred dollars on a camshaft upgrade, another 8-9 hundred on new heads, got to add that new intake and carburetor otherwise the camshaft and head upgrades are useless. For the writers some of that comes out of corporate budget but the rest is probably covered by the manufacturers wanting the free advertising that comes with your product being used in a (fill in the blank) of any automotive “influencer”. I use the term influencer because whether it is a print article, posting on a website, or youtube video; the content producers are trying to gain market share and sell themselves to the consumers of said content to generate sales or drive ad revenues. I have nothing against the business model, in fact more power to them as everyone needs to make a living, however if you are talking budget builds make them truly budget builds.
As an example I have read two different articles on doing a “budget” rebuild of a Chevy 350 and if you take the article and look up the costs of the parts you soon find that “budget” is 2-4 thousand dollars depending on the choices you make. Now not everyone is going to have that kind of cash laying around and building your own hot rod, or restoring an old car or truck is of course a conscious decision. A decision that should not be made lightly. And so I will be spending several nights with a spreadsheet and compiling a build sheet for my motor, I know I want performance, however I do not want to break the bank as there is still a lot of sheet metal work in my future. Funny how my project seems to be more sitting at the computer researching than it is wrenching.