Purchasing a crate engine, who do you guys suggest or have used ?

Mark Phillips

Member
Nov 26, 2021
61
I really like that Base 350, I was actually looking at parts to finish that one up and that's a strong mill for sure with, as you've said, capability of more with a few minor changes down the rd.

Thanks again to all for their input, it's much appreciated and so enjoyable to be able to have great civil discussions here on this forum !!!
 

Scaleytail

Veteran Member
Jun 12, 2016
173
North Aurora, il
Got the Blueprint 430/450 to 383. Have had it for 3 year no problems. Added better heads and a lil hotter cam to it. It responded admirably. Also add D.U.I. Distributor with a curve set up for my application. Going into the engine found no surprises or sub standards parts. If I could ever master tuning my carb….
 

G72Zed

Veteran Member
Sep 8, 2015
3,745
Canada
GM gives you good parts in their crates,but they dont give the attention to the block(bores) that they should.Sending out egg shaped cylinder bores within an acceptable tolerance isnt good in my opinion,on a crate motor.

FWIW, I bought a brand new GM GEN VI block for a 900hp build I'm doing, the block measurements and specs, although small on the minimum bore, was almost perfect, <.00015 variances on the deck, front to rear, L to R. The bores were within a few 1/10th of a thou......and the mains were very very good.

I was on the dyno all day yesterday with a brand new GM CRATE, did not even prime the engine or take off the valve covers....I was turning it 6,000 rpm within 15 minutes, timing set at 5k at steady state, cast pistons with 1.5 clearances and making 15% more TQ then GM officials claim says allot, the machining is good.

This is the 55th GM crate on the dyno....maybe were just lucky LOL.
 

72BIGBLOCK

Veteran Member
Feb 2, 2008
2,907
SF
Budget wise, around $5500 to $6500 is where I'd like to keep it if possible and I know you get what you pay for as well, been there and done that but I do not need a 500hp engine but I do want a bit of a punch when the foot goes crazy on the peddle every now and then. :bowtie:

I had spoken with a good friend of mine that runs Kiser Blvd auto repair, (actually he's the owner as well) and he suggested the BP engine or GM. Justin (owner) is also a ole Hot Rodder and he's installed a couple of the BP engines and has had really good luck with those in the past. https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Blue...vy-383-Ready-To-Run-Crate-Engine,453697.html?
Just throwing this out there why not an ls ? If you do the work yourself you might be able to get away with spending less than 7k maybe even less depending on your skills.

Not bad for factory efi and the drive ability
 

Chevyforever

Veteran Member
Jan 4, 2011
1,349
Ontario, Canada
Imagine that and equipped with those evil flat tappet hydraulic lifters !!
FWIW, I bought a brand new GM GEN VI block for a 900hp build I'm doing, the block measurements and specs, although small on the minimum bore, was almost perfect, <.00015 variances on the deck, front to rear, L to R. The bores were within a few 1/10th of a thou......and the mains were very very good.

I was on the dyno all day yesterday with a brand new GM CRATE, did not even prime the engine or take off the valve covers....I was turning it 6,000 rpm within 15 minutes, timing set at 5k at steady state, cast pistons with 1.5 clearances and making 15% more TQ then GM officials claim says allot, the machining is good.

This is the 55th GM crate on the dyno....maybe were just lucky LOL.
 

krabben1

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 16, 2007
8,399
( . Y . )Delco
FWIW, I bought a brand new GM GEN VI block for a 900hp build I'm doing, the block measurements and specs, although small on the minimum bore, was almost perfect, <.00015 variances on the deck, front to rear, L to R. The bores were within a few 1/10th of a thou......and the mains were very very good.

I was on the dyno all day yesterday with a brand new GM CRATE, did not even prime the engine or take off the valve covers....I was turning it 6,000 rpm within 15 minutes, timing set at 5k at steady state, cast pistons with 1.5 clearances and making 15% more TQ then GM officials claim says allot, the machining is good.

This is the 55th GM crate on the dyno....maybe were just lucky LOL.
Youll see it in oil consumption on high rpms,unless they use the deck plates on them now when they bore them.I have the gen 6 HO454.Its not as bad as the original 502s they released,but its enough for me.I even changed out the low tension rings hoping that would cure it.But an overbore at a machine shop will get mine,its just not that bad enough yet for me.
 

sandlapper

Veteran Member
Oct 9, 2020
1,185
SE CSA
Budget $ 6500 USD
the ~ $3800 L31 makes about 315 SAE Gross HP with a good carb & dist.
Swap a $250 summit 8802 or 8803 steel roller along w/ $150 of Alex drop-in spring kit and it's well over 400 hp.
Another $2K gets Both nice Holley Sniper EFI as well as an effective Champ road race pan.
So, $6500 and it's all brand spankin new, around 425 sae Gross HP, w/ EFI, Plus a shallow pan w/hi-cap oil control. GM has THE best warranty period; look em up & study up; pay extra attention to some warranty's requirements to file any court claims in seller's jurisdiction.

*there's power in a good pan w/ good windage tray (Champ RR); but even a stock L31 comes w/ a decent OE windage tray.

SP 350 is essentially a ZZ4 (discontinued) but fitted w/ fastburn aka ZZ6 heads.
In fact, that very combo was once marketed by GMPP as ZZ385.
 
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G72Zed

Veteran Member
Sep 8, 2015
3,745
Canada
Youll see it in oil consumption on high rpms,unless they use the deck plates on them now when they bore them.I have the gen 6 HO454.Its not as bad as the original 502s they released,but its enough for me.I even changed out the low tension rings hoping that would cure it.But an overbore at a machine shop will get mine,its just not that bad enough yet for me.

Well, I've done tuning on lots of Crates over the years, many engines raced way beyond their natural cycle time, 3 nights in a row with a 100 laps banging of the chip at 6k, clean plugs, no oil migration into the chamber or oil pull in on corner entry w/high vacuum decel.....and changing the oil every 2-3 races helps, but it's not like it has a dip stick so not checking the oil levels anyway. Now, piston skirt collapsing, yes....that's a deal killer.

As the saying goes, real race engines use a bit of oil, that's how you know your not loosing any hp in parasitic losses through too much ring tension. If the rings are old school, thick style, you need the higher tension, and if the bores are not prepped & plate honed, even worse, factor in not using a PCV system of sorts, and things glaze over quickly. Proper break in right from the start is critical, I've seen new engines built very well, with quality machine work and parts/prep but broken in the wrong way and it suffers oil issues, never get the bores back.

Were you using a vacuum pump with the low tension rings, were you real low like in the 10# range ?
 
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