Buyer's Guides / Parts

Mouse in a Box: A Quick Guide to Small Block Chevy Crate Engines

 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery—or so they say.

As we continue to celebrate 60 years of the small block Chevy engine, we thought we’d take a look at some of the small block-based crate engines now available. And since the small block Chevy is arguably the most popular hot rodding engine of all time, there are a lot of small block crate engine options out there. Companies like BluePrint Engines, ATK High Performance, and Edelbrock have put their own spin on the venerable Mouse motor—whether it be the old Gen 1 or something more modern.

We realize there are some who would rather build their own small block at home. Or find an old junkyard block and rebuild. For the rest of you, we’re taking a look at some of our favorite crate engine options (there are many, many others). In our rundown, we’ve included power output, budget, and warranty—three of the biggest considerations when choosing a crate engine, we think. Plus, we’ve provided a brief overview of what’s included with each, so you can make a true apples-to-apples comparison on price.

 

Chevrolet Performance 350 CID Base Engine Assemblies

nal-10067353_sn_xlWhy we like it: An affordable, entry-level engine that offers flexibility to make up to 260 horsepower, this engine is a great budget option for older cars, trucks, and street rods.

Specs

Assembly: Long block
Displacement: 5.7L/350
Compression: 8.5:1
Power: 195 horsepower base rating (Capable of up to 260 horsepower)

What You Get/What You Need

An ideal entry-level performance engine for old cars, trucks, and street rods, this assembly includes cast iron cylinder heads, .383-inch intake lift camshaft, paint valve covers, oil pan, and timing cover. You’ll need to add your own induction setup, including intake manifold, carburetor/throttle body, air cleaner, etc.

Warranty/Price

Warranty: 36-month/100,000-mile for specified vehicles (click here for list) or 12-month/12,000-mile for all other vehicles
Price:* $1,579.97

 

Edelbrock E-Street EFI 350 Crate Engine

edl-45060_xlWhy we like it: This engine offers you a relatively affordable way to take a traditional small block and add fuel injection. Essentially, you get a classic small block Chevy look in a package that provides the crisp throttle response and improved fuel mileage of an electronic fuel injection setup.

Specs

Assembly: Long block
Displacement: 350
Compression: 9.0:1
Power: 331 horsepower/389 ft.-lbs. of torque

What You Get/What You Need

It comes outfitted with the Edelbrock E-Street EFI system, which is ready to run right out of the crate. There’s no tuning needed. What you will need is a water pump, which is not included in the kit. Pretty much all the other essentials are included—aluminum cylinder heads, cast internals, Performer Series camshaft, valve covers, distributor, EFI wires, injectors, and hardware, and oil pan. You can finish it off with your own air cleaner, plug wires, and spark plugs.

Warranty/Price

Warranty: 24 months/24,000 miles
Price:* $7,199.97

 

BluePrint Engines GM 383 Stroker Dressed Crate Engine

mll-bp38313ctc1_tt_xlWhy we like it: We’re a big believer in stroker engines, and this one gives you practically everything you need to drop in 430 horsepower. And for everything you get, it’s a reasonable price in our minds.

Specs:

Assembly: Long block
Displacement: 383 cubic inches
Compression: 10:1
Power: 430 horsepower/ 450 ft.-lbs. of torque

What You Get/What You Need:

This engine features a cast crank, hypereutectic pistons, and heavy beam rods and includes aluminum cylinder heads, roller camshaft, aluminum intake manifold, valve covers, distributor, 750 cfm carburetor, HEI distributor, oil pan, and more. You will need an external balance harmonic balancer and late-style 350 flexplate/flywheel. It’s also delivered with a dyno sheet.

Warranty/Price

Warranty: 30-month/50,000 miles
Price:* $4,595.97

 

Chevrolet Performance Ram Jet 350 Engine Assembly

nal-12499120_xlWhy we like it: You get the classic looks of mechanical fuel injection with the modern advantages of electronic port fuel injection, making it ideal for resto-mod projects.

Specs

Assembly: Long block
Displacement: 350 cubic inches
Compression: 9.4:1
Power: 350 horsepower/400 ft.-lbs. of torque

What You Get/What You Need

Designed for simple assembly, this engine includes a nodular iron crank, hypereutectic pistons, hydraulic roller cam, cast iron GM Vortec cylinder heads, and Ramjet multi-port aluminum intake. The port fuel injection is controlled by the MEFI 4 controller. Other components of this drop-in style crate motor include throttle body, HEI distributor, valve covers, timing cover, oil pan, water pump, harmonic balancer, flywheel, air cleaner—even plugs and plug wires.

Warranty/Price

Warranty: 12-month/12,000 miles
Price:* $5,898.97

 

ATK High Performance GM 350 Supercharged Stage 3 Crate Engine

hpe-hp38c_sn_xlWhy we like it: If you’d rather eschew the stroker route and go with a forced induction setup, this engine brings it all together. Its Weiand 177 supercharger delivers 500 horsepower for the power-hungry; yet, the Roots-style blower looks great just chillin’ at the local car show.

Specs

Assembly: Long block
Displacement: 350 cubic inches
Compression: 8.5:1
Power: 500 horsepower/494 ft.-lbs. of torque

What You Get/What You Need

ATK High Performance starts with a remanufactured block and outfits it with all forged internals to handle the increased blower pressures. Features include Dart aluminum cylinder heads, Weiand 177 supercharger and matching intake manifold, carburetor, valve covers, timing set and cover, oil pan, distributor, spark plug wires and plugs, water pump, harmonic damper, and flexplate.

Warranty/Price

Warranty: 24-month
Price:* $9,099.00

 

Chevrolet Performance LS376 Crate Engine

2013-chevrolet-performance-ls376-480-enginedetail-mh-1280x551Why we like it: This combination takes Chevrolet’s already powerful LS3 6.2L combo and adds 12 percent more power with one simple change—a hotter .525-inch lift cam. If you’re doing an LS swap why wouldn’t you step up to the 50 extra horsepower this engine makes?

Specs

Assembly: Long block
Displacement: 376 cubic inches
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Power: 480 horsepower/475 ft.-lbs. of torque

What You Get/What You Need

This combo starts with a 6-bolt aluminum block and includes a nodular iron crankshaft, hypereutectic pistons, high-flowing rectangular port cylinder heads, camshaft, fuel rails and injectors, throttle body, ignition coil packs, valve covers, Camaro-style oil pan, timing cover, water pump, and spark plugs and wires. Non-Corvette applications will require the purchase of a separate flexplate or flywheel. You’ll also need Chevrolet Performance’s 19258267 engine controller kit.

Warranty/Price

Warranty: 12-month/12,000 miles
Price:* $6,682.97

 

Edelbrock GM LS416 E-Force Supercharged Crate Engine

EDL-46760Why we like it: If you’re looking for something a little more exotic than a standard LS engine, this Edelbrock kit has what you’re looking for—and then some. For those who like to dream big, this LS3 engine has been stroked to 416 cubic inches and and uses an Eaton TVS supercharger to make 720 horsepower! But fair warning—sick horsepower ain’t cheap.

Specs

Assembly: Long block
Displacement: 416 cubic inches
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Power: 720 horsepower/695 ft.-lbs. of torque

What You Get/What You Need

The centerpiece of this setup is the Eaton TVS 2300cc supercharger, which offers quiet performance and safe operation on 91 octane pump gas. As you might imagine, the LS3 block is stuffed with forged internals, including the four-inch stroke crankshaft, H-beam rods, and pistons. In addition to the fully prepped long block, you get all the supercharger essentials, including intercooler. You also get the engine wiring harness, pre-programmed ECU, throttle body, ignition coils, and front drive accessories, including alternator, water pumps, power steering pump, idler pulleys, and more.

Warranty/Price

Warranty: 24-month/24,000 miles
Price:* $23,005.97

 

Chevrolet Performance LS7 Crate Engine

nal-19244098_xlWhy we like it: Quite simply, this engine is a legend. With 427 cubic inches, you get big block grunt in a compact package. And it set a high mark for naturally aspirated horsepower!

Specs

Assembly: Long block
Displacement: 427 cubic inches
Compression Ratio: 11:1
Power: 505 horsepower/470 ft.-lbs. of torque

What You Get/What You Need

The big bore block comes equipped with a forged crankshaft, titanium connecting rods, and friction-coated pistons. Its CNC-ported cylinder heads with large-volume runners flow huge gobs of air. It comes outfitted with pretty much everything from throttle body down to the production-style dry sump oil pan. However, you will need to use Chevrolet Performance’s EFI controller kit #809-19258553 for non-Corvette applications.

Warranty/Price

Warranty: 12-month/12,000 miles
Price:* $13,136.97

*Price at Summit Racing as of 5/21/15

 

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One Comment

  1. Best deal here is the 383 stroker lol more horses for less money!

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