Power Lunch

CHP's Guide to Red Hot Crate Engine Power

Bob Mehlhoff Aug 10, 2005 0 Comment(s)
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Are you hungry for more power? A phone call or a Web site visit will uncover hard-running small-blocks to wild big-blocks offering power to burn your tires. And all these engines are ready to install in just a weekend, and most come with a warranty, too.

One of the benefits of purchasing one of the crate engines is that you eliminate visits to machine shops and the endless search for all the little parts that can consume much of your time. We'll be the first to admit that building your own engine has its benefits, but if you're new to the game, or just want to install an engine without spending a big part of your schedule in the process, a crate motor offers benefits beyond price and time.

Because there are so many choices, we've devoted a section this month to the topic. We've selected an assortment of engines ranging in price from under $5,000 to about $10,000. Some of them are referred to as turnkey, which means that they are generally ready to run but will typically need items like a fuel pump, starter, belts, coolant, hoses, and maybe a water pump. For the most part, a turnkey engine (complete engine) will have parts beyond what you'll find on a long-block (an assembled block with cylinder heads attached).

So whether you're looking for a moderate power increase or an all-you-can-eat special, we promise these offerings will cure your yen. Just have a seat and we'll serve up plenty of horsepower helpings.

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Beck Racing Engines 350 Street Plus Engine
Add great throttle response with this easy-to-install 368-horse 350 small-block engine. The turnkey package comes with an Edelbrock 750-cfm carburetor, BRE (Beck Racing Engines) Hi-Flow low-profile chrome air cleaner, Mallory HEI distributor and coil, BRE/Moroso Blue Max spiral core wires, a Holley 110-gph Mechanical Fuel Pump, and much more. Inside you'll find items like a new Scat crankshaft and a Crane Cams hydraulic camshaft. The cylinder heads are Dart items and feature 2.02 swirl-polished stainless steel valves. The rugged turnkey package even comes with a 12-month warranty.

Cubic inches: 350
Horsepower: 368 hp at 5,500 rpm
Torque: 416 at 4,100 rpm
Block: New GM HD 350 four-bolt main
Crankshaft: Scat 350 cast
Rods: Scat 4340 steel I-beam 5.7-inch rods w/ARP capscrew bolts
Pistons: Keith Black hypereutectic pistons
Camshaft: Crane Cams hydraulic camshaft & lifters
Cylinder heads: Dart Iron 2.02 Eagle heads w/bronze guides
Intake manifold: Edelbrock Performer RPM intake manifold
Turnkey: Yes
Price: $5,999.00 12-month limited warranty outright-no core

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Beck Racing Engines 496 Pro Street engine
Move your musclecar quicker with this torquey big-block. Based on a seasoned 454 four-bolt main block, the 496 breathes through Dart Pro 1 aluminum heads topped with an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake and a Barry Grant Demon carburetor. The works is fastened together with ARP hardware and uses select parts from Childs and Albert, Manley, Moroso, and Mr. Gasket. An MSD ignition ignites the needed 91-octane fuel supplied by a Holley 130-gph mechanical fuel pump.

Cubic inches: 496
Horsepower: 608 at 6,200 rpm
Torque: 594 at 5,300 rpm
Block: seasoned 454 w/four-bolt main
Crankshaft: Scat 4340 steel nitrided 4.250-inch stroke
Rods: Scat 4340 H-beam 0.250-inch long rods w/ARP capscrew bolts
Pistons: SRP/JE forged pistons
Camshaft: Crane cams hydraulic cam and lifters
Cylinder heads: Dart Pro 1 aluminum heads w/bronze guides
Intake manifold: Edelbrock Victor Jr.
Options: Special bright polished items and long-blocks available
Turnkey: Yes
Price: $10,599.00 6-month limited warranty outright-no core

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Edelbrock Performer Series
Edelbrock teams its proven total-power package with the reliable GM Goodwrench short-block and MSD distributor to form the Edelbrock Performer Crate engine line, offering consumers 72 different package combinations, including a dual quad and 50-state legal version with or without optional custom polished finish. Edelbrock's Performer cylinder heads, intake manifold, and hydraulic camshaft make this a very streetable and reliable combination. For cruise-night fans, these engines can be purchased with the custom polished option that glistens the intake manifold, valve covers, cylinder heads, and optional water pump; in fact more than 70 percent of Edelbrock crate engines leave their Torrance, California, facility custom polished. Each Edelbrock crate engine is hand-built and fully assembled by Edelbrock and shipped in a durable, reusable plastic crate. Combine these features with Edelbrock's exclusive two-year, unlimited mileage warranty and you have a package that's hard to beat.

Cubic inches: 350
Horsepower: 310/320 at 5,000 rpm
Torque: 375/382 at 4,000 rpm
Block: New GM Goodwrench four-bolt main
Compression: 8.5/9.0:1
Crankshaft: precision-machined
Pistons: aluminum stock GM
Camshaft: Edelbrock Performer hydraulic #2102
Cylinder heads: Edelbrock aluminum with 64cc/70cc chambers
Intake manifold: Edelbrock Performer EGR, Performer EPS, or Performer air-gap
Distributor: MSD pro billet w/coil
Turnkey: Yes
Price: from $4,961.95

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Edelbrock Signature Series 383, limited edition
This limited-edition SS383 Edelbrock crate motor offers a new GM ZZ383 short-block that Edelbrock technicians carefully hand-assemble with Edelbrock polished E-Tec 200 heads; polished RPM air-gap Vortec manifold; a custom spec camshaft; and a special, black anodized Edelbrock water pump. Custom black powdercoated valve covers and air cleaner top off the SS383; take a close look at the valve covers, and you will see the serial number of the motor (one of 250) and Vic's signature laser-etched with precision. The air cleaner features the classic look of yesteryear with the cubic-inch displacement and horsepower rating laser-etched along with the Edelbrock logo. Additional features include stainless ARP fasteners, an MSD distributor and wires, and an industry-leading two-year warranty. A certificate of authenticity signed by Vic Edelbrock Jr. and sealed by the Edelbrock Corporation authenticates this limited-production masterpiece.

Cubic inches: 383
Horsepower: 460 at 6,000 rpm
Torque: 460 at 4,500 rpm
Block: New GMPP ZZ383 four-bolt main
Compression: 9.5:1
Crankshaft: forged steel
Pistons: hypereutectic
Rods: PM (powdered metal) connecting rods
Camshaft: Edelbrock RPM hydraulic roller #2207
Cylinder heads: Edelbrock E-Tec 200 with 64 chambers, 2.02/1.60-inch intake/exhaust
Rocker arms: aluminum roller, 1.5:1
Intake manifold: Edelbrock RPM Vortec air-gap
Ignition: MSD wires & pro billet distributor with coil
Turnkey: Yes
Price: $10,232.95

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GOLEN ENGINE 383ci/480hp LT4 Long-block
Pump up your street performance with this Golen late-model 383/480 LT4 that runs on pump-friendly 91-octane fuel. This engine works best with a 2,500-rpm-plus stall converter and 3.73 gears, and it will easily nail you back in your seat. The heads are hand-ported aluminum Trick Flow 200cc LT4 items fitted with roller rocker arms. Because this is a long-block, you'll need to supply the additional parts to complete the package.

Cubic inches: 383 LT4
Horsepower: 480 at 6,300 rpm
Torque: 485 at 4,000 rpm
Block: Seasoned block with four-bolt main
Compression: 11:1
Crankshaft: Eagle cast
Rods: Scat 4340 forged steel, 6-inch length, floating pin
Pistons: SRP forged
Camshaft: COMP cams hydraulic roller; lift intake 0.585, exhaust 0.540-inch
Cylinder heads: Trick Flow 200cc LT4 hand-ported aluminum w/stainless steel 2.02/1.60-inch valves
Turnkey: No
Price: $6,799.00

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GOLEN ENGINE 383ci/400hp LT1 long block
The 383/400 LT1 is an excellent performing engine package designed for the LT1 Camaro and won't break the bank. It produces excellent power numbers, with 400 hp at 5,500 rpm and 450 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm. Has a good idle and runs on 91-octane or higher pump fuel.

Cubic inches: 383 LT1
Horsepower: 400 at 5,500rpm
Torque: 450 at 4,000 rpm
Block: Seasoned block with four-bolt mains
Compression: 11:1
Crankshaft: Eagle cast
Rods: Scat 4340 forged steel, 6-inch length, floating pin
Pistons: Keith Black hypereutectic
Camshaft: hydraulic roller 0.543/0.552-inch lift
Cylinder heads: GM aluminum LT1, three-angle performance valve job, bowl ported, valves back cut, new guides
Intake manifold: None
Turnkey: No
Price: $4,999.00

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GM Performance Small-block ZZ383/425 from jeg's
With the ZZ383/425 you get the power of a big-block with the size and weight of an aluminum-head small-block. It's one of the rare combos that let's you eat your cake and beat the pants off the next guy, too! The ZZ383 has a specially modified engine block and 3.80-inch-stroke crankshaft, which enable its 383ci displacement. The reciprocating assembly is comprised of a 4340 forged crankshaft and heavy-duty powdered metal rods to ensure bulletproof performance. This engine is backed by a one-year/12,000-mile warranty.

Cubic inches: 383
PN: 809-12498772
Horsepower: 425 at 5,400 rpm
Torque: 449 at 4,500 rpm
Block: cast iron with four-bolt main caps
Compression: 9.6:1
Crankshaft: 4340-forged steel
Rods: heavy-duty PM steel
Pistons: cast aluminum
Camshaft: Hydraulic roller, lift 0.509 intake/0.528 exhaust, duration (at .050 in) 222 intake/230 exhaust
Cylinder heads: GM Fast Burn aluminum; 62cc chambers, 2.00 intake/1.55 exhaust
Intake manifold: None
Turnkey: No; requires carburetor, ignition, fuel pump, water pump, and starter.
Comes with: 12.75-inch automatic transmission flexplate. Requires 1986-99 350-style externally balanced flywheel for manual transmission.
Price: $4799.99
Warranty: one-year/12,000-mile

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World Products Small-block 427-cid Motown street engine from Jeg's
The `'World Class'' series of engines represents an ideal powerplant for many musclecars and street machines, as well as street rodders who appreciate performance, without sacrificing drivability. A hydraulic lifter cam is employed, so you won't be popping the valve covers often to adjust valve lash. Each engine is properly broken-in, then dyno tested to ensure that it meets or exceeds published specifications. A dyno sheet accompanies each engine.

Cubic inches: 427
PN: 955-101006
Horsepower: 520 at 6,000 rpm
Torque: 495 at 4,700 rpm
Block: Motown cast iron with four-bolt mains
Compression: 9.5:1
Crankshaft: Eagle 4340 forged steel
Rods: Manley 4340 forged steel H-beam
Pistons: Mahle coated
Camshaft: Hardcore hydraulic
Cylinder heads: Motown 220 aluminum
Carburetor: Hardcore 870-cfm (4150)
Intake manifold: Motown aluminum single-plane
Turnkey: Yes
Price: $8994.99
Warranty: two-year/24,000-mile


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