How To Chose The Best Crate Engine For Your Needs
3-Steps To Choosing The Best Crate Engine
For Your Needs, Wants & Budget
Step #1 The Application or Use For Your Engine
The first thing you always want to consider when choosing a crate engine is your application, or intended use of the vehicle.
Are you planning on doing long road trips with lots of freeway/highway driving or pounding the pavement on Saturday nights?
Try to be honest with yourself about what you really want out of your crate engine.
I know we would all love to have a 600HP beast under the hood, but you have to keep in mind that as performance goes up the drivability can go down (think top fuel dragster going through the Burger King drive through!)
With higher horsepower you may have to consider a drivetrain upgrade, higher fuel cost, and more frequent maintenance.
If block-long burnouts are not topping your list of things to do then maybe consider a crate engine package with slightly less horsepower, for a build with more torque and more comfortable drivability.
To be clear, I’m not trying to steer you away from your horsepower dream.
My goal is to help you make a decision you will be happy with today and 5-10 years down the road.
Step #2 What’s Your Budget?
I know we all hate to talk about this subject, but it is important.
Because we know that money doesn’t grow on trees, and you deserve to get the most value for your hard earned dollar.
It is important to remember that when choosing a crate engine you should always first choose a package that suits your intended use (rule number 1) over a larger horsepower number.
Just remember that all of our crate engines are chock full of high performance “go fast” parts, so don’t assume a higher price point means a better product.
Often times it can just be a reduced compression ratio, smaller camshaft and smaller cc heads that change the power band making a little less peak horsepower allowing for a more relaxed driving experience.
Step #3 Consider The Pros & Cons of Your Options
Last but not least it is important to know the pros and cons of your crate engine options.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction…well sort of.
As a general rule of thumb, the more horsepower you make the more the driving quality will go down.
Some may argue that this is not a “be all end all” rule: however it is true in most cases.
For example a higher performing engine tends to make more heat… under the hood, in the cab, and of course in coolant temperature.
To make more power you need a larger camshaft. Larger camshafts typically reduce manifold vacuum due to more overlap (see why vacuum is important in FAQ’s).
Larger camshafts produce a more radical “lumpy” idle (some might say this is a pro not a con).
A larger camshaft produces more peak horsepower, but sacrifices low end power and torque to get it (read FAQ on power delivery).
Simply put, the more radical the engine the more radical the driving quality.
This being said, it’s up to you what you want out of your engine.
Some people could care less about fuel economy or weather it has a smooth idle, they want a fire breathing beast, the louder the better!
Others prefer a bit more refinement, a little quieter and a little smoother.
The choice is yours!
If you have any questions or are not sure which engine package is right for you please don’t hesitate to give us a call and speak to one of our engine building professionals.
For a small additional fee we can also customize a build to your exact needs and wants.