Tag Archives: crate motor

Buying A Crate Engine

Right now, holding the phone to my ear, hands sweaty, mind racing, what will my Mustang feel like with an all new crate motor this spring?  It’s exciting and anxiety induscing trying to pick the perfect crate motor, I know, I’ve been there.  But don’t let the potential for unlimited horsepower and a shiny new heart for your baby blind you from the truth.  The truth is that most cars are not ready for a new power plant, that souped up crate motor may just break more than the bank.

Crate Motor

Crate Motor

Consider the following, your car can only perform as good as it’s weakest link.  For example, having 500 horsepower under your foot doesn’t do any good if you have bicycle tires.  And, having a great intake system will not get it’s greatest benefit if you have restrictive exhaust.  The same goes for your motor, when buying a crate motor it’s important to make sure your weakest link is replaced first.

If you have a worn out stock motor, then you probably have a worn out stock transmission system.  By just swapping out a new crate motor, with bigger horsepower numbers, you are now applying more stress on that tired transmission.  Probably just a matter of time before old faithful takes a dump on you, making that shiny new crate motor an expensive paper weight.

I would recommend making sure the following components are beefed up before going with a higher horsepower crate motor.

  • Beefed Up Transmission – Nothing spells disaster for an old transmission than a big horsepower crate motor.
  • Proper Suspension – Having the proper suspension setup can be more important than horsepower.  The suspension in your car, if tuned properly, will have a big impact on power transfer.  The goal is to get the power to the ground, not just at the flywheel.
  • The Right Motor Mounts – If the place you are buying your crate motor from offers a mount kit, buy it, don’t go flimsy chensy on this new investment.  A powerful motor can twist itself right out of the engine bay, the same goes for the rear end.
  • Professional Installation – Sure it looks easy in all the car magazines, but actually installing a crate motor can be a big undertaking.  This can be especially true if this is the first time you’ve ever seen an engine not located snugly under a hood.

So, those are my tips on buying a crate motor, or what to prepare for when buying a new crate motor.  Consider this a checklist for buying a crate motor, to help save you money, and hardache down the road.  After all, we want the performance in our minds to reflect directly into the first time we plant the throttle on the road.

Crate Motors on eBay
[phpbay]crate motor, 3, “6028”, “”[/phpbay]

Crate Motors On eBay

To continue my postings on customizing a vehicle, I thought I talk a little bit about the risks and rewards of purchasing a new or used crate motor off of ebay.  If your projects are anything like mine, then I know you are thinking about scrapping what you got and starting fresh and often times that can be the best answer to a Gremlin hiding out in the walls of that old block.  On the other hand, purchasing a crate motor off of eBay does come with a few costs and risks.

Things to consider when buying a crate motor off of ebay:

  • Shipping Costs – Often times a crate motor will need to come truck line, so make sure it can be shipped to a business and have a loading dock or forklift.  Having a good business place to receive will save you hundreds of dollars.
  • Compatibility – Yes, it might be exactly what you are looking for, but will it bolt up to your frame with minimal engineering?  Furthermore, will the transmission bolt up to the crate motor or even be able to handed the potentially higher horsepower numbers?
  • Freight Claims – Stuff gets damaged in shipping, trust me I know, but as the buyer it’s your responsibility to inspect before signing clear.  Freight lines are sticklers for NOT paying if the bill was signed free and clear.  Make sure and note any potential damage, therefore covering even concealed damage.
  • Seller Reputation – Sue me, but I don’t want to be the first person to test the reputation of a seller with a few thousand dollar purchase, to place in my prized ride.  Make sure that others are happy with their purchase, not just at immediate signing, but also after they have it installed and fired up.

Get the most out of your crate motor off ebay by covering your bases from the topics above and remember you can never be too careful.  Also, communication is key, often times professional motor builders will happily discuss options with you on the phone before purchase so that you are buying what you expect and not necessarily the 1000hp monster you have in your head. (drivability anyone?)  Ebay can be a great place to get started on that budget build up in your garage and the core is their huge selection of crate motors for almost any application.

[phpbay]crate motor, 3, “6030”, “”[/phpbay]