Wednesday Rewind: Go Crate Engine Or Build Your Own

crate-or-buildSome things bear repeating and if you’ve been into Corvettes for any period of time, you’ve likely found some of those common-occurring issues that plague specific years or generations of Corvettes. Some tasks are less specific, like replacing a worn engine, and can affect any generation or year of Corvette.

When it comes time to swap out that power plant under your Corvette’s hood, there are many options, but the first fork in the road is deciding whether you’ll build an engine or get one already assembled. Each option has its good points and bad points and there is no comprehensive right or wrong answer to the question. In this story we hit the way-back machine to take a look at several reasons why someone might want to go one way or another with respect to a fresh engine.

There are many concerns when choosing your next engine and being honest with yourself and your abilities is vital to getting a good result. Also, knowing up front whether you’ll want to change out for a newer generation of engine will help you save a ton of money by not having to do things twice. We’ve seen cars almost completed and then totally disassembled again to change the core build of the vehicle. In the end, you’ll get what you want, but it’ll cost you more to get there.


If upgrading to a newer generation drivetrain, an entire package including a crate engine like a Chevrolet Performance Connect & Cruise may be the best choice.

We’ve taken a look at some of the benefits of rolling your own, and also some of the risks that other builders assume in the form of warranties and such. Trusting their judgement in component mixing is not something that everyone can do, always searching for that extra ‘nth of power from a custom build. If you’re one of these people, you’ll likely see the inside of the engine before it’s all said and done anyways.

If you want to have some say, but don’t have the tools to start from the bottom up, there are long-block and short-block assemblies that are available. Then the magic combination of heads, intake and cam can be easily added before stuffing it all in between the frame rails.

Building allows you to mix and match individual components like these heads offered from Edelbrock. They also offer cams and intakes to match.

Either way, there are some great insights to be had by checking out Power Struggle: Build Your Next Engine Or Buy One In A Crate. We look at the benefits, but also the costs of doing business in either camp and while every engine build is different, you’ll have a much better understanding of which way might be best for you. So, check out this story again so that whether a mushroom cloud formed under the hood of your Corvette or it’s simply time for a new motivator, you’ll know exactly which way is best for you and your Corvette.

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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