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Jalopnik: What's The Best Crate Engine? [Question Of The Day]

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500x_LS9_Crate_Motor.jpgThere once was a time when engine swaps were limited to what you could find at the pick-n-pull. Now there's an entire industry devoted to pumping out 427s, 350s, 351s, 302s. So many choices, but what's the best crate engine?

It's probably no shock we think its the LS9 crate motor. The lightweight supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that powers the Corvette ZR1 to super car status would fit nicely in any number of engine-less vehicles. For a shade over $20K GM will treat you to one with almost everything you need (ignition system, exhaust manifolds, supercharger assembly, dry-sump oil pan).

That's 638 HP right of the box. Not to mention, it's gorgeous. It's like cut-a-hole-in-the-hood-of-your-39-Mercury to show it off kinda gorgeous.

Of course, this has us thinking. Maybe the real question should be — what the hell would you put it in?

(QOTD is your chance to answer the day's most pressing automotive questions and experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good "Question Of The Day" send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

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geo Metro 3 cylinder 1.0L with a TuRb0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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geo Metro 3 cylinder 1.0L with a TuRb0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:mind-blowing:

Super powered lawn mower! :scratchchin:

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Best crate engine?

Depends on how you define "best".

The LS9 would get my "most lustworthy crate engine" vote though.

I just can't see myself dropping 20K on any engine.

Edited by Camino LS6
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Best crate engine?

Depends on how you define "best".

The LS9 would get my "most lustworthy crate engine" vote though.

I just can't see myself dropping 20K on any engine.

Its like right next to the 572 in my book

the best of all time is the 350 its in so many cars even in other makes! and its starts at like what $2500?

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You can't go wrong with an LS1.

Although the ZZ572 and LS9 involuntarily cause me to make a sticky mess on my keyboard.

I'd kill a man for a Chevelle with any of the those three engines I mentioned under the hood (of course, if it was sold with the original drivetrain pulled) and hooked up to a six-speed manual.

Edited by whiteknight
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You can't go wrong with an LS1.

Although the ZZ572 and LS9 involuntarily cause me to make a sticky mess on my keyboard.

I'd kill a man for a Chevelle with any of the those three engines I mentioned under the hood (of course, if it was sold with the original drivetrain pulled) and hooked up to a six-speed manual.

:metal::cheers::bowdown:

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bellybutton = SBC.

I do not approve of mix/matching engines/makes. SBC's belong in Chevys only.

On my 'road', there are no crate motors - I am forced to go with an individually-built motor (always of the same make).

One builder offers a complete, built motor - the one that matches my intended specs is... $12K.

Yes; that's why so many SBCs end up in all sorts of vehicles.

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I do not approve of mix/matching engines/makes. SBC's belong in Chevys only.

i hate to see a chevy power plant in buicks and pontiacs, and olds... but hey people with old fords, rx7's, volov's, jeeps, power boats, and motorcycles need to go fast too hehehe

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i hate to see a chevy power plant in buicks and pontiacs, and olds... but hey people with old fords, rx7's, volov's, jeeps, power boats, and motorcycles need to go fast too hehehe

+1 :chevy:

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bellybutton = SBC.

I do not approve of mix/matching engines/makes. SBC's belong in Chevys only.

On my 'road', there are no crate motors - I am forced to go with an individually-built motor (always of the same make).

One builder offers a complete, built motor - the one that matches my intended specs is... $12K.

Yes; that's why so many SBCs end up in all sorts of vehicles.

What of Avanti II's ? or Holden's

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bellybutton = SBC.

I do not approve of mix/matching engines/makes. SBC's belong in Chevys only.

Within reason, I agree.

Of course, there are plenty of non-chevy crate motors being built.

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Without question, the SBC is the king of all crate engines (and hotrod powerplants in general).

The reason is simple: Bang for the buck.

While in many cases, I'm with Balthazar on keeping like with like, in many applications an SBC just makes the most sense.

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Well, there's no argument WRT the financials of using a SBC...

-- -- -- -- --

Avanti II was never a full manufacturer- they never built their own engines... so there was no 'Avanti II' engine to replace with a SBC... (and not just because it already was a SBC, either :P ).

Holden, speaking in modern times, likely suffers under 'corporate' engines like GM here does...

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I don't mind SBC in street rods as it is shorter than a Ford motor and fits better in a 32-40 Ford.

That being said...were I to build a Ford street or dof the era..it would be Ford powered.

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21-stud 239 FH, FTW. One of the prettiest engines ever built, too.

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