The 10 Best Chevy Crate Engines
There’s plenty of fish in the sea when it comes to Chevrolet crate enginesby Tudor Rus, on
Wether you’re working on your restomod project inside your humble garage or looking to build a mean-ass race car for your racing team, arguably the most important component is the engine.
And in case you’re thinking of using a Chevrolet crate engine, then know the offer can be overwhelming at times. So we’ve picked 10 of the best Chevy crate engines that are worth looking at.
LT5 - $22,394
The 6.2-liter LT5 banger is undoubtedly one of the most impressive GM crate engines money can buy. The same powerplant powers the bonkers 2019 Corvette ZR1, so what you’re basically getting from this Chevy crate engine boils down to 755 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 715 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm courtesy of a four-rotor 2.65-liter supercharger that can pump in up to 14 psi of boost.
LT1 - $10,336
Also a 6.2-liter unit, the naturally-aspirated LT1 V-8 combines an aluminum block with either wet-sump or dry-sump oiling. Used in the Chevy Corvette C7 Stingray, this 11.5:1-compression small block produces 460 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 465 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. The crankshaft is forged steel, the cylinder heads are aluminum, while bore x stroke is 4.065 in x 3.622 in.
LT4 - $14,693-$16,163
Just like the LT1, the LT4 V-8 can also be had with either dry sump or wet sump. The beating heart of the Corvette Z06, the supercharged 6.2-liter mill is the second most powerful engine ever dropped inside a road-going Chevy. It cranks out 640 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 630 pound-feet of twist at 3,600 rpm. A 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger contributes to those figures and the unit can be mated with the T56 Super Magnum six-speed manual, just perfect for that restored classic Camaro restoration you’ve been working on.
LS3 - $7,546
Dubbed as the new Chevy 350, the LS3 is what motivates the standard fifth-generation Camaro SS and the C6 Corvette. It’s one of Chevy’s most versatile crate engines created by GM, capable of delivering 430 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 425 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm in standard flavour. Best thing about it, though: you can pound it with as many aftermarket bits and bobs as you like and take it to outputs north of 1,000 horsepower easily.
LSX376-B8 - $9,563
This one’s rather friendly to your budget while allowing for low-boost supercharging and turbocharging. In standard form, this crate engine churns out 476 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 475 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. It also has forged aluminum pistons and high-flow rectangular port heads borrowed from the LS3, as well as a 9.0:1 compression ratio.
LSA - $25,776
We couldn’t leave the LSA crate engine aside, right? The LSA 6.2-liter V-8 is imbued with a 1.9-liter Eaton supercharger, piston-cooling oil jets, and LS3 high-flow cylinder heads, plus a forged steel crank. If it sounds familiar, then know this is the exact powerplant found inside the likes of Cadillac CTS-V and the fifth-generation Chevy Camaro ZL1. Output wise, the LSA crate engine makes 556 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 551 pound-feet of twist at 3,800 rpm.
COPO 350 SC - $36,401
Let’s not ignore the racers out there. For them, Chevrolet offers two COPO crate engines. One of them is the 350 SC. Cranking out 580 horsepower and redlining at 8,000 rpm, the engine is slapped with a 2.9-liter twin-screw Whipple supercharger and mates to a TH400 three-speed automatic gearbox. The powerplant delivers a 10.9:1 compression ratio and also features CNC’ed LSX-borrowed aluminum cylinder heads.
COPO 427 NA - $29,020
In case you like your race cars projects naturally aspirated, Chevy can cater to that as well with the COPO 427 NA engine crate. This one packs 470 horsepower and is compatible with the TH400 gearbox as well. In addition, it uses a wet sump oiling system and a compression ratio of 13.0:1
E-Rod LT1 - $11,088
The same mill found inside the C7 Corvette Stingray and sixth-gen Camaro SS but compliant with CARB’s (California Air Resources Board) requirements and therefore eligible to be featured inside 1995 and earlier cars in California. This V-8 Chevy crate engine packs 455 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, five horsepower less than the regular LT1, but the same amount of torque, namely 465 pound-feet at 4,600 rpm
SP350/357 Deluxe - $6,327
Last but definitely not least, the SP350/357 Deluxe Chevy small-block V-8 crate engine is for those who are really under pressure from their budgets. The unit is based on the 350 HO crate engine and its dual-plane intake manifold allows for a better power distribution across the rpm band. Speaking of which, the SP350 Deluxe makes do with 357 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of twist.
What is a crate engine?
Well, what’s in a name? As their name implies, crate engines are complete engines delivered to the buyer in a crate. Usually, crate engines are ready to install units sold by a given automaker. Sometimes the buyer needs to provide the transmission, water pump, fuel system, and exhaust to complete the powertrain build.
Where are GM crate engines made?
Most of GM’s crate engines are made in Mexico. In the past, GM used to assemble crate engines at its Performance Build Center in Detroit.
Where to buy a Chevy crate engine?
You can buy your Chevy crate engine on gmperformancemotor.com via online order.