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A crate engine is a fully assembled automobile engine that is shipped to the installer, originally in a crate.[1] Crate engines are manufactured by many different companies, but they all share the same characteristics of being complete engines ready to install once removed from the crate. Generally a crate engine only needs bolt-on accessories such as water pump,[clarification needed] fuel system[clarification needed], and exhaust. This type of engine has various applications including general replacement, hot rod builds, and motorsports competition.[2] Crate engines are often seen as an economical and more reliable solution as opposed to engine overhauls or custom builds. Such engines are built by specialist engine builders, working in clean and well-equipped workshops, rather than general purpose repair garages.

Crate engines may be either brand new, or substantially rebuilt. If rebuilt, they will have been rebuilt to an extent such that they are considered to be of equal quality, reliability and expected lifetime as a new engine.


Open Wheel Modifieds are a common type of application for crate engines

Crate engines are well suited in many different vehicle platforms. Engines are often used in the following applications:


Crate engines are often seen as an economical choice no matter what the application is. In general automobile engine replacement, a crate engine is often very competitively priced when compared to the cost of a full rebuild of a faulty engine. It is also quicker to ship from stock than to wait an equal time for parts, then to begin a rebuild. Installers often opt for the crate engine because of the cost and ease of replacement. Crate engines are typically a bolt in replacement with no internal work being performed to the engine compared to a complete overhaul that requires internal part replacement by trained mechanics. Hot Rod and other custom street applications also often choose a crate engine because of the higher value when compared to a custom built engine.

In motorsports, the crate engine option has become very popular for various reasons. Crate engines are often a more affordable option when compared to a purpose-built race engine so budget racers often go this route. The crate engine also has developed a large fan base in many different racing series because of the competitive racing. As all racers in the field have identical engines, the races are won by driver's talent and chassis setup, and not the amount of horsepower a team can afford to build into their engine.


  • Chevrolet Performance CT 350/350 Circle Track Crate Engine[3]
  • Ford Performance 347 Cubic Inches 415 HP Sealed Racing Engine[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hadfield, C. (2013). Today's Technician: Automotive Engine Repair & Rebuilding, Classroom Manual and Shop Manual, Spiral bound Version. MindTap Course List Series. Cengage Learning. p. 185. ISBN 978-1-133-60251-4. Retrieved 16 June 2019. A crate engine is a new or remanufactured engine that is built with fresh components, such as bearings, rings, and lifters. You can purchase crate engines with or without cylinder heads. When an engine is mounted perpendicular to the ...
  2. ^ Baechtel, J. (2014). Chevy Big-Block Engine Parts Interchange: The Ultimate Guide to Sourcing and Selecting Compatible Factory Parts. S-A design. CarTech, Incorporated. p. 20–26. ISBN 978-1-61325-050-1. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  3. ^ "CT 350 Circle Track Crate Engine". Chevrolet. 20 May 2018. Archived from the original on 20 May 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ Parts, Ford Performance (29 December 2017). "347 CUBIC INCH 415 HP SEALED RACING ENGINE". Ford Performance Parts. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)