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The Best Crate Engines 2021

Best Crate Engines

Replacing a faulty engine entirely with using a suitable crate engine is often the most cost effective repair. Crate engines are shipped on a crate and are designed to be a replacement to old engines or used for off road vehicles or hot rods.

The best crate engine is the Genuine GM 10067353, which is a 350 cubic inch block with a base horsepower of 195 that can be increased to 260 with tuning.

Crate engines are either completely brand new or remanufactured using OEM factory components. Regardless of the type of engine you purchase, you will need to be able to install it yourself using an engine hoist or alternatively have it installed professionally.

Crate Engines Comparison

Crate EnginesCubic InchHorsepower
Genuine GM 10067353350190/260
Genuine GM 19210007350330
PROFessional Powertrain VC42350210
PROFessional Powertrain DFDV330210
GM LS3376525
Genuine GM 12499529350290

Most manufacturers of crate engines will ship the engine block without any components attached. Therefore you will need to keep the older engines components and wiring or purchase them new to be able to install the engine. Once you received the engine and installed it, you will then need all the fluids along with spark plugs to be installed.

Below is a list of the best crate engines that are suitable for a range of vehicles and are shipped on crates ready to be installed.

The Best Crate Engines

1. Genuine GM 10067353 350 Crate Engine

The GM 10067353 is one of the most popular crate engines on the market and for good reason. It’s an entry level performance motor that is ideal for installing in older cars, trucks and even street rods that require a replacement.

The brand state the engine has a base horsepower rating of 195 but is capable of producing up to 260 depending upon the intake and injection setup.

Other features of the GM 10067353 include:

  • 8:5:1 compression
  • 350 cubic inch
  • Base horsepower of 195
  • 4 bolt main and 2 piece rear main seals
  • Drilled for both left or right hand dipsticks
  • .383 inch intake lift and .401 inch exhaust lift
  • Painted valve covers, oil pans and timing covers

GM have gone to great lengths to further improve this crate engine such as the painted components and convenience of the left or right hand dipsticks.

Compared to other crate engines, the GM (10067353) isn’t the most powerful but it’s designed to be an excellent all-rounder. Depending upon how you wish the engine to perform, it can be easily tuned up to 260 horsepower to best suit your requirements.

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2. Genuine GM 19210007 350 Crate Motor

Another GM Performance Parts crate motor is the 19210007 model, which has been designed for pre-1976 street vehicles or any off-road vehicles. A distinct feature of this small block crate engine is the iron vortec cylinder heads, which look great.

In terms of the performance, the brand states that it produces 330 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 380 ft-lb or torque at 3,800 RPM.

Other features of the Genuine GM 19210007 include:

  • Fuel pump pressure is pre-set
  • 350 cubic inch with 9:1:1 compression
  • Chrome valve and front timing covers
  • Not suitable for marine use
  • Powered metal connecting rods
  • Dished cast aluminum pistons
  • Standard Morse link timing chains
  • Stamped steel self-aligning rocker arms

The iron vortec cylinder heads make this a very desirable crate engine that works for numerous street cars pre 1976. Although you will need to polish the chrome regularly, it’s by far the most aesthetically pleasing option compared to other crate engines.

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3. PROFessional Powertrain VC42 Engine

The PROFessional Powertrain VC42 is a 350 crate engine that is remanufactured to the highest of standards with OEM components. Each of the crate engines also come with an installation gasket set and oil pump to ensure smooth fitting of the engine.

The brand state that it’s been put together using the most technically advanced methods. These include using CNC machining and DC torque equipment for the best results.

Other features of the PROFessional Powertrain VC42 include:

  • Remanufactured using OEM components
  • Installation gasket set and oil pump included
  • Rated at 210 horsepower
  • Computer controlled tested
  • Verified by quality control personnel
  • Anodized piston heads
  • Federal Mogul aluminum bearings

As with all PROFessional crate engines, this VC42 model meets or exceeds OE specifications under ISO 9001:2000. For peace of mind, the brand also provide a number of warranties that are based upon each component of the engine.

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4. PROFessional Powertrain DFDV Ford Crate Engine

Another crate engine produced by the PROFessional Powertrain brand is the DFDV model, which is a complete long block. It’s a remanufactured motor that is certified under the strictest of ISO and Gold Seal quality standards.

The predecessor to the DFDV model was the DFDN but this is the new and improved engine with a far superior oil pump and timing system.

Other features of the PROFessional Powertrain DFDV include:

  • Remanufactured using OEM components
  • Includes a 5 year unlimited mile warranty
  • 3-angle valve seats
  • Crankshafts are ground on stroke
  • 100% linear vertical honed cylinder blocks

Overall, it’s an excellent replacement engine for a wide range of Ford vehicles in the USA. The PROFessional Powertrain DFDV combines performance, reliability and value for money into a single package that won’t disappoint.

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5. GM Performance LS3 Crate Engine

For those that are looking for performance, you may have heard of the term “LS swap“. These are highly desirable crate engines that can be installed to pre-1976 street vehicles or any off-road vehicle for an instant boost in performance.

In terms of the performance of this LS3 crate engine, it’s able to output a huge 525 horsepower and even more with fine tuning.

Other features of the GM Performance LS3 include:

  • 376 cubic inch (6.2 liter) V8 displacement
  • Cast aluminum block
  • Powdered metal pistons
  • Doesn’t contain any electronics
  • Not suitable for marine applications
  • Produces up to 525 horsepower

LS crate engines are by far the most desirable for many and the best for those requiring performance. The GM Performance LS3 does come with a premium price tag but it’s certainly a worthwhile investment that will put a smile on your face.

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6. Genuine GM 12499529 Economy Crate Engines

Replacing an older engine can be an expensive repair but unlike other crate engines, the 12499529 is an affordable option. It’s designed for pre-1976 street vehicles or any off-road vehicles and provides plenty of power when you consider the low cost of the engine.

Although it’s designed to be affordable, it’s still a powerful engine with 290 horsepower and 332 ft-lb of torque from the small block V8.

Other features of the Genuine GM 12499529 include:

  • 350 cubic inch small block V8
  • Designed for an automatic transmission
  • 290 HP at 5,100 RPM
  • 326 ft-lb of torque at 3,750 RPM
  • 4 bolt main bearing block
  • Aluminum pistons
  • Hydraulic camshaft
  • Cast iron cylinder heads

Overall, the Genuine GM 12499529 is one of the best crate engines for the money that is built to high standards. It’s a cheap power upgrade that is relatively easy to switch with your old engine block.

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Crate engines are popular among hot rod, off road and classic car owners and they provide many benefits. From a silky smooth running motor to an instant increase in performance when compared to the older engine previously installed.

Depending upon your requirements, you have a wide range of crate engines available to suit your requirements. If you require performance, the LS crate engines are the best option whereas there are plenty of economy engines available for those looking for a simple replacement.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always likes to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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