What's The Difference Between A Bad Ass Engine And Other "Crate Motors"?
First and foremost; we do NOT have, offer or build generic "crate motors"! EVERY engine we build is CUSTOM BUILT for each customer's speciific needs and application, whether it's an old stock car, a street cruiser, a street racer, a drag car, a road racer, a mud bogger, a boat, a 4 x 4, a hill climber, etc. EVERY engine has a different need, which means every engine will have different internal components, machnining specs, etc. Generic "crate motors" that you see advertised in magazines, or by other builders who "pre-build" engines in bulk at discount prices, are just that, GENERIC. There is no "one" good engine for all uses or we'd be building it!
Second, and every bit as important; YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Just because some other engine builder advertises a "450 HP" engine does NOT mean it is built with any components that will stand-up to abuse, or even up to the power the engine itself is making, not to mention 9 times out of 10 the magazine ad engines bullshit you on how much power their engine makes or "dynod" at. Dyno's DO lie. and contrary to what many believe, you can make a dyno read anything you want. We don't play those games... we don't need to.
Let's look at what appears to be a good quality, nicely priced engine. You'll see key words like;
steel crank, aluminum pistons, or hypereutectic pistons, moly rings, clevite bearings, roller valve train, etc, etc.
Now lets look at reality and expose the key word BS for what it is. Just because they say it has a "steel crank" does NOT mean it is a FORGED steel crank, nor does it mean it is a GOOD QUALITY forged steel crank. Many cranks, like the Scat 9000's are CAST steel, not forged. There is a 4 times difference in price and strength between a Scat 9000 CAST steel crank and a 4340 forged steel crank!
ALL pistons are aluminum! Key words like "Hypereutectic", etc are just words to make you THINK you are getting really strong pistons wjhebn in fact, you are getting just a plain old cast aluminum piston. Cast pistons are BRITTLE and WILL brrak under harsh conditions and/or heavy loads. Light weight forged pistons cost 3 or 4 times more than any cast pistons cost. Cast pistons are notorious for ripping the wrist pins out of them or busting off the area above the top ring because they can't handle the pressure and loads of REAL power.
Just because they say "new bearings", or even "Clevite bearings" does NOT mean they are the super heavy duty "H Series" bearings. A regular set of Clevite P series bearings only costs about $60 a set. H series bearings are more than twice that! You MUST have H series bearings if you are running a hard forged steel crank and/or are going to be putting your engine through some abuse.
They'll boast about having "moly rings". There is a huge difference in price and quality between "moly rings" and Plasma Moly / Iron Ductile rings. A standard set of Hastings moly rings only costs about $40, where a set of plasma moly / iron ductile rings can easily cost $130 - $175 a set.
"Roller cam" or "Roller valve train". There is a HUGE difference in cost and performance between the factory roller cams and lifters and high performance / aftermarket roller cams and lightweight roller lifters. A stock roller cam and lifter assembly only costs a couple of hundred dollars. The REAL stuff like what we use in EVERY one of our engines, the cam alone can EASILY cost $375 - $400, and the lifters alone cost anywhere from $350 a set to well over $600 a set!
Many times you'll see things like "Heavy beam GM rods". Uh, there's no such thing! ALL GM rods are pretty much the same for the early rods, and for the later model "powdered metal" rods (which by the way are VERY brittle. If they don't say you are getting 4340 rods, either I beam, or H beam, then you're getting nothing more than glorified stock rods.
Do they port match their intake manifold to match the heads? Do they tear down the distributor and re-curve it for optimum performance? There are LOTS of things that we do that most other engine builders don't, and it shows in the end performance.
The list goes on and on and on with the things they TRY to dupe you with as "great quality" to get your money, when in fact, it is just a bunch of mediocre crap at best. 90% othe time you WON'T see things like ARP bolts, name brands like Crane, Comp Cams, Trick Flow, Scat. Lunati, AFR, Edelbrock, etc. They'll have Chinese or Taiwan rocker arms, and push rods that are NOT "chrome moly". Valve springs from who knows where? They don't have billet double roller timing assemblies from Crane, Comp, Cloyes, etc. The list goes on and on and on for why there are VAST differences between a custom built / truly BAD ASS engine, and one of those bargain priced, generic magazine ad engines.
The whole point here is what you THINK you are getting with those "bargain priced", generic "crate engines" and what a REAL engine comes with are two entirely different things! The problem is; most people only look at the price and how much power it is claimed to make, and maybe a few key words that dupes guys that don't really know into buying it, but hey, I guess the fun of it is our engines not only out last those crappy generic engines, they also blow their stinkin' doors off, year after year after year. Our reputation and name speaks for itself, and as always... Ya get what ya pay for!