Crate Engines: When You Need to Replace Your Engine

By DriverSide Staff
Ask any classic car enthusiast, restoring an old car is not cheap or easy. Not only are there issues with rust, paint and aging components, but just getting it to start can be a challenge. While certain parts can be rebuilt, when it comes to an engine, many people choose to simply rip out the old and put in the new. 
 
Swapping out an engine requires purchasing a replacement engine, and that’s when crate engines come into play. These engines are made in a number of ways, pieced together from used parts, salvaged from a wreck or built new, and they are available in a range of power outputs, from original factory specification to high output, high performance variations for those looking for a little more punch. All come packaged in a protective wooden crate – hence the name ‘crate engine’ – and are ready for installation upon arrival. 
 
Crate engines aren’t just useful for classic car owners; improper maintenance, manufacturer error or other unforeseen circumstances can cause newer car engines to expire before their time. If this is the case, it may make economic sense to replace the engine. Like their classic counterparts, these new OEM replacement engines are shipped from the factory, ready for installation. 
 
Depending on the crate engine’s condition, prices can range from $1,500 to $3,500 – plus the cost of shipping – and include a warranty from one to three years or up to a certain mileage, though some warranties can be made void if the engine is installed improperly.


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