CK5 Network
Become a member of the largest online community for Chevy K5 Blazer, Suburban and C/K series truck owners!

Crate engines

thatK30guy

1 ton status
Premium Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Posts
32,485
Reaction score
454
Location
.
Looking at GM crate engines for a project and wanted to ask for opinions if they're worth it or not. I've been hearing both sides that they're junk and they're good. I want and need to hear more so tell me your experience or what you've heard.

Possible engines of interest are the Connect & Cruise packages with the 4L85E tranny and I'm looking at the 502 and 572 as these are pretty much all that's offered along with the 427 of which I have no interest in.

Let's hear it! :ears:
 

Bent77

lil meanie
Staff member
Moderator
GMOTM Winner
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Posts
36,020
Reaction score
50,790
Location
NoCo
6 or 8 crate engines from GM, never had an issue. @Tnsejed recently purchased one also
 

Fastereddie

Sorry if I offended you. Not.
Premium Member
GMOTM Winner
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Posts
5,252
Solutions
1
Reaction score
10,081
Location
Henderson Nevada
I bought a gm 350 longblock years ago for my ‘89 c2500. I cammed it and beehive springs before I even installed it. It ran great and still was when I sold it.
 

1-ton

1/2 ton status
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2004
Posts
4,796
Reaction score
1,888
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
Your talking big money for "Connect & Cruise" GM Performance stuff. GM Perfomance crate engines are the best money can buy next to a complete Dart or Brodex type crate enfgine. Most of the opinions you seem to be refering as "junk" are probably for cheap GM Goodwrench Crate engines made in Mexico.
 

thatK30guy

1 ton status
Premium Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Posts
32,485
Reaction score
454
Location
.
Your talking big money for "Connect & Cruise" GM Performance stuff. GM Perfomance crate engines are the best money can buy next to a complete Dart or Brodex type crate enfgine. Most of the opinions you seem to be refering as "junk" are probably for cheap GM Goodwrench Crate engines made in Mexico.
I don't mind paying $23K for the C&C 572/4L85E but I do want to make sure they will last. Being that they're brand new and have a warranty is one of the biggest factors why I'm pursuing this.
 

1-ton

1/2 ton status
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2004
Posts
4,796
Reaction score
1,888
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
I don't mind paying $23K for the C&C 572/4L85E but I do want to make sure they will last. Being that they're brand new and have a warranty is one of the biggest factors why I'm pursuing this.
One of the caveats to GM engine warranties is that they have to be installed by some kind of certified mechanic. When I installed my cheap GM Goodwrench crate engine into my square body I did it myself (screw what the warranty says). I do not trust any mechanic, no matter how good they may be, to not screw it up. Many mechanics do not get that much oportunity to do a complete engine R&R during their career, thus they screw it up by doing things like starting and running the engine with no oil pressure, or not getting the torque converter in all the way, and burning up the trans. Mechanics will try to hide the fact they burned your sh!t up by getting it running good enough to drive it out the door, and then claim no responsabilty for it dying down the road a few miles.
 

ZooMad75

#crawlabago
Premium Member
GMOTM Winner
Joined
Apr 5, 2003
Posts
6,756
Reaction score
13,593
Location
Pueblo, CO
We don't sell many of them here at the dealership I work at. We sold @Bent77 his. Outside of a wonky oil pump I warrantied for him no issues.
 

thatK30guy

1 ton status
Premium Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Posts
32,485
Reaction score
454
Location
.
One of the caveats to GM engine warranties is that they have to be installed by some kind of certified mechanic. When I installed my cheap GM Goodwrench crate engine into my square body I did it myself (screw what the warranty says). I do not trust any mechanic, no matter how good they may be, to not screw it up. Many mechanics do not get that much oportunity to do a complete engine R&R during their career, thus they screw it up by doing things like starting and running the engine with no oil pressure, or not getting the torque converter in all the way, and burning up the trans. Mechanics will try to hide the fact they burned your sh!t up by getting it running good enough to drive it out the door, and then claim no responsabilty for it dying down the road a few miles.
I know several mechanics who could step up to the plate to help with the install but would they be good enough to verify and possibly sign a notarized statement? Or would I have to take it to an authorized dealership to get installed? How can I get the warranty and do it myself because I'm the type that believes "if you want it done right, do it yourself".
 

thatK30guy

1 ton status
Premium Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Posts
32,485
Reaction score
454
Location
.
We don't sell many of them here at the dealership I work at. We sold @Bent77 his. Outside of a wonky oil pump I warrantied for him no issues.
Want to sell me a C&C combo and honor the warranty? I'm in central Kansas and can make a trip to CO anytime.
 

TJ1978

I have MANY questions
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Posts
2,929
Reaction score
2,991
Location
East Valley, Arizona

ZooMad75

#crawlabago
Premium Member
GMOTM Winner
Joined
Apr 5, 2003
Posts
6,756
Reaction score
13,593
Location
Pueblo, CO
Want to sell me a C&C combo and honor the warranty? I'm in central Kansas and can make a trip to CO anytime.
Honestly, we don't sell enough to get the "buy in bulk" pricing like Summit, Jegs or Scoggin-Dickey does. You are more likely to get a better price through any one of the three than I can get. As far as the warranty is concerned here's the statement from GMPP directly:
Parts and labor warranty when installed by a GM Dealer or qualified installing independent Service Center (ISC) or when sold over the counter and REPAIRED by a GM Dealer or qualifying ISC. Parts only when consumer repaired or installed in non-highway application. Coverage limited to defects in material and/or workmanship of the specific part only. Warranty valid when all required components are installed on the same vehicle and purchased on one invoice.

What it means in English is the Parts and Labor warranty can be used if it was sold over the counter but brought back to a GM dealer or qualifying independent repair facility. If you are doing the repairing they will warranty the parts only. Which was pretty much what I did for Mark when the oil pump had an issue. I got another pump and brought it to him. Any dealer can do that if you provide the receipt for the purchase of the engine. Mark's local dealer wasn't very cooperative and less aware of what they can/can't do than I am.
 

thatK30guy

1 ton status
Premium Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Posts
32,485
Reaction score
454
Location
.

jkroberts

Roberts Custom Trucks
Vendor
Joined
Oct 30, 2012
Posts
257
Reaction score
502
Location
Montclair CA
Nice info on WCE but seems like they only offer SBC's. I'm after big cubes.
I've done a ton of WCE. Great people to work with and good warranty. They are always expanding thier product line. Might be worth a call to see if they have any plans for BBC stuff?
 

Big Ray

1 ton status
Premium Member
Joined
May 17, 2009
Posts
14,820
Reaction score
6,629
Location
Eastern NC
There was a guy on here that bought a 572. Took it apart, found some issues. Rebuilt it and had a badass tow vehicle for his big ass boat. As I recall his Bride got very ill and he wound up selling it all.

I think his handle was Thunderusone...?

Edit: yeah, this is it. Enjoy!


 
Last edited:

thatK30guy

1 ton status
Premium Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Posts
32,485
Reaction score
454
Location
.
Got a question to ask what you guys have experienced or heard about the Vortec systems on the 454's. I have a complete '99 BBC Vortec minus the crankshaft and have thought about getting a stroker kit for it but I'd only be interested in doing so if I can retain the big old Vortect intake, etc. Is there anything that can be done to modify the intake and injection to make it perform more and better than stock due to a larger bore and stroke? I could see building this motor up to 496 cubes but in order to retain the fuel injection what else needs done besides programming the computer?
 

1-ton

1/2 ton status
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2004
Posts
4,796
Reaction score
1,888
Location
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Vortec big-block is great. The only problem is stock cast iron Vortec heads. The deck thickness of GM cast iron heads is about 1/4-inch, and aftermarket heads are about 1/2-inch thick. Stock cast iron heads crack after a couple of hundred thousand miles. You don't even have to over heat them to crack. They can crack just from old age metal fatuige. As far as feeding a TBI engine more fuel you can take a stock TBI, and put an adjustable fuel pressure regulator to increase fuel pressure. This will increase the TBI ability to pump more fuel per-hour by a small amount, which should be enough for a mild performance build. Adding a higher pressure fuel pump helps as well.

My 1991 V3500 crew cab TBI truck is running a TBI modified, and bored out 1/8 of an inch by Vic Morse machine shop with an adjustable fuel pressure regulator, and a set of TPI Corvette/SS Camaro 60-psi max pressure fuel pumps. I have my fuel pressure set at 12-PSI. After doing some data logging with TunerPro this seems to be where my engine is happiest. My TBI was at only 9-1/2 PSI with the stock pressure regulator, and the stock max 12-PSI pumps before I modified my TBI system.
full
 
Last edited:

ZooMad75

#crawlabago
Premium Member
GMOTM Winner
Joined
Apr 5, 2003
Posts
6,756
Reaction score
13,593
Location
Pueblo, CO
I'm not aware of the '96 and up Vortec port injected big block heads being prone to cracks. The small block Vortec heads yes. But not the BBC units.

Also the Vortec injection system should be capable of feeding more cubic inches. Bigger injectors and swapping to an 0411 ecm from the LS engines would allow easier tuning.

Lawrence Tolman has a pretty good YouTube channel that goes through modifying a L29 BBC for more performance and tunability. The swap to the newer ecm is pretty straightforward if you can stay focused on repining the ecm connectors. You might recognize the guy from truck tech on tv.
 
Top Bottom