Crate / Turn Key Engine with good Warrantee? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 03, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone know of a company that sells a turn key / crate engine with a good warrantee? I am looking for about 400 hp and to drop this in my 68 Camaro. I found a few companies that offer a 2 month warrantee, but I am looking for someone willing to stand behind their product a bit longer. Thanks, Ralph.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 03, 05:01 PM
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Check out this site,

http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/perform...s/frameset.cfm

then click on "Crate Engines", then start scrolling down, and you'll see all the various motors available from GM. I'm not exactly sure what the warranty is like, but I think it's a fairly nice one.

Good luck....
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 03, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks 1Fast. The prices look pretty good. 3 engines appeal to me at first glace. I have got tons of questions below, so if anyone has any useful information that you think I should know about these, I would appreciate a post back.

The Ram Jet 350; Cost is about 4,600. I like the Ram Jet because it seems that it is all ready to bolt on. They claim that "once installed in the vehicle, a user needs only to supply 12V power and fuel...", I assume this means the starter and pulleys and all odds and ends are included - who knows? If so, it looks like not to many extra costs involved. Although the fuel injection should be great, I am not sure if the power level will be enough. It also may not have the muscle car rumble. Plus, will need to ad a fuel pump/filter which will cost a few more hundred.

The Fast Burn 385 cost is about $4,000 and is closer to the HP level I am looking for, but not enough of a jump to swith from the cost effective Ram Jet Fuel Injection. But, It seems that you can add a hot cam and 1.6 rockers to get this up to 425hp! Now that sounds good, only issue is that I am not sure if the engine can be ordered with the upgrade, of if I have to install it myself. I would prefer if it could be ordered that way becasue the whole idea of buying the crate is so that I dont have to do the assembling myself... Also, note sure if the 385 version comes fully assembled (ie Distributor, etc). After adding the Carb, Starter, Hot Cam, 1.6 rockers, etc, you are probably looking at onther $1,000 at least bringing the total to over $5,000. Ouch!

The ZZ4 is advertised at 355hp and cost about 3,500. Not bad cost but short on the HP. But, it looks like you can customize this one also with the Hot CAM and 1.6 Rockers. Not sure what this will do to the HP (maybe 390?). Like the one above, need to add another $1000 to bring it up to $4,500. I am not sure if this can be ordered with the upgrade or needs to be assebled with by the customer.

Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

Ralph's 1968 Camaro
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 03, 04:51 PM
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rallybas68, I'll try answering some of your questions here:

The Ram Jet 350;

I think the Ram Jet looks like a neat setup, but I really don't know much about it and haven't spoken to anyone that has bought and installed this setup, but I'm sure someone on this site has. You might do a search for it and if you find someone that has bought one, email them and ask some questions about it. Don't be afraid to ask them any questions, because this is a pretty expensive investment and you want to make sure your not buying something that you won't be happy with.

Fastburn 385

Chevrolet did sell the fastburn 385 with the "hotcam" kit already installed. They called it the ZZ430 and only offered it for a limited time and supply was limited. It was rated at 430 HP and 430 Ft-lbs of torque. You can buy a ZZ430 "clone" from Sallee Chevrolet. Check out http://www.sallee-chevrolet.com/, they should have more indepth information about each of the engines. I think you'll be able to find an itemized list of each component number that comes with each crate engine. That way you can determine exactly what it comes with. I think you can buy most of these crate engines from Sallee with the "hotcam" kit installed by Sallee. Not sure what the cost is, but I'm sure you can find that out after spending some time on their site. They have a lot of content on their site, so you can spend a while there. I should have given you their website info earlier, but they seem to be a little more expensive then gmpartsdirect.com.

ZZ4 355hp

This engine seems to be one of the best deals and is very similar to the Fastburn, except it's heads are a little different and are not of the "fastburn" design. Also, the 355 ZZ4 has more torque than the fastburn so performance wise, it may be a wash.

One thing to note is that these engines come with a hydraulic roller camshaft. The "hotcam" is also a hydraulic roller. Although the "hotcam" greatly ups the horsepower it still has a pretty smooth idle and is probably not the muscle car idle that your looking for. If you want the performance better than or equal to the hydraulic roller but the idle characteristics of a muscle car, you should go with a solid flat tappet cam. Seems like a lot of guys are going this route now days.

I don't know if you noticed this engine on the gmpartsdirect.com site, but I think it may be your best bet. It's the HT383. If you're going to buy an engine then immediately fool around with swapping out the camshaft, you might want to consider the HT383 ($3600). The site makes it sound like this engine is only for a truck, but this is primarily due to the camshaft that it comes with. You can swap out its "truck" cam with the "hotcam" or any cam of your choice and have a screaming 383. If I was going to buy a crate engine, I would opt for it. The only downside is that it doesn't come with aluminum heads, but that's something you could always add down the road, if it doesn't run good enough already. It does come with the famous Vortec heads, which I hear a lot of guys talking good things about. Another thing you could do is, buy the crate engine and sell the Vortec heads and put the money on a set of aluminum heads. You should be able to get around $500 for the vortecs, if you sell them as brand new.

Here's an interesting article about beefing up the HT383 : http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/te...841/index.html

If you're not really wanting to tinker with swapping engine components, then your best bet would be to buy one customized from Sallee Chevrolet that way it's exactly how you want it and don't have to fool with it.


Hope this helps....

[ 03-10-2003, 04:23 AM: Message edited by: 1FASTZ ]

Marty Lake
1969 Z/28 fathom green X77
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 03, 07:12 AM
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may also check out http://www.sdpc2000.com/default.htm

i'm pretty sure they have "hot cammed" crate engines.

I also heard that gm's engines have warranties, but if you go changing cams and things, it will void the warranties.

Personally, i would go with the 383. Leave it alone for 3 years (until the warranty runs out) and it will give you good power and great torque. Then when the warranty runs out, a little massaging and it will be a monster.

I've also heard that the RamJet350 runs in open loop, and is essentially tuned for perfomance only...so it won't have the greatest fuel economy since it's wanting to run at something like 12.1 A/F ratio all the time. Once again, just something I've heard.

Hope this helps.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 03, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Guys.

I started doing some research on this site, but in the process of reading, I noticed that a few people have some horror stories about the crate engines they bought. One guy claims zero compression maybe due to bad rings, another guy mentions that his came with pistons insalled backwards! I dont know about you, but that makes me take a step back. That's the thing, these engine are a good value, but a lot of money. I dont want to spend 4 or 5 thousand dollars and end up with an engine that has pistons installed backwards, and have to fix it myself. Man, I feel bad for those guys who ran into that problem.

There are companies out there that offer turn key engines with warrantees. I am kind of leaning toward them only becuase of the issue mentioned above. I ran across a few that offer warrantees and narrowed down to a few that interested me. Did anyone here have any experience with them: "The Engine Factory" - 2 month full warrantee, "Jon Barrett Hot Rod Engines" - 1 year Warrantee!, Golen Engine Service - Lifetime labor warrantee, and Performance Unlimited - 3 month. By the way, the prices for these turn key engines based on my HP specs all fall at about 5,000. Not bad at all...

In any regard, for those interested, I did some research on the engines mentioned in the prior posts... Did a search on the Ram Jet and found a few articles. Sounds like it is pretty much of a bolt on, but limited regaring tuning it. The Salle Site and the CHP tech aritle was real good - Thanks. I dont think the "truck" engine is for me, only because the HP is kind of low for the money, but killer torque! The Salle Site mentions that the ZZ350 can be customized with various options, such as the hot cam and 1.6 for not to much extra $ to boost HP up to 390HP. That seems like a real good option. The ZZ430 seems to be priced at over 6,000, too much for me. The site is kind of hard to negotiate because you have to jump back and fourth to get a price, so I might have some of my numbers screwed up. I need to go back and look at it close if I decide to go with them. I also cant find any warrantee info on this site, so not sure what the deal is on it. Thanks for the info. I know this was a lot to read, so comments on any of the above would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Ralph's 1968 Camaro
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 03, 06:14 PM
 
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I think that the RamJet is a lot more complicated than what we have covered so far. With any fuel injected car you will need to modify the tank or buy one pre-fabricated with an internal sump and baffled. You cannot modify the motor in any way since it is pre-calibrated from the factory and it also, is not a drop in and go type deal. Do a search on the topic b/c I remember posting some info for someone earlier this year. I picked up the 350HO and love it. Very buildable (once the warranty runs out) and the HP/Torque ratings are good enough for me. Plus you can't beat $2K for that kind of power and reliability. Just my .02
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 03, 04:13 AM
 
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Here is another site you may want to try. You can build the engine you want and get dyno info on it. Gives you a price quote too.
http://www.blueprintengines.com/
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 03, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Judd, I was not aware that you can not modify the ram jet. Something worth thinking about for sure. By the way, my tank already has a sump installed. I had this done when I replaced the tank just in case I ever wanted to switch to fuel injection. I would however still need to plumb the lines and get myself a good electric pump and filter and mount it in a good place. But the sump in the tank makes it just a bit easier if I wanted to go this route. Oh, Ken68, I checked out the "build you own" website. Pretty good. Seems a bit pricy, but pretty cool that you can choose what you want. The internet is real slow today, so I will check it out some more later on to see if I can get a combo that is in my price. Thanks.

Ralph's 1968 Camaro
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