Sep 14 , 2023
There are a million cars for sale online, at places like eBay or Craigslist, often for a song and dance and not a lot of money. We’ve all seen them and fantasized about what we’d scheme for that oddball buy that’s available for mere pennies. "The Gremlin would look fantastic with a Hemi under the hood" has crawled through our minds at several points and is still a fixture in the noggin. But what if you score one of these rides and it gets to the house needing everything, like an engine/transmission combination? Even if you spend good money on a car at an auction, like at a police auction, or say you stepped up to Barrett-Jackson or Mecum-level stuff, the big league stuff sometimes needs hard parts, like an engine. Unless you have a stack of engines lying around, the best bet is to go with a crate engine from a reputable shop, like Smeding Performance.
If you ended up with an old Chevy, Smeding has big block, small block, and LS engines available in either long-block or short-block styles. If you’re unfamiliar with those, a short-block does not include cylinder heads or an intake manifold, as well as some other parts, allowing you to get the basic rotating assembly and then outfit it with your choice of heads, intake, induction, etc. This means you can "farm out" the hard part of rebuilding the engine and have a hand in the cool stuff that gets all the attention and delivers much of the performance. A short block gets you a professionally built engine (which is the hard part for many people), to which you add the sexy bits!