This crate engine is hand-assembled in its own special facility, presumably so as to not risk contamination by one of those plebian engines we saw earlier. Gone are the days of solid lifters and cast-iron heads this beast combines an LSX cast-iron block, LS7/Z06 aluminum heads, forged steel crank and rods, forged aluminum pistons, hydraulic roller cams, and 10.2:1 compression.
That’s right, in the GM Performance Catalog of crate engines an 8-liter V8 is considered “small”. With max revs set at just 4500rpm, the Vortec 488 is a mill designed not to power the car you’re racing, but the truck you’re hauling it with. With 375 horsepower and 475 lb-feet of torque on tap at only 3200rpm, the 488 can tow that high-dollar enclosed trailer without breaking a sweat. Or it could pull your boat, your cattle, your neighbor’s house, or the grandstands at your local dragstrip. You get the idea.
In fact, at highway speeds, the Grand Caravan is one of the noisiest used minivans around. The engine and transmission noise in the cabin can drive you insane if you ride long enough. When you throw in the wind and road noise that join the cacophony, you can see why this used minivan should never leave town.
Remember those COPO Camaros of the 1960s we talked about earlier? The baddest of the bad, the stuff of bedroom posters and “I swear I saw one” stories, the kind of car the uber-rich still build replicas of today? Well in 2011 Chevrolet modified a modern Camaro in a COPO sort of way and took it to SEMA, and the response was overwhelming. So they built it for real. And at its heart, you could have this: a 5.7-liter supercharged 350 crate engine dubbed the COPO 350.
While these aren’t necessarily Jeep mods, they should be checked and double checked when you’re putting in work. No matter how careful of a driver you are, there are likely going to be times when you get yourself into a bind. Even if it never happens to you, others who you come across or go adventuring with may need help.
With bigger tires and heavier rims on your list of Jeep mods, the stock gear ratio may not be enough to get you where you want to go. This is where changing the gear ratio comes in handy and reduces unreasonable stress on the engine. If the wheels are too tall for the stock gear ratio, there will be a noticeable power drop off from its stock build.
Tires are arguably the most important part of the Jeep mods you’ll want to consider before going off-road. If they’re too small, they make the vehicle look silly and performance just won’t be there. If they are too large, there will be clearance issues on flat surfaces as well as rubbing while turning.
This baby has aluminum heads and pistons, titanium valves, forged rods, and even an aluminum block, for God’s sake. That’s real supercar stuff, but it runs on pump gas. And might I remind you it comes with a warranty. What more do you want?