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.
In addition to their beauty, they were pretty powerful for their day. In 1954, Ford dropped in an overhead valve V-8 that put out 130 horsepower. By 1956, it was up to almost 180. In addition, 1953 was the first year that an automatic transmission was put into a Ford pickup.
GM has been producing small-block and big-block engines for decades. Throw a few extra parts on one of these bad boys and you’ll be burning tires in no time. Before we talk about the best GM crate engines, let’s start by answering a few basic questions. Ooh, shiny. (source)
At 9.37 liters, the ZZ572 is the mac daddy of all big block engines. It’s nearly a 1-liter EcoBoost larger than any engine ever fitted to a production vehicle (the 8.4-liter V10 in the dearly departed Dodge Viper). Naturally, that means it’s got loads of power 727 horsepower and 680 torques but those aren’t the most impressive specs.
We will never understand why this isn’t always a default option on all new vehicles capable of off-road driving. There are times when you will need slow and steady power coming from both wheels on each axle. A limited slip differential will keep some of the single side spin down but a full locker is much better in terms of 4×4 Jeep mods. Locking both wheels to spin in unison is an easier way to get out of sticky situations. When combined with the use of a properly anchored winch, there’s almost nowhere you can’t go.
The Nissan Quest does have the saving grace of being equipped with a fuel efficient engine for the class. The most recent models are all powered by a 3.5L V6 that is capable of 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque while delivering 22 mpg on the highway.
Enter the LT4 crate engine. Power comes on fast: a 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger spins at 20,000 rpm to force 9 pounds of boost into this 6.2-liter engine. That results in the same 650 horsepower and 650 torques you’ll find in the Z06 that’s sitting over at your local dealership, but for a fraction of the price.
We do have to point out that the Sedona offers less cargo space than several of the used minivans on the list and does not offer removable second-row seating on any trim level. Those shortcomings are overcome in our minds by the generous warranty, low sticker price, and long-term durability of the Kia Sedona.
This is one of the best old Ford trucks as far as we are concerned, but they can be hard to come by. Restored versions tend to be pricey but it’s a great choice if you can get ahold of one.
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?
The Stow ‘n Go seating is standard equipment in the Town & Country and there are more creature comfort options available than you will find in the Dodge Grand caravan. For buyers who really want to stick with a Dodge or Chrysler product, the Town & Country is a better offering than the Dodge. It still falls short of used minivans built by Kia, Toyota, and Honda.
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.
The trouble with looking for used minivans; well, any sort of used vehicle, is that you have to do a ton of research to make sure you are getting the best possible buy. Not the best buy in the financial sense of the word, but in the quality of the vehicle that you are buying. That is why we decided to put together a list of the worst used minivans available. We want our readers to have the best information possible when spending a lot of their hard earned cash.