A short block is the lower part of a replacement engine. A short block includes the part of an engine from the oil pan up to the head gasket. If you are replacing your car's engine, a short block can be a good investment that is much less expensive than a long block option. However, before you purchase a short block engine, there are a few things to consider.
Requires Engine Head Cylinders and Gaskets
Although a short block is much less expensive than a long block, it is not complete and will require that you have compatible head gaskets and engine head cylinders. Depending on the price you pay for the head cylinders, a long block engine may be a more attractive option.
May Come with a Short Warranty
Short blocks also come with a much shorter term warranty that long block engines in most cases. This is especially true if you are purchasing a short block from little known re-manufacturers or purchasing used short block engines that have been pulled from salvaged vehicles. So, when purchasing a short block, always make a longer warranty one of your most important factors in making a purchasing decision.
May Be All You Really Need
If you are swapping the engine in your vehicle with an engine of the exact same type, a short block can prove to be the best value for your engine swap--especially if you already have working engine cylinder heads and head gaskets. Although a long block engine is a much more complete kit, a short block engine swap is not much harder to perform and can usually be completed in about the same time. If you're handy with a wrench, a repair manual made by Chilton's or Haynes will enable you to do the job yourself.