4 Things to Know Before Buying a New Engine Block

January 27, 2012

When purchasing a new engine block, there are some important things that you should consider before making your final selection. The block contains the deepest mechanical components of the engine (crank, bearings, rods and pistons) which makes it the foundation of everything that is going to happen with the vehicle's engine. Make sure that you consider all the angles of your purchase before you buy so that you make the right choice: after all, with a new block you're starting from the ground up. Here are some things to take into account.

Do You Really Need New?

While it would be nice if we could all simply buy a shiny new engine off the shelf, there's a pretty good chance that that isn't going to be the best option for you. Shop used blocks from auto recycling yards as a first option. Used engines can be had for a fraction of the price of new ones and most recycling yards cover their products with a warranty to protect their customers. Especially for drivers that are simply looking for a long-lasting vehicle at the lowest cost possible, a lower mileage used block is a great choice.

Re-manufactured Engines

Re-manufactured engines blocks that have been restored to like-new conditions in a factory environment. This is also a cheaper option than buying a new engine from the original manufacturer. A basic re-manufactured engine block should be fitted with new bearings, rings and pistons. Remanufactured engines are also available in a variety of performance-oriented configurations as well. If you would like to take the opportunity to upgrade the performance of your vehicle at the same time as replacing a worn-out block, these are a great option. Just take care with your decision and make sure you have a clear idea of what your end goal is before making the leap. Although it might seem like a cool idea to throw in a racing-grade engine you should be aware of how this is going to change your vehicle overall, especially when it comes to drivability and fuel efficiency.

Warranty Protection

Any engine block bought from a retail source should come with an included warranty of some type. Make sure that you review your warranty agreement before purchasing the block to ensure that you understand the protection that is included. Also keep in mind that some warranties require the new block to be installed by a certified mechanic. If you're planning on putting in the engine yourself, ask your sales representative how this will affect your warranty coverage.

Third Parties

Another popular choice for vehicle owners purchasing a used block is finding one from a private party (for example, a seller on Craigslist or eBay). One thing that you should keep in mind if this is the option for you is that the sale of the block is "as is" and you may not have any recourse should the engine prove to be damaged. It's probably a good idea to have a automotive machine shop take a look at the block before committing to the purchase.

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