8 Dodge Crate Engines You Want Under Your Hood
The Secret Ingredient to New Found Power
Published March 30, 2018
Mopar enthusiasts are arguably the most loyal group in the automotive world and they love their power! Thankfully, it’s been made easy to get what you want with the help of Dodge crate engines. Whether you are working on your Chrysler or Dodge vehicle, you’ll be able to find an option that suits your needs.
The problem with having an engine that is geared specifically toward your performance goals is that the options quickly become overwhelming. This is true even for the most experienced mechanic. That’s why it helps to have the best choices broken down, which is exactly what I plan to do for you today.
What is a Dodge Crate Engine?
A Dodge crate engine is also called a crate motor. This is just a fancy way of saying that it’s a factory-built engine. Your crate engine arrives at your doorstep and you don’t need to make a single adjustment to use it. The Dodge crate engine will be perfectly balanced, timed, and ready for you to install.
The best part is that you’ll be able to find a Dodge crate engine to fit any budget. As you look around, you’ll find cheaper options if you just need to get a new engine in your car. If you are doing this as a project, however, you might be most interested in one of the high-performing Dodge crate engines instead. Just be ready to pay for it!
Mopar engine builders love the crate program so they’ve supplied a ton of options to fit any platform. If you want a blown and stroked RB-series Wedge, you’ll find it. If you prefer the Gen-III Hemi, that’s available as well.
Why You Want a Dodge Crate Engine
Your Dodge crate engine provides you with the power you desire with as little work as possible. All of the needed components will be included, from the oil pan to the cylinder heads. Some engines even come with extra accessories like intake manifolds, carburetors, distributors and more.
Keep in mind that not everything you need will come with a Dodge crate engine. Do not expect to see these items in your package:
-Induction system components
-Alternator, starter, battery or other charging elements
-Cooling system components
-Fuel delivery system
Another benefit to Dodge crate engines is that you can put it in any vehicle that is compatible. If you’ve secretly desired to turn your old piece of junk into a hotrod – go for it!
For those who have a blown engine, you have several options available:
-Rebuild the engine yourself (that’s a pain!)
-Have someone rebuild the engine for you (do you really trust them to do it right?)
-Purchase a custom-made Dodge crate engine (ding, ding, ding – we have a winner!)
Personally, I like the route that requires less of my money and is less painful. Plus, most Dodge crate engines come with good warranties, so there’s nothing to worry about.
Where to Buy a Dodge Crate Engine
Your first option when you are shopping Dodge crate engines is to seek out help from your local dealer. You could also do some research online. There are a few companies that we trust to give you good options at reasonable prices.
Summit Racing is a leader in performance parts as well as JEGS. Good luck not getting caught up in all the other things they offer while you’re looking, though.
Our Top 8 Dodge Crate Engines
With further ado, let’s look at the top 8 Dodge crate engines that belong under your hood.
Mopar Performance 6.2L Supercharged Crate HEMI Engine
Talk about a jaw-dropper. This Mopar crate engine packs the heat with 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. It’s a great addition to your classic street rod or your favorite off-road vehicle. The Mopar Hellcrate, as it’s referred to, is a simple plug and play option backed by the authentic quality you’ve come to expect from this company.
Your kit comes with the unique Hellcrate logo plus all the installation tips you need to do a good job. It also comes with numerous components already included like the PCM, engine wiring harness, accelerator pedal, oxygen sensors, ground jumper, and chassis harness.
The PCM is set to the factory 707-horsepower calibration so there’s nothing you need to do. You can use it with your manual transmission. As an idea, consider pairing it with the Mopar Tremec Magnum kit. You can install the Hellcrate in any pre-1976 street or non-highway off-road ride.
The suggested retail price of this beast is close to $20,000 so hopefully, you’ve been saving up your pennies. Ask any Dodge enthusiast and they’ll gladly tell you that it’s worth the cost.
Mopar Performance 6.4L Apache HEMI Engine
This V8 engine has the best-in-class 475 horsepower and 475 lb-ft. of torque. The 0-60 mph time is in the low 4-second range with a top speed of 182 mph. What you’ll really love about this engine though is that the active exhaust makes that signature Dodge roar that you’ve come to appreciate.
Some things that set this engine apart from others are the aluminum, HEMIspeherical chamber cylinder heads and cast iron block with four bolt power main caps. This kit also comes with a few extras like the water pump, intake manifold with the throttle body, flywheel and clutch, coil packs, and fuel injectors. Plan on spending just under $8,000 on this high-powered motor.
Mopar Performance 5.7 Eagle HEMI Engine
When you are faced with the option of rebuilding an engine, you might opt for the turnkey installation of this 5.7L Eagle HEMI Engine instead. Other professionals and mechanics have raved about the performance of this 372 horsepower, 400 lb-ft. of torque engine.
This HEMI V8 is available with a Multi-Displacement System which delivers variable cam timing plus better efficiency. It also comes complete with dual ignition, which simply means there are two spark plugs in each cylinder. This design increases the peak power of your engine for better performance.
This engine option includes the intake manifold, cylinder heads, oil pan, spark plugs, computer, and wiring harness.
Arrington 426 Crate Engine
Did you know that Arrington was the winner of numerous Dodge Manufacturing Awards? They’ve also won multiple Craftsman Truck Series and Engine Builders Awards. If that’s not enough, they build the engines for Petty, Penske, AND Ganassi. This isn’t one of those companies that only cares about the parts it makes for important people; they hold to the same quality for the crate engines they produce as well. They are known for their superior design of engines that can be dropped into a modern streetcar to give it some high-power excitement.
Moving on to the 426 crate motor, this engine is normally purchased by shops who are working on full-blown restoration projects. That’s because it easily gives a classic car a modern engine full of spunk and energy. Best of all, if you ever find yourself in need of up to 1,000 horsepower, you can achieve that with this $20,000 engine and a little boosting, or run it out of the box at 600 horsepower.
ATK High-Performance Chrysler 360 290HP Stage 3 Crate Engine
Street cruiser enthusiasts can rejoice over this popular small block engine. It delivers approximately an additional 35 horsepower over an original LA 360 engine and they have the additional benefit of a hydraulic roller camshaft/lifter system.
With 290 horsepower and 385 lb-ft. of torque, you can feel good about the upgrade. Plus, the price is under $5,000, so it’s a budget-friendly option. In addition, the fact that it’s a Stage 3 kit means that installation should be fairly easy. We all could use a little more easy in our lives, right?
You are going to get a lot of extras with this drop-in engine including the carburetor, oil pan, cast crankshaft, 360 Magnum cylinder heads, and everything else you’ll need to get started. Just finish the project with an air cleaner.
ATK High-Performance Chrysler 408 Stroker 430HP Stage 3 Crate Engine
Kick up the performance of your small block 360 by adding an extra 48 cubic inches of top-notch performance. For just over $7,000, you can stick 430 horsepower and 500 lb-ft. of torque in your muscle car. You’ll be thrilled with the midrange grunt you get from it.
For instant performance, you’ll like that this drop-in Stage 3 crate engine comes with your carburetor and oil pan. In addition, it features forged connecting rods plus forged pistons. Then, it’s all topped with the best Edelbrock Performer cylinder heads for amazing street performance.
Mopar Performance 440 C.I.D. 530HP Super Commando Crate Engine
No one needs to ask me twice if I’m interested in big block performance from this small block engine! Inside this small block 340, you’ll find 440 cubic inches hiding out ready to release 530 horsepower. That means you can install this crate engine and achieve maximum horsepower from pump gas.
Clearly, this is one of the best Dodge crate engines you can find for under $15,000. That’s because it features four-bolt mains, big lift hydraulic camshaft, aluminum cylinder heads, all forged internals and a single plane intake. Other components that come with this engine include the oil pan, timing cover, distributor, harmonic balance, water pump plus plugs and wires! I think all this kit is missing might be the air cleaner and carburetor.
Mopar Performance 528 C.I.D. 640 HP Engine Assemblies
Bigger is better? It’s true when it comes to performance. That’s why Mopar has the King Kong engine option. There are 640 reasons to love this engine and they all relate to horsepower. Add that to the 612 lb-ft. of torque and you are talking about something only Mopar could make!
It’s advised that you use 850/900 cfm Holley carburetors plus 2 ¼-inch headers with this crate engine. Prepare yourself for shipment of this beast because it arrives on top of a heavy duty engine stand inside a heavy-duty crate. There was no expense spared when they built this engine, and the $19,000 price tag reflects that. The forged internal components give you the durable strength you need and are paired with the heavy-duty siamese block and cross-bolted mains. With the aluminum cylinder heads that are lightweight, the air flows easily with help from a Ray Barton cam grind. Your crate comes with the balancer, oil pan, valve covers, water pump plus spark plugs and wires.
Let’s Talk More About Dodge Crate Engines
We love to hear from you! Tell us about the Dodge crate engines you’ve used and what the results were. Maybe we’ll add yours to our list.
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