If you’re in the market for a powerplant, then you probably know that crate engines are a popular choice. These engines definitely have their advantages when compared to a custom-built unit. To choose the right one for your application, you will need to be able to answer a lot of questions, such as your budget, do cubic-inches matter, and whether it is going to be a daily driver, a racecar, or both.
When it comes to crate engines, Reviva knows a thing or two about them and the rebuilding process. The Minnesota-based company is family owned and operated and has been providing quality remanufactured engines and engine components for over 70 years. While Reviva is known for remanufactured gas and diesel engines, it has recently stepped off into the world of high-performance LS engines…but why? For this question, we reached out to Tom Dokken in the Engineering and New Product Development department at Reviva Inc. Dokken said, “With the popularity of the LS swap industry, we are uniquely positioned to market directly to the consumer. Ideally, we would like to establish partnerships with installation facilities and custom shops to help simplify their processes.”
What Is A Crate Engine?
If you’re not familiar with the phrase “crate engine” it’s simply a term that refers to an engine that is shipped and delivered to a customer in a crate. These engines are generally complete from the oil pan to the intake manifold and are offered in limited configurations, meaning they are not customizable. With limited option offerings, manufacturers can save the customer some money.
Crate Versus Custom
So why would you want a crate engine over a custom-built engine?
Custom-built engines are just that, custom. They regularly use specific parts for the build that is recommended for a particular purpose. Titanium valves are a great example because not every engine needs them, but an NHRA Pro Stock engine will. This type of unique part will definitely drive up the cost of an engine build, however, it is needed for reliability due to the stress of an ultra-high-performance race engine. And unlike a crate engine, most custom-built units don’t have any kind of warranty associated with them.
On the other hand, crate engines are built with the same components, time and time again, meaning if the company chooses to use Manley rods, they will order that specific part number in bulk to get the lowest price. This purchasing method is typically done with each piece of the engine, saving money, which can then be passed along to the customer.
Where we shine is producing the same quality products over and over again. Our lead times are short due to large stocking levels and direct relationships with vendors.
Another benefit to a crate engine over a custom-built powerplant is time. Building anything custom tends to take longer than something mass-produced. If you’re using the same parts over and over, the builds become more efficient. The torque specs are the same along with the assembly process, clearances, machining, and the components used. This technique allows companies like Reviva to build several crate engines at once and have them “crated” up and ready to ship as soon as an order hits.
“Reviva is a process-driven, lean manufacturing company,” Dokken explains. “Where we shine is producing the same quality products over and over again. Our lead times are short due to large stocking levels and direct relationships with vendors. Reviva also uses product champions to build families and varieties of engines, which ensures consistency throughout the production process.”
Currently, Reviva offers three different crate engines in its LS lineup, including two 6.1-liter engines and a 6.7-liter. The first 6.1-liter is rated at 450 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. The second is rated at 525 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. All of Reviva’s engines utilize top-of-the-line parts for the build. In this article, we are going to make Reviva’s 6.7-liter LS the main focus and show you the components and parts used in each one it builds. This is the same engine that was used in its project car, The Red Pig II.
The Short Block
The 6.7-liter/408 cubic-inch LS crate engine starts like any other build. Reviva takes the block, cleans them, and then begins the machining process. The GM cast iron LQ4 block is then bored to 4.030-inches. While all of this is going on, the internal components are balanced and prepped for assembly. The first order of business is to get the Dura-Bond HP coated bearings installed in the block for the camshaft and Clevite high-performance bearings for the crank. After the bearings are set, a Manley 4340 Forged 4.000-inch stroker crankshaft with a 24-tooth reluctor wheel is installed. The mains are then bolted to the block via new GM bolts.
The next order of business is to insert the Manley 2618 Forged 10.5:1 dished pistons, which are mated to a set of Manley 4340 forged H-beam 6.125-inch rods. The ARP 8740 bolts secure the rods to the crank using more Clevite bearings, thus finishing off the bottom end.
A Comp Cams LSR camshaft is installed next, with an intake lift of 0.624-inches and exhaust of 0.624-inches. This cam offers 239/247-degrees of duration on a 114-degree lobe separation angle (LSA). The camshaft is then attached to the crank by way of a Comp Cams double roller timing chain.
A Melling high-performance oil pump is typically bolted in place, but as you can see from the pictures, this engine received a Aviaid LS “D” 4-stage dry-sump oiling system. With the factory front cover back on the engine, an ATI Super Damper is added to the crank snout. Warhawk roller lifters are also put in the proper location at this time.
For the cylinder heads, Reviva starts with a set of GM cast aluminum performance LS3’s with a 68cc combustion chamber. These heads are CNC-ported before receiving a set of 2.165-inch intake and 1.590-exhaust valves. The modified LS3 heads also receive new valve seals, Comp Cams dual springs, retainers, and locks. The heads are then bolted down on top of GM head gaskets with GM head bolts. GM factory rockers are retained for the valvetrain after they are modified with Comp Cams’ roller trunion upgrade. Custom pushrods are used to link the cam to the rocker arms.
With the long block complete, the engine gets a set of factory GM valve covers, GM LS3 intake manifold, 90mm throttle body, 42-pound injectors, and a set of Taylor 409 Series 10.4 Pro-Race wires. With a custom tune at Reviva on the GM P59 PCM, the 6.7-liter engine cranks out an impressive 600 horsepower and 580 lb-ft of torque on 91-octane pump gas.
More To Come
While Reviva offers three LS engines at the moment, it’s working on some new products as well. Dokken said, “Right now, we’re sticking to our main offerings to keep things simple. We recently did a dry-sump build for a customer looking at buying engines in volume for off-road use. This summer, we are developing a new product, a straight-up Gen IV LS based on the 6.0L L96 block. The first configuration will be 525 horsepower.”
Any of Reviva’s engines would be right at home in a street or performance car. Dokken said, “Reviva LS engines are great for street cars, recreational drag racing, or road course use. We aim to reach the pleasure market where people want something that starts, runs, and drives excellent every time they use their vehicle.” Reviva also offers a 2-year/24,000-mile warranty on naturally-aspirated applications with a valid dyno tune and offers its engine in one of two forms: drop-in and ready to run versions.
If you’re in the market for a new crate engine, Reviva can certainly help you choose between one of its engines. Any one of their products can give your hot rod new life with modern power and performance and excellent drivability. And, who doesn’t want that for their project?