PRI 2019: Checking In On GM’s 525 Crate Engines With Upgraded Parts

At last year’s PRI trade show, we talked with Chevrolet Performance‘s Special Programs Manager, Bill Martens. We were told “GM has been building crate engines since the late-1960s, and we started the crate-engine racing program about 17-years ago. It is a big part of what we do and we’re going to continue with our crate-engine racing program.” He added that statement to address rumors that Chevrolet Performance might go away from building crate engines for circle track racing.

At that time Martens told us, “We will be offering our CT 525 crate engines with upgraded-component versions next year. These upgraded components are not for performance, but durability. We’ve found that racers are pushing the boundaries of the crate engine’s designed range. We’re going to be offering upgraded-component versions like a forged piston with ARP connecting rod bolts,” Martens explained.

Chevrolet Performance’s new sealed bolt on the left and the older composite sealed bolt on the right.

This year, we stopped by Chevrolet Performance to see where the program is at. “I’m happy to report that we started putting out the 525 crate engines with the upgraded components last month [November],” Martens said. “We also have a new-and-improved sealed-bolt system in place that stops counterfeiters. These cannot be counterfeited.”

According to Martens, the new sealed-bolts contain details, such as where they were originally placed and what engine they were installed on. The only tool the series or track-tech department needs to verify these sealed bolts is a cell phone with an app loaded on it. Martens tells us there is no way to remove these bolts without destroying them. They cannot be tampered with.

For more information on Chevrolet Performance and its crate engine programs, visit them online at Chevrolet Performance.

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About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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