GM updates direct-replacement crate 350 small-blocks
In a win-win for those shopping its crate-engine offerings, GM Genuine Parts has updated its direct-replacement service engines with additional parts from the Chevrolet Performance Parts catalog, consolidating its fleet of factory small-blocks from 1987 to 2002. The engines share most of their upgraded parts with the Chevy Performance SP350, like its newly-cast four-bolt main block and Vortec cylinder heads, forged crankshaft, and roller camshaft. This move also helps Chevy reduce the sheer number of obsolete engine components it’s pumping out for the stock-replacement crate engines, allowing it to essentially eliminate old-school parts like the nodular cast iron cranks and earlier non-Vortec heads.
Trucks, vans, and SUVs from 1987–95 will see the largest update with the newly available “Gen 1” service engine, the most significant upgrade being the coveted Vortec swirl-port cylinder heads, which finally trickle down to pre-1996 vehicles. The Gen 1e LD covers light-duty 1500 trucks, SUVs, and vans from 1996–2002, and the Gen 1e HD covers 2500 and 3500 machines. Both the LD and HD versions come with provisions for a mechanical fuel pump, should the engine not be supported by the original fuel injection system. These 1996–2002 engines were originally equipped with the high-output Vortec cylinder heads, but the new forged crankshaft ensures that the stalwart powerplant is up for any abuse you may throw its way.
In another big change, all service engines will be built here in the U.S.—Springfield, Missouri, specifically—with all-new components. Nothing will be remanufactured or assembled in Mexico, as was the case for many past Goodwrench crate engines.