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GM ANNOUNCES NEW V8 CRATE ENGINE FOR OLD TRUCKS THAT REFUSE TO QUIT

It Builds On The Legendary Reputation Of The Motor

350 small-block V8 crate engine GM
Photo by GM.

Over 50 years ago, General Motors introduced one of, if not the, most important engines in the marque’s history. That, of course, is the 350 small-block V8. First introduced on the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro as a high performance option, the engine has seen a multitude of uses and derivatives throughout its lifetime, going in everything from muscle/sports cars to work trucks. Now, GM is revamping the V8 crate engine version for 2020, and it has a primary focus on work trucks and vans.

Photo by Chevrolet

This new 5.7 liter (350 cubic-inch) small-block V8 crate engine is completely new and not remanufactured, as it’s based around an all-new block. It’s essentially intended to be a replacement engine for older GM work vehicles that refuse to die, which is most of them. GM is offering them in three configurations:

  • Gen 1, covering trucks, vans and SUVs from 1987-1995
  • Gen 1e LD, covering light-duty trucks from 1996-2002
  • Gen 1e HD, covering heavy-duty trucks from 1996-2002

The engine also has a number of new features and improvements for work vehicle applications over previous models. From GM:

  • Brand-new four-bolt main blocks (not remanufactured) that are roller camshaft ready and mechanical fuel pump capable (Gen 1e has no camshaft eccentric)
  • New (not remanufactured) cylinder head and block castings
  • Race-proven forged steel crankshafts for durability
  • New valve covers, oil pan and timing cover
  • Precise, state-of-the-art CNC machining of cylinder heads, block castings and other components
  • Dipstick tube provisions on both sides
Photo by Chevrolet

These improvements, along with the already legendary reliability and durability of the engine allow for a 3 year/100,000 mile warranty for whichever comes first. For business owners who want to keep who don’t want to buy a whole new truck or van, but want the reassurance of a new engine, this is a great option. It’s also appealing to truck owners holding on to their older pickups who may be getting up there in mileage.

GM has sold 268,029 of these 350 small-block V8 service engines since 2005, and that doesn’t look like it’s about to slow down thanks to the 2020 engine’s updates.

Written by Sam George

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    1. They are replacement engines. Meaning other than what was listed in the article they are the same as what was there in the first place. I believe 87-95 light duty engines were rated at 210hp. In 96 this was increased to I believe 250hp and 255hp for 97-98. The 5hp bump was due to a dual catalytic converter setup. All 3/4 and 1 ton trucks had less aggressive Ignition timing maps due to the higher loads encountered by a heavier vehicle with a higher payload and towing capacity resulting in a decrease in rated hp by I believe 10hp. The jump in power in 96 was due to the far superior “vortec” cylinder heads. There were many other upgrades including a roller cam/lifter setup that probably actually hurt engine output a little making the the cylinder heads actually responsible for more than the 40hp increase. I don’t know why I know this or who put a tattoo on my wrist with the numbers 18436572. The next day I woke up a walking talking General Motors reference manual.

    2. Really? They’re going to put an SB1 in older Silverados? Does it have aluminum heads? What’s the torque and horsepower ratings? Could this article have any less actual information?

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