What is a crate motor?

Quick Overview: The Instant-G 3.6 ltr. “Crate Motor”

  • Before the market rose sharply in 2017 or so  the bulk of these engines are USED engines, not new, not rebuilt, but have been tested. Parts which need replacement have been replaced, i.e. oil filter on 993 engines. They are neither rebuilt nor refurbished and we do not represent them as such. Please read the warranty statement carefully with respect to used engines.
  • We now primarily offer REBUILT engines, either with top ends or full rebuilds.
  • Availability
    • Depends on what we have in stock.  We usually have 304 used engines in stock.
    • Can be built to order,
    • We keep 964 and 993 cores in stock, disassembled, cleaned, and ready to be rebuild.
  • Used engines:
    • 964 motors are generally service free up to 120,00 miles, though now all are twenty years old.  We generally sell engines up to 85,000 miles.  There is no guarantee beyond  that they check out when sold.  We do not own a crystal ball, so we do our best to check them out but they are tested and sold as-is.
    • 993 motors generally have an exhaust valve guide life of 100,000 miles, after which they need to be replaced. The factory guides are a soft material and the reduced surface area of the 8mm valve stem leads to a reduced service life.  We only sell used 993 engines with less than 80,000 miles so the customer can expect another 20,000 miles before a top end rebuild is necessary.
  • Rebuilt engines
    • These are usually built to order, though we occasionally have stock rebuilt engines available.
    • Lead time varies, but is usually 4-6 weeks.  Lead time could be substantially longer given that we have a very limited staff and demand is strong.
    • Warranty is per our standard statement.

Some History

As you may know, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford and many after market manufacturers offer American engines as “crate” motors. This avoids people having to find an engine, make modifications, test and tune etc.

This gave us the idea for a similar service on 3.6 motors.  We have had way too many customers purchase our kits and a “Bargain” motor from a wrecked car.  That motor might be a deal but very often it’s a motor with issues, that has been sitting around forever and may have been fine when parked but now that they are getting long in the tooth, needs some serious work.

The Process:

  • We purchase a used engine,
  • Perform the conversion, i.e. install the conversion pieces,
  • Test it in an actual car on the road
    • Heat cycle the engine several times
    • repair any problem areas
    • Leak the engine down.  Maximum 3% cold leak down is accepted.
  • Leave it in that car until someone needs that motor
    • Yeah, we have 9 cars we own with 3.6 conversions, which is how we can do this!
  • then remove it and adjust the valves, (If needed)
  • then install whatever additional parts the customer requests
  • box it up and ship it to you or install it in-house.
  • Click Here for Typical Vram Crate Motor

When the customer receives the engine along with the conversion kit, it is ready to go in, and the conversion time and cost on his/her end is reduced. The total is a bit higher up front but the hassle factor of getting an unknown motor may well make it worth it. Installation should be under 10 hours since it’s a matter of bolting in the engine and connecting wires and fuel lines. Obviously, our time is worth something, so the cost includes about $500-600 for this service as it is quite time consuming, and, more importantly we do the legwork AND WE TAKE ALL THE RISK. On the other hand it saves a fair amount on your end since the bugs have all been worked out and accessories installed.
The customer selects the exhaust, and options, and we do the work. Pricing depends on the options chosen. We can also perform this service on motors the customers supply, and we can also install them in the car..

How do we do this? Easy. I own over twenty Porsches, and quite a few of them have 3.6s. I drive them rarely, but it means that I can sell a motor in a car, then simply replace it when convenient. The only engine that is not for sale is the one in my wife’s race car. That has to run!

Ready to Ship, Domestic Rates are $350-$600 depending on destination


Typical story of one such motor. We bought the motor at market rate, but it had leaky cam boxes. We then threw about 8 hours at the motor at our expense and fixed the leak, which is now starting to be quite common. Not to mention the time it took to install and remove the motor. It would be difficult to find a similar motor for much less than we sell them for, then add parts and labor, and a valve adjust and it doesn’t take long to exceed the money sold for.

Detailed pricing can be found on the 36 Conversions page or directly in our 36 Conversion Estimator Excel spreadsheet.

See: Cars we have done (in process) Instant-G 3.6 and 3.8 Conversions