The engine is the heart of the car. It consists of various components, each of which contributes to improving the performance of the car.

The engine block contains the pistons, crankshaft, and oil pan, while the cylinder head contains the tappets, cams, and valve springs. It is important that you know the difference between the short and long engine block parts when you are planning to purchase a car engine.

When you buy an engine, the two types of engine are similar in size. It is the components that are different. The short block gets its name because it includes the crankshaft, engine block and pistons.

The long block has a camshaft, cylinder head and valve train in addition to the components of the short block. Since certain engine components are missing for the short block, it also comes with a shorter warranty.

Long block engine

Long Block

A motor with a long engine block is defined as a complete motor, which means that it is as close as possible to the complete module. The engine has all its major components intact, and this ensures that you spend less time on installation. The parts found in an engine with a long engine block include the camshaft, crankshaft, cylinder head, and valve train.

The long block engine offers more power than the short block engine. The engine is more expensive than the short block engine. The long block engine is not supplied with the intake, fuel system, and exhaust parts.

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Short block engine

Short Block

This type of engine is supplied with crank, piston and connecting rods; the engine is incomplete. The assembly of all the engine parts takes some time. Then you have to mount the gaskets, the oil pump and the cylinder heads. The short block engine has only the engine block and runs from above the crankcase and below the cylinder head. Some older car models might include the balance shafts, the steering wheel, and the camshaft.

We also have a turnkey engine: this is a fully assembled engine block, delivered directly from the engine manufacturers and in a box. The advantage of this engine block is that all you have to do is fit it into the car and make the necessary installations, and the car is ready to go. The turnkey engine block contains all the components of the long block engine as well as spark plugs, throttle pedal, and airflow sensors.

Factors to consider when choosing between a long block and short block engine

1. Costs

The reason that people prefer to buy the short block motor even though it consists of fewer components is the cost involved. Depending on the vehicle, an engine with a long engine block can cost between $2,000 and $5,000 up to a maximum of $5,000. The short engine block costs only a fraction of this.

When buying the short block, keep in mind that the engine block is not complete and you will have to pay extra for additional components. The time it takes to install all these components should also be considered.

2. Warranties

The long block motor has a longer warranty than the short block motor. It is risky to obtain a warranty for the short block motor, as it does not cover the warranty for the additional parts you need to complete the engine block. With the extra equipment, anything can go wrong and it is recommended that you call in a professional mechanic to help you install the engine components.

3. Ease of building

The long block motor is more reliable than the short block motor because it contains more components. Imagine you get all the missing components of the short block from different suppliers; you might have quality problems. The best thing about the long block is that all components that come with the motor tend to wear evenly, and this keeps your replacement costs to an absolute minimum.

When you are dealing with engines with long and short engine blocks, you need to consider the issue of compatibility.

Not all engine block components will work with the car’s electrical components. There are many cases where you may have problems with the transmission or electronic control unit after installing a new engine. To ensure compatibility, you must work closely with your mechanic.

4. Flexibility

The short block is not supplied with some engine components such as the cylinder head, and this gives you great flexibility when it comes to spare parts. You can adjust the cylinder head unit and get one that positively improves the engine performance. You will need to make some minor adjustments to your cylinder head to increase performance, but this is cheaper than getting a fully assembled engine. However, you must be careful to buy only quality spare parts.

Many people will opt for the short block engine when the engine block is badly damaged but most external parts work well. By keeping most of the external engine parts, you can make significant cost savings.


After thousands of kilometres of driving, your engine block can have problems and require replacement. The first option available to you is a completely assembled engine block, the so-called turn key. This comes in a box from the manufacturer’s warehouse, and all you have to do is connect it to the electrical components of your car. The other option is to get an engine with a long engine block, which is delivered as engine block, piston, crankshaft, camshaft, cylinder head and valve train.

The short engine block consists of the engine block, crankshaft, camshaft, cylinder head and valve train. It is cheaper to buy an engine with a short engine block, but you have to buy the other engine parts separately. This gives the buyer more flexibility in choosing the cylinder head. You can even get one that gives you more power.

When buying other parts for the short block engine, make sure you get quality parts from reputable dealers. The advantage of the long block engine is that all engine parts wear evenly. It is important that you make sure that your engine block matches the car’s electrical control unit and gearbox. Your mechanic can advise you which model to choose and whether it ensures conformity.