A Look at the Dodge Hellcat Crate Engine

There are blokes that like simple things. Press a button on a remote, the television springs into life. There, nothing to it. When it comes to cars, surprisingly enough there is the same thing when it comes to engines. Yes, second hand ones, complete with stinky oil and worn out spark plugs can be bought, but to do it properly, a “crate engine” is the go. What is in a crate is substantial but there will be some extras to buy. American muscle cars have a great crate history and Dodge keeps that tradition going with the availability of the Hellcat crate engine. There are two available and there are some seriously big numbers involved. There is the “standard” engine and it’s good for 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. In Aussie speak that’s a hefty 521kW and 881Nm.  They come from a 6.2L or 371ci capacity V8 and it’s almost ready to go straight out of the box. The block and heads have some deep breathing capabilities; bore is a huge 103.9mm, and the stroke a long 90mm. In order to feed those huge cylinders, intake valves of 54.3mm are fitted, and to breathe out there are 42mm exhaust valves. And with a compression ratio of 9.5:1, premium pump fuel is highly recommended. By buying a crate engine, nearly everything is packaged and little else is required. This particular crate has the basic engine block, heads, standard water pump, and front sump oil pan. There is also the flywheel and clutch, intake manifold & throttle body, the coil pack ignition system, and fuel injectors.  As a package, it’s called the “Hellcrate”. Cost is around $15K in U.S. dollars. That’s around $21,600 AUD. However, dig deeper into the pocket and there is the “Hellephant” crate engine.  At a monstrous 426ci or 7.0L in size, this takes out of the box power and torque to a whole new level. 1,000 horsepower or just under 748kW, 950 lb-ft, or a truly incredible 1288 torques are there for the asking. Dodge says this alloy blocked behemoth isn’t available to buy here in Australia. And then there’s some serious conversations with a bank manager if it was. Figure on around $43k AUD... Much like the “Hellcrate”, a buyer will need to source their own ECU, wiring, throttle, sensors, and some other parts, but according to Dodge, there won’t be a need to buy a supercharger. That’s standard fitment. Custom forged pistons are part of the internals, as is a higher profile camshaft. So if simplicity is a thing, and a desire to upgrade with not a lot of extra work needed, then a crate engine such as the “Hellcrate” or “Hellephant” is a good starting point if changing the earth’s rotation is required. Have you bought a crate engine? Tell us what you bought and where it went in the comment section below this article on the Rare Spares Facebook Page!