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Short Block vs. Long Block vs. Engine

If you think you need a new engine, there may be some better options than buying a drop-in. Many owners of construction equipment from John Deere to Caterpillar, Case, Komatsu, Kobelco, Volvo and beyond, can save a good amount of money and actually get a better engine with a longer warranty by instead investing in a short or long block engine depending on what situation your engine is in.

Here’s a quick look at what short and long blocks offer.

While both options have the same dimensions, the short and long block vary in engine parts they generally come with.

Short Block Engine

Short block engines are not complete but they do come with a cam pistons, connecting rods and a crank. They require the installation of additional internal parts which include but are not limited to: an oil pump, cylinder heads and gaskets. Some short blocks are made available with camshafts and timing parts.

Long Block Engine

This type of engine is almost complete and comes with the head which is bolted to the short block. The long block engine will need to have some additional external parts installed. These parts include but are not limited to: valve covers, manifolds for the exhaust and intake, a timing covers and an oil pan.

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Short Block and Long Block Comparison

The engine performance provided by a long block engine is usually better than a short block. Because the long block has more parts included it is less likely problems will arise.

However, a short block gives the owner more options when it comes to external parts and that can instead improve performance depending on what quality of external parts the owner wants to invest in.

A person needing major engine work can go with a short block providing existing and working systems such as the intake, exhaust manifold and heads can be connected to the new short block.

The need for a long block replacement indicates that the short block and the head have been damaged beyond repair. The cost of the additional internal parts for a short block are more expensive than the cost of the additional external parts for the long block.

The short block parts also require more time for installation than the long block parts. When considering the costs of parts and labor, the short block can actually be more costly than the long block which comes almost complete.

short block engine
long block engine