Lately, we receive lots of questions regarding the complete turn-key crate engines for VW Beetles. In this article, we will share all our knowledge about these ready to install engines.
Table of contents
What is a VW Beetle crate engine?
A VW Beetle crate engine is a fully assembled Volkswagen engine that is shopped to the installer, originally in a crate.
There are many different companies that manufacture this kind of engines however every engine shares the same characteristics: they are complete engines ready to install once removed from the crate.
A VW Beetle crate engine has various applications. It can be used for custom VW Bugs such as the Baja bug or the Rat Rod or even for daily drivers. Quite often these turn-key engines are used for drag racing or other motorsports competitions.
There are two types of crate engines, the ones who are brand new or the ones that were substantially rebuilt. The rebuilt engines are considered to be of equal quality, reliability and expected lifetime of a new brand crate engine.
Advantages of a crate engine
Installing a crate engine in your Volkswagen Bug has some advantages. The main advantage is that it arrives in a package and that you can install it very quickly.
In addition, crate engines are often seen as an economical and more reliable solution as opposed to engine overhauls or custom builds. Such engines are built by professional engine builders, working in clean and well-equipped workshops, rather than general-purpose repair shops.
What comes with a crate engine?
A VW Beetle crate engine is shipped in a complete form along with the cylinder heads, fuel pump, carbs, generator, distributor, a new fan shroud,… You can just take it out of the crate and install it directly in your vehicle (or get a professional to do so, depending on your technical skills).
Most of these engines don’t include a clutch kit or exhaust systems.
How much does a VW Beetle crate engine cost?
You can buy a decent 1600cc dual port crate engine from $3,500 with approximately 55 horsepower. The price mainly depends on the performance of the engine. If you want a turbo 1915cc engine, the price will be around $6,000.
If you are not able to install it yourself, you have to add an additional cost for the man-hours.
Other Volkswagen models
A crate engine is not only for Bugs but you can also install them in various other Volkswagen models, such as the Bus (T1 and T2), the Type 3 models (Fastback, Notchback, and Squareback), the Type 4, the Karmann Ghia and the Thing.