Short Block Engine
A short block is an engine sub-assembly comprising the portion of the cylinder block below the head gasket but above the oil pan.
Short blocks are falling into disfavor because by the time you buy the short block and the mandatory lifters, gaskets, oil pump and such you end up spending more money than you would have spent buying a long block in the first place. Also if you buy the short block you may have to pay your mechanic more money to install it because it takes more time and then when it’s all finished the engine warranty only covers the bottom (short) half of the engine. See, you’ve got to buy gaskets just to put it together. It would be nuts to put an engine in without a new oil pump. The camshaft warranty is no good without new lifters and besides it’s just good policy, etc. You get the idea.
Long Block Engine
A long block engine is from the head/heads down to above the oil pan. A long block engine replacement typically requires swapping out parts from the original engine to the long block. These parts include the oil pan, timing cover, valve covers, intake manifold, emission-control parts, carburetor or fuel injection system. As well as the exhaust manifold(s), alternator, starter, power steering pump (if any), and air conditioner compressor (if any).
OHV And OHC Engines
Compared with OHV (Overhead valve) pushrod systems with the same number of valves, the reciprocating components of the OHC (Overhead camshaft) system are fewer and have a lower overall mass. Though the system that drives the camshafts may be more complex, most engine manufacturers accept that added complexity as a trade-off for better engine performance and greater design flexibility. The fundamental reason for the OHC valvetrain is that it offers an increase in the engine’s ability to exchange induction and exhaust gases. (This exchange is sometimes known as “engine breathing”.) Another performance advantage is gained as a result of the better optimised port configurations made possible with overhead camshaft designs. With no intrusive pushrods, the overhead camshaft cylinder head design can use straighter ports of more advantageous cross-section and length. The OHC design allows for higher engine speeds than comparable cam-in-block designs, as a result of having lower valvetrain mass. The higher engine speeds thus allowed increases power output for a given torque output.
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