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Old 10-08-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
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Default Definition: Short Block vs Long Block

You've probably heard the terms "short block" and "long block" used in reference to automotive engines. The terms are sometimes mistakenly used to refer to engine swap packages, with "short block" meaning just the engine, and "long block" meaning a complete motor swap package (engine, transmission, ecu, etc.). Using the terms in this manner is incorrect and should be avoided.

Now that we've dispelled the incorrect usage of the terms, let's move on to the true definitions:

A Short Block can be defined as the engine block only. This would include the block casting, pistons, rods, and crank, etc., minus the head. A short block is basically the bottom end of a motor.

A Long Block can be defined as a complete motor assembly, i.e. the short block plus the head. A long block may also include some of the motor's accessories, such as the intake and exhaust manifolds, throttle body, fuel rail and injectors, distributor, alternator, intake tubing and filter box, etc.

If you purchase a long block to install in your project car, you will also need to secure a compatible transmission and ECU, any of the above-mentioned accessories that are not present, plus various other parts (mounts, wiring harnesses, axles, shift linkages, sensors, etc.) to make the swap work.

If you purchase a short block, you will need everything mentioned above plus a compatible cylinder head to make the motor swap complete.
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