We've all been there before. Spend the money, get the parts, and then wish you had done it completely different. Without a doubt, luxury items come at a premium these days, which means most of us are watching over our hard earned dollars. And while we tend to be good, the dilemma arises when we need to commit to a particular upgrade again; in this case, needing a new engine to keep us cruising.

Shelling out the dough is only part of the situation here. While some may be able to get away with a simple head swap for added power, we're talking about a complete transplant to minimize downtime and get you back on the road. Therefore, doing it right the first time around by shelling out a little more dough up front could be in your best interest.

Big-inch mills tend to garner all of the attention among enthusiasts who want that instant bottom-end twist. Then again, that's the sole purpose of any stroked-out mill, isn't it? Additionally, the added cubic inches create instant throttle response and offer a broader torque curve across the entire powerband with relative ease.

This month, we showcase everything from high-revving conventional to LS 427s and mountain-like 555ci big-block thumpers. All of which are ready to go and require very little, if any, extras to fire up the engine. And rather than simply listing the size and what you can expect to shell out, we've gone a step further and listed the complete specs on each engine, including the camshaft, internal components, cylinder heads, and part numbers. If you're on the fence about what combination to set in between the framerails of your hot rod, then this is the place for you.

Quick Notes
What We Did
Compiled a detailed list of ready-to-fire, large-displacement powerplants

Bottom Line
There's an engine here to fit anyone's budget

Cost (Approx)
$5,000 & UP

CME
Five hundred horsepower is easy to come by through Carolina Machine Engines. CME offers high quality, including a cast-steel 4.25-inch stroker crankshaft in their blueprinted short-blocks. They add hypereutectic pistons, moly rings, and premium bearings. Cylinder heads are matched, pockets blended and ported with a multi-angle SERDI valve job. CME also add stainless valves, performance pushrods, valve springs, and steel roller rockers. Their special grind 0.500-inch lift cam has 280/230 degrees intake/exhaust of duration. CME includes the oil pump, pan, pickup, timing cover, harmonic balancer, valve covers, dual-plane intake manifold, dipstick, and spark plugs. All complete engines are dyno-tested and come with a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty.

SIZE 496
HP* 500
TQ* 600
PRICE $5,000
*Estimated

Where To Get It
CME
800.903.6446
cmengines.com

Coast High Performance
Coast High Performance's Pro Street Venom series of crate motors includes their 496 and 540 versions. Their 9.25:1 compression 496 uses a Dart Big-M Sportsman block and comes with a 4.250-inch stroke forged crank, 6.385-inch rods, and SRS forged flat-top pistons. Coast High also adds a Comp solid roller (0.612/0.605-inch lift on 114 lobe center) with Cloyes timing set. Scorpion 1.7 roller rockers are also included with the AFR 315 CNC heads. An Edelbrock Victor Jr. manifold topped with a Holley 950 HP carburetor deliver fuel and air. Coast High Performance's Venom line of crate motors are drop-in ready and include a chrome alternator, pulley, brackets, Edelbrock water pump, and a 2-year/Unlimited-mile warranty.

SIZE 496
HP 650
TQ 570
PRICE $14,060