Short block

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This is a 3S-GTE shortblock on an engine stand waiting to be cleaned.
The same engine after cleaning. Carbon deposits can be removed with a wire brush and the surface is then polished with a very fine sandpaper. Many times this kind of work is done by a machine shop as part of a more involved engine rebuild. Rebuilding an engine helps restore power and economy and/or improve or increase performance

A short block is an engine sub-assembly comprising the portion of the cylinder block below the head gasket but above the oil pan.[1] An in-block cam engine includes the camshaft, timing gear, and any balance shafts. Overhead cam engines don't include those parts.


Mechanics purchase a shortblock as a quicker way to rebuild an engine—avoiding the work and time of rebuilding and assembling the shortblock components. Companies that provide short blocks may also offer performance improving engine work.[citation needed] Machine shop work can increase performance by boring out the engine to increase cylinder diameter (which increases internal volume), balancing rotating assemblies (such as the crankshaft), installing a higher performance camshaft, etc. Bored-out engines require larger pistons and new piston rings. This kind of work can be done by amateurs ("shade tree mechanics") or by professional machine shops and engine rebuilders.

A short block is considered destroyed when it either warps or cracks, often due to overheating.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jack Erjavec (2005). Automotive Technology: A Systems Approach. Cengage Learning. pp. 227–. ISBN 1-4018-4831-1.