10 Chevy Engines That Were Absolute Garbage (5 That Were Beast Mode)

Depending on which Chevy model you land on, you could end up with a complete beater or a monstrous powerhouse.

As one of America’s oldest and leading automakers, Chevrolet has produced a truly staggering amount of engines for their vehicles. Ranging from dinky 4 cylinders to big and burly V8s, Chevy motors are simultaneously well respected and looked down upon in disgust, all depending on which engine you’re talking about.

The long lineage of Chevy V8s is revered in the performance and tuning world, and many of them are absolutely bulletproof monsters that will let you shred tires all day long with no worries. Then again, a fair portion of them are choked-down garbage that will cause nothing but headaches and disappointment.

Today, many of Chevy’s smaller motors are fine and reliable, but looking through their history reveals a long road to actually producing a decent low displacement powerplant. So keep reading to find out which Chevy engines to avoid like the plague, and which to embrace with open arms:

Garbage: “California” 305 V8

The 1980s were a hard time for American muscle, stricter emissions regulations than ever before meant big V8s just weren’t viable. In California, though, rules were even stricter. So, to sell the Corvette in California, Chevy had to choke down their small block V8 to pathetic levels. The 305 small block V8 found in Corvettes sold in California at the time made just 180 hp (out of a 5-liter engine), cheap small blocks are tempting, but stay away from this one.

Garbage: Copper Cooled Series C Inline 4

A relic of times gone by, Chevy’s copper cooled engines were a flash in the pan during the 1920s. This engine started out as an attempt to improve upon air-cooling technology found in nearly every car of the time. It worked… so long as you were actually moving. Cars that sat in the chaotic road traffic of the ’20s began overheating like clockwork, with the engine losing nearly all power. All but 2 copper cooled engines were recalled and destroyed.

Garbage: G140 1.4L Inline 4

The Chevy Chevette is by no means an impressive car, nor was it designed to be one. Chevettes were simply cheap transportation. This is especially true of the engine. Designed and made with the help of Isuzu, the 1.4L Inline 4 found in the Chevette is economical, but at the cost of producing any power. How much power does it make? A whopping 52 hp.

Garbage: “Iron Duke” 2.5L Inline 4

Quickly picture a vintage Chevrolet Camaro in your mind, what do you imagine is under the hood? Alright, time is up. You probably were picturing a big V8, right? Well, for 1982, the Camaro received an Inline 4 engine, and it was really, really bad. How bad? 90 hp and a 0-60 mph time of 20 seconds. What’s the point of even calling it a muscle car when it could hardly keep up with a tractor?

Garbage: Ecotec 2.2L Inline 4 (Pre-2006)

While newer Ecotec motors are fine for the most part, pre-2006 examples had some serious problems. Found in most Chevys of the time, many of the problems revolved around the timing chain, which was notorious for needing frequent servicing and replacement parts. Even then, it’s neither powerful nor economical enough to consider as anything special.

Garbage: 3400 V6

Sometimes, one bad choice can doom an otherwise acceptable piece of engineering. GM’s long-running series of 60-degree V6 motors are fine but nothing special. The 3400 V6, however, is an engine that should be avoided like the plague. For whatever reason, a new formula of coolant was used, known as DexCool. It was later discovered that DexCool would corrode crucial engine components like head gaskets, leading to catastrophic coolant leaks and overheating engines.

Garbage: 2300 Inline 4

Another bad choice that doomed an otherwise acceptable engine, the 2300 Inline 4 was the powerplant behind the Chevy Vega. To try and innovate as best they could, Chevy used a silica coating for the cylinder walls rather than traditional sleeves. Unfortunately, cooling problems with the motor would cause the coating to wear off, leading to serious problems, some so bad that the engines destroyed themselves.

Garbage: 350 Diesel V8

Known as the Olds Diesel, this disgusting motor was used by GM across all its brands and is almost single-handedly responsible for the association with filthiness and poor performance Diesel engines have. Essentially a hastily converted gasoline V8, the Olds Diesel was both pathetically underpowered at 120 hp, but also was so unrefined that driving a car with one was just a horrible experience.

Garbage: 267 Small Block V8

Chevy’s small-block V8s are legendary as motors that are both solidly reliable and capable of some serious power. The exception to this is the 267. Born in 1979 when emissions controls were destroying V8 power, this little V8 borrowed parts from the well-loved 350 but missed the mark on any performance capabilities. After only 3 years of life, the 267 was killed off, only to be replaced by the equally bad 305 V8, mentioned earlier in this list.

Garbage: LD2 Quad 4 (Pre-1995)

The Quad 4 is not a bad engine, let’s make that clear. Notorious for their tuning potential in later versions, the first generation of Quad 4 were mediocre at best. Producing 150 hp from a small motor was impressive for the time, but these early motors lacked balance shafts, leading to a horribly unrefined driving experience. The problem was fixed in later versions, but stay away from the first generation if you value comfort.

Beast Mode: L65 327 V8

We’re spoiled for choice today. With so many crazy V8 muscle cars on sale, and a wide assortment of crate motors to choose for your project car, it’s easy to forget the origins of this power craze. Dubbed the “Mighty Mouse,” this evolution of Chevy’s small-block V8 (that had debuted a decade earlier) put out 375 hp in 1963, earning it a place in almost every high-performance Chevy of the time.

Beast Mode: L27 427 V8

It can be easy to look back at the early days of the muscle car wars and think they weren’t actually that powerful when we have cars putting out 700 hp being sold new in showrooms. But, back in 1969, the Yenko Camaro was the equivalent of today’s Dodge Demon. With 425 hp on tap (in 1969!), these factory monsters absolutely dominated in any drag race.

Beast Mode: LS6 454 V8

Decades before the LS line of Chevy V8s would rule the streets and drag strip, the 1970 Chevelle was given a special edition called the “LS6.” Produced for one year only, this absolute monster came packing a 454 big block V8, putting down 450 hp, in 1970! While they’re extremely hard to find, if you can find an LS6 Chevelle, it’s as classic as classic muscle cars get.

Beast Mode: LS7 427 V8

Ever since the LS1 debuted, Chevy has been releasing improvement after improvement, constantly tweaking and tuning the engine’s architecture and parts. Available as a crate motor directly from Chevy, the beastly LS7 can be swapped into almost anything, as well as modified and tuned to make some serious power, not that the stock 505 hp is anything to scoff at.

Beast Mode: LS9 376 V8

If you’ve ever seen a picture of a C6 Corvette ZR1, then you’ve probably noticed the window in the middle of the hood. What that window gives you a view of is something truly special. The most powerful small block Chevy has made from the factory, the supercharged LS9 blasts out 638 hp. There’s a damn good reason the LS family of engines is so well respected.

The 2023 Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Sets New Benchmarks For Performance Trucks

The high-performance RAM 1500 TRX Havoc Edition gets upgraded to wreak havoc in the pick up truck segment.

Ram Trucks recently unveiled the exclusive new 2023 Ram 1500 TRX Havoc edition, which is now part of their, high performance, light-duty lineup. A pickup truck is to America what camels are to the desert.

Almost indestructible, hugely capable and rugged, a truck like the Ram 1500 TRX must exist, without which, this world is incomplete. The Ram 1500 TRX Havoc edition gets exclusively painted in this Baja Yellow shade. It looks like a badass Minion carrying adventure kit.

The Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Edition also promises to give its loyal customers a lethal blend of performance, a raft of capabilities and the latest technology. Ram Trucks is sure pull in more buyers with their newest beast.

2023 Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Edition Gets Plenty Of Enhancements

With the new 1500 TRX Havoc Edition, Ram expands its light-duty truck line-up that already comprises some of the quickest and most powerful trucks in America – and with that angry 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 engine beneath the hood, it’s going to be as noisy as any Dodge Challenger and other muscle cars like it out there.

Truck buyers looking at performance will be glad to know of the vast selection of personalization options and all the features exclusive to this model, like graphics, exterior graphics, technology and performance that come straight out of the factory.

The TRX Havoc Edition gets a host of improvements to the TRX Level 2 Equipment Group, which includes the Baja Yellow color, graphics, 18-inch all-black bead lock capable wheels, spray-in bedliner, dual pane panoramic sunroof, bed step, cargo tie-downs and an LED cab-mounted brake light.

The interior gets Prowler Yellow accent stitching, carbon fiber accents, a leather and carbon fiber flat-bottom steering wheel, Head-up Display, carbon fiber accents, a unique center console badge and a driver’s screen that shows ‘TRX’ in Baja Yellow. Safety kit includes Lane Keep Assist, adaptive cruise control and pedestrian emergency braking.

The new Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Edition can be yours for a starting MSRP of $104,550. However, the Havoc Edition will be sold in very limited numbers when it goes on sale in the first half of 2023.

Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Edition Is The Quickest Production Truck

With the Hellcat engine in the TRX, this behemoth is among the most powerful pickup trucks on the market. Its 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 produces 702hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, and that makes it a stronger performer compared to the Ford F-150 Raptor, which pushes out 450hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. Paired to the engine is an 8-speed automatic 8HP95 gearbox that you can have control over through either a stick or paddle shifters.

According to the automaker, the 1500 TRX is the quickest, fastest and most powerful mass-produced pickup truck in the world, and this brute can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 4.5 seconds.

Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Edition Is Off-Road Ready

The 1500 TRX is a pickup truck that won’t break a sweat when heading off the road, on to the boulders, through the rivers and over the steep slopes. With four-wheel drive, an electronic rear differential and a reinforced frame, the 1500 TRX Havoc Edition has ample ammo in reserve.

It also features a Dana 60 solid rear axle with 3.55 ratio, allowing up to 13 inches of suspension travel up-front and 14-inches at the rear. The 18-inch wheels are wrapped in all-terrain tires, and the truck comes as a Crew Cab.

Ram 1500 TRX Screams Performance

The moment you step in to the Ram 1500 TRX Havoc Edition, it all looks comfort-oriented, but not without touches of high-performance intentions. It features a flat-bottom steering wheel, and as we’d mentioned earlier, customers get to personalize their RAM 1500s to suit their taste; this includes the steering wheel and bucket seats.

The driver can access performance and off-road features via the 12-inch HD touchscreen. Safety options include Blind Spot Monitoring System, Park Assist System and a Surround View Camera System.

Ram 1500 TRX Was HotCars Best Pickup Of 2021

Pickup trucks are not always about hauling and towing heavy loads, because the 1500 TRX will show you another side of such a high-performance vehicle. The concept of plonking in the same engine from the Dodge Charger and Challenger muscle cars is borderline lunacy, but there’s a market for pickup trucks of this kind.

It can even can be seeing taking part on a drag strip, and while it might seem out of place, it would definitely scare the wits out of competing muscle cars. As we had mentioned last year, the TRX has everything you’d expect of a truck like it: butch styling, quick acceleration and a loud exhaust note.

The Ford F-150 Raptor had been the reigning champion since it was introduced, but when the Ram TRX showed up, it shifted the goal posts.

Source: Stellantis

Watch A Hellcat-Powered Ram 1500 Rebel Snap Both Its Axles In Drag Race Against A Jeep Trackhawk

A Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 is a fine thing, but make sure you remember to beef up the drivetrain to handle all 700 horsepower.

The Ram Rebel TRX still hasn’t shown itself, but this Hellcat-powered Ram 1500 is probably the next closest thing.

Introducing the RebHell, as 5thGenRams likes to call it. It’s a 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel Crew Cab that has replaced the 5.7-L HEMI V8 with the 6.2-L supercharged HEMI V8 from the Dodge Hellcat. This is the exact same formula that will power the Rebel TRX when it eventually arrives, but we don’t know how long that’ll take because Fiat Chrysler hasn’t said a word about it after announcing it’s in development.

The idea behind this custom pickup is to try and make it as close to what the TRX will be. This means besides the Hellcat engine, the Ram 1500 also received tech from other FCA vehicles to make that Hellcat engine purr.

The air intake is from a Dodge Demon and is fed from a hood vent and a vent on the front grille that’s taken from a Charger Hellcat Widebody. The radiator and oil cooler are both upgraded from a Jeep Trackhawk, while the body has been widened thanks to a custom bodykit that tries to retain the look of the original Rebel as much as possible. That front bumper, for example, is the same as the stock version but widened by 4 inches.

New Method NB-305 wheels are wrapped in 37-inch off-road tires, and the owner optioned the air suspension for a smooth ride on or off-road.

All of this is great, but how does it drive? To find out, they took it to a private drag event in Michigan and pitted it against a Hellcat and a Jeep Trackhawk. The Hellcat naturally destroyed the RebHell as it’s over 1,000 lbs lighter and was riding on drag radials instead of off-road rubbers. But still, the pickup posted a best time of 13.24 seconds at 104 mph.

Up until it went against the Trackhawk. Although this matchup is far fairer, the Rebel snapped both axles before the race could be completed. It’ll be back though, with a pair of brand new Dana axles and some new differentials too.

The Best Toyota Hybrid Cars Of 2022, Ranked

Toyota is a brand that knows a thing or two about hybrids, having released one as early as 1997. Here’s how its best hybrids rank in 2022.