6 Awesome And Affordable Mini V8 Engine Kits | SlashGear & EngineDIY

6 Awesome And Affordable Mini V8 Engine Kits | SlashGear & EngineDIY

BY JOE CAPRARO/OCT. 9, 2023 11:45 AM EST

  The holiday gift-giving season is almost upon us, and one gift that will widen the eyes of any automotive hobbyist or scientifically-minded tinkerer on your gift list is a V8 engine kit. EngineDIY sells a wide array of engine kits, from those modeled after the motors found in '60s muscle cars to zero-emission electromagnetic engines. A V8 engine kit can not only be a great gift but can also serve as an educational tool for a student interested in the scientific concepts of combustion, friction, and the other forces and principles that combine to make an engine convert energy into motion. Some of EngineDIY's kits also have real-world value for adults as well. 

  With the cost of rebuilding a V8 engine sometimes running as high as several thousand dollars, learning how to do such a job yourself can save you a bundle. These kits are faithful recreations of real vehicle engines and other, more expensive kits from EngineDIY even run on gasoline or diesel fuel. Let's take a look at five of the best V-8 kits available from EngineDIY for less than $250.

STEM toy V8 engine kit

  One of the most affordable V8 engine kits available is the STEM toy V8 engine kit, which sells for $89.99 at EngineDIY. While the kit is mostly plastic, it is a fairly complete and faithful recreation of a real-world automotive engine complete with valve system, pistons, camshaft, timing belt, and fan.

  Assembly time for the kit is about six hours, and 17 of the 20 buyers who left reviews gave the kit five out of five stars, although several of the reviewers noted that the kit came with two sizes of screws that were difficult to tell apart, which made assembly difficult for many of them. Don Chochola gave the kit four stars and wrote, "This was an interesting model to build. The parts were very well laid out, the instructions were very complete and very clear. I thought this was very well engineered and very well thought out."

MAD RC V8 engine

Some of the EngineDIY kits are made to be assembled and placed in RC cars like the Capra VS4-10 Pro. One such kit is this Mad RC V8 engine kit, which sells for $119.99 but sometimes goes on sale for $99.99. 

The kit contains a combination of plastic and metal pieces; many of the plastic pieces will need to be deburred, and most RC car owners will want to paint the engine when it is assembled. It will fit the Capra VS4-10 Pro and Ultra as well as AX90104 and SCX 10 RC vehicles. EngineDIY also sells the SCX10 off-road chassis for $249.99 if you need a vehicle to drop your motor into. The engine model is exceptionally realistic and includes a starter, oil pan, belts, fuel rail, and exhaust and intake manifolds. The assembly process is painstaking and should take most people several hours to do correctly.

V8 RC vehicle engine

This V8 engine kit, also meant to power RC cars, retails for $129.99. It's very similar to the previous one, with one significant difference being that the cylinder heads come pre-painted with a metallic scarlet red finish. All 12 buyers who left reviews for this kit rated it five out of five stars, although some left comments critical of the model's fitment in their full reviews. 

Although Alfredo Pantoja Ruiz gave the kit five stars, he wrote, "The honest truth is when you put it together, some parts don't align correctly [and] pulleys aren't strong enough to truly turn. It's cool to put together, but it doesn't work with 100% movement."

Several reviewers noted that this kit was a perfect teaching tool. Norman rated it five stars and wrote, "We bought this for my 12-year-old son to work on this summer, and he really enjoyed putting it together. The instructions were easy to follow, and it was easily constructed in a few days. He didn't need any adult help to complete the project. Afterward, the engine actually worked to show him the different parts. This toy is perfect for kids that like to build stuff!" 

Tom called it "good quality, fun and educational"  and added, "My 12 and 10-year-old were very excited when they received this toy. It took my boys around 6 hours to complete. Once we were done the engine looked and sounded really great."

250 piece V8 engine kit

Another realistic automotive-based V8 engine kit is this 250-piece plastic and metal kit priced at $149.99. This is another realistic representation of an actual car engine, complete with timing belt, valve system, crankshaft, water pump, fan and fan belt, and clear plastic valve cover so you can see the valves at work. The engine runs on three AAA batteries, which are not included in the kit. All five buyers who left reviews gave the kit five out of five stars, with some pointing out that it was appropriate as an educational tool for pre-teen or teenage builders.

HHaller gave it five stars and wrote, "Instructions were very good. Good quality of materials. My 10-year-old and I built it in one sitting that took ~4 hours. He could do everything required for assembly except the steps where most people would want help from a second person and a second pair of hands."

Man Helen also rated it five out of five stars and noted, "My teen nephew and I enjoyed assembling the V8, and surely he gained some insight into the mechanical workings of an internal combustion engine. The detail of the more complex assemblies (cams, ignition) are very impressive. Educational, and fun to build."

Electromagnetic solenoid engine

Although all of the previous engines on this list are modeled after internal combustion engines currently used in vehicles, this electromagnetic solenoid engine that retails for $199.99 models an entirely different set of operating principles. Instead of showing how a typical car engine mixes gasoline and air with a spark to create an explosion that turns a crankshaft, this kit uses a series of electromagnets to move a rod inside each cylinder back and forth as the current is switched on and off. The rods take the place of the pistons in an internal combustion engine.

The included 18-24 volt DC power supply powers the motor. It works better as a demonstration of the principles of electromagnetism than it does as a model of automotive engine operation since solenoid engines are not used in vehicles due to their weight and the amount of electricity it takes to power them.

24V solenoid motor kit

Another V8 model engine that demonstrates how a solenoid motor works is this 24V electromagnetic engine kit. The parts in this kit are stainless steel and aluminum alloy. The kit sells for $239.99. This engine is also driven by a DC power supply included in the kit. The operational speed of the motor is user-adjustable. When fully assembled, the motor has dimensions of approximately 13cm x 10cm x 8cm (5in x 7in x 4in) and weighs 900 grams (about 32 ounces). 

Because of the small size of some of the parts in the kit and the intricate assembly process, this kit is not suitable for small children. EngineDIY offers a 30-day refund or exchange policy on this and any other kit you order through its site provided all the parts in the kit are returned in their original condition without any wear or damage to them.
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