As our economic situation has worsened, we have learned to be smarter and more frugal with our money out of necessity. To adapt to these increasingly hard times, we have begun building our lowriders on a step-by-step, and more budget friendly basis. We all want the most for our money, so why just dress up your engine when you can spend the same amount of money and get the performance and efficiency you want out of it as well? This theory has been commonplace for years in the custom car game, and Lowriders today have embraced that philosophy as well, looking to get the most bang for their buck.

In addition to the chrome intakes and carburetor combinations that have become a standard upgrade to most lowrider builds, Lowriders today are looking at building engines that are going to last and be able to withstand the power upgrades as well. With that said, newer technology has become more available at affordable pricing, as fuel injection motors are becoming easier to obtain. In GM's arsenal, the LS fuel injected motors that were introduced in 1997, are the next generation of small blocks that could be tuned and modified to give you over 400 hp and over 20 miles to the gallon.

Performance for your engine starts as early as picking the right oil for your engine block. If the lube is not the correct one for your engine, it can thin out from the heat that gets created, especially with all of the chrome-plated and billet parts that most builders are adding to their custom lowriders today. Using the right oil will help protect the engine and help to keep it breathing properly, which in turn, can ensure a more durable and long-lasting engine. A great example in this arena would be Castrol's Syntec oils, as these oils have been fine-tuned to provide high heat protection to help keep oil from boiling away.

Playing head games when building the top end is a very important step in car building, as this is the first major upgrade that will give you extra horsepower. As a matter of fact, a new set of heads on your classic motor will modernize it, and give it a little more power without sacrificing any performance. Most of today's production heads, deliver exceptional out-of-the-box performance gains for engines. Today's heads are available in aluminum or cast iron, these heads are the optimum choice for a variety of performance applications including lowriders, street rods, and muscle cars.

Engines with valve trains featuring a rolling lifter, cam, and rockers setups seem to be popping up everywhere, as these modern stock engines are becoming easier and more economical to obtain. There is nothing wrong with using the old hydraulic flat tap-it combinations, but by using a hydraulic rolling valve train, you can get your engine running like a modern day engine.

One of the most popular new performance tricks for custom engines is adding a "serpentine" drive system, similar to those found on most of today's stock cars and trucks. Some of today's serpentine systems range in price from $1,200-$2,500, depending on the manufacturer and style that you choose. There are several aftermarket serpentine systems available, and they all work very well, since the industry has finally gotten the R&D down to where it should be. Most serpentine systems have their own unique style and appearance. When it comes to choosing the right serpentine kit for your car, the decision will come down to individual style, preference, and budget.