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Engine Rebuilds 101

engine rebuilds

Rebuilding your engine is a labor of love. It takes time, brow sweat, and skill. For beginners, however, rebuilding an engine may seem daunting – and rightfully so. Rebuilding your engine for high-performance purposes is no different. No matter how many times you have done an engine rebuild, it is most important to focus on the basics and do them well. Continue reading to unpack the basics of engine rebuilds.

How Is An Engine Rebuilt?

The most important part of an engine rebuild is planning. Make sure that you have a clear idea of what the purpose of your engine rebuild is as it will determine the engine parts you purchase and ultimately the price of the build. The most general aspect to focus on during any engine rebuild are the following:

  1. Cylinder Blocks

    Depending on your objective, you can either purchase a new cylinder block or you could purchase a second- hand block which will be a great deal more affordable. Blocks can be made of aluminum or cast iron. The block purchased will depend on whether this is an ordinary or high-performance purpose build. Cylinder honing is a crucial yet often overlooked part of building an engine. It requires a great deal of detail and although the process can be simulated at a later a stage, doing so is not advisable as it affects the integrity of your engine. Honing should be done by using a torque plate, studs, and head gasket that will be used at the final stage of assembly.

  2. Cylinder Head Porting

    Head work takes years to master and is best left to the professionals. The size of the head and your engine’s overall performance are interconnected. If the head is too big and the ratio of velocity to flow is not maintained, your mid-range torque will not function at its optimum level for very long. When building an engine for high-performance, do not be tempted to port your head yourself as fixing it is often more expensive than a custom job.

  3. Head Fasteners

    The type of head fastener you use will be determined by your engine’s horsepower and torque potential. You can either use head studs or head bolts. For every day drivers head bolts are preferred as they are more practical and they stretch permanently once installed. Head studs are preferred for high-performance engines as the stud can be tightened into place with minimum stretching, resulting in a more accurate and even torque load.

  4. Crankshaft And Rod Bearings

    When rebuilding an engine, you are almost certain to need new crankshaft and rod bearings. When purchasing them however, be sure not to opt for mass factory produced bearings as they have a higher risk of delaminating after regular use. Tri-metal and quad-metal bearings are of higher quality and last longer due to their resistant quality. They are also more environmentally friendly and can be recycled. When removing old bearings ensure that you inspect them properly. Bearings are a huge contributor to engine failures.

  5. Engine Tune

    Nothing beats a good engine tune! Make sure that your engine tuner tunes your engine properly for all weather conditions. Some engine tuners have an extensive database of previous engine tunes done, but this does not guarantee a healthy engine. A good engine tune can only be achieved if your engine is tuned in various weather conditions. Doing so will contribute to the health of your engine and ultimately how long it lasts.

When Is It Necessary To Rebuild Your Engine?

Different people rebuild their engines for different reasons. Some may need an upgrade for professional driving purposes and some do so because their engines are in desperate need of repair. Some of the signs that your car is need of an engine rebuild are:

  • High oil consumption
  • Large amounts of white smoke coming from the exhaust pipe
  • Metal shavings in engine oil
  • If you hear rattling sounds emanating from the engine

Contact an expert today to discuss your engine rebuild options, for daily and high-performance drivers.

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