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Rebuilding an engine can cost less than replacing it. Assuming the original engine is rebuildable (wear is not excessive and there is no serious damage), and the amount of machine work required to restore it is minimal, you may realize 20% to 50% or more savings doing a rebuild versus replacing the engine. Most of the savings comes from the labor you put into tearing down the engine and then reassembling it after any necessary machine work has been done.

The tools required to rebuild an engine are minimal: normal hand tools, some feeler gauges, a torque wrench, a ring expander and ring compressor. Any machine work that is needed can be farmed out to a local machine shop.

If the cylinders are worn, they will have to be bored or honed to accept oversize pistons and rings. If not, you can run a glaze breaker down the bores and do the work yourself. If you don't have valve and seat refacing equipment, you'll have to send that out, too. Worn guides can be reamed out, replaced or relined in-house with a few special tools. But jobs such as head resurfacing, line boring, crank refinishing, etc., will have to be farmed out. Find a reputable local machine shop that you can use for this type of work.

Another reason for doing your own engine work is to control the quality of parts and work that goes into the engine. This is something you cannot control when you buy an engine from an outside source. It may be top quality, or it may not. But you do not want to find out "the hard way." The truth is, some remanufacturers reuse a much higher percentage of parts than others do, obviously for cost savings purposes.

You can also save by buying the parts you need in an engine kit rather than individually. A kit gives you everything you need in one box and reduces the chance of mismatching parts. The parts in a kit usually include bearings, rings, pistons, timing chain and gear set, valve seals, gaskets, oil pump, camshaft, lifters and other miscellaneous parts.

You can usually get OEM or better quality parts in most kits, which may be better than the parts found in some remanufactured engines.

One aftermarket supplier of engine kits now offers a 100,000 warranty (including labor) on all of the parts in its premium engine kits - which is a better deal than you will find on almost any replacement engine, new or remanufactured.

Engine Rebuild Tutorial Links:

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