The Basics of Engine Rebuilding

Whether it’s breathing new life into a classic that you’re not ready to part with, making an already fast car even faster, or simply giving your daily driver the love it deserves, engine rebuilding is an excellent way to get the most out of your automobile. The process is not for the faint of heart, however. There is a high level of skill and precision required. And mistakes are not tolerated well by an engine, which lets you know about them loudly and with great clarity. From dusted head gaskets to busted piston ring lands to spun bearings to wiped cam lobes, turning your motor into a pile of scrap metal happens surprisingly often.

Fortunately, you can save your engine¬†automotive repair shop Calgary from this fate by investing in some basic tools and a lot of gumption. A comprehensive manual can also be very helpful. If you follow the steps and have the proper tools, you can take your vehicle’s engine to a whole new level of performance and longevity.

An engine rebuild is a multi-step process that begins with the removal of the lower part of the engine, known as the short block. This is then disassembled, cleaned and inspected. If the internal parts, like the pistons and rings, are deemed worn or damaged, they’re replaced. Similarly, the clearances between the various components are measured and tightened, ensuring that they’re within manufacturer specifications.

Next, the engine block is inspected for cracks or warping that may require machining to restore the surfaces to their original shape and reseal the cylinder bores properly. The cylinder bores themselves are checked to ensure that they are still within spec, and if they’re out of spec, the engine needs to be bored and honed.

The same procedure is followed for the cylinder heads, examining the shims, valve guides and stem seals for signs of damage or excessive wear. During the process, a machinist can also resurface the heads and replace the shims or guides as necessary to ensure the best possible performance. Lastly, the rods and pistons are removed, and their caps and rod journals are cleaned and protected. During the re-assembly process, rod caps and rods are kept in matched sets or marked as a set to ensure they go back into the same cylinders from which they were removed. This is important for balance and consistent “break” in.

Finally, the reinstalled engine is ready to be started and run, but not before it’s been broken in and thoroughly inspected for a smooth, safe ride. During this process, a compression test can help to determine the status of each cylinder, and a dye is used to highlight any leaks that should be repaired. It’s also a good time to install a fresh spark plug and oil, and a compression and knock sensor diagnostic to verify that the engine is running correctly. A thorough inspection can be completed using a torque wrench to check for loose nuts and bolts and for proper torque settings.