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Engine Rebuilding 101: What It Is and How It Is Done

Like all mechanical devices that contain moving parts, vintage cars become more vulnerable to engine issues as their mileage increases and their components get older. Routine maintenance provided by experienced classic car mechanics can greatly extend the life of an engine, but every engine will eventually become problematic in some way.

This is where engine rebuild shops in Orange County come in. Engine rebuilding is a specialized auto mechanic service that strives to identify the source (or sources) of an engine's problems and solve them by replacing or fixing the faulty components directly.

In the following article, we'll explain what the engine rebuilding process includes, as well as shed some light on the crucial differences between engine rebuild, replacement, and change. Keep reading to learn more.

How do you restore an old engine?

Rebuilding an engine involves removing it from the classic car and completely disassembling it, cleaning it, and inspecting it. Once that has been done, all the faulty parts are replaced with new or refurbished equivalents. In order to meet OEM standards, the engine is then rebuilt using new seals, lubricants, and gaskets.

Needless to say, engine rebuilding is a highly complex undertaking that requires extensive knowledge, specialized equipment, and first-hand experience to perform correctly. It should therefore never be attempted by someone who isn't a trained and seasoned auto mechanic.

A typical engine rebuild process includes:

1. Take the engine out of the classic car

  • Step 1: Position the vehicle near the hoist

  • Step 2: Remove the engine cover

  • Step 3: Disconnect the outer engine components

  • Step 4: Disconnect electric connections

  • Step 5: Disconnect the transmission's bell housing from the engine

  • Step 6: Remove the engine with the hoist

2. Engine block disassembly

  • Step 1: Thoroughly examine the engine

  • Step 2: Remove the exhaust manifold

  • Step 3: Take the rest of the engine apart

  • Step 4: Give the cylinder bores a thorough examination

  • Step 5: Remove rod assemblies and pistons

  • Step 6: Remove and examine the crankshaft

  • Step 7: Complete the disassembly

3. Cylinder head disassembly

  • Step 1: Compress the springs on the valve and remove the valve

  • Step 2: Examine all valve heads

  • Step 3: Reface all valves that aren't getting replaced

4. Engine block reassembly

  • Step 1: Clean the engine block and all of the removed components

  • Step 2: Install the main caps and the crankshaft

  • Step 3: Install the timing belt or chain

  • Step 4: Install new gaskets, pistons, seals, and rings

  • Step 5: Install the head gasket

  • Step 6: Install the replacement valve train

5. Put the engine back in the car

  • Step 1: Hoist the engine back up

  • Step 2: Reconnect it

  • Step 3: Test to make sure everything is working correctly

What's the difference between engine change and replacement?

Engine replacement refers to the process of replacing an existing engine with a new, used, rebuilt, or remanufactured engine that has the same make, the same number of cylinders, and belongs to the same test group as the original engine.

On the other hand, the process of replacing an engine with a different model is called engine change.

Where can I find the most dependable engine rebuild shops in Orange County?

Just as you wouldn't cut corners when it comes to fixing the roof on your house or making sure your garage door is working as intended, you should also never have your classic car serviced at a second-rate auto restoration shop.

Located in Huntington Beach, Chimera Motors is the leading provider of classic car repair, restoration, and storage services in Orange County. Get in touch with us today if you'd like to take advantage of our services or schedule a consultation.


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