Rebuilding an old car engine Important part of restoration (2023)


Por John Gunnell

Classic car restoration can generally be divided into three main areas of repair: mechanics, bodywork and interior. With a restoration, you take care of each of these systems and you're left with a car that looks like new again. Dealing with the car's engine is an important part of mechanical restoration.

Although some experts say that the aesthetic aspects of a restoration (bodywork and upholstery) are the most difficult stages of a restoration, dealing with your car's engine is not easy.

Most true classic car restorers are interested in rebuilding a car's original engine or finding an exact and period-correct replacement. Typically, a home restorer will "start" a car's engine, disassemble it, take it to a mechanic shop to work on, locate or order new parts, install the new parts after finishing the mechanic shop, and rebuild. Assemble the rebuilt engine. in the car and test and adjust its function.

Rebuilding an old car engine Important part of restoration (1)

While you can order high performance "box" engines for American cars, there aren't many catalogs of complete original MG TF 1250 engines like the mechanic Vince Sauberlich sees tuning here.

There are not many mail order sources for genuine vintage engines, although there are a few companies that catalog Ford Model T and Model A engines, and several stores offer mail order rebuilds of British sports car engines.

Promar Precision Engines, based in Paterson, New Jersey, has noticed a national resurgence in classic car restoration and has launched a program to meet the demand. The company sent representatives to auto shows to promote the idea that it could replicate classic car engines shipped to it. Promar was already a remanufacturing company serving customers all over the world with a complete line of remanufactured and remanufactured engines, cylinder heads, crankshafts, engine and component remanufacturing services. He attempted to establish a "mail order business" by shipping older engines to his New Jersey location.

Promar still offers the highly specialized service, but it is not giving classic car engine rebuild services the same promotional push that it received nine years ago. Engine shipping is expensive and this is one of the main reasons why most hobbyists end up breaking the engine and relying on local workshops and remanufacturers.

Rebuilding an old car engine Important part of restoration (2)

Taking an engine out of a car and taking it apart takes 5 to 8 hours. Typical shop prices for this job range from $250 to $400. Most "general contractors" can do this job themselves if they have an electric lift.

Removing an engine is a job most hobby restorers can handle. It takes at least four to six hours to remove accessories such as the carburetor, alternator, starter and fuel pump from an engine, carefully disconnect electrical connections and wiring, remove all fasteners that hold it to the frame, and remove the engine from a vehicle safely. to be lifted with a lifting platform. At $75 an hour, shops charge $300-$450 to do this job and the same to restart the engine again. It's a job anyone can do and a do it yourself can save you up to $900 on a complete engine overhaul.

Rebuilding an old car engine Important part of restoration (3)

Ted Sjveda of Monaco Vintage Motors in Manawa, Wisconsin receives a rare 2.5L Hemi V-8 pull-out from a 1960 Daimler SP250. Ted uses an engine balancer sold by Eastwood to make lifting easier.

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You remove the car's hood and any sheet metal that is obstructing the engine's output. Then disconnect the wires, cables, fluid lines and connections that go from the car to the engine. Your car's factory manual lists all the steps to remove an engine. Carefully follow the instructions in the manual. Take lots of digital photos as you work, and keep a book handy to take notes. Have zippered shopping bags, index cards, and a pen handy. Each time you remove a tile, throw it into a bag, write a description of the tile on the sheet, and place the card in the bag with the tiles. If you find it helpful, make sketches of how the parts work.

Rebuilding an old car engine Important part of restoration (4)

After removing many accessories, electrical connections, wiring, and engine-to-chassis mounts, the Daimler Hemi 2.5 liter V-8 was finally removed from the car to allow the transmission to be removed for mounting the mount.

The more you move, the more pieces will come out and the remaining pieces will be more visible. Eventually you will see how the engine mounts work and figure out how to remove them. At this point you can retract with the engine jack and remove the engine from the chassis. Some locomotives have jacks to which a crane can be attached, but it is often necessary to place a sling around the block to lift it. Chains can cut fresh engine paint, so take a sling with you.

Rebuilding an old car engine Important part of restoration (5)

This MGB engine was dismantled and rebuilt by Fox Cities British Car Club enthusiasts as a group project to help another club member. The lucky owner of the car won a refurbished engine for the price of parts.

When the engine is off, the restorer must decide who will knock it out. This is a task that requires skill and experience. It's easy to break things like distributor nuts and bolts. If you've done the work before, it shouldn't be a problem, if it's your first time, seek help. Special tools and equipment are needed, starting with a bracket to mount the engine. If you take the engine to a professional rebuilder, they might be willing to take it apart along with everything else. For cost reasons, it's best to do everything yourself. A friend had a GTO engine made at a high end shop and just a few months earlier he had to redo it himself. You'll get better results if you learn and roll up your sleeves.

After disassembling the engine, take the parts to the mechanic shop. Discuss what you need. You'll know what's best. Do not cut corners. With an outdated engine, the shop may need help locating parts. The engine will be in the shop for a while, but you might be too busy painting parts that weren't in the shop, like the intake and exhaust manifolds, timing covers, air filter, and valve covers. I like to rebuild everything while taking the engine apart, so I send the carbs, fuel pump, water pump, and distributor to specialists for overhaul. If it is necessary to check the instruments, I see it as part of the engine work. When the engine is ready, you will need to hook it up to properly working gauges to test it.

Rebuilding an old car engine Important part of restoration (6)

This METS (Mobile Engine Test Station) was purchased from Northern Tool and contains a complete set of gauges so that rebuilt engines can be tested and adjusted. Since then, other companies like Eastwood have started to deal with this product.

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And what about the "Crate" engines? According to The New York Times (October 25, 2006), high-performance aftermarket car engines known as "box engines" have become a major source of revenue for US automakers. In his article "Instant Power in a Box, Delivered Right to Your Hot Rod", Joe Siano showed that sales are steadily increasing. Box engines are used to "restore" modified muscle cars and build off-the-shelf hot rods.

Siano said Chrysler sold $2 million worth of crate engines in 2004, $4.5 million in 2005 and $5 million in 2006. One hot rodder interviewed for the article said he bought a 435-hp GM crate engine with a two-year warranty. years for about $4,500. half of what it would cost to rebuild an old high-powered V-8.

Rebuilding an old car engine Important part of restoration (7)

Gale Banks Engineering is a well known supplier of high performance box engines. These new engines are mostly used to build hot rods and other mods. Car manufacturers like the fact that they come with a warranty.

Classic car restorers who use crate engines feel that they are updating old cars and increasing their value. With their reliability and guarantees, Crate-Mods helped create a new type of vehicle called "Rest-Mod": a car with original appearances, some style and many technological upgrades. Box engines are also used in so-called "clone" cars. Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson said the crate-powered cars sold for more than $200,000 in Scottsdale. Box engines sound great and can help build a very reliable car. However, none are completely authentic when it comes to factory fixes.

Here is a list of resources for rebuilding old engines and engine accessories.


A & C Foundry Rebuilders (Gussreparaturen)
3560 Big Valley Rd., Unit A
Kelseyville, CA 95451
Toll free number: 866-935-3227

Advanced engine rebuild (Motorumbau)
176 Main Street
Wareham, MA 02571
Phone: 508-295-2288

Carburador Benchwick, Inc. (Vergaserumbau)
Avenida Glenwood, 2747
Youngstown, Ohio 44511
Phone: 330-782-3767

Foundry recovery technologies (Gussreparaturen)
Toll Free Number: 800-833-8814

CCS (Carburetor Overhaul)
1020-A Princesa St.
Wilmington, Carolina do Norte 28401
Phone: 910-232-5794
Toll free number: 800-792-2077

Classic Carburetor (Carburetor Conversion)
3116 East Shea Blvd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85028
Phone: 602-971-3300

Dale Manufacturing (harmonic balancer rebuild)
3425 Fairhaven Avenue NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-364-8685

Damper Doctor (Restoring Harmonic Balance)
Avenida Parkview 1055.
Redness, CAS96001
Phone: 530-246-2984

Diesel Machine Service, Inc. (edition)
9795 Lincolnstr.
Amherst, Wisconsin 54406
Phone: 715-824-3966
Toll Free Number: 800-236-3674

J&M machine (engine rebuild)
40 Monte Vickery Rd.
Southborough, MA 01772
Phone: 508-460-0733

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Joe Short, Inc. (SU-Vergaserspezialist)
22-09 126. Calle.
University Point, Nova York 11356
Phone: 718-762-SUSU
Fax: 718-762-6287

Daytona cameras (camera loops)
Toll Free Number: 800-505-2267
Fax: 386-258-1582

Daytona Parts Co. (Vergaserumbau)
1191 Turnbull Bay Rd.
Nova Symrna Beach, FL 32168
Phone: 386-427-7108

Delta camshaft (cam grinding)
19838 Tacoma Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98402
Toll Free Number: 800-562-5500

Effingham Regrinding, Inc. (Revision)
Effingham, Illinois
Phone: 217-342-4186

Maschinenfabrik Egge (engine overhaul)
11707 Slauson Avenue
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Toll Free Number: 866-534-EGGE

Schmitt Engines
554 E. Butler Ave.
Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901
Phone: 215-348-4747

Jon W. Gateman & Son (Gussreparaturen)
PO Box 413
Beatty, Nevada 89003
Mobile: 775-764-0976

Harkin Machine Shop (rebuild/rebuild)
903 Calle 43 NE
Watertown, Dakota del Sur 57201
Phone: 605-886-7880

Hedworth carburetor (custom rebuild)
707 S. Missouri St.
Macon, MO 63552
Phone: 660-385-2536

Kar-Go Carburetors, Inc. (Vergaserumbau)
30952 Fordstraße
Garden City, MI 48135
Phone: 734-425-4590

Larry Isgro (Vergaserumbau)
1604 Argyle Rd
Wantaugh, Nova York 11795
Phone: 516-783-1041

Lawson carburetor (carb rebuild)
1109 N. Dort Hwy
Flint, MI 48506
Phone: 810-232-5881

Marx Parts (head gaskets, ignition)
7323 Trunk County N
Arpin, Wisconsin 54410

Ohio Pattern Co. (Gussreparaturen)
Phone: 614-875-9599

Precision carburettor (carburetor conversion)
287A Skidmores Rd.
Wildlife Park, Nova York 11729
Phone: 631-667-3854
Fax: 631-595-1059

Promar Precision Engine Rebuilders, Inc. (Motorüberholung)
Pfirsichstrasse 10,
Paterson Nova Jersey 07503
Phone: 973-684-1500
Toll Free Number: 800-422-6022
Fax: 973-684-1212

Rick's Carburetor Repair
135 Blissville Rd.
mailbox 46
Hydeville, VT06750
Phone: 802-265-3006

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Hey Babbitt Pot (Babbitt)
State Route 1693. 14
Fort Edward, Nova York 12828
Phone: 518-747-4277

J&A Motors/Machine (engine and water pump rebuild)
Phone: 509-434-8981
Toll Free Number: 888-334-5811

Jim Taylor (SU carb and fuel pump rebuild)
1222 Harned Dr.
Bartlesville, OK 74006
Telephone: 918�333-3444

Terrill Machine, Inc. (fuel pump rebuild)
1000 CR454
Deleon, TX 76444
Phone: 254-893-2610

Van Hook Vintage, LLC (rebuild SU and Weber carburetors)
Phone: 215-262-8547

Former Motor Machinery Factory (Motorumbau)
5959 N. Government Road
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815
Phone: 208-651-1161

West Amity Machine Shop (Motorumbau)
Toledo Street, 61
Farmingdale, Nova York 11735
Phone: 631-845-4604

Wyoming Carburetor Technology (Vergaserumbau)
Phone: 307-672-7512

Ace Alternator (alternator starter and conversion)
Wichita, Kansas.
Phone: 239-821-6548 or 316-529-8854

Advanced dealerships (dealer conversion - British cars are a specialty)
Calle Quincy 1149
Shakopee, Minnesota 55379
Phone: 612-804 5543

British Car Parts Restoration (SU electric fuel pump rebuild)
E. Lawrie Rhoads
7 Knollwood Rd.
Medfield, MA 02052
Phone: 508-359-2077"

Fondy Auto Electric (electric parts rebuild)
765 Sullivan Unit
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
Phone: 920-922-9130
Toll Free Number: 800-236-2701
Fax: 920-922-1789

Burton R. Norton (Vertriebsumbau)
0-1845 Westleonard
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Phone: 616-677-1208
Fax: 616-677-1289

Philbin Refurbished Products (Distributors Rebuilt; Electric Motors Rebuilt)
28 N.Russell St.
Portland, Oregon 97227
Phone: 503-287-1718
Fax: 503-287-3144

Precision Power, Inc. (starter motor and alternator rebuild)
630 parking spaces
Lansing, MI 48912
Toll Free Number: 800-794-5962
Fax: 517-371-1890

Bob Soucy Performance Automotive Ignition (Distributor Rebuild)
Phone: 239-728-2810
Toll free number: 800-556-1365

Wilton Auto Electric LLC (British car electric restoration)
10 Córrego Rochaso Dr.
Wilton, NH 03086-5151
Phone: 603-654-9852


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