car engine

Keeping it Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Engine Rebuilding

New to engine rebuilding? No worries.

Whether you can’t afford to buy a brand new engine outright, or you just want to give your old engine a much-needed performance boost, you’ve seen the signs your old car needs an engine rebuild.

If you’re a DIY car repair enthusiast, you can handle the job and get professional results, provided you have the right information and tools. As extra impetus, you should know that you’ll most likely come out ahead if you take on the project.

Here’s a general guide on how to rebuild your engine.

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Prep the Engine for Removal

Over time, dirt and oil accumulate under the hood, and like many other car owners, you might have left the buildup unattended. Removing bolts and disconnecting parts can be a tough job if the greasy exteriors of the engine aren’t cleaned.

An effective way to spiff up your engine is to wipe off the accumulated dirt and grease with a clean rag. Avoid pressure washing your engine because the water can damage the electrical components of your car.

Once you’ve removed as much accumulated mud and grease as possible, disconnect wiring and remove any removable components like covers, hoses and the radiator. Now you can remove the bolts that secure the engine in the hood of your car.

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Remove the Engine

Engine assemblies are heavy, so you’ll need to use a piece of lifting equipment to lift out your engine. Use an engine hoist to make light work of the job. You’ll also need to use a strong steel chain that can withstand the weight of your engine.

Removing the engine from your car is a dangerous job. Make sure you understand how to safely use the hoisting equipment.

Disassemble and Clean the Engine

Once you’ve removed the engine, start dismantling it part by part as you inspect each part for excess wear and tear. Make sure you keep defective components separate from the good ones. This way, you’ll be able to tell what to re-use and what to replace.

After you’re done tearing the entire engine apart, clean the engine block and all the good parts with a lint-free rag.

Reassemble the Engine

This involves taking everything you removed back to its place, starting with the components you removed last. Makes sure all moving parts are properly lubed before reassembly. Install new pistons, bearings, seals, rings, and gaskets.

These new internal goodies are crucial for giving your engine the performance upgrade it so much needs. If you want to get the best performance from your rebuilt engine, consider retrofitting your car with LS engine parts.

Place the Engine Back into Position

Once you’re done reinstalling the engine, use the hoisting equipment to lift and lower it into the hood of your vehicle. Mount and tighten the bolts, and reconnect the wiring and other detached engine parts.

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Want to Learn More About Engine Rebuilding?

The above engine rebuild guide is only intended to serve as a general-purpose informational tool on the process of engine rebuilding. Actual processes may differ by car type.

If you’re serious about rebuilding your engine yourself, you’ll need to arm yourself with accurate information pertaining to your specific car make, model, and year. Check out our range of service repair manuals to see if you can find something for your particular car make and model.

Don’t feel embarrassed to seek guidance – even the best engine builders started off as rookies.