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Engine rebuild terms and costs?

 
Old 08-05-2018, 07:50 PM
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alexl911
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Default Engine rebuild terms and costs?

Hi, I'm in the market for a 964 and many ads say things like "engine rebuilt", "engine refreshed", "top end rebuild done" and "partial bottom end done". What exactly do these terms mean? Many times there are no receipts or proof of exactly what work was done. Is it better to buy a high mileage car with an original engine which has never been rebuilt?

How much should a full rebuild cost assuming bringing the motor back to factory specs? Of course, when the engine is upgraded the costs can vary widely.

Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:08 PM
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jgj
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I don't know where you're located but in the UK a full engine rebuild (not just top end) including the dilavar head studs will set you back at least ú14,000 at a reputable shop. Anything less and you're likely to be cutting corners somewhere, unless you've been lucky.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:08 PM
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you need to specify what was done. there are different stages. but basically:

top end - pull heads, refresh valves, seals, stuff in the valve train. this is most common and usually done around 100k miles as valve guides wear, timing chains done, etc - ~10k
partial bottom - usually means they put new rings on the pistons, checked pistons for clearance, they were OK (bottom ends usually good for 200k or so on these if maintained ~10k
Full rebuild - split case, new main bearings, refresh everything that needs done ~25k

Those #'s are highly variable on location, and what the engine needs. Usually when doing any of these you want to refresh: rubber bits, service injectors, fuel lines, etc.

If no receipts, leak down, compression test, and a very good inspection can usually tell if wear is commensurate w/ mileage or not. if not, assume it's not done.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:41 PM
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Engine rebuild to factory spec will be approx 25-30k

If you go after horsepower, it doubles quickly.

The one that kills me is when is see an ad for a car that says "engine reseal at xxx miles". That's just humorous. Cuz yes, that owner likely paid a huge amount of money for his "reseal" but since most of what got resealed can be done with the motor in the car, by you, at home, it doesn't do anything like what a rebuild would do, and yet somehow it's presented with the same value to the potential buyer.

If someone has a rebuilt motor, most of the time, that person is going to show you receipts, tell you the guy that built it, hand you the guys phone number, and the guy that did the job will likely remember the motor and the car. It's a small community. We more or less all know each other at some point. So if it sounds fishy, it likely is, and if it looks and feels like it's all up front, it likely is...

Now - here's the last and then I'll shut up- most of these motors don't need a rebuild down to the crank. The bottom end of it's maintained properly will go 300k miles. It's the top end that suffers. So a top end rebuild after 120k, and you have a nicely broken in bottom end and a fresh top end and you have yourself a good motor. Sweetspot...

If the whole thing has been rebuilt, great, just saying it's not always necessary. When you look at a car, do your best, and then if you really think you might buy, send it out for a ppi and know what you are getting into prior to purchase.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:43 PM
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John McM
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You've had good replies so far. To use another analogy the engine rebuild term is akin to house renovation in that the term describes a wide range of work. You need details of that work to value it.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:37 PM
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I just did a top end rebuild on a 91C2 which amounted to $10,000 the car feels like its brand new now and was well worth it
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jgj View Post
I don't know where you're located but in the UK a full engine rebuild (not just top end) including the dilavar head studs will set you back at least ú14,000 at a reputable shop. Anything less and you're likely to be cutting corners somewhere, unless you've been lucky.
With respect there are superb shops in the UK that can do this work at half that cost. Unit Eleven in Warrington being one good example.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ras62 View Post
With respect there are superb shops in the UK that can do this work at half that cost. Unit Eleven in Warrington being one good example.

I agree there are people I know that will do the work to factory spec for a lot less however parts are expensive and on the rise and every shop charges differently. I am currently in the process of breaking down a 993 engine and it won't be a cheap repair.
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Old 08-06-2018, 01:11 PM
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OK, so realistically looking at $10K for a car with over 100K miles and up to $30K+ for a fresh engine. The prices for used cars don't seem to take these costs into account.
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Old 08-06-2018, 01:56 PM
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When the magic trio (Goughary, Cobalt and Spyerx) step in, you know you got all the info you needed

Agree on the above, I was quoted $7k for a top end, About $15k for a split case...if everything looks "alright", which it rarely does. Add parts cost.

A shop in Italy quoted me 9k Euros for a split case job.
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by alexl911 View Post
The prices for used cars don't seem to take these costs into account.
There are a LOT of unnecessary 964/993 engine rebuilds! And Rennlist has been notorious for feeding into owner paranoia. Not to mention west coast shops (in the USA) as well as those in and around NY have a $$$ premium strictly because of their location. Shop around and talk to somebody in our area like Exotech
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:57 PM
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The absolute key in these is controlling the 'while in there' that's where the $ comes from. And like I said, $ varies highly on location - you have to decide if it's worth putting your car on a truck or engine on a pallet to get a better labor rate.

Also, you will KNOW when your car needs a rebuild (of some level). It will consume oil, it will smoke, it will run like crap, it will be down on power, it will foul plugs, it will make weird noises. Just don't let those get to far along, because a catastrophic failure is much bigger $ :-)

So when buying a car, ask for records, do a full inspection, do a leak down, do a compression test, run the car up to redline in 2nd gear and let off the gas and see if it smokes (a lot), feel the power (when you drive a few you'll get it).

That's the pragmatic stuff.

Despite the noise you read here, these cars are really stout!
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:01 PM
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I have a 1992 3.6 motor i just had completely rebuilt...case split new main bearings etc.......i was going put in an early car but haven't been able to find the right car and right now am kind of over constantly looking. I would sell for $21k if anyone here is interested..located in Albuquerque New Mexico...please call only 561-419-5939 as im never on Rennlist Mike
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:28 PM
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Nine Excellence price it at ú11,500 + whatever is required. See here http://www.nineexcellence.com/upgrades/engine.html

No affiliation
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:33 PM
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I live 5min away from Speedsport tuning in Danbury, CT. That would likely be my default shop. Like most here I've watched the videos of the work they did to Larry's (AMMO NYC) C4. Would it really cost $60K+ to do a rebuild and upgrade to 3.8? He only got about 50bhp gain at the wheel from stock!?
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