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Today’s engines are extremely durable, and last much longer than their forebears, but anything mechanical eventually wears out. If your engine is consuming oil because of worn rings or valve guides, down on power because of poor ring and valve seal and worn cam lobes, or has low oil pressure, a complete overhaul may be in order. You can choose to go with a remanufactured engine, or restore your existing powerplant with an engine rebuild kit.

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Remanufactured engines are convenient, but if you have the skill, the time, and the tools, you can rebuild the engine you have for less cash. Even if you farm the job out to a mechanic, you’ll still have control over the work that is done and what is replaced. And if you have a collector car, or suspect your vehicle may be collectible in the future, having the original, serial numbers matching engine between the fenders makes your machine more valuable.

The content of a rebuild kit varies according to application, the needs of the engine, and the goals of the engine builder. The most inclusive kits are master rebuild kits, which usually consist of a complete gasket set, pistons, rings, main, rod and cam bearings, camshaft and lifters, a timing set, oil pump, freeze plugs, and even Plastigage and assembly lube. Most kits come with standard size parts unless you specify oversize pistons and undersize bearings. It’s common practice to have the block bored oversize, usually +0.030”, and the crank journals ground 0.010”, to obtain the right clearances.

There are a myriad of less comprehensive kits, which enable you to get just the parts that you need. For example, if you’re sourcing your own pistons or if inspection reveals only a minor freshening of the bores is needed, than a re-ring kit may suffice. Or if you’re getting a crank kit, which includes main and rod bearings, then you won’t need a rebuild kit with those parts. The makeup of gasket sets also differs. A top end set includes head gaskets, and intake, exhaust, and valve cover gaskets, and if a conversion set is added it provides all the gaskets needed for the lower end, including rear main seal.

Whether you want everything or only the minimum parts needed for a repair, an engine rebuild kit represents a significant value. Purchasing a kit is much more economical than buying parts separately, plus you have the confidence of knowing your rebuild will be successful because all parts have been engineered to work together. Engine rebuild kits are also substantial time savers. Instead of having to hunt for parts or spend a lot of time looking up and ordering individual parts, you can get everything you need with one or just a few part numbers.

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Guides & Articles

  • Auto Repair Parts
    This article will guide you through a generic tune up on most any car or light duty gasoline-powered vehicle built within the last 20 years or so. We will presume that you are tuning up your engine because it has reached the mileage or time point to do so, and that you are NOT performing a tune up to cure an engine performance defect. We make this distinction because not all running/performance issues will be solved via a simple tune up.
  • Auto Repair Parts
    Internal combustion engines are extremely complex and feature a wide array of components that rotate, move up and down, pump, seal, or remain stationary. When repairing or rebuilding your engine, you will come across many different terms when referencing repair manuals and ordering parts. We know it can be confusing, especially when the repair is complex. Even if you are paying a professional to do the work, it’s good to be conversant with the topic. In order to help you understand the terminology of engine components, we’ve created the following glossary, listed in alphabetical order.

Engine Rebuild Kits Reviews

Average rating:  5  5 - 7 reviews
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5 of 5
2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe / Posted by Jose (Naranjito, PR) /

Really simple to use, fast service.

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