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Why should you rebuild an engine rather than replace it?

In today’s throwaway society, we tend to replace rather than attempt a repair when something stops working or doesn’t perform as it should. When it comes to engines, however, it can often be the case that a rebuild is a more sensible and economical option.

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Regular servicing and routine maintenance can go a long way towards prolonging the life of an engine; however, there comes a point with older engines when a replacement or rebuild is the only option. Although a rebuild is time-consuming, it can often be a more cost-effective solution.

What is a rebuild?

What does an engine rebuild involve? It means removing the engine from the vehicle or piece of machinery in which it is installed and completely stripping it down. Once it has been taken apart, all the components will be inspected for wear and tear.

Any damaged or badly worn parts need to be replaced with new ones. For manufacturers such as Briggs and Stratton parts are widely available from suppliers such as https://www.briggsbits.co.uk/ to keep your older engine operational. Most common replacements are wear parts, such as piston rings, oil seals, bearings, and timing chains and belts.

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In severe cases, it may be necessary to re-bore the cylinders and fit completely new systems. Older petrol engines that were not designed for unleaded fuel may need to have the valves reground and hardened valve seats fitted.

Why rebuild?

Why would you opt to rebuild an engine rather than completely replace it? With a rebuild, you have the knowledge that all parts of the engine have been carefully inspected. This will extend the life of the engine and, of course, is good for the environment because you are reducing the amount of scrap being created.

Where an engine is controlled by an electronic control unit (ECU), a rebuild helps to preserve compatibility with the electronics. A new engine, on the other hand, might require a reprogrammed or replacement ECU to ensure it runs properly, further adding to complication and cost.

If you have a vehicle that is a classic, it is worth thinking about originality; after all, it is only original once, so fitting a new engine breaks the chain of matching numbers – engine number, chassis number, etc – that is so valued by potential buyers.

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