Rebuilding an Engine 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Rebuilding an Engine 101: A Beginner’s Guide

People rebuild engines for different reasons. Wear to engine bearings and poorly seated piston rings are two common reasons. Often, folks with classic cars will perform a rebuild because it’s their hobby. Unless you’re a seasoned professional, you should plan on spending a lot of time working on such a project, and then factor in some more time because things like stripped screws are bound to come up.


There are scores of questions that you should ask yourself before you take on the engine rebuild project. Do you have the right collection of engine-building tools? Do you have the right space? What kind of performance do you want out of the engine and how much time and money are you willing to spend on it? 

When it comes to researching, you’ll just want to dive into any media that you can find that has pictures or videos along with explanations. Besides including step-by-step descriptions of how to disassemble and reassemble the various components of the engine, this kind of material can help you understand the tools that you’re going to need as well as important time-saving elements, like common pitfalls or hacks.


It takes time to perform an engine rebuild. Rushing it is not an option, especially if you’re a novice, because you’re more apt to miss something. Another question to ask is, when you’re taking the various pieces off of the engine block, how are you storing them to keep everything separate and easier to put back on? 

Removing the engine’s accessories, for instance, takes time. Either the alternator, water pump, air conditioning compressor, power steering fluid or power steering pump could be damaged if it is hastily removed or reattached. When you’re removing all of these things, keep your notebook handy so that you can better keep track of which screws, bolts and nuts belong to which accessory. 


There can quite a range when it comes to cost because you have a ton of decisions to make, especially regarding things like which parts and pieces to keep and which to replace. A 351 performance kit will be costly, but when you’re looking at a brand new intake manifold, carburetor and camshaft, you’ll be happy.

Experts say that the typical cost of rebuilding an engine is between $2,500 and $4,000. If you’re just going to replace bearings and seals, you’ll likely be on the low end. If you’re going to examine, and potentially replace, rather than clean, the other 200 parts of the engine, the price will naturally go up.

A 350 TBI throttle body upgrade is designed for optimum torque from low end to midrange, smooth idling and improved throttle response. These are the kinds of things to consider when you’re rebuilding your engine. If you have all the time and money in the world, these decisions are easy. When you’re feeling a little bit pinched for either, your decisions may be altered. Visit an auto shop today to pick up the parts and accessories that you’ll need to rebuild your next engine, or for any of your automotive needs. 


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