If you’re always looking to get optimal performance from your vehicle, then you will want to ensure that you get maximum horsepower and “usable” torque from underneath the hood. This will ensure that you can accelerate out of each corner and carry the speed through the next, without any discernible issue or loss of speed. Yet as your car gets older and those miles rack up, this type of performance can diminish. You may have noticed such a loss in recent times but want to hang onto this vehicle at any cost, so perhaps you should think rebuilding your engine. Why is this a good move in your case?
Working on your own vehicle is a very rewarding hobby. Not only do you save money by doing the work yourself, but you also get to finish the project on your own time. There’s also incredible satisfaction in learning something new and in being self-sufficient. Before you start into that leaky water pump or worn set of brake rotors, there are some basic tools you should be sure to get.
While many repairs can be done with a quick lift of the hood, others take some setup in your garage. You’ll want a sturdy set of jack stands to support the vehicle while you work underneath and a creeper to allow you to get there. Consider a rolling tool stand that will keep your parts, fasteners, and tools together while you work. A durable shop light, preferably a battery-operated LED type, will provide helpful lighting wherever you work.
Basic Sockets and Wrenches
Very few jobs can get done without a good set of sockets. Make sure you get a set of both metric and SAE sizes; many vehicles are built with both types of bolts. Get deep-well sockets, extensions, u-joints, and spark plug sockets in your set. It’s also a good idea to go with sockets that have the size engraved in large print. Grease and poor lighting will make it hard to read smaller numbers.
When you have certain vehicles to work on, you’ll need specialized tools. For example, vehicles with a high-pressure common rail injector will require special tools for their installation, calibration, and testing. For one, you’ll need auto-approved lubricant or grease to be able to slide the injector transfer tube in with a tight fit. You’ll want to invest in a torque wrench as well. This is used to tighten the injector hold-down bolts and transfer nuts in a space where you will have limited leverage. You’ll want a hill bar or set of hill bars too. These helpful devices will prevent a lot of leaks, damaged components, and other problems by helping you tighten bolts just enough.
Lots and Lots of Pliers
There is always something to grab, squeeze, move, or bend when you’re working on a car, and you can’t do any of those things with your bare hands. Invest in a good set of pliers that includes needle nose, standard, slip joint, and angled pliers. They’ll help you get control of whatever you need to work on. You’ll also do well with a set of third-hand tools that will grip and hold objects after you let go.
With all the tools needed gathered, you can start focusing on repairs. You should always start this process by doing lots and lots of research. It’s important to make sure you know how each component of your engine works and interacts with the rest of the vehicle before replacing or working on them. Online videos are a great learning guide for DIYers. Always double-check the year, make, and model of you car when doing research to make sure the guides you are following are accurate to your needs. Here are some good reasons to start with an engine rebuild.
Passage of Time
With each revolution of the crankshaft, a certain amount of wear and tear can be expected. While this is minimal to start off with, it can nevertheless add up over time. As the shaft rotates, each piston will move up and down within its chamber. To get maximum performance, the shaft will need to maintain a certain amount of pressure. However, the rings that surround each piston will degrade as they encounter friction and the amount of pressure will, therefore, begin to tail off as they degrade further.
As your engine gets older, it will be unable to generate as much power as it once did. This is due to worn piston rings and liners, together with other replaceable components. You may find that you pay a lot more for your fuel as well, as you begin to need more petrol to be injected into each chamber to provide the same amount of drive.
Advantages of a Rebuild
However, you can not only restore the original performance but can make your engine even more productive when you plan a custom engine build for your car. This is generally considered to be the best way to extend the life of an older vehicle, and this is especially true when you take the time to get the right tools and part.
During a build, you can ensure that the engine block liners are replaced with upgraded components and that high-performance rings are attached to each piston. This will ensure that the engine is bedded in appropriately before it is returned to you, so you can expect to see a boost in performance as soon as you get it back onto the road.
Making a Plan
Do some research on your car’s make and model before you go any further and decide what you would like to achieve. You will then be able to perform a full engine rebuild, using the highest quality parts available.
It will take time to accumulate all the tools you’ll need in your garage, but your experience and the advice of friends will guide you as you build your toolbox. Invest in quality tools, be careful, and enjoy!