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£4k engine rebuild - is it worth it?


mikeyb

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Having MOT'd the Stag yesterday, I've concluded that the engine isn't up the to the 10CR.   :(

The head gaskets needed doing anyway before her lay-up, however the hot oil pressure is poor - 10 psi tickover, 25-30psi max running.  Not good!

Rang a couple of Stag specialists with a view to a quick pre 10CR fix, one quoted £3k+vat, the other £4k+vat - bummer!

That's about my estimate of what the car's worth right now.  

What do you reckon?

Mike!

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These engines are expensive, but I would try EJ Wards, in Leicster.

Price list quotes £2400 for a recon engine...........

I can recommend him, his work is of the highest level.

Failing that, its a £700 gamble on ebay for a used one, which could be as bad or worse than yours is now!

Speak to Wards, www.ejward.co.uk

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he was one of the couple!  

EJW - £3k+vat
Enginuity (Tony Hart) £4k+vat

Canleys (I'm told!)  have a backlog of engine work, so could be a long wait

Can't think of many others that i'd trust, but I'm open to suggestions/recommendations!

:(

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Have you tried Faversham Classics? :-/

Also,... if you you can find him, try Howard Veasey or is that Vasey? 8)

Both have been recommended to me - but Howard was supposed to be one of the best (along with Tony Hart (HRS)).  ;D

Personally I would use either HRS or EJ Ward... :)

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MikeyB wrote:

The head gaskets needed doing anyway before her lay-up, however the hot oil pressure is poor - 10 psi tickover, 25-30psi max running.  Not good!

What do you reckon?
Mike!


A full DIY rebuild will cost in the region of £1200, that will include new AE pistons, con rods, reground toughened crank, cams, timing gear, valves, oil pump, water pump rebuild, rebore, skimming, Payen gaskets etc. etc. the works. (I did this 3 years ago)  Your £3-4k will include all this, built by someone who knows what they are doing plus a guarantee (and fitting?) which starts to make the price look reasonable.

A cheaper recon may not even include a rebore!

Does the bottom end knock? do the mains rumble? does the oil pressure low light come on? does the engine burn oil and leave a blue cloud behind when accelerating?
If not I would replace the gaskets, enjoy the car and stop worrying.  

Is your pressure gauge accurate? are you using 20/50 oil? could you give it a new lease of life with an uprated oil pump?

It's your call but £4k+vat?, and if the body needs work too. You could sell and buy a far better Stag.

Mark.

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bobble350 wrote:

£4k+vat?, and if the body needs work too. You could sell and buy a far better Stag.



There is the big dilemma!  The car, whilst not perfect, is sound and ignoring a few minor imperfections, looks stunning to the untrained eye!  However it drives like a sack of old spuds and I would not put it's value much higher than the cost of the engine rebuild.  With a duff engine, unless I am dishonest, I am likely to get a lot less than that.

I've owned her for 18 years and previously did 45k miles during the 8 years I had her on the road.  I got a great deal of pleasure from the 40 odd miles I've covered since the MOT test.  It would be a shame to give up on her now.

There are some lovely good priced Stags out there, but any one of them could be storing up the same engine troubles.

bobble350 wrote:

Does the bottom end knock? do the mains rumble? does the oil pressure low light come on? does the engine burn oil and leave a blue cloud behind when accelerating?
If not I would replace the gaskets, enjoy the car and stop worrying.


That was exactly "Plan A".  Overhaul brakes and go for an MOT to ensure there are no other unforseen problems, then do the heads.  There is no perceptible knock (although on a V8, the bearings can be down to the copper and you will still barely hear it).  She has always burnt a little oil, but on the return from MOT, it was confirmed that there were no puffs out the back.  Oil light comes on at tickover, with the gauge at ~10psi.  Oh and the timing chains have done most of that 45k, so are about due for changing anyway.

Good point about the gauge, I'll check that.  I'm also going to have a look at the oil filter again - I changed them before I ran the car, however some water had got into the oil during lay-up and the old oil and filter were pretty sludgy.

DIY always was my favoured option, but not much chance of that happening in time for the 10CR.  I've decided to look out for another running engine to put in the car whilst mine comes apart.  If I find one in time and it runs well enough then I'll chance the 10CR with it, if not at least the car will remain running whilst the lenghty rebuild ensues!

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With that description, I would change the oil and filter again, filling up with 20/W50. I use Unipart 'Green', but there are others. Steer clear of fancy modern synthetics with a worn engine. They are not really suitable for the Stag anyway. Whilst the oil is out, drop the oil pump off. Give it a good clean and check, especially the pressure relief valve. If the pump clearances are Ok then rebuild with new O-rings. If the pump is worn, replace it.
This may solve your 'problem' and is a lot cheaper  ;D

Dave

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Personally I wouldn't waste £750 on an unknown "good" engine which probably isn't. I'd rebuild the one you've got. One month start to finish tops.

As for not requiring a specialist, I used an engine remanufacturer in Bradford for the machining, who did an excellent job decking and reboring the block (WRT the main bearings which most don't), They even gave me advice on fitting the inlet manifold because they had rebuilt a Stag engine and been unable to fit the manifold AFTER bolting down the heads, even after skimming 30 thou off each manifold face it still woul not fit! So much for experts knowing what they are doing!

Drives like a sackof old spuds? How long has it been off the road? Old cars dont feel good compared to modern fayre, but Stags certainly don't leave you thinking "what the **** is this". Suspension rebuild as well then.

Mark.      

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If your car has been 'parked up' for a while, it will drive like a sack of spuds.
When I took my car for its MOT earlier this year, I was very unhappy about the way it drove. Everything rattled, clanged or buzzed. Vibration was evident at most speeds.
However, after some 50 mile + journeys, to and from work, it has settled down and it a joy to drive (though I did have to sort out some of the rattles myself).
I guess a lot was down to 'flat spots' on the tyres and sticky brakes.
Just make sure you give it some long runs before you decide on a rebuild.

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Thats a real shame, bummer!

To be honest i ran a spitfire for years with low oil pressure, i gave it some serious abuse and it became a bit of a running joke when meeting friends at events etc, the big end bearing noise was cringe worthy...

However my point, why not give it a good service, get some seriously good breakdown cover and go for the 10CR, i am sure if you don't go too mad there is a few more 1000 miles in that engine before it goes pop in a serious way.

A Risky suggestion but it would earn some serious browny points amongst the endurance people!

Ash.

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Good advice guys, thanks!  Off chasing a supposed good engine and box tomorrow, at a price low enough to gamble with.  If nothing else, at least I will have another to drop in whilst the orig is in bits!  Spare box is always handy to have too!

To be fair, the car has always driven like a sack o spuds.  A combination of tired original springs, soft bushes and twitchy driveshafts is mainly the cause.

The diff moans louder that I remember too, that's despite filling it up again with oil.

Not too worried about any of that - apart from springs, have got loads of spares to play around with.

Not given up yet!

;D

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  • 3 weeks later...

quick update for those of you who don't read the 10CR prep and 99 days to go threads . . . .  to cut a long story short, the engine, gearbox, diff, rear subframes, hubs & shafts, exhaust etc is all off the car and in pieces!  Yep decided to do it myself . . . not given up on 10CR yet either.

For more details & pics, read back through the 2 threads listed above - given the mess I found in the sump, nothing I could have done with the engine in situ would have saved the bearings!

Ho hum, happy days!  . . . .

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