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Engine rebuild

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Apologies if this topic has been done before but I’m a new member and currently own a TR4A which I’ve had just  over  3 years. The engine has been running with excessive vibration and power seems to be deteriorating. On a recent compression test there was a substantial difference on the inner 2 cylinders of some 50%. I’m looking at rebuild costs and having been quoted 2 prices, one for a standard and one a stage 2 where the price difference wasn’t too bad ( around £900) between standard cam and new bottom end and liners / pistons compared to the upgrade with fully balanced crank and new pistons / liners and clutch and upgraded cam.  Firstly at what point will an upgraded rebuild become a more temperamental car to drive and secondly is there a going ‘ £ price ’ for these engine rebuilds, as I’m sure lots have been done . Thank you

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Hi Steve,

where about's are you.

Firstly I would suggest popping along to your local TRR group and see if there is anybody there with local knowledge of rebuilders.

You need to decide what type of engine you need. How do you intend to use the car.

In the standard format the 4 pot engine is very forgiving and will get you anywhere.

Any full rebuild should include a fully balanced crank and its attachments.

TRy not to be swayed by fancy names and technology - forged pistons are very good but simple 'County' pistons are more than adequate (mine have done many 100,000's miles)

For racing you want the best. For touring you want long life and good quality

The standard cam is not the best quality - TRy a Newman PH1. This gives you quality, oomph and pretty good economy without complicating the engine.

 

If you live in the south M25 area visit C&M engineering in Bracknel..  Or, TRGB in Huntingdon.

They can rebuild and fit the engine AND give sensible advice.

 

Good luck

Roger

 

 

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+1 for Roger's advice. I don't know C&M but can certainly recommend TRGB.

But before committing to a full engine rebuild, are you certain the problem isn't just a blown head gasket?

Nigel

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I have just had the engine on my 5 completely rebuilt by Jerry at Enginuity in Acton. Was built to a 'standard' spec and included sourcing a rare long back crank. I found their service, advice, patience and back up excellent. Price and leadtime were good as well.

Tim

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1 hour ago, RogerH said:

Hi Steve,

where about's are you.

Firstly I would suggest popping along to your local TRR group and see if there is anybody there with local knowledge of rebuilders.

You need to decide what type of engine you need. How do you intend to use the car.

In the standard format the 4 pot engine is very forgiving and will get you anywhere.

Any full rebuild should include a fully balanced crank and its attachments.

TRy not to be swayed by fancy names and technology - forged pistons are very good but simple 'County' pistons are more than adequate (mine have done many 100,000's miles)

For racing you want the best. For touring you want long life and good quality

The standard cam is not the best quality - TRy a Newman PH1. This gives you quality, oomph and pretty good economy without complicating the engine.

 

If you live in the south M25 area visit C&M engineering in Bracknel..  Or, TRGB in Huntingdon.

They can rebuild and fit the engine AND give sensible advice.

 

Good luck

Roger

 

 

Welcome Steve, and a good question!

Rogers advice above is spot on, ask locally first, if thats not possible, depending where you are,

there will be a number of suggestions here.

John.

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Thanks for the information. Having spoken to a couple of local companies in Cambridge, they seem to be sending my engine elsewhere for rebuild then simply adding their charges on. Presumably somewhere is a company/companies who actually do the rebuild?

Im just looking for standard spec

cheers

Edited by StevesTR4

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33 minutes ago, StevesTR4 said:

Thanks for the information. Having spoken to a couple of local companies in Cambridge, they seem to be sending my engine elsewhere for rebuild then simply adding their charges on. Presumably somewhere is a company/companies who actually do the rebuild?

Im just looking for standard spec

cheers

Hi Steve,

give these people a call. They are local to you

https://www.trgb.co.uk/

 

Roger

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On 10/8/2019 at 7:18 PM, StevesTR4 said:

Thanks for the information. Having spoken to a couple of local companies in Cambridge, they seem to be sending my engine elsewhere for rebuild then simply adding their charges on. Presumably somewhere is a company/companies who actually do the rebuild?

Im just looking for standard spec

cheers

Steve, might I ask if you found someone and have gone ahead ?  ..as I'm now looking for similar and am an hour from Cambridge.   I'm after having a 4-cylinder engine (TR4A) rebuilt for touring ..with emphasis on torque and economy,  so the Newman PH1 camshaft would seem as highly recommended as any.  Unfortunately I don't know what is the equivalent from other brands. 

 

If anyone is willing to share actual engine-work prices with me, I'd really appreciate it .. discretion via PM if you prefer.

This would be standard TR4A spec but for conversion to unleaded, and assuming most everything else needs doing .. ie., on a free turning but not running 'project car's engine.   Perhaps even sub-totals for : 

  1.  bought-in parts costs 
  2.  cleaning, pressure testing, machining and balancing costs, including matching the reciprocating parts  
  3.  labour,  from those of you who have had a complete motor pulled apart and rebuild. 

Many thanks gents.

Pete.

 

Edited by Bfg

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Pete... This is what I would do, providing you have a good local mechanic, as these engines are very basic and do not require dedicated TR workshop input [usually associated with higher costs] .

Have him do the disassembly/assembly of the engine, and send out to specialist machine shop for line bore of cam bearings, crank grind,  cylinder head with valve grind/inserts, balance reciprocating parts etc.

Have your existing camshaft reground for better performance, or buy a new cam with better grind.

New bearings, liners, pistons etc.etc.

Go for better performance, not standard spec as the price difference is negligible when doing a complete rebuild.

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Wherever you go be aware that until the engine is stripped down you won't know how much needs doing. Do you know what the previous owner did with the car? Gentle pootling around or competition? Factor in enough ££ for nasty surprises and then you can be pleasantly surprised when its not needed!

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Hamlin’s will quote you for all work required,  by item.

They know these engines inside out etc.....

I can not remember the costs but they were in my opinion very reasonable and the knowledge they have is just invaluable. These are not complex engines but the unfamiliar can make a Horlicks of them, so pick your machine shop with care.

Iain

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14 hours ago, Malbaby said:

Pete... This is what I would do, providing you have a good local mechanic, as these engines are very basic and do not require dedicated TR workshop input [usually associated with higher costs] .

Have him do the disassembly/assembly of the engine, and send out to specialist machine shop for line bore of cam bearings, crank grind,  cylinder head with valve grind/inserts, balance reciprocating parts etc.

Have your existing camshaft reground for better performance, or buy a new cam with better grind.

New bearings, liners, pistons etc.etc.

Go for better performance, not standard spec as the price difference is negligible when doing a complete rebuild.

Thanks, sound advice ..if I knew of a good local mechanic.  However I'm not a native (..of anywhere)  and even the chap I used to do MOT work on my modern isn't someone I might recommend to a friend to have his engine rebuilt.  The engineering shop I have used over the past five years (Scholar Engines, here in Suffolk) seems to have undergone the inevitable change when the old hands retire and the owner is a grizzly bear who seems to consider everyone else an idiot and is to blame for things they do wrong. 

Robertson Engines in Colchester have been recommended as an alternative for the machining work, but aside from this one recommendation I don't know them or anyone else who has used them.  I'll ask around at the club meeting on Thursday. 

I have spoken to two companies so far re. rebuilding the engine (an American import with unknown history). One is a mainstream engine refurb company called Willenhall Engine Centre.  The other, J&E Engineering, was recommended on the TSSC forum but is hundreds of miles away (up north of England). Still the chap I spoke to knows these engines very well. Of course it's doubtful if he,  the owner / manager in the office who answers the phone, actually does the work. The latter suggested almost three times the price of the former ..but then also knows where to get the most reliable parts from.  However with such a simple engine to standard spec is that extra cost justified.?  Personally I think not. 

re. upgrading the spec.  My criteria is a nice to drive car even around town, with lots of torque from the four cyl engine, and then economy for touring.  I wouldn't want to narrow the power band or run at higher revs through gears. So aside from a camshaft intended to give torque, and possibly go up to the next piston and liner size, what else would suit.? 

Thanks, Pete.

 

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Pete, not too far from you are Carlow Engineering of Benfleet Essex, 5mins from the A130, they have built many TR engines 4 & 6 cyl to various specs including mine over 8 years ago. No connection just a satisfied customer.

Chris

Contact: Carlow Engineering Tony on 01268 792817

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Pete, apart from upgrading the cam, cyl head and balance,  I would fit a 4A exhaust manifold that has the twin outlets [ semi extractor design]... Fit a 2 into 1 collector and run a suitably sized single exhaust pipe... Match port the inlet and exhaust manifolds to the head.

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Ditto Carlow Engineering in Benfleet. Proper old school and encyclopaedic TR engine knowledge. Lots of positive experiences within Essex Group. 

 

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