Restorations What We Do
We are often asked: what do we do to our engines?
This is simple enough to answer because we only classify engines under two categories, which are restored and used engines. By default all our engines are used but the restored ones have been subjected to a “down to the last nut and bolt rebuild”. The process we follow with all our restored engines is the same and we believe is second to none:
The first thing we do to any complete engine that comes in to us is attempt to run it. We learn a lot about each engine by the way it performs (or doesn’t) and the results often give pointers as to what to expect when it is stripped down. It is at this point that the initial decision is made (restore or suitable for sale as used). It is worth noting that even once an engine has been deemed suitable for sale as used if we find anything during its service that may cause premature failure (e.g. heavily worn bearings etc) the engine will be moved to the queue for complete restoration.
Gardner 4LW & Lister JP2M Before Restoration
With any engines that have joined the "for restoration" queue we dismantle the engine to its component parts and immediately examine all the principal parts. The crankshaft and bearings will be sent off to our preferred specialist who will check against the original specifications and make the decision if regrinding or polishing is necessary. New shells, or on white metal bearing engines, re-metalling using virgin white metal and line boring follows. We pull all the cylinder liners out and check the block internals for corrosion, which is especially important for engines that have been used in salt water conditions. The cylinder liners, pistons etc are checked against the manufacturer’s data and replaced as necessary. All the fuel gear goes for reconditioning, as does the water pump and starter motor. The heads are stripped for valve and guide refurbishment as a matter of course. On Gardner and Kromhout models the cam box assembly is subject to a detailed strip and rebuild in every case. All roller, ball bearings and all lip seals are routinely replaced. The engine components are subject to intensive cleaning including pickling in a caustic solution, degreasing and power brushing. All the oil ways are cleaned and blown out. Every threaded hole in the engine is cleaned using the correct taps. All nuts and bolts are cleaned and power brushed. Some components are sent for grit or shell blasting. It’s a lot of cleaning! Throughout all of this work we check each and every part of the engine for defects and general condition.
A couple of examples of what we find inside on occasions. The crank on the Left from a Lister LPW4 had failed across cylinder 3's big end. The Piston on the right from a 2LW (LS) Kromhout Gardner was removed as shown with the top two compression rings embedded into the crown of the piston and a large peice of the piston missing, this engine amazingly ran with no signs of damage other than poor cold start performance, a testiment to how well these engines were built originally.
The rebuilds are done to a build specification agreed with the purchaser (90% of our engines are bespoke). This may result in additions and alterations to the base engine to satisfy engine speed and power output requirements. The external piping is replaced as necessary. The adaptation work to fit a gearbox is achieved using a mix of proprietary parts and components to our own design. We close couple our gearboxes and do not bolt them to external plate mountings as some other restoration company’s do (This generally gives the benefit of a shorter engine installation). Alternators and auxiliary equipment are always extras and do not form part of a standard overhaul.
All our restored engines are subject to an engine enamel repaint and polishing and undergo test running and fine tuning before delivery. At every stage of the rebuild we take photographs of the work and can compile this into a cd with additional video footage for the new owner.
All our restored engines have a one year "from date of purchase" warranty
Gardner 4LW & Lister JP2M after Restoration
Customers often approach us to restore or recondition their existing engine. While we are more than happy to do this work we will only undertake it if the owner agrees to an overhaul of the specification detailed above. We do not do “rings and shells” overhauls or partial repairs. With us it is the “Full Monty” or nothing. We are proud of our work, our name appears on the overhaul plaque on every restored engine we produce.
We sometimes get engines in that are in good order and not in need of heavy overhaul. These are sold as used serviced and repaired engines. These are subject to close inspection and servicing. We take the opportunity to carry out all necessary repairs, clean and repaint the engine. Such engines are ideal for customers who do not want the expense of a fully reconditioned unit and are happy with a good used engine at a fraction of the restored cost. These engines do not have a warranty other than a manufacturers warranty on any reconditioned or new parts we have fitted.
Also all engines shown on our site are available in their current condition for self rebuild projects.