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Spit late 1300 engine rebuild


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I’m thinking about pulling the engine out from my car and giving it an overhaul. It runs now, not beautifully but no major problems other than a few oil leaks. It’s done 90,000 miles and I doubt it’s ever had a full rebuild. Has anyone recently done this. Some hints and tips would be good. I’m going to have to send the head, block and crank off to be reground. I want to do as much myself as possible. How long does this usually take? What’s the normal cost?


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It will take as long as you like.

With all the bits to hand ready to go, you can get it rebuilt in a day. But unless you really are on a timescale, do it at your leisure. 

Make sure you have a couple of dial gauges on stands - either magnetic bases or ones to bolt to the studs to time the cam and measure the end float.

I would get a selection of thrust washes in different sizes - they aren't expensive and there is nothing worse than having to order some more to get the right size.

I would replace the cam and cam buckets if it were me (That mileage I doubt its in that good nick.) - I'd also fit a duplex timing chain (Well I did!) 

Head you might as well get hardened seats fitted whilst its in the shop. I assume they will fit and relap the valves and replaced/refurb the tappets.

You will know the size of the big ends and mains to get the right size.

Use Payen gaskets on the head at the very minimum - they aren't expensive.


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To be honest I wouldn't do it until something breaks. Presumably you'll be taking the engine out and stripping it down? You mention the head, are you thinking of getting it unleaded? These heads have the "memory of lead" and if in reasonable condition little point in having it done. The guys who did my block and crank had it done in a couple of days and supplied the correct pistons and bearings. I had it all back together and running in a weekend. New timing chain a good idea! This was all 30 years ago so the price now, who knows?


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Gaskets and oil seals, core plugs, timing chain, oil pump, and a good coat of paint. Unless there's something drastically wrong it'll soldier on for years with clean oil regularly changed.

Once you enter the realms of disturbing things - pistons, cams etc -  you're into the bigger money so unless you either need or want to, don't.


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Before taking the engine out, do a compression test (throttle wide open, all plugs out) If all good and similar, don't bother with a rebore, and do not take the pistons out (no matter how tem pted you are. If you do, you need new rings and a hone)

If you are taking the engine out, drop the sump and you can inspect the big end and main bearings, plus the crank. You can replace all the bearings (with a little jiggery-pokery) without taking the crank out. The important thing is to source good quality parts, much harder to do than it sounds.

Re cam, the last new cam and folowers I fitted lasted 15k before inspection revealed one lobe almost round and another breaking up. So if the cam is good, and unmarked, I would re-use. Plan B would be a newman cam, who are probably the best out there. Under no circumstances just call up a supplier and order parts, you MUST do your research!

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15 minutes ago, clive said:

Plan B would be a newman cam, who are probably the best out there.

My cam didn’t look that good so I bought a Newman cam - essentially standard because it kept the power band lower down which is where I wanted it. But for a 1300 you could go a bit more fast road ?

whatever you will need new buckets for a new cam to keep the warranty. I went for the matching Newman’s ones even though the po had fitted new ones. 

But I also agree with all of the above. If you are doing because you know it needs doing, do it properly. It will cost you some money. I’ve no real idea (only because I haven’t added up the bills ) what mine cost but was well north of £500 and that was with no block or head work. And didn’t include the rebuilt dizzy. 


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Why do you feel it may have a catestopic failure

Does it smoke, burn oil, misfire , rattle or knock,  in general these will soldier on for years 

Do you want to tootle , or drive like you stole it,   thers is utopia and compromise

Theres little point is spending well over your pocket money and only doing 2000miles ayear

You have to balance anticipated cost with  what you gain

All down to preference

This should have loaded yesturday  I hate thisnsilly tablet 


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