Engine Rebuild - How much? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 30th, 2009, 11:00 PM
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Ian Gregory
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Engine Rebuild - How much?

Hi,

Looking for an idea on roughly how much I should be looking to pay for a full rebuild on a 4.0L Engine? Engine is in my 96 D1 (Parts Donor), has about 120k miles on it. Looking to pull it and get it rebuilt so as to drop it into my 97 D90 later. It runs fine right now with no problems I am aware of.

Thinking of having it properly cleaned, all new bearings and seals, Valves reseated with new stem seals, new cam and lifters, new timing gears and chain, heads skimmed, bores honed, new core plugs, etc.

Not sure whether to have the rings replaced, timing cover/oil pump replaced, valve springs replaced or the rockers and shafts replaced. Is that going too far? Of course anything untoward they found in the rebuild I would have done if needed.

Any suggestions on a good place in the Phoenix AZ area to have the work done?

Thanks

Ian
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  #2  
Old June 30th, 2009, 11:05 PM
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Why are you planning on doing this? The 4.0 bottom end basically never goes bad (it is cross bolted). Other than doing a valve job and maybe replacing the valve train (valve train will last forever too with oil changes) there is really no need to rebuild a rover V8 (unless, of course, you overheat it in which case you should throw out the block or install top hat or pinned liners as overheated blocks drop liners).

On 4.0s I would say the issues are in the following order of commonality (excludes electrical/sensor issues):

1. leaks (cross seals, oil pan, valve cover gaskets, intake, head gaskets)
2. sticking valves
3. worn rockers
4. bad lifters
5. dropped liner
6. worn cam

And, if you are dumping that kind of money in it, get a 4.6 or a 4.6 crank and rods and pistons and convert your 4.0 to a 4.6.

Ron
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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:11 PM
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Mainly as a precaution. Its a high mileage engine and I don't want to put a worn engine into my truck when I rebuild it. Planning to do a bare frame rebuild on the 90 down the line and since I have the D1 sitting there, I was planning to have a bunch of parts reconditioned ahead of time ready to drop in as part of the rebuild.


I rebuilt an 84 RRC before and didn't get the engine rebuilt as it seemed fine (older 3.5 carb of course and not cross bolted). Ended up having to replace it a few months later when the bottom end went. Thought a few bucks on a rebuild upfront was better than potentially putting a bad engine in the truck.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:16 PM
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Humm, well if you don't have an oil light and compression is good, I would say it is ok. It does not take very long to pull a D90 motor either.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:19 PM
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So maybe just do a Comp test and if it's Ok, rebuild the top end valve gear/lifters/cam and timing chain/gears then? Worth the money to put a new timing cover on it for a new oil pump?
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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:26 PM
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I would do what you say, plus replace the cross seals with the updated rubber ones (not cork based) smear a little right stuff rtv to seal the bearing cap (all very obvious when you do it).

Also, replace your oil cooler lines and your radiator, coolant hoses and fan clutch. These kill more D90s (oil cooler lines) and D90 motors (cooling system) than everything else combined. $600-700 on a rad is money better spent than the front cover with oil pump which is also $600-700 last I heard. If the motors looks clean when you take it apart (not sludged up) I would say no need to replace the front cover, but otherwise it is probably a good precaution. The bad ones I have seen both came from sludged trucks and the wear was noticable.

edit: if the donor motor is sludged up, I would chuck it and find a better one. Also, as a precaution, i would change all your pcv hoses now.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:38 PM
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Thanks Ron. I will give it a good look over when I pull it. If it's sludged I would either fully rebuild it or chuck it anyway. I know what you mean on the cross seals.


I just flushed out the Rad and cooling system and the Oil Lines are only a couple of years old and look Ok for now. Planning to do all the Coolant hoses and change to SS Oil, possibly brake and Fuel Lines as part of the rebuild anyway. Thinking of getting the Rad re-cored rather than new so I can get stronger easier cleaned fins and a bigger core. I just checked the Fan Clutch and it's OK right now. Not sure if I want to keep the engine windmill or go electric down the line. Still considering that one. Also considering different options on the oil and tranny coolers.
Wasn't looking to go to a 4.6 at the moment. You need to re-chip the ECU as part of that or you won't get sufficient fueling correct?
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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:45 PM
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"You need to re-chip the ECU as part of that or you won't get sufficient fueling correct?"

I never messed with it on a GEMS truck. I hear different stories. My only personal experience is the one the techs did way back when they just tweaked the fuel pressure a bit and it seemed fine. Last I heard Mike at ECR was working on a chip solution which would be ideal. On a 14CUX truck a 4.2 chip works fine.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Thought ECR was sourcing RPi's Chips from the UK? Might be wrong there though. RPi insists you need to re-chip it or the GEMS ECU won't give it enough fuel. Guess increasing the fuel pressure at the rail would overcome that some. Not sure I would be comfortable my fueling was right doing that alone. Maybe I am just overthinkng it though.


Love the idea of a 4.6, but if I was going to do it I would prefer to get a new Long Block and start from that and I don't have the spare cash for that right now. They are running about $4-5k or so at the moment from what I have seen.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 12:04 AM
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just buy a new 4.6 shortblock from RPI or someone similar.. I'm over $1200 right now on a budget rebuild of my 4.0... and that's doing all the work myself.. pressure testing & machine work alone has been about $425 ... all the seals, bearings, timing chain, etc.. that you'll need is at least 600 or so... add new lifters, new piston rings, etc.. you can easily sink 2k or so into parts.... add labor and you're better off just buying a new shortblock.

Follow-up Post:

Here's one to check out... they have 4.6's avail too, just none on ebay right now;

http://cgi.ebay.com/V8-4-0-Engine-Long-Stripped-Engine-Thor-Motronic-Disco_W0QQitemZ190317424336QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_C arsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM?hash=item2c4fcd6ed0& _trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262&_trkparms=|301%3A1|293% 3A1|294%3A30

Also, those prices do include VAT, so divide final price by 1.15 ... shipping quote for a shortblock to NJ was 350.00 a few months ago..
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  #11  
Old July 1st, 2009, 12:14 AM
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Thanks Ryan. Thinking that following Ron's advice and just doing a top and maybe front end overhaul on the 4.0 for now to keep costs down if it's in good enough nick is my best bet.


New 4.0 or 4.6 is going to run anywhere from $3-$5k, add a chip if its the 4.6 (little point doing that and staying with a 4.0), new cover, water pump, gaskets, etc and your probably looking at little change out of $6-$7k. Little less if you start with a short block, but then you have to spend the money on the heads and valve gear anyway so I doubt I would save much that way.

It's certainly the way to go longer term I think, but I want to make sure I don't skimp on the rest of the truck when I rebuild it and save some budget for media blasting, galv, rebuilding/overhauling axles, brakes, steering, cooling systems, new fasteners, bushes, lines, seals, etc.
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