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Wayne 962 Wayne 962 is offline
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Pelican Parts Wayne's Answer to the Question: What engine should I build?

This is indeed the most commonly asked question. Many people have different answers. For me, the answer is very clear:

Set your budget, then build the largest power engine you can build within that budget.

People make rebuilding decisions that don't always make sense to me. For instance, they'll rebuild a 2.7 engine and have the cams reground, but not to 2.7S specs. Or they will buy new pistons and cylinders for the 2.7, but not the 2.7S spec, when the costs are the same. You're leaving extra HP on the table.

How about a 3.0 rebuild? Running the euro pistons to increase compression and regrinding to 964 specs is a no brainer if you're buying new pistons and cylinders, and regrinding your cams anyways.

Rebuilding a 2.4S? Installing the 2.2S pistons is a great upgrade that increases compression and power - with little additional cost, particularly if you're replacing your pistons anyways.

MFI systems can be a bit difficult to recalibrate, but if you're running carbs, there's no reason not to bump compression and run hotter cams.

All 3.0s should be increased to a short stroke 3.2 if you're buying new pistons and cylinders. Cost difference is very little. 3.2s should go to 3.4s - again, costs are minimal.

My basic point is that most rebuilds cost about $6-$8K, whether you rebuild a stock 2.2T or a 3.2 short stroke. You should look carefully at what you have, and then maximize the power out of it. Nothing beats displacement, of course. Hotter cams are always good if your fuel system can adjust to it, and smog laws aren't a concern. Bumping compression is also a good way to gain cheap power - the RS spec is too low at 8.5:1 - you're leaving power "on the table."

If you're planning on rebuilding a 2.2, for example, you might want to consider instead buying a used 2.7 and rebuilding it instead (cores can be found quite readily for $500-$1500). Put your original motor in a corner of your garage and spend the $$$ to build a higher-compression RS-spec engine and maximize the power for your $$$.

Just some thoughts to kick around...

-Wayne
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Wayne R. Dempsey, Founder, Pelican Parts Inc., and Author of:
101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911 How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster & Cayman 101 Projects for Your Porsche 996 / 997
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101 Projects for Your MINI Cooper
Old 12-15-2004, 01:34 AM
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