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rotorhead rotorhead is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Port Macquarie Australia
Posts: 506
In Feb I was in exactly the same position as you. I needed to pull down and re-assemble the top end of my 1988 3.3 turbo. I had never held a piston ring in my hand before. It all went well and the car runs great now with 300mi on the clock.

The cost is difficult to estimate because the milage and the reason for the rebuild can drastically affect it. I would say the lowest is around $1500 and up to $8000 if there are issues with pistons and cylinders

11 important things that I learned:

1. Waynes book saves you money by giving you a step by step guide BUY it READ it TWICE and make notes in the margins before you begin.

2. If you are not rebuilding the CIS along with the engine then most top end gasket kits are both an overkill and deficient. I think I could give you a list of the ones you need if you like. Also top end rebuild kits don't include the rsr rocker seals, the oil thermostat seal or cam tensioner oil seals.

3. Get the cam sprocket tool, a dial guage/Z block and an accurate torque wrench. You are saving money on the rebuild so get the right tools.

4. A Blow torch (Map/Propane or Oxy), air compressor/impact wrench and angle grinder are invaluable for getting the exhaust system removed.

5. The P201 engine yoke is an excellent and expensive item that you can probably do without. I hung a fully dressed turbo engine on a universal mount for several weeks (You need to fabricate aluminium spacers to save the transmission lip.

6. Find a machine shop and talk to the machinist about the work you want done. It really helps in narrowing down the one to use.

7. Replace those Dilivar studs with steel, easy to do with the top end apart.

8. Expect to be replace the rubber centered clutch (If still fitted).

9. A Digital camera is great to document the process to assist the re-assemble. Freezer bag and label everything as your memory will fail you.

10. If you are considering separating the piston/cylinders then read these forums on the best way to prepare the cylinders to accept newly ringed pistons an important decision will have to be made..

11. If you ask a question on this forum expect either the most expensive or the cheapest advice. You must decide whether to take the expensive high road or the dangerous low road. Your job is to consider both paths and arrive at the reliable middle ground.

finally, I welcome corrections to the above from others
Steve Hall
1988 930 Targa
1991 E36 BMW 318i
2004 Mercedes ML270

Last edited by rotorhead; 06-25-2005 at 07:55 AM..
Old 06-25-2005, 07:51 AM
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