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Looking for recommendation for engine rebuilder

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I am embarking upon the rebuild of an 85 Turbo engine.

Having stripped it to its individual components, I need an experienced specialist who can assess what work 'needs' to be done and what I can 'get away with'. I have money to spend but not an unlimited amount and am uncomfortable with anyone who charges

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Sounds like you don't need an engine rebuilder as much as you just need a good machine shop. Let them rework the head and take them the block, crank, pistons etc to be mic'd and checked against factory specs and then put it back together yourself. Take your time and follow the manual and I would bet you can do it....

1995 S4s

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I'd recommend or own guru Troy, who did the work for the Bigsi restoration, and is currently working on at least 2 other Esprit engines (one of them is mine).

Your difficulty I suspect will be that established engine "shops" won't want to take a mix and match approach. They would want your whole engine to themselves and to be left to get on with it.

I can't speak for him, but I suspect Troy would be willing (for a reasonable fee) to come out to you and assess everything and then agree a course of action that you would both be happy with. He s also SE based.

Drop him a PM.........




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Steve Williams rebuilt my S3 engine. After eight years ownership and now with a new

owner, the car is still not missing a beat.

I did not skimp though, everything was new, as i could not afford to see it in bits again

for a very long time. No part that could wear out went back in there.

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I am in the process of a rebuild. I am not cutting any corners, and it is expensive.

There are different opinions on this. You could just put it back together with minimum cost by replacing gaskets etc.

But...........There are other factors to consider.

Let's say you get the valves all nice and tight, but still use your old pistons in worn bores. Now that the head is tight, you are getting excessive blow-by because the rings are tired. The engine wore evenly, so as the pistons let more stuff by, the valves (due to wear etc.) kept pace.

New bearings would be a must in my book, even for a budget build. Getting the con-rods shipshape (new bushes etc.) would also be on the list. Your crank might get away with a polish, but if it is the edge, I would say regrind.

If your pistons are still serviceable (skirts check out etc.) that would save a bundle. If you can afford it, new liners would be the nicest way to go. They are so easy to swap in a Lotus, take advantage of it!

Short list-


Polish/grind crankshaft

Refurb con-rods



Liners (if in budget)

This is just the bottom end.

The head should also be gone through, make sure the valve stems check out for wear. If you have to have valve guides replaced, make super sure the shop knows what they are doing...super sure. For your budget build, the valve springs might check out on a rate tester, but if you can scoop a set for a reasonable amount, then get a new set. Cam followers should probably be fine, so keep them in order for sure.

For every 100 mechanics out there, 1 is actually good at his job. Good luck!

Edited by Erzulis Boat
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In my recent experience of rebuilding my Esprit these things turned out to be my biggest expenditures.

1. Parts ................ Extremely high and going higher. Oversized mains alone were $700.00 (u.s.) Line boring the main saddles $600.00 (us). If I had to do it again I would considers an engine swap. (Turbo Honda!)

2. Machining ................ Find a machine shop which does race engine preparation. These guys understand rigid


3. Peripherals ......... Rebuild Carbs...... Rebuild Turbo ........ replace hoses ..........etc. Don't want old stuff back with a NEW engine ..........Adds up Quick!

4. Labor ............. Did majority myself and it took a long time (one year). If I had to pay someone to do the work for me it would have been many thousands of dollars.

In order to do things right you will be amazed as to how many niggling problems that MUST be addressed so not to compromise the investment you are about to make. If I had to guess what I have in parts and labor it would be around $15,000 (U.S.).

Good Luck and remember to do it right the first time, don't cut corners on cost because it will bite you later. The investment will be worth it.

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as stated i would seriously have a good talk with troy, he has a load of parts there from malc holmes stock which he is selling, and he can advise and help you on things also. he can do the rebuild for you and advise on machine shops also. you have nothing to lose by giving him a call and having a good talk first.

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I agree with Florida Jim...I think you need a good machine shop. You may well find that the crank is within limits and you just need a set of standard main and big-end shells, which are loads cheaper than those for regrinds..a new set of pistons and liners slot in, with care..valves and guides are also probably OK but will need grinding and shimming..most of this stuff you can do yourself. There may be issues with head flatness or needing the seats recut which is why a good machine shop is an asset. The first time I had my Turbo apart I had little money available and achieved a good result..well, it lasted 15 years!..without changing anything too major; just the bearing shells iirc...but there was a lot of alloy welding and machining to rescue a head which was rotting around the exhaust manifold, probably from road salt, and the valve shimming was definitely an iterative process! It's all good fun, though..

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Troy, no doubt he can offer very good advice on what to do and where to get work done.

And Troy in in the south east too...

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