How hard is an engine rebuild DIY?

Discussion in 'Heavy Duty Diesel Truck Mechanics Forum' started by MTMAUS, Oct 18, 2021.


    MTMAUS Light Load Member

    Sep 28, 2019
    So truthfully, how hard is it to rebuild an engine yourself? How much knowledge do you need to have? I am confident in using the tools, what I am not confident in is stuff like timing the engine, checking bores, turbo timings etc. I am in Australia

    Here is my situation, I potentially need to rebuild 3 engines myself.

    I have an iveco cursor 13 engine that is out of the truck and sitting in my shed, this can be my test case, last time it was in a truck it started blowing alot of smoke and now is locked up. I can use this engine to pull apart and play with. I am not sure what's wrong with it, there's no rush on this, I might not rebuild it rather just tear it down and play with it.

    My other 2 trucks are due for a rebuild in 2022. A 2007 cummins ISX pre EGR, I will have all of the Australian winter to do this, I dont use it over this 6 month period.

    the other is another cursor 13 engine, this is the one where I would need to do it in a week or so and this would be the last one once I know what I am doing.

    How much do I need to know? I have a forklift on site if needed.
    truckdriver31 Thanks this.
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  3. truckdriver31

    truckdriver31 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    maybe watch youtube
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  4. A5¢

    A5¢ Medium Load Member

    Oct 30, 2017
    I did a home rebuild on my Caterpillar, with no diesel engine training, but I have a good history of mechanical work. There are some specialty tools and depending on what is damaged inside, you may need some machine shop work. One possibility is counter bores being cut.
    As mentioned, YouTube has the Adept Ape. Very good Caterpillar mechanic and has very informative videos.
    Being meticulous and clean is very important. The guys on the site helped me a ton and I am pleased with the results.
    truckdriver31 Thanks this.
  5. RocketScott

    RocketScott Medium Load Member

    Apr 10, 2013
    I rebuilt my Cummins 444xt a few months ago. No real mechanical training but I’ve been working on vehicles since my teens

    There area few special tools I either bought, borrowed, or made. Used a chain hoist to flip the block and put the crank in then flipped it back over

    I did the whole thing on a flatbed trailer parked in my shop. When it was done I towed it back to the shop where the truck was and they dropped it back in
  6. lester

    lester Road Train Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    NW, Iowa
    Buy an engine manual for the engines you are wanting to rebuild. Read them extensively. I have no idea how common those engines are? Can you find videos on YouTube about them?

    I rebuilt my cat basically by watching YouTube and finding specs online. I've been playing with wrenches my whole life and fixing things around the farm. Had torn a few blown engines apart but never put on back together.

    Really I didn't feel it was complicated. Just take your time and pay attention to details. Use paint markers to make sure everything goes back the same way it came apart
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