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Thread: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

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    Jedi Trainee 61TR3A's Avatar
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    Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    UPDATE: My new mechanic has just started working on my engine and here are his preliminary conclusions:
    The compression test that he did yielded numbers of 150 to 155 dry and 165 to 170 wet.
    He is going to change the oil with a known good brand, MOTUL 20w50 non synthetic zinc rated oil. He is also going to lean out the fuel air mixture to see if it can help out the blow by situation.

    He is going to tune it up, adjust the mixture, change engine oil and filter and have me drive it for about 50 to 100 miles to see if the new spark plugs start to show signs of oil consumption and then check for blow by.
    Last but not least he's going to disconnect the breather system and make sure there is no obstruction causing a vent problem.
    The rocker shaft test will be done as well but this is most definitely a blow by problem.

    So, a complete rebuild doesn't seem to be needed right now despite the gloomy diagnosis made by the first mechanic. And the compression readings are excellent, contrary to the 130-145 the first mechanic told me.
    Once he checks the breather system and checks the rocker shaft, I'll report his additional comments then.
    ================================================== =========================================



    My engine needs to be rebuilt and my mechanic estimates the cost to be between $8K and $10K. I'm located in Vermont where there are very few experts around but at least there are a couple to choose from. The mechanic who diagnosed the problem and who quoted the $8-10K can't do the rebuild until winter when I'm back in Florida, that's how demand exceeds supply which brings the cost up so much.

    If you live in the New England area, preferably near Vermont or New Hampshire, I'd appreciate recommendations of mechanics who have a great deal of experience with our cars. Likewise, I'd appreciate opinions as to the cost I'm being quoted. I've already heard two extremes from the Austin Healey Owners group on Facebook ranging from "That's about right" to "That's way too much".

    Thanks,

    Jeff
    Last edited by 61TR3A; 08-09-2019 at 10:46 AM. Reason: Update
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    Jedi Knight Healey Nut's Avatar
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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    The main thing is you need to determine what parts internally need work .
    A rebuild could be as simple as new rings , deck the block n head regrind the valves and rebuild .
    Or at the other extreme it could be regrind the crank ,cam rebore/sleeve the bores , new pistons rings , bearing shells etc etc etc .
    Without opening up the patient to see whats what they will always quote you the worst case scenario .
    You need to dissasemble the entire engine and measure/clean and evaluate everything before getting a quote .
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    The $8 - $10k aligns with what I paid.

    I had mine done in the summer of 2017 in southern California. The price was toward the low end of that. Healey parts are relatively expensive. I removed everything in the engine compartment and the interior as well. The mechanic pulled the engine and gave me the car back. It would have cost around $2000 more if I'd had him do all the busy work of R&Ring all the bits. I was allowed to buy the parts myself so saved on the markup. Included DW cam, forged .060 pistons, porting, balancing all recip parts. Servicing crank & rods, etc etc.
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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    I just did my Tri Carb myself .
    I had the machine shop work done by a professional shop and I supplied all the parts and did most of the rebuild myself .
    They installed the valves and springs etc as I didnt have the compression tool . I did the rest .
    I had the block bored out .030” over and two bores were sleeved . The head and block were decked .The block was checked for cracks etc and jetwashed before the work .
    New pistons , rings , valve guides , all bearing shells except the cam .
    Total cost approx 3500$CAN
    when you start regrinding cranks n cams it gets expensive .
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)


    That was a good price.

    Last edited by Editor_Reid; 07-31-2019 at 02:16 PM.
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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    Although several years ago and a 100, I redid my engine for about $2.5k. That included .060" over pistons sourced from Europe, a new oil pump, a an updated lip type seal on the rear main that required machining, plus the usual machine shop work. Oh, yes I also had cracks in the head welded. I always pull my engines, take them apart, and put them back together myself. I don't know how much cost is added if the shop does all of that, but I am sure it is not insignificant. I think the head may be one of the big variables in cost, as it gets more expensive depending on what parts you replace, and at least on my cars valves have often Beena judgement call I have discussed with the machinist. The $10k seems high to me, but I know from my online reading many pay that and more.

    Personal preference but I like a machinist that works with you every step of the way and consults on best course of action, not a this is how we do it and this is what we charge kind of shop. Spend some time talking with them before you pick one.

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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    i have about 5k in mine (to date) and i did everything but the machine shop work. that included new water pump, oil pump, crank turned 10 over, etc. i did do some extras like convert to alternator.

    when i talked to Healey Surgeons about doing the engine, they quoted 8k. they said once you take one down, you may as well do everything. i am sure if the engine needed new sleeves, or some like that, it would have been higher.

    So the price quoted sounds about right to me.

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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    Quote Originally Posted by Drone Dog View Post
    when i talked to Healey Surgeons about doing the engine, they quoted 8k. they said once you take one down, you may as well do everything.
    Why ??
    If the crank and cam journals are not worn when measured or inspected for scoring then why regrind them .
    That to me is just a way to make money out of people who don’t understand the internals of an engine .
    Yes replace the shell bearings etc but only do the machining work IF NEEDED
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    Quote Originally Posted by Healey Nut View Post
    Why ??
    If the crank and cam journals are not worn when measured or inspected for scoring then why regrind them .
    That to me is just a way to make money out of people who don’t understand the internals of an engine .
    Yes replace the shell bearings etc but only do the machining work IF NEEDED
    No evidence is given that "doing everything" includes doing stuff that doesn't need to be done. Healey Surgeons is a reputable shop.

    My crank was ground to .020" under - maybe it's easier to get a good fit if bearing sizes are not mixed. I know I only had a couple of problem journals.

    These are the machining services I needed. Add the following: Acid dip head & block - $150; .020 crank - $125. Parts from BP Northwest & Tom's: $915. Venolia .060" forged pistons: $950. R&R engine: $200; Denis welch cam & oil pump: $1200: Mechanic's labor: $3000
    ==================
    $9196

    This is with no markup on the machine shop or parts.

    MachineShopReceipt0817.jpg
    Last edited by steveg; 08-01-2019 at 11:27 AM.
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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    Quote Originally Posted by Healey Nut View Post
    Why ??
    If the crank and cam journals are not worn when measured or inspected for scoring then why regrind them .
    That to me is just a way to make money out of people who don’t understand the internals of an engine .
    Yes replace the shell bearings etc but only do the machining work IF NEEDED
    My BJ8's engine was rebuilt by a well-known and respected local builder of racing engines who was also a good friend of my father's. Neither the crank or cam journals needed to be ground (which kind of bummed me out because I'd already bought 0.020" under crank bearings expecting it would need grinding at 200K+ miles). Their labor, however, came to about $8K and I sourced pistons, cam set, oil pump and a few other bits from DWM. They also broke it in on their engine stand--IIRC, they charged about $700 of the $8K for that--and installed a PCV system.

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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    No evidence is given that "doing everything" includes doing stuff that doesn't need to be done. Healey Surgeons is a reputable shop.

    o
    If I took my engine to a shop and before dismantling and examination they give me a quote and say you “may as well do everything “ then the engine would be loaded back in my truck and taken somewhere else , because my way of thinking a good shop would say , lets open up the patient and have a look and measure everything and then you can come back and we will show you and guide you in what is the best approach based on what we find .
    Thats a good engine shop .
    Also at no point in my post did I criticize or disparage Healey Surgeons so I have no idea why that is even mentioned .
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    HN - This is convoluted. Even though Healey Surgeons said, evidently before any teardown, "you might as well do everything" -- I'd still expect them (hopefully) to not grind the crank if it didn't need it.

    IMO with that comment and the $8k ballpark, HS was letting DD know what he was in for before starting any work.

    Your comment appeared to suggest they'd grind it even if not needed: "That to me is just a way to make money out of people who don’t understand the internals of an engine ." That is why it was even mentioned. They might grind an immaculate crank, but I'd like to doubt it - in the unlikely event there was an immaculate crank.

    However, Bruce at Healey Surgeons has done a lot of engines and I'll bet his $8k ballpark price and "just do everything" comment was based on a well-founded guess as to what he was going to see on teardown.

    I can easily see how if one drove one's car into a shop, how the price of a standard rebuild could be $8k. There's a lot of busy work R&Ring the engine.

    You evidently are doing your own rebuild - removing the engine and taking the bits to your machine shop, where you coordinate what's done - that type of rebuild is going to be a lot cheaper than driving the car in for a turn-key rebuild.
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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    i believe what Steve is saying is spot on.

    i think it important to note i was calling them for the first time so he was trying to give me an estimate. And probably a guess based on experience of what he has seen if the engine truely needs a rebuild. i should also add that i bought the car with the engine out and did not know how it ran. he suggested i put the engine in and try it before looking at a rebuild.

    i do know i have 5k in parts and machine shop work. And a lot of my own labor. So i think 8k would sound about right for a shop.

    sorry if i caused a rift here. didn't mean to hijack the thread from it's original owner.

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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    UPDATE: I took it to another mechanic, who my tow truck driver mentioned, to get a second opinion. He agrees with the Austin Healey Owners on FaceBook that the first thing to do is perform a compression and leak-down test both cold and at run temp and then give the rocker shaft a close scrutiny to check for wear because all the blow-by I'm having may be caused by a worn rocker shaft. The first mechanic insisted that 130-145PSI is too low a compression range and all the AH Owners claim it's perfectly normal and not too low, so I'm glad I'm getting a second opinion and another compression test because this new mechanic agrees with the Healey Owners that 130-145 isn't too bad and the variance is under 10% between lowest and highest cylinders. He will work on the car next week so I hope to have good news that a complete rebuild will not be necessary.
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    Re: Cost to Rebuild a Healey 3000 Engine (And Recommendations About Who to Do It)

    A worn rocker shaft would result in low oil pressure as the excess oil flow would prevent the oil backing up and creating pressure .
    If your compression test and leak down tests are good and you can maintain a positive oil pressure at hot idle then save your money and keep on driving .
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
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