Is your engine rebuild fit for purpose?

In July 2020, it was decided that the Notre Dame Cathedral would be rebuilt to match its 19th century appearance, rather than being reconstructed to a contemporary design. It will be a difficult task — Notre Dame was not made to be rebuilt. Thankfully, restoring an engine nearing the end of its life is much simpler, although you should still be careful that rebuilding it will meet the engine’s needs. Here Peter Hutyan, Product Manager for Energy and Transportation at Finning UK & Ireland, discusses what makes a good engine rebuild.

When your diesel engine or genset reaches the end of its lifecycle, the traditional approach is to replace it with a newer model. However, keeping an engine running towards the end of its life could risk failure, giving you little time to source a replacement and a temporary rental alternative, leading to unplanned downtime. One way to avoid this is to strip your engine and replace the individual components earlier on, to achieve a like-new machine at the fraction of the cost of a brand-new product.

Choosing the right option

To ensure that your engine will be rebuilt to an optimum standard, it is important to understand the different refurbishment packages on offer. This means knowing what the options cover and how they can benefit the overall machine. For example, will the repair cover just oil consumption or will it include all fluids, such as coolant and fuel? By making an informed choice, you can select a rebuild strategy that caters to your engine’s condition and your business needs.

Lower cost options usually cover high wear parts, a recondition of the engine’s cylinder heads and a renew of the piston rings and liners. Only a full workshop recondition will include a complete strip and inspection and a renewal of the major components, such as seals, bearings, gaskets and filters. While budget will be a deciding factor, think about what you want to achieve from the rebuild — a basic power restoration or a like-new appearance with a full repaint and decals?

If your engine is in a remote or offshore location, you may require a tailored service in a dedicated facility. In these cases, check that the provider can go beyond the standard options.

Getting the right support

The hallmark of a strong rebuild project is having a partner that provides the right technical and commercial assistance and who is prepared to offer support across the asset’s lifecycle. By reaching out to a provider like Finning, you can gain better understanding of where the engine is in its lifecycle and what may be needed. An engineer can then identify a support strategy suited to your business, one that makes the most commercial sense.

Rebuilds do not finish the moment the engine leaves the workshop — partnering with Finning will mean you are supported long after the engine’s components have been refurbished. This includes reinstalling the asset on your site, carrying out regular servicing and providing technical support to ensure the engine continues to run as normal. 

While there is a big difference between rebuilding Notre Dame Cathedral and a diesel engine, both rely on a high standard of repair to ensure that they can fulfil their intended purpose. An engine rebuild that is fit for purpose means choosing the right repair option and having full lifecycle support in place early on.

If you partner with Finning for an engine rebuild, Cat® certified engineers will carry out a comprehensive check of your engine and advise you on the repair level you need before you decide. We also have engineer coverage across the UK and Ireland, so we can react promptly to your request. For more information on our repair and rebuild options, visit

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