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V12 engine rebuild bill?

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by John Se, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. John Se

    John Se Karting

    Mar 15, 2005
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    Any one forked out for a V12 engine rebuild lately? How did the cost add up? Parts, labor, etc. I am a competent mechanic (all areas), with time and Patience is there any reason I cant do the assembly myself?. Also since parts seem to be so devistatingly expensive do any of you try and rebuild or re fab worn parts using local suppliers (machinists, heat treaters, etc)? I also have friends with machine shops, and can get engineers to advise on heat treat specs. Like if I had a wiped cam, I would weld it up grind it down and re-heat treat, instead of replace.
    thanks
     
  2. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

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    Which engine from which era? You mean a 2 valve, 4 valve, boxer, etc? Stuff from the 50's will likely cost a ton more than newer stuff...or does it? Also, what's a "rebuild"? All new valves or are only 2 bad? New pistons and con rods? Any welding and machining needed? How's the crankshaft looking?

    You need to be more specific to get an idea of what you're looking at.

    Ken
     
  3. ferrarifixer

    ferrarifixer F1 Veteran
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    This is a wildly crude rule of thumb, but you should allow about 1000 GBP per cylinder, to do a typical full rebuild. So about US$1500 very roughly

    This does not include installation jobs.
     
  4. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    I have approached this question in the past too. Since the blocks are aluminum, I guess you can't just over bore it...much harder to do. Brian usually chimes in on these questions...

    I too am curious how much can be rebuilt vs replaced...ie:

    1) Can you just hone the cylinder walls and retreat with nikasil (? is this even an option???
    2) How much are oversized pistons, and who makes them? Ie. If just 1 or 2 cylinders were bad?
    3) Are their cheaper valves/guides? Apparantly you can't just grind/lap these - it affects their strenght...

    I keep hearing quotes of 35k$ to rebuild a 12 cylinder...I guess thats accurate if you had to do everything to the motor...that sounds like an astronomical sum.

    A lot of times its just 1 or 2 cylinders/valves/etc that are bad, and a complete rebuild might not be required unless the whole motor is worn/TM belt ruptures...

    These are just some rambling thoughts...

    Anyone know what a head rebuild on a 12 cylinder costs (per bank)?
    What about a valve job?
     
  5. ArtS

    ArtS F1 Veteran
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    bpu699

    The Aluminum blocks are lined. In most cases, you probobly could replace one or two liners if necessary to bring things back. However, these engines are balanced, you just shouldn't swap a piston here and a connecting rod there and expect good results. The tollerances are tighter on these motors than on most US V-8's of similar vintage, which means extra care needs to be taken. I think of a Ferrari engine as high end 12 cylinder motorcycle engine. Its probobly a better comparison than with your average Chevy. Finally, the cores are expensive on the old ones, Tom S. is selling rebuildable 250 cores for big money ($20K++).

    Aside from machining, parts and misc stuff, I was quoted that it would be about 100 hours of labor for teardown and reassembly by someone who has done a few.

    Good Luck,

    Art S.
     
  6. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    Art, lets say one cylinder is toasted - foreign body, scored, etc...

    Are there any parts places that will sell one cylinder/liner? I would think that as long as it weighted EXACTLY what the previous one did, balancing is not an issue. Same for replacing one rod, etc.

    Now if you break a belt - thats another issue - now the crank might be shot, bearings, etc...ie. You will likely have to disassemble everything...

    But lets say an engine is just plain worn, and you wan't to improve on it...but you DONT want to completely rebuild it. Is there an economical way to do that? Something a hobbyist can do???

    Can you just hone the walls, and oversize the rings a bit? Lap the valves? Etc? The only thing folks mention on this board is a complete rebuild to like new condition...sometimes not worth it given the fact the car isn't worth that much to begin with...
     
  7. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
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    I'm just beginning a complete rebuild of my tipo 128F 250 V12 (NOT doing it myself, of course). It looks as though I'm facing around $12K-$14K in parts and at least 120 hours of labor.
     
  8. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    #8 Rifledriver, Mar 29, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2014
    Between this and Phil's estimate is a good range. We never replace cams, haven't been able to buy them in decades anyway. Cylinders are cheap to have made and cheaper to rebore in place. Pistons can be made to order of a higher quality than was ever dreamed of when those motors were new. Rings are off the shelf. Valves can be made here of higher quality for a cheaper price than anything new-repro or original. What really runs the parts bill up is things like a gasket set, reproduction cam rollers and pins and all the other special Ferrari only small production batch parts. Labor gets eaten up by welding up eroded water passages, helicoiling 40 or 50 years of stripped threads and fixing iffy quality work done decades ago when the value of the cars did not justify doing first rate work. When I started working on Ferrari's a valve job on a 250 cost more than a 250 so lots of corners got cut.
     
  9. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    Having worked on chevys and porsches, I still have a hard time grasping the costs of a ferrari rebuild...I guess I will never really understand it unless I need one...

    Just trying to be an optimist: When my car has 100k miles, and is worth 15k$. Ill see if I can rebuild the motor for much less, and get another 25k miles out of it...
     
  10. billb

    billb Formula Junior
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    I've done many. Doing a piecemeal job is a mistake. Once the engine is opened up, virtually everything should be checked, tested, inspected. Liners are not balanced, nor does weight matter. Reciprocating and rotating parts are balanced. It's far simpler to merely overbore a liner in place (requires custom-made deck plate) by a few thou to restore perfect cylindrical shape than to remove and replace them, as the sealing compound used on liners is difficult to remove from the block. Pistons generally are worn, and require replacement anyway, so once the cylinders are all true and the same size, custom made ones are ordered to fit. Typically less than .010" overbore is required to repair worn cylinders. However this is a job for an experienced shop, as tolerances are unbelieveably close compared to say, a Chevy. Valves, if previously serviced, will likely need replacement the second time around, as the face becomes too thin. Valve springs must be checked for proper load, and often are old and weak. Valve guides are soft, and typically require replacement. Cranks and rods are good, sturdy pieces and usually require little other than re-bushing the piston pin hole and honing to size. A typical rebuild costs about $12-$15k in parts, and requires 120-180 hours, depending on the amount of machine work and repair required. During this entire process, an owner has the option of going to higher compression, better flowing valves, cylinder head flow bench testing and rework, reprofiled camshafts, etc. I also dyno the completed engine, as Ferrari break-in procedure is lengthy, and load/rpm specific. This is followed by a "power pull" to map torque and horsepower curves. Look for my upcoming article on this subject in depth in Forza magazine, possibly the next issue.
    Bill Badurski
    Technical Chairman
    Ferrari Club of America
     
  11. Dave330gtc

    Dave330gtc Formula Junior

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    I concur with both Wayne and Bill. I have just gone through this with a 330 engine. There is no point trying to cut corners once everything is apart. I had sticker shock on some items and other parts actually seemed reasonable. Keep in mind that a $12.00 part doesn't sound bad until you realize that you need 48 of them. Gasket sets are also more expensive than I think they should be.
     
  12. donv

    donv F1 World Champ
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    In my old copy of The Ferrari Buyer's Guide, by Dean Batchelor, he estimates $25k for a V12 rebuild, circa 1981. Factoring in inflation, that would be around $56k in 2005 dollars.

    Since you guys seem to be talking in the neighborhood of $25k in 2005 dollars, why are rebuilds so much cheaper now?
     
  13. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Getting American made liners, pistons, valves etc is now a more common practice than it was then and the prices for even those are as cheap or cheaper than it was then. Even things like head studs we were saddled with buying the poor quality Ferrari parts for stupid money. Now we can get quality for less at places like ARP.
     
  14. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    ok . i have been keeping quiet in these threads, but reading them. i work on aircraft, i have extesive experience with .0000x tolerances on blueprints. big deal. yadda yadda i know. please let me digress further.
    my best friend, (Mike) who is a machinist for General Dynamics and makes EVERYTHING in the machine shop for our aircraft races an NHRA dragster. has been for years. as did his father, Dirty Charlie Stevens, "known" in California from the 60's. i was a roomate of Mike's for a few years. i have watched this father and son team build the most amazing 600+ cubic motors in his HOME MACHINE SHOP ( yes ) that you can imagine. ( read that again, he has a machine shop in his house) i have seen the tricks of the trade and learned much. "we" have built Buick, Ford Chevy and my fave, Pontiac engines with extra special care that have lasted and performed very, VERY well. from $$$ dragstrip motors to Georgia back woods dirt track cars. i have seen alot.


    ? what the hell is so special about 30+ year old Ferrari engines? they were built by hand with basic tools, so i cannot believe they were made to any secret, unknown tolerances. they were built by craftsman, on an assembly line, one at a time. big deal. they had no specai; technology. i have seen real deal BOSS 302 and RAM AIR Pontiacs built with new technology and close tolerances make amazing numbers, and live for many thousands of miles.

    please someone post some basic rod , crankshaft and bearing tolerances for vintage ferrari v12's. yes some of the parts are ferrari specific, and are no doubt expensive. i cannot believe that they were built by largely uneducated craftsmen with basic hand tools to any tolerance that cannot be duplicated and exceeded with todays tools at a cheaper cost with added performance and reliablity.

    flame me if you will, but i have not seen anything in the guts of GTO'S, 275GTB'S ect ect at the local race shop ( Andy Green's ) to lead me to believe there is anything super magic about these engines. you are paying for the expertise of the mechanic ASSEMBLING AND FITTING the parts, making sure they fit well and are properly done as new parts. i cannot tell you how many extremely expensive high $$$ parts i have seen shipped that were junk, out of the box that my friend Mike and his father sent back. his father is so connected, in some cases he can CALL THE COMPANY OWNERS AT HOME with some products. he is that "old school" in the drag racing industry. ( it helps he is a gazzllionare )

    to summarize, i have seen a rare master and his son build stunning street and race engines, and i am famliar with " tolerances" and have worked on and built several "modest" " new guy" engines myself. + the aircraft experience. what book / manual can i buy, will show me these actual Ferrari build tolerances? what are these numbers that make these engines so hard to build?

    perhaps its "all in a name" , the "F" word = much more money spent. i welcome comments and numbers. this is a chat forum. lets chat, shall we? :)
     
  15. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Michael, you are correct in every way. In fact in the 50's and 60's, even into the first half of the 70's Ferrari machine tolerences were awful. The machine tools in use were antiques and the tolerences they held were pretty bad. The spigots in the blocks for locating the cylinder liners were not uniform, the cranks had a different stroke from crank pin to crank pin and the valve guides were bored so crooked you could easily see it with the naked eye. The pistons and liners were pretty good because they were made by subcontractors. What they were was amazingly durable in a racing situation and that knowledge transferred over to the street motors. I have seen Daytona motors beat like a bad dog and keep coming back for more.

    Things really did not change in that area until the mid 70's when Ferrari started reinvesting in modern machine equipment and as CNC tools came on line things got better still.

    Hard to build, they aren't hard to build, but they do tend to be a bit of a Chinese puzzle. Labor in Italy was very cheap so they tend to be kind of complex in some ways. It takes more engineering to build a single part that performs many jobs than it does to make a whole bunch of parts with cheap labor to perform the same job.
     
  16. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    thanks Brian,

    i wrote that novel out of my passion for Ferrari, not disgust. i mean no offense to those who work on and build these machines, as i said you are paying big buck for the guy putting it all together, " knowing" how it should all fit and what tricks can be done. seems that the parts should be able to be reproduced now to a much better product that what was available before. my friends have special cams ground for them every single season. i know that there are no Ferrari blank cams laying around, but where there is a demand , there is $$$ and a supply will form. why are ferrari cams unavailable? thanks for the reply, and for not dousing me in gasoline :)



    i need to go beat on my guitars for awhile before bed.... good night to all :)
     
  17. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Those are old motors and nothing is available except repros. Cams are so easy to fix there is no market for new.
     
  18. mikegt

    mikegt Karting

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    I used to think like you, but my experiences in rebuilding a Daytona engine taught me otherwise:

    First and foremost, the logic behind paying someone $10-15k in labor is the basic adage of "$5 to hit it with a hammer, $50 to know where to hit it".

    Second, in my opinion, Andy Greene shouldn't be trusted to work on anyone's Ferrari. While he may be competent on other cars, he doesn't seem to know a damn thing about Ferraris, even though he claims he does. He bent at least 10 head studs on my Daytona engine while trying to remove all of them. I didn't know this at the time, but any competent mechanic knows to grip the studs at the base and not at the top like Andy did. A more experienced Ferrari mechanic later told me that he could've fixed the block deck imperfections without removing any of the studs. Andy also tried to tell me that my camshafts need to be rebuilt (ground down and welded back up) when in fact they were perfectly fine. Andy was going to send my block all the way to California (from GA) to get it resurfaced when I decided he was not the right person for the job. My block was going to one place, my cams to another and Andy refused to provide a ballpark estimate for getting the work done. My guess is that Andy needed someone to fix his mistakes (he never did fess up to bending the studs).

    I finally found a knowledgeable, experienced mechanic who would answer all my questions, explain the details of what he did and billed me fairly for the hours it took to rebuild my engine. Many hours are spent cleaning and inspecting, painting and detailing (especially if a concourse car), locating and purchasing unobtainable parts and rebuilding detailed accessories like carbs and distributors. Many more can be spent trying to fix what previous mechanics didn’t do correctly.

    A lot of Ferrari mechanics want to hide behind the “mystic” of Ferrari engine and that it takes gobs of hours to rebuild. The reality is that there are just a numerous quirks with these engines that aren’t documented in any manual. If you or your mechanic doesn’t know about them or the tricks to solve some of these problems (like removing steel studs with very deep threads in an aluminum block), then you could do more harm than good and spend countless unproductive hours (or money) trying to figure it out. Plus, no one knows until they take it apart what the last mechanic did, or didn’t do, to the engine.

    The lesson I learned was not to base your decision on price but on the knowledge, experience and reputation of the mechanic in rebuilding Ferrari engines and your specific engine in particular. There are less than a handful of such people in the country.

    One day I’d like to rebuild my own Ferrari engine, but I wouldn’t dream of attempting it without consulting a knowledgeable and trusted Ferrari mechanic along the way.

    - Mike in Atlanta
     
  19. jsa330

    jsa330 F1 Veteran
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    Figures I've heard from reliable sources in the last three years have been $25k for starters for a complete rebuild, $10k to do both cylinder heads only.
     
  20. superbimmer

    superbimmer Karting

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    I had my 365GT2+2 engine completely re-built a year ago. As others have said ... once you open it up, you should do the WHOLE thing ... every part! Done correctly ... I had an old-time Ferrari pro do mine ... it will last for the remaining life of the car! Worth every penny!!
     
  21. davehelms

    davehelms F1 Rookie
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    A lump of cast iron and a sand cast, vintage aluminum block have little in common. The early Ferrari blocks were fairly unstable and knowing the expansion and contraction rates and where they happen is fundamental. Throwing a ballpark number around is near impossible. The inside plug engine I am in now has had far too many people into it and has required virtually every piece hand fit. As Bill stated, overbore a few thousandths here and there is ok. Any more and the pistons catch the flame ring in the head gaskets.... As Brian stated, technology has made many advances and I prefer to use new parts as well. Pistons are far more stable in their expansion rates now, liners have a far more consistant make up......
    The real question is what was done in the past? This engine had the block glass beaded on the last build and over a short time released a great amount of bead into the engine. I remember 1521GT having a chromed crankshaft that wasn’t properly prepped and it shed chrome chips throughout the engine.
    The blocks start to go soft over time, which presents more problems. Add high lift cams and then P / V clearances get very close (2291GT, 3143GT, 3223GT, 0677GT) and that must be delt with. How much is enough? Little to no room for decking, milling and line honing. How well does one trust the machine shops to really take off only 1 or 2 thousandths while line boring? Call me old fashioned, but I think the only proper way is to hand lap the main bores with the factory lapping bar which takes a great deal of time, but the final results are perfection. Same goes for the cam bores which are almost always over looked. I have yet to find a block (vintage) that has all of the liner bores the same size so liners of varying OD's must be made to retain the proper interferance fit. I had 2 days into building a water pump from un-useable pieces but with a Rolls Royce seal it should now last 20+ years. Rebuilding a virgin vintage engine would remove so many variables, I have yet to find one!
    Dave
     
  22. Fiat Dino 206

    Fiat Dino 206 Karting

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    I am enjoying this discussion.

    I like to see discussion regarding the Ferrari engine types as the engines are of special interest to me and many others. I look forward to the upcoming article in Forza!

    I believe I know the following: The factory spent some 40 hours assembling the engines and some 15 to 20 hours tuning and breaking it in. This might indicate that these engines require an inordinate amount of hand matching and careful balancing even during the "production" phase of their lives.

    There are outside numbers and inside numbers that designate the engine model and how it was built?
    Example: I believe that some California Spyders were built with 128D engines and 128C cams ... different lift profile? And, I believe that the 250 SWB model might come with an engine with one of several different internal numbers? With Ferrai, there seem to have been "normal" engines, "Competition" engines and "inbetweeners" in several engine model numbers which are only indicated by the internal numbers? The customer could, as I understand it, order engines built to various specifications during the early years?

    any comments on the external and internal numbers would be appreciated ... it is a subject that has confused me for years,

    Best wishes,
     
  23. billb

    billb Formula Junior
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    This has become a great thread. Lots of good input here. Dave Helms comment about what was done in the past is dead on. Most of the engines I've serviced or rebuilt had some terrible prior workmanship. Cam chains overtightened so as to destroy the forward camshaft bore in heads, chain tensioners hit with screwdrivers and a hammer to adjust because doing it right involves lifting the engine for access, carbs sealed to the air cleaner with RTV because the crankcase vent hose was pinched and the vacuum was pulling raw oil out the tank instead of the crankcase vapors, etc.

    To the carreaper, it sounds like you've got the skill and resources. The clearances aren't magic, and I don't want to imply they are. They just are relatively "tight" compared to many automotive specs. Your best source for this info is to get the particular "Workshop Manual" for the model in question. Ferrari manuals tend to have a lot of very good technical data, but lack the "step-by-step" procedures commonly found in say, Honda manuals.That's were the experience and expertise of the technician becomes important. There are several things that are very precise and time consuming, such as timing four camshafts using "setting" clearances, then going back and setting valve clearances with the correct shims. Not rocket science, just labor intensive. Every one of us has had a "first overhaul", whereby we were not sure what the heck to do. If your take lots of notes and photos along the way, it helps tremendously when you get to the stage of figuring out how it all goes back together.

    Finally, nowadays we all have this website, and several others to go to for immediate help. It's amazing how much of a knowledge base there is out here, and how eager most people are to pitch in and assist when the going gets tough. I only wish this had been available when I started working on Ferraris about 30 years ago. No matter how experienced any one of us is, I've found that there are still times when you run into something that stumps you. That's where this new resource becomes an unbelieveable asset.
     
  24. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    great post ! details like this are what i was referring to! :)
     
  25. thecarreaper

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    thank you. i dont mean to belittle anyone who has been in the trenches for years sorting these cars out. as with anything mechanical, its always worse when you have to go behind "x" number of other shops and tech who were there before. the sins of the past come to light and haunt you when you arying to get the darn thing back together. seems to me that as the cars age, and those who know them pass on, that something is forever lost. too much technology is a bad thing, and yet the old artisans did so much with so little. so many of these vintage v12's are bieng parted out, i wonder how many there will be around for the next generation? ( depends on the OIL situation?)


    in one of the 0846 threads there was a mention of replica cast vintage blocks and parts bieng made for some (?) purpose by someone overseas ( replica racing?) would it be possible to reproduce quality replacements with better castings, or would that in effect ruin the hearts and souls of the cars themselves? maybe i should get and old 400i parts car with an auto for cheap and take it all apart.... just to see and measure what a 12 looks like inside !


    cool thread
     

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