June 10

How to rebuild a Porsche 911 SC Engine


So, coming this summer (like all good blockbuster movies) it’s time to start the engine rebuild on the Targa.

I found a great rebuild wizard over at Pelican Parts listing each step and even with links to the parts that need to be bought. Clearly intimidating for a novice brown-thumbed garage buffoon like myself but quite exciting. I have to spend a lot of time consuming these instructions to see if I am up to the gig!

These steps are:


Step 1:
Knowledge Base

In this particular step, I tell you about the informational resources that I recommend you acquire prior to performing your rebuild.  Information is key to success, particularly when performing a 911 engine rebuild.  With the proper knowledge, you can avoid some very common and potentially costly mistakes.

Step 2:
Your Toolbox

Also of paramount importance is the use of the right tool for the job.  I’m a firm advocate of doing the work yourself.   However, if you don’t have the correct tool for the job, there is a chance that you may end up with shoddy work, resulting in a poor-running and leaky engine.  Using the proper tool for the job and not taking unnecessary short-cuts is a principle I stand by whether you’re working on your car or around the house.

Step 3:
Materials Required

There are a few special materials, glues and sealants that I have found to work very well in 911 engine rebuilds.  In this step, I discuss some details about each, and where they are required in your engine.

Step 4:
Gasket Sets
& Hardware Sets

The good thing about gasket sets is that they cover just about every little rubber gasket that you need – regardless of whether you are rebuilding the top end or are tearing apart the entire engine.  In this section, I give a brief description of what’s in the gasket sets and how each gasket fits into your engine rebuild.

Step 5:
Bottom End Assembly

Finally, we begin to tackle the actual rebuild process.  There are many parts on the bottom end that need to be replaced.   Some can be reused as well, and I detail which ones you might want to replace for extra assurance.

Step 6:
Pistons & Cylinders

Pistons and cylinders are very important parts to inspect and replace if worn out.  Along with the P&Cs, this section addresses the infamous head stud issue, and which studs you should use in your rebuild.

Step 7:
Cylinder Heads

Although most people leave the cylinder heads to the care of their trusted machine shop, in this section we detail the parts that comprise the cylinder heads.  Springs, valves, and guides are detailed within Step 7.

Step 8:
Camshaft Housings

The camshaft housings, sometimes referred to as the cam towers, contain the rocker arms, and sit on top of the heads.  Rocker arm parts, valve adjustment screws and camshafts are discussed in Step 8.

Step 9:
Chains & Tensioners

Porsche 911 engines have had many problems with chain tensioners over the years.  Failure of a chain tensioner can lead to complete destruction of your engine.  Step 9 reviews the various chain tensioner upgrades and enhancements that Porsche has developed over the years to make the 911 engine more reliable.

Step 10:
Finishing Up the
Long Block

When the long block is all sealed up, there are a few goodies that should be installed in the final steps.   These are discussed here in Step 10.

Step 11:
Fuel Injection &

While I can’t go into the details of every variation of fuel system used on the 911 engine, this particular section reviews the common components that you should replace while you have access to the fuel injection and other areas on the top of the engine.

Step 12:
Exhaust &
Oil Lines

Nothing looks better on your newly rebuilt engine than a new stainless steel muffler or heat exchangers.   In addition to overhauling exhaust components, you should replace oil lines that are cracked and old, along with a few other items like motor mounts.


Well, there you have it.


911, rebuild

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