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Engine Rebuild


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I am currently rebuilding my engine for my 74tii. I have it completely disassembled, and ready to take the head and the block to the machine shop while the k-fisch has been sent to Fairchild for a rebuild. over the next week while the block, head, and kfisch are out i will be ordering all the parts that i need. however, since this is my first rebuild i am not sure everything that i will need to do it right. I definitely plan to replace all the bearings, the piston rings, rod bolts, main bearing cap studs, timing chain, tension and guiderail, timing chain tensioner, oil pump and all the gaskets..... but i'm not sure if i am leaving out anything. Also should i replace the pistons and rods or are those reusable? 

any tips are greatly appreciated! 


thanks in advance for the help!



1972 2002tii- Cannibalized

1985 318i- Retired

1974 2002tii- daily driver (summer)

1999 323 e46- daily driver (winter)

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You have to measure the pistons, if they are re-usable. On my pistons the skirts were too worn, so I bought a new set from MaxSil pistons. Rods are re-usable with new bolts. 

Also, check the valveguides and also check the head for cracks between the valve seats. 


Use liquid gasket together with the original gasket when you attach the distributor carrier on the head. Otherwise you maybe going to have oil leakage.



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Oil pumps are really expensive these days, get out your feeler gauge and see if yours is within spec, if it is then there is no reason to replace it. Your machinist should be able to look at whatever you have and tell you what you need, don't order the rings or bearings until he tells you what sizes to order. The rods should never need to be replaced unless you damaged one somehow, the pistons will depend on what your machinist says.

74 Golf

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+1 on the oil pump. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If getting new pistons I suggest 9.5:1 compression. If carbs I would say 10:1 but likely not on a tii and pump gas.


Also consider a cam upgrade now that everything is apart. The KF can handle a mild cam (like a 285, stock is 264 duration) without going lean, though YMMV. I have a used Norris model #301 (a mild 285 cam) available if interested. With 9.5 pistons and this cam I made 128 HP at the wheels on a DynoJet (yes I know, dyno estimates vary quite a bit), which is in the 145-150 crank HP range. No matter what the actual number, it was quite peppy. I started with pistons only and added the cam later, which is why I suggest getting 9.5's now so if you want to upgrade the cam later you will have the compression to make use of it.


--Fred '69 & '74tii


'74tii (Colorado) track car

'69ti (Black/Red/Yellow) rolling resto track car

'73tii (Fjord....RIP)

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Rod bolts, sure, but the mains are reusable. As are head bolts.


Pistons, usually, and often a rebore anyway.


Rods sometimes get a 'recondition' to make sure the big end's round, and a new

bushing in the small end.


Oil pump chain, and possibly sprocket(s), including cam sprocket, depending...



"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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