Sep 30 2019

A Good Classic Aston Engine Rebuild: One For The Experts

One For The Experts - A Classic Aston Martin Engine Rebuild

Classic Aston Martin’s are iconic cars, things of beauty. They conjure images of simpler times, twisty roads winding through Mediterranean hillsides and sophistication.

However, they are not all about style over substance. The beating heart of a classic Aston, be it a straight-six cylinder engine or a V8, is a powerful thoroughbred that requires expertise to get the most from it. So what’s the best approach to take when the engine needs some TLC, and what does it cost?

Put Your Trust In Experts, Not Your Mate Dave

First, without any doubt, classic Aston Martin engines should be restored and maintained by experts. Although most good mechanics might be able to take them apart and bolt them back together again, it’s not likely to end well. Aston engines always benefit from being looked after by specialists, people who know these engines and cars inside out, people who understand their foibles and needs.

What Are The Signs That You Might Need An Engine Rebuild?

The telltale signs that an engine rebuild might be required include low oil pressure and a smokey exhaust. Other things to look out for include oil leaks and unusual noises. For peace of mind, it’s best to take your car to a reputable classic Aston Martin specialist for an assessment.

Before you say, ah yes but they are bound to tell me the engine needs rebuilding, stop for a moment. The best Aston experts are not in the business of pulling the wool over people’s eyes. They love these cars as much as the people who own them, and their expertise is in demand, so they don’t need to generate work.

There’s Only One Way, And That’s The Right Way

We had a customer who, in good faith, spent money having the engine of his DB5 rebuilt by a company who didn’t have the right expertise. Compared to us they were cheap, but following the rebuild, the car was leaking oil and running poorly.

Because the customer had already spent a lot of money, he was understandably reluctant to let us do a complete overhaul of the engine. Instead, we carried out some remedial work, and he, quite rightly, returned it to the people who had done the original rebuild to have the rear main bearing seal redone. Replacing the main bearing seal is a big job involving removing and stripping the engine!

We were somewhat concerned this might not resolve the issue as this job is highly specialised on DB5’s and unfortunately for our customer we were right. After all the hassle and money spent, the car still leaked oil and wasn’t running correctly.

So What Does It Cost To Do The Job Right?

A full DB5 engine rebuild, including the refurbishment of all the main engine components and replacement of parts that are not serviceable costs around £45k. Not cheap! However, this is the gold standard with no compromises and assumes the engine requires a complete overhaul.

Aston Martin DB4

This includes removing the engine, refurbishing the engine bay, rebuilding the engine, refitting the engine and tuning the car to perfection. It also includes replacing components that are no longer serviceable. For example, we would strip and rebuild the carburetters, water pump, alternator and starter motor. We would re-chrome where required, re-plate where needed and fully restore the engine bay, something that can only be done with the engine removed.

The gold-standard engine rebuild that's an investment, not an expense

The result of this investment is an engine that’s arguably better than when it came out of the factory. Also, with regular servicing, it’s good for at least 100k miles and let’s face it, who does high mileage in a DB5?

However, it’s not just about reliability and longevity. An expertly rebuilt Aston Martin engine makes your car smooth to drive and eliminates the need to slip the clutch. This, in turn, makes ongoing costs lower because replacing a clutch on a DB5 is a significant and expensive job.

It’s An Investment For The Discerning Buyer

Let’s not beat around the bush; a good Aston Martin DB5 costs anything from £700k upwards. So although spending money on a top-notch engine rebuild is going to be a substantial investment, it is an investment that increases the enjoyment of and saleability of your car.

Buyers of classic Aston Martin’s are discerning. They investigate cars before buying them; they want to know their investment is sound. To this end, we know for a fact people have bought Aston’s because they knew we’d rebuilt the engine. They were confident that it had been done right; it added a premium to the car and made it more desirable.

So There You Have It

If you want your car to look fabulous, sound fantastic and drive like a dream, investing in an engine rebuild with an Aston Martin expert is the right choice.

If you’ve got any concerns about your Aston’s engine and you’d like an expert opinion, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, if you’ve got your eye on a car, but you’d like an expert mechanical assessment carried out, you know who to call.

Why not book a no-obligation consultation to discuss your requirements.