Rebuilt vs. Remanufactured Cylinder Heads – What is the Difference?

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Categories: Cylinder Head Tips

When you have a broken cylinder head, options are either to buy a new one which is relatively expensive, rebuild, or get remanufactured cylinder head to replace it. Many car owners find the latter two choices rather attractive due to their low costs, but not all of them know exactly what they are. Rebuilt and remanufactured. These two terms are used interchangeably, sometimes so loosely which makes it so confusing. If you are one of those who wonder what is the difference between them and what you should expect when choosing one or another, this blog post is here to help.

Rebuilt Cylinder Head

A rebuilt cylinder head is when the mechanic replaces only the broken or out of spec components, such as valves, springs, guides, or injector sleeves. If the cylinder head is cracked, then rebuilding process involves welding these cracks to fix it. After that, they put them all back together, and then test it.

Because you only fix what is actually broken, rebuilding cylinder head is the option that costs the least. It may get you back on the road affordably in the short term. However, it is not a definite solution in the long run if your intention is for your engine to last another 500,000 miles. While the broken piece has been replaced, other pieces that are fine for now still have to go through countless heat cycles. Eventually, they will also meet their set tolerances, failure is inevitable.

rebuilt cylinder head mechanic

From a longevity standpoint, remanufactured cylinder head is a better option. What is so great about it, you may ask.

Remanufactured Cylinder Head

With a remanufactured head, every single component will be replaced, all to new specifications. This process involves casting, machining, cleaning, installing new parts, and testing. In other words, a remanufactured head will go through all the steps that it is supposed to be in factories. Those are the reasons why remanufactured cylinder heads usually cost more.

Let’s examine the most common cause of engine breakdowns, cracking of the cylinder head. While welding is what mechanics would do to heal cracks when rebuilding cylinder heads, recasting is the technique in the remanufacturing process. New molten metal is poured into the cracks, which make it meet the original specifications of your engine. Therefore, casting is much stronger than welding, so fewer chances that cracks will be opening back up again.

Which One Should You Choose?

As you are deciding between rebuilt cylinder head and remanufactured cylinder head? We highly recommend that you consult a professional cylinder head company. Depending on the current status of your engine, your intention, and your budget, a trustworthy mechanic will provide an answer to meet all requirements. Clearwater Cylinder Head Inc. (CCH) is a reputable, experienced (over 25 years) dealer. We specialize in providing quality and warranty-backed rebuilt cylinder heads for a variety of vehicles (cars, trucks, boats, etc). With a massive online catalog, we most likely have the cylinder heads for your car. The knowledgeable staff at CCH is happy to help you find the cylinder head that is right for your car, truck, boat, or heavy machinery. Please contact Clearwater Cylinder Head Inc. toll-free at 1-800-572-1963.