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Rebuilt vs. Remanufactured Engines & Equipment

Posted Tue, March 8, 2016 by Ken Conway

Most people believe that there isn’t much difference between a rebuilt engine and a remanufactured one. However, once you start looking into it and doing a little homework, you will soon find out that you didn’t know what you thought you did. There is, in fact, a big difference between a rebuilt and a remanufactured engine. The reason people choose to rebuild or remanufacture their equipment is the cost savings over buying that equipment new. To decide which is best for your application, please continue to read on.

First, and most important, a rebuilt engine will have a much shorter life than a remanufactured one because the process of rebuilding is significantly less involved and that translates into less predictability. Rebuilding is often done on locations or at customer facilities just to get the equipment going again. Rebuilding is performed only if cost is a deciding factor in getting the engine or equipment back to an operational status but will ultimately cost you more in the long run. Parts and components that appear to still be functional are merely cleaned and reused; only those parts that are worn down or broken are replaced. So, if those parts that are only cleaned break down in the future, you will be looking at a very costly diagnosis to determine what the exact problem is, and then an even more expensive repair with most scenarios leading to having to remanufacture the engine anyways.

Remanufacturing is a science — it is precise and exacting. The work is done in a shop and all the engine parts are disassembled and thoroughly cleaned. Block is thoroughly inspected and line bored and surfaced if needed. This includes not only the larger parts of an engine, but also the small components, such as starters, water pumps, injection pumps, regulators, stators, heads, etc… . New parts include liners, pistons and pins, piston rings, rod and main bearings, machined cam and crankshafts , gaskets and seals, plugs, and components. Cylinder heads are cleaned and resurfaced, cylinders are bored and valve seats are resurfaced with new valve & springs. Oil, water, & injection pumps are completely rebuilt using new parts & gaskets and tested. When all this is all finished, the engine is reassembled and tested, using state-of-the-art computerized dyno equipment. With remanufacturing, the performance of the engine must meet OEM performance requirements for oil pressure, compression, horse power and/or kW or kVa ratings or we do not pass the equipment.

Remanufacturing is as close as you can get to  a new piece of equipment. It far surpasses the simple replacement or rebuilding of parts that constitutes rebuilding. There is a world of difference between the quality of a remanufactured engine and a rebuilt one.


S&W remanufactured engines may perform BETTER than your original engine! The individual parts have been replaced with upgraded components that are free from the problems in original OEM manufacturing. We use only OEM or quality aftermarket parts that, in most cases, exceed OEM specs. S&W has a proven track record and being in business for over 50 years now,  proves it!

Besides giving you better than new when you choose remanufacturing over rebuilding, there is the issue of warranties.  A rebuilt engine has a significantly shorter warranty period, usually 30 to 90 days. S&W warranties all of our remanufactured engines with an iron clad 6 month warranty with up to a year warranty on parts.

So how do you decide which process to go with? If your engine performs well, or if cost is an issue, you might want to try rebuilding. But if your engine or equipment is good overall shape, but its just not performing like it should, replacing that engine with a remanufactured one from S&W Power Systems will give you a piece of equipment that you know you can depend on and that is going to last. 

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