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Extending The Life of a Reman Engine

Monday, July 1, 2013

Upon purchasing a reman engine your dealership is forming a partnership with the engine supplier. Each party must perform their part to ensure that the engine provides thousands of hours of service. Proper installation, break-in and preventative maintenance is critical to an engine’s long term performance. The following will cover proper engine installation and engine maintenance.

Proper Engine Installation
The first step of engine installation is the inspection prior to installation. The technician should check for freight damage or dirt contamination.

The following is a list of accessories/procedures that should accompany the reman engine:

  • Clean, flush, pressure check radiator.
  • New water pump, radiator hoses and new radiator cap.
  • New thermostat.
  • Clean out the intake manifold and check muffler for residual oil.
  • New motor mounts
  • New or rebuilt starter/inspect flywheel ring gear for wear
  • New air and oil filters
  • New spark plugs, wires & distributor cap

Break-in period is the next critical area. Be sure the engine is properly lubricated before startup. Upon starting check oil pressure and running temperature which are essentially the vital signs of an engine.
CAUTION: Never add cold water to the cooling system while the engine is hot. The first five minutes of engine operation determines the longevity of the reman.

First adjust the distributor timing and then adjust the fuel system. Always check for oil leaks first. Adjust the governor to the proper RPM. Consult factory specifications for engine specific governor RPM settings. Make sure the fan blade is on facing the correct direction. Some blades can bolt up in either direction. Run at fast idle, approximately 1500 RPM, for 30-60 minutes.
NOTE: Applying a load to the engine for short periods of time increases piston ring pressure against the cylinder walls and helps the piston rings seat. This is important because you are “breaking-in” the engine with heavy duty oil left-over from assembly. Upon rapid deceleration, vacuum increases and provides extra lubrication to the piston and ring assemblies.

After sufficient time at operating temperature valve lash must be adjusted and the cylinder head re-torqued. Times vary for each engine, consult your service manual for engine specific times for valve lash and head bolt re-adjustment.
WARNING: Failure to re-torque the cylinder head may result in a blown head gasket.

For any questions pertaining to valve lash settings, cylinder head bolt torque or any other specifications, please feel free to contact us at 877-303-LIFT or visit our online specs at

Proper Engine Maintenance
In normal operations, periodic engine maintenance should be performed every 250/300 running hours. This maintenance should include but is not limited to:

  • Changing engine oil and topping-off all fluids
  • Changing air and oil filters
  • Blowing-out the radiator to pre-vent overheating.
  • If applicable, inspect and/or replace timing belt. Timing belt failure can result in major engine damage. This is a high maintenance item and should be watched closely upon each PM service.
  • Tune-up engine
  • Check valve lash to prevent excessive valve train wear
  • Check governor setting and adjust fuel system.
  • Check and record hour meter reading

Following this general list of guidelines when installing a remanufactured engine will help to provide thousands of hours of quality service. Remember that each time you
purchase a reman engine you are forming a partnership with your engine supplier.

This month’s article was written by John Gelsimino Jr. of All Industrial Engine Service. All Industrial Engine Service (AIES) was started by All Lift Service Company, a Komatsu forklift truck dealership which was established in 1972. AIES was started to end warranty problems associated with other engine suppliers and provide the dealership with the highest quality remanufactured engines available. AIES remanufactures LP and diesel forklift truck engines for companies and dealerships across the country.

If you are interested in this topic. Feel free to give me a call at 877/303-LIFT or As always, TechTalk and All Industrial Engine Service bring you current issues that are relevant to today’s material handling industry.