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2014, 1.4 T, LTZ RS
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening everyone!

Was just going through RockAuto to see some cost of items and ran into them selling a remanufactured head with everything included. Was thinking why not buy it, get all the aftermarket pieces and take my time putting it together outside the car. I have 120k miles and do Uber so by the time I finish with the upgrades it would be closing in on 150k miles.

I figure if I replace the turbo and oil cooler at the same time and the pistons look good it would literally be a new engine. Quite literally, with ZZP after bits and turbo it (and time obviously) it would be pumping out 235-250 HP and Torque.

For context, I love my Cruze style and have the fully loaded LTZ, so for me I actually would like to keep it since for what it cost to get a new car. Plus, I love the building aspect of my own car.

Cost would be like 3/4k total and hundreds of hours, but this would be like a two year thing. If you got to this point, I think it’s important to remember it’s a fantasy and just was having fun writing out the thought and would love ti hear others thoughts. I never really thought about replacing a head, but how early depending the pistons it could be a worth while thing to do. The only other thing I could imagine is then just pulling the engine and replacing the pistons also.
 

· Administrator
2014 LT program car, Pull Me Over Red, 1.4T Auto
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14,161 Posts
Good evening everyone!

Was just going through RockAuto to see some cost of items and ran into them selling a remanufactured head with everything included. Was thinking why not buy it, get all the aftermarket pieces and take my time putting it together outside the car. I have 120k miles and do Uber so by the time I finish with the upgrades it would be closing in on 150k miles.

I figure if I replace the turbo and oil cooler at the same time and the pistons look good it would literally be a new engine. Quite literally, with ZZP after bits and turbo it (and time obviously) it would be pumping out 235-250 HP and Torque.

For context, I love my Cruze style and have the fully loaded LTZ, so for me I actually would like to keep it since for what it cost to get a new car. Plus, I love the building aspect of my own car.

Cost would be like 3/4k total and hundreds of hours, but this would be like a two year thing. If you got to this point, I think it’s important to remember it’s a fantasy and just was having fun writing out the thought and would love ti hear others thoughts. I never really thought about replacing a head, but how early depending the pistons it could be a worth while thing to do. The only other thing I could imagine is then just pulling the engine and replacing the pistons also.

 

· Registered
2014, 1.4 T, LTZ RS
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like a cool project to me. I do like how the Cruze looks overall and vs the cost of a new car it isn't bad. These cars are easy to work on in comparison to many other modern vehicles.
That is exactly the thought! I looked at new or used “sport” sedans and is outrageous at this point. I could spend a few thousand on a car I own and rebuild it essentially into a new car compared to buying one that I would want to put money into anyway. Plus, the Cruze platform like you said is just so easy to work with.
 

· The Nuclear Option
Joined
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5,870 Posts
Good evening everyone!

Was just going through RockAuto to see some cost of items and ran into them selling a remanufactured head with everything included. Was thinking why not buy it, get all the aftermarket pieces and take my time putting it together outside the car. I have 120k miles and do Uber so by the time I finish with the upgrades it would be closing in on 150k miles.

I figure if I replace the turbo and oil cooler at the same time and the pistons look good it would literally be a new engine. Quite literally, with ZZP after bits and turbo it (and time obviously) it would be pumping out 235-250 HP and Torque.

For context, I love my Cruze style and have the fully loaded LTZ, so for me I actually would like to keep it since for what it cost to get a new car. Plus, I love the building aspect of my own car.

Cost would be like 3/4k total and hundreds of hours, but this would be like a two year thing. If you got to this point, I think it’s important to remember it’s a fantasy and just was having fun writing out the thought and would love ti hear others thoughts. I never really thought about replacing a head, but how early depending the pistons it could be a worth while thing to do. The only other thing I could imagine is then just pulling the engine and replacing the pistons also.
At that mileage, you'll probably to do a complete rebuild. At minimum, in addition to what you mentioned, timing set, oil pump, rod bearings, pistons (ZZP pistons come with file-to-fit rings), and a good cylinder deglaze if the walls look good and are in spec.

My engine only had 48,000 on it when I rebuilt; And I was able to do it, in-frame, on my back pad.
 

· Registered
2014, 1.4 T, LTZ RS
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
At that mileage, you'll probably to do a complete rebuild. At minimum, in addition to what you mentioned, timing set, oil pump, rod bearings, pistons (ZZP pistons come with file-to-fit rings), and a good cylinder deglaze if the walls look good and are in spec.

My engine only had 48,000 on it when I rebuilt; And I was able to do it, in-frame, on my back pad.
That is great to hear you did it in the frame because that’s the only option I really have. As of now I wouldn’t do the full rebuild, but little by little I could by the pieces for the day it happens. I’m in Grad School and graduate in September 23 so around then is when I would look to rebuild. I figured, I will use the car for Uber to survive, then once I’m done and working I can do the rebuild and really start making it my dream car since I won’t have to drive people around anymore. Doubt people would enjoy a ride in a track car build 😂
 

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That is exactly the thought! I looked at new or used “sport” sedans and is outrageous at this point. I could spend a few thousand on a car I own and rebuild it essentially into a new car compared to buying one that I would want to put money into anyway. Plus, the Cruze platform like you said is just so easy to work with.
Yep, my friends suggested me to buy a new Honda Civic Si in manual or even a base in Manual (since I Like manual cars especailly) and honestly its $30k OTD for a base Civic and ~36 for a Si. That is just too much money for a economy car.
I have liked the Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo but that only comes in auto at this point in time and even with me finding a brand new one on sale where I live; its like $36k OTD and I am upside down on my Cruze by 2-3k lol.
Even if I wasn't it is a huge amount to spend when really the Cruze is a nice looking car that gets good gas mileage (as good or better than the 2.5T Mazda, but definitely less performance) which is also really easy to work on. Of all the other cars I own or have owned; the Cruze is the only car that is easy to work on like my 97 Civic.... everything is "just there" and comes apart easily.
At that mileage, you'll probably to do a complete rebuild. At minimum, in addition to what you mentioned, timing set, oil pump, rod bearings, pistons (ZZP pistons come with file-to-fit rings), and a good cylinder deglaze if the walls look good and are in spec.

My engine only had 48,000 on it when I rebuilt; And I was able to do it, in-frame, on my back pad.
You rebuilt the engine inside of the car?
That is great to hear you did it in the frame because that’s the only option I really have. As of now I wouldn’t do the full rebuild, but little by little I could by the pieces for the day it happens. I’m in Grad School and graduate in September 23 so around then is when I would look to rebuild. I figured, I will use the car for Uber to survive, then once I’m done and working I can do the rebuild and really start making it my dream car since I won’t have to drive people around anymore. Doubt people would enjoy a ride in a track car build 😂
Lots of people enjoy riding in track cars. However for a real performance car; I wouldn't sink too too much money into the Cruze. It doesn't compare well with real sports cars in terms of performance. However making ~250hp and having a reasonably quick car that still gets good gas mileage is definitely a nice goal to have.
 

· The Nuclear Option
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5,870 Posts
You rebuilt the engine inside of the car?
I did. However, I didn't remove the crankshaft to replace the main bearings, those were low mileage.
Here are some pictures, so you don't have to dig through my build thread.

Cylinder head removed.
Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive air manifold Automotive exterior Auto part


Stock bottom end.
Automotive air manifold Motor vehicle Machine Auto part Gas



Pistons and rods removed.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive engine gasket Automotive exterior Gas



Forged Pistons installed:
Automotive fuel system Motor vehicle Automotive design Rim Vehicle



Custom X Beam Rod (Left); Factory Rod (Right)
Kitchen utensil Wood Tool Metal Composite material


New Forged Piston and Rod
Tool Household hardware Metal Nickel Wood


Rebuilt head installed.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Gas Engineering


Timing
Motor vehicle Automotive air manifold Automotive fuel system Automotive design Auto part
 

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I did. However, I didn't remove the crankshaft to replace the main bearings, those were low mileage.
Here are some pictures, so you don't have to dig through my build thread.

Cylinder head removed.
View attachment 300227

Stock bottom end.
View attachment 300228


Pistons and rods removed.
View attachment 300229


Forged Pistons installed:
View attachment 300230


Custom X Beam Rod (Left); Factory Rod (Right)
View attachment 300231

New Forged Piston and Rod
View attachment 300232

Rebuilt head installed.
View attachment 300233

Timing
View attachment 300234
Thats crazy, what about balancing? It didn't need to be balanced? How long has this engine run for?
Usually when you rebuild engines the entire assembly needs to be balanced or the engine just comes apart in like 10-20k miles due to harmonics.
 

· The Nuclear Option
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5,870 Posts
Thats crazy, what about balancing? It didn't need to be balanced? How long has this engine run for?
Usually when you rebuild engines the entire assembly needs to be balanced or the engine just comes apart in like 10-20k miles due to harmonics.
The engine has about 8,000 miles on it. I matched the rotating assemblies by weight. Although Diamond and Pauter did such a great job, it really wouldn't have been necessary.

On the LUJ/LUV, as long as the piston/rod/bearing assemblies are the same weight, no balancing is required, unless the crankshaft is replaced. As two assemblies go up, other two come down proportionally, keeping the dynamics in balance.

V shaped engines, and engines with balance shafts are completely different story though.
 

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The engine has about 8,000 miles on it. I matched the rotating assemblies by weight. Although Diamond and Pauter did such a great job, it really wouldn't have been necessary.

On the LUJ/LUV, as long as the piston/rod/bearing assemblies are the same weight, no balancing is required, unless the crankshaft is replaced. As two assemblies go up, other two come down proportionally, keeping the dynamics in balance.

V shaped engines, and engines with balance shafts are completely different story though.
So you're saying that the old piston rods are the same weight as the new ones? So you took out your old ones and took them to a shop to be weighted and then have them match the weights on the new ones?
I guess that could work too since I guess this engine doesn't have balance shafts.
 

· The Nuclear Option
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5,870 Posts
So you're saying that the old piston rods are the same weight as the new ones? So you took out your old ones and took them to a shop to be weighted and then have them match the weights on the new ones?
I guess that could work too since I guess this engine doesn't have balance shafts.
No. I think you're overthinking this. This engine is simple compared to most modern engines. The crankshaft is balanced empty from the manufacturer. Pauter balanced the rods when they were manufactured. I did double check them. And the new pistons were all the same weight.

I paired the wrist pins, clips, and rod bearings by weight. However, no modification was needed, as the differential between assemblies were less that 1 gram.

This is possible because the rod journals are evenly spaced 90 degrees apart around the crankshaft and there is no balance shaft.

Does that make sense?
 

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2014, 1.4 T, LTZ RS
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yep, my friends suggested me to buy a new Honda Civic Si in manual or even a base in Manual (since I Like manual cars especailly) and honestly its $30k OTD for a base Civic and ~36 for a Si. That is just too much money for a economy car.
I have liked the Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo but that only comes in auto at this point in time and even with me finding a brand new one on sale where I live; its like $36k OTD and I am upside down on my Cruze by 2-3k lol.
Even if I wasn't it is a huge amount to spend when really the Cruze is a nice looking car that gets good gas mileage (as good or better than the 2.5T Mazda, but definitely less performance) which is also really easy to work on. Of all the other cars I own or have owned; the Cruze is the only car that is easy to work on like my 97 Civic.... everything is "just there" and comes apart easily.

You rebuilt the engine inside of the car?

Lots of people enjoy riding in track cars. However for a real performance car; I wouldn't sink too too much money into the Cruze. It doesn't compare well with real sports cars in terms of performance. However making ~250hp and having a reasonably quick car that still gets good gas mileage is definitely a nice goal to have.
Personally, I wish I had the manual Cruze, but I wasn't willing to sacrifice the fully loaded features for the manual. (I can always swap it when the day comes since I can buy all the parts used off a totaled Cruze). But you are right, used sports car prices are insane, and it seems to me that it will be this way for a while. In my area, a used Civic SI with over 150k miles is over 12,000 which I would never pay for. As for the Cruze, the easiness to work in it is the selling point. There are enough parts and such out there to get it near 250 HP pretty easily, then if you want to make more you always could also for a few more upgrades. For the price of the upgrades, you are literally still spending less than another sports car before putting any money into that!

As for a track car, all I mean by that is that one day when I have a daily driver instead of the Cruze it would be a project car that I can use on the track when I would like. Which, I don't need the fastest car or anything like that, I just enjoy the idea of being able to track it for fun which is also able to drive on the road.
 

· Registered
2014, 1.4 T, LTZ RS
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did. However, I didn't remove the crankshaft to replace the main bearings, those were low mileage.
Here are some pictures, so you don't have to dig through my build thread.

Cylinder head removed.
View attachment 300227

Stock bottom end.
View attachment 300228


Pistons and rods removed.
View attachment 300229


Forged Pistons installed:
View attachment 300230


Custom X Beam Rod (Left); Factory Rod (Right)
View attachment 300231

New Forged Piston and Rod
View attachment 300232

Rebuilt head installed.
View attachment 300233

Timing
View attachment 300234
Thank you for posting this, it's really awesome to see it be done! If you had to say in your opinion what was the most difficult aspect of this? Also, how long did it take to get it all done?
 

· The Nuclear Option
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5,870 Posts
Thank you for posting this, it's really awesome to see it be done! If you had to say in your opinion what was the most difficult aspect of this? Also, how long did it take to get it all done?
I don't have a garage, so it took me 2 months due to unsuitable weather.

The most difficult aspect depends on your mechanical ability and tools. You need the right tools and patience for things to go well. Timing can be tedious. Ring filing is tedious. The most frustrating thing for me was space limitations.

The most difficult part for me was the part selection, as I can be indecisive. I collected parts for about a year before I did the work. For example, I originally purchased the ZZP V3. Once it was tuned, it fell short of my expectations so I switched to a custom turbo setup with a Garrett G25-550.

If you have the patience, it's all documented in my build thread, which is fairly long.
 

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2014, 1.4 T, LTZ RS
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't have a garage, so it took me 2 months due to unsuitable weather.

The most difficult aspect depends on your mechanical ability and tools. You need the right tools and patience for things to go well. Timing can be tedious. Ring filing is tedious. The most frustrating thing for me was space limitations.

The most difficult part for me was the part selection, as I can be indecisive. I collected parts for about a year before I did the work. For example, I originally purchased the ZZP V3. Once it was tuned, it fell short of my expectations so I switched to a custom turbo setup with a Garrett G25-550.

If you have the patience, it's all documented in my build thread, which is fairly long.
Thank you for that, and I can't wait to go through that thread tonight and read about it. It is great to know how long and intense this type of build is as I am mechanically inclined. But I am not a mechanic, to say the least. I think overall, I would face many challenges in regard to things like timing and such, so it is a good perspective to realize that and be prepared ahead of time when that day comes. I have a similar plan of buying all the parts and such over time and then finally going about doing the build, but for myself, there is a gap between due to being in Grad School still.
 

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2014 Cruze Diesel, 2007 Cobalt, 1981 Camaro Z28, 2017 Volt
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The most difficult aspect depends on your mechanical ability and tools. You need the right tools
This includes your vocabulary of curse words - existing and newly made up.
 

· The Nuclear Option
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5,870 Posts
This includes your vocabulary of curse words - existing and newly made up.
Absolutely!
Thank you for that, and I can't wait to go through that thread tonight and read about it. It is great to know how long and intense this type of build is as I am mechanically inclined. But I am not a mechanic, to say the least. I think overall, I would face many challenges in regard to things like timing and such, so it is a good perspective to realize that and be prepared ahead of time when that day comes. I have a similar plan of buying all the parts and such over time and then finally going about doing the build, but for myself, there is a gap between due to being in Grad School still.
Enjoy
 

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No. I think you're overthinking this. This engine is simple compared to most modern engines. The crankshaft is balanced empty from the manufacturer. Pauter balanced the rods when they were manufactured. I did double check them. And the new pistons were all the same weight.

I paired the wrist pins, clips, and rod bearings by weight. However, no modification was needed, as the differential between assemblies were less that 1 gram.

This is possible because the rod journals are evenly spaced 90 degrees apart around the crankshaft and there is no balance shaft.

Does that make sense?
yes it does make sense. I realize that the engine is simple, because even Honda engines from 20 years ago you needed to balance if you wanted them to last. The fact that this engine is balanced part by part makes it cheaper to mfg which is I guess part of the cost savings that Chevy built into it. Makes it also easier to rebuild in the field which would be important for global sales where complex infrastructure isn't available.
This is actually quite cool because it means that I too could rebuild the engine in my barn without much hassle.
 
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