The difference between used, rebuilt and remanufactured diesel engines

Diesel engines are have long been used successfully in multiple industrial and commercial applications around the globe, due in part to their efficiency and long life span, and constitute the vast majority of units in service. Coupled with an electric generator, these gensets are valuable energy sources where there is no connection to a power grid or source of electric power. Remote applications in the energy, mining, marine and other industries often make generator sets a necessity. They are also a reliable source of emergency power as a reliable standby when the grid fails or is compromised. Their use in hospitals, commercial buildings, and first responder facilities has been well recorded for their reliability after natural disasters. When purchased new, their service life can be lengthy with proper operation, loading, and maintenance. They are readily available in the marketplace as used, providing useful life. Diesel engines and generators can be further extended by rebuilding or remanufacturing.

What are used diesel engines?

Used diesel engines are exactly that. They have had previous service with a prior owner or operator and, subject to testing, are deemed to be operational or can generally be repairable.Their minimum life span can be negotiated contractually with the seller based on a warranty.

Pros and cons of used diesel engines

The purchase of a used diesel engine or genset is usually the least expensive option. The caveat is that there is no guarantee that the engine will perform as intended or for the necessary service life. Internal components of the engine are not disassembled, replaced and not normally inspected.

Beyond a basic warranty, there are usually no protections. Lack of maintenance or negligence by the prior owner can lead to premature failure. Damage not detected during pre-purchase inspection can result in future repairs that can make the unit ultimately more costly than either a remanufactured or rebuilt engine

What are rebuilt diesel engines?

Rebuilt engines are ones that have been disassembled and inspected. Once the inspection process has been completed serviceable parts, as defined by manufacturer’s specifications, are reused.

The need for rebuilding can be detected during operation with problems that can include excessive exhaust smoking, increase in oil consumption, loss of compression, and misfiring.

Visible problems such as carbon build up from low loading and cylinder erosion or cavitation can be detected during the disassembly and rectified with repair or replacement. Normally, rebuilt engines will be cleaned and reconditioned before reassembly.

Pros and cons of rebuilt diesel engines

Generally, the cost of rebuilt engines is more expensive than the purchase of a used engine, but less than one that has been remanufactured. Many rebuilt engines come with a limited warranty. They are typically tested thoroughly after repair and rebuilding work is completed to verify that they are operationally functional.

The quality of the rebuilt is largely dependent on the experience and reputation of the rebuilder.

What are remanufactured diesel engines?

Of the three options, remanufacturing is the most comprehensive and, thus, the most expensive. The goal of remanufacturing is to make the engine as close to new as possible. Externally, the product remains the same unless there is noted damage. All internal components are thoroughly disassembled and checked against the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) specifications. Tolerances are compared with OEM standards and parts machined or are replaced in conformance with these standards. Soft wear parts, including gaskets and seals, are replaced during this process. When the remanufacturing process is completed, the engine or genset should run very efficiently.

Pros and cons of remanufactured diesel engines

Cost is the highest with remanufactured engines versus the two other alternatives – used or rebuilt. Confidence levels are also the highest with this choice as the restoration process is the most comprehensive. The time needed to remanufacture the engine can be considerable, so a backup solution is suggested. The end result of remanufacture is to assure the user that the product is as close to new as possible. This includes the use of replacement parts that are compatible with the current technology. Warranties on remanufactured engines are longer than for used or rebuilds.

Which type of diesel engine is right for you? Things to consider

There are many factors that govern your choice of buying a used product, rebuilding or completely refurbishing one through the remanufacture process. Budget is a primary reason for the decision. The choice can often be dictated by the intended use. Is it used as a backup or is it used full time? Is it intended for short-term service or for long-term continuous service? The duration, severity and continuity of service, coupled with the financial resources, will be the primary factors in the decision.

Still need help deciding?

Worldwide Power Products is a trusted partner in your decision for a replacement genset. We have an impressive selection of new engines as well as thoroughly inspected low hour used products for sale or lease. We have the capability to rebuild or remanufacture engines for extended service life with full warranties on new products and extended warranties on used, with service agreements on all items. Our product and application expertise make us the trusted resource in selecting the proper genset to fit your needs. Contact us TODAY.

Already know what kind of diesel engine you want?

If you know what type of diesel engine will best fit your application, we can make the selection process easy. Contact us at 713/434-2300 or browse our large inventory of new, used, and rebuilt diesel engines and generator sets.