For any air cooled Porsche 911 owner contemplating an engine rebuild, it can be a complex and daunting subject. An online search will sometimes only serve to deepen the confusion. Who do you trust with your engine? Who genuinely knows how to build a Porsche 911 engine that will deliver performance, reliability and longevity?

The team at Ninemeister have more than two decades of experience of building the air cooled Porsche 911 engine. The company was founded with the firm ethos of optimising and improving each element of this classic engine. Today, Ninemeister have a global reputation for the quality, strength and workmanship of the air cooled Porsche 911 engines that leave the workshop.

Read the information and advice below, as Ninemeister founder Colin Belton gives his overview of the principle stages of engine build that we undertake for our clients will help you understand the process further.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, however it does give a very thorough outline of the type of work undertaken continually at Ninemeister and the typical budgets needed to rebuild a Porsche 911 engine in today’s marketplace.

Option1. Basic Top End Rebuild

Your 911 has done 100,000 miles and it’s a bit leaky, so you call around all the specialists to get a feel for how much a rebuild is going to cost. The £5,000+VAT price you will be quoted inevitably will only cover the minimum basics of a top end rebuild.

Bear in mind that this is the absolute basic rebuild and optimistically assumes that everything else inside the engine will be perfectly fine once disassembly has taken place.

  • Engine disassembly, top end only
  • Cylinder head rebuild – new guides, valve seats recut
  • Original valves – seat faces recut
  • Piston rings – replace with new
  • Cylinder head studs – replace lower 12 only
  • Clean components
  • Reassemble with new gaskets

Option 2. Premium Top End Rebuild

The reality is that no engine builder has a crystal ball and can tell you what horrors may possibly lie inside your engine until they actually take it apart and it’s my guess that the cost of essential replacement parts can sometimes double from that estimated above.

Furthermore we all like great looking 911 engines. The investment in your Porsche 911 engine is significant and most owners would really like to see something visually pleasing after spending such a sum of money,

So the likelihood is that if you are investing in your Porsche engine, then the engine rebuild you actually want is the premium top end rebuild which costs around £10,000+VAT.

In addition to the above, the premium build includes:

  • Cylinder head rebuild – vapour blasting, re-facing on head gasket
  • Valves vapour blasted & recut, replaced as required
  • New Pistons & Cylinders with rings and pins
  • Cylinder head studs – replace top and bottom set of 24
  • Through bolt seals replaced
  • New timing chain guides
  • New spark plugs, plug lead set, distributor caps & rotors
  • New camshafts & followers as required
  • Blasted & powder coated tinware
  • Re-plated hardware & fasteners
  • Painted fan
  • Vapour blasted (or painted) fan housing

Option 3. Full Engine Restoration

For those looking for an engine that looks brand new, with a zero-risk build philosophy and 100,000 mile life expectancy, the only choice is a full premium engine rebuild which is likely to cost around £18,000+VAT.

This engine specification is the base line engine build that goes into our Cloud 9m creations for clients across the world. You can read more about the Cloud 9m cars here.

Inevitably, having gone to such lengths, there are a host of other options available. Read below for those who wish to go the final stage.

Additional items in the premium full engine build include:

  • Dismantle bottom end of engine to bare crank
  • Replace main bearing set
  • Replace big end bearing set & connecting rod bolts
  • Resize connecting rods as required
  • Replace intermediate shaft bearings
  • Replace camshaft timing chains
  • Replace camshafts, followers, lifters
  • Replace cam cover set
  • Refurbish distributor (as required)
  • Dismantle & vapour blast intake system (alloy only)
  • Dismantle and paint intake system (plastic or alloy)
  • Vapour blast alloy components
  • Restore fuel lines (take apart, re-plate special fittings, replace fuel pipe & crimp)

Option 4. Performance Enhancements

Of course, if we’re going to all that trouble to build the engine from the crankshaft outwards, it would seem wise to consider some of the 9m proven upgrade options that will significantly enhance performance without compromising reliability in any way.


For those curious enough to think “whilst we’re there, what if?”, we can hear you so just call.

These include:

  • Capacity increase – larger pistons & cylinders
  • Cylinder head modifications or 9m billet heads
  • Camshafts
  • Lightweight flywheel & clutch
  • Engine management
  • Intake systems – modification or replacement
  • Exhaust systems

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+44(0)1925 242342