Forum Chat #68 – Engine numbers, engine repairs

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Welcome to Bamford Rose and another forum chat. This week I’ve taken a form chat from a comments section of our own YouTube channel. And I was also asked this question recently when we did a pre-purchase inspection. The point is, okay I’ve noticed that the engine number in my Aston Martin. Whether it’s a V8 Vantage or DB9, is different from what’s recorded on the V5 or what the car was originally built with. Is this a problem? Is this going to devalue the car at some point? Well, the quick answer is no. I mean it’s not like the American muscle car world where a car will have more pedigree if it’s numbers matching. That means chassis and engine number are what the car was originally built with.

Now with the Astons because the franchise dealer network has not repaired engines. Then should an engine develop a fault whether this be serious or very easy which could in reality be fixed. Then the dealer approach is just to swap the engine with a remanufactured unit. So, it’s very commonplace to see that your Aston Martin V8 Vantage or DB9, any of the iterations of each model after that, has a different engine number fitted than what was originally built during production. Now on the V12 engine, there are a couple of problems and these would be hydraulic tappet shims rattling. Now I’ve known engines are being replaced a dealer for a new one just because of that. Where in the independent world especially here, that’s and in the day in situ fix to remove the hydraulic lash adjusters the finger follower and correct that valve train.

Obviously, if it was a DB9 and it had the tick or worn liners they’d worn oval, then that needs to be repaired and that is a fundamental machining and repair process. Which would obviously require the engine to be removed and stripped. And repaired now at a dealer they’re definitely not going to do that, that is going to be a replacement engine. So, V12 very commonly means the engine number in the car is not what is on the paperwork. The V8 less so because V8’s go wrong less compared to V12. But if the tappet shims wore a large clearance and the valve train was getting a little bit rattly, then again that would be an in-situ repair here an independent, it’s not hydraulic lash adjuster on the V8 as it is the V12. It’s actually a shim. So, you have to measure the clearance that you’ve got between your cam lobe and the bucket shim and calculate the size shim that you need to attain the correct valve clearance and then insert that.

Now independent we do that with the engine, in situ there’s no way a dealer is going to do that. That is going to have to be engine out the car. Now if the car was covered by warranty, there might be some dealer that didn’t want the hassle of all the hours labor to do that job. And again, replace the engine for something which is a really minor fix in reality. V8 engines do go wrong just not to the same sort of level and numbers of V12 going wrong. So, it’s common but less commonplace than the V12 cars to see a different engine number in the car than the paperwork. But in terms of the originality does this detract value? Well, in my opinion not at all because it has been so commonplace for the factory/dealer network to change engines that seeing an engine number that differs now is of no consequence at all. What’s important is that what you’ve got in the car is working perfectly, not what number is on the outside of the block.

There’s absolutely no way it devalues the car in terms of actually taking pound notes off come resale time. And in the future, you know if you look at DB5 DB6s which one of those have the original engines and which one of those has actually the original displacement. It’s all changed, it’s all evolved. So, it’s not important as regards to paperwork what is in the car, it’s just important what functions you’ve got. Hope you like that forum chat. As always, it really helps us if you’re going to like to comment and subscribe to our channel. And we’ll see you on the next forum chat.

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