Engine Reconditioning & Rebuilding

Operating Hours

Mon - Fri 07:00 - 16:30

Why do you pressure test cylinder heads?


Cylinder heads: when they fail, they fail in style. It really does pay to keep your engine’s cylinder head in good condition. Trust us, repair definitely is cheaper than replacement in this case. Cylinder heads, like all engine parts, will wear over time, and that’s where pressure testing comes in. In this article, you’ll find out what causes cylinder head damage, when to take your vehicle in for a check-up, and where you can do so in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Causes of cylinder head damage

Using compressed air and water, engine repairers search for microscopic cracks on the head. These cracks are a common cause of cylinder head failure, and really should be checked out as soon as their impacts are noticed. A cylinder head gasket creates a seal between the cylinder head and block of an engine. It is an integral component, and performs many important functions during engine operation.

Cylinder heads can fail for a few reasons, the most common of which being extreme engine temperatures. This happens if there’s a coolant system leak, or if there isn’t enough coolant in the radiator. Another common issue is the non-use of antifreeze.

When to visit an engine refurbisher

There are a number of easy-to-spot signs that your engine and its cylinder heads need looking at. Visit your nearest engine repairer if you experience any of the following cylinder head damage symptoms:

  • A weak engine is usually the first sign of cylinder problems, and presents itself when a vehicle is struggling to scale an otherwise easy-to-climb hill, or if you notice a sudden onset of sluggish acceleration.
  • Oil lubricates an engine, and that includes the cylinder heads. Oil leaks could be from the sump, but could also be from a blown cylinder head gasket.
  • If your engine coolant is going down faster than usual, there could be a leak. This vital fluid keeps the engine and cylinder heads cool, and if absent is a one-way road to a blown gasket.
  • A misfiring engine is arguably the most obvious sign of cylinder head damage. The loss of pressure within the block leads to missed combustions and can cause an engine to cut out while idling – or not starting at all.
  • Strange white smoke coming out of your vehicle’s exhaust pipe? That’s another clear indication that the engine needs looking at. This happens when exhaust fumes, tainted with coolant, are vented into the engine space, and is usually the last symptom before total cylinder head failure.

Get cylinder head repairs in Durban

The Eagleharm Engineering workshop is located on Hillclimb Road, Pinetown, where we have on our floor one of only a few machines capable of repairing the world’s largest engines. We’ve been pressure testing cylinder heads for over 50 years, and we’re highly skilled at ensuring that our clients’ engines remain in peak condition, and that we get the best performance out of them possible. Get in touch with Todd or Ryan Harmsworth to arrange expert engine maintenance and cylinder head repairs in Durban.

Earthmoving Equipment: Articulated Trucks


If you’ve ever been to a mining site, you’ll know just how HUGE some of the vehicles are that miners use on a daily basis. One of these colossal pieces of machinery is the much-used articulated dumping truck, which gets loaded up with tons of earth and other matter and is used to transport and dump its payload wherever needed.

These giant feats of human engineering have truly revolutionised mining across the world, but what are the steps to take when – like any internal combustion engine – things go wrong and the engine won’t swing into action? Let’s take a look at what earthmovers are, where articulated dump trucks come in, and where to get earthmoving equipment engine repairs and refurbishment in KwaZulu-Natal:

Earthmovers Defined

What is an earthmover? The hint lies in the name, which is used to refer to any vehicle or piece of machinery used to dig up and/or transport earth and other dug-up matter. These vehicles don’t need to be fast, though. Speed isn’t a concern here. What is most important is the machine’s ability to handle extremely heavy loads, and deliver the load to a predetermined location.

CAT 745 Articulated Truck

The primary difference between a regular truck and an articulated truck is in the axle. Articulated trucks feature more than one axle, meaning they can articulate in ways regular, single-axle vehicles cannot. Think about freight trucks pulling a load. There is an articulation point between the cab and the trailer, making it easier to manoeuvre the vehicle.

One of these remarkable pieces of machinery is the CAT 745 Three-Axle Articulated Dump Truck. With an impressive CAT C18 engine, this earth-moving equipment is big in size – and big under the hood. See some of this vehicle’s CRAZY mechanical specs here:


  • Engine bore: 145mm
  • Engine stroke: 183mm
  • Displacement: 1 litres
  • Peak torque: 2558 Nm
  • Gears: 9
  • Top speed: 55km/h
  • Gross power: 381kW


  • Rated payload: 41 tons
  • Total loaded: 74 tons


  • Heaped: 25m3
  • Struck: 5m3

Engine repairs for earthmoving equipment

Due to the very nature of the work these massive vehicles undertake, engine issues can arise from time to time. They are meant to work hard, but even the sturdiest of engines need maintenance every so often. Not only does planned earthmoving equipment maintenance keep money-making vehicles operational, but this will also avoid any loss of engine performance due to usage wear and tear.

Eagleharm Engineering is the only engine reconditioner in Durban that has the machinery large enough to refurbish almost all earthmoving engines. Our TS-1000 engine block borer enables us to bore any engine block to factory specification – regardless of which vehicle it came out of. We’re also able to collect and deliver in KZN any engine parts requiring maintenance, so get in touch with Ryan or Todd Harmsworth and ensure that your important equipment remains reliable and in optimum working condition.

When engine reconditioning goes wrong


You get DIY car engine reconditioning that will get the nod from most mechanics, and then you get engine fixes like those below that make us cover our faces in embarrassment! From using cable ties as a cam belt, to a G-clamp being used as a battery terminal connector, these ridiculous engine repair fails will make you laugh out loud (and leave you wondering what ever happened to these poor vehicles). Ready for a laugh? You’re in for a few:

An empty can chips in

No pipe? No problem! This DIY mechanic needed a hose in a hurry, and decided to use a Pringles tin with duct tape to solve the issue.

We’re un(c)able to believe this

This is arguably the craziest DIY engine repair fail we’ve ever seen, and should NEVER be tried at home. Seriously though, this is dangerous!

This car battery is terminal

We’re not exactly sure what is going on here, but it’ll be fun and games (more like sparks and flames) when the bonnet touches this G-clamp!

That’s one way to pop corn

Air filters are pretty important to keeping an engine in good condition, so we guess this popcorn tub serves the purpose (but it’s certainly not a long-term fix).

If we foil his can plan, he’ll be gutted

Imagine how bad this exhaust issue must have been for the car’s owner to use a coke can, foil, and FISHING LINE to fix it up!

We couldn’t think of heading for this one

As Durban’s leading engine reconditioners and engine repairs experts, we take SERIOUS offense to this absolutely crazy cylinder repair job.

Possum me the leaf blower, Marge!

We doubt that any of our engine repair tools are suited to fixing this engine issue! Good thing the owner of the vehicle checked under the hood before driving off.

Expert engine repair and reconditioning in Durban

Temporary engine repairs should only be used in dire circumstances, and then only to get the car going so that it makes it to an engine repair workshop. Eagleharm Engineering has the machinery to recondition any engine – from automotive vehicles through to earth-moving equipment and long-distance logistics vehicles. Don’t DIY something that could end up damaging more components in your engine. Instead, contact Ryan or Todd about fixing your engine right the first time!

How to choose the right engine reconditioning workshop


There’s no doubt that an engine reconditioning workshop is going to charge less to repair an engine than you’d have to pay to replace it. However, this isn’t always the case. Inexperienced engine reconditioners, who don’t have the correct precision machining equipment for the job, could end up costing you just as much as a new engine in damage control. It’s pretty important to choose the right engine repair workshop, but you don’t find them on every street corner, which makes this challenging. So, if you’ve searched the internet for “engine reconditioning workshop near me” and you’re deciding between a few options, here’s what to look for in an engine rebuilding service provider:

Years of experience

Engines have changed quite a bit since the first internal combustion engine fitted into the first-ever automobiles. In the last 50 years since Eagleharm Engineering has been open, we’ve seen petrol and diesel engines evolve. By choosing an engine reconditioning workshop that has been around for a while, you’re partnering with automotive machinists and engine rebuilders who know engines better than most others – and who know just how to get the best performance out of the engines they work on.

Service capabilities

The last thing you want, when looking for an engine repairer for your earth-moving equipment, is to arrive at a workshop that only has the machinery to recondition passenger vehicle engines. Machinery of this nature, like engine block boring equipment, comes in different sizes for different engine refurbishing projects. The ideal engine reconditioning workshop to partner with would be one that has the ability to service any engine you bring to them – regardless of size or condition.

Client testimonials

Choosing an engine repairer is tough. How do you know if the workshop is going to do a good engine reconditioning job before they’ve even grabbed a spanner? There’s only one way, and that’s to look at and read the company’s testimonials. What experiences have past clients had with the workshop? Are there people who swear by the company? Before making your choice of workshop, chat to some people who’ve had positive experiences.

Sector knowledge

Engine reconditioning workshops might claim to be the experts in their field, but how can you verify this? One thing to look for is a depository of industry information, often in the form of a “blog” page on the company’s website. Are they sharing informative articles about their trade? The more information a workshop shares about their industry, the more they likely know about it, which should render them a serious contender for your next engine reconditioning project.

Expert engine reconditioning workshop in Durban

Eagleharm Engineering has been operating in Durban for over 50 years, servicing and rebuilding petrol and diesel engines of all shapes and sizes. We’re the only engine reconditioning workshop in Durban that has machinery big enough to machine some of the largest engine blocks. We’ve collected countless positive testimonials from clients since first opening our workshop doors, and we share much of our sector knowledge on our engine reconditioning blog. Get in touch with our owners, Ryan or Todd Harmsworth, to arrange expert engine reconditioning in Durban!

What are the advantages of reconditioned cylinder heads?


Ask any engine reconditioner what the most important engine issue is and they’ll mention cylinder heads.

This is because improving an engine’s output has a lot to do with ensuring that the cylinder heads operate at the highest level of performance. When engine components like cylinder heads are in tip-top shape, things quite literally run a whole lot smoother.

This article takes a brief look at three real benefits to reconditioning an engine’s cylinder heads.

Prevent wastage

An important phase of the engine reconditioning process is to closely examine the engine cylinder guides and seals. When the seals become worn out, you’ll notice an increase in oil consumption. This is largely due to oil leakage, and can end up costing you much more in replacement oil than you’d otherwise have to buy. Worn guides are even worse, as this can lead to them failing to efficiently control valve movement.

Increase performance

Cylinder heads in bad shape can be detrimental to overall performance. When the combustion chamber isn’t sealed, horsepower is lost to the exhaust system. As part of the reconditioning process, valve seals can be cut and positioned depending on the purpose of the engine. The angles of the valves will impact the output horsepower, so it makes sense – if you’re looking to get the most out of your engine – to use an expert engine cylinder refurbisher.

Reallocate resources

When it comes to engines, it really is better to recondition than to replace. Too often under-performing engines are simply scrapped and replaced in the name of convenience. It might take a lot of work to recondition an engine to manufacturer specification, but this will work out a lot cheaper than buying a new engine. The truth is that engines weren’t designed to break and be replaced, so companies can save money and resources by choosing to recondition instead.

Should you DIY cylinder head reconditioning?

The engine reconditioning process can involve – depending on the specific job – milling, re-engineering, and/or replacement of parts. While there are engine refurbishing processes that can be done at home using specialist kits, this might not guarantee getting the best performance our of the engine, or worse – this might end up damaging the cylinder heads if not done properly. For this reason, if you value your engine and would prefer not to risk damaging it beyond repair, rather let expert automotive engineers handle your engine reconditioning.

Expert cylinder head reconditioning in KwaZulu-Natal

There are back-yard engine reconditioners, and then there are expert reconditioning workshops, with excellent reputations, widely trusted in the industry.

With 50 years of automotive engineering experience, Eagleharm Engineering is one of these companies. Our workshop is fitted with the equipment needed to refurbish any engine – from passenger vehicles through to massive earth-moving equipment.

Arrange engine reconditioning in KwaZulu-Natal by getting in touch with Ryan or Todd today!

Why line boring machines aren’t boring


Line boring: a fascinating trade with an unfortunate name. For those who are complete strangers to the concept, line boring machines are used to enlarge holes that have already been cast or drilled into a variety of substances. Large-scale boring is commonly used when drilling underground subways, and in the Eagleharm Engineering workshop we use our line boring machine to refurbish damaged engine blocks. Let’s take a look at a few facts that might just take the ‘bore’ out of line boring:

  1. They’ve been around since the 1700s

It was John “Iron-Mad” Wilkinson who, way back in 1775, introduced the concept of precision boring. Wilkinson was an industrialist in England at the time, and was a pioneer of cast iron goods during the Industrial Revolution. His precision boring invention, that changed the world of machining forever, is considered to be the first-ever machine tool.

  1. There’s more than one type of boring

Two main types of boring are used today, namely line boring and back boring. In back boring, the bar is supported on one end. When it comes to line boring, the bar is supported from both ends – and line boring only works if the existing hole is a through-hole (back boring works even if it’s a blind hole.

  1. There are multiple machines that bore

Line boring devices are many, and come in various different shapes and sizes. For example, Eagleharm Engineering’s new TS-1000 CNC line boring machine from T&S Machines uses a right angle line boring system for precision boring. Then there are tools like lathes, milling machines, boring mills, and jig borers.

  1. They have multiple purposes

Something countless people ask, once you grab their attention with a snazzy-sounding title like TS-1000 CNC, is what the machine can actually do. We use ours to refurbish engine blocks from a range of industrial vehicles, including trucks and earth-moving equipment. Line boring machines are also used for excavator buckets, turbine casings, gearboxes, and others.

At Eagleharm Engineering, we ask one question: why replace when you can repair? Our machining capabilities enable us to refurbish any engine block – no matter the size – to manufacturer specification. We’re a trusted name in the industry, and we’ve been around for over 50 years. Also, with our new programmable TS1000 CNC, engine block line boring is literally twice as fast. Get in touch with Ryan or Todd to start a project with us!

It’s official: We’re better at engine block boring services!


The recently relocated Eagleharm Engineering workshop has a new machine: a huge TS1000 CNC boring mill from T&S Machines and Tools, Inc. This thing truly defines next-generation industrial engine boring, and reduces the time it takes to finish most machining jobs by more than a bit. Like with any new machine, we decided to take some photographs, which we have on display if you carry on reading. It was a big investment, but the TS1000 CNC has completely enhanced our engine block boring capabilities, and we believe that it will help us deliver better customer service, too.

Meet the TS1000 CNC

Aptly named BlockMaster by its distributors, the TS1000 was designed with one goal: to machine any block. It has the ability to put the cylinders at perfect centre-to-centre positions, from whichever datum plane preferred (dowel pin, bell housing surface, main thrust surface, etc. It has a probe that automatically displays the size of the bores, which means no measuring for the operator. As a bonus, the TS1000 is able to engrave parts with no special programming tools needed. Our workshop is located at 44 Hillclimb Rd, Westmead, Durban .

Why it’s better

Imagine being able to bore the blocks on earth-moving machines, where the hardest part of the job is physically lifting it onto a platform. We can offer block boring services to clients in the road freight (transport trucking) industry now, as well as the earth moving industry. If it’s an engine block, and it needs machining, our machine can do it. Since starting to use ours, the TS1000 has meant that we can do block boring jobs in one fifth of the time it took us before. The quality of work has also been nudged up somewhat, with automation bringing algorithmic precision to each and every project.

What we can do with it

The TS1000 is perfectly programmed for the jobs that our Eagleharm Engineering workshop undertakes. We can bore almost any block from any engine, and we can do it quicker than ever before. We believe that you shouldn’t replace something if you can repair it, and we know that this machine is going to help us save our clients tons of money going forward. Whether you need line boring, re-boring or re-skimming, we’re fully equipped to see to your block machining needs.

PS: We’re also the only workshop in KwaZulu-Natal that has a TS1000! To offer our services to clients across the province, we are able to collect and deliver any parts you need machined. Get in touch with us to arrange a service, or to find out more about the TS1000’s capabilities.

Eagleharm Engineering is Moving!


Different Location, Same Service Excellence…

After offering engine reconditioning services in Durban for 50 years, operating from Springfield Park, EAGLEHARM ENGINEERING is relocating to WESTMEAD, PINETOWN.

Our new location allows us to continue offering you, our valued clients, exceptional engine refurbishing services at the competitive rates we are known for.

We’ll be opening our new workshop doors on the 2nd of April, 2019. Please find our new physical address below:

Unit 5

44 Hillclimb Road




>>>Find us on Google Maps right here<<<

We hope to continue delivering excellent engine reconditioning services for you and your company, and we look forward to seeing you at our new headquarters soon!



Ryan & Todd Harmsworth

An Engine’s Critical Parts & Their Functions


While every engine part plays a role in keeping your car healthy, certain parts play an especially important role. Your car is a complicated system that requires each major working part to function at an optimal level. Replacing worn or damaged parts will not only keep your car in better shape; it will also keep you and fellow road users safe on the road.

Keep reading to find out more about the most essential engine parts and their roles.

Critical Engine Parts & Their Functions

Some of the most critical engine parts and the function they serve within your car include the following:


This part is the system responsible for the operation of your car’s valves. Essentially, this part is comprised of components that help to optimise the timing and your performance of your engine. It includes smaller parts such as valves, rocker arms, pushrods, lifters, and camshaft, this system regulates your fuel intake, ignition, compression and waste by opening and closing your engine’s valves. Over time, the consistency and movements of the valvetrain start to decrease as the parts begin to wear. Badly timed valve openings can affect your car’s performance and even cause major damage to your engine, making this a highly important part to replace as soon as it begins to wear.


Connecting rods

Forming the link between crankshaft and pistons, connecting rods transfer fuel and forces to the crankpins on the crankshaft. This part pushes and pulls the piston in and out of the cylinder. The eye of the connecting rod on the piston side acts as a mount for the piston pin. This bit is often fitted with a connecting rod bush. These rods are also mounted with bearing shells that sit on the crankshaft pins. The large connecting rod eye splits in order to make it more easily mounted on the crankshaft. A drilled oil channel provides lubrication to the piston pins. These parts are vital to keeping your car running smoothly and need replacing if they bend or fracture or if there is damage on the bearing holder of the rod. Connecting rods can be replaced individually if no other rods are damaged.



These may seem like small parts, but engine gaskets are also essential in the smooth running of your car. These parts keep your engine running in optimal conditional. They help to prevent leaks from joined objects. Over time, they begin to experience wear and tear. When this happens, they get brittle and are more likely to crack. Your car is then far more prone to leaks. Keeping your gaskets replaced is one of the most effective ways to prevent this type of damage from affecting your car’s performance.


Breather hose

Situated within the engine, this pipe releases gases that are trapped within the car’s inner components. When fuel begins to build in a way that is allowed to build pressure, performance is jeopardised. Breather hose parts offer a way to release these gases, routing them back into the carburettor and keeping the gases from being released into the atmosphere.

Looking for quality parts that you can always trust? Contact us today to find the very best replacement engine parts in Durban and surrounds.

Eagleharm Engineering: How to Break In a Rebuilt Engine

How to Break In a Rebuilt Engine


The two most commonly used methods to break in a rebuilt engine are dynamometer or load bank testing. However, these methods of engine testing aren’t always possible. If a rebuilt engine isn’t broken in correctly issues can arise including high oil consumption, excessive smoking and overall poor engine performance. This blog article looks at how to break in a rebuilt engine without the use of a dynamometer or load bank…


Why Should You Break In a Rebuilt Engine?

The process of breaking in an engine involves forcing rings and cylinder bores to conform to each other, sealing the combustion gasses within the cylinders. Unfortunately, idling the engine for a period of time will not create the pressures needed. Without serious force, piston rings may not seal properly – resulting in poor oil control and diminished engine performance overall.


Dangers of Not Breaking In a Rebuilt Engine

Improper or inadequate breaking in of rebuilt engines causes what is known as ‘glazing’, which prevents piston rings from ever sealing correctly. Glazing refers to how hard oil and fuel deposits collect on the cylinder walls of an engine. Once this happens, the only way to rectify the issue is to dismantle the entire engine again and break it in correctly.


Just Rebuilt an Engine? Here’s How to Break It In:

Apply Make-Shift Loads

Most engine rebuilders agree that to correctly seal the piston rings, you need to focus on getting around 75% of full load on the rebuilt engine for a few hours – keeping idle time to a minimum. Ways of breaking in vehicular engines include:

  • Attach a heavy trailer, find a long steep hill, and drive up it once or twice.
  • Drive up to the speed limit as fast as you can then, while still in gear, release the throttle and let the vehicle coast to a complete stop.


Utilise Break-In Powders

They might be a little old-school, but many engine rebuilders still swear by them! We’re talking about break-in powders, like Caterpillar’s 7F5225 powder. Here’s how to correctly utilise a break-in powder when breaking in a rebuilt engine:

  • Reassemble and start the engine,
  • Loosen air cleaner on each bank of cylinders (leaving a gap between flange and inlet manifold),
  • Run engine at 800RPM and allow powder to be sucked slowly through gap (1.25 teaspoons per cylinder,
  • Tighten air cleaner, idle engine for 30 minutes, and it should be ready for service.


Call the Professionals

Still unsure if you’ve rebuilt your engine correctly and you’re concerned about proper breaking-in procedures? When in doubt, call a certified engine reconditioning specialist and get advice directly from the professionals. They should advise you on the best way forward, ensuring that you provide your rebuilt engine with the careful attention it deserves!


Engine Rebuilding Professionals in Durban

Eagleharm Engineering has been refurbishing engines of all makes and sizes for near on 50 years. We’re held to high standards of service efficiency, and therefore utilise only the most effective techniques to break in our rebuilt engines. Contact us today for more information on the fine art of engine reconditioning!

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