Engine and Transmission Rebuilds

Major heart surgery is something to be avoided if at all possible, but, engines and gearboxes are mechanical components and they do wear out and they suffer from poor maintenance.

If you are concerned about the health of your engine or gearbox then get in touch. We can certainly help.

Engine Health

We often speak to people who are convinced that their engine needs a rebuild, when usually a good service, carb rebuild or ignition set up brings it right back to life.  We see about 6 instances a year where a rebuild is necessary. To put that in perspective, that is less than 3% of all the cars that arrive at Project Shop.  When you start talking about engine health, there are some tests you can do to give a very clear indication of its condition before a strip down. These are:

Sniff Test

Rather a terrible name, but basically you are checking for exhaust fumes in the coolant. A positive test would suggest that you have a head gasket issue as exhaust gasses are leaking into the cooling system via the waterways that run between the engine block and head.

Compression Test

This is where you use a pressure gauge to measure how well the piston is compressing the fuel/air mixture in each cylinder. On worn out engines this pressure escapes, either round the piston, past the valves or between the joining surface between the head and the block. A rough rule of thumb is that road engines should have over 150 ft/lb of pressure when in fine fettle. Above 125 ft/lb is acceptable, but if it is close to 100 ft/lb it is pretty worn and anything less you are in trouble.

Leakdown Test

This is where you check where this pressure may be leaking from. If the pressure is leaking from the valves, the clearances may just need adjusting, if it is from the head then your engine will need a ‘top end build’ and if it is from the rings then you’re going to be into a rebore and pistons too.

Oil Pressure

Consistent oil pressure across a wide range of engine speeds and temperatures is paramount. Without a good slug of oil going round your engine components will get hot and wear out! As a rough rule of thumb most classic cars oil pressure will fluctuate between 20 PSI when hot and on tick over to 80 PSi when either cold or under load. Low oil pressure can be a multitude of sins, gummed up oil galleries, clogged up sump, crank wear, incorrect oil, the list goes on, but if you have any issues get it looked at quickly!

We have specialist equipment that can carry out all of these tests in a couple of hours. From there we can advise you of the best course of action. We rebuild a lot of engines in house, with machine work carried out by our partners, but we also have some amazing contacts with specialist rebuild companies we can put you in touch with.

Gearbox/Overdrive/Diff Health

In the same way that engines are usually more robust than their owners think they will be, Gearboxes are pretty bulletproof too. Poor clutch adjustment, incorrect fluids and doggy gear linkages are all more common for causing trouble.  We can tell pretty accurately what will be wrong with a transmission from a decent drive. Gearbox and overdrive rebuilds are generally a specialist job. Over the years we have found some great companies we can send your automatic or manual gearbox to for a rebuild. We can also help with overdrives and diffs. Get in contact and we will do our best to help.

What Our Customers Say

Project Shop rebuilt my Triumph TR6 chassis and body, which was an extensive job as it was a wreck. Several other workshops had looked at it and declined to take it on, but Simeon and his crew took a different viewpoint. I now have a car body and chassis, that although are 49-years old, the whole thing looks brand new. The attention to detail, and the efficiency with which the work was carried out, was outstanding. Highly recommended!


I took my brand new replica vintage car in to the Classis Project Shop for a tune of its carburetors as it wasn't running as well as it should. I was aware of some other niggling problems but took very little heed of them. A very detailed examination of the car was clearly carried out and there were a number of issues discovered. Some I was aware of and others I wasn't. What I got back was a car that was no longer 85% right - it was 100%. This gave me a huge amount of confidence in the reliability and safety of the car going forward. This company is extremely professional, with experienced and courteous staff and represents excellent value. I would certainly very highly recommend them.


I can’t recommend Project Shop highly enough and have used them multiple times in the past 4 years. Highly experienced classic car mechanics/engineers with a can do approach and encyclopaedic knowledge of how to repair/fix any problem – this is so critically important, is virtually impossible to find these days and saves time and most importantly money. Very reasonable hourly rates when you consider what you are getting and they seem to actually care about the car a great deal. All aspects of a project are discussed in detail before any actual work/repairs are commenced and the customer is kept regularly informed, the communication really is excellent. You are invited to visit and inspect the vehicle for yourself if an when an issue crops up and are made to feel most welcome not to mention the invaluable advice given on how to best maintain your vehicle moving forward. Without doubt one of the best classic car specialists in the country.


Owning a classic car is a combination of excitement, joy, pride and, mostly, frustration. The team at CPS share the first three and help to take the sting out of the fourth. Simeon is always available with good advice, sympathy and a willingness to go the extra mile to keep a car at it's best. His team look after the vehicle as of it is there own, and no detail is too minor.

A professional and detail orientated team, with extensive knowledge and experience, and a pleasure with which to deal.


A real delight to find people who love their cars. They have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the past and present issues surrounding the motor vehicle. A welcome change from the motor dealerships that don't care much about "old" only value "new" and think that they part of a car service industry whilst their only concerns are profits and sales targets.
From my own experience, Simeon and his team are a pleasure to deal with, since I was introduced to the Classic Project Shop my "Aston" has never run so well


Driving Puff yesterday was amazing - she felt like a new car again. Thanks to all the guys who have worked so hard to make this dream of mine a reality. And Puff thanks you too!


Did a fantastic job on my Goddess, running like a dream! Really enthusiastic bunch of people who know their stuff. The commitment and customer service is second to none and they will always be my first port of call from now on. Thank you.


Kind, reliable and so helpful. I had purchased my first T25 camper and they checked it over thoroughly, explaining everything to be done. Simeon was attentive and never made me feel out of place or awkward. Answered all questions and found the best solutions. Personal and caring service and excellent work, even helping me by phone when I was stuck in France with an oil leak! Superb people. Cannot praise their professionalism enough.


A great bunch of dedicated people who have a passion for cars.


Had a good look around whilst on a breakfast meeting and was very impressed. Well done.


Great bunch of lads and only too happy to help and offer advice.


I’ve not, in 52 years of motoring, had better service. Collection and delivery of my car, swift diagnosis and cure with excellent value for money. A group of very personable people who share my enthusiasm for motoring, I’ll use them again without a second thought. Thank you, Guys, I’ll be back!


The quality of the work and the people. Update! Been back again and just as happy. The team is talented and professional. They can have my Classic Mini next. 100% Recommended.


Driving Puff yesterday was amazing - she felt like a new car again. Thanks to all the guys who have worked so hard to make this dream of mine a reality. And Puff thanks you too!


Outstanding work carried out here, highly recommend.


Virtually replaced evety section of the inner bodywork of my Triumph TR6, and parts of the chassis. Didn't muck about, but just got on with it and did a great job. I will always go back there - every time. No question.


Good honest old fashioned values. Highly recommended.


Fantastic bunch of guys, very knowledgeable and professional.