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Machine Shop Recommendation in Cali for Head "Freshening Up"

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  • Machine Shop Recommendation in Cali for Head "Freshening Up"

    My first post was a while back and I was looking for an S14 for an M2 build in my '75 2002. Well I finally found a motor and am ready to get started on this project. The motor was pulled out of a wrecked car with about $80k miles on it and it's been sitting for a few years. I don't want to go crazy with a rebuild (at least not at this point, but we all know how that goes...). But I'd like to have the head done and plan on replacing all the seals and such. I haven't pulled the head or oil pan off yet so the plan might change.

    Can anyone recommend a shop to do the head work in California? I'm on the central coast and don't have much to choose from locally so exact location (North or South) doesn't really matter. I sent my S52 head to Auto Head Performance and they did great work for a very reasonable cost with good turn around time but he didn't have much experience with the S14 motor. I know it shouldn't really matter for a basic overhaul but any recommendations would be appreciated.


  • #2
    Top End Performance in beautiful North Hollywood has done a few engines for owners on the board.
    1988 M3
    2012 335is
    1993 Civic Si


    • #3
      I have had several S-14 engines done at Selby and Sons in Santa Rosa, and can recommend them. They know how to do it right.. Larry


      • #4
        Top End does very good work, but turnaround time was an issue a few years ago. Lots of excuses were given, and the motor was taken back over a year after dropping it off, unfinished.

        Consider sending it to Mario Rigoli at E Ticket Motorsports. He's an S14 guru and is in AZ. He did a stage 3 head for a track car I have.

        Good luck


        • #5
          I would second the recommendation for Mario Rigoli....but I am not sure he is still in that business. The E-ticket Motorsports website went down some time ago.

          Also, when he did my head (around 3 years ago) he stated he was not interested in doing stock rebuilds or head maintenance type work....just modified head builds with porting and custom valves.

          I know nothing about Top End, but I CANNOT STAND shops for which time means nothing and they can't/won't give a reliable time of delivery. Just hearing about them having an engine for over a year gets my blood boiling....I don't care what their excuse was.

          While they are somewhat controversial, VAC is another option. I personally have had good luck with them.

          Really though, for a "basic overhaul"....with no porting or other mods...any competent engine machine shop should be able to handle the work. It would probably amount to no more than replacing the valve guides and cutting/lapping the valve seats. The S14 is not as unique as some would have you believe as far as that sort of thing goes.
          Last edited by Ironhead; 01-10-2018, 10:09 AM.


          • #6
            +1 for Top End,
            Had my motor done in 2013 and they were very good with communication with me and even setup a flikr album so I could see the progress done:

            I am in Santa Barbara so having that service was a definite plus.


            • #7
              Anyone ever send their motor to Metric Mechanics? I always figured they would be a go to but I'm still new to s14's


              • #8
                Thanks for the recommendations! I'll call around and hopefully get the head sent out soon.