The full story of our epic Bahrain Bentley engine rebuild

As you might have read in the news, we at Flying Spares have been celebrating the successful completion of our toughest ever reconditioning project – rebuilding an RS60 V8 engine for a rare Bentley Brooklands Coupé.

It was only after we’d done it we found out the car belongs to a senior member of the Bahrain royal family. Proof, if any were needed, that we treat every customer like royalty… but of course you already know that!

The epic story started innocently enough. Salesman Adam took a call from a Bentley dealer in Bahrain asking if we could fix a damaged engine from a two-door 2009 Bentley Brookland.

No problem. We get calls like that quite often. Sure, we’ll take a look. Even if Bentley consider it beyond repair? Yeah, we like a challenge.

Well, some weeks later a stack of boxes arrived at our workshop in Market Bosworth. They contained not only the engine but the gearbox, turbos, wiring loom and all kinds of ancillaries.

It was a high-tech jigsaw puzzle, but we soon pieced it together and identified the fault. The camshaft follower (a hydraulic tappet) was shattered, so it had rotated around the cam causing a right mess. The whole engine had to be stripped down. 

Flying Spares’ Head of Quality Control, Malcolm Crane, and metallurgist John Smith (sadly no longer with us), set about manufacturing a new tappet block from scratch. The main block was sent away to be welded and line bored where the camshaft needed to run.

When all the parts were ready, triple checked and measured, Technical Services Division manager Andy Thwaites and technician Phil Armstrong reassembled the engine exactly to Bentley’s specification.

They tested literally hundreds of tolerances, taking special care to ensure that all the oilways were clear. Then came the moment of truth. They bolted on the necessary components and, to everyone’s great relief, it worked perfectly, with good oil pressure and compressions.

The next question was how best to transport it. In the end, we constructed a wooden crate specifically for the engine, to protect it on its 3,000 mile journey back to Bahrain. There, a Bentley-trained technician reunited the car with its engine, fired it up and returned it to its owner. It was only then he told us who that was!

“It was an incredibly intricate build, certainly the toughest recon project I’ve ever worked on,” said Andy. “It’s fair to say that not many workshops in the world have the tools and technical expertise to complete such a challenge, so I’m incredibly proud of the team. It’s a great achievement and another happy Flying Spares customer.”