Now I know why so many look to a used motor

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Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby UtahSleeper » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:28 pm

Being a noob to engine work and actual rebuilding I went to a machine shop today to get an idea on prices.

For the block, with all proper cleaning/honing/etc it seems like it runs about 200.
Work on the crank was somewhere between 100 and 200 depending on if grinding was needed.

So, it's potentially 400 just to get those items prepped and ready for rebuild.

What has other peoples experience been on deciding rebuild vs used motor?
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby 88gt4DE » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:31 pm

Rebuilt 165 motor fresh once ... roughly 3 grand. Had to replace head and re-do top end this past year thanks to a TVIS screw that came out. Spend roughly 1800 to do that. If it comes apart again I'm going to a 205 swap. I will never rebuild this 165 motor again ...
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby brutekiller787 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:26 pm

Go to unoh like me and a rebuild costs parts and gets you a's. Milled head and block for flatness and rehoned cylinders. Ported and port matched myself and good to go
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby underscore » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:55 am

With a rebuild though, assuming you do things right, you've got a brand new engine. Buying a used one you could be buying something not much better than what you're replacing, so you need to be careful.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby UtahSleeper » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:16 pm

Yea. I would like to rebuild and I will do the math and see what the cost is.

My goal was to try and get her running by this fall/winter. But I also want to get it running with megasquirt so I can remove the MAF and get better performance and MPG out of the motor.

So, need to do the math and see what I want to do. I am still planning on the rebuild............but I can't say I wouldn't consider a cheap motor locally if one showed up lol.

Thought it would be expensive, but guess it had never quite sunk in till I actually spoke to the shop.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby brutekiller787 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:06 pm

That's pretty much what I want. 350whp for the street with good mileage off boost. A rebuild doesn't cost much if you have access to machines.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby UtahSleeper » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:24 pm

brutekiller787 wrote:That's pretty much what I want. 350whp for the street with good mileage off boost. A rebuild doesn't cost much if you have access to machines.


Wish I did :/ Right now, if I rebuild, all machine work will be done by someone and then I would be assembling.

If I was looking for big power then there would be no question, I would be rebuilding. But since I would be happy to winter drive my trac with a standalone and a few bolt ons, the frugal side of me is coming out lol.

Guess I will start saving money and see where things take me.

So has everyone else always just picked to rebuild/go used? Or has it always just been based on your power goals.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby lumbercis » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:48 am

I'll come down on the other side of the equation and say that a low mileage gen3 swap is your best bang for buck. Anecdotally, I've noticed a lot of people reporting problems with their rebuilt motors from supposedly good/experienced machine shops. There's just so many things that have to go perfectly to get a lot of reliability out of a rebuilt motor that I'm not comfortable chancing it unless the rebuilder is nationally known as the best in the biz. If I was going to do a rebuilt motor I'd just purchase a short block from someone like ATS that has experience and even then cross my fingers that they didn't screw up a tolerance or something during the rebuild. I just don't think you can beat a factory assembled engine for reliability.

That said, the big problem with an engine swap is being able to verify that your "low mileage" engine is actually low mileage. A lot of the engines you see for sale on ebay claim low mileage but you really have no way to verify that. I'd hunt around for an engine seller that includes the gauge cluster of the engine in question so you can verify mileage. Almost no ebay sellers will have the gauge cluster with the engine but if you ask around on mr2oc you might be able to get a reference to a good importer that can provide the gauge cluster with the engine so you know you're getting a low mileage engine as advertised.

Either way you go, be careful, ask about warranties, and don't trust anyone! :smokes:
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby underscore » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:55 am

^ better still, get a halfcut and freshen it up yourself (ie all new gaskets, hoses, and maintenance items). All the parts you need plus some to sell, including the correct cluster.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby brutekiller787 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:03 am

I feel like if you are the one doing the machining like I was, you can feel pretty confident when putting it back together and running it. There's always that worry though, swap or rebuild.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby Pipedreams » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:54 am

Another problem with a swap is that the last 3sgte is from 1999. That´s 15 years ago. And if you get a gen2 that´s atleast 21years old and underbonnet heat on those cars is harsch on the rubber in any gasket or seal. So it´s very likely to have oil leaking here and there. So I would recomend tearing it down anyway and replace all gaskets.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby Locker » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:57 am

IMO opinion if your not going for BIG power the st205 swap makes the most sense. Buying a half cut is also the best way to go ensuring you get all the sensors etc and knowing exactly how many k's the motor has on it. You spend more money initially on the half cut but you also get the added bonus of being able to sell a bunch of great parts to re-coup your costs.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby Mafix » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:11 pm

rebuilding is the way to go. although, I had another motor to rebuild while I drove around on the stockish one. now I have a bulletproof engine. know your machinist...fyi.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby brutekiller787 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:18 pm

Pipedreams wrote:Another problem with a swap is that the last 3sgte is from 1999. That´s 15 years ago. And if you get a gen2 that´s atleast 21years old and underbonnet heat on those cars is harsch on the rubber in any gasket or seal. So it´s very likely to have oil leaking here and there. So I would recomend tearing it down anyway and replace all gaskets.



And at that point if there is no cylinder damage run a flex hone through it and put a $340 full rebuild kit like I did. That's why you should check out your own head and block before you just blow big money on a half cut.

Includes all gaskets, oil pump, water pump, timing belt kit, new pistons, rings and all bearings. Can't beat it seriously.
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Re: Now I know why so many look to a used motor

Postby CSAlltrac » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:08 pm

Lumbercis said it best. Nothing beats a factory assembled engine. Save a million headaches and go 205 swap, fresh head gasket W/ ARP, fresh hoses, water pump, and timing belt. Then enjoy for a very long time.
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