New Engine in Old Car??? (OT but value ST opinions)

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Messages 1 - 20 of total 44 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 10, 2013 - 03:36pm PT
OK so rather than keep spending $800 here and then $700 there, how worth it is it to put a new low mileage engine into an old car?

I got a 4x4 Toyota Tacoma with 253,000 miles on it. No dents. No cracks. No rips. Manual windows. Manual locks. Everything works. Manual transmission. Love it! But the engine is pretty much done. Nobody seems to know how to fix the issues. Wife just got the new vehicle so no new car for me for another 5 yrs... So...

A) New Engine
B) New "used" engine (low miles)
C) Keep pouring $ into it until someone gets lucky and fixes it
D) SOL

any experiences with new engines in old cars?

rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Feb 10, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
Drive it to the Circle K in Joshua Tree and take the ID number and plates then abandon..RJ
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Feb 10, 2013 - 03:53pm PT
How's the trans?
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Feb 10, 2013 - 03:55pm PT
First of all , what mechanical problems have you been experiencing?

I have a rebuilt 22re (famously solid reliable Toyota engine) in my 90' 4Runner. It was a great investment for me because I have so many other off road modifications and money into the truck ...

...second , I am almost positive your only options would be to rebuild that 3.4 liter engine ... That is to say , you cannot go out and buy that engine brand new , zero miles , and drop it in . The latest generation Tacomas use a different motor ... Toyota no longer makes the 5 vze that you have in there...

... So once you decide to pull the trigger on a rebuild , your biggest hurdle would be finding a reliable mechanic , and settle on a decent price . My guess is 4 - 5k on a full top and bottom rebuild . But those motors get rebuilt all the time because they are so solid , it's kind of a surprise to me you only got 250k out of it ...

Best of luck , love your guidebook work
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Feb 10, 2013 - 04:11pm PT
Finding a good mechanic...Now there's a challenge...!
WBraun

climber
Feb 10, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
Drop a rebuilt in give them the core ......

http://www.karking.com/index.php/rebuilt-96-04-toyota-tacoma-v6-5vze-3-4l-engine.html
FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
Feb 10, 2013 - 04:26pm PT
^^^^^
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Feb 10, 2013 - 04:51pm PT
The imported used motors are good. I replace the head gasket in them and get new hoses.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 10, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
As long as your other problems are not electrical (sometimes electrical systems start just going bad across the board.. then you are toast) and you get a good price on the swap engine it can be a great way to go. Especially if you do the swap yourself.
adatesman

climber
philadelphia, pa
Feb 10, 2013 - 05:18pm PT
+1 what Climbski said... if your problems are truely mechanical, not electrical than engine swaps onto the same platform are pretty straight forward ("same platform" meaning not 302 Ford into a Miata)

That said, I'd like a bunch more detail on what work's been done and what's on the horizon before recommending a course of action.... Leaky valve guides and low compression = burning oil and poor performance, but frankly the money for an engine swap or rebuild can buy a whole lot of oil.

A couple months back I asked my mechanic a similar question about my wife's old-version VW Jetta TDI Wagon, which is not only showing its age but had been cut in half after an accident and welded back together with the back half of a different Jetta Wagon (all on the Insurance's dime)... His response, as an old-school car guy that cuts no corners and grew up on a racetrack (fairly well known around here as the go-to-guy for quality race engines), was that the cheapest car you can own is the one you already have. So sure, an engine swap might fix things, but if the problem is actually electrical that's just one more expense and a whole 'nother set of mechanical problems you don't know the history of.

Then again, when I go looking for an old car (I'm into 1950's-60's British stuff) I don't pay much attention to the mechanicals and drivetrain... The expensive part to repair is usually the body, as it'll rust out before the drivetrain wears out.

So yeah, would need more info.
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2013 - 07:13pm PT
Not leaking any oil, totally solid.
Ran perfectly until about 3 months ago.
No when I put it into 4th gear, (does fine up to 4th) it bogs - works really hard - and the car shakes, and when I put on the smallest trailer to pull a motorcycle... it was ridiculous in 4th gear. Noisy, shaking, mushy. 4th used to be my passing gear, that baby would hum past anything at 65 in 4th, quick to accelerate. Now... forget it.

I've not replaced the transmission yet.
The battery does pull 14 volts (or is it amps??? I forget) when totally off so...???
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Feb 10, 2013 - 07:18pm PT
Your motor is probably fine, it could well be something external to the block and heads. Distributors go bad, plug wires and cap? Are you getting a Check Engine light?

You do have a lot of miles on it. You are due for a blown head gasket.

I would pull it, go through the heads, replace rings and bearings and drive it for another 100k. If you have to pay the labor to it done it might not be worth it.
Juan Maderita

Trad climber
"OBcean" San Diego, CA
Feb 10, 2013 - 07:30pm PT
Slater,
The symptoms you describe don't match an engine failure or failing.
Sounds like you need a tune-up. Could be any number of things, but likely it is an ignition misfire.

As long as the compression is good and oil consumption (burning) not excessive, your engine should have some life left in it.
John M

climber
Feb 10, 2013 - 07:49pm PT
Not leaking any oil, totally solid.
Ran perfectly until about 3 months ago.
No when I put it into 4th gear, (does fine up to 4th) it bogs - works really hard - and the car shakes, and when I put on the smallest trailer to pull a motorcycle... it was ridiculous in 4th gear. Noisy, shaking, mushy. 4th used to be my passing gear, that baby would hum past anything at 65 in 4th, quick to accelerate. Now... forget it.

I was going to say it sounds like 4th gear is going. If the engine is fine in the first three gears, then I can't imagine what would be different about the engine in 4th. But I ain't a mechanic.
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
I replaced the cap and wires, plugs, and starter motor.
No check engine light.

I'm wondering why it works OK in gears 1-3 and not in 4th?

chalkfree

Trad climber
Claremont, CA
Feb 10, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
Take it to your mechanic, tell them something has changed and no power. Agree this is not an engine failure thing.

Could even be a clogged exhaust system? Do you hear rattling in exhaust? Catalytic converters can fail, break up, and clog muffler(s). Gives the feeling of no power, but may idle okay.
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
There is a slight clanging (like the tips of the fan are hitting the side of metal just barely... they're not, that's just the sound) and sort of squeaks. I just figured... hey, that's what cars sound like at 253,000k.

I just figured if I was gonna spend 2-3k letting some mechanic trouble shoot until it is fixed, I could have bought a new used engine by then.
adatesman

climber
philadelphia, pa
Feb 10, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
Lots of good advice above, and agree that's not pointing to engine swap. Only other thing I'd suggest looking at is the distributor, and making sure the advance mechanism is working properly and there's not too much play in the shaft bushing (both of which would lead to an intermittent misfire).

BTW, should be easy enough for your mechanic to determine if the engine's ok by inspecting the coolant (for oil), the oil (milky-ness, which indicates water), spark plugs (too much/too little fuel) and a pressure/leakdown test on the cylinders. That's par for the course with my Little British Convertibles, and shouldn't take more than an hour including coffee break. If all those are in the ballpark, it likely isn't mechanical since it would show up sooner than mid-rpm 4th gear.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Feb 10, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
x2 on checking your exhaust system . Look for a pinched pipe ... Ask your mechanic to run a simple exhaust pressure test to check for restrictions ...
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 10, 2013 - 10:27pm PT
check the cat converter, and check all the rubber: motor and trans mounts plus all the driveshaft mounts.
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