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Engine swappage

05-13-2010, 12:21 AM
This past Christmas I drove from Nebraska to Oklahoma. Very cold n snowy en route. Once I got there, the car sat for 3 days and then I was going to run an errand. The engine would turn over, sputter n pop, then die. Now I was getting a little concerned as I was 450 miles from home and not on leave. The plugs appeared to be wet, not oily or gas, but wateryish. The oil was not milky. I changed the cap as it had 50K miles on it, plugs, charged the battery and it fired up. Been running great since.

I haven't checked the compression since i got it. That was five years ago when she was sitting at 76K. The readings were in the normal values dry n wet. It does lose a lot of oil. Not sure if it is the front crank seal (changed at 85K-ish) or the oil pan. Front of lower engine is oily. She doesn't blow any blue smoke though.

I want to make this girl last. I'm fixin to retire from the Air Force and go to school full time. I'll be logging about 60 miles a day. Geo 40MPG Silverado 17MPG

Eventually I might have to swap out the motor. I had a chance to get a donor motor to rebuild for $50 but passed on it. Now here is the deal. Are there JDM engines out there for 96 n newer? All I have seen are 95 and older. Either way, it would almost cost the same I reckon with shipping and motor cost vs. rebuild kit and prep.

What have been y'alls experiences.


05-13-2010, 05:02 AM
I'd say, if you can do the work yourself you're better off doing a rebuild. You know everything's fresh, no 40K miles and who knows how many years? A JDM engine should be gone over with new seals and timing belt anyway.

The only difference between years is that sometime around 95 they added a crankshaft position sensor (might be the source of your leak) between the oil pan and the accessory drive belt pulley. This actually mounts in the oil pump, so it can be updated. Also, the pullies and belts are different, there are engines with four bolts holding on the accessory drive pulley, they use smaller timing and water/alternator belts. Newer engines have five bolts. All this can be swapped over easily when you're in there to change the seals.

Intake manifold and everything bolted to it, distributor, and two temp sensors on the thermostat housing should stay with the car, just change the engine itself, block and head.

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