Engine replacement is one of the more difficult tasks a mechanic may ever face.
Engine replacement requires different approaches for every year, make and model.
Consequently, I would suggest getting a service manual specific to your vehicle.
So, Engine replacement is much more complicated than simply pulling the old engine and bolting up a fresh one. If your vehicle is in relatively good shape engine replacement makes more sense than replacing the vehicle.
Knowing what caused the engine to fail; is the first step in any repair.
Any time you’re replacing your engine; you need to work methodically to get it right the first time.
So, don’t be afraid to go to an expert for help. It will save you a lot of time; money and headaches in the long run.
If Your Old Engine Had 150,000 Miles On It; So Do Other Parts Like;
- Power steering
- Air conditioner
- Cooling system
- Charging system
- Starting system
- Sensors and relays
Odds are they all need to be replaced or at least tested. Therefore, if you ignore these basic tips there’s no guarantee you won’t be facing constant repair bills.
While the process may be different from vehicle to vehicle; some elements of an engine swap are fairly universal.
Some Basic Tips That Should Be Done Or Checked; Before Engine Replacement;
- Check the motor mounts. Replace them if they are worn; loose or cracked.
- Check the condition of the clutch or torque converter, transmission, CV joints, U-joints, etc., and make any repairs as needed.
- Some items that will be mounted on the engine such as manifolds; brackets, accessories, spark plugs, oil filters, sensors, etc.; will probably be easier to install on the engine while it is still out of the vehicle. Preassemble as much as you can, then finish the rest of the items once the engine is in place.
- Install new oxygen sensor(s). Also, highly recommended on high-mileage engines; to guarantee proper fuel feedback control; good fuel economy; and emissions compliance.
Install new belts and hoses (also, check automatic tensioners and idler pulleys and replace as needed).
- Install a new coolant temperature sensor and thermostat. Also, highly recommended; to reduce the risk of overheating and possible engine damage.
- Install new spark plugs, plug wires, distributor cap and rotor (if equipped).
- Scan the computer for fault codes, fix any problems as needed, and clear the code memory.
- Check for any (PCM) flash updates that may be available from the (OEM) and reflash the computer as needed.
- Check for any engine related technical service bulletins that are out on the vehicle; and make any upgrades or changes as recommended.
Replacement Engine Options Include:
- Used Engines
- Rebuilt Engines
- Remanufactured Engines
- New “Crate” Engine
A used engine is one that was likely pulled out a vehicle that was wrecked; or had damage to another one of its mechanical systems; that ended up sending the car to the junkyard. However, just because it’s been in a car wreck, doesn’t mean it’s no good. Used engines are often a good choice depending on the car and they’re often more affordable compared to a brand new one.
The engine most likely doesn’t have a lot of miles on it; and didn’t need to have any parts replaced; so it was simply pulled out of the car and is ready to be placed into a new car. So, this is often the cheapest method of replacing an engine, if one can be found.
A rebuilt engine, like a used engine was pulled out of a car but it has had some parts replaced. It was likely disassembled; cleaned and put back together; with any parts that needed to be updated and new gaskets throughout.
When done properly a rebuilt engine can last for hundreds of thousands of miles.
The highest quality option for replacing an engine in your car, truck or SUV involves a remanufactured engine. This means that an engine; was pulled from a vehicle and then returned to factory condition.
Machining of the block, crank and heads along with all other parts; to restore their specifications; so that the engine operates as if it was brand new. Usually, sold with an extended warranty; but will likely last longer than a used or rebuilt engine; but they will cost more up front.
New “Crate” Engine
A new engine uses all new parts including an engine block, crankshaft, cylinder heads, connecting rods, camshaft, pistons, and valves.
Because of this, a new engine will cost considerably more than a reman engine.
So, as you can see there are many options available to you and each has their own features and benefits. Therefore, do your research and make the right choice.
Pre-Installation Inspection Tips For Any Engine Replacement
- Inspect the entire engine thoroughly. If there is an issue, you want to find out before you have it installed in the vehicle.
- Match the long-block with your old one. Make sure they are exactly the same.
- After you have the old engine out; set it next to the used engine and identify which components need to switched over. If you find damaged components in your inspection (timing cover, oil pan, etc.); simply swap the components with your old engine.
- Don’t install a replacement salvage engine with damaged parts. This may cause the used engine to fail prematurely.
Inspect timing components on engine, if miles are over factory specification for a timing belt or chain, replace timing components. Best practice is to always replace the timing belt. It’s generally inexpensive to do when the engine is already out of the vehicle.
- Inspect all gaskets for bolt on accessories and replace any gaskets that look brittle or are leaking. Finally, change over any bolt on accessories needed off your old engine.
If your engine is nearing the end of its useful life, you may wonder whether to rebuild or replace it. As a result, The warranty available could play a role in what type of engine you choose. Remember, you’re going to need to pay for more than just the engine itself. Even if you have the skills required for swapping your engine; the process itself can cost an extra several hundred dollars.
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