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Remanufactured engines Vs. Rebuilt engines

cutehumorcutehumor Member Posts: 137
edited April 2014 in Pontiac

does anyone have any experiences with a rebuilt or remanufactured engines? how long did they typically last in your car when you installed them? I have read that remanufactured engines are better, long block that is. also, anybody have any good remanufactured engine places that they can recommend? I heard that reputation is the most important when looking at these places.


  • mkansasmkansas Member Posts: 2
    I had a rebuilt from Marshal Engines put in my Buick about 10000 miles ago. It has a 3 yr, 50000 mile warranty. That's what attracted me. Try www.marshallengines.com
  • pbraunpbraun Member Posts: 11
    The problem with the 2 above terms is that they are used as if they are the same, yet they are different. I bought a used car with a rebuilt engine. It worked fine. If you go this route, buy from a established business, that will still be in business, if you make a warranty claim. I read a interesting article on this topic. The gist of it was that buying a used engine from a junkyard may be a better product at a better value. Here is why: If you buy a used engine with 50k on it, you know what you are buying. If you buy a rebuilt engine, what are you buying? What quality are the parts? What quality was the work? How worn out are the parts that were not replaced?
  • brucer2brucer2 Member Posts: 157
    A rebuilt and remanufactured engine are not supposed to be the same thing. A rebuilt engine will have new seals and parts worn beyond their wear limit replaced. Remanufactured means all tolerances are to "new" spec. So many more parts are replaced, remachined, etc., than a simple rebuild.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Actually even those good definitions are confusing. Terms like "rebuilt" and "remanufactured" and abused are often ill-defined by the seller There are no legal definitions for these terms in place, but I'm sure there are "guidelines" for what they are supposed to mean.

    To my understanding, both rebuilt and remanufactured are somewhat interchangeable terms--they imply that all parts are brought up to factory "as new" specs. Perhaps you could say that a remanufactured engine is a "mass-production rebuild" where hundreds of engines are lumped together and all rebuilt at once (switching parts/blocks, etc. as needed), whereas a "rebuild" is often just one engine rebuilt by one shop.

    The term OVERHAUL is meant to be used for engines that re-use old but perfectly usable parts that are still in factory spec but perhaps not "as new".

    In fact, most engines you see in private party ads that have been "rebuilt", have in fact only been overhauled--unless a machine shop has gone through every nut and bolt.

    As a minimum for a "rebuild", I would demand all new internal parts except perhaps for the crank, which could be a regrind, and of course the block should be rebored if possible. Also, the head needs to have all new (or reground) valves guides and seals, and a reconditioned camshaft, new chain and timing gears, reground valves. In essence, no part of this engine should be untouched, unless it is some hard part that is virtually unworn, like maybe a rocker arm shaft.

    As was stated before, even all new parts doesn't mean much if the assembly was careless or the quality of the parts is substandard.

    You get what you pay for!
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Try here. They have a rock solid reputation.


  • avk6282avk6282 Member Posts: 3
    Hi, all!

    I've got a 92 Toyota Tercel (110K miles) with one cylinder not working due to a valve failure. Also, the sealing rings on the pistons don't seem to seal very well: the car is burning oil. The car is running OK, but whenever I stop I've got rough idle and the engine dies. And although it starts again, driving this car is far from fun.
    Adjusting the idle and changing spark plugs improved the situation for a month. The last diagnosis is one cylinder is dead and others are burning oil. The last two mechanics that checked my car suggested either replacing or rebuilding the engine, their quote: 1.5 -2K for a used engine, parts and labor. They told me that repairing the engine would cost the same money, so replacing the engine seems more attractive to me. One can find a 60 -70K mile used engine, another promised something around 30K, but it'll be more expensive.
    I need a car for several months before I start my job (I'm a student) and buy an almost new and reliable family car. I can take a loan and buy this car now, but don't feel comfortable financially about the idea.

    Do you think it is worth investing another $2,000 in the Tercel? How reliable is it going to be with a new engine, any experience? I wouldn't mind keeping it, since I'll need two cars anyway after I start working. And another question: should I go for a 30K mile newer engine and pay around $300 -500 more?

    Thank you for any suggestions.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    What is your time frame? You said several months, but is that 3, 6, 9?

    If you put $1500 in the car, that is 5 months of $300/month car payments.

    Another question, what is the condition of the rest of the car? Brakes, suspension, tires, exhaust etc? If that stuff is in good condition, I'd either repair or replace the engine, and drive it well into your new job. Perhaps another year or two.

    You could get an idea of your budget before jumping into a car note. Try saving the money you expect to use on a payment and see if you can live on what is left.

    Otherwise, if you just have that new car fever, then I'd either drive it into the ground, cleaning your plugs every week. (You don't need to buy new ones.)

    Depending on how many miles you drive, you might make this last until you are in your new job.

    But... when will it go.

    Only you can decide what you need/want and can do.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, TB is on the right track here....the investment of $2,000 depends upon what the rest of the car is like. Given resale values, it had better be a pretty darn clean car.

    Say, what about just fixing that one valve and slamming it back together? Does it really burn like clouds of oil? gee, I'd think that if you R&R the head, take it to a machine shop for a quickie valve job (don't rebuild the head, just replace the one valve and reseat the others, and put in new stem seals), then a new head gasket, tune up and an oil change and new coolant....that should cost maybe...what? $1,000??
  • avk6282avk6282 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the prompt suggestions!

    I'll start my work in August and till then will need a car badly. And after then we'll need another one.

    Unfortunately, I don't have an option of driving it into the ground, since it seems to be in this stage already: I barely made it yesterday to a nearby food store, it dies every single stop.

    I should probably go to another mechanic and ask for a second opinion and an evaluation of the overall car shape. And ask if I can do something less costly just to keep the car running(thank you Mr Shiftright, for prompting this). But it should be something really cheap, I'd rather pay $1500 for replacing than $1000 for just a valve fix.

    If I replace the engine, the only my concern will be the transmission (automatic), as I know it's the most expensive thing to repair if something goes wrong. Do you think I can rely on it after 110K miles? And what other parts I should worry about to keep the car for another year or two?

    Thanks again, I really like the forum, too bad I didn't know about it earlier.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well, you could drop the pan on the automatic and see what's floating around in there...if you see lots of metal, or smell very badly burned fluid, you are near the end of the road. But if it's all clean and fresh in there, and ;you haven't had any problems, I don't see why you can't go another 50K on it with some luck. But really, about 150K is your car's lifespan at best.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    That this engine may simply be all carboned up.

    110,000 miles is nothing for a Toyota. I would try a de-carbon treatment first. There might just be a ton of carbon hanging up a valve and causing the rings to not seal well.

    This happens a lot on Hondas, especially automatics that haven't seen much high speed operation.
  • avk6282avk6282 Member Posts: 3
    I've tried to add different treatments to gas several times and sometimes it helped to smooth the idle for 100 miles. Is the de-carbon one of the treatments I can buy and add to the gas tank or it's something special only mechanics can do?

  • xfilesxfiles Member Posts: 132
    I would try with a cheap fix first by cleaning that engine a bit from the inside. I have a 83 Toyota with just over 400,000 miles (miles) on it. Toyota knows how to make a tough engine, and you should easily get 200,000 miles from that engine. I have seen many in the wreckers with over that mileage as I looked for parts. The tranny is made just as tough, just make sure you change the oil every 20-25,000 miles on it.

    I would start with checking the oil in the tranny, if it looks clean I would think your okay there as Mr Shiftright said. Then adding a can of engine cleaner to your oil won't hurt and you might be pleasantly surprised. Many times bad gas with water in it can seize a ring, which is what happened to my vehicle. I changed gas stations (always went to the same place...big mistake) and the problem of hesitation and smoke out the back went away. The water caused corrosion around the rings and they seized causing oil to pass by. Well, doing an engine clean and changing fuel suplier may be the problem your having. You won't know till you spend you $5 to find out.

    Another option to save money is to consider getting your engine from a wreckers and having them install it for you. Many now do installations with used parts they supply and give 6 month warranties. A low mileage engine would cost more, but normally a Toyota engine in the 75-100,000 mile range is a safe bet (and remember they warranty it). I would bet these guys would beat any price quote from any other shop. Problem with having any other shop doing the install is that they are not use to installing used components, and would charge likely much higher in case a problem arose...and Toyota dealers won't even consider it. Auto wreckers are use to this stuff. Doesn't hurt to phone and find out their rates.

    I would think you should be able to get an engine from the wreckers for 1/3 the price of your other options to replace. When buying the best is when the engine is still in the car, and always have them do a compression check (even engines sitting on the shelf can be hooked up to a battery and a starter added to turn it over for the test). A good auto wrecker will always do this while your there. If the numbers on all cylinders are close to even it's a keeper. Look up the specs in a chilton repair (or Haynes) book for compression before you start shopping.

    Good luck.
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