rebuilt engine & trans

dwcegdwceg Member Posts: 5
edited March 2014 in Lexus
I have 300,000 miles on a 94 es300 I rebuilt the eng & trans at 280,000. It doesn't run nearly as good as it use too. and it seems to strain to run at 80 mph. Is this typical with rebuilts ? or could they have put different parts back in, or just didn't do a good job ? Thanks in advance for any ideas on what to expect of a rebuilt.


  • mullins87mullins87 Member Posts: 959
    engine and tranny doesn't mean it won't run like new. It should!! 20,000 miles should be plenty for break-in. Does the engine seem weak, or is the tranny mushy? I'd take it back to whomever did the work and ask them.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, it should run just as well, i agree with mullins.

    The problem often is with the word "rebuilt".

    There is no legal definition and the term is used rather carelessly by shops.

    Ideally, "rebuilt" means (putting it simply) that every part of the engine is renewed to the factory tolerance whether it needs it or not. In other words, if an engine part is perfectly usable, and is still within "acceptable wear limits", it is still thrown out or re-machined.

    OVERHAUL means that the worn out parts are replaced and the still usable parts cleaned up, inspected and left in.

    So what I'm saying is that you have to carefully review your receipts to see if you got an overhaul or a rebuild.

    If you got an overhaul, it's possible you will not get the same performance as with a rebuild or a new engine.

    Also, regardless of what you got, the engine should certainly approximate factory performance, even with an overhaul. It shouldn't be THAT far off the mark.

    Of course, if it's a botch job, then anything is possible.

    Should you run into a serious dispute with the shop, you could suggest the following:

    compression test
    cylinder leakdown test

    Numbers won't lie.
  • dwcegdwceg Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the advice,
    I would like to add that after the work was done I had leaks in the head gasgets and the block.
    The shop was real good about replacing them. So they seem very honerable.
    The trans had problems and that shop took it out and replaced bad aftermarket parts they too were real good about standing behind their work.

    The car runs good up to 75 or 80 and it seems to really start to laber at these speeds.

    By the way the engine was rebuilt from top to bottom. so it should really be a lot stronger than it is.

    I will do the test Mr. Shiftright suggest.

    One more question: how life should I expect to get from rebuilt eng/trans. I drive this car a lot of hwy.miles ?

    Thanks again.
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    We do quite a few engine/tranny replacements on 90-93 Q45, ES250/300, G20,J30, LS400 etc. We have very competent techs and have never found it possible or cost effective to rebuild these engines as the parts and time required to work on extreme tolerance engines is prohibitive.
    We purchase low mileage Japanese engines and R&R them [valve covers, reseal oil pans after inspection, timing belts/chain and guides], hoses pumps etc. plus new knock sensors injectors etc.
    Our $5000-$6,000 installed engines always meet oem performance many are chassis dynoed to confirm.

    But then again the ES300 engine is just a Camary V6 so it is easier than most but still.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    "I would like to add that after the work was done I had leaks in the head gasgets and the block.
    The shop was real good about replacing them. So they seem very honerable.
    The trans had problems and that shop took it out and replaced bad aftermarket parts they too were real good about standing behind their work."
    Maybe I have misunderstood your situation, but it sounds to me like you aren't really hooked up with a good outfit to do an overhaul/rebuild on your vehicle. I can't help but question the idea that the folks had to replace and redo so much of the very vital work on your job! It sounds like you have been forced to demand satisfaction after work was completed. Shouldn't the shop have found some or all of those problems and corrected them before they returned your vehicle to you? Maybe your continuing poor performance is based on yet unfound shortcomings in the work you had done.
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    You never said what you paid for the rebuilt work?

    That is usually the key. When owners hear $9,000 for a new factory engine and $4,500-$5,000 for a new transmission the next words are: gasp faint.
    About half this or $7000 gets a decent takeout engine and not too used transmission on an ES300
    Anything less is a hatchet job.
    On a Q45 it is $9,000 on an LS400 about $8,000.

    At 280,000 miles it is a good idea to let most cars die a proud death and find a good used one with less than 100k to start over with again.
    Especially what is in reality a fancy Camary.
  • bburton1bburton1 Member Posts: 395
    I mean just think of all those marketing people who have spent countless hours and dollars convincing people there is really a difference. My fav gussied up ride was the Cadillac Cimmaron. At least with Toyota you are putting lipstick and rouge on a worthwhile platform.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    the base vehicle of the twins/triplets/stablemates is what you have under the gussied-up trim level and Genuine Faux Leather. you should have a little better reliability from a Camry base, but then again, the more power-tinsel you add, the more repairs to power-tinsel you buy.
  • tmbrad2000tmbrad2000 Member Posts: 2
    I have 1 a '90 Infiniti q45 that has 145k miles. When I start the car there is a puff of white smpoke that comes out of the exhaust. The smoke disappears immediately, but then there is this wispy blue smoke that appears, it goes away after about a mile. What's happening? What's the worst case scenario?
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    First to enter my thoughts are valve guides and piston rings. At 145K, it is reasonable that engine wear is becoming evident. A lot depends on the history of maintenance and usage, etc. Your description sounds like you are still in the "optional" stage, but will probably progress to the "overhaul/rebuild needed" stage in "X" miles from now.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    but a rebuild or reman replacement is not $1500 on your Q45 like it is on a Chevy. One option is to put some "no-smoke" in it and trade it/sell it. Then again, $5-6K on a car that you'll keep for a few more years is not a bad investment.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    It needs valve seals.
  • tmbrad2000tmbrad2000 Member Posts: 2
    Gentlemen thanks, I went with the no smoke option and am waiting to see any results. Eventually I'll go with the engine overhaul/swap. Love the car trying to stay away from a car payment.
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    Start up smoke is common as the moisture is leaving the exhaust system, blue smoke is usually from the Viton valve stem seals getting hard.

    Use BG Quick Clean for engines to remove the varnish from the stems to allow the seals to return to round. BG MOA with every 90 day oil change nothing heavier than 10w-30 except maybe Mobil 1 15w-50 half and half with Mobil 1 10w-30.

    Hopefully you have had your plastic chain guides/tensioners/oil chain replaced as failure will destroy the engine !

    Technical Moderator for:

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You should listen to Q45 on this one. If you don't protect the engine with chain guide replacemetns and something busts loose in there, you can pretty much count on junking the car, as it would not e worth replacing the engine.

    I don't think your problem is serious either--sounds like textbook valve stem seals, especially since you say the blue smoke disappears after a mile or so. This tells me that oil from the upper engine is slowly dripping past the seals when the car sits, and rests on the piston tops, only to be burned off quickly.

    Try this--Go DOWN a long hill with your foot off the gas, and then (WHEN IT IS SAFE), at the bottom of the hill, punch the gas and look out the back window. If you see a cloud of blue smoke, then engine vacuum has sucked oil through your valve stem seals or worn valve guides. This would be a test for a bit more severe problem than just slightly worn seals.

    Your engine is getting to be in "late middle age"--it is a senior citizen and needs more preventive maintenance, including replacement of critical internal parts like chain guides, tensioners, etc.
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