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crypticlineage

Engine Replacement / Emission Repairs : Advice Sought

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Hello everyone,

 

I have reported problems with my car before extensively, so I wont mention all the details here, but just summarize.

 

2000 Corolla VE bought Dec 05, at mileage 109000, currently at 114000.

Engine burns way too much oil (almost 2 quarts every 100 miles), smokes at high speeds and on acceleration. There are no leaks, professionally checked that out.

Has emission related trouble codes: cat converter, maf sensor, o2 sensors, heat sensor, charcoal cannister

P0440, P0441, P0420, P0446

 

This car is due for emission testing before the end of Dec 06 and I need to repair/replace engine and get emission related repairs done. I need some help in designing a strategy for going about this so I don't get ripped off again as I did when I bought the car.

 

Questions:

 

1. How much should I expect to pay for a used 1ZZFE engine?

2. Or should I repair it instead? Will the cost differ significantly between the two?

2. Should I buy the engine myself and have a shop replace it or should I let the mechanic deal with the entire procedure?

3. How much labor charges should I expect?

4. What should I look for when choosing an engine?

5. How should I make sure that my investment is safeguarded in case of problems after repairs?

6. Should I wait to get the emission related repairs done until the engine is replaced? Because some of those problems could be because of extensive oil burn.

 

I don't think I missed to mention any more doubts, but please feel free to advice about any relevant stuff.

 

Thanks guys.

 

:unsure:

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Hello everyone,

 

I have reported problems with my car before extensively, so I wont mention all the details here, but just summarize.

 

2000 Corolla VE bought Dec 05, at mileage 109000, currently at 114000.

Engine burns way too much oil (almost 2 quarts every 100 miles), smokes at high speeds and on acceleration. There are no leaks, professionally checked that out.

Has emission related trouble codes: cat converter, maf sensor, o2 sensors, heat sensor, charcoal cannister

P0440, P0441, P0420, P0446

 

This car is due for emission testing before the end of Dec 06 and I need to repair/replace engine and get emission related repairs done. I need some help in designing a strategy for going about this so I don't get ripped off again as I did when I bought the car.

 

Questions:

 

1. How much should I expect to pay for a used 1ZZFE engine?

2. Or should I repair it instead? Will the cost differ significantly between the two?

2. Should I buy the engine myself and have a shop replace it or should I let the mechanic deal with the entire procedure?

3. How much labor charges should I expect?

4. What should I look for when choosing an engine?

5. How should I make sure that my investment is safeguarded in case of problems after repairs?

6. Should I wait to get the emission related repairs done until the engine is replaced? Because some of those problems could be because of extensive oil burn.

 

I don't think I missed to mention any more doubts, but please feel free to advice about any relevant stuff.

 

Thanks guys.

 

:unsure:

You can go online and get some idea for the price of another engine - used ones are cheapest, rebuilt will cost more, and new will cost lots of money.

It is probably cheaper to repair your current engine, if it does not involve anything major.

If the shop buys the engine and replaces it the cost will be high.

They get about $95-100 per hour. It is usually at least a 3-hour job (maybe more for your engine).

I would replace it with the same type, since a straight swap is the easiest.

Make sure the work has a warranty and will be covered if anything goes wrong with it.

Get all repairs done and all trouble codes fixed before getting it emission tested. You don't want the hassle if it fails.

Edited by Bikeman982

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The engine swap shouldn't be too bad - the hardest part would be to source a decent engine for a reasonable price. Since the car is relatively new, most of the potential donors are still on the street - salvagable wrecks can be hard to come by in some areas. That would solve your oil consumption issues, but not the EVAP problems. I assume that you are not dumping the car all together for another reason (this would be the cheapest solution by far).

 

If I was stuck with a car, I would rebuild the engine, instead of swapping in another one, unless this engine has a catastrophic mechanical issue (cracked block). A rebuild will start in the low hundreds of dollars (parts only) and can likely run into a few grand easy with parts and labor. But you essentially get a mechanically "new" motor - most of the work can be done with the engine still in the car. For the EVAP system - most of it is a pain anyway. I would source a wreched donor car and strip all the EVAP components off of it to replace your existing one. The trouble codes you posted for EVAP related problems can be attributed to either a complete failure of the EVAP system or a leaky valve (I struggled with the same EVAP codes for some time - dealer said it was vapor canister, switching valves, etc. - cost be $350 just for parts, ~ $600 for parts and labor, etc. blah blah blah - I passed on it. Diagnosed it myself in my free time - turned out it was a $30 rubber piece between the gas tank and EVAP system.

 

But you have to shop around - this kind of a project, the cost of labor involved in a rebuild could easily overrun the cost of a used engine swap - as Bike mentioned the usual going rate for labor.

 

Depending on the shop - most will source the engine for you. You can source the engine yourself, but you may end up on the short end of the stick on that. Example - shop sourced and engine for around $1100. You can find a similar one for half that, $550 - but later to find out that the engine will not turn over. Opps - you just bought a $550 paperweight. If the shop got a bad engine - they end up eating it and will have to source another until they fine one that works.

 

As for emissions related issues - they may or may not be related to the excessive engine oil consumption. Since you are on a tight schedule - I would get the emissions work done first. In many places, you can get a waiver for a emissions, if you can show that you spent so much money fixing the problem but it has not gone away (most places are on the order of $600 or more in repair and you still fail emissions = you get an emission waiver for a year or two). Emissions doesn't care if the engine burns one ounce of oil every 5K miles or a quart every 10 feet - the car just has to pass emissions.

 

In any case, would be a costly exercise - if I had to guess, I would be prepared to dump about $2000 initially into this. Good Luck.

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Great replies. I have more questions, but will post them after work tonight.

 

The problem with rebuilding is that no mechanic can tell whats exactly wrong with the engine and what parts might need replacement and whether or not its less expensive to just replace the engine, without opening up cylinders. Compression test may pinpoint towards faulty cylinders but still there could be some more stuff going on in there. Now just to have an engine opened and looked at thoroughly is going to cost good chunk of $$$, repairs is another story. I have gone through this before and the toyota dealer wanted $800 just to open up the engine.

 

Also, how do I go about finding a good mechanic? I had found a great one, but he doesnt do engine rebuilding/replacement related work. I am in Nashville, TN. Local people, please chime in.

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Good mechanics generally are found by word of mouth - so they can be tough to find. Hopefully, you'll get lucky and find someone local here on the forum to suggest one.

 

I know of a few, but most are on the east coast (Georgia, South Carolina, etc.) - there is also a member that vists every once and a while called Dr. Tweak - sometimes known as the king of engine swaps. He has done much work on Toyotas especially - but he is in Savanna, GA (I think?).

 

Rebuild option vs a swap - even with a good mechanics, most will NOT tell you what is wrong unless they open it up first. Just business sense - to cover their end. You can get a decent idea of what might possibly be wrong with some tests - you could also add more info by getting used oil analysis done during the next oil change. If your wear metals are out of control and/or there is a presence of coolant in the oil - might be cheaper to go with an engine swap, as the original motor may be too far gone to save.

 

As for parts - most common issues are with valve seals and piston rings issues on the 1ZZ-FE. Usually - installing new rings, honing the cylinder walls, new gaskets, and repalce the valve seals solves most of the high oil consumption issues - but this also assumes that everything else is OK. If you have a warped cylinder head, warped block, cracked sleeves, burned vlaves, damaged pistons, broken ring lands, etc. - then you have to fix those as well. You could always as to have them replace the rings and valves seals and see how much that costs (usually the least expensive solution IF everything else is fine). Then be prepared to replace parts that are suspect in the process.

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I have changed the engine on the car in my garage (it is a 1994).

I bought the car fairly cheap from e-Bay and the engine from online.

I did all the work myself (pulled out the old, and put in a used engine).

You can read about my trials and tribulations in another post.

The engine wasn't compatible (it fit physically), so I took it out and replaced it with another used engine from a local junkyard.

I pulled the engine from the junkyard (with my sons help) and put it into the car.

The only thing it cost me was for the parts (less than $200) and the time.

Fortunately I have another Corolla to drive while I am working on the car.

It still has not been running, due to my lack of time and technical ability to finish it up - but that is another story.

In your case you would need to either locate an engine (you can get one online), or a good mechanic to repair the one you have.

I would look for someone local - do a search online for local auto repair shops.

Edited by Bikeman982

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Just got off the phone with a mechanic who was recommended by my trusted mechanic for the engine swap. He quoted me $750 for engine and another $750 for labor. He said there is several direct swap engines available that have anywhere between 62k to 90k miles on them. I am okay with the price, but the thing that worries me is: the parts and labor come with only 30 day warranty. Sounds like gamble. What do you guys think?

 

I am going to try a couple more mechanics to see what they say.

 

Edit: I just checked engine prices on Cherry Auto, Toledo Ohio. They have around 60K mileage 1ZZFE engines for 1100-1300 that include a six month, unlimited mileage warranty. Moreover you can buy two year unlimited mileage warranty for around $200. The prices including shipping to my zipcode. If the local mechanics source can only offer me 30 day warranty, I would rather spend some extra money and get some solid warranty. Does anyone know about Cherry auto?

 

I know of course that if I go with this, I will have to deal with the engine seller directly. Also, local mechanics are telling me that there is either a 30 day or no warranty at all on labor.

 

One of the local mecs quoted me $4750 for a new engine, I almost had a heart attack. Surely, I am not looking for a new engine even though it comes with a 3 year 75000 mile warranty.

Edited by crypticlineage

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A 30 day, out the door warranty is about the going rate for that kind of work. As the mechanic is also taking a gamble that the donor engine is in good shape. Might be as good as it gets - might be able to find a 60 day or 90 day warranty work, but not for that price. Just as a reference - my Dad's speed shop got a tuned motor installed in a project car - that came with a 2 year/30K mile warranty as well as a $28K price tag just for the engine.

 

Some places offer an extended warranty for the engine work - but usually runs close to the cost of thet swap, so not very cost effective.

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Guest jBox

I blew the engine in my '99, about a year after I bought it, same situation, but I wasn't burning oil, infact my oil was fine, but the internals were shot from the previous owner. Cost me $495 with shipping for a used engine with 90 or so miles, and about $600 to install. So just over $1k, and the salvage yard gave me a warranty for 50K miles, on the engine, the Mechanic threw in a warranty on the install, and parts he used, and also the remap on the engine. It was worth it, I've dropped 40K on it in the past year & a half now (those trips to Vegas...), and I still get 26+ miles per gallon.

 

Now if I could only find that website I found the salavage yard through, I need an RX8 motor.

Josh

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$495 for motor and shipping included!! If you could find a link or contact to where you got that - that would be great. For that kind of money - it would be cheaper to get a couple just ot have as spares or to play around with. Around here - just to ship an engine would cost $200-$300 easy, an I have access to a loading dock (business drop).

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Bikeman, how was your experience with cherry auto. I noticed their prices include shipping and 6 month unlimited mileage parts warranty. Do they charge tax for out of state shipments?

 

I just don't feel like playing a gamble with 30 day warranty that the mechanic is offering on the engine. If the engine fails after 30 days, I will have lost $1500 and no one to hold responsible. That's not a very pleasant thing to think about, especially since I have already had so many problems with this car.

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Bikeman, how was your experience with cherry auto. I noticed their prices include shipping and 6 month unlimited mileage parts warranty. Do they charge tax for out of state shipments?

 

I just don't feel like playing a gamble with 30 day warranty that the mechanic is offering on the engine. If the engine fails after 30 days, I will have lost $1500 and no one to hold responsible. That's not a very pleasant thing to think about, especially since I have already had so many problems with this car.

Give them a call for details. I had a very good experience with them.

My major problem was finding someplace that they could deliver to.

Most places will not deliver to a residence - has to be a business with a forklift.

The engine came on a pallet and had to be offloaded from a truck.

A friend of mine worked at a Midas Muffler shop and accepted delivery for me.

I liked the fact that their prices included shipping as that can make a big difference in the cost.

I am in CA and shipping to me is not too easy or cheap, from the mid-west or the east.

Edited by Bikeman982

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So I finally decided to take the plunge and go for engine swap. Paid $750 for engine yesterday, it should be in in a couple of days. The car is going into the shop on Monday. I also checked the OBDII codes:

 

P0300 - Random Misfire

P0303 - Random Misfire in Cylinder # 3

P0420 - Catalyst System inefficient

P0440 - EVAP control system

P0441 - EVAP Control System Improper Purge Flow.

P0446 - EVAP Control System Vent Control.

 

I figured the engine replacement will take care of the misfire codes. For P0420, I probably need a new cat. But what about others? Are they all related to the EVAP cannister malfunction? The shop that is doing engine swap does not do any other repairs. I remember fishexpo mentioning that its hard to get to the charcoal/EVAP cannister. I was wondering if it would be easy to do once the engine comes out. I can go ahead, buy a cannister from the dealer and have the shop change it or do it myself while there is enough room available under the hood.

 

I need to take care of the last four codes in a timely fashion (Due for emission test very soon), so any specific advice would help a great deal.

 

Thanks guys, I don't know what I would do if this forum did not exist.

Edited by crypticlineage

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Most of the EVAP related parts run under/behind the gas tank. There should be some service ports that run all the way up to the engine bay. An engine swap will generally not do anything for the EVAP related codes you have. The EVAP system runs from one end of the car to the other, with several key components that need to be inspected - that's what makes working on this so hard. First time I had an issue with the EVAP system - I paid a tech to diagnose the system - even with their experience, still takes a few hours to complete. Misfire code may be fixed with an engine swap - depends on how much of the orginal system they are going to replace. If they are just dropping in a long block and reusing the original wiring and electricals - you may still have a misfire issue.

 

I remember that you have a severe oil consumption issue with the original engine - a swap would definitely fix that (assuming a good donor engine) and that would very likely help you diagnose some of the EVAP issues (cat will no longer be killed off by excessive oil burning). Good luck and let us know which code(s) stays and which code(s) go away - hopefully all of them.

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