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Leroy
12-18-2007, 07:59 PM
If it wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck! Yesterday middle son calls to say his car died as he was coming home from school. Battery seems ok, just won't turn over the engine. Had it towed into Lexus and they called today to say the engine was locked up and there was no water in the radiator. There is no water in the engine oil, they tried a break bar and could not turn the engine. Where would the water go to?

Options:
1. Lexus motor 13.5k plus 40 hours
2. Neco will do the swap for around 4k-4500 for completely remanufactured engine.
3. Found local salvage place that buys lots of insurance cars, they have a direct replacement for $600 that has 100k miles, shop that normally installs the engines charges $550 to swap out the engine. Cheapest option, but risk of what is that engine like.....guy said the engine looks good.
4. Look at the engine myself? WOuld have to be something really simple. I'm tempted to pull the plugs to see if one piston has water.

Comments on this? I'm temped with option 3 as the car is in good shape and has 150k miles on it. We bought it 3 years ago for $5500.

dpolen
12-18-2007, 09:20 PM
Option 3 sounds good to me, for what its worth. Sounds like that newer engine should fit the bill and be a little gentler on the wallet...otherwise, you might as well just buy a new car for your son.

east tx skier
12-18-2007, 09:26 PM
We just bought a used Avalon for less than that Lexus engine. But for the miles on the Avalon, it's the Lexus engine plus a car.

wakolman
12-18-2007, 09:47 PM
Option 3 seems like a deal. Just make sure you get exactly what you need from the salvage place. They are probably more interested in selling an engine than selling you the engine you need.

Footin
12-18-2007, 09:48 PM
Option 3 gets my vote.

Maristar210
12-18-2007, 10:06 PM
Option 3 and then trade it in. Is this your problem or your sons?

If its yours then your gonna take a beating about you buying your son a Lexus that he did or did not maintain properly.

Best of luck Leroy

JLeuck64
12-18-2007, 11:14 PM
Well, if the coolant didn't leak out it must have blown a head gasket. That would push most of it right out the exhaust. Sometimes it will mix with the engine oil and sometimes it doesn't.

Option 3 was pretty typical for most of my customers when I used to wrench in a Toyota dealership. Sometimes you can get a pretty good used engine that doesn't even burn oil after installed!

Couple of things to consider when swapping used engines:
Might want to consider buying a manual for your vehicle, spendy but helpful for a first timer.

Check to make sure you can turn used the engine over by hand with a socket and ratchet on the crank pulley bolt. (don't laugh I have had to send engines back that were seized up!)

I like to remove the pan and look at the oil pickup screen for the oil pump. Poorly maintained vehicles will usually have these plugged up. Also, connecting rods that are discolored indicate excessive heat, usually from oil starvation. Avoid using an engine with discolored rods!

From here if everything looks OK then consider replacing gaskets on the valve covers, spark plugs, cam and crankshaft seals, the water pump and thermostat.

Once in while you may run into a sensor that needs to be swapped from the original engine so be sure to keep the old engine around until the new one is in and running!

Good luck, this is what I would consider a 10 on the DIYer index but very satisfying if you have the right kind of equipment and facilities.

tex
12-18-2007, 11:20 PM
Slap a little teak oil on it and I bet it runs another 100k!

88 PS190
12-19-2007, 12:06 AM
First off, I think the son needs to be a little more attentive. Engines don't just seize, and coolant doesn't just disappear.

That kid needs to learn that if you get a check engine light, or a coolant light or your engine temperature starts to climb that the FIRST thing you do is get off the road and shut the car off.

That water didn't just "disappear" if it did you have a busted hose somewhere or a really bad waterpump. I would bet instead that your son had been driving it for quite awhile with the issue.

If the headgasket is blown you can pull the spark plugs and one will be completely new clean. Everytime the combustion event occurs that vapor steam cleans the combustion chamber. If that is the case then you will have known that it has been sucking coolant and burning.

Again this will not remove all coolant instantaneously. And even if it did a moderately alert driver would note the engine temp climbing and the warning lights...

That is the true issue at hand.

Do the el cheapo swap out from a scrap yard, most will actually give you a month warranty or similar that the engine was running when it went in the car.

Get the engine in with in that month! When I picked up my 3 series with a blown plant I purchased a scrap yard engine, long story short it sat on the ground for a month and had a bad bottom end in it. I ended up making 2 engines from one... but still that's not right.

KevenAtWakeUSF
12-19-2007, 02:17 AM
SC430? If so...I think its time for a 2JZ swap!

BrianM
12-19-2007, 09:34 AM
Option 3 and then trade it in.
This gets my vote too.

rcnjson
12-19-2007, 09:57 AM
Do the junk yard swap. I do this all the time. My current daily is a $200 craigslist find that I put a junk yard motor in. With the motor, new clutch, brakes and a few odds and ends I was on the road for $700 and that includes the car. All in all I have done over 30 junk yard engine/tranny swaps. I usually use LKQ smartparts because they have a nice yard that isn't too far away from me. They do a great job pulling the motor, no cut wires/hoses or broken connectors and they use wrenches not torches. They include the whole harness for OBDII cars so I am usually able to sell that as a whole unit on ebay to off set some of the engine cost. I have had a lot of luck with their engines, they have good documentation, I guess anybody can argue the validity of that, but they tell you how many miles are on it. Their engines also come with a 6 month parts replacement warranty which would be more work if the engine were to fail, but it won't cost any more. I sold all but 2 of the swaps that I've done, the one I drive every day, and I did one for my dad to drive everyday. Nothing to complain about here.
Jason

Leroy
12-19-2007, 10:35 AM
Thanks for the input, I was leaning heavily on option 3 but the last time I swapped an engine was in 1980 so that is not in my DIY capability now. It seemed safe and that is what this shop does mostly.

I was also thinking about the valve cover gaskets and probably changing out the CV joints.

Definitely need to train my son to look at all fluid levels, I had just been telling him to look at oil level. If it were a blown gasket he should have seen white smoke coming out.

Steve; we are still in the "it happened" phase not able to put the blame anywhere. I suspect engine run hard and blew gasket but he says no change in the way the engine ran up until it locked.

Workin' 4 Toys
12-19-2007, 10:41 AM
It's a Lexus, what else. Junk it.8p (I hope you didn't expect anything less out of me;) ) I hate these glorified toyotas......

On the flip side.
The junk yard motor is a gamble for sure. but after the first $1150 is spent, you will get a feel for how the motor ran and if it's smooth, it might be a keeper. I'd assume they offer no warranty, or would they supply you with an alternate if it's bad? And then be into it for another $550 swap, but then your still only in it for $1700 right?

If it makes you feel more comfortable. I have a few buddies that use junkyard motors all the time. Not as many problems as you might expect.

I myself used a junk yard motor for a project I had. 90,000 on the odometer if I recall, and it purrr'd at first start up.

My question would be how did it happend, radiator leak? It should have steamed and be noticable. Unless maybe someone poked a hole in it. Even then, there should have been a large puddle. I am doubting it happened and was unnoticable.

Leroy
12-19-2007, 11:28 AM
WFT, completely in line with what I expected from you!

The engine guy said they have 2-3 problems per 100 swaps. They do offer 90 day warranty although I'm sure details could get sticky here.


It's a Lexus, what else. Junk it.8p (I hope you didn't expect anything less out of me;) ) I hate these glorified toyotas......

On the flip side.
The junk yard motor is a gamble for sure. but after the first $1150 is spent, you will get a feel for how the motor ran and if it's smooth, it might be a keeper. I'd assume they offer no warranty, or would they supply you with an alternate if it's bad? And then be into it for another $550 swap, but then your still only in it for $1700 right?

If it makes you feel more comfortable. I have a few buddies that use junkyard motors all the time. Not as many problems as you might expect.

I myself used a junk yard motor for a project I had. 90,000 on the odometer if I recall, and it purrr'd at first start up.

My question would be how did it happend, radiator leak? It should have steamed and be noticable. Unless maybe someone poked a hole in it. Even then, there should have been a large puddle. I am doubting it happened and was unnoticable.

Maristar210
12-19-2007, 11:35 AM
Thanks for the input, I was leaning heavily on option 3 but the last time I swapped an engine was in 1980 so that is not in my DIY capability now. It seemed safe and that is what this shop does mostly.

I was also thinking about the valve cover gaskets and probably changing out the CV joints.

Definitely need to train my son to look at all fluid levels, I had just been telling him to look at oil level. If it were a blown gasket he should have seen white smoke coming out.

Steve; we are still in the "it happened" phase not able to put the blame anywhere. I suspect engine run hard and blew gasket but he says no change in the way the engine ran up until it locked.


Leroy,

I know what you are saying trust me. Blaming someone solves nothing really unless it amounts to maturization. I'd fix and trade that baby in. keep us posted and good luck.

Steve

88 PS190
12-19-2007, 11:38 AM
Well there is one option for spontaneous lock up. And that is suddenly sucking a ton of coolant into one cylinder. Enough that on the compression stroke it was not capable to reach TDC and got stopped.

An engine that did this would probably break a connecting rod, pop a hole in a piston, or blow a hole in the head if it was running at decent rpm.

And in that case you'd still need to have a bad head gasket... its not a common thing. normally you just get a tiny amount of fluid into the cylinder and smoke and what not.

And normally when the car is parked it trickles down into the oil through the rings because it washes out all that good lubricant.

ShamrockIV
12-19-2007, 11:38 AM
OPTION #3
or the don't fix it and just buy him another car option!!
Lexus? dang i wish i had a lexus!! I guess i will stick with my 96 jetta!!

Leroy
12-19-2007, 11:41 AM
I looked and this year is still around $5-$6k in the used car section. Probably no different than you 96 Jetta, well other than you Jetta is running now!

OPTION #3
or the don't fix it and just buy him another car option!!
Lexus? dang i wish i had a lexus!! I guess i will stick with my 96 jetta!!

88 PS190
12-19-2007, 11:44 AM
Blaming someone solves nothing really unless it amounts to maturization.

its not blame it can just be a reason to say... not trade it in and give the kid something nicer because the first broke.

I had a friend in highschool who loved cars, but drove the piss out of them. Because his dad would just buy a different one when he blew the one he had. Ends up he doesn't really love cars he just loves being brutal behind the wheel. Ripped a C-clip out of the family chevy's rear end going around corners, overheated an M3, and as I recall missed an upshift badly in the car they bought him for college and went 3 to 2 at high rpm. Think that took the engine out pretty well, never did see the carnage.

Anyway, when that happens seems his dad caught on. Let him buy whatever he could with the cash he got out of the last car he trashed and that's it.

So its not estabilishment of blame to know, but rather if the guy needs to be in a different car, or rather responsible for the action which would hopefully lead to being careful about the engine.

Leroy
12-19-2007, 12:57 PM
I'm with you and if there is abuse there will be consequences. I don't think there is but really want to know what happened.

its not blame it can just be a reason to say... not trade it in and give the kid something nicer because the first broke.

I had a friend in highschool who loved cars, but drove the piss out of them. Because his dad would just buy a different one when he blew the one he had. Ends up he doesn't really love cars he just loves being brutal behind the wheel. Ripped a C-clip out of the family chevy's rear end going around corners, overheated an M3, and as I recall missed an upshift badly in the car they bought him for college and went 3 to 2 at high rpm. Think that took the engine out pretty well, never did see the carnage.

Anyway, when that happens seems his dad caught on. Let him buy whatever he could with the cash he got out of the last car he trashed and that's it.

So its not estabilishment of blame to know, but rather if the guy needs to be in a different car, or rather responsible for the action which would hopefully lead to being careful about the engine.

bcampbe7
12-19-2007, 04:46 PM
Remove all the plugs and see if you can turn the engine over.

Workin' 4 Toys
12-19-2007, 04:51 PM
Remove all the plugs and see if you can turn the engine over.
It was towed to a Lexus dealer (ooooooooooh), surely they knew to do that...:rolleyes:

KevenAtWakeUSF
12-19-2007, 05:06 PM
Im serious, everyone puts the 2JZ motors in the 430, is that what you have?

TRBenj
12-19-2007, 05:14 PM
Im serious, everyone puts the 2JZ motors in the 430, is that what you have?
Considering what he bought the car for, Im gonna say no.

Leroy
12-28-2007, 03:43 PM
My son's can get that when they can afford to buy it with their money. Transportation is all I promise.

I am off to pick up the car. One twist the guy that changed out the engine said there was 2 gallons of antifreeze in the system, he thinks one oil return got clogged up locking up one piston. He did have to remove one connecting rod to rotate the engine to remove it.

Im serious, everyone puts the 2JZ motors in the 430, is that what you have?

JEREMY79
12-28-2007, 11:13 PM
good luck Leroy

André
12-29-2007, 10:01 AM
My son's can get that when they can afford to buy it with their money. Transportation is all I promise.

I am off to pick up the car. One twist the guy that changed out the engine said there was 2 gallons of antifreeze in the system, he thinks one oil return got clogged up locking up one piston. He did have to remove one connecting rod to rotate the engine to remove it.
So,how's the car running Leroy?

Leroy
12-29-2007, 10:14 AM
So far so good André. They also fixed where the tailpipe had come loose from the muffler and couple other small things they saw making it seem more like a new car again! The engine has some valve noise but that is getting quieter, the place with the engine said it had sat there for 1 1/2 years and I doubt they fog the engine :)

The shop that replaced the engine does 3-5 swaps per week and has for >10 years.

Knock on wood and hope it holds!

Workin' 4 Toys
12-31-2007, 08:35 AM
Knock on wood and hope it holds!
It's a Lexus, All you can do is hope it holds up....8p