View Full Version : New engine or new car?

11-05-2007, 08:52 PM
Well Im coming to terms that my celica is probably dying. I have a bad oil leak coming from the valve cover and also back of the head. Something is leaking coolant, either bad waterpump or waterpump gasket. My engine is making funny noises either its missing a fire completely or its knocking. My car is an automatic transmission and curiously enough that part of the car seems to be in the best condition.

So I'm coming to a crossroad at the moment. I can either dish out alot of money to fix/rebuild this engine that has 185k miles on it. Or dish out alot of money and replace the engine with a lower mileage one, or just buy another celica.

Currently I only have about $1,500, so going with the "buying another celica" option probably isnt the best idea, because the host of new problems buying used cars(brakes/rotors/little this and thats to nickel and dime you).

And rebuilding this engine doesnt seem to attractive to me either, seeing rebuilding engines usually cost close to 1K, id rather spend the extra 500 more getting a newer engine.

Obiviously a 3sgte swap isnt in the price range.

Give me some advice, what should I do? And confirm, how much do you think a complete 5sfe swap would be getting a low mileage engine and labor costs?

11-05-2007, 09:27 PM
It your call, depends to be honest. Do you have any body damage or any other problems that would make you want to get another celica? If not, i would just find a lower mileage 5sfe.

11-05-2007, 09:28 PM
I'd say the $1500 should cover swapping in a lower mileage 5sfe and leave you some left over. The other options... I dunno. If it's just leaky seals, that service would be the cheapest option, but if it turned out to be a lot more, could be a pandoras box. But then, also no guarantee a lower mileage motor will be in perfect shape.

11-05-2007, 09:29 PM
pfft put some boost in your life, ebay 3sgte, put it in yourself!, you can do it, i belive in you!

11-05-2007, 09:36 PM
pfft put some boost in your life, ebay 3sgte, put it in yourself!, you can do it, i belive in you!


11-05-2007, 09:46 PM
you could rebuild your motor for 500-$600. that's doing it yourself.

11-06-2007, 03:31 AM
I don't know, is a 3sge in the price range?

11-06-2007, 03:36 AM
you could get the 3s for as much as you have, but wouldnt be able to pay someone to load it in. You could always get a good running older honda to use for now until you figure out what to do with the celica

11-06-2007, 04:13 AM
You can swap a lower mileage engine for under $1000.

11-06-2007, 04:38 AM
Guys, i think a 3s is a LITTLE out of the question :slap:

Liplip is right, it should be more than 1000 IMO.

11-06-2007, 12:09 PM
Find a couple of reputable shops that can rebuild your existing engine including remove & install (someone closer to you on this forum can probably recommend some), get them to quote you for the job - if it's over your $1500 budget, then tell them how much you can spend (or negotiate the price down if it's not far away) and see what they can offer you. If that course of action doesn't work , then find the best low mileage replacement engine at the best price you can (including install) and go that way.
A good rebuild should see you to another 185k miles relatively trouble free. Don't get lured into trying to fit a 3S or similar if you are on a budget otherwise you are asking for trouble............and poverty... :lolhittin

11-06-2007, 09:52 PM
Meh. I wouldn't even consider a 3sgte swap unless you have a continuous flow of extra cash to resolve all the little issues that will pop up during said swap.

I dropped my own motor when Borinal blew up my vert. It's not that hard, but it is time consuming. My friend kenny and I pulled the blown motor and dropped the new one in 6 hours flat. you can source another low mileage 5s for around $500, drop it yourself and save yourself $1000 for whatever else you want to do or need. Obviously, with a used engine, I suggest a refresh and replace most of the seals and gaskets. Particurally the valve cover gasket and distributor O ring seal. Count on at least another $200-300 for misc things (plugs/wires/dist cap/seals and gaskets/etc). Don't mess with the head unles it's leaking.

11-06-2007, 10:54 PM
find a lower mile 5sfe....and then do a 5spd swap down the road;), thats what i would do.

grip addict
11-07-2007, 01:55 AM
rebuild will probably be your most economical/easiest option. unless you are mechanical minded and tool blessed, of course. swaps always end up being more expensive than intially accounted for.