PDA

View Full Version : Rebuild or Replace? Engine is already in pieces.


sre30s14
09-26-2021, 11:04 PM
So I have an SR20DET from an S14. No issues for 8 years. Stock boost.

I finally had enough money to boost it and I thought why not. Let's do what it was meant to do.

I send it to the local SR specialist who I have been going to whenever little issues would creep up for the past 4 or 5 years. He says to go past 300 WHP reliably I would need a new headgasket, new headstuds, might have to machine the block for the gasket sit right, injectors, fuel pump, clutch, and etc. Which is all fine and dandy. I was going to just get a new turbo while I was at it. Make the classic 350 WHP and call it a day.

A week later, he tells me the pistons are off of some 2JZ-GTE, they are badly scratched up, rings are blown, walls, the whole shebang. The bore would need machining. But the head has already been sent for resurfacing.

I admit, I think a little compression test would've been suffice and I could've then determined if I wanted a new block or not. But its spilled milk at this point. He hasn't done anything like this in a long time so it was a little odd.

My two options are:

1. A 1 year warrantied rebuild that will set me back nearly $3000. Some of the money has already been sunk in. The head has probably been machined by now and the block is washed. This is including a fancy gasket, fancy studs.

2. Find an S13 SR long block for about $2000 that the seller could give me a warranty on. I could ask my specialist to see if its perfectly sealed etc never opened.

3. Find an S14 SR long block for about $3500, sell the head. Put on the machined head off of the old SR I guess.

Theres obviously a whole host of stuff after that. Injectors, clutch, pump, regulator, and etc. I might have to install a new headgasket and headstuds ($600 before labor) on the new motors.

It seems like the specialist wants to do a rebuild and there is sunk cost but I don't want that to influence my decision. There are lots of stories in each and every way. All I want is some decent horsepower to have fun with.

Mikester
09-28-2021, 07:26 AM
Why not just work with the engine you have? Pistons, rings, rods, HG, rebuild kit plus machine work isn’t that expensive compared to buying a new-to-you engine with an unknown history.

PoorMans180SX
09-28-2021, 01:58 PM
IF you trust your machine shop and your engine builder, a rebuilt SR will be better than any used longblock you're going to find. Perfect compression, everything sealed up, a more reliable head to block connection, etc.

I'd say it makes the most sense to rebuild, unless for some reason you want to have spares.

Kingtal0n
09-28-2021, 06:54 PM
So I have an SR20DET from an S14. No issues for 8 years. Stock boost.

I finally had enough money to boost it and I thought why not. Let's do what it was meant to do.

I send it to the local SR specialist who I have been going to whenever little issues would creep up for the past 4 or 5 years. He says to go past 300 WHP


From 2005 to 2015 I tuned maybe 50 to 70 sr20 engine with stock gaskets and stock bottom end to 360-420rwhp~ never seen any issues related to power,

It is maintenance, PCV, air filtration, and cleanliness are the biggest hurdles people face.



A week later, he tells me the pistons are off of some 2JZ-GTE, they are badly scratched up, rings are blown, walls, the whole shebang. The bore would need machining. But the head has already been sent for resurfacing.


Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me. And already you made the mistake of resurfacing the head, this can cause some issues with the cam timing, chain slack, something like that iirc. It just shouldn't be done, generally.
And the block needs to be done with a new oil pump- they must be machined together or the entire front of the engine will leak oil constantly while its running.





1. A 1 year warrantied rebuild that will set me back nearly $3000. Some of the money has already been sunk in. The head has probably been machined by now and the block is washed. This is including a fancy gasket, fancy studs.


It won't last, it will leak oil, blow oil, piece of shit inbound. Sorry mate just telling like it is. There is no SR "specialist" I can think of even mazworx let me down. Avoid machine work at all costs. Especially one that says the things you are telling me they said. I bet you don't have the tools to check their work, but if you did or do, you will find the cylinders are not the right shape, and wrong size for the pistons, among other issues related to the oil system. People that are very experienced with machine work (50 years working in a machine shop, working on a hundred different types of engines) ROUTINELY screw up the sr20det and 2jz-gte with machine work. In fact I've NEVER seen one come back done right, ever.



2. Find an S13 SR long block for about $2000 that the seller could give me a warranty on. I could ask my specialist to see if its perfectly sealed etc never opened.

3. Find an S14 SR long block for about $3500, sell the head. Put on the machined head off of the old SR I guess.


IMO you are in over your head and need to keep anything you do to a simplicity minimum. If you can replace with a stock medium mileage sr20 would be the only thing I Can recommend. Beyond that prepare yourself for a constant slew of issues and at least 5k to 8k in mistakes before finally "learning" enough to keep one of the antique engines together in one piece in today's world.

If you have some decent mechanical ability I would recommend a basic LS swap. Get the mounts, wire it yourself, keep it simple N/A use an aluminum block it will weigh the same as the SR20 and maintain the balance of the vehicle. And provide the 350hp~ you desire.
https://ls1tech.com/forums/conversions-hybrids/1412014-ka24de-240sx-s14-vs-ls1-240sx-s14-weight-difference-inside.html

same deal though- get a stock unopened engine with medium mileage. Use a paper air filter. Full factory PCV system.
The tough part is the transmission though, I really don't have a good solution besides buy a brand new unit from tremec or something along those lines (prepare to spend 5k to 8k in transmission stuff)
In my application I used a 4l80e but the 4l80e is only useful for power over 550rwhp because of it's weight, and you have to rebuild one yourself or it too will be a huge piece of shit.
gl

Kingtal0n
09-28-2021, 11:44 PM
Also since its coming apart make sure you get a picture of one of those 2jz pistons for everyone here to look and identify because that sounds like the largest bs, something you tell someone just to sound like you know about the engine to get them to give you money to work on it

he seems like a salesman thats identified you as somebody who doesn't know what a 2jz piston looks like, the guy in the business of selling machine work has learned that his customers are unable to or unwilling to learn about and examine their own parts.

I Hope I'm wrong but can't dismiss automatic natural skepticism

nick_d_240sx
09-30-2021, 11:23 AM
Not to hijack but I took this picture with a scope through the spark plug hole on my sr20det. I thought it was funny that it said 2jz but I think it's factory. Maybe that's what he's referring to?
https://i.imgur.com/ourD2YWl.jpg

PoorMans180SX
09-30-2021, 12:16 PM
It won't last, it will leak oil, blow oil, piece of shit inbound. Sorry mate just telling like it is. There is no SR "specialist" I can think of even mazworx let me down. Avoid machine work at all costs. Especially one that says the things you are telling me they said. I bet you don't have the tools to check their work, but if you did or do, you will find the cylinders are not the right shape, and wrong size for the pistons, among other issues related to the oil system. People that are very experienced with machine work (50 years working in a machine shop, working on a hundred different types of engines) ROUTINELY screw up the sr20det and 2jz-gte with machine work. In fact I've NEVER seen one come back done right, ever.


You're right, rebuilding SR20's is impossible, everything is one-time use. :picardfp:

Kingtal0n
10-02-2021, 10:58 PM
You're right, rebuilding SR20's is impossible, everything is one-time use. :picardfp:

It is a gamble for experienced, knowledgeable users

For novices its just burning money.
They can't check the work, they can't find a responsible builder, they don't know the peculiarity of the engine, etc...

There is a large population of failures and zero to none are successful.

In 2013? I took a minute to look through the first few pages of classifieds, and came across a slew of failures all with various causes (no particular reason or explanations)

SRs that built and failed quick:
http://zilvia.net/f/showthread.php?t=535520
http://zilvia.net/f/showthread.php?t=569861
http://zilvia.net/f/showthread.php?p=5765974
http://zilvia.net/f/showthread.php?t=579996
http://zilvia.net/f/showthread.php?t=586960


Around 2005-2007 I tried my own luck at local machine shops
Ex.
An SR engine from 'Mesa balancing' a well known reputable machine shop with millions of dollars in engine parts scattered all over the place, and a high price tag came back fully assembled with:
1. Massive oil leak from the front of the engine due to incorrectly machined front cover.
2. Missing the front 2 long bolts under the valve cover
3. Wrong initial chain timing
4. Air inside all lifters (All lifters needed to be removed and re-primed with oil because the machine shop literally bled all the oil out of them on purpose, because apparently "thats how honda engines are setup" )
5. Wrong piston-wall clearance possibly resulting with deeply scored cylinder walls after 7k miles
6. A typical .020" bearing clearance (Like for an old Chevrolet) resulted with deep pitting of rod bearing #1 due to oil starvation on cold starts after just 7k miles, it may have also been out of round


It never would have made it to 50k miles let alone 200k or 250k which is what the engine is fully capable of.

There were some builds that are "done" but always for sale with low mileage or "freshly rebuilt with 0 miles" Or something along those lines. Alot of the ones for sale were on their second or third rebuild in just a few months, obviously trying to get rid of a disaster in progress.
I find that most people that build an engine drive less than 1000 miles per year (They would say "Yeah I built the engine and its been fine for 10 years") barely eclipsing 10k mileage, and the same goes for Chevrolet LS engines which are built $20k to $50k in engine parts and it gets 500 miles per year or whatever, still failing even with low mileage. And I can list a looong slew of failures for those as well, even crate engines with massive mistakes I have categorized.


In light of the evidence it would be irresponsible for me to recommend an engine rebuild, other than a pure-FSM rebuild with everything done by yourself on a clean engine in a clean room (not a clean room, just a clean room) with zero machine work or handling by other people.

The evidence is overwhelming.

And there is no reason to gamble like that in the first place. There is a V8 engine out there that weight similar to an SR20 and it will do just fine 300 to 1000rwhp and is very affordable and easy to wire etc... No reason to struggle street with this or roll any dice if you know what you are doing (tuning and wiring etc...)

If you want something done right you still have to do it yourself, that concept never changed

jr_ss
10-12-2021, 12:56 PM
You’re a knuckle head… Stop with your rhetorical BS. Plenty of SRs have been rebuilt, have lived long service lives and have made more than 370ft/lbs of torque as a 2liter.

For such a brilliant mind, you’re so closed minded about all things SR.