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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are some:

1. Good guides (besides the Toyota manual) to rebuilding the 5SFE
2. What are good source of parts
3. Which rebuilt engines are worth it and what are their typical prices?
4. An engine of unknown behavior can be bought for ~$200 from a boneyard and I could look for body damage to make it likely that it was totalled, but what are the typical chances of landing up with an engine that still has atleast 20k miles left on it so that I have enough time to learn how to rebuild one?
 

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What are some:

1. Good guides (besides the Toyota manual) to rebuilding the 5SFE
2. What are good source of parts
3. Which rebuilt engines are worth it and what are their typical prices?
4. An engine of unknown behavior can be bought for ~$200 from a boneyard and I could look for body damage to make it likely that it was totalled, but what are the typical chances of landing up with an engine that still has atleast 20k miles left on it so that I have enough time to learn how to rebuild one?
Hm, I just finished rebuilding an LT1. Without going into specific details, I:

- bought oversized pistons, oversized rings, undersized rod and main bearings (used an Enginetech kit from RockAuto),
- took apart the block and heads, dropped them off with the kit at my machine shop. Told them to magnaflux to check for cracks, and if good then hot-tank (clean), then bore the block according to the kit's piston/ring sizes; machine and balance the crank to work with the rod bearings and main bearings I got (also got new Mahle rods). Oh, and deck the block and heads to make them flat (engine blew head gaskets)
- followed the applicable procedures laid out in the Mavrigian book for LT1's (but I've done this a lot so I have the LT1 almost memorized)
- dropped the engine in and followed first-startup procedures.

I would buy cheap rebuild kits from RockAuto. They'll come with the seals/gaskets you need. Do a teardown inspection first because you might stuff that needs replacing that won't be in a rebuild kit, like connecting rods.

I know this is rather vague, but there's different stuff to do for different engines. I don't use Haynes or Chilton manuals myself (I've flipped through them and they're good for one thing in my garage. Mopping up oil spills) but I think they have basic/generic rebuild instructions. I have to do a Northstar soon and it has some very specific and weird stuff, like the oil pump that's friction-driven. I still think you should drop in a used engine, there're just so many of these around.

If you do it, you have to do it right with all the machining, etc. Not like the myriad idiots around me who "rebuild" Honda engines for their ricemobiles thinking that they can just buy internal engine components and swap them out, only to have the engine blow up or throw a rod through the block 5k miles later. HTH

- Don't mix and match, bag and number EVERYTHING. Wherever you took it off, it goes back there: rod caps, main bearing caps, camshaft bearing caps, valve shims, whatever.

- Also, there are some things you don't reuse: gaskets, rod bolts (I've seen it done, but I always replace with the ARP option if available), etc. Go look it up

- http://www.hotrod.com/articles/ccrp-0711-cheap-engine-rebuild/

- at least check a junkyard engine for potential rod knock. Take the pan off, remove the balance shafts and wiggle the rod caps to check for play. Oh and check for silvery slivers in the oil.


Oh, and if you're really set on doing this PM me, I have the Toyota inspection procedures and reassembly instructions. Not nearly as nice as you would think, they want to use special tools for everything.
 
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You don't. If you want a fresh engine. you buy a rebuilt, assembled long block from Rockauto and call it a day.

Machining on short block: bore & hone, crank cutting & balancing, freeze plugs, hot tanking, check if it needs to be decked, magnaflux for cracks - $600-800+
New pistons, bearings, rings: $200+
Cylinder head rebuild: $250+
All the gaskets: $200+
New TB/WP kit, pulley & tensioner: $150+

If you don't have the tools to put it all together (good torque wrenches, ring compressor, gauges, etc), add more money here.
If you pay a shop to bolt it all together - forget it. Spend however many hours to learn it yourself - insert positive or negative $ value here.
So yea, you either save a few hundred bucks and HOPE you put everything together properly, or... you buy a rebuild engine from Rockauto (with 5% discount, S&H, you'll end up under $2100 in).

Sure, you could partially rebuild the engine, yada yada yada. But, if it was so poorly maintained that it developed rod knock, it's a big question whether other parts are in good enough condition to keep. Most people choose wisely and go all the way. Otherwise you're risking another rebuild a short while later.

This is why there are only a handful of 5SFE rebuild stories out there. Everybody else picks up a used block for $500.
 

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^ Right. Besides, if any 5SFE needs a .020 overbore just pass. There are loads of them around, so dropping a used one would be easier than for some other engines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
slavie, and all of you, thank you for sharing your experience. I want to learn more from you all and have follow up questions.

You don't. If you want a fresh engine. you buy a rebuilt, assembled long block from Rockauto and call it a day.

I have heard bad experience about rebuilt engines. They typically use cheap parts and often skimp on what can be skimed on threatening the integrity of the engine so that they can make a good profit.

Are the rebuilds from Rockauto good quality? What are some known good manufacturers?

I did not buy parts from Rockauto when doing my TB changes because most aftermarket seals did not fit well and often had leaks after they were put in. So I am concerned about buying an engine from there.

Machining on short block: bore & hone, crank cutting & balancing, freeze plugs, hot tanking, check if it needs to be decked, magnaflux for cracks - $600-800+
New pistons, bearings, rings: $200+
Cylinder head rebuild: $250+
All the gaskets: $200+
New TB/WP kit, pulley & tensioner: $150+
So rebuilt short block (excluding TB kit) is $1200+?

That leaves a $800 margin between getting a complete long block ($2100) and rebuilt short block: a good margin.

Am I wrong somewhere?

Everybody else picks up a used block for $500.
The short one used for $500?

Where? :surprise:
 

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My idea is to buy the new parts after the machining is done. Suppose you assume a 0.010 overbore and it really needs 0.020?
Right, sorry...I already measured everything on the engine I was doing, should have mentioned that.
 

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slavie, and all of you, thank you for sharing your experience. I want to learn more from you all and have follow up questions.

You don't. If you want a fresh engine. you buy a rebuilt, assembled long block from Rockauto and call it a day.

I have heard bad experience about rebuilt engines. They typically use cheap parts and often skimp on what can be skimed on threatening the integrity of the engine so that they can make a good profit.

Are the rebuilds from Rockauto good quality? What are some known good manufacturers?

I did not buy parts from Rockauto when doing my TB changes because most aftermarket seals did not fit well and often had leaks after they were put in. So I am concerned about buying an engine from there.



So rebuilt short block (excluding TB kit) is $1200+?

That leaves a $800 margin between getting a complete long block ($2100) and rebuilt short block: a good margin.

Am I wrong somewhere?



The short one used for $500?

Where? :surprise:
Full-service junkyards or CL. Pick-and-pull it'll be something like $200 for the whole engine. Mine is $150 when they have half-off sales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
insightbrewery;12081218 Full-service junkyards or CL. Pick-and-pull it'll be something like $200 for the whole engine. Mine is $150 when they have half-off sales.[/QUOTE said:
But the engine is a roll of the dice right? How would one know that the salvaged car's engine was not without its own issues?

The 5SFE leaks oil and in a month's time, it's very low on oil. Most people don't check the oil level regularly and that caused the lubrication issue leading to engine quality degradation.

So are most people just buying 5SFEs from the yard and slapping them on and returning the old one for the core? :nerd:
 

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But the engine is a roll of the dice right? How would one know that the salvaged car's engine was not without its own issues?

The 5SFE leaks oil and in a month's time, it's very low on oil. Most people don't check the oil level regularly and that caused the lubrication issue leading to engine quality degradation.

So are most people just buying 5SFEs from the yard and slapping them on and returning the old one for the core? :nerd:
Yes, that's what they do.

By "the 5SFE" do you mean yours? If your oil pressure switch is working properly the oil pressure light should go on when your're dangerously low on oil and the pressure drops (these engines do not tolerate oil starvation at all).

Yeah, but I would check the bottom end. Drop the pan, remove the balance shaft assembly (not really necessary, do some research, you'll see), and wiggle rod caps to see if any move. If they do, you're looking at an engine with rod knock. This is the big thing, necessitates rebuild. Head gasket job you can do in your sleep.

When I get a Pick-n-pull engine, I always do a head gasket job anyway. Say, extra couple hundred bucks. Or swap your head onto the used engine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
By "the 5SFE" do you mean yours? If your oil pressure switch is working properly the oil pressure light should go on when your're dangerously low on oil and the pressure drops (these engines do not tolerate oil starvation at all).
No I meant any 5SFE: they just keep on leaking oil and people don't take them in for an oil change until 5k mi and by then the engine is running very low on oil.

I need to learn more about hearing the engine to identify the various noises and what they mean and how to fix them >:D

Head gasket job you can do in your sleep.

When I get a Pick-n-pull engine, I always do a head gasket job anyway. Say, extra couple hundred bucks. Or swap your head onto the used engine.
I'm not there yet: but with all of your support and each one helping me as you all have the last few weeks, I see myself getting there :grin:
 

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No I meant any 5SFE: they just keep on leaking oil and people don't take them in for an oil change until 5k mi and by then the engine is running very low on oil.

I need to learn more about hearing the engine to identify the various noises and what they mean and how to fix them >:D



I'm not there yet: but with all of your support and each one helping me as you all have the last few weeks, I see myself getting there :grin:
Head gasket is easier with the engine out of the car, and with the head off so are valve stem seals.

Yeah, these engines love to leak oil, for a variety of reasons. Before I did valve stem seals my uncle's car was burning a lot of oil...maybe 1 quart every 1000 miles. It threw the oil pressure light once, was two quarts low...I'm holding that as the absolute lower limit. Now it doesn't burn oil anymore.

Diagnosing via sound is always good, but if you are hearing any noise due to low oil, on these engines it's probably too late lol.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When I get a Pick-n-pull engine, I always do a head gasket job anyway. Say, extra couple hundred bucks. Or swap your head onto the used engine.
Where do you get the parts for the HG job? I am thinking RA, so do you have a link?

I liked the idea of swapping the short block (if thats what you implied) because that's where most of the trouble/damage could be.
 

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Where do you get the parts for the HG job? I am thinking RA, so do you have a link?

I liked the idea of swapping the short block (if thats what you implied) because that's where most of the trouble/damage could be.
Hey he's back. What happened to your car?

Yeah, usually RockAuto. HG, head bolts, valve stem seals, and miscellaneous small gaskets for stuff on the head.
 
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