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Replace Engine? What to do?

1373 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  flyntiger
I own a 1990 Toyota pickup with 178,000 miles, and today it died on me. First I noticed that the engine was overheating, then it quit completely. This morning, a mechanic who I think is trustworthy, examined my truck and told me that I needed a new water pump. No big deal right? :thumbup:

But then he said when he opened up my radiator, exhaust was coming out it. He stated that this was due to either a cracked head, or a blown head gasket. :thumbdown

So here is my situation. I am told that I need to replace/rebuild my engine, and I need a new water pump.

What would you do if you were me? Should I sell it, "as is?" Should I try to find a mechanic to replace my engine for me? Should I try to replace the engine myself? I'm really not sure what to do. I have never replaced an engine before, but I am reasonably adept at working with my hands, and think I could do it, if it is worth my effort.

If you think I should replace my engine, should I buy a used one or a rebuilt one? What is the best place to obtain a used or rebuilt engine in Southern California?

Anyone help is greatly appreciated.

(I should also mention that the mechanic who diagnosed the problem stated that if I were going to junk my truck, that he would be interested in buying it, whigh makes me think it is worth repairing.)
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My personal reaction in that situation would be to replace the truck. However, if you have the time to do the work yourself, it might be worth the effort. Consider the price you could get for it as is, the cost of a rebuilt engine and associated required parts, what your time is worth, and the cost of replacing the truck. A newer truck will probably be more reliable than yours repaired. If you don't have a lot of other diy projects, this could be a lot of fun.
Yeah, and don't forget the possibilities of an engine swap as well. Alot of people have problems with that early v6. They are notorious for blowing head gaskets. Anyhow, engine swaps are increasingly popular, from the Chevy 4.3 V6 to the small block v8s. All you would need to do is find a donor car with the engine and electronics and you should be good to go. Also, surprisingly enough, if you were to toss in a modern 350, you would likely get even better gas mileage than you did with the original engine. But, engine conversions aren't super simple either. All sorts of info regarding engine conversions in the catalogs from Downey Off Road and Northwest Offroad Specialties. Good luck to you.
i would replace the truck because a lot of times your truck will not pass smog after the engine is installed-sell it as is
OK here's the thing, consider this. You sell the truck as is and your lucky to get 1000$. You take that and make a down payment on a 10K truck. Now you have payments for years to come and you have intrest to pay as well. Now look at the other side, you put in a remand engine that costs say, 1100$ which I know you can get b/c I am in the same boat and looking into the same thing. So you drop the money on the new motor and if you don't want to do it yourself, you spend 500$ for a shop to do it and the most you into it is 2000$. Now you got a truck that you know is going to last another 10yrs and it only cost you 2K. Now if your truck is beat to hell, I say dump it but if it's in great shape still then I say keep it. I have a '93 X-cab with 165K on it and the body and interior are in excellent shape. It also has A/C and a nice stereo and the instrument cluster is complete with all guages so it's the nicer model. The only thing is, the engine oil pressure is really low once it gets hot and I'm concerned it's not going to handle that for much longer. I am actually looking at dropping a rebuilt motor in mine and repainting it, which won't cost a nickle over 3K and I'll have pretty much a brand new truck.
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it's funny because no matter how many new tacoma models come out, the body style of the 89-95 will never get is still in demand.
if you decide to go that route w/the whole motor swap and paint job than more power to yah.

no matter what direction you go we support you.on my last post what i meant was to sell your truck for a $1000 and score another one w/less miles for about $3000 because that's about how much you would spend to fix up your ride.

i feel yah if your attached to your existing ride....i say go for it...screw monthly payments...scratch what i said in my last post!!
If you own the truck never sell it...... It all depends on what motor is in your truck, if it's the 3.0 its cheaper to replace the motor with a 350 . you'll have some welding to do and some conversion brackets to buy but thats all the fun of having a toyota truck breaking them and fixing them, and you'll find as you go the more you break the more you learn about the truck.. This is why a say keep the truck no matter what you decide to do rebuild or replace ..It's always fun to have a toy in the garage to work on.....
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