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$450 delivered for a VVT Engine with bad HG?

 
Old 05-08-2019, 02:23 PM
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Question $450 delivered for a VVT Engine with bad HG?

Hi Team,

I have someone willing to sell me a VVT engine with 98k and a blown head gasket for $450 delivered to my house. He said it came out of his 02 SE. I just recently bought a 2003 Shinsen with 180k on it so it seemed like a good deal to have a spare motor I could slowly rebuild to stock, or build with better internals to go turbo in the future. I'm a total noob though and wasn't sure if this was a good deal, or even a worthwhile investment if I"m not 100% sure of my use for it in the future. I bought this car to start doing HPDE days and learn performance driving. I live in Austin, Tx and we have two good tracks here. Additionally, my spouse and I commute to the same job daily together in another car, but often will be using this to commute myself. Any advice?

Best,
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:33 PM
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If you can verify the bottom end is OK, sounds pretty good to me. It would cost almost that much to ship an engine anywhere beyond local. Does the owner have the story behind the HG's demise?
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tomrev View Post
If you can verify the bottom end is OK, sounds pretty good to me. It would cost almost that much to ship an engine anywhere beyond local. Does the owner have the story behind the HG's demise?
Is there any way to check the bottom end? I didn't get any more information on the HG story. I guess I can ask
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:11 PM
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The head is what I’m more worried about. If it over heated when the HG blew, the heads most likely warped, and would need to be replaced. And yes,
water in your oil nukes bearings in the bottom end if you drive it too long, so you’d want to remove the oil pan and inspect bearings, and remove the head and have it checked for flatness while at the machine shop.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:26 PM
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Presumably the "better internals" at this point would include a rebuild with bearings and rods and whatnot.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by curly View Post
The head is what Im more worried about. If it over heated when the HG blew, the heads most likely warped, and would need to be replaced. And yes,
water in your oil nukes bearings in the bottom end if you drive it too long, so youd want to remove the oil pan and inspect bearings, and remove the head and have it checked for flatness while at the machine shop.
Do you think $450 is still a good deal if all those factors are questionable? I could just save my money and source another motor when I actually need it. Most of the ones I see are 1k+ before shipping though. The VVT engines seem far less common and more expensive.

My initial thought was this would be a full tear down that I would take to a shop for checking tolerances and any corrective work needed. I just bought two books on engine building to learn a little more about what assembly.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:41 PM
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If you find yourself needing another engine, we ship vvt engines on almost a weekly basis, starting from 800$ shipped to your door. Engines are covered with a 30-day warranty.
Check our for sale thread for more details.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by UK_Miata_Parts View Post
If you find yourself needing another engine, we ship vvt engines on almost a weekly basis, starting from 800$ shipped to your door. Engines are covered with a 30-day warranty.
Check our for sale thread for more details.
Good to know. I didn't see a 5sp listed on your post. What would be ballpark on one of those if I need one in the future?
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:09 PM
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Thing with 5 speeds is that shipping is triple the value of a box. We don't quote it simply because it's not the best of deals. We can ship it out for 350$.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:27 PM
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Thanks guys, I think you've convinced me to buy the motor as a build project for the future.

Do any of you know of a good Miata engine builder in or around the Austin, Tx area? Or a machine shop you would recommend?
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:20 PM
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If you have the head done up, don't they just deck it flat if there was a HG issue?

Unless it's totally warped it might be salvageable. If you're going to have the block done, might as well see what the shop says about the head. They can always check it for a fee and ask what you want to do.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:18 PM
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No, cause the entire head warps including cam journals, etc.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:07 PM
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No. Just no. You don't know it has just a bad head gasket. Everyone has a problem with their car and just says it's a bad head gasket.

Miatas come stock with multi-layered steel head gaskets. Miatas don't just spontaneously eat head gaskets. It's almost always a result of something else (overheating, detonation, etc) which will damage something else.

NO.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
No. Just no. You don't know it has just a bad head gasket. Everyone has a problem with their car and just says it's a bad head gasket.

Miatas come stock with multi-layered steel head gaskets. Miatas don't just spontaneously eat head gaskets. It's almost always a result of something else (overheating, detonation, etc) which will damage something else.

NO.
You think it's still a bad deal even if I pull it completely apart and replace the bearings, rods, and potentially the head if need be? I would intend on overhauling the motor as a project. But if I would be better off getting a $800 motor shipped to me from UK Miata Parts I'm happy to go that route. I feel like it's a crap shoot buying a used motor in general isn't it?

I did verify with the seller that it has been sitting for a year. His story is that he didn't notice it over heating until he looked down on the highway and saw it was hot and pulled over and turned it off. According to him he thought a HG job was going to be far more expensive than it was and decided to buy a used motor instead. I admit, that's a pretty fishy story.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:34 PM
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All I'm saying is it's naive to go into it expecting to put a head gasket in it and be done. The chances of something else not being wrong are very slim.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
All I'm saying is it's naive to go into it expecting to put a head gasket in it and be done. The chances of something else not being wrong are very slim.
Gotcha. That's definitely not that plan. I'm going to pull it totally apart and take it to the local miata engine builder to clean up, inspect and make any corrections needed. Afterwards I'm thinking new bearings, ebay forged rods, and possibly lower compression pistons. I will either do the major part of the assembly or have the local guy do it for me. I'd like to paint it as well. Unless the block or the crank is damaged I feel like it should be ok.

It's certainly wishful thinking on my part that nothing else is wrong though. I'm mainly just hoping the head isn't warped beyond repair. However we do have a place a few hours from here that does head exchange for what i'm told is a reasonable amount.

Either way, this will be my first engine tear down and the experience will be valuable. Any other criticism's or advice is certainly appreciated, I'm mostly a dolt on this subject. Although I did just buy these two books to help out.

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Old 05-09-2019, 08:59 PM
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If you buy it for cheap enough that if the head is unusable you're OK with the price you paid, neat.

$450 is considerably above that point for me. If it's not for you, go for it.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by turbofan View Post
If you buy it for cheap enough that if the head is unusable you're OK with the price you paid, neat.

$450 is considerably above that point for me. If it's not for you, go for it.
What would you think to be a fair price? I could still counter his offer for a better deal.

Also, what would be a average price for good a head if it's bad?

Sorry for all the questions, I really appreciate the help.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:09 PM
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I think I paid around $350 for my VVT head.

You can buy an engine with a warranty from Yossi for $800.

I personally wouldn't give more than $200 for that engine.

I personally would buy an engine from Yossi.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:56 PM
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Head can soften when overheated too, or potentially crack. I blew a hose on my bmw 2002 and was stuck in traffic, cracked in 3 places. I'd probably pass on it and pay the 800 for the known good core.
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