Is $600 for a 94 1.8L 80K motor a decent deal? - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 12-10-2009, 01:36 PM   #1
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Default Is $600 for a 94 1.8L 80K motor a decent deal?

I'm going forged rods and plan on doing some other upgrades. It'd be a whole lot easier to do the work on a spare motor and then do a complete swap to limit downtime. What's a good NA motor worth. One just popped up on CL. 94 motor with 80K, good compression for $600. Fair price?
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Old 12-10-2009, 01:50 PM   #2
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It depends on what you want to do to it and if it was taken care of. $600 is ok for a motor that's always had the oil changed on time and used good quality oil, and all maintenance has been done with no real oil leaks.

If you're going to rebuild it anyway, I'd just get a $300 motor with high miles, slap in the rods, pistons, bearings, and freshen up the head.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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I got one like you're describing for $200. Machinist has it now, still had factory honing hatch in the bores, shame I have to rebore for forged pistons.

1. I'd keep looking.
2. This price will likely come down some when no one buys it.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:13 PM   #4
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That's high, IMO. I paid $700 for a 98k mile '99 longblock, and $575 for a 160k mile 2002 longblock.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:18 PM   #5
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Why are you buying a good motor if you're going to take it apart and replace stuff? Just buy any old block. You can also piece it together for a little more money. Tom at partsgroup.com has sold me good motor parts for fair prices. You really just need the block, oil pan, crank, and oil pump. Please get some real pistons as well and plez run lots of boost . You never really know what condition a used motor is in. I have been burned twice this year buying crap used parts. Buy from a seller you trust..
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:19 PM   #6
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I've also seen several chraper motors than that recently.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:23 PM   #7
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Contact them and try to talk them down... Worth a shot.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for the quick input everyone! I'll throw a lowball offer at them but likely will keep looking for a better priced motor to work over.
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Old 12-10-2009, 02:30 PM   #9
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I would say... I could sell you mine if you were more local, but shipping for a longblock would be a BISH.
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faeflora View Post
Why are you buying a good motor if you're going to take it apart and replace stuff? Just buy any old block. You can also piece it together for a little more money. Tom at partsgroup.com has sold me good motor parts for fair prices. You really just need the block, oil pan, crank, and oil pump. Please get some real pistons as well and plez run lots of boost . You never really know what condition a used motor is in. I have been burned twice this year buying crap used parts. Buy from a seller you trust..
Buying a used block, crank, etc. is a great way to get a bunch of fucked up parts. You have to ask yourself WHY the motor isn't complete anymore - there aren't a lot of people who disassemble good working engines to part them out. Buying a motor that at least runs, regardless of mileage, means you will get a crank that is good (no spun bearings, etc), no funky cylinder bore damage, and a lot of stuff like a spare oil pump, etc.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:01 PM   #11
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If you want a crank I have one that is at the upper limits of factory tolerances..

If I were you, I would check junkyards for BP blocks. There's ten bazillion BP engines out there. Again, don't trust sellers and expect to put a bunch of machine work into the motor.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Buying a used block, crank, etc. is a great way to get a bunch of fucked up parts. You have to ask yourself WHY the motor isn't complete anymore - there aren't a lot of people who disassemble good working engines to part them out. Buying a motor that at least runs, regardless of mileage, means you will get a crank that is good (no spun bearings, etc), no funky cylinder bore damage, and a lot of stuff like a spare oil pump, etc.
In most cases, I do agree. [email protected] did sell me a great crank though which is why I recommended him.

I also bought a motor from someone else that was supposed to have been running but had scored bearings, melted pistons, scored cylinders, and a scored crank. I recently went shopping for Miatas for my girlfriend and about 3/4's of the miatas I checked out HAD NO OIL ON THE DIPSTICK. They did run though.. My point is that you never know and that you can't trust people.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savington View Post
Buying a motor that at least runs, regardless of mileage, means you will get a crank that is good (no spun bearings, etc), no funky cylinder bore damage, and a lot of stuff like a spare oil pump, etc.
That's one consideration with this one. It has everything still on it. Intake, throttle body, CAS, alternator, etc.

The guy has a spec miata and is building a LS1 street car. Seems to be knowledgeable. He was going to build this motor for turbo but decided to go V8 instead.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cueball1 View Post
94 motor with 80K, good compression for $600. Fair price?
Yes. I have sold many such motors and generally get $700ish for a good 1.8 w/ less then 80k. And thats for a long block, no TB, coils, CAS etc.
I would not hesitate at a 'dressed' one w/80k for $600 as a 130-150k long block brings $500 easily for me.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:39 PM   #15
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+1

Despite all the naysayers...that's a very good price for around here.

When I was looking to do a 1.8L swap last year I didn't find anything (bare motor) for less than $800 between here and Dallas.

I ended up getting a "100K mile" 1.6L for $150...which I don't expect to run into again.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:38 PM   #16
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This option would kinda suck, but you could buy that $600 engine, swap it in, then rebuild your seemingly sucky current engine. Swap it back in, and sell the $600 for cheap, hopefully around $300-400. Aside from twice the labor, you'd technically have a $200-300 engine after it's all done. Another plus would be you'd have wrinkled out any engine swap kinks caused by your inexperience, so your final engine swap would be more to your liking. Food for thought.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:50 PM   #17
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I'd just run my "sucky" engine and work this one over some. Wouldn't wanna do two swaps. Hell I can't even find time to put my braided brake lines in!

If this motor's in good shape like it sounds - 185-190 compression all the way across, I could just clean up the existing pistons & rings, install forged rods w/ new bearings, new valve and main seals and not have to tear it all the way down. Turn the boost up a few psi, push somewhere around 300hp and hope my 5 spd holds together.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:55 PM   #18
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Fair enough, swapping twice would very much suck. Mostly because I was considering offering my engine swapping experience. Well if you do get it, rebuild your current 1.8 and sell that, should profit nicely. Anyone know if you can change con rods with pistons at the bottom of the sleeves? One less thing to go wrong if you can leave them in and keep the head attached.
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Anyone know if you can change con rods with pistons at the bottom of the sleeves? One less thing to go wrong if you can leave them in and keep the head attached.
That's what I was hoping for. Do-able?
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:49 PM   #20
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Wishful thinking. Looking at this picture:
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It's way too deep in there. That's my 1.6 5 years ago, but the 1.8 will be the same.

It was just a thought, as usually if you're replacing rods you'd like to do a head gasket and other things as well. Starting with an engine in excellent condition is a little different.
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