Should I Replace the Engine in my 1991 LX? -

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Old 03-31-2011, 02:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Maryland, USA
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Default Should I Replace the Engine in my 1991 LX?

I bought this '91 LX in 1993. It's been a great car up until about three years ago, when it started leaking oil and smoking. I took it to a local shop in NY stae where we lived at the time. They made whatever was wrong worse, and I now had a car that leaked oil and blew white smoke out of the exhaust. We moved from NY to Maryland. I was going to get the car repaired, but the shop I took it to in Maryland said to find out what the problem was would cost nearly a thousand dollars. On top of that, Maryland inspection is rigorous and i was anticipating spending even more money to satisfy their regulations.

Long story short: The car's been sitting in the back yard for about two years without having been started at all. I'd like to know if it wouldn't be a better idea to replace the engine than try to start it with the engine it has. I have no idea how much it would cost to buy a used engine and have it installed. Can anyone give me some suggestions? After a brief search i found a used 5.0 for $635 (before shipping costs).

Thanks for any help.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:52 PM   #2
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Well, that's kind of a tough call. It could be something simple like a leaking inake gasket. Or could be something like a cracked block. It shouldn't be that hard to diagnose, though. And shouldn't cost anything close to $1,000, either.

How good a mechanic are you? A few simple tests can be done for really cheap, and by almost anyone who can identify a wrench 2 out of 3 times.

1. Go to Autozone, and borrow their compression tester, and cooling system tester. They'll charge you some money, but you get it back when you return the tools.

2. Recharge or replace the battery. Make sure the engine will turn over freely.

3. Remove all the spark plugs, and check the compression in each cylinder. Then squirt about 1/2 oz of motor oil into each cylinder. Spin the motor over a few times, and then check compression in each cylinder again.

4. Check cooling system, and make sure it can hold pressure cold. If it can, start the engine and follow the instructions that come with the tester.

5. If either of the above tests are abnormal, buy a coolant reagent test kit at NAPA, to test for byproducts of combustion.

6. A leak down test would be nice. But that requires some specialized equipment that's not easily borrowed or rented.

Those three simple tests will give you a boatload of information. Then you can make some decisions.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:31 PM   #3
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Location: West Virginia
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no sense in buying a used motor, you could be throwing good money after bad and still not solve the issue.....issue made worse??? what is the issue to begin with??? failed emissions I assume??? what did it fail for...hc?? co?? nox??? ect ect??? the fox body has simple self diagnostics through a koer test...which will test emissions components such as egr and thermactor air system, and the efi management system.....need a little more info from you surrounding the prob...I am a Md inspector and emissions knowing past and present info in regards to the issue can help
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