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Discussion Starter #1
In another thread I've cataloged the disassembly of the engine in my new-to-me 02 Aero. I figured I'd start another thread to talk about the pro/con of different engine scenarios for replacement:

option 1: the local pick-yourself

These guys charge $149 for a long block and an extra $50 for a 1-year warranty (the long block itself comes with a 30-day warranty)

Check it out, pull a couple of bearing caps, do a compression test and install it.


The downsides are:

  • I have to go get it myself. I figure a 4 hours to take it out of the junker, a 4 hours to take the engine out of mine and 4 hours to put it back.
  • I'll probably have to pull the pan on the yard car just to make sure that I'm not pulling out a dead engine
  • there's always the risk that I spend the time pulling the pan and find a sludged motor and have to start over on another one.
  • I'm trusting an entirely unknown engine that was in a junkyard for a reason. (if I can find a car that is wrecked it may be more comforting than one that has a good body since the car is there for a reason!)
Total cost $200 for the pick-yourself and maybe some gaskets/seals

option 2: rebuild the local pick-yourself

Option 1 but while it's out rebuild it... no need for the warranty since I'll replace a lot of the internal parts to bring it up to almost rebuilt status.

As I see it, if I can find a good salvageable block/head I can then throw in a new set of rings, main and rod bearings and a timing kit along with new gaskets, seals, etc. Essentially if I can find a good rotating assembly I end up with a pretty much rebuilt engine that should last a long, long time. I priced out all of the pieces at eeuroparts and that would add $650.

Total cost is probably about $850-$900

Downsides:

  • still have to go get it myself, same risks and downsides as option 1
  • more time to do the rebuild (I do have an engine stand to do the work)
Option 3: source a good reasonable mileage engine

I've found a few B235R engines within an hour drive of here that I could go pick up for about $900-$1000. Some of them come from 04+ vehicles so I could have the benefit of the truly updated PCV system although I'm not sure that an old engine with PCV6 and regular synthetic changes isn't just as reliable. Here I'd not open it up and do any of the work, I'd try to get an engine at about 100K miles or less, but when they go lower than that the prices start to climb quite quickly. (is it really worth the extra $500 to get an engine with 80K instead of 108K, I'm not sure)

Most of the yards that do this have run compression tests on the engine and/or saw the engine running when it first came into their yard. i'm still going to have to buy a bunch of gaskets since many of these come without intake/exhaust manifolds, but those are nominal.

It' certainly easier for me to do this, just go pick it up. saves me a de-install out in the middle of a junkyard where if I forget a tool I'm somewhat screwed.

The downsides here are:

  • the engine is really unknown, it could blow tomorrow (somewhat like option 1)
  • probably less risk than option 1 because these cars were likely wrecked and the yards do witness them running and/or test the engines. But also a substantially higher cost than option 1.

Option 4: Fix the one I have

i could easily take the engine I have to a machine shop, have the crank ground, put oversize bearings and pistons in it, get a couple of new valves to replace the bent ones, and get the head redone. Cost is probably $800 higher than option 2 or 3 since I have the extra machine time as well as a set of oversize pistons but a lower cost acquisition of the block/crank.





So thoughts? The car is sitting and I have my other cars to drive so it's not like I need this thing, although once I'm done with this I need to do the subframe bushings in the 03 Aero and it'll be nice to have this one as my daily while that one sits disassembled in the garage.
 

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Option #5

Buy an already rebuilt engine from South West Engines or equivalent that comes with a warranty.

Since it appears you have a hankering to do some or all of the work yourself, I recommend your Option #4. You already know what is wrong with that engine. Although you may want to verify proper operation of the cylinder #4 fuel injector and oil cooling jet as something caused that cylinder to go into melt down mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Option #5


Since it appears you have a hankering to do some or all of the work yourself, I recommend your Option #4. You already know what is wrong with that engine. Although you may want to verify proper operation of the cylinder #4 fuel injector and oil cooling jet as something caused that cylinder to go into melt down mode.
The engine has the classic symptoms of oil starvation but the strainer was not all that clogged. But a ton of bearing material in the bottom of the pan so I'm pretty sure that we have bearing damage other than the big-end bearing that I already took off. not sure how the oil starvation happened. When I drained the oil the other day to take the pan off i got nearly a gallon of oil out.

the challenge is that the machining costs are pretty high and taking a good engine from the pick-yourself that has no bearing, cylinder wall or head damage will cost me less than getting all of that work done.

Oh, and one other option is that there is a guy on ebay right now selling a crate B235 NEW for $3K... out of my price range though

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Saab-9-5-95-or-VIGGEN-B235-2-3L-Engine-Motor-1998-2010-NO-MILES-BNIB-/271399500796?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3f30abbbfc&vxp=mtr
 

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Yeah, that's pretty bad. A Better Business rating of F and only approximately18 mmonths of existence. Nearly one serious complaint per week!

I don't think I have ever seen a rating so bad.
 

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I'd find a decent core like a motor from the yard and rebuild with top shelf bits like forged positions. Good fun and not much more expensive than a standard rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You guys will find this interesting...

while looking for a used engine I found a yard that was advertising that they did compression tests on the engines before taking them out of the car. One of the B235's that they had listed had compression values from 225-235


I read somewhere a while back that the nominal spec for a new engine was 210 PSI. My 03 with 150K on it is about 180.

me think's someone made those numbers up!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another question for the experts:

In searching for a used engine, most of the wreckers pull the engines out of the car and just cut stuff off. Most of them are sold without the turbo and the throttle body as well.

If I want to swap to a 04 or later engine, I need the PCV hoses, the Cobra pipe, the intake manifold and the throttle body to do the job right. There are very few engines out there that I've seen that include this stuff and many of the yards don't even have the stuff to put back. (there are a few that pull the whole assembly as a unit but they are few and far between)


So, what's the general opinion of a good 03 or earlier engine with the PCV update on it, cleaned out, no sludge versus getting an 04 or later engine with the real PCV? (of course all of the wreckers tell me that the 04 and later engines won't fit in my car but we all know better....)
 

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me think's someone made those numbers up!
they probably did, I got some made up numbers when I called for mine. Because when I looked at stock numbers they did the same thing, was like 15-20 psi more than stock compression. I forgot what the actual numbers were when I ran my test but they were all even except one cylinder that was like 5 under the rest... They are always just trying to sell that big hunk of metal to get it off their yard, its a crap shoot.

My opinion, rebuild yours. It will be cheapest, most labor, but at least you know the history and what needs to be replaced
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'd find a decent core like a motor from the yard and rebuild with top shelf bits like forged positions. Good fun and not much more expensive than a standard rebuild.
I'm not sure that the forged pistons are worth it for me. because I live in CA, I can't really turn up the horsepower all that high, there are no CARB approved intakes and catalytic converters that can feed the beast more than a simple tune and the factory pistons will suffice there.

I am leaning toward this option though: rings, rod bearings, main bearings, timing and balance chains, all new gaskets and seals. Put a hone on the cylinder walls. Essentially a rebuild with the exception of the balance shaft bearings since that requires a special tool to seat them properly. Figure that engine will last me quite a while if I take care of it.

Any opinions on replacing the balance shaft bearings or even just deleting the gears and chain and leaving them in there?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
They are always just trying to sell that big hunk of metal to get it off their yard, its a crap shoot.
There appears to be a glut of B235's out there but some of these guys don't want to move off of ridiculous prices (i.e. $1599 for a 01 with 150K) You would think that they want it out of their yard, but with those prices the engines are not going to move.

My opinion, rebuild yours. It will be cheapest, most labor, but at least you know the history and what needs to be replaced
i'm more inclined to find a good long block at the yard that has no bearing damage and no piston damage and rebuild that one. The machining costs alone to grind my crank, bore the cylinders (plus oversize pistons) and re-do the head will be several hundred more than just yanking a long block that I want to rebuild.
 
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