to rebuild or not to rebuild?
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  1. #1
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    to rebuild or not to rebuild?

    Hey everybody, I am looking at either rebuilding my 1984 supra engine (5mge) or buying a used one. What is the best route from your experiences and problems that could arise from either situation?

    I also am looking at prices for a full rebuild kit for that particular engine. What are the most important parts and how much is a decent rebuild kit?

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  3. #2
    CelicaSupra.com Member
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    I want to eventually re-build an engine from the bottom up and be able to take my time and do the absolute best proper job for that particular engine.

    I've only done the top half of an engine so far...Valve seals...

    Anyway, I find that U can get a good used 5M engine (that U've heard running/has been compression tested, have an accurate idea of the actual mileage, or are buying it from someone U know that has knowledge of the above) for about $250 - $500....

    If Ur re-building an engine it's going to cost about $300.(??) just for the complete Gasket Set. Once U start taking the engine apart U are going to find things that are near the end of their life or just starting to go and it's better/easier/cheaper to repair quite a lot of things with the engine out of the car & easy access.

    So beyond the Gasket set, U are going to spend "X" amount of $$$ on all the minor (and possibly a major) things that show signs of wear...

    So if U got the time (& are able to have the car not running for the time it takes to re-build) great, but it's actually cheaper and less time consuming to just swap a good used engine. Lots of ppl here are upgrading to 7M or whatever and if the engine they took out was perfectly good, they usually would rather someone get good use out of it, then it just get scrapped.

    If properly maintained, should be able to get about 175,000 Mi on an engine B4 re-building and then get another 90,000 after the re-build.

    Just my .02 cents.

    Cheers,
    Dave Cod The Black Supra Man TONS of used 84/83 parts F/S

    Dk Blue 84 P-type Virginia car converted to Stick,1 Stock Two tone '85 P-type also US origin), +1 Dk Blue 85 (To be Turboed), a White '84 (originally Red) that is to be rebuilt...

  4. #3
    CelicaSupra.com Member
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    Well said Dave.

    if you want a total rebuild done Right with MHG/ARP's all new bearings, rings, gaskets, seals, oil-pump and all necessary machining count on spending at LEAST $2000. from my experience after doing a valve-job and having both surfaces preped for a metal head-gasket you will come up on $2000 pretty quickly. if there is much of anything un-expected you can come up on $2500-3000 easily.

    if your motor runs strong and has good compression and you just want to re-seal it because its leaky then you should be able to accomplish a complete re-seal for less then $500.
    86 X72. undergoing surgery.
    89 X8. needs love.
    78 Odyssey. next project.

  5. #4
    CelicaSupra.com Member
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    start by buying another engine from a junk yard if your staying with the 5m or the whole car if doing a complete swap including electronics ect. that way you can take your time rebuilding it.

  6. #5
    CelicaSupra.com Member Twocams2's Avatar
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    If your going to keep the car for ever I would rebuild the engine. If you think a couple yrs. Just get a used one. I rebuilt mine for about $1200. But head, crank, pistons, block were all good. 5mge 1985. But I did all the work myself. Execpt machine shop work.


    Rich

  7. #6
    Founding Member pdupler's Avatar
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    What condition is the rest of the car in and/or do you have emotional attachment to it? If the car is in pretty good shape otherwise and you hope to keep it a long time, then lean towards rebuilding the engine (and I like the idea mentioned of buying a used engine and rebuilding that as it will save time and there's no matching numbers crap with Toyota to worry about). But if the car itself is pretty well used up, then I'd lean toward just throwing a used engine in it and call it a weekend. My own thoughts are that if a $3K rebuild is to be followed by a $4K paint job, a $2K upholstery job, $2K in brakes and suspension bushings, etc., etc. not to mention years in searching for parts, then you'd be better off to just spend $6K to $10K to buy a better Supra to start with. I would only try to "restore" a beat Supra if it had sentimental value.

    The only downsides to the used engine route is "risk" as anything you find is going to have lots of miles on it and an unknown service history. If you install a used engine, you can save yourself a lot of problems by cleaning it up and installing all new gaskets, seals, belts and fuel filter before installation.
    Phil D.
    85 Silver 6m-gte, completed 2000

    "I always observe the speed limit. I see those DAMNED signs everywhere."

  8. #7
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    Thanks everybody. I did go ahead and buy another used engine. I know the old one needs a lot of work because the owner before hit his oil pan on something in the road and let the oil leak out causing a really bad knock in the lower half of the engine (which so happened to start at the upper half first). Im thinking a rod snapped off and fell to the lower half.

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