4x4Wire TrailTalk

1989 3.0L - Rebuild or re-engine?

Posted By: johneric

1989 3.0L - Rebuild or re-engine? - 04/22/15 05:22 AM

I did my diligence and searched back two years, but didn't see quite the discussion I was hoping to find. Forgive a newb if I missed the motherload.

Picked up a junked 1989 3.0L SWB last week - my intent is a full restore. One owner up until an accident last summer - rear-ended, so huge thanks to Russell (rxinhed here) for meeting me on the road with a perfect color match back door and a bumper, which completely erases the damage that totaled it. Drove to Long Beach from San Jose, CA - went over the Grapevine and Sepulveda passes in 5th, no sweat, and got 20 mpg for the trip. 263K miles, and I haven't had it into the mechanic yet to see what's what.

When I got home, I asked my incredibly talented VW guy where to take the Monty; as an aside he mentioned dropping in a lower mileage motor. Gave me a phone number, and they have a motor with 30-50K-miles for $750. A rebuild on the motor I have looks to be about $1.2-$3K, depending. Rebuilt motors appear to run about $2K.

So, my opinionated and experienced enthusiasts, do I go for the new(er) motor, rebuild what I've got, or buy a rebuilt motor? What would be the differentiators in your mind that would sway you one way or another? As I mentioned, I'm not trying to just get by - I'm keeping this one for a good long while. I've had a 1995 SR since 1996.

Thanks for the advice -

John in LB

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Posted By: Struc

Re: 1989 3.0L - Rebuild or re-engine? - 04/22/15 05:57 AM

I'd say buy a rebuilt motor, and keep it standing buy for when the current stocker blows. It may be a while yet, but you never know. smile
Posted By: Lloyd Swartz

Re: 1989 3.0L - Rebuild or re-engine? - 04/22/15 01:45 PM

Low mileage motor for that price, take it and run! Rebuilds are flaky in general, and shops struggle to get Mits motors right.
Posted By: Bernoulli

Re: 1989 3.0L - Rebuild or re-engine? - 04/22/15 05:03 PM

Rebuilt or Re-manufactured? Big difference. If you're getting 20mpg and it's not smoking, don't change. Pick up the $750 motor as a spare.
Posted By: Mudraider

Re: 1989 3.0L - Rebuild or re-engine? - 04/24/15 12:12 AM

Quote
Rebuilt or Re-manufactured? Big difference. If you're getting 20mpg and it's not smoking, don't change. Pick up the $750 motor as a spare.


This is excellent advice!
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