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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. They day has come - the oil burning seems to have caught up to me. I took my car to my mechanic and he says the engine needs to be replaced, and that a rebuild is not possible due to the flaws (pre-2003) that cause the piston ring issues in the first place. He鈥檚 quoting me $2k to swap it, not including the motor I have to provide. Does this seem like a reasonable diagnosis and price? And if so, where could I find a quality used engine for around $1000?
Thanks for the help in advance 馃槬
 

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that engine is most likely done, but I would drive it till it dies completely.

Also where are you located, but for a simple drop-in swap 2000$ is way way too much. I would say probably more like 1000 at most.

Are you planning to put the same motor in? (1zz)? --- because it will have same problem in a little while. Might be good time to look at 2zz swap. (if your transmission is still good, you could find decent 2zz for under 2000$, + some swap parts (headers, etc.), and labor would be about 1000$.
 

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2003 MR2 Spyder
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To swap a 1zz with another 1zz that labor rate is extremely high for where I'm located. Around here you can get it done including the engine for 2 grand unless you're wanting a super low mileage engine or you go to the stealership. I would definitely make sure you get a engine that doesn't have the same design flaw as your pre-2003. Either way, I'd drive what you have until it's completely done. If you can't salvage the current engine there's really no reason you can't keep on driving until it won't go anymore, uses a massive amount of oil, or smokes severely.
 

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I dont know. In Denver shop rates run way high. Like $150/hr high and sometimes more! This can be done in a single day by a skilled mechanic with a lift etc... Sooo$1200 low end. However, if you're talking about doing other stuff (and you really should or you will pay twice) like replacing the clutch, water pump, oil pump, front and rear mains yeah $2000 in labor sounds about right. Time adds up quickly.
 
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Time adds up quick, especially for an engine swap (even a straight swap) in a platform a shop is unfamiliar with. You have to remember hat you鈥檙e not paying for a weekend side job. [Most] shops charge by fairly standard book hours and as was said the hourly rates can vary greatly by region. You鈥檝e got time if you want to check estimates from a few other shops...I would expect an estimate closer to 1k for the labor but like I said that may not be possible in your area.

You should be able to find a 1zz for under 1k for sure...possibly within that price even if you include things like accessories. You can check a site like car-part.com depending on where you live.
 
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Sadly, your quote is pretty much what I paid, Twice!!

I bought mine knowing the engine was toast! Complete fog machine! Looked like those things i grew up with in MS that sprayed for misquotes weekly!

First attempt ~2K for the labor and 1K for a JDM 1ZZ which failed catastrophically just after the warranty expired.

So less than a year later, the second swap was another ~2k for labor and 1800 for a completely rebuilt (0 mile) 1zz.

Be warned, however. Each of these swaps were followed by 2-4 months of getting things re-connected properly! Mostly things just not done completely, like things left dangling. However each had something swapped that caused weird issues that took a long time to figure out. The first swap 2 emission hoses were swapped which caused the car not to start after filling up. The second swap had 2 coolant lines swapped that allowed steam from the head to go straight to the rad causing it to have to be burped every 4th drive! I was ready to throw the car away before I figured that one out!!!!!!!!!!

I went with the 1zz swap because I could not afford the 2zz swap....... sadly I've now spent way more than the 2zz would have cost :(
 

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...Be warned, however. Each of these swaps were followed by 2-4 months of getting things re-connected properly! Mostly things just not done completely, like things left dangling.
What a sorry excuse for a paid mechanic! I presume he returned 3/4 of the money you paid for his 鈥渟ervice鈥. This kind of stuff makes me mad. Just like my medical doctor. They get stuff wrong, charge you full price. Then won鈥檛 even apologize! (Much less return your payment for poor service)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
that engine is most likely done, but I would drive it till it dies completely.
At 150,000 miles and my current refill rate of about 1/2 - 1 qt every 150 miles, any idea how long that would be?
Are you planning to put the same motor in? (1zz)? --- because it will have same problem in a little while. Might be good time to look at 2zz swap. (if your transmission is still good, you could find decent 2zz for under 2000$, + some swap parts (headers, etc.), and labor would be about 1000$.
The mechanic I went to said that as long as the new motor is newer than 2003, I shouldn't have the same problem. Any reason not to believe this?

I do plan to check out another shop that may be more familiar with this shop, as well as a primarily-German shop that said they have a good supplier for quality used motors.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sadly, your quote is pretty much what I paid, Twice!!

I bought mine knowing the engine was toast! Complete fog machine! Looked like those things i grew up with in MS that sprayed for misquotes weekly!

First attempt ~2K for the labor and 1K for a JDM 1ZZ which failed catastrophically just after the warranty expired.

So less than a year later, the second swap was another ~2k for labor and 1800 for a completely rebuilt (0 mile) 1zz.

Be warned, however. Each of these swaps were followed by 2-4 months of getting things re-connected properly! Mostly things just not done completely, like things left dangling. However each had something swapped that caused weird issues that took a long time to figure out. The first swap 2 emission hoses were swapped which caused the car not to start after filling up. The second swap had 2 coolant lines swapped that allowed steam from the head to go straight to the rad causing it to have to be burped every 4th drive! I was ready to throw the car away before I figured that one out!!!!!!!!!!

I went with the 1zz swap because I could not afford the 2zz swap....... sadly I've now spent way more than the 2zz would have cost :(
I have nothing to say other than that absolutely sucks. Hopefully I can find a mechanic to use where that won't be an issue 馃.
 

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I have a very good friend that was a Toyota dealership mechanic for a few years. We spent about 10 hours as I recall installing a new engine. No problems what so ever with the install but I did have an alignment done as the rear member was removed during the install. Personally burning a qt every 300 miles is ridicules, something I would not drive. I think it wise to look for a 2003 or later but don't see that in itself a guarantee that the engine will be a good one. IMHO it depends on the condition of the used engine. I am not fond of purchasing such items used as I am interested in long term repairs and hate doing the same job twice, it costs to much. I don't find used engine guarantees worth much either, labor on a redone is $$$$.
 

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At 150,000 miles and my current refill rate of about 1/2 - 1 qt every 150 miles, any idea how long that would be?

The mechanic I went to said that as long as the new motor is newer than 2003, I shouldn't have the same problem. Any reason not to believe this?
It is totally your decision.

The defect in the piston design was corrected in 2002. That was the primary cause of oil loss, although it is certainly not the only possible one.
 

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At 150,000 miles and my current refill rate of about 1/2 - 1 qt every 150 miles, any idea how long that would be?

The mechanic I went to said that as long as the new motor is newer than 2003, I shouldn't have the same problem. Any reason not to believe this?

I do plan to check out another shop that may be more familiar with this shop, as well as a primarily-German shop that said they have a good supplier for quality used motors.

That's about what mine was drinking and all was fine, and then I took a highway exit (from one highway to another) fast and KAPUT, engine went out.

For some reason it is "common knowledge" that 2003 had no problems with oil, but guess what year my car is???? 2003...... It's probably not as bad as earlier but problem still there I guarantee it. That is why I suggest going 2zz or Honda K. 2zz can be done cheaply if you only replacing an engine, probs under 3k in parts for really good engine and labor should not be more than 1000. K-series is more expensive because you have to replace lots of other things including transmission. For me choice was clear--- my transmission was on the way out anyways.

In what city are you located? Maybe people here have good mechanic near you? Or even one of the members would be willing to do the work.(most of us are atleast 1/2 machanics --- I am probably 1/4). If I was you I would make a post asking if anyone knows good mechanic in etc .... City.....
 

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Sadly, your quote is pretty much what I paid, Twice!!

I bought mine knowing the engine was toast! Complete fog machine! Looked like those things i grew up with in MS that sprayed for misquotes weekly!

First attempt ~2K for the labor and 1K for a JDM 1ZZ which failed catastrophically just after the warranty expired.

So less than a year later, the second swap was another ~2k for labor and 1800 for a completely rebuilt (0 mile) 1zz.

Be warned, however. Each of these swaps were followed by 2-4 months of getting things re-connected properly! Mostly things just not done completely, like things left dangling. However each had something swapped that caused weird issues that took a long time to figure out. The first swap 2 emission hoses were swapped which caused the car not to start after filling up. The second swap had 2 coolant lines swapped that allowed steam from the head to go straight to the rad causing it to have to be burped every 4th drive! I was ready to throw the car away before I figured that one out!!!!!!!!!!

I went with the 1zz swap because I could not afford the 2zz swap....... sadly I've now spent way more than the 2zz would have cost :(
This sounds a lot like the body shop I just got a car back from after 2 months (original estimate was 7-10 days which is laughable now). Finally they said it was ready so I go to pick it up last week and the first thing I notice is it's missing parts. I ask, hey where's this & this & this and then I look in the trunk and there they are. I was so frustrated I told the manager I'd take them with me and do it myself so off I go. They are suppose to be one of the best local body shops but it seems more like a project being done by a high school auto repair class. After checking the car over I realized other parts are still missing even though insurance paid for them so they're going to have to give me those too or get it together and install all the parts. It would have been great if they had done the repair they were paid to do but I guess that was asking too much. So the two month saga continues....
Your engine replacements sound like the same mindset from the repair shop. Here you go, the engine is is but you've got to figure out how to get it to run. So frustrating when you pay someone to do the work and end up doing some of it yourself.
 

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If it's insurance repair, I tend to take it to dealer--- make those bastards pay full price (every single time insurance company tries to outright rip me off )
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That's about what mine was drinking and all was fine, and then I took a highway exit (from one highway to another) fast and KAPUT, engine went out.
That kaput is exactly what I鈥檓 worried about 馃槵!
For some reason it is "common knowledge" that 2003 had no problems with oil, but guess what year my car is???? 2003...... It's probably not as bad as earlier but problem still there I guarantee it. That is why I suggest going 2zz or Honda K. 2zz can be done cheaply if you only replacing an engine, probs under 3k in parts for really good engine and labor should not be more than 1000. K-series is more expensive because you have to replace lots of other things including transmission. For me choice was clear--- my transmission was on the way out anyways.
I do already have a C60... 馃... but unfortunately I think a 1zz is all that鈥檚 in my price range at the moment.
In what city are you located? Maybe people here have good mechanic near you? Or even one of the members would be willing to do the work.(most of us are atleast 1/2 machanics --- I am probably 1/4). If I was you I would make a post asking if anyone knows good mechanic in etc .... City.....
I鈥檓 in the DC area, if anyone here knows a reputable and reasonable shop or us experience themselves, by all means message me!
 

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If you have c60 already installed, then 2zz should be cheap and easy swap. I personally do not know difference from experience, but people here keep saying that 2zz + c60=馃敟

Realistically though--- I was looking at the 2zz when my engine went kaput and did see the motor itself about same price range as 1zz. If I was you, I would try save up and find cheaper mechanic (sorry I am in Atlanta, don't know any in DC)
 

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With safety in mind I would run it until the end. Just wouldn鈥檛 want to get stranded in a bad moment or dangerous situation. I would keep a new sealed quart of oil in the spare tire area with a good flexible funnel. Ever try Lucas oil stabilizer? I had a Honda Passport/Isuzu Rodeo that started burning a good amount of oil after 80,000 and most mechanics would have probably suggested engine replacement, but after ten additional years and 130,000 additional never an engine issue and the oil consumption stayed about the same. Even perfectly maintained engines will consume some oil especially over time. Good luck and I think 2K for just labor is too high.
 

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At 150,000 miles and my current refill rate of about 1/2 - 1 qt every 150 miles, any idea how long that would be?

The mechanic I went to said that as long as the new motor is newer than 2003, I shouldn't have the same problem. Any reason not to believe this?

I do plan to check out another shop that may be more familiar with this shop, as well as a primarily-German shop that said they have a good supplier for quality used motors.
I agree that the price you quoted is high for a straight swap but if you're really burning through that much oil I wouldn't drive the car. It's a ticking time bomb before you are stranded somewhere with a hefty tow bill on top of a repair bill. Not to mention that you are adding the cost of a new catalytic converter into the mix (although I'm not sure if DC area has emissions it's still a good thing to have working on a daily driven car). Whether or not you would be interested in a 2zz swap is your call based on budget but regardless I'd shop around for a more reasonable labor quote asap.

2003+ has the main flaw of the earlier 1zz addressed but this doesn't mean it definitely won't burn oil. Any used engine swapped without being opened up & examined prior to installation has the potential to leak/burn oil even if just from shoddy maintenance by the original owner.
 

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2003 MR2 Spyder
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If you decide to continue to drive her until she blows it might be a good idea to join AAA if you're not already a member. The annual membership cost would be much less than having to pay for a tow. Personally I think it's a good idea if you travel a lot or drive a questionable vehicle.
 

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The issues of the 1ZZ can be fixed if:
1. It hasn't sucked in the precats and grenaded yet
2. The bores are in an acceptable condition

The oil burning is caused by a few specific flaws, some of wich got improved up on in 2003, but they wheren't entirely fixed.
1. The oil controll rings
Their holes are too small, they clog up over time and even seize in their groves.
2. The oil drain holes in the pistons
They are too few and also clog up, causing the oil to back up into the rings.
3. The valve stem seals
They get brittle and start to leak.
4. Excessive burning hot oil droplets in the exaust cause the precats to break down and get sucked into the engine

These can be fixed if the engibe is in an otherwise good condition:
1. New oil controll rings
I used ones from Mahle and gave my cylinder walls a slight hone.
2. Additional oil drain holes in the piston
I drilled out the old clogged and new oil drain holes into the grove with a drillpress.
3. Valve stem seals
I replaced mine with ones from Elring.
4. Precats
They are often removed or replaced with more dureable ones.
I've heared about people passing emissions without them because when the main cat is at operating temperature, it is sufficiently effective.
Mine are still in there at 170tkm.

In addition to that I should mention that EUDM Spyders have an oil/water heat exchanger that, as far as I know, USDM and JDM Spyders don't have because the lack of a highway speed limit here in germany lets oiltemps get significantly higher than the typical highway speed limits in japan or the US.
This is not exclusive to the Spyder or Toyota, Nissan Z cars also have additional oilcoolers in germany.
Therefore the higher oil temperatures in USDM models may make the issues with clogging up oil drain holes and oil controll rings worse as the oil breaks down faster at higher temperatures.
Pic related, from the german Toyota shop manual for the 1ZZ, specificly for the Spyder:

80316
 
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