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Discussion Starter #1
I have gotten 2 estimates close to the same price. $2500 for head gasket repair and $3500 to rebuild the engine.
It's a 2002 Xterra SE in mint condition 4X4. It has a 3.3 lt engine with 195,000 miles. Water pump and timing belt changed at 165,000 miles.

In your opinion is this a fair price for all they have to do? I was told an 18 hour job to do the repair.

THX
Rob

PS I just bought it 3 weeks ago. I love the truck tho. Cheaper than car payments of the Subaru I was going to buy!
 

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I've also looked at engines , this would be for my type , but sure you could find one for yours maybe even cheaper.
 

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JDM = Japanese Domestic Market.
Due to laws in Japan vehicles have a limited service life. Keeping them longer is prohibitively expensive so they get retired at under 100k miles and parted out. If you look up your engine model on ebay with JDM in the description you'll see a bunch of auctions.

There are also multiple businesses online that supply them. Just type in JDM Engines in a search and you may even luck out and find a location near you.
 

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At $999 I'd take that over a rebuild any day. 45 -65k miles. I'm not sure what they charge in Freight, but they will give you a quote. Keep in mind that you still add the cost of installation, so the total price will probably be close to the cost of the head job.
 

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I think mine was $1050 or so delivered to a business. I put a new timing belt, water pump, and spark plugs. You also get a spare distributor and a spare fuel rail full of injectors as an added bonus
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have gotten 2 estimates close to the same price. $2500 for head gasket repair and $3500 to rebuild the engine.
It's a 2002 Xterra SE in mint condition 4X4. It has a 3.3 lt engine with 195,000 miles. Water pump and timing belt changed at 165,000 miles.

In your opinion is this a fair price for all they have to do? I was told an 18 hour job to do the repair.

THX
Rob

PS I just bought it 3 weeks ago. I love the truck tho. Cheaper than car payments of the Subaru I was going to buy!
So I’m guessing most people say get a used engine or rebuild mine. One says head gasket.
 

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I would weigh the costs and also the mileage on the engine you already have. If you will break even with the JDM vs the head gasket replacement and or rebuild, I'd go that way. But you do need to take into account the cost of the engine, delivery if it isn't included, and installation. Parts should be minimal since you will be able to pull belts and ac lines off of your old engine. I would have them install a new Rear main seal before the install as it is a common point of failure and to replace it after the fact the transmission will have to be dropped. Also keep in mind that a JDM will likely have the original timing belt installed and while it isn't going to be past the miles for replacement, it is a 16 to 20 year old piece of rubber that is prone to getting dry and brittle with age (might want it changed as well)

A JDM engine is not a rebuild. It is simply a low mileage used engine (typically 45 to 70k miles). A rebuild is really only as good as the person and parts used in the rebuild.

Below is a cut and paste explaining why JDM engines and transmissions are so readily available.

"Due to Japan’s shaken law ( a rigorous auto inspection law), Japanese vehicle owners find it expensive and illogical to continue maintaining their vehicles."

When you get a JDM engine there are a number of parts from the old engine that I would hold on to for future use.
Alternator
Distributor (this is definitely worth keeping)
AC compressor

In the long run you need to decide which is best for you, but which ever way you go, if you are going to have a mechanic do the work, make sure that you look for a good and reliable mechanic and don't just go with the first guy you come across. If there are reviews online available check them out. If you have friends that have had good experience with a mechanic that is also good (unless they're just trying to get work for their idiot cousin). Also keep in mind that the skill needed to install an engine is not as high as the skill needed to rebuild an engine.
The old engine does still have value, so be aware of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would weigh the costs and also the mileage on the engine you already have. If you will break even with the JDM vs the head gasket replacement and or rebuild, I'd go that way. But you do need to take into account the cost of the engine, delivery if it isn't included, and installation. Parts should be minimal since you will be able to pull belts and ac lines off of your old engine. I would have them install a new Rear main seal before the install as it is a common point of failure and to replace it after the fact the transmission will have to be dropped. Also keep in mind that a JDM will likely have the original timing belt installed and while it isn't going to be past the miles for replacement, it is a 16 to 20 year old piece of rubber that is prone to getting dry and brittle with age (might want it changed as well)

A JDM engine is not a rebuild. It is simply a low mileage used engine (typically 45 to 70k miles). A rebuild is really only as good as the person and parts used in the rebuild.

Below is a cut and paste explaining why JDM engines and transmissions are so readily available.

"Due to Japan’s shaken law ( a rigorous auto inspection law), Japanese vehicle owners find it expensive and illogical to continue maintaining their vehicles."

When you get a JDM engine there are a number of parts from the old engine that I would hold on to for future use.
Alternator
Distributor (this is definitely worth keeping)
AC compressor

In the long run you need to decide which is best for you, but which ever way you go, if you are going to have a mechanic do the work, make sure that you look for a good and reliable mechanic and don't just go with the first guy you come across. If there are reviews online available check them out. If you have friends that have had good experience with a mechanic that is also good (unless they're just trying to get work for their idiot cousin). Also keep in mind that the skill needed to install an engine is not as high as the skill needed to rebuild an engine.
The old engine does still have value, so be aware of that.
Thx for the info! I think I’m goingg with mine to be rebuilt. The truck was well taken care of and not ridden hard. Plus most people are saying replace engine or rebuild my engine and not do head gasket repair. I could still have problems with engine with only head gasket repair. One guy says do head gasket. $2500 parts and labor for gasket repair or $3500 for rebuild engine. I got 2 quotes basically around same price.
 

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I love my JDM engine. It runs perfect and it was an excellent value. Only way I’d consider that cost of all the gaskets and machine work is if I was trying to assemble a VG35 or bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I love my JDM engine. It runs perfect and it was an excellent value. Only way I’d consider that cost of all the gaskets and machine work is if I was trying to assemble a VG35 or bigger.
Cost of one now is $999-$1,500. Is that worth it. Then the cost to put it in.
THX
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would weigh the costs and also the mileage on the engine you already have. If you will break even with the JDM vs the head gasket replacement and or rebuild, I'd go that way. But you do need to take into account the cost of the engine, delivery if it isn't included, and installation. Parts should be minimal since you will be able to pull belts and ac lines off of your old engine. I would have them install a new Rear main seal before the install as it is a common point of failure and to replace it after the fact the transmission will have to be dropped. Also keep in mind that a JDM will likely have the original timing belt installed and while it isn't going to be past the miles for replacement, it is a 16 to 20 year old piece of rubber that is prone to getting dry and brittle with age (might want it changed as well)

A JDM engine is not a rebuild. It is simply a low mileage used engine (typically 45 to 70k miles). A rebuild is really only as good as the person and parts used in the rebuild.

Below is a cut and paste explaining why JDM engines and transmissions are so readily available.

"Due to Japan’s shaken law ( a rigorous auto inspection law), Japanese vehicle owners find it expensive and illogical to continue maintaining their vehicles."

When you get a JDM engine there are a number of parts from the old engine that I would hold on to for future use.
Alternator
Distributor (this is definitely worth keeping)
AC compressor

In the long run you need to decide which is best for you, but which ever way you go, if you are going to have a mechanic do the work, make sure that you look for a good and reliable mechanic and don't just go with the first guy you come across. If there are reviews online available check them out. If you have friends that have had good experience with a mechanic that is also good (unless they're just trying to get work for their idiot cousin). Also keep in mind that the skill needed to install an engine is not as high as the skill needed to rebuild an engine.
The old engine does still have value, so be aware of that.
Xterra 195,000 miles ran great before all this!
 

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Putting in an SC engine would require either reprogramming or replacement of the ECU. There may be other items that would need to be added. A normally aspirated engine should just slip right in and start right up. I have read a couple of threads where someone ran into problems trying to swap to an SC.

Also keep in mind that an SC engine REQUIRES premium fuel and gets lower MPG, so between those two factors the cost per mile will go up a fair bit.

The Supercharged model only has an increase of 30hp. 180hp for Normally Aspirated vs 210 for Super Charged, which is a fairly modest improvement.

For a daily driver I'd probably stick with the NA simply for the improved MPG and the simplicity of the install.
 

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I’m going to be using a supercharger on the naturally aspirated engine. I get a little higher compression but I wouldn’t expect it to be rated at more than 220 hp at sea level. There’s a lot that goes into the supercharger and that’s why I haven’t installed it yet. You basically need a donor truck to make it happen. I’d just do the same thing I did and put a JDM engine in it and if you can trip and fall over a supercharged truck, then grab it and go from there. I’d talk to your mechanic and see what he wants to do for labor and compare it to your other options. Seems silly to me to rebuild when you could get a pretty fresh engine for less than parts + machine costs
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Putting in an SC engine would require either reprogramming or replacement of the ECU. There may be other items that would need to be added. A normally aspirated engine should just slip right in and start right up. I have read a couple of threads where someone ran into problems trying to swap to an SC.

Also keep in mind that an SC engine REQUIRES premium fuel and gets lower MPG, so between those two factors the cost per mile will go up a fair bit.

The Supercharged model only has an increase of 30hp. 180hp for Normally Aspirated vs 210 for Super Charged, which is a fairly modest improvement.

For a daily driver I'd probably stick with the NA simply for the improved MPG and the simplicity of the install.
Thx
 
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