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My son just let the oil level get to low in his 2003 Xterra. Long story and I'm a little short tempered right now, so on to the solution.

I know my local mechanics can get 100,000 to 125,000 mile used engines for ~$2000. I looked on line and some of the reman prices I am seeing are in that ball park. The problem is I don't know who does good work and who is trustworthy (i.e. stand behind their warranties). The engine is a 3.3 Liter V-six.

Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated!
 

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I would go for low mileage junk yard motor will last longer than reman motor but you got keep the oil up.
 

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What do you consider low mileage. I was told by my mechanic that anything under 100,000 miles would get expensive pretty quick. He priced an 115,000 mile motor and labor at ~$3500.00. I thought I might be able to get a reman motor for that is shopped around. But would a reman be better than a motor with that many miles.
 

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No one puts the motor together like Nissan . You will be lucky to get 50000 miles out of reman. Get a good donor with 100000 and you might get another 200000 miles.Any thing under 100000 is good .
 

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I am working on a similar problem except I purchased my 04 knowing it had an engine issue. Check out my thread here: http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?t=143001 to see my approach for replacement.
I have $899 in this engine SHIPPED! I will be doing the install myself but have had two quotes for the swap one for 1500 (labor) and another very reputable ASE mechanic quote the swap for 1100 (labor). Engine has a 90 day unlimited mile warranty (internals ONLY). But.....it is a Low Mile NISSAN motor an if it will last as long as the one I am replacing I should be good for another 130K.
 

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Ok, now I have to call this out. There is nothing wrong with a reman engine. I have used them just fine in the past. A decent reman will come with a warranty, something many junkyard engines can't claim. You also do not know the condition of the junk engine. You could put it in and after the (maybe) 30 day warranty is up, it could blow and you are back to square 1.
A good reman engine will be completely rebuilt, something a junkyard engine will not be.
I have seen a reman engine with a 1 year warranty or 15,000 miles.

If you still decide on a used engine, your mechanic is ripping you off. Those prices are outrageous unless there is info not posted here.
I have found many 3.3 under 100,000 and under $1,000. It gets a bad rap, but a lot of junkyards sell through ebay. Many of them give a short warranties.
To give an comparison, I had a 97 mercury sable deathsedan. Engine blew and to get a junkyard engine AND get it put in, was 1600. Less than half of what your mechanic estimates. I'd get second opinions, but that's just me.
 

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I am working on a similar problem except I purchased my 04 knowing it had an engine issue. Check out my thread here: http://www.clubxterra.org/forums/showthread.php?t=143001 to see my approach for replacement.
I have $899 in this engine SHIPPED! I will be doing the install myself but have had two quotes for the swap one for 1500 (labor) and another very reputable ASE mechanic quote the swap for 1100 (labor). Engine has a 90 day unlimited mile warranty (internals ONLY). But.....it is a Low Mile NISSAN motor an if it will last as long as the one I am replacing I should be good for another 130K.
I think you made a good move.
 
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