Engine Rebuild

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 16:21
ThreadID: 5878 Views:14157 Replies:9 FollowUps:5
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Well if any of you have read any of my previous postings you would be aware that my radiator had been lossing water, today I found out both head gaskets had blown causing the radiator to lose water, and was up for a $3000 bill to repair both of them. This made me consider the possibility of having an engine rebuild, rather than having to come back in a few more months finding something else wrong with the car. I was wondering if anyone had any comments on an engine rebuild for a Mitsubishi Pajero NJ 1995 V6 3Litre, done 215 000KM, maintained regulary, has been apart of the family for 8 years, and this has been the only major problem with the car.
Roughly how much would this engine rebuild cost, providing no other major component has to be replaced in the engine.
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Reply By: Member - DOZER- Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 18:44

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 18:44
I believe engine parts for tripple star motors are expensive, have you considered a 3.5 jap engine, or a wrecked magna complete from www.pickles.com.au?
Andrewwheredayathinkwer mike?
AnswerID: 24495

Reply By: Member - Robert (WA) - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 19:03

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 19:03

AnswerID: 24501

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 21:58

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 21:58
Why have both heads blown? What are you getting for your three grand? Engines aren't cheap to rebuild whatever they are, I haven't found your other thread, so I haven't got a lot of background, have you had any work done just before this happened? Did the heads not get torqued down properly? Is the block warped. Just seems a bit strange that both heads have gone at the same time. If you've given up on the motor the other answer regarding fitting a Magna engine and changing a few bits would seem to be the easiest and maybe the cheapest option. Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 24511

Reply By: Eric - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 22:58

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 22:58
The parts for reconditioning a 3litre are avialable from specalist engine parts mobs like repco for not bad prices, the 2 gaskets should be about $50 each and rings about $100, so the price does look a bit high, the bore should be fine at only 215k. If you by a factory workshop manual, and a hone, you can the hole job for under $1000. Eric.
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Reply By: kezza - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 23:03

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 23:03
If rebuilding - dont skimp - replace everything - that way if you still have the vehicle in 3-5 years time you wont be pulling the donk out again - all to often once the heads are off (and you gaze into the scores in the bores and the corrosion or heat cracks on the heads that caused them to leak in the first place, the worn camshaft, the old water pump the gummed up tappets and worn lifters... and so on........)its not much more to do a complete overhaul and have a good reliable motor again.

Second hand motors may have problems all of their own - even if they have a 12 month warranty, some Ive seen have been put together from several motors ie the best looking heads on the best looking block - just stripped and rebuilt without any major overhauling. - Its so hard to tell..

"providing no other major component has to be replaced in the engine". They are all pretty well major components and they all wear.

I know the feeling - good luck
AnswerID: 24520

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 23:15

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 23:15
If rebuilding - dont skimp - replace everything -


Look at the bloke with the rebuilt engine that needed 'deglazing'...
FollowupID: 16472

Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 09:02

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 09:02
Rodney it never turns out to be as simple as you'd hope. In which suburb in Syd do you live ??Carpe Diem
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Reply By: Steve from Drive Systems Victoria - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 09:38

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 09:38
I'm confused? A rebuild of the engine is a whole lot more trouble and expense than replacing two head gaskets. The bottom end can be assessed by oil pressure checks, oil analysis and rings/bore if it is using oil. Only if one or all of these checks show up less than perfect, do you need to start worrying about where to spend you extra spare cash. I would offer that you purchase all the parts after-market (where possible) and shop around for another quote to do the gaskets. I think you are jumping the gun by going down the route of rebuilds, purely because you need to solve a water leak?
AnswerID: 24537

Follow Up By: Gerry - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 12:01

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 12:01
I agree - if it's only blown gaskets and both have gone then there must be a reason for it - do you know if the heads have been off at any stage? Maybe some previous work was carried out incorrectly (wrong torque settings used?). Have you overheated the vehicle lately? I would remove the heads, get them pressure tested, faced and repaired as necessary, check the bores while they're off and if all looks OK then put them back making sure you use specified tensions etc. Like Steve says, if it wasn't using oil and oil pressure was OK then it's likely you'll get plenty more k's out of it yet.
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Follow Up By: Rodney - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 13:23

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 13:23
One year ago the mechanic I was originally taking the car to, informed me the water hoses to the engine where due to be replaced, so I told him to go ahead with the replacement of the hoses, however it turns out he did not replaced them and 5000 k's down the track one of the water hoses to the engine had split and caused the engine to overheat as I was going over the Harbour Bridge. I then decided to change mechanics as the previous mechanic refused to take any responsibilites for his negligence. The new mechanic informed me that I was lucky I hadn't cracked the head gaskets, well it turns out they where damaged, and it only recently the problem became evident.
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Reply By: Donald - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 11:47

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 11:47
May I comment,
In every failure their is a root cause ..one root cause. It is not always easy to determin that.
In your case you have a common problem that affects both heads so I would be looking for a common cause.
If the heads or block are warped it may be that the engine heat exchange is not up to scratch. This can be caused by a variety of things and may of had a serious
un-favourable excursion at some stage.
The engine may of been running hot because of combustion reasons also.
It is pointless trying to eliminate a leak long term with un-even, warped or corroded surfaces on gasket faces even with the best of gaskets. The new non-asbestos gasket fillers are not as forgiving as the old asbestos type so all conditions such as alignment & flatness of gasket faces is paramount
The quality of the previous gaskets and the handling by the mechanic may of been at fault. As suggested in-correct bolt torque and subsequent re-torque may of been a contributing factor. Another trap is when head-bolts or studs are coated with an excessive amount of lubricant (never seaze /grease, oil etc) at the bottom or the tapped holes are full of lubricant you can achieve the specified bolt torque by hydraulic compression of the lubricant before the gasket is sufficiently compressed. This then allows a leak path.
The condition of coolant and anti-corrosive additives is also important as corrosion is everyone's enemy with alloy engine components.
I suggest that if you are to repair the existing is to have an alignment of the gasket faces on head & block checked to see if warped & to what extent. Have the heads stripped & glass bead blasted & also check for cracks with Die Penetrant. And check for condition of gasket faces.
Remember also with head gaskets metal to metal (unless manufacturer specifies other). Glue products turn to carbon.
If the root cause is not eliminated you may suffer the same again.
regards to all
AnswerID: 24541

Reply By: Donald - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 12:34

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 12:34
In addition to my previous reply if the block is damaged or warped I would recommend a comprehensive check of all components, dimensions, clearances and surface condition of the whole engine. You may not need a full overhaul but err on the safe side after recieveing a report.
You are going to spend quality money so you should get a quality job done not a back-yard approach unless you trust the resources.
Keep your vehicle as an asset and not a liability. You want it to be reliable especially in the scrub.
Band-aid repairs are a compromize and an easy buck for a quick fix workshop.
I may be leaning on being a bit of a perfectionist but if you have a "get it right first time" approach you will enjoy the benefits & keep the long term costs down.
Also a full overhaul will come with a warranty etc.
Retro-fitting alternative motors can in some cases become a headache for you with only short-term gains and there are Insurance & ADR rules to consider. But this is your choice and there are mixed feelings about this alternative, it still costs heaps$$$$
Hope this is of some help
AnswerID: 24546

Follow Up By: kezza - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 22:00

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 22:00
I did post a follow up last night but for some reason it didnt appear. I suggest pull the heads off take a look then make your decisions.After 215,000ks the motor is not going to be in mint condition I personally would overhaul the motor if I was going to keeep the vehicle but then again I can do all the work myself and have access to all the parts and services at the right price. Its a petrol motor and its going to need some attention after these sort of klms once you check the bores out and wether or not there was any damage to a particular bore from the water leak you canot tell until the heads are off.

As for skimping and just doing the heads - Its a risk and on a vehicle like the ones we use if reliability is your main priority Id have a good look at the condition of the donk.
Personally and professionally Id tend to do the job properly once. ( I hate fixing something and then finding its broken again a year or so later - but I guess thats why I rarely have problems with my vehicles.

FollowupID: 16526

Reply By: chook - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 23:22

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 23:22
Hi only new at this, we also have a 3 Ltr Pajero that we purchased just over 2 years ago, we had the car checked buy a machanic and was told it was a good buy with a full service history. Not long after we bought it we had problems with the valve stem seals, the repair was cover under warranty (both heads reco'd) so we thought that the problem would be solved. Not long after that we moved from Townsville to Perth and at the next service (in Perth) it was revealed that we still had trouble with the heads. Our mechanic pulled the heads off and it was found that the when the heads where reco'd the valve seats (not mechanically minded) were not ground correctly. The orignal work was done buy and Australian wide repairer and after a bit of a discussion with the national manager their agreed to redo the job. Alls fine at this stage, however my wife and I beleive we may have been better of rebuilding the engine, because now both of us are waiting to see if something else will go wrong. After all a lot of money goes into the labour to pull these things apart, you dont want to be paying for it again in a hurry.
AnswerID: 24808

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