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Old 09-01-2012   #1
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Smile Engine swap or head swap advice?

Hello,

I don't know if you can advise me, which would be the cheaper?

My cam-belt snapped due to a seized pressure pulley and though I have yet to look, very probably taken out the cylinder head too.

Which is the easier to do? Swap the whole engine out via one from ebay, many in far better than mine for £150 +

Or a get a cylinder head instead, new gaskets and cam belt etc?

Would the labour be cheaper to just swap the lot or just for the head?

I maybe could do it myself but would prefer the help of a man with good tools!

Thanks,
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Old 09-01-2012   #2
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Re: Engine swap or head swap advice?

Your main problem is determining the extent of the damage. I'd have the head off and see what the valves and pistons crowns look like, if it's not pretty then a replacement engine would be my preferred choice. If it isn't too bad, you might get away with new valves and guides or a recon head HOWEVER you need to be damn certain that there is no bottom end damage. E.g. Bent conrod, etc.
However, £150 sounds cheap for a decent JTD engine; If you can get one for that then you'd almost certainly have to budget for a new timing kit as well as crane hire, etc.
I did an engine swap on my first car and it's do-able but daunting, take plenty of photographs, label everything and make notes, by the time I got the engine out and the new one back in 72 hours had passed and I forgot lots and wasted a shed load of time figuring it out the hard way.
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Old 10-01-2012   #3
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Smile Re: Engine swap or head swap advice?

Thank you for the quick reply,

I have taken an engine out in my old Fiat Strada days, but just looking at taking out the cylinder head now, I know I'm going to hit the same hurdles -not having the right tools!

I will need a Ribe socket, a tool for locking the cam pulleys, gasket kit, crank turning tool, new engine bolts etc

And just as you say, once you get the head off and find out the pistons and rods are also damaged, it would all be a waste of time :-(

But if you look on ebay, I've found a few complete 1.6 engines, with alternators and all ancillary bits on them too (and with warranty) for £150-200. I could then just put a new cam belt etc on the engine.

As far as I can see, this would mean 'just' removing the gearbox bolts, engine mounts and alot of pipes and cables.

Would this not be easier?
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Old 10-01-2012   #4
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Re: Engine swap or head swap advice?

Check the guy who put the Alfa engine in a few posts down!
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Old 10-01-2012   #5
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Re: Engine swap or head swap advice?

Petrol engine is cheaper, I was thinking diesel. I'd go the engine route then especially if as you imply your engine has seen better days.
You also get to offset costs by selling spare ancillaries, starter motor, alternator, etc.
Best of luck
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Old 10-01-2012   #6
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Re: Engine swap or head swap advice?

Thanks,

Yes, it's the 1.6 petrol version, the engine knock a little when starting up on very cold mornings, but think this isn't a real problem as its fine after a few seconds.

I cannot find a Alfa feed on engine changing, only somebody who but put a Fiat Coupé engine in, but that looks optimistic for me.

Also on those images and others, they dropped the whole assy out of the bottom. But I plan to detach the engine from the gearbox and then lift it up and out as this seems much easier -as long as its possible?
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Old 10-01-2012   #7
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Re: Engine swap or head swap advice?

Engine down or up depends on your thinking, it's easier to split gearbox/engine when it's out of the car. Also a lot easier to put back compared to trying to align the input shaft on the clutch.
Have a think about it and make your decision.
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