Need advice on engine repair & swap in the Research Triangle area in NC - Message Board


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Need advice on engine repair & swap in the Research Triangle area in NC

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  • Need advice on engine repair & swap in the Research Triangle area in NC

    Hey guys... been a while since my last visit, glad to see the forum is alive and kickin'! I need some advice on getting my '96 bird up and running again. The engine had some issues with compression in cylinder 5, and it's been sitting there for two years now. I haven't had the money or time to deal with it until now. I had a local shop run a diagnostic test - will post that when I find it - what I remember was they wanted $3500 or so to repair, with most going into labor or basically taking apart the engine to get to cylinder 5.

    I don't know if it's smart to do the repair or engine swap. I just want her to be up and running again. Sentimental values and all that. Obviously the smart thing to do is to junk it. But I love the car so much! It was a garage queen, probably why the engine failed, wasn't driven enough.

    If there are any NC people here, I'd love to hear from you all! Could use suggestions on shop and good trust worthy people for sure.

  • #2
    Depending on what the shop comes back and says, if your engine ends up needing a rebuild I would forgo those repairs. You can look up a 3.8L engine here: the site searches all junkyards in North America and you can sort them by distance/ price.

    When my engine blew I picked up a motor out of a fwd buick lucerne with 2,000 miles on it (basically brand new) for $500. You can use the front wheel drive 3.8’s but will need to swap your oil pan and upper/lower intake manifolds. You can probably sell off the fwd stuff for a few pennies (I broke even by the time my stuff was said and done).

    If you can’t do the swap yourself- shop around for a good ahop who will do it for cheap but a good job. It should be no more than $1000 for a shop to swap your motor as it is all plug and play being the same thing.

    To me that far beats spending $3,500 on a rebuild

    2002 SOM Z28 Camaro
    1996 3800 camaro- Gone - still the fastest N/A Canadian 3.8L F-body
    V6 best: 13.43 @ 100.77 mph

    My Current Build | Synthetic Oil | Videos


    • #3
      Yeah $3500 is just about right for a rebuild, if you were going to build it up with a cam and forged internals it would be a good time to do it. But like Mike said if you just want it running a donor engine would be best.
      08' L76 6.0L 4X4 Chevy EXT.Cab LTZ Vortec MAX with Snug top cover, Dynomax exhaust,Hptuners& K&N intake
      96' Camaro M5 to A4 conversion, alot of mods ,see Homepage. GT35R Turbo


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