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Old 03-04-2012, 10:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default engine swap difficulty/cost

I am thinking about buying an 88 Samurai that needs a new or rebuilt engine.

How difficult is it to do an engine swap on this vehicle?
With my mechanical experience I have replaced ball joints, brakes, a steering rack, u-joints, starter, alternator and done tune-ups. Never anything more involved than that.
Do you think someone with my experience can handle this job?

What would it cost for a shop to replace or rebuild the engine?
I am located in Cleveland, OH.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do yourself a favour an fit a good 1600 16v vitara motor I did mine with an after markert engine managment system and it has transformed the car.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You have the ability, but you lack the experience - for your first rebuild, it would be best for you to work alongside someone who can guide you - the same thing goes for an engine swap.

Please don't feel discouraged by this - I did my first rebuild guided by a Haynes manual, but that was 30+ years ago when engines were simpler, and the quality of Haynes manuals was better.

Mungo's advice is good from a point of view of getting more power, but swapping in a different engine is much more challenging than a rebuild or swapping in a replacement engine of the same type, and swapping a 16v EFI engine into a Samurai will present even more challenges because of the electronics involved, definitely not a job for a first timer working alone.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi
Yes fordem is corect. to do a engine rebuild can be done with the help of a manual but this is alot more complecated than swapping a motor, removing the motor from the car is very easy, I think its 6 major bolts some linkages and its out. it took me 4hrs to remove the old motor and gearbox fit the new motor to the existing gearbox and reinstall it, then 2 days to work out how to wire it, If you are considering a engine swap have a look at the likes of rocky road outfitters, Petro works etc( a load of USA based compaies) have the adaptors and harnesses that make these swaps extrmely easy, this was my first swap and no problem at all, being in SA however there was alot of alternates looked as far thas the managment system went. Just google G16A into a samurai, if the EFI worries you you can always looked at the 1600 8 valve carbuarted version which as far as I belive will basically run with your distributor so no need for the complicate wiring.
there is also the cost to look at, for me it was a choice to rebuild the 1300 with new pistons machining etc @R12000.00 or the 1600 16v for R7000.00, with the ECU, pump, bits and pieces I still came in below the R12000.00
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you don't have a suspension lift then you will need to modify the oil pick up pipe and the sump to do a 1.6 swap. If you're not confident about a simple engine swap then that may be a bit more then you would want to do.
The 1.3 is a simple engine to work on and to to swap out, if you can get some a little more experienced to help out or just to give guidance then it would be a good learning experience.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies, unfortunately I missed my opportunity. Somebody bought it before I had a chance.
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