Integra The car that brought the Acura name to the foreground of the sport tuner market...

Looking for engine advice...

Old 05-19-2008, 06:00 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3


I have a 1995 Integra LS-SE, 1.8L, 5-spd manual that I need to get running again.

The engine quit about a year and a half ago due to my stupidity (original timing belt broke at 70+ mph on the freeway) and I haven't had the resources to get it fixed up again until now. The engine has over 150,000 miles on it, but was running great (better than some newer engines) just prior to the timing belt incident.

I see three options:
1) try to get the existing engine running again;
2) replace engine with used engine (from Japan?);
3) replace engine with rebuilt/remanufactured engine.

#1 scares me even though the engine was otherwise OK prior to stopping. I'm concerned that after sitting idle for a year and a half, seals may have deteriorated, rust may have formed inside cylinders, etc. Even if these things haven't happened, an engine with that many miles on it will probably exhibit other problems soon due to its age and mileage, right? I don't want to have to go through this again in 10,000 miles...

#2 and #3 involve finding a "new" engine to replace the old one with. I'm not sure if rebuilt or remanufactured engines (is there a difference between "rebuilt" and "remanufactured"?) are worth the substantial price difference over a used engine. I'm also not sure how to know if a rebuilder has a good reputation and can be trusted.

I might add that I am not a mechanic and have neither the expertise nor the tools to do the work myself.

Any advice that anyone out there has would be welcome.

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Old 05-21-2008, 12:10 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 609


answer to number 1 as long as rust hasnt moved in the head can have a handfull of valves tossed in it. and the process will reseal all but the rear main and oil pan
do the water pump/cam seals/crank seals/head gasket/intake and exhaust gaskets as a part of the job or with little effort can be added.

#2 japan motor. a excellent sourse for parts IF you make sure what your getting will work for your car. and not all deals will be cheep.

#3 a used engine with fair-low milage will out last a reman. and a shop doing a rebuild correctly can be hard to find.

remanufactured is a engine from a LARGE company that supposiably replaces all the internals less the crankshaft, block, bare head, then rebuilds it. (usually with lowest bidder parts)

most come with a warantee. jasper i think offers a 5 year 50k

a rebuild is typicaly done by locals at a machine shop...and a fun idea to use em if your thinking of some big mods...(you know sence we are here anyway right?).

in my personal opinion.
talk to LOTS of shops price shop ask lots of questions take lots of notes. (rember if it sounds to good to be true. well then im sure its not true)

and please ask this forum lots of questions. no matter how silly you think they may be.
Old 05-22-2008, 01:44 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3

acuralegend, thanks for the reply!

My understanding is that since mine is what is called an "interference" engine, there is an excellent chance that the pistons and the valves collided when the timing belt broke, and that this probably means bent valves and possible piston damage as well. I've been told that at the very least, the head will have to be rebuilt, even if the block is OK.

If the head has to be rebuilt, I'm guessing that it may be less work (and therefore less expense) in the long run to simply yank the old engine and put in a new one rather than rebuilding the head and otherwise leaving an engine with 150,000+ miles on it in place. But again, I'm not a mechanic and so this is just speculation on my part.

If I understand you correctly, the rebuilt engines are often rebuilt with less-than-OEM-quality parts, right? How on earth can I know the difference before buying? They could be lying through their teeth and I couldn't prove them wrong.

For what it's worth, I'm not looking to make any mods to the system. I'm trying to keep it relatively close to stock. I don't need super high performance, so I don't want to pay extra for it. Even stock, this car always handled beautifully anyway.

I guess I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed by the choices here. It would be so much easier if I had a mechanic I trusted not to nickel and dime me to death...Edited by: beerslayer
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