Engine replacement opinions requested

finaltable

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If this should have been in the swap section I apologize.

I bought the White Pkg ‘89 Targa turbo on in the For Sale section. After some work at my uncle’s shop it was discovered that the head gasket is blown. My choice is fix it or swap for a different engine. I budgeted for this possibility so I just need to make a decision.

My goal is a low issue daily driver. I don’t care about speed, I want something I can drive 500 miles per week. I am strongly considering getting a 7M-GE engine for it to take all the turbo maintenance issues out of the picture. I am sure a rear end swap will be needed if I give up the turbo. I can also go with a 1JZ-GTE but it feels like that is a lot of work and cost.

The platform is amazing; JoeG did great work on the body, interior and suspension. It looks good and drives well. It just needs a working engine.

I very much look forward to hearing opinions on this. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
 
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Koenigturbo

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My personal opinion::: I'd go with the 7M -GE if I were trying to do what you're talking about. This way you already have most the componets, I'd say most of you hoses are close some of the senors are the same, some of the wirings is the same, I don't know the ECU though, I doubt it. I'd rather replace a head gasket than do a full blown swap. Many turbo and non-turbo parts are interchangeable.
 
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Enraged

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I'd do a stock rebuild of the GTE. Make sure the head is straight, get the head and block machined, new rings, bearings, seals, only mod being a metal head gasket and ARP studs. Maybe shim the oil pump and go to a full flow system, but keep everything simple.
 

finaltable

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Ok, now that I have had a chance to think on this some...

The car currently has longer cams that I would not put on a car if it didn’t already have them. Everything about the car is a turbo. IIRC a turbo Mk III has a different rear end than an NA so downgrading to NA is a pretty involved operation.

Fixing the current engine is going to require that the engine come out of the car so at some point in this process there will be no engine in it at all, the only question is ”what goes back in?”

From a labor standpoint, removal and installation is going to be the same. While the engine is out, money can either be spent on A) fix existing engine or B) buy different engine. I don‘t know what “Fix existing engine” will cost but will include taking it completely apart, take head and block to machine shop for repair and reassemble. Buy an engine is just “buy an engine.”

It seems to me the best choice is replace the existing engine with a stock 7M-GTE. If that is the case, can one be had and from where?
 

Koenigturbo

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Take a look at this,: for me anything helps. really good information, you may like this one.

 
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Abe's 1987

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So you may look into either a jdm engine place of maybe lucky a salvage yard. There are a couple 7m's circulating around the ebay site. Since you will be sourcing another engine, have you considered a 1jz or 2jz swap? Yes it is a bit priceyer but imho more reliable. Wasn't to hard of a swap for me with all the write ups around supramania. The major part of the swap is the harness. Just a recommendation.
 

CajunKenny

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If the only issue is a BHG, my recommendation is to pull the head, replace the gasket, and install with ARP fasteners. I recommend studs. Since you don't have lofty power goals, install a factory gasket instead of a metal head gasket.

You'll want the head checked and resurfaced by a machine shop. The block can be checked for warpage while in the car with a straight edge and the surface can be prepped via various methods while in the car.

This method doesn't require pulling the engine and will be easier on the wallet.

My .02...
 
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heavyhaul

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If the only issue is a BHG, my recommendation is to pull the head, replace the gasket, and install with ARP fasteners. I recommend studs. Since you don't have lofty power goals, install a factory gasket instead of a metal head gasket.

You'll want the head checked and resurfaced by a machine shop. The block can be checked for warpage while in the car with a straight edge and the surface can be prepped via various methods while in the car.

This method doesn't require pulling the engine and will be easier on the wallet.

My .02...
Agreed. Fixing what you have is going to be time and money ahead.
 

finaltable

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I think fixing what I have makes the most sense. I appreciate the feedback. That was my uncle’s initial opinion as well but wanted to know what the community thought. The fact that finding a 7M is going to tough really made the difference.
 

JDMMA70

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I use to daily my MK3 turbo with very little issue. All I had done that was "major" was a new head gasket and ARP head bolts. Everything else that failed was electrical. Mechanically the car was sound for the 60K miles I put on it in a 5 year period. My vote would be to fix what you have, do it right, and you'll find you have a solid car.
 
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Koenigturbo

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So you may look into either a jdm engine place of maybe lucky a salvage yard. There are a couple 7m's circulating around the ebay site. Since you will be sourcing another engine, have you considered a 1jz or 2jz swap? Yes it is a bit priceyer but imho more reliable. Wasn't to hard of a swap for me with all the write ups around supramania. The major part of the swap is the harness. Just a recommendation.
Abe: how do you know if you have a JDM engine? what do you look for??
 

E_S

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Any engine swap will open many new cans of worms, with small issues and challenges you never thought of. That's my experience after quite a few swaps in European and American cars. It will be twice as expensive and 5 times as much work as you thought. Go for a rebuild instead. :)
 

finaltable

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I’m doing a rebuild. I will probably start collecting parts to do a swap in the future should this engine become unrepairable. I really like the idea of a 1UZ if that can be pulled off.
 

E_S

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I looked into going the UZ route as well when my engine said goodbye, but being in Europe, sourcing a lot of the parts would be much harder than for you US guys, and I don't have any tools for welding up brackets etc. available, so I wrote it off as being too much a risk of running into endless small issues with everything and a car that would never hit the road again.
 

Abe's 1987

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Any engine swap will open many new cans of worms, with small issues and challenges you never thought of. That's my experience after quite a few swaps in European and American cars. It will be twice as expensive and 5 times as much work as you thought. Go for a rebuild instead. :)
Not 100% true. There is that chance you get a well maintained engine that would last fairly long time. And im totally not arguing that a rebuilt isn't as good. Of course a rebuilt engine would outlast any low mileage used engine if the rebuild is done right.
 

E_S

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Not 100% true. There is that chance you get a well maintained engine that would last fairly long time. And im totally not arguing that a rebuilt isn't as good. Of course a rebuilt engine would outlast any low mileage used engine if the rebuild is done right.
Yeah, if we're talking swapping in the same type as already in the car, it's not too bad. But given the 7M issues with HG and oil pump, you would need to/want to take care of those anyway, so..

I was thinking about swapping in something that isn't stock, like JZ, UZ, LS, whatever people are putting in these days. :)
 

Abe's 1987

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I looked into going the UZ route as well when my engine said goodbye, but being in Europe, sourcing a lot of the parts would be much harder than for you US guys, and I don't have any tools for welding up brackets etc. available, so I wrote it off as being too much a risk of running into endless small issues with everything and a car that would never hit the road again.
Yeah it is normally easier to stick with the original engine meant for the car as i learned dropping another engine in requires more time and money. But then there is that satisfaction of have a car that not many others have. I haven't seen many uz swapped mk3 supras, could be due to the price and hours it takes to drop in the uz
 

Abe's 1987

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I looked into going the UZ route as well when my engine said goodbye, but being in Europe, sourcing a lot of the parts would be much harder than for you US guys, and I don't have any tools for welding up brackets etc. available, so I wrote it off as being too much a risk of running into endless small issues with everything and a car that would never hit the road again.
I also think there is a company that manufacturers engine mount brackets for the uz to mk3 swap.
 

Abe's 1987

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I would love to see the v12 toyota century engine dropped into the mk3 like it was dropped into the mk4.
 

E_S

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Yeah it is normally easier to stick with the original engine meant for the car as i learned dropping another engine in requires more time and money. But then there is that satisfaction of have a car that not many others have. I haven't seen many uz swapped mk3 supras, could be due to the price and hours it takes to drop in the uz
Yeah, the UZ seems for me to be the most attractive route, as it's reliable, possible to do while keeping things look pretty stock, it's a cool engine and it gives nice performance. But - unlike in the US where cars with that engine from the factory are plentiful, they are extremely rare in Europe. And, when not even physically fitting the engine itself is a bolt-in, I skipped the whole idea.
 

Abe's 1987

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Yeah, the UZ seems for me to be the most attractive route, as it's reliable, possible to do while keeping things look pretty stock, it's a cool engine and it gives nice performance. But - unlike in the US where cars with that engine from the factory are plentiful, they are extremely rare in Europe. And, when not even physically fitting the engine itself is a bolt-in, I skipped the whole idea.
Yeah some situations similar to yours, it would be more realistic to rebuild the engine. All depends on time, budget, and willingness. Hell if you needed help sourcing the parts, I'm pretty sure everyone here would be willing to help get those parts to ya.