Replacing an engine, also referred as repowering by engine remanufacturers, is obviously a major repair that requires a sizable investment in a vehicle. As for an properly maintained engine with regular oil and filter changes, changing the spark plugs, timing belt and coolant at specified intervals should last 100,000 to 150,000 miles or more. However, many engines are not properly maintained and thus they need repairing from time to time. And if the engine is severely damaged or the engine has been on the vehicle for more than 12 to 14 years, getting yourself a new one might be the only solution.
The process of replacing an engine involves many things. In general, the first thing you need to consider is the size of the engine, for cramming a giant V8 into a Mini Cooper is unfeasible. Another thing you need to take into account is the weight of the engine, because though the engine might fit into a car’s engine bay, it may weigh too much for the car’s suspension to take, requiring added modification to the car and expenses.
Also, the replacement engine must be identical to the original so that all the required emissions controled and sensors can be installed the same as before. However, if you want an upgraded performance, you need ensure more horsepower in your car by having a hotter camshaft, higher compression pistons, a performance intake manifold, oversized pistons and so on. Nevertheless, there is still another option to achieve upgraded performance—to install a ready to run “crate” engine, which is a performance engine built to almost any specifications by engine builders. It typically costs 20 to 25% less than custom built engines and is available from a variety of sources, but you will not find it hard to know that the more horsepower it can produce, the higher the price.
Moreover, one thing deserves to know is that the more horsepower, the more stress will be placed on the drivetrain and cooling system, demanding additional upgrades to handle extra power, such as a larger radiator, beefed up transmission or clutch.
Finally, after you install your new engine to your car, all you need is a test drive, which includes idling, light acceleration, deceleration and cruising at various speeds. This is absolutely vital to make sure the new engine runs smoothly and performs normally. So don’t skip this step!
Replacing an engine is not an easy job, but once you get the hang of it, it cannot be too complex. Hope you enjoy the process of repowering!