Jump to content
FLEMINGO

My project finally blew the M10, sell, rebuild or swap?

16 posts / 697 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

Well, this day has come a lot sooner than I had hoped. Ive been restoring a 76' 2002 since I was 15 years old, and I may have to part with her. There is an oil leak behind the oil filter housing and the car has almost no compression, the shop told me that its either time for a rebuild or an engine swap. Im currently not in the best financial situation but I would definitely regret selling the car for the rest of my life. I was hoping that people on this forum who have experience either rebuilding or engine swapping 2002's could give me some wisdom, what would be the ballpark figure for a rebuild or an m20 swap (or a cheaper swap)? I realize these numbers can vary wildly depending on the scope of the project but I would love for someone to convince me to dump more money into my wonderful little car. Any help in this is greatly appreciated.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(edited)

First step would be to find a mechanic or member who can look at your engine and give you a idea of whats really wrong with it maybe it just a head gasket or maybe it's all blowed up hard to tell from your post. You might find a used serviceable engine on the board here or rebuild your old engine but IMHO that will cost you 4 grand or more. A m20 swap is not exactly a bolt in and most engines are old and worn just like the m10 plus you'l be buying a new radiator and  a tranny, along with other parts that will add to the cost even if the m20 is cheap. 

Edited by Son of Marty
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(edited)

Yeah I blew a head gasket years back (on my way to a snowboarding trip... I ended up driving the thing like 35 miles on 2 cylinders to get to a car rental so I could continue my journey while the car was towed back to LA) and went through this same type of hand-wringing. At the time there was actually ONE more BRAND NEW block available from the factory in Germany for $5k. More than I had to spare at the time, but I always thought that would have been pretty cool to snag the last one. 

 

Anyways, I just replaced the gasket and we've been going strong for at least a decade. It's my daily driver too. So I second Son of Marty, and recommend you take it somewhere you trust that can tell you EXACTLY what the issue is. Fingers crossed you can swap out that gasket and move on with your life for a while. :)

 

 

EDIT: Where in California are you? If you're in LA, or near Santa Rosa, I have recommendations. 

Edited by lobf
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before making a quick decision that you already admit you'll regret (selling the car) find out exactly what's wrong with the engine.   How many miles on the engine?  Properly maintained, they're good for well over 200k (my '69 is at 227k with only a valve job at 157k).

  • Oil leaks, short of a cracked block are relative easy to fix.  It may be something as simple as the gasket between the filter housing and the block, the valve cover gasket or the timing chain cover gasket.  Clean everything off, run the engine for a bit and see where the oil originates.
  • Determine what's causing the low compression.  Do a compression test, wet & dry on all four cylinders, then do a leakdown test.  That will tell you if it's a blown head gasket (adjacent cylinders with low compression), poorly sealing valves or worn rings

Armed with more information, you'll be able to determine if your engine can be "freshened up" without it costing an arm and a leg (hone the cylinder walls, new rings, valve job, new bearings without having to turn the crank), or whether a full rebuild (bored, new pistons, turn the crank etc etc) is in its future.  Then you might want to look for a good engine that's left over from someone else's engine swap/upgrade.

 

Good luck and keep us posted.

 

mike

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(edited)

Don't get rid of it. like ya said, you'll regret it. 

 

If you've got a 2002 these days thats in OK condition, you're the proud owner of an appreciating asset. That's rare in today's world.

 

So even if ya park it in the barn till you're in a better financial situation, it's not gunna hurt. 

 

As for rebuilding, as others have mentioned it depends on exactly what the issue is. Could be quick and easy, could be more indepth. But it's an M10.... they're pretty basic.

 

As data-point, here in Germany I started with a tii bottom-end that the PO had started rebuilding but never finished. Bought it for like 5-600 euro, i think? I had that block and pistons checked, honed, line-bored, and the crank checked as well by a master machinist outside of town. At the same time, he reworked the head was previously rebuilt (poorly, by a POS mechanic....) with 8 new valves and HD valve springs, with some tricky machine work for piston clearance, and did a skim-pass all for 1100 euro.

 

After that, it's just your time, and embracing the level of scope-creep ya wanna throw into new parts and fancy bits. You could get a runner with a LOT less money than I ended up tossing at mine, but in all honesty... I threw allot of bells and whistles at my build and it still wasn't too bad. 

 

^^^ The lesson I learned above... skip the mechanic if you're on a budget, and go strait to the machine shop that mechanic is going to outsource the job to anyway, and do the assembly yourself. It'll save ya a ton of money. I went from a dead car, to being up and running in less than a month. And at the same time managed to strip the entire subframe assembly, have it all epoxy coated, and did a nut-bolt restoration to the whole front end 'while I was in there'.

 

Another deciding factor is if your block is numbers matching, and if it's been bored over. Mine was matching but never bored, so that was also part of the decision to find a junker motor I could do whatever I wanted with and keep the #'s matching block in storage to preserve the value of the vehicle. 

 

Lots of ways this could go, but avoid getting rid of it if you don't need to. 

Edited by 2002Scoob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Already noticing a trend in the advice, but I'll go ahead and add more:

1.) Don't sell it.

2.) Fixing is assuredly cheaper than an engine swap almost no matter what.

3.) Only fixing what's broken is cheaper than a full rebuild, but on the other side there's the inevitable scope creep that occurs once you start 'diving in there.'

4.) If you have/can acquire the time/tools/knowhow, fixing a 2002 yourself is both more rewarding and much less costly than paying someone else to do it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only engine swap I would recommend would be another m10. If you can find a good used m10, it could buy you some time. M20/m42/whatever will be way way more expensive. 
 

definitely agree with the others above- take it somewhere who can accurately diagnose and quote you what it would cost to fix/rebuild whatever. They could also quote what it would cost to remove and replace only too so you have your options. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are still M10s out there in running order for cheap.

 

Find one of those, drop it in, and keep driving.

 

I differ with others- don't spend any more having shops diagnose the engine that's in it,

buy a compression tester, confirm that compression is low, then

swap in a 'runner' engine and take apart yours to see what is going on.

 

I made a leakdown tester of sorts out of an old spark plug- bash the porcelain

out, attach an air fitting, and apply compressed air.  It doesn't give you a number,

but if there's a burnt valve or broken ring, it'll find the problem.

 

t

do it yourself and SAVE!

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im going through a similar situation with my 73tii, which I have also been working on since I was 15, so hopefully I could help with what I have learned from the process.
While I was driving I suddenly lost compression (went from 150 to 20-30 psi on cylinders 3 and 4) and had to limp the car home on 2 cylinders with a horrible noise anywhere over 2k RPM. What ended up happening is that I blew a half inch hole in the head gasket between cylinders 3 and 4 and 2 of my 4 pistons were toast...

I pulled out the motor and took everything apart by myself to save on labor while putting all the hardware in bags that I labeled by where they were on the motor (one bag for the timing cover for example) to help make installation a bit easier. I obviously ended up doing a full rebuild but I definitely saved a hell of a lot of money by doing all the labor on my own, including reassembly. I'm not done yet but the motor is back in the car and now i'm just waiting on my rebuilt k fish pump and injectors to get back to me.

If you dont want to do the work yourself and are in the valley or LA area in general I would highly recommend Meccanica

If you are willing to do some of the work yourself and are nearby Id be happy to help with whatever is needed.

TLDR: do it yourself, I did, it helped me save a lot...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/30/2020 at 8:57 PM, FLEMINGO said:

Im currently not in the best financial situation but I would definitely regret selling the car for the rest of my life.

 

Sorry to hear about your temporary project set back but you made the smartest statement I have read today.

Crazy world right now, find a safe place to keep her and build your original vision when you can.

Money spent on a temporary fix might disappoint you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never regretted selling a car. Ever. When it's time, it's time. Of course, I never felt like you do, knowing up front that I'd regret selling one for the rest of my life.

 

When and if I ever feel that way, I'd park it somewhere safe and either figure out how to fix it now or wait for the day when I could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I have never regretted selling a car.

 

Only once- but it was not a car, it was a project that got derailed.

 

Volkswagen Notchback with brutal rocker rust.  It overwhelmed me, I went racing,

and I lost storage.  I thought I'd lost interest, but then I saw another...

 

That's the only one I actually regret.  At all.

 

t

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, NYNick said:

I have never regretted selling a car. Ever.

I almost sold my 74 buyer with a lot of cash the whole deal but I kept her for over 40 years now and gave her some thoughtful simplifications. Anyway I too love a really nice notchback, Toby here's one. Hard to get much simpler than an early VW.

 

jesse-james-volkswagen.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve pined for a nice notch for decades

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/31/2020 at 11:00 AM, TobyB said:

There are still M10s out there in running order for cheap.

 

Find one of those, drop it in, and keep driving.

 

I differ with others- don't spend any more having shops diagnose the engine that's in it,

buy a compression tester, confirm that compression is low, then

swap in a 'runner' engine and take apart yours to see what is going on.

 

I made a leakdown tester of sorts out of an old spark plug- bash the porcelain

out, attach an air fitting, and apply compressed air.  It doesn't give you a number,

but if there's a burnt valve or broken ring, it'll find the problem.

 

t

do it yourself and SAVE!


Totally with Toby here. These are very simple engines (compared to modern). You’ll be doing yourself a favor by learning/understanding how to diagnose it yourself. You have no oil pressure, so that’s a place to start. There’a a finite amount of things that could cause that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.