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New engine, frankenstein engine or new car - help!

My well loved ?92 Volvo 740 Turbo overheated and cracked a head. Should I

a.) replace the engine with a refurbished one for $3700

b.) install a rebuilt head etc. from parts laying around my mechanics shop for $2500

c.) figure out a way to buy a new car (currently I have no more than a few thousand dollars for another car and no room in the budget for a monthly payment)

In general I trust my mechanic. He is expensive but tells the truth to the best of my knowledge. I am leaning toward option A, because we planned to keep this car for another 3 years or more. What would you do?

Charging $2500 for a head that is going to be “rebuilt” with used parts that are laying around in shop is pretty steep. I would consider that a rip-off!

$3700 for a rebuilt engine, I would ask around. That goes for the head to.

Put your $3700 towards a high depreciating car built within this decade.

Around here they are paying $150-$200 for a junk car so your up to $4000 budget for car that will easily last 3 years if chosen wisely.

The cracked head diagnosis should always be taken with a large grain of salt. This is very, very, very seldom ever the case. Overheating usually pops the head gasket and the cylinder head may warp. This is generally repaired by having the head resurfaced at an auto machine shop.

It’s a tough call on whether the replace the engine. Much depends on how long the engine was overheating, was the engine oil being diluted with coolant, etc. because those symptoms can damage an engine throughout.

That 2500 sounds a bit steepish so for comparison purposes…

If the cylinder head has not been removed and the diagnosis of a cracked head was given, then I would be a bit suspect about this entire operation. How does one diagnose a cracked head without removing it?
For what it’s worth, after working on cars for about 35 years I have yet to run across my first “cracked from overheating cylinder head”.

Used cars that run are all over the place. Your plans to keep it another three years don’t match the available hardware.

Agreed, only heads I’ve seen cracked were due to people pouring cold water into the cooling system while the engine was still incandescent.

Personally, I’d buy a Chiltons manual, the tools to do the job and keep the cash. But that’s just me.

It’s 16 years old! How many miles on it? Maybe it’s time to move on.