Replace engine on a 1990 Mitsubishi Montero



I have a 1990 Mitsubishi Montero. The car has 150k miles on it (I am the original owner). It has a 3.0 liter V6 engine. Lately, the oil pressure light has been coming on at idle. I had my mechanic check it and he says that the oil pressure is dropping to near zero at idle, indicating worn bearings in the engine.

I would just drive it for as long as I could, but unfortunately the water pump has just started leaking. To replace the water pump on this car, you have to get so far into the engine that you have to take the timing belt out. So it doesn’t make sense to repair it if the engine is already pretty much worn out.

My question is, would I be crazy to try to put a new engine into this vehicle myself? The body and interior are in great shape, and it’s a fine around-town and camping vehicle. I’m mostly a computer desk jockey in my day job, but I’ve done some various mechanical work on my own cars through the years, though nothing on this scale. Does anyone have any experience or recommendations either with this specific vehicle or with the subject in general? Any recommended resources that I should look at or read before making a decision?




Well, if you like the car, it might make good sense to put in a new/recycled engine.
But keep in mind that removing and replacing an engine is an order of magnitude more complex than doing brakes or a waterpump.

Do you have LOTS of GOOD tools? A workbench? Something to hoist the old engine out/new engine in? A helper or two? A pickup to carry the old/new engines?

Before you try this at home, take a plate of cookies or a six pack of cold beverages down to a friendly local mechanic who does these kinds of things and see what’s involved.