Threw a rod

My daughter’s 95 Buick Regal threw a rod. It has 170K miles on it with a rebuilt tranny [50K miles on it].

Short of replacing the motor, can anything be done to repair the engine? I have friends that can help me.

It will be less work to replace the motor than to fix it. You can find a used motor at a car recycler/junkyard.

A thrown rod means a piston has come loose and lots of metal parts have slammed together out of control. Sometimes it produces a hole in the block and most certainly a badly scoured cylinder wall. By the time you take the motor apart to evaluate the damage you could have another motor in the car.

The motor is shot and not repairable.

If it has indeed thrown a rod, the way you’d know that is by the horrible knocking / banging noise you hear every moment it runs. Every knock and bang is the broken connecting rod wreaking havoc inside the crankcase, breaking more and more of the engine block apart, and almost invariably punching a hole in the side of the engine.

No, this engine isn’t repairable, and little of it is even worth keeping as parts for its replacement.

Thanks for the input.

Estimated cost for used motor and install?

New and install?

A thrown rod usually translates to scrap metal and it’s very tough to give an estimate on an engine and labor as this can vary by a country mile depending on who supplies the engine.

If you have friends to help then changing the engine out should be a 1 day deal. Some salvage yards will install, for a nomninal fee, the engines they sell and guarantee them so you could consider that possibility.

With used engines it’s always preferable to buy one that you can actually hear running before buying it. The 3.1 and 3.8 engines used are pretty common so it should not be difficult to find one of these for a reasonable price.
(Be especially careful with the 3.1 as these were more prone to intake manifold coolant leaks. Coolant dilutes the oil and this in turn can take out crankshaft bearings which in turn could be behind the thrown rod problem if that Regal has the 3.1.)

It is far easier/cheaper to buy a junkyard motor and replace the entire engine.

Your Buick will soon be 16 years old (and old enough to drive). Are you sure you want to put money into this car? I would check it very thoroughly for rust and if there is rust, it is time to move on. Also, you have the suspension and other parts that may need to be replaced.

If the rest of the car is near-perfect,and I doubt that, a used engine from a wreck would be appropriate. Budget $2000 or so. A “new” (rebuilt) engine would cost far more ($4500est) than the car is worth in running condition, and you need 5-8 years of trouble free operation to recoup that investment.

If the car has other problems, I would say goodby and start over.

Whatever you spent on the transmission in the past is a “sunk cost” in accounting terms, and should not enter the picture in the decision making process.

It begs the question, of course why you needed a transmission overhaul at only 120,000 miles, and an engine replacement at 170,000 miles. Knowledgeable experts would conclude that this car was not well maintained, or otherwise abused.

I second Docnick . . . budget 2k, we did this for our '95 Civic almost 2 years ago and we were just under $1500 all said and done. Gotta be a ton of engines out there in salvage yard for this GM product. Try and make certain that your replacement is dead-on, exact replacement so you don’t have connection or computer issues. Rocketman