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Used vs. Remanufactured Engine

I have a 2000 Jaguar XJ VDP that needs a replacement engine. The car had about 72,000 miles. My question is it better to go with a used Jag engine or a remanufactured engine?

The problem with a used engine is that, in the event of lax maintenance on the part of the previous owner(s), you will be the victim.

If your mechanic can verify that the engine in question is in good shape (i.e.–normal compression, no evidence of oil sludging, valve lash set correctly, other vital maintenance done), then a used engine is probably the more practical choice on a 10 year old car.

But, this leads to another question, namely–Has the transmission been serviced every 3 yrs/30k miles?
If not, then you will soon be looking at another very big ticket item when the transmission fails.

If your Jag has been flawlessly maintained, then it may well be worth investing the money for a used or rebuilt engine. If it has not been maintained at least as well as the mfr specifies, you might want to consider spending your money on a new car.

Thank you VDCdriver. The car has been well maintained. Stored in the winter and regular maintenance. You bring up a good consideration - I had the transmission replaced a few years ago. Maybe worth having the mechanic look it over first. Not sure why, but for some silly reason, we like these jags. (My first time using this site - very slick.)

If you need a new engine with only 72K miles, how much do you trust a used engine to hold up? Remanufactured means you are starting with as close to a new engine as possible. In a good remanufacture all the parts that wear over time should be replaced and that brings the motor back up to the same specs as a new motor.

If the price of a used motor is much less than remanufactured than you can go that route. The labor shouldn’t be much different whichever motor you choose. Of course, labor to replace a bad used motor is something to consider also.

It comes down to what you want to pay. I have used remanufactured and used engines for many years with great success. I know of a 57 Chevy that I sold years ago that’s still going strong on the Jasper engine I installed over 30 years ago. If it’s checked out by a good mechanic before you install it the chances of it lasting a long time are pretty good. If it’s well maintained it may last longer than the Jaguar body.

A reman is the safer route but I have a question.
If you maintained the car well with regular maintenance, etc. then why does it need an engine at a measly 72k miles?

A question I hate to answer. It never sits right with me or others. The car was stored during the winter but gets run in a garage periodically. This time it was left to run for over an hour. When a someone came out to check, it was not running and smoke was coming out from under the hood. We took it to a garage where they did a scope and leak-down /compression test and gave us the bad news. Basically it was stupidity on our part. One troubling factor did come up - the oil seemed to be in particularly bad shape. Not sure if the shop (in another state) we had been taking it to was incorrectly changing our oil, but at this point we just want to get it fixed. The exterior and interior of the car are in perfect shape. So now my major question is whether to get a used engine (low miles) or a remanufactured?

These cars used a “problem child” engine from the beginning. It’s a low production, high performance, very compact size and it has had problems…Engine swapping with today’s complex emissions controls can be very difficult.

With a “Re-manufactured” engine, you want to know who, exactly remanufactured it…Is it a “long block” or a “short-block”?? Exactly WHAT engine is installed in your jag?? The 3.0L V8?? What, exactly, is wrong with it??

If the used engine can be procured for the right price that would normally be what I would recommend but the big issue is that with a used engine you never really know what you’re getting. A salvage may place a guarantee on it but they don’t guarantee labor.
If that used engine turns out to have problems then you’re on the hook for labor again.

I would guesstimate that of the used engine/transmissions/rear axles I’ve installed about 20-25% had “issues” ranging from minor to to total junk. The last rear axle I installed (from a long time reputable salvage) was guaranteed to have been thoroughly inspected by them. I installed it and noticed during run-up that both rear axles were bent. After removing the cover I find that the ring and pinion gear were junk. This rear axle was pure scrap metal.

It’s always preferable that an engine could be heard running before buying it but that’s not always possible. A used one is always a coin flip and the safe bet would be to get a reman unit but there’s even a risk in that depending on the reman facility.
Some reman builders are good and some are not.
(A huge reman facility that used to operate near here for many years (now defunct) used to advertise in the paper for engine builders and the ads stated “engine builders needed, no experience necessary, 7.00 an hour to start”. Ouch.)

If you go with a reman do some homework on the facility before buying one of their engines. (Jasper has been pretty reputable.)

For future reference, don’t have them start it periodically in the garage for a few minutes, that’s worse than not starting it at all. It puts fuel and water in the oil, and the engine doesn’t get hot enough to boil it off. If you don’t want them taking it out for a 30 minute drive (some at freeway speed), then don’t start it at all. Instead, put in a full dose of Stabil in the gas and hook the battery up to a battery tender. That’ll be fine for several months.

Also, have you checked what you could get a used 2000 XJ for? It might not be much different that replacing the engine on yours. Cars.com lists several in the $10k range.

It’s a V8 4.0L. Needs new water pump and gasket. Thermostat assembly, upper and lower radiator hoses, coolant flange and gaskets, three cylinders have no compression, cylinder wall damage, intake valves bent and siezed, needs a motor-radiator.

Personally I would roll the dice with a used engine.

Is there a sentimental attachment to this car. This is only a $7k car at best if the regular v8 engine. Not sure I would bother with another engine unless cheap.

Thanks. You are absolutly right - we won’t do that again. AAA was the one who suggested we do the engine run. Never again. Also, we did check the costs and it still is quite a bit cheaper to go this route - even with the remanufactured engine.

By the time this car is again operating correctly, you will have spent A LOT of money, probably much more than the car is worth…Every step you take, new or used, it’s going to be Ka-Ching, Ka-Ching, KaaaaChinggg…