Where to buy a cheap blown engine

Hey all,
I grew up working on cars a lot. I’ve helped out swapping motors and whatnot but have never torn one down solo. I was thinking about buying a blown motor so that I can toss it on a stand and tear it apart. Any good ideas where to buy one? I tried craigslist without a ton of luck, but it’s also winter in WI, and was wondering how hard the boneyard would laugh at me when I call. Depending on how bad of shape the motor is in I will either scrap it in the end or attempt a rebuild. However my hopes aren’t high at rebuilding. Also how does 150 sound for a price range? I have a hoist and engine stand in the garage.

Thanks for all the input!

I’d start calling local scrap yards and explain what you want and what for. Hell! They may give it to you!

And to keep costs down, start with a 4 cylinder.


What is an easy 4 cylinder to tear down? I was going to actually get an old lawn mower from our towns dump to pull apart this spring cuz i’ve got the itch bad right now.

I thought you wanted to learn about car engines. Not lawn mower engines. I have a 5 HP Briggs & Stratton engine you can have for free if you want to drive to Minnesota and pick it up.


I do about car engines but I tear apart anything. Haha lawn mower motor is a personal confidence booster before I really dig into an engine.

Then you won’t need that hoist and engine stand with a lawn mower engine.


I know that. That is just before I actually go out and buy a car engine to tear down. I was just saying everything that was on my mind at the moment I guess. Like possibly april I will rip apart a lawn mower. May I will buy an actual car engine

A Motorcycle Engine Might Be Fun. They’re Generally Cleaner And Less Corroded Than An Old Car Engine. Salvage Yards Usually Have Some In Stock.


Any Honda CVCC engine would be quite an education to play with. They were in 82 and prior Accords and Civics and maybe in a couple years after that. They mostly come with part of a car attached.

Any 4-banger is an easy and fun project. These are very cheap and plentiful and most are really basic. That CVCC engine is special, tho, because of the third valve and pre-combustion chamber. No other engine that I know of uses that design.

I got several lawn mower engines from a dealer to show the scouts how they work. Shop was happy to give them away.

Tearing one down is easy. It’s putting one back together that gets tricky.

I’d suggest looking st the boneyards, or even with a “will pick up for free” ad in the local paper, looking for a smallblock V8. That way you can rebuid it into something that you might want to then drop into a project car. If mechanics is your interest, a project car will teach you about drivetrains, brake systems, wiring, suspension, steering, etc. etc.

I would seem to me a shame to put the time and money into rebuilding a 4-banger.

If you are to accept my advice buy a the cheapest car you can on a Auction, for example at your local Copart. you can get a great deal for no more than 200 or 250 dollars, and you will have a full car to work on, and a full engine to play with

You don’t realize you are replying to a post that has had no activity for 7 years. In each post, there is text un the upper right hand corner… Mar '13 is the last before yours… and that means March of 2013. So the original poster was found his engine or is long gone from the site.

Welcome to the forum. Post as you like but you can choose to see the latest posts at the top.

Yeah, OP is probably married by now, has 7 kids and no time to work on cars :slight_smile:

A carburated small block Chevy engine would have a much better chance of being successfully rebuilt as a first try for a DIYer and there’s a much better chance that it could be successfully installed in a car or truck cheaply. The simplest 4 cylinder that I have overhauled was a 2.5L engine which is basically 1/2 of a 305 small block V-8. A 22R Toyota is relatively simple but still more complex than the V-8 and more expensive to rebuild and it’s unlikely that it would ever find a home under the hood of a driveable vehhicle. And I suspect that engine rebuilders have complete 305s laying around because people buy rebuilt 350s to replace their 305s which get turned in as a core. Often the rebuilder refuses to refund the core fee and the customer won’t pay the freight to get it back so it becomes scrap iron.

And with a low RPM truck cam the 305 can be a great pickup engine. I’ve installed 350 SBC school bus/farm truck camshafts in 305s and the customers were amazed at the performance.