Junk yard engines

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Feb 26, 2005
Kansas, USA
I have a 94 Aspire that needs a new engine. I'm needing advice or tips when I go hunting for one in a junk yard. I don't want to spend over $350 and would like to find one on 75k, and I'm planning on changing timing belt, water pump, timing tensioner before I put it in and major tune-up after and if I can afford it a Auto-RX or just a M1 T&S 5w-40 treatment. All the ones I've looked at are already pulled so I can't hear them run, should I just pick one close to my specs and hope for the best?
If were in Virginia, theres a PLace called "U-Wrench-it" .. theres 4 Aspires and 5 Festivas... the Engines are $99 Check out the Mazda' 323's or old Protege'.. they may be close to yoru specs
There's a U-Wrench It here in KC also. Problem is the assistant helping to install the new engine is 100 hundred miles away and has different days off. I've thought about it I'll have to check into it some more. It has a 1.3 and a 1.6 could be easily installed but truthfully I don't want to go through the hassle of if it's going to work or not. Eric
My experience is that you need to hear it running or at the very least see it in a car with a low odometer reading. Why do you think you need a new engine? If it ain't dead don't change it. Cheers, Steve
Eric, to answer your original question, just pick one and hope for the best. I assume the junkyard has no firm descriptions or histories of the engines, right? You did not say if there was any kind of guarantee or replacement policy in place. If thats your route, thats about all you can do. Are you doing the installation yourself? If so, keep us informed and good luck. Many on this site could and will help you with any problems. Doesnt Autozone now have a used part locating service now? And would/could they find entire engines? They may be more reliable to deal with. Again, good luck.
The engine in it has extreme blow-by, only one cylinder has full compression and one has none the others in between, valve issues I believe but with the oil change history it would be better to replace the whole thing. I didn't think of the VIN, good point. A few that was still in the cars had oil change stickers but I don't know how reliable that would be. I'll be doing the installation, i've already got the other one ready to pull. I've worked on quite a few festiva's so it should be fairly simple. I've seen the Autozone commercial, I'll check on that. I've looked for 1.6's on the car-parts and all the ones i've seen had over 100k and were alot more expensive that a 1.3 and few in number. Most around this area have a 1 month guarantee, but i'd had to rebuild the front end install it just to find out it's bad.
May seem overly simplistic but seeing it in the car will also help you determine why the car got scrapped. A major rearend hit shows the car was road worthy to the end. I had a junkyard try to sell me a motor at too high a cost and the dash was gone so no ODO. I decided to take a look anyway and the frontend was hammerd bad with metal only an inch or so from the balancer I can guarantee that on impact that had contacted the balancer and just relaxed a little afterwards. The motor I have in my car now was in a car that was in a major accident shows the car was drivable and drivetrain issues were not a contributing factor to it's scrapping there was clearly too much body damage to bother fixing the car. May not help you here but I was able to get the VIN from the wreck and use that to get a service history from a dealer. The cars I was looking at were not that old and the engine was an upgradce thing not a worn out replacement, if replacing a motor based on wear it is probably so old that service records are long since purged from the system.
I got lucky 2 times a few years ago. I needed a cheap engine for a truck I had. I found one at a wrecking yard. Not the U-Pull it type. They did let me look at the wreck it was still in. Truck had 18k on it, had been hit on the passenger side and had a stack of stick on oil change reminders from the same 76 station on the door jamb [Cheers!] I also skored a great running 345 I.H. from a freshly painted Scout that looked like it slid down a street on it's lid. This engine has aquired 260K since I pulled it and put it in my truck!
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