Replacing Engine...DIY or Professional - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 04-09-2006, 12:41 PM   #1
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Default Replacing Engine...DIY or Professional

I have come to the conclusion that I am going to replace my engine (since it locked up last week). I priced the cost of a reman. long block as well as installation. It seems that for about $1600 I can have the LB shipped to me and I can install it myself. Or have the engine shop do everything for me. They want $2,300.

Is it worth my time to do it myself? Or should I just have them do it?

The only area I see me having a problem with the swap is separating the engine and Transaxle. I just dont know how. I have an engine picker available to me, as well as any tools I'll need to take the old engine out. Is there something hard about doing a direct swap that I am over looking?

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Old 04-09-2006, 12:47 PM   #2
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If you were to do this your self I will reccomend that you shop around a little more for a better price on a longblock... $1600 seems a bit steep..

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Old 04-09-2006, 12:50 PM   #3
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if you have any knowledge of cars i would suggest tryin to do it your self i replaced motors bonnevilles and i had the old one out and new in in 5hours
they arent hard engines to pull the practically jump out of the car
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Old 04-09-2006, 12:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr's3800
If you were to do this your self I will reccomend that you shop around a little more for a better price on a longblock... $1600 seems a bit steep..
BTW, this includes the core cost.

Does anyone have suggestions on where to buy from. Any good/bad experiences? Thanks to everyone for their advice!

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Old 04-09-2006, 01:01 PM   #5
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What is the core charge?

I have seen a few get reman engines from Napa, and a few from Autozone... The 3800 L36 from autozone was $1000 without the core charge.. Its been a good 1.5 years and no problems

If you have the tools and the engine lift than you may want to attempt it if you are looking to save money and are mechanicly inclined...

Gameover has done this a couple of times and I'm sure has some good pointers...

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Old 04-09-2006, 02:49 PM   #6
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I'll call Autozone and Napa shortly.....I would assume the L36 and L27 and close in cost.

A long block from Power Pro is $1,530. The core charge is another $170. $1,700 (not $1,600 like I stated before)
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:15 PM   #7
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I'm in the process of swapping mine. I should actually do the R&R over the weekend. So far, all I can say is that getting the motor out of the back of my Aerostar was a breeze. I did it myself!

Seriously, I'll fill you in on the details next week; hopefully I will get it out and in. It looks pretty straightforward. BTW I'm putting a used motor in my car... for now. This is my first bonneville, so if I'm totally in love by the time the used motor craps out, perhaps I'll go with the rebuilt or even new. I priced a new Pontiac motor at my dealership for $2600. 3 yrs/ 50,000 mile warranty, even if you DIY.

I decided to DIY because of the following:
1) Heard on the forum it was a straightforward job, not taking forever to do.
2) My mechanic quoted $2400.00 for a used-engine swap... including motor and all the belts, plugs, hoses, and gold ingots required to do the job right... and no guarantee if it didn't crank over when he was done. Other local shops were similarly OVERpriced.
3) I want to see if I still have the 'right stuff' for the job.
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Old 04-10-2006, 12:43 PM   #8
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like he said its a straight forward job if you get a used engiine i suggest replacing the upper intake and the lower intake gakets before you even put it in this will save you alot of time and $$$ down the road and its very easy to do to with the engine out

also go to the Dealer and by a New Coolant Elbow(bypass) its plastic and they tend to break when removing the LIM also be sure on all you mounts if you get a used engine most likely it didnt come out of a bonnville some common things to change are the A/C bracket, the heater hose ports (w/e you call them where the heat hoses attach to) the Alt Bracket, Oil filter adapter, just to list a few like i said before these engines are very easy to pull for you noobs just double check everything and also if you new to it i would get a Chiltons or a FSM just for the hell of it

one thing a wanna add is dont forget to Disconnect the Second O2 sensor after the cat and pull those wires throught the engine bay

the Fuel injector wiring should be already labeled from the Factory to what Cylinder they go to

as for the hood you dont have to remove it just disconnect the shocks and push it up more and use a 2x4 to hold it in place
there are probbaly a few more things but i cant think of them now

anything i missed?
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:24 PM   #9
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Theres only 9 (if i remember correctly) bolts holding the engine to the trans axle....5 are on the outside of the bell housing, 3 hold the TC to the flywheel of the engine, and ones a BITCH that you need like 4 feet of extensions and a good eye to get to. You have to remove it from the passenger side as it faces oppposite then the rest of the bell housing bolts.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:18 AM   #10
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Damn guys....Thanks for all the great input. I think I'm convinced to do the job myself now. Does anyone have a list of gaskets that will need to be replaced? I would like to have everything I need to get the job done on hand (i.e. not have to run to the parts store to get some small part that I overlooked).

I picked up a Service manual that seems pretty comprehensive, so I'm pretty confident I can do it myself.

Thanks again for the help guys...It is greatly appreciated!

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