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used Japanese engines
Posted 04 September 2003 - 06:00 PM
Posted 04 September 2003 - 06:21 PM
There are no differences in performance between U.S. market and Japanese market engines for '80s suburus. However, there are some newer models that cannot be imported due to emissions restrictions, and those generally have hotter motors than their U.S. counterparts.
I currently have a used Japanese engine in my car. It has worked really well so far, but after two years of running synthetic oil, some of the sludge has loosened up and is starting to get in the lifters. The other issue with these engines, and the reason that I am going to take mine out and replace it with a U.S. market engine, is that they have different emissions equipment and CANNOT pass emissions tests. I found this out the hard way when I moved to a city that requires testing,and now I have to drive my backup/project car until I can switch engines.
The moral of the story is: If you want a cheap engine that more often than not will work fine as long as you don't have to pass I.M. and can deal with the accumulated oil sludge, Japanese engines are OK. However, due to the lack of maintenance, they often will not be in as good ofshape as a U.S. market engine of the same age/apparent condition. If you've got the money, go with a rebuilt engine from CCR. If not, check around in junkyards for a low-mileage wrecked car with a good engine in it. Personally, I would only use a Japanese engine as a last resort after my somewhat costly (in the long run) and inconvenient experience with one.
Posted 04 September 2003 - 08:55 PM
P.s. this reply is not to boost my car, but to offer my opinion.
I was told by CCR,inc. in colorado that the auto has the highest hp to make up for the drivetrain losses associated with automatic transmissions, and accoring to one of my manuals it also has the strongest valve return springs to help it rev higher without valve float.
This is my fourth (not on this car) EA81 that I have had the pleasure of driving, and it has definitely proven to be more powerful in the high end with only a mild loss in torque. Also I have never been able to run 87 octane fuel at 10 deg until this motor. Definitely a different cam profile as suggested.
Also I bought it from a company that guaranteed it for a year because they do a leakdown and compression test, as well as a rotating assembly test, at least that's what they said.:-)
Posted 04 September 2003 - 09:09 PM
Posted 04 September 2003 - 10:19 PM
Speaking of skylines, I saw one in Sitka when I was in Alaska this summer.
Snowman- do you know what;s up? Is there some difference in laws that allows grey market cars? I heard that there was also an older WRX in town. You know, the cool looking ones before they got those goofy dodge neon headlights and that wierd hyundai trunk/reardecklid.
These were coast guard guys that I was working with.
Posted 04 September 2003 - 10:38 PM
It has 35,000 on it, runs great. I'd do it again.
Posted 04 September 2003 - 11:06 PM
If I sounded a bit harsh toward JDM engines in my previous post, I didn't really mean to. I'm sure they are good engines, I just wanted to get the point across that they probably aren't as good as stateside used engines, based on my logic and my experience with them.
If they aren't yanked at 50K, then why are there so many of them around?
Posted 04 September 2003 - 11:31 PM
You can make a 2.5 rs into a WRX fairly easily.
You just need a wrx drivetrain, and a custom wiring harness.
Or a legacy turbo drivetrain.
Or you can buy one from Canada(rare).
I plan on actually doing this within the next couple of years because I greatly prefer the old body to the new one.(mainly the 22B model)
I have researced this alot and it's very simple, it just takes alot of cash.
Buying a modified rally car used is a more economical way to go, because someone already did all the hard stuff.
Posted 04 September 2003 - 11:34 PM
Posted 05 September 2003 - 08:42 AM
The outside was steam/solvent cleaned. I did a reseal on it, including the oil pan, and i don't remember much sediment in it.
Cooling pasages were a bit nasty- while it was hanging from a hoist I kept filling her up w/ water and draining- head plugs were blocked, that first rinde through looked like automotive diarrhea.
Once mounted, you bet I flushed her a good few more times.
That motor lasted about a year prior to a head gasket failure in a trip (whole other story!) Certainly I don't blame the motor itself- seems like as hg could go on any of our motors at any time (EA82) unless fairly recently redone w/ dealer gaskets...
Posted 05 September 2003 - 08:58 AM
But what I believe most is what professional mechanics have told me about ones they've installed. Most of what I've heard is positive. I would definitely try one out in a backup/daily driver type of car.
The market forces in Japan are to jam new cars down your throat every couple of years (sound familiar?). But instead of 0% financing and rebates, they get you thru regulations and inspections: emissions, safety, and other things that will entice the owner to take cars off the road early. In Japanese culture, people just don't drive old beaters around. Not only is it very embarrassing (this is a biggie in their culture), it's MUCH more expensive to keep an old car legal than to replace it with a new one.
Now there is some truth to the bad maintenance theory, but probably not as common as you would think. In Japan, just like everywhere else, they are concerned about trade in value.
There is some $$ incentive to keep their cars up - not to mention all the inspections that force them to perform at least basic maintenance.
Before cars are scrapped, the engines are evaluated for condition and sold in lots. The best engines from scrapped vehicles will go for the best prices, and fortunatey for us, most of the best ones end up in the US. The ones that are obviously abused will end up in 3rd world countries, or scrapped as well.
Again, from everything I heard, these are fine for everyday use, and some mechanics I know will even stand behind them for as long as 36,000 miles. Unless you get a rare lemon, I would think most would be good for 100k or more.
good luck, John
Posted 05 September 2003 - 11:27 AM
Here's the scoop on the crate motors -
They have about 30,000 - 60,000 miles on them. But you'll never know the actual miles. Assume high!
In Japan, they don't have any oil reserves. Every drop of oil needs to be imported. I don't know about the whole "not changin oil thing," but the oil they use in their engines is a parafin based oil, which is a type of wax. It's cheaper. Maybe that's why people say they don't change oil. It's imperative that after you install it, at least once run some cheap oil and some motor flush through it to clean it out. I usually do it twice.
Also, change all the seals! Always assume the worst!
I've spent some time in Japan, and what they're saying about not driving old cars is absolutely correct. The big difference is that the cars are cheaper, because not only do they not have the emissions standards, but they don't have the safety standards, and most of the cars on the road are half the size of what they are here. It's quite interesting, really. Even their trucks are tiny.
And they drive on the wrong side!
Posted 05 September 2003 - 12:08 PM
Posted 05 September 2003 - 02:07 PM
That's some excellent insight on the Japanese engines, especially about the parafin oil.
It is a very interesting culture. I pick up bits and pieces thru my brother who works for a Honda supplier, and from my interactions with the many Japanese people that work for the Honda plant near Columbus. From what I gather, intentionally neglecting a car, just to save on maintenance costs, would not be looked on too favorably by most Japanese people. In Japan, if a person were offered a low trade-in allowance because the old car was in below-average condition, it would probably be a big-time insult. The incentive would be to keep it in top-notch shape.
If an engine were known to be abused, I seriously doubt it would end up in the US. The Japenese are very conscious about how others think of them, especially Americans. They don't like being wrong, and if you are wrong, they'll sure let you know about it.
Posted 29 September 2003 - 11:39 PM
I wonder if there are any old subie nuts in Japan...
Posted 30 September 2003 - 08:38 PM
2. All vehicles must undergo a 2 yearly compulsory inspection (shaken) once they are 3 years old. This shaken is made up mostly of tax and fees and can be very expensive if repair work also needs to be done. Most Japanese get their shaken done at the dealer where they bought the car. Dealers ALWAYS use the shaken as a good way to make money, by doing repairs/part replacement even if not necessary. The basic shaken costs from only about US$800 (depends on vehicle size) but get it done at a dealer and it starts from about US$1500~US$3000. The older the car gets, the more the dealer says needs fixing, the more expensive the shaken, so most Japanese just trade in and get a new car. Vehicles over 7 years old are normally scrapped, even though may have only done 70,000 kms or exported as used cars.
3. While the shaken does include emission testing and other tests, it is not severe. For example, I recently purchased a 22 year old Isuzu from a dealer who also did the shaken. The slight amount of rust was just painted over. The day after it passed the shaken, it had to be towed back to the dealer due to engine failure.
4. Vehicles also have to have a yearly service check which includes oil change etc. This is compulsory, unless you can show you did it yourself. Again mostly done at the dealer which equals expensive. To save money and because of expensive oil prices, normally the cheapest oil is used.
5. Accident damaged vehicles are also left at the dealer to repair, the most expensive option, so many are written-off even though the damage may not be so bad or they maybe low mileage.
In general, Japanese do get regular (yearly) maintenance done on their vehicles, but due to dealer and parts costs, they normally take the cheap route on oil qulaity, etc.
Hope this helps.
Posted 01 October 2003 - 10:00 AM
Posted 01 October 2003 - 10:14 AM
Sounds like much of what I've heard turns out to be true. I wouldn't hesitate to use one of these, but the cheap motor oil issue kinda bothers me. 2X a year is not frequent enough, and the climate there would probably be considered "extreme" by our standards.
Posted 01 October 2003 - 10:24 AM
Posted 01 October 2003 - 12:46 PM
In Japan the inspections and taxes etc. get very high after 5-7 years and most cars even though they are perfectly good and low mileage, are either sold overseas or parted out. This is done to create artificial demand for domestic car sales in Japan to help the Japanese manufacturers.
Until the Russian Gov't put a stop to it (they are left hand drive like North America) Russian cargo ships would drop off their goods and fill the decks with used cars. Many go to NZ etc. as well.
Someone mentioned a Skyline GTR. Nissan has keeping the GTR in Japan (on purpose) but in the last few years they have been selling it in the UK and some other right-drive locales. Now that they are selling the Infiniti version of the Skyline in North America (G35) maybe just maybe, they will make a left-drive GTR.
When I lived in Japan, Subaru had these neat little 4WD delivery trucks running around. I almost brought one home with me.
Posted 01 October 2003 - 09:22 PM
BTW, If they never changed the oil, wouldn't that void the warranty on the engine???
Posted 02 October 2003 - 03:32 AM
Basically if you get a JDM engine its easiest to just use the block and heads you get from them.... dont even try to use the intake manifold of anything on it (wiring, carb) if you want to keep it simple.
Posted 03 October 2003 - 01:50 AM
Posted 03 October 2003 - 07:18 AM
I do pick up bits and pieces thru the Honda pipeline, but that's mainly the corporate manufacturing viewpoint. I'm talking people that make a living building and selling cars. The Japanese people here are trained to function in our culture, and I'm not sure they are a fair representation of their country.
It is interesting to know what the average folks think too.
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