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Guys who have Replaced or Rebuilt there TT engine LOOK HERE!

437 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  John Monnin
Ok guys heres the deal. I want a Twin Turbo, however I really dont feel like spending 10-15k for a car with an engine that has been abused or a tranny that is on its way out. So, here is my plan.
I want to buy a VR4/TT with a bad engine..I dont just mean it has a nock or anything, I mean a BAD engine---preferably Siezed. At that point the whole car will get stripped down and eather a new engine, or a huge rebuild would happen,Then the Tranny, ECU etc.... will be replaced . In other words I want the car to be more reliable then the day it rolled off the assembly line in Japan :) So, I need some questions answered.
1) How hard are these type of cars to come by? I know if I was looking for a car w/ a bad tranny then I wouldnt have any issues, but I want one with a bad Engine..actually a bad tranny and engine would be great.
2) I am thinking that a j-spec with 13gs will be the way to go...what can you tell me about the cost/reliability and quality of these engines..also I heard there was a wait on them..tell me alittle about that, or do you think it would be better to just get the blown engine TOTALY rebuilt..and I mean rebuilding the engine w/ performance parts such as forged internals and what not.
3) As far as the trannys go, what will the 6-speed match up to? In other words, is the Engine that I get gonna dictate what Tranny I get?

Thanks for any answers that you can provide..sorry about the length.
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Did mine at 110,000 due to a slipped timing belt and did the trany at the same time due to bad output shaft. Total $5000
5k..not to bad. That was just parts right? Cause I am gonna do the work my self. Come on guys, I know more people have done this...need more opinions and ideas.
Nope, parts and labor. I didn't have to do a think except ride their case to make sure it got done right and make them re do a couple things. This included the transmission
SL engine rebuild (same as vr4 engine would cost) $584
VR4 tranny rebuild $291

That is the parts cost. I did all the work myself so no labor cost :D lottsa time though :(

the SL rebuild included a new crank, bearings, oil pump, and rod.
the vr4 tranny included 2nd gear 2nd gear slider 2nd gear syncro and all the bearings I broke taking it apart. Kormex kicks ass!

Your best bet is to get a motor with a spun rod bearing. That way it is just the lower end that you need to fix. The upper end is fine.

If you want to go the j-spec route, thats cool too. Do a search on my name and jspec. I am too tired to write about it right now.
Daaammnnn Matt, for those kinda prices I could not only do the Rebuilds but have some extra Cash to throw some goodies on there. Well, you convinced me, now I just need to find the right car. So, if anyone knows of anything, post here, or I have a thread in the Cars Wanted section..

Also, More advice/Comments/Criticism is welcome.
if you want "a car that is better than the day it rolled off the assembly line in Japan" then I really don't think you want a j-spec engine. From what I understand, and correct me if i'm wrong gents, J-spec engines have a good chance of giving you trouble. Not all, but most. At least from what I heard. I guess in Japan the tax rate or something skyrockets after 40k miles so they just ditch the car after that. I personally, if I only had 40K miles out of a car, I'd run in ragged. Really pushing it, not worrying about trying to make it last. Also.. if you really wanted to beef up this project of yours, why settle with 13Gs. Why not go farther up the chain like GT Pro's 368's.?? Just a thought.
no love for the j-specs :(

Remember we are Americans. We will treat things like shit and then throw them out. I'm not convinced that Japanese people do that. Even if they do, I am gonna run the motor hard and treat it like shit so it is better to have one that is use to the punishment.

Maybe I got lucky, but I love my engine. I didn't have any of these bad things that people talk about. Funny too because they don't have j-specs.
Hmm.. maybe all that we've been hearing is a myth or something. hehe
I got mine for 5,700 with 30k on the rebuild and a bad tranny... interior is perfect engine is perfect and the outside just has peeling window tint... I am rebuilding the motor though with a high performance rebuild... I want to make the car reliable to so I dont end up sinking any more cash into it. :D like that will ever happen. I wish I could find one with a bad motor and trans for really cheap I would buy it and have a project car.
$3000 minimum

SL engine rebuild (same as vr4 engine would cost) $584
MattVR4 you will have to elborate or tell us your secret parts stash.

I did a lot of shopping around and here are the actual prices I paid not including taxes and shipping all OEM parts:


Gasket Set: $291
Timing Belt: $115
Timing Belt tensioner $ 62

The following really should be done:
Water Pump: $ 78
Oil pump : $131
Spark Plugs: $ 60
Spark Plug Wires $ 68

So I consider $805 in parts to be a starting point for a good rebuild, with $468 being a absolute minimum.

You could get a reground crank for $120 with bearings but most people don't consider that a good idea with twin turbo.

Now you have to fix what ever is wrong.
Valve job and replace 2 valves $320

Short Block $2300


Option 2 new crank and pistons and bearings
Connecting rods $96 each $576
GTPRO RODs $1000?
2nd Gen Crank $676
Main bearing set $ 20 each? or 1 set out of 4?)
Stock Pistons $55 each $330
Stock Rings $147
GTPRO Pistons $1000
Rod Bearings $ 56
Thrust washer $ 16

Of course the clutch is very easy to replace at this time:
Resurface flywheel: $65
OEM cluch and pressure plate $200
or aftermarket clutch and plate$400-600

I would also have the stock fuel injectors cleaned and balanced for about $125.
More than one member on this board had blown an engine rebuilt it only to blow it again and discoverd that one fuel injectors was running very lean and burnt out a piston.

Other things I replaced because they were easy to access of they looked bad

Front oxygen sensor $ 60
Rear oxygen sensor $ 60
2ND Gen lifters $11.74each $ 281
Downpipe $ 250
New head bolts $ 60

When I ever get around to finishing my 4-bolt main conversion page I will post a full list
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