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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WARNING: This might get kind of long, but please read and reply if you can help guide me.

I don’t know why this never hit me before, but now that it has hit me, it hit hard!! I am consumed with the idea getting a VR4 with a bad transmission and engine, or just a bad engine, then buying a j-spec engine and dropping it in the VR4. I could just go buy a VR4, but finding one in my price range that isn’t over loaded with miles or has some major problems with it, is next to impossible.

So I have some questions about this whole process....

1. Where do you find these J-Spec engines? And what’s the story with them? Are they better then regular non j-spec engines? Do they have 0 miles on them, or do they have something like 30,000.00 miles on them? Anything special needed to make these work with VR4s in the US? I am just looking for as much info on these engines as I can’t get. What’s the cost of them generally?

2. Where should I look for a good VR4 with some major transmission problems and engine problems? Is it a good idea to get one that needs both of those replaced? I am looking for a second gen VR4, would it be easier to come across a 1st gen VR4? What should I expect to pay for something like this?

3. Where do I look for a good replacement transmission? What am I going to have to pay for one of these? And to have it installed?

4. What else is needed to complete a project such as this? It seems pretty simple. Find a VR4 that needs a new engine and transmission. Buy transmission and have installed. Buy j-spec engine and have installed. DRIVE CAR. :)

I would be paying to have the work done on the car because I am nowhere near the mechanic I would need to be to pull this off on my own. Is this even worth doing? Right now I have a 1996 Base 3000GT with the 24V DOHC engine. I am going to sell that to fund the project I have talking about. I guess I am just looking for some advice, guidance, and information in general.

Thanks, and sorry this was so long! :)
 

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not sure how to order a j-spec engine but they usually have 30k-50k or so miles on them. i believe they have 13g turbos on them so that's a nice extra. i think they're somewhere around $2500. also just as a warning, i've said it before and i'll say it again, this engine has been sitting somewhere(in a boneyard or the like) for however long without any oil in it or coolant in the the radiator/lines. metal tends to rust and gaskets/hoses tend to dry rot and detteriorate in these conditions.

as for replacement trannys, kormex sells rebuilt getrags for $2500 i think. i'm not sure about cost of install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the warning on the J-Spec engines..... thats something i wouldnt have thought about. Hopefully there is a way to get quality j-spec engines that arent rusted out and all dried up! :)

Thanks for your help!
I am trying to figure out if this is what i want to do or not. I just know i need a VR4. This seems like the best way to go about it because its in my price range, and i know i am going to have a quality VR4 when its done... not something in need of tons of repair work and maintenance.
 

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If you are mechanically inclined and enjoy a project, that is the best route to go. I would love to find a TT with a blown engine AND tranny. I just rebuilt my VR4 tranny for $291 and my SL engine for $584

So basically, it cost me less than $900 to fix both. A vr4 with a bad tranny and engine might sell for around $1000 :eek:
 

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oh, my jspec is fine. They come with a 6 month warrenty too. AND, mine (cant speak for all of them) was broken down cleaned, dried, and reassembled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am not the type that would take on this project alone. I would take it to a mechanic who actually knows what he is doing (unlike me) and have them work on it with what little assistance i could provide. I know that makes the overall price of it go up since i have to pay to have the work done, but i am sure i could find a mechanic who is willing to work out a deal with me... there are a few that i take my truck to whenever something is wrong with, so i am loyal customer... they might give me a break. LOL

Any idea where to find a VR4 with a bad transmission and engine? for 1,000.00 i would be one right now! I would prefer a 2nd generation body style in the same RED as my current 96 Base. But i guess i cant be to picky. :) If its not red, then I'll just have to have it painted after its all up and running. Unless the color that it is grows on me like this red has....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
oh, my jspec is fine. They come with a 6 month warrenty too. AND, mine (cant speak for all of them) was broken down cleaned, dried, and reassembled.
Sounds like you got an awesome j-spec engine... where did you get it? how much? are there websites out there with info about these engines? i tried doing a search for j-spec engines on google, but cant really come up with much of what i am looking for.
 

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a2zengines.com I dont think they have them anymore though.

I am not the type that would take on this project alone
I didnt use to be either. Just gotta dig in and get your hands dirty.

Having a mechanic do it would more than double the price. I think you could find a nice vr4 instead.

Oh, $1000 is for a first gen. I dont know about the newer ones.
 

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Alright, here is some extra input on the J-Spec...

Some come with 13G turbos in them. The stock J-Spec has basic 9Bs in them but many people like to upgrade in Japan, so thats why you see more of them.
J-Specs typically come with 40,000 miles on them because once you reach a certain mileage on your Jap car, you get taxed out the ying-yang. Question: If you were going to have a car for only 40,000 miles and then get rid of it, how hard would you run it and how hard would you take care of it??? Think about that.
Also, most J-Specs come with a 6 month or 1 year warranty on the block only. Any extra components such as turbos or turbo oil lines, etc, etc are at your own expense. I just fried my Jspec turbos because some guy was stupid enough to put a solid bolt into the turbo oil line- almost impossible to spot. So now im paying for new turbos.
There are a few modifications you might want to consider when swapping to the J-Spec. There are fewer emissions stuff on the j-spec throttle body, and there are no O2 sensor housings. These you will need to swap out on the old engine to the jspec.

I hope i gave you a better look at the jspec.
 
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