Author Topic: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!  (Read 3858 times)

TickInTime

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Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« on: October 30, 2013, 06:47:07 PM »
The quick and short story is this:

Due to improper maintance I broke a timing belt, causing my interference engine (1996 SOHC Dodge Neon) sudden death.

I bought a replacement engine for $300 and timing belt parts ($100). The engine was the wrong year a 1999. The junkyard claimed it was compatible, it is but it isn't.

The question is this:  To get this engine working in my car I would need a minimum of a 1999 ECU and wiring harness; approximately $3-400.  I have been biking to work everyday since Jan 21 2013.  If I scrap the car I will only get about $250; possibly more if I part it out.

Any recommendations on how I should proceed?  Attempt to stay the course and fix??  Call it dead and be finished with it??

Also, I am locked into a progressive policy with a nice 35% discount for life due to non-use and a Snapshot Discount. If I cancel I save $345/6 months, but loose the discount.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2013, 06:49:49 AM »
How much would it cost you to rent a car for the few times you'd need one? Compare that to the cost of repairing a car you rarely use, and see if it's worth it.

Very simple, just do the math. You can:
1. fix car, but will still need work down the road
2. scrap/sell car and rent one when needed; keep insurance
3. scrap car and rent one; use car rental insurance

This will totally depend on how often you need the car, and how much time and effort you are willing to put into it. If it were me, I'd scrap the car, and I'm capable of fixing it... I just wouldn't want to be bothered with it.

TickInTime

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Re: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 08:32:29 AM »
I guess I will be parting the car out and scrapping the rest.

Is it worth keeping the car insurance premium, just for the discount and to avoid the non-continuous insurance penalty.

In the past 9 months I have only NEEDED a car once. I can get along fine without.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2013, 08:37:15 AM »
I would find out what the cost will be for a non-continuous policy in a year's time (for a year of coverage), and compare that to what you would pay for 2 years of your current coverage.  I'm willing to bet your current coverage will be more expensive.

Greg

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Re: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2013, 05:18:41 PM »
How badly damaged is the original engine?  Usually one or more valves get bent or broken when this happens, but not all of them.  If the pistons are ok, a head gasket and some valve work might be a good way to go.  As a DIYer for my own vehicles, I would go this route long before swapping in another used engine.

TickInTime

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Re: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 06:43:43 AM »
How badly damaged is the original engine?  Usually one or more valves get bent or broken when this happens, but not all of them.  If the pistons are ok, a head gasket and some valve work might be a good way to go.  As a DIYer for my own vehicles, I would go this route long before swapping in another used engine.

I never pulled the old engine apart. The new engine is already swapped in.  I guess I could pull the head off of the replacement and put it on the original. This would involve swapping the original back into the car. Aye, what I mess I have made...

I have thought about rebuilding the head as an excersize in learning auto mechanics, I guess I could do it now and attempt to get that original engine running.

FunkyStickman

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Re: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 07:34:09 AM »
If it's just a bent valve or two, it's not that bad (relatively speaking). But you won't know if there's piston damage without pulling the head anyway, so it's worth a shot.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 07:42:21 AM »
This is a small engine. If it's not compatible, it's easy enough to pull back out and sell on CL or some other site.

Additionally, as others have mentioned it's probably just the matter of a quick head job (Not very expensive at all).
Heck, even if you had the whole engine rebuilt (new pistons, etc.) it would be relatively cheap and it would be all new.
Hence, if you don"t have a use for the car, you could turn around and sell it with a "freshly rebuilt engine"- Might be worth a few extra bucks to someone looking for a cheap little car AND you'd get to learn a few things along the way.

Melody

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Re: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 04:01:38 PM »
Maybe call progressive to check about the continuous insurance bonus?
I didn't have a car for 8 months and was able to still get it from my insurance co (the cap was 12 months).
Also how about getting your name on your parents or SO's policy as an occasional driver (assuming you do occasionally borrow the car from this person). Assuming you have a clean driving record and are over 25 it shouldn't cost them anything to do this.

Exflyboy

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Re: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 06:37:22 PM »
OK I have to tell you my BS meter just went off the scale.

Your engine IS compatible.... I have rebuilt a NEON and I KNOW it is.

Ok if you have a 1996 model it basically has the same everything as the 99. If you have a 95 model then its a different CPU.

I still think you can swap out the sensors if you need to.. In fact I think the only "incompatibility" is the the 95 model has round pins on the ignition coils and a different connector on the crank positions sensor.. and you can just swap the sensor to the one in your existing engine.

Even if you have bought a DOHC engine and yours was a SOHC motor its will still work very well on the SOHC CPU and vice versa.

Now if by chance you have bought a 2000 model neon motor then that WON'T work ans the crank triggers are different. There is no easy way to make that work.

Get yourself onto the neon forums (Neons.org) and the experts there will tell you all you need to know.

Exflyboy

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Re: Car Repair and Decision Woes!!
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 06:40:57 PM »
Bottom line a 99 into a 96 is drop in fit.

Write to me directly and I can help you.. I know a lot about Neons. For 1 you want to "upgrade" to a mechanical tensioner and ditch the hydraulic version.. Very easy to do.

Frank