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98 Tracker blown engine
Have a '98 Tracker 4x4 2 door soft top, 190,000 miles. Head gasket leaked, won't run....mechanic says at least one cylinder (#3) needs work. He wants $1400 labor to take engine apart to diagnose, rebuild, etc, plus parts and machine shop charges, but we don't know how many cylinders are damaged, cracks in heads, etc.

With 190,000 miles should I: A) have him take it apart and rebuild it or B) buy a used engine with warrantee or a rebuilt engine with warrantee or C) junk it?

In the last year I put on a set of tires, new soft top and new clutch. A/C compressor is cooked.

If I look for a rebuilt or used engine, what engines besides the GM L01 will swap easily?

Thanks in advance for any advice--- hate making these kind of decisions!
econ101, i can't do that for you but.....
it needs at least (looking first only matters, dismantled total) 96 to 98 Short block. tracker or sidekick G16B engines (B = 16valve)
96 is first year with the right crank sensor up front.(and related parts like matching OIL pump and pan.)
finding engines in the wild used THIS OLD, that run or have life left, now is not easy.

$1400 labor he quoted, parts extra, and machine shop extra.... lots and lots more. it will be.... it is not really a quote, its pull engine ,put back price. (my guess he is saying, 14 hours labor $100/hr) my guess 2 times that, once fully inspected. if the block is cracked, oh boy.

the wrecking yard net is here. (find one close, and call em?)


if not in love with a car, say offroad machine love only
try this, running cars of like kind 4wd for less.

Thanks for the quick response-- very helpful. I spoke to my mechanic this morning and he was able to get the Tracker running over the weekend.... ran smoothly for 15 minutes and then started knocking, found antifreeze in the #3 cylinder. He's thinking head gasket only, no damage to pistons or valves, so he's going to try the ThermalWeld repair.... has had good luck with it in the past. I'll let you know what happens. Really appreciate your input--- helped a lot.
did he check the head for warpage, this is step 1 on all head off events, with a steel ruler, X done, make a X, first 1 line then the 2nd line for the X
then with feeler gauge, .001' max gap under the steel rule. or it is warped, (the rule is.001" warp per foot of head, length, in every engine builders book in print. for 8 decades.
i think he is not a pro.,.... thermalweld what does that mean , epoxy, what damage, ? where?
if the head has cracks, it must be heated very hot and then tig/mig welded, real welding, nothing else works and for sure lasts.
sounds like you will be installing this engine 3 more times to me. really
find a real machine shop, find one where there is long line of folks, with toyota engine, being fixed and happy customers.
If the head is bad buy rebuilt or take the
head to a real head machine shop, and listen what they say, for lasting repair, forget epoxy. (2000F + temps there)

this junk? ( the magic of replacing engine metal deep inside and engine with bottle of crap)? that? SNAKE OIL !

used the wrong gasket on the head
the head is cracked or freeze plug top side of head blown or rusted through , AF in the oil.
gasket put on backwards
gasket from CHINA ebay maker name Unknown or impossilbe to say in English.
head warped, not check buy mech.,.but all machine shops do step 1 or go out of business in days time.
block deck warped, same test ruler test above, same rules.
used gasket cement even though , Felpro (top maker of gaskets usa) told him NEVER DO THAT ever.
cylinders cracked, #3 ... block not pressure tested or not inspected for cracks piston OUT.
and the like....
95% of most no pro shops that do head work fail soon after job done or after the 30 day warranty
this is reported by the head builders association,
there are many reasons, but the top 3 are.
1: head or deck warped out of spec.
2: china junk gaskets. ( by Felpro and win !!!)
3: the head or deck milled to roughly or too smooth , the gasket must creep at each start and cool cycle of the engine if not it fails that gasket.

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