Time for an Engine Rebuild?

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Oct 12, 2019
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Hi all. In a fun turn of events, I learned that my low engine oil light doesn't work... awesome. I knew it was burning a little oil but my last change was 2500 miles ago and on the highway, the cruiser started clicking and losing power pretty fast so I pulled off the road and shut off. I didn't find any leaking oil or residue so it might have been burning at a extreme rate.

I added 5 quarts of oil since it was basically empty, let it sit a little bit, and started it up. This is the result: :bang:



Is it time for a rebuild? I'm pretty good mechanically but not super familiar with the engine. If I need a rebuild, is there a good kit? I'm just not sure what to do and I tried searching but didn't find exactly what I'm looking for. Also, what's the average cost of a rebuild these days? $4-5k? I'm a college kid and this is my daily driver (yeah I'm stupid) so I appreciate the help!
 

White Sheep

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I'm going to let someone else chime in if you should rebuild or not, but I recent got mine rebuilt from the head gasket being blown. Here is the kit I purchased:


And APR head bolt are overkill, but a few MUD members told me to get them if I could:

Amazon product
It was $1400 for the rebuild excluding the kit and head bolts.
 
Joined
Oct 12, 2019
Messages
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Location
Oklahoma
I'm going to let someone else chime in if you should rebuild or not, but I recent got mine rebuilt from the head gasket being blown. Here is the kit I purchased:


And APR head bolt are overkill, but a few MUD members told me to get them if I could:

Amazon product
It was $1400 for the rebuild excluding the kit and head bolts.

Sweet, thanks!
 

flintknapper

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Certainly doesn't sound good. For future reference DON'T rely on the low oil light to disclose the level of oil in your engine. That is what the dipstick is for. Check it often....especially if you know you are leaking/burning oil.

At this juncture I would begin by doing a compression test on all cylinders. IF OK then move ahead to diagnosing the noise (lower end, upper end, both)?
 
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Across the pond, and upside down
I would say don't run it again. Time to open things up and start doing some forensic diagnosis.
Running at this point is not likely to do you any favours.
Ask me how I know ( actually, don't. I'm still forking out cash to fix mine after it made similar noises)
 

White Sheep

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Im against buying a used motor off the classifieds unless you want and have the room for a spare engine. You can rebuild for about the same price as your buying the used one. And you know there are new parts inside. I'm very impatient when I want something, so I know how they can be temping to buy.
 
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Aug 20, 2021
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Northwest Arkansas
I'm going to let someone else chime in if you should rebuild or not, but I recent got mine rebuilt from the head gasket being blown. Here is the kit I purchased:


And APR head bolt are overkill, but a few MUD members told me to get them if I could:

Amazon product
It was $1400 for the rebuild excluding the kit and head bolts.
That seems very cheap for a rebuild. Is that including machine work?

I'm assuming you did most/all the work yourself; is this doable for a one bannana DIYer? Also, I thought for rebuilding the bottom end usually larger pistons are used, but I could be wrong in this.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Northwest Arkansas
Hi all. In a fun turn of events, I learned that my low engine oil light doesn't work... awesome. I knew it was burning a little oil but my last change was 2500 miles ago and on the highway, the cruiser started clicking and losing power pretty fast so I pulled off the road and shut off. I didn't find any leaking oil or residue so it might have been burning at a extreme rate.

I added 5 quarts of oil since it was basically empty, let it sit a little bit, and started it up. This is the result: :bang:



Is it time for a rebuild? I'm pretty good mechanically but not super familiar with the engine. If I need a rebuild, is there a good kit? I'm just not sure what to do and I tried searching but didn't find exactly what I'm looking for. Also, what's the average cost of a rebuild these days? $4-5k? I'm a college kid and this is my daily driver (yeah I'm stupid) so I appreciate the help!
I'm also a college student (well grad student, but same idea), DDing an 80 on a budget. Unfortunately a full professional rebuild can be as much as $10K or more. It's usually around $3500 for just the top end at a Cruiser specialist from my research. But there are cheaper DIY options as you can see from the above answers. But none of them are particularly budget or time-friendly for a college student.

As others said, you might wanna start with a compression and leak down test. Maybe have it towed to someone who know Cruisers and they can help you assess the situation. Good luck and I'm sorry this happened to you. I hope you can get her back on the road soon!
 

White Sheep

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That seems very cheap for a rebuild. Is that including machine work?

I'm assuming you did most/all the work yourself; is this doable for a one bannana DIYer? Also, I thought for rebuilding the bottom end usually larger pistons are used, but I could be wrong in this.
Another MUD member and I removed the engine and took to the machine shop. I bought the rebuild kit and head bolts (about $800), and they did all the work (tear down, machine, clean/polish, and rebuild) for $1400. So total $2200.
 

White Sheep

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Correct $1400 +tax and I think 3% for using a card.

20210916_103116.jpg
 
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Another MUD member and I removed the engine and took to the machine shop. I bought the rebuild kit and head bolts (about $800), and they did all the work (tear down, machine, clean/polish, and rebuild) for $1400. So total $2200.
Wow, that option seems like a no-brainer as opposed to a "drive in'n'out" rebuild! It's still running well?
 
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For future reference DON'T rely on the low oil light to disclose the level of oil in your engine. That is what the dipstick is for. Check it often....especially if you know you are leaking/burning oil.
For such a well-engineered vehicle, it's amazing how unreliable the factory gauge cluster is, even accounting for the age of these trucks.
 

White Sheep

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Wow, that option seems like a no-brainer as opposed to a "drive in'n'out" rebuild! It's still running well?
This was completed the day I deployed to Africa.

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IMG_20210927_153121.jpg
IMG_20210927_153126.jpg


So its waiting for me to get back in March.

We've had other club members use and recommend this shop, so I'm not worried.
 
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Oklahoma
I don't have the ability to pull or move the engine so I'll see what I'm quoted for the shop to do it.
 

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