What makes a 3B rebuild so expensive?

Discussion in 'Diesel Tech / 24 volts' started by GarrettS, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. GarrettS

    GarrettS

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    Howdy ya'll

    I've been driving my '84 BJ60 for just under a year now and she's a gutless pig. I am currently entertaining either doing a Cummins 4bt swap (talking like 6K for a new crate) or just rebuilding my 3B and turbocharging it to give it a little more grunt. (43X,000 K's and a little tired).

    I have looked into 3B rebuilds on this forum and people keep throwing around prices that seem a bit high to me. Talking like $4000 CAD (~3k US) or in one case I read upwards of $6000 (~4500 USD). Given that a rebuild kit from 4-wheel auto or SOR runs about $1300 INCLUDING pistons and sleeves, gaskets, etc. Where does all this extra $2,000 to $3K USD cost factor in?

    I understand that diesel rigs are a different beast, but I had a local shop very professionally rebuild 2 cylinder heads from a turbocharged WRX Subaru and the cost was 'only' $1100. As far as I can tell, this is the most expensive part of any rebuild.

    I'm hoping someone here can help guide my thinking process to understand exactly why a 3B rebuild can get so expensive. I'm certain that there are things i have not considered.

    PS. I would plan on rebuilding the bottom end myself as bearing/rod and piston stuff doesn't bother me none.

    Thanks all!

    -Gary
     
  2. gerg

    gerg

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    Do the head gasket and precups, Redo bottom end bearings and turbo it. Save your money and buy a spare engine. You will be farther ahead.
     
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  3. Dieseler

    Dieseler

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    Some of that cost is in rebuilding the injection pump and new injectors and there are other parts you will need that are not included in a rebuild kit.
    Dont short cut if you are rebuilding a tired old 3B if you do it right it will last another 4-500k
     
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  4. GarrettS

    GarrettS

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    Thanks for the reply.
    I think I'm going to pull my head next week to do some investigation on a water burning issue i'm having. Where can I get a set of precups and a stock head gasket? Your old source at roo dogs seems to no longer be around

    Thanks for getting back to me!
    Right on, my injectors and diaphragm and everything other than the head and block seem okay or have been serviced. Why would a rebuild and gasket kit not have all the rebuild parts... Could you give me some specifics to guide my purchases?

    Thank you both,

    -Garrett
     
  5. gerg

    gerg

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  6. cruisedeisel

    cruisedeisel Toyota's for life

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    STeam cleaned!
     
  7. GarrettS

    GarrettS

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    Thanks for the info and links!

    Honestly I have no clue... Sometimes i talk myself into thinking that it smells like coolant is burning. After sitting for a week after adjusting the valve lash (needed new valve cover seal to finish job) I fired it up and the engine was purring better than before, but white smoke was coming out at high rpm.

    Thinking the smoke may be unburned fuel, I bled my fuel system (which did have some air in it) but smoking still persisted. I let it sit a few hours to work on something else, drove it to the store and back and at first the temp increased beyond normal, but it settled down nicely after a few stressful miles. I did also replace the upper radiator hose when I did my valve lash and I had to add some coolant because I dumped some. There may have been some air in my coolant lines before the thermostat opened up. That would explain the random temperature spike, but it would not explain white smoke that may or may not be from coolant and may or may not be a problem tomorrow (Murphy's law).

    I'm keeping an eye on coolant levels and i'll change my oil tomorrow. Frankly I don't expect to see any milkiness in my oil from a head/head-gasket coolant leak based on my previous experience with this truck and the inconsistency of my white smoke woes. Also, tonight I drained my sedimenter for the first time in a while. I may have been burning some watery fuel before, but I kind of doubt that will fix the problem.

    Additionally, my injectors were rebuilt not that many Km's ago, (relying on receipts and info from PO) so i don't think i have unburned fuel issues arising from them.

    With all that said, I think pulling my head will provide some peace of mind or at least help me identify any top-end problems.


    The next few days will tell all.

    -Gary
     
  8. roscoFJ73

    roscoFJ73

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    First off you need to clarify exactly what work they are quoting you for.
    Generally rebuilds dont include the injectors and inj pump. They dont normally machine the flywheel and manifolds and many rebuild kits don't include a waterpump ,thermostat.
    Some rebuilders will want you to have your radiator serviced or you will void the warranty. The rebuilders I have used expect you to remove all external fittings including bolts and they dont guarantee you will get them back. And with a full top and bottom rebuild I still had to fit all the parts I removed and supply any gaskets or sealants it needed.
    You will probably want new engine mount rubbers
    In Australia, there is not such a big difference between a 6 cyl toyota diesel and a 6cyl toyota petrol engine. A local rebuilder does 1HZ short motors only for $2800AUD approx. From memory he does the B diesel short motors for $1995 and the 2H for $2400
     
  9. gerg

    gerg

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    Buy 3 cans of this stuff and disconnect your fuel line from tank and directly feed all 3 into your pump and let it sit for an hour. Every 15 minutes start your engine and rev it up for 20 sec or so. After a couple hours take your truck for a good drive. Works wonders on old pumps with deposits.


    image.jpeg
     
  10. GarrettS

    GarrettS

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    I'm definitely burning oil. I think I have a head gasket leak or a cracked head. Does anyone have a lead on a cheaper price for a new 3B head than the one cruiser parts sells? They have good stuff and haven't done wrong by me yet, but 1300 bucks seems kind of ridiculous for a blank head.

    Thanks,

    -Garrett
     
  11. roscoFJ73

    roscoFJ73

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    I think the 3B heads come up ok if they are repaired properly. But oil burn will most likely be rings
     
  12. GarrettS

    GarrettS

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    My bad! I meant burning coolant. I’ve been a bit scattered today :p
     
  13. Dieseler

    Dieseler

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    Is that new or used you will pay a lot more for one out of OZ brand new.
    If you are burning coolant quick test idle engine with red cap off if you see tiny bubbles you have a crack if lucky just a bad gasket.
     
  14. brownbear

    brownbear Mod in Hibernation Moderator

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    A 3B in a BJ60 has an offset filler and you cannot see the coolant for bubbles.

    What's this in?

    a 3B is a turd. Especially without a turbo. I like my 3B, but it's unique to say the least. After 15 years of ownership.

    If my 3B dies I am installing something different. 1Hz with a turbo. Why? Cause it's common and more supported.
     
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  15. GarrettS

    GarrettS

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    I appreciate the feedback and I totally hear you on the 1Hz being common and better supported. The 3B is in an '84 BJ60 and I'm well aware of how underpowered it is for a truck of this weight.

    The main thing holding me back from any sort of swap is finances. I'm 22 and a college student. I work part time and like many college kids, I have no credit to speak of. I'm praying I can rebuild my head (maybe bottom end too) for under $1500 and get many more miles from this car. The road-trip I had driving it down from Canada was very memorable, so i would love to keep his truck going. It's my "overland" rig used for minimal 4-wheeling and I have it setup as a camper. Additionally, my truck is a bit of a s***ter cosmetically and the only thing worth any money is the 5-speed transmission. So even if I do totally kill my engine, there is really very little resale value for me so its not like I'll recoup much of my finances by parting out or selling my truck.

    I'm hoping my head isn't cracked to all get out, but something tells me it just might be....

    if anyone is wondering, i'm comfortable doing all of my own mechanic work aside from the obvious things I cannot do like machining. I'm familiar with engine rebuilding so those costs associated with assembly and installation can be avoided.

    -Gary
     
  16. gerg

    gerg

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    Take the hose from the side of the radiator that connects to the overflow bottle and replace it with a long hose brining it into the cab with you and put it to the bottom of a 2l pop bottle full of water. As the coolant system over pressurizes from a bad head or gasket or both it overcomes the radiator cap pressure and bubbles in the overflow tank which you can now see because the overflow tank is sitting beside you in the passanger seat.
     
  17. ozcrusier

    ozcrusier

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    The rebuild kit is cheap to buy it's the other stuff that soon inflates the cost like head rebuild, new hoses, new radiator, engine mounts etc it soon ads up fast but like anything if it's done in house it takes longer but saves a heap of money. These old bangers burn oil best advice before stripping do a compression test and report back with numbers as if it's got good compression in all cylinders your wasting your money rebuilding.
     
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  18. lynchmob

    lynchmob SILVER Star

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    I dont think anyone addressed the main part of the question.

    I think there is a misconception about what it really means to rebuild an engine and the term is loosely applied to many interpretations of what it means to rebuild an engine.

    The rebuild kits you are referring to generally include pistons, rings, cylinder sleeves (if applicable), bearings(rod,main,cam), pin bushings (if applicable), gaskets and seals

    They do not include a camshaft, lifters, timing components, oil pumps, or anything related to the cylinder head. Nothing external like a water pump is included either.

    So, you could buy that kit and do a rebuild in your garage with minimal knowledge and really minimal tools.

    You could call this a rebuild, but most people would not want to buy something sold as rebuilt knowing it had an engine rebuilt in this manner.

    Some examples of what someone might refer to as "rebuilt"

    1. Total shade-tree
    A. Remove the head, clean it up with a wire wheel on an angle grinder, check it for flatness and visually check for cracks. Maybe remove the valves and try to hand lap them to the seats. Reassemble and call it good.
    B. Pull the rods/pistons, quick hone the cylinders and put new standard rings on the pistons. Put it back together with new standard rod bearings and call it good. If the rod bearings looked good just leave the mains alone.
    C. Put a new head gasket on and any other gaskets and seals that appear to need attention.

    2. Semi shade-tree
    Do as above but use the kit that includes only bottom end parts. You get all new bearings, new pistons, and no surfaces get any actual machining and probably no or only low precision checking of clearances. Still no real head rebuilding. No checking the block or head for cracks.

    3. Various shades of shade-tree
    Add a little more to the above like actual resurfacing of the head, more new parts, more cleaning etc

    you get the picture.


    At the other end of the spectrum you leave nothing untouched.

    For the cylinder head:
    Replace all of the following.
    Valves, valve guides, valve springs, retainer locks, seals, freeze plugs
    Check for cracks (magnaflux, pressure testing)
    Check for straightness and straighten and resurface the head, possibly resurface or replace rocker tips, check rocker shaft/bushings for wear

    Replace (or grind) the cam and lifters (overhead or in block)

    For the block:
    Replace all of the following.
    Pistons, rings, pin bushings, bearings (rod, main, cam), freeze plugs, oil pump, gaskets and seals
    Check for cracks, resurface the block, line hone the mains, recondition the rods (resize the big ends,replace pin bushes and hone to consistent length), bore the cylinders (and sleeve or use oversize pistons), grind or polish the crankshaft main and rod journals, balance the rotating assemble (along with harmonic balancer, flywheel and pressure plate) , replace timing gears or chain as needed.

    You can actually rebuild to a better standard than what the factory provided.

    The biggest expense in rebuilding is the machine work, and it will vary widely based on the extent of work to be done and by location.

    You really need to know what someone is including in the stated price if you are buying a rebuilt engine or sending yours in for work. You can specify how far you want someone to go and you can ask for additional work to be done if they dont list what you want in the basic menu.

    Its easy to look at a $1300 rebuild kit and wonder why rebuilding costs a lot, and its definitely worth trying to verify what was done to to an engine (vehicle with engine) you are buying if someone tells you it was rebuilt.
     
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  19. samwise

    samwise

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    Thanks for the outline lynchmob, after having gone through this recently, and with a honest mechanic, as well as getting parts from a good source, and trying to get a good rebuild but saving money when possible it adds up very quickly. A lot of the unexpected costs were machine shop rates. I’m very glad now, and knowing it was done right.
    Strange to not have a puddle of oil on garage floor after so many years. I like the 3b, and personally think it’s worth it, others differ though.
     
  20. roscoFJ73

    roscoFJ73

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    I think its worth it. Ive driven them when they were brand new and they were ok in a BJ40 at suburban speeds. If it drives you nuts, its you, not the engine.
     
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