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Used Nissan Engine: How to Find and Install One

 

Don’t get into a situation where you have a “new” used Nissan engine and it doesn’t run because the starter is missing. You have to keep an inventory of what parts the donor engine should have.

 

 

 

 

 

Used Nissan Engine

by Steve Unwin

How to find and install a Used Nissan Engine

Why get a used Nissan engine?

Nissan engines are notably long lasting and reliable engines. Despite that they do have a useful lifetime, roughly 250K miles. The usual indicators of an engine gone bad are smoking, rough idling, burning oil, failing smog tests etc. You always have the option of repairing the engine, but that can be time consuming and costly. If you have a Nissan car and you have driven it to the limit, you might consider putting in a new or used Nissan engine that will swap right in. The new option tends to be pricey and can be hard to come by, unlike with some American engines which are still in production years later. A good used Nissan engine can be found in other used Nissans with body or frame damage, or even in a junkyard. Ideally, you should replace your engine with an identical low mileage version.

Determine which engine you are looking for

It’s crucially important that you find the right engine. To improve your odds of doing that you’ll need to find out what you have. In particular you’ll need to know the engine size, the fuel delivery system, and of course the year and model car that you have. Your donor engine will need to be the same size and have the same fuel delivery system, but may come from other models and years of Nissan cars. Ideally the donor engine will come from a used car exactly like yours, only with fewer miles.

Determine what components must come with it

I have alluded to some of the engine components when I mentioned the fuel delivery, but there are some other options that should be considered, depending on what parts of your car you plan on keeping. If you plan on scrapping out your old radiator, exhaust manifold, transmission, alternator, power steering pump or any thing else, your used Nissan engine needs to be sure to have these things along with it. Don’t get into a situation where you have a “new” used Nissan engine and it doesn’t run because the starter is missing. You have to keep an inventory of what parts the donor engine should have.

Where to find a used Nissan engine

Finding a reputable place to get your used Nissan engine is very important and care should be taken to weed out the bad sources from the good. A search from the better business bureau should yield valuable information, as well as word of mouth recommendations from actual people who’ve used them, as well as online reviews of used Nissan engine dealers.

You can use an online service called car-part.com which has a searchable inventory of most of the junkyards in the United States. It should be easy to find a replacement motor from them and that should be your starting point. Once you have found a used Nissan engine that is close enough to you, you need to check out their reputation. If that checks out, then you can go ahead and pick it up.

Installing the “new” used Nissan engine

Most do-it-yourselfers will stop short of doing whole engine replacements and if you don’t feel comfortable with that idea you should consider paying a professional to put it in for you. The actual mechanics of swapping out an engine vary from engine to engine and at the very least you should not begin to do it yourself without consulting a Nissan Repair Manual. Prices vary on engine replacement costs considerably but the work is generally charged by the hour. In California the costs average about $60/hr but can be lower in other parts of the nation.

 

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