Author Topic: 2001 Jimny. Engine gone. Would you sell, recondition or put in a new engine?  (Read 509 times)

Offline MountainGoat

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Hi good people. Newbie here. Owner of a 2001 Jimny hard top.

Sadly my first post will be a sad one, but I have a feeling it won't be my last.

I'll cut to the chase. I am after some guidance. Depending on the advise I get, I'll put an ad in the 'for sale' forum for what I need.

When my daughter turned 17 her grandmother gave her a little cash to spend on a car. My wife and I looked at heaps of cars for her while she did year 12. I have always loved Suzuki's (learned to drive on a Sierra and had to get towed out of the incoming tide at Lake's Entrance by the SES).
We eventually found a beautifully presented 2001 hard-top Jimny. Electric blue, I'm sure you know the one. We were taken for a ride (literally), we believed the seller (on gumtree, duh) and our mechanic didn't do any tests just said it was rock solid by looking at it (duh x 2). It wasn't.

You can tell we don't tinker with cars, and I know the old saying about falling in love with a car. Well, we did.

Anyway, MountainGoat overheated after 12 months. It's so obvious now: Loss of coolant with no visible leaks, milky oil, low power, poor fuel consumption. (I put it all down to a learner driver and kept giving it to the mechanic to fix: he put in a new radiator, water pump and hoses).

A coupe of thousand dollars later the (former) mechanic took the top of the engine off, sent it away and came back with a quote for $6,000 to recondition the engine. OK at that point I started doing some research. He showed me that pistons 2 and 3 were filling with water, the previous owner had used some coolant bog to cover up a warped head. There's pitting in the head and bottom of the engine, crud in one of the cylinders. I'm amazed she kept going.

We spent $6,000 and have spent another $2,000 so far.

So it's time to bite the bullet. Car is still registered but coming up for rego.

Options seem to be -

(1) Sell: car has new (road) tyres, radiator, front suspension. Needs an engine and rear diff leaking oil (est $1,000). Panels great except quarter front mudguard. Internal excellent. Wife does not want half a car lying about, as I said we're not car people. Would I maybe get $3,000 for the lot and should I sell on forums like this?

(2) Recondition engine: I am guessing $4,000 all up, if all goes well? But will a reconditioned engine work better than a replacement engine?

(3) New engine: I live in Brisbane. West side. My new mechanic is a bloke who loves older cars, not a franchise. He doesn't replace engines except on his own cars - too much work and risk. I would need a backyard mechanic I think. Are there people who do this to get a car back on the road for someone else, for a bit of cash? What's a car worth if it has a new engine without warranty? 

Ultimately I know it does not come down to $. If it did, I would scrap and stop losing money. But I do not want to send this car to the scrapper, it's too good. 

And thanks for your thoughts. As I said, once I get more feedback and quotes, I'll put her up for sale or advertise for what I need.

Cheers.  Happy to send photos if that will help any experts out there.



Offline MountainGoat

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OP update: by luck I found someone who will look at dropping another engine in. Total cost, including panelwork, estimated at $2,000. I'm happy with that, we keep a lovely Suzuki on the road. 

Offline James R

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Sorry for the slow response... Congratulations on deciding to keep another Suzuki on the road. Did you find a reputable mechanic? Just be careful with backyard jobs, sometimes cheap is nasty. Jimmy motors are fairly common so you shouldnít have trouble finding one.
Iím not sure about panel work - if itís the front quarter guard itís all bolt off - bolt on. For mechanical work, Northside thereís Boland Auto Electrical or Suzi Sport, mid to Southside thereís Suzi auto or Dr Suzuki.
Jellybean - 1999 SWB Grand Vitara 1.6L
The Project - 1988 and a half SWB SJ50 soft top
The Highlander - 1987 lwb canopy