So he's the situation. I had the master plan of swapping a d15z1 into my 89 Honda Civic. For you non-honda people, the d15z1 is the engine from Honda's Civic VX, and was made for economy. it was rated around 50-60mpg.
After I looked for a VX for a while, I was disappointed b/c no one would ship one to me.
I then decided to do a "mini-me," which is to take the cylinder head off of the d15z1 and put it on my cylinder block (FYI, I have the d15b2).
So I found a cylinder head on ebay for $81 shipped. I ordered a valve cover, an intake manifold, a ECU and distributor. I went to the junkyard and found myself some injectors, a fuel rail, and the works.
Then came the bad news. Turns out that if I did this (the mini-me), the compression ratio would be around 12.3:1. I'd get great gas mileage, but I'd have to run 93 octane gas to not damage the engine.
So I looked for a d15z1 engine block to complete my engine. Nada. Good luck finding car parts from a 92-95 civic.
Then someone told me I could put the d15z1 pistons and rods into the d15b2 cylinder block and it would be the exact same thing. I was happy. So today I go to the junkyard to find myself a d15b2 engine so I could take the engine block home with me.
After twisting and pulling at the engine block for a good 15 minutes I started thinking. If I continued with this course of action i would end up spending the following:
Cylinder block: $50 + $25 core
Oil pan: $20?
Crankshaft: probably like $20 or so... no idea
new rings for crankshaft: $10 for all of them.
then I'd have to get new pistons and rods.
new pistons: $55
new rods: $120
new head gasket: $30 or so I think
So right off the bat I'm looking at spending around $330, and I'd still have to rebuild this engine myself (put in new pistons, etc.) So add an extra 30 hours of me trying to figure out how to do it, and then another 30 hours fixing it once It's all installed and it won't run.
My time: valuable. Let's not forget that I'd also have to pull the cylinder block myself, which is a two man job and no fun at all.
And then the engine STILL wouldn'tbe perfect. it would have a cylinder head that has 130k miles on it, with a psuedo-rebuilt block that is really a hybrid block.
As I sat there thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that maybe I'd be better off if I just bought a d15z1 crate engine from Japan. today I saw one for $350 plus shipping from LA. I could easily replace the timing belt, the water pump, and the oil pump myself. these crate engines may or may not come with injectors and exhaust, but that's okay because I'll have an extra one ANYWAY. These engines come with 50-60k miles on them and are guarenteed for 180 days. So shipping might be like $150-200, but I wonder if it's worth it to have a working engine that is all put together with low miles.
Sure, I might lose the money I spent on the cylinder head, the intake manifold, the injectors, the exhaust manifold, and a few other things, but in the end I might just be happy I didn't take apart an engine and rebuild it when I could have just dropped itin myself and drove away.
So, now I'm starting to think I should just buy a crate engine and then put on the CRX HF transmission that is on it's way to my house. Then when the time is right I'll spend a weekend and drop the new engine into my car and cross my fingers.
If it were you, would you attempt to rebuild an engine just to use hte parts you already have, or would you cut your losses and just order a crate engine?