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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Too much to do, not enough time...

Hello, my name is Scott, new to this forum (I do not have much experience in forums, so forgive me for any wrong doings). I have a 2005 3s MT hatch that I blew up (oops). The car experienced a large drop in power, and loud knocking noise, cylinders that have loss in compression (1-2 share, 3-4 share), oil in the cylinders, and I witnessed meal shavings in oil when drained. So I've got some questions (important highlighted in red, I don't know how to "shorthand"):

Seems to me that I spun a bearing(s) and blew the head gasket when the compression raised due to the offset piston...? First, what is the easiest way to remove the engine? I see in manuals to drop it from underneath, but some forums say to remove from up top. Second, I'm trying to decided to rebuild or replace. If I rebuild, I don't know how many part are still viable. Is the block, crank, camshafts ruined due to metal shavings... I dunno. Can a catastrophic failure like me... em, I mean this, be rebuilt? I'm more leaning towards buying a different block. I plan on doing refresh on the new block (bearings, rings, timing). Issue is, I don't know what fits. I don't feel like doing a swap (2.5L I've read about), rather just another 2.3. But what years? Every where I look I see 04-05 and 06-08 used engines. What's the difference? It seems I can't just drop it in, so if it is possible, what years will work in the 05 and what needs to be done for it to work (sensors, cams, and such)? Also, can a AT block work for a MT? What needs to be done to be able to swap them?

I've tried searching for them myself (seems that people get irritated about "repeats") but, as like everyone else, I am busy and can't spend hours diligently looking at a list of possible solutions. I can find bits and pieces of what I'm looking for, but no definitive answers. I have experience rebuilding engines, but only on old V8s like a chevy 350 and an Olds 455, so this swapping engines, sensors and crap are confusing to me. Again, please forgive my wrong doings here. I am happy if the replies are just links to threads that answers my questions.

Thank you!

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Considerations

If replies can persuade me, I may consider doing the 2.5 swap.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 05:59 PM
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Rebuilding a blown engine can be done, obviously, but honestly, it's much, much easier to find a good used engine or a reman. That way you'll get a warranty, too.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Fair enough. I've been researching on the 2.5 fusion swap. Seems to have its complications but is rewarding when finished correctly. The block is cheaper and more power. Found what the major difference compared to 06+ 2.3's is the same with the 2.5 swap: the intake cam timing cog. Money is a factor. Reason I wanted to know quickly is because I have a chance for a wrecked 06 3s HB that I was thinking about pulling the engine. But reading on how the 2.3's are kinda junky (didn't know that when I bought it), I'm actually considering the 2.5.

I wouldn't mind if somebody would let me know how their transplants have gone. I will reply to the one I'm reading when I'm finished if updates aren't present. Currently reading "04 2.3l swap to 2.5l successful" and having a grand time going through the many pages (holy crap!)

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 11:38 PM
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We're on our 4th Mazda 3 with 2.3 engines. My 2004 Mz3 hatch had 108k on it when I sold it, and I beat on that car. Never missed a beat. They are good engines, but can only take so much.
If money is a consideration, find a good low mileage engine and swap it in.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Issue is, a low mileage (80k) 2.3 slap in engine is gonna cost $2,100. The fusion 2.5 (50k) is $650.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sskooter90 View Post
Issue is, a low mileage (80k) 2.3 slap in engine is gonna cost $2,100. The fusion 2.5 (50k) is $650.
If your numbers are correct, and your skillset permits...go for the 2.5.
It's going to take time to get it operating correctly though.
Take a look at this though, in Chicago:
2003 Mazda 2.3 Dohc
Dig around some more, you can get a better deal than $2100 for a used engine.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Bill. That does seem like a decent deal. Will contact them to see about warrantee and such. I see that it's labeled as a 2003. Will that swap in without mods? I ask because I search for the engine for the 05 and only 04-05 engines pop up...

Time isn't really a consideration. The car has been sitting for about a year. It blew and I had a lot going on, so parked it, bought a buddies beater civic, and between the civic, a truck, and my motorcycle, I've been dealing. But now that I've got some time but not a lot of money (choose one!) I'm itching to get the hatch back on the road. Point being, I've got time to mess with it. Initially I thought the 2.5 was gonna be more expensive (reason I didn't want to firstly), but after reading into it, it appears it might cost the same(ish) for a seemingly better engine. Just takes time to make sure one doesn't make any costly mistakes and to fiddle with it.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 12:26 PM
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I would *assume* that it will fit, but don't know for sure. Do your Due diligence before you commit. Nothing worse than a $1200 paperweight.
At least you have another car to drive for now, so you don't have to make a hasty decision.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-22-2015, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill View Post
If your numbers are correct, and your skillset permits...go for the 2.5.
It's going to take time to get it operating correctly though.
Take a look at this though, in Chicago:
2003 Mazda 2.3 Dohc
Dig around some more, you can get a better deal than $2100 for a used engine.
That's an MX5 engine. You can tell because the "DOHC 16 valve" is on the other side of the valve cover, there is no mounting location for the passenger motor mount on the timing cover, and the intake manifold mount is totally different because of the RWD config. Unless he bored it or something it's a 2.0l.

@sskooter90
I swapped mine because it was drinking oil at a quart ever 300 miles. I had the same choice, rebuild or replace it. With the rebuild, you've got to find out why it was burning oil and fix it or you'll just end up in the same place with the same problem again. Aside from the issues with troubleshooting all your 2.3's problems, you're going to spend enough money on the rebuild that you might as well had just bought a low mileage engine. It's not really worth messing with trying to rebuild these.

I'd say go for the 2.5 swap. It's not really much more difficult that pulling the 2.3 and dropping in another one, but you get all the improvements of the newer engine. The original "2.5 swap successful" thread is huge and can be kind of a pain to read it all because it's so many pages. There is another thread with a better set of instructions, the original thread is good for reference though.

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