Swapping Ford Fusion/Escape 2.5L into 08 Mazda 3 2.3L
Unfortunately, my 08 3 with 112K miles has either a cracked head or blown head gasket. I've been doing tons of research, and after weighing my options, I've decided to pursue having my mechanic swap a 2.5L Ford Fusion/Escape engine into my car for the following reasons (in order of importance):
* More reliable
* Confidence that the problem won't come back on my 2.3L
* Cheaper engine cost with far less mileage. Only about $500-800 with shipping for engines with anywhere from 40-70K miles.
* More power
I plan on keeping my 08 3 for the next 5-6 years, and after reading on a lot of forums, I'm not very confident that my current 2.3L will last that long, even if the head is replaced/gasket is fixed. (My local mechanic hasn't pulled my engine apart yet since we may just replace the engine.)
Here are my options:
Replace the cracked head (using a used $200-300 cylinder head) or broken head gasket
* Cheaper ($1300-$1500 with parts and labor)
* No guarantee that the problem won't come back
Buy used 2.3L
* More expensive than all other options (Around $1100 for motor alone with about 100K miles + about $1000 for labor)
* Fear that "new" 2.3L will die
Swap Ford 2.5L in
* Reasons listed above
As I see it, I'm willing to pay the extra money to have a more reliable engine in my car since I want to keep it for awhile. However, I do have some questions, especially for people that have swapped the Ford 2.5L into their cars.
* How reliable is the 2.5L?
* Did you have any problems with smog? (I'm in California)
* What years from the Fusion/Escape motors can be swapped in? From the guides I've been reading online, it seems like anywhere from 2009-2012 are okay.
* Is it worth it in my case to swap out the engine?
* My 3 is AT, does the motor I buy have to be AT as well?
If anybody has advice or insight, I'd really appreciate it.