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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Mazda3 S-trim is a 2006, 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual, 124,160 miles. My ex-friend drove it to a different city and popped an engine rod on it. Now it obviously won’t drive or start. I found an engine that fits it exactly on eBay for $1,319 (S+H included) but not sure how much tow and labor would cost and don’t have a designated shop I go to.
Wondering if I should get it fixed and buy the engine and pay for the labor, or just sell the car entirely. Any ideas or advice much appreciated.
 

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With a completely blown engine, expect to get about $1,000 for the car give or take. The cheapest solution is swapping in a Ford Fusion 2.5 engine, which cost $250-400 at salvage yards. Add another couple hundred for new seals, crank pulley bolt, friction washers, and an intake manifold adapter plate. Of course there is labor involved which if you are having to pay full price will probably put the end result out of reasonable cost. If you are unable to perform an engine swap yourself, and still want the car, you need to try and find a local guy (or girl) that knows how to do these and will do it as a side project for much less than a shop would charge. Where are you located? Specifying where may help locate somebody who could help or do the job for you.
 

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^^^^
This.
Engine swaps are very economical, if you can do the labor yourself. You could have it back to 100% for under $1000. But, paying someone else? Yeah, they're going to charge the piss out of you.

If you can't do the work yourself, chalk it up and get a different car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I definitely can’t do anything like that myself. This was my main and daily so I’m spending a ton on rides to get around. I do know of a mechanic at auto zone but he doesn’t have his own shop. About much would this “side project” from a local cost me? I’m in Jacksonville FL
 

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You'd have to ask him, and there's no way to tell how long he'll take to do it. In the mean time, you're ridesharing, which is $$$$$.
You may just want to bite the bullet and find something else. Sucks, but it is what it is.
 

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A typical ballpark rate to swap the motor all in would be about $2,000, including the cost of the motor. Sometimes other things are found that need to be replaced along the way, such as bad motor mounts. There is a facebook group for these swaps that might help you find someone in your area. Another way is to call around some independent garages and ask them if they do this (they will say no), then ask them if they know anybody who does. Sometimes one of their mechanics will do work like this out of their own home on the side.
 

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The labor rate around where you live can make a huge difference. Around here (DMV) 120 an hour is pretty normal and an engine swap takes about 6 to 8 hours. Plus the additional expense of the little things the mechanic will have to know and swap over or not (like the oil pan). Me and a cousin did it outdoors in like 20 hours in the winter.
So maybe 10 hours in nicer weather and better lighting but we both have worked on cars.
As far as swaps go this is about as easy as it can get.
You also have to take into account that new and used car prices are atypically high right now so repairing may be cheaper.
 
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