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Old 04-19-2014, 09:29 AM   #1
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1996 GT Bad Rod Knock- Rebuild or Replace?

I have a 1996 GT (automatic) with ~150k miles in very good condition other than the mentioned rod knock, which is starting to get pretty bad. It had a head job a few years ago (I forget exactly how much was done), and other than that, it's just had regular maintenance since I bought it in 2004 with ~106k miles, and as far as I could tell, it was relatively well maintained before that.

While I don't have any experience rebuilding an engine, I'm pretty mechanically inclined with a strong attention to detail, so it's a project I'd be pretty confident in taking on. The biggest problem is that my toolbox isn't very well stocked, so initially, I looked at taking the easy way out by replacing the engine. I was quoted $5500 installed for a Jasper remanufactured stock replacement with a 3 year/100k mile warranty, but it seems a little hard to justify.

From looking around forums and such, I'm gathering that a $5500 budget rebuild could get me quite a bit better than stock, and frankly I'd enjoy the satisfaction of doing it myself. I haven't done a ton of research yet though as far as parts go, but I know there's all sorts different parts that can be swapped in (I see 99+ PI parts are popular, for example). I also know there's used engines and such out there, but I'd prefer to have a fresh one.

So, what do you guys think- rebuild or replace? Your comments are appreciated, and any rebuild advice is particularly welcome. Thanks.

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Old 04-19-2014, 12:40 PM   #2
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You sir, seem like you have both the willingness, and confidence in your abilities, to rebuild your own engine. Everyone has to start with their first one...
Buy a good repair manual for the car and start studying the engine rebuilding section. It's really not hard, patience and attention to detail are the most important things when it comes to engine building. Aside from a basic set of tools, you can usually borrow most of the speciality tools that you will need from the auto parts store and you can rent an engine hoist.
Also, start asking around about who is a good automotive machinist in your area. A good machinist is the key to a successful engine rebuild.
There is a great deal of satisfaction in going out to your car every morning, getting in, and firing up the engine that YOU built!

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Old 04-19-2014, 12:57 PM   #3
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It would be much cheaper to build yourself. Even if a shop around you would rebuild it if your not comfortable. But we all start somewhere go to the library and find an overhaul book for your engine and give it a shot. Most of those books will also give you some engine blueprints. So you will know the parts you need and any machine work with budgets. The info is out there.
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