Engine: New or Reconditioned? (1 Viewer)

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May 30, 2017
38
72
NE Scotland
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48,849
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Swift Escape 694
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Motorhoming since 2017
Our 2017 Fiat Ducatto based Swift Escape had an engine issue, luckily not too far from home, but still required a trip on the back of an AA recovery truck. Power dropped off with no warning, or warning lights, then as we limped off the motorway at the next junction we got an "insufficient oil pressure" warning so and pulled into a car park, turned off a very noisy engine and called recovery.

Got the prognosis from the garage today, something to do with the crank at the bottom of the engine having failed, it needs a new engine. Garage couldn't say what caused it, but that they've seen it before with low mileage engines (26.5K miles in our case).

As there's no point in a motorhome with no motor, its going to have to be fixed. The options appear to be either a brand new engine or a reconditioned one. The garage are going to price up the options but it's looking like around £6k for a new engine, a couple of thousand less for a reconditioned one. Fitting will be on top of that.

Thoughts, best just suck it up and get a new engine, or would a reconditioned one suffice? In fact, would a reconditioned one maybe be better as it's been run in and Ducatto engines should be used to doing high mileages.
 

Jez1966

Visiting Coventry
Jul 29, 2022
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A quick look on Ebay for 2.3 (just pick as it what I have) new/recon/removed are the options I'm thinking.
There is a new 2.3 cheaper than some recon/removed engines.
Guessing it depends on what you want you want to pay and you can find when you start searching.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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For the difference in price, I'd say new every time.
You just don't know what they interpret reconditioned as ? Could be a complete strip down and rebuild, or clean off the muck on the outside, make it look shiney, pallet up and shrink wrap.
Who's to know ?

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Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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I would go for new for such a small price difference but worth checking where the reconditioned one is coming from if it's Fiat in Italy it will be new engine anyway.
 
Oct 12, 2009
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What is the delivery time on each option?

Also you need to get a full engineer's report on what failed on your engine and whether that can be repaired.

I had a failure of the large crankshaft bearing on my Mercedes OM 636 on my boat. The engine went to a very good Mercedes workshop in Athens where I went with an experienced engineer. The options were a new crankshaft or one recovered from a written off vehicle, which we inspected. We decided on the reconditioned one. That engine is still running fine after 20 years. It is 46 years old and the bpat now in the hands of a good friend who is a highly-experienced engineer, RAF trained and worked for John Surtees racing team.

First you need to know what failed as it may be repairable, but perhaps beyond the capabilities of that garage, even though they might be able to drop in a new engine.

Good luck.

Geoff
 
Dec 23, 2020
65
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Scotland Central
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Go for a “ factory “ reconditioned at fiat.
This is as good as it gets and as good as a new one.

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Lenny HB

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Not being funny, but new big end shells and a crank regrind, balance and rebuild shouldn’t cost anything like that! ✔️

Why are we such a throw away society these days! Do mechanics not mechanic anymore? 🤬
Unfortunately all those workshops have gone now.

I remember taking the block down to a local workshop, crank reground, new bearings, cylinders rebored & new piston rings, engine was as good as new for a few quid.
 

TheBig1

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Nov 27, 2011
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The idea of a recon engine for £4k is ridiculous. Maybe 2, but not 4. And you likely only need the short block, as the rest of yours is low miles anyway. A recon/remanufactured engine is as good as new, and possibly better as I has been repaired with all new precision ground parts. The reconditioner will usually ask for the bad engine in part exchange

£6k sounds like the garage are trying to push you towards new or to pay over the odds
 

TheBig1

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denisejoe

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Unfortunately all those workshops have gone now.

I remember taking the block down to a local workshop, crank reground, new bearings, cylinders rebored & new piston rings, engine was as good as new for a few quid.
Remember doing that bent the axles of a silver cross pram Denise never did forgive me even when I straightened them.😂
 
Jun 29, 2015
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caravan (for now)
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When I was last a mechanic, over 40 years ago, we did recondition engines, we used a local firm to rebore and regrind, they did very good work. I've just checked and they are still going doing the same thing, so some garages around here are still doing rebuilds. It wasn't cheap customers could get a "recon" from exchange and mart cheaper but it would have been a rebuild
 
OP
OP
R
May 30, 2017
38
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NE Scotland
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48,849
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Swift Escape 694
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Motorhoming since 2017
Thanks for the replies. At the moment I'm waiting for the garage to price up the options exactly, I'm assuming they'll be trying to source engines, particularly refurbished ones. When they do I'll see if I can find out details of where exactly any refurbed ones come from, and any associated warranties.

The garage is Fiat Professional, but a medium sized local garage, not a big dealer, that seems to do mainly motorhome work, but also some cars an vans for locals and local businesses. It kind of in the middle of nowhere, but we've used them before for MOTs and a service and never got the feeling they were anything other than trustworthy. They were really good in replying to a panicked email first thing in the morning to check if it was OK to get the vehicle recovered to them. They are always really busy, which is hopefully a good sign.

I'm assuming they don't have the capability to repair it themselves, and the cost of and hassle of removing the engine, sending to somewhere that might be able to fix it, returning, and refitting, is likely not worth it. We are likely to want to keep the motorhome, we're not quite in the position to upgrade to the A class we'd like, especially now. 🙄 Maybe sucking up the extra cost of new might be the safer bet, giving us more confidence.

We've been through Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Belgium etc in that van without a hitch, as well as more locally across Scotland. If Covid hadn't interfered, and still having to work didn't restrict our time away (working on at least partially overcoming that one) , it'd have done a lot more than 26.5K miles by now.
 
OP
OP
R
May 30, 2017
38
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Swift Escape 694
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Motorhoming since 2017
£6k sounds like the garage are trying to push you towards new or to pay over the odds

this is the first one that came up at retail price £3.350

And a recon at under £2k
[
£6k was rough cost of a new engine, they thought a refurb would be around £2k cheaper. No attempt to get us to make any decision at this point and they are going to get exact costs to me. It's a Euro 6 engine, one that doesn't require AdBlue either, unlike both the wife and my Euro 6 diesel car engines.
 

scotjimland

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Just ask them to break down the costs of supply and fit and fit. If you supply You take the gamble on the engine but you also get to source it and vet the supplier. (They may offer warranty)

Tbh the vans are so popular and I bet the short block is used in other vehicles as well, low mileage used and fitted with your ancillaries would make sense.

Your engine low oil warning light is probably related to a belt or the oil pickup blocked. How far did you drive it and was there still oil in it. Most crank failures go with a bang or at least a knocking sound.
 

Derbyshire wanderer

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These have had many years of experience and used to also supply many garages with reconditioned engines. Worth a phone call at least to get an idea of what they would charge you.
 

scotjimland

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Can you actually buy a brand new engine, off the shelf from the Fiat engine plant ?

maybe different now, but I recall years ago when I wanted a new engine for my Mini I could only get a reconditioned, direct form BMC .. brand new wasn't available ..

reconditioned BMC engines came painted in gold... and A+ in Red

the gold seal engine was reconditioned by BMC to the highest standards.
 
OP
OP
R
May 30, 2017
38
72
NE Scotland
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Swift Escape 694
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Motorhoming since 2017
tinkertaylor There was definitely still oil in the engine, both according to the level indicator and the dipstick, which we checked after pulling into a car park and turning off the engine. There was definitely a knocking sound, obvious enough for the first AA guy to immediately yell "turn it off" after starting it up to let him see the warning.

We drove maybe 3 miles on reduced power, with no warning lights on the dash. As soon a warning came up we pulled into a car park, so a few hundred metres.

Talked to my BIL, who is a lead mechanic, on the phone (unfortunately nowhere near close enough to do the work). He reckons it's almost certainly the oil pump that's failed, said he's seen it loads of times on those engines, not necessarily in motorhomes. Consequently the lack of circulating oil damages the crankshaft. He did say if going for a refurb engine to make sure the garage replace the oil pump unless they are 100% sure it's new, and a new version, not the old ones that fail.
 
Aug 18, 2014
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Unfortunately all those workshops have gone now.
we still have quite a few around here & also ,another novelty, we have 5 radiator rebuilders??
The idea of a recon engine for £4k is ridiculous. Maybe 2, but not 4.
A 2,2tdci transit motor with new everything except head is about 1500 quid
Can you actually buy a brand new engine, off the shelf from the Fiat engine plant ?
you should be able to.Crate motors they were known as but with the problems of supply at the moment & van availability they would be likely keeping them for themselves.

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Dec 24, 2014
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Unfortunately all those workshops have gone now.

I remember taking the block down to a local workshop, crank reground, new bearings, cylinders rebored & new piston rings, engine was as good as new for a few quid.

When I was looking after a couple of competition Minis and other cars in the 60's I was a regular customer of engine reconditioners Lambourne and Ridley in Highcroft Villas, Brighton for that sort of work. They're long gone now.

I'm too long in the tooth and stiff in the back now to want to do it for others but just do classic Brit motorbikes on a waist height bike lift. So few of us 'old school' old boys around now that I'm constantly turning down requests (even from outside the U.K.) to work on other people's bikes but I stick to giving online techy help which I've done probably every day for the past 20 years. Developing my French and German engineering vocabulary has kept the 79 year old brain cells active. (y)
 

TheBig1

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Brand new crate motors on ebay, so I would say if available retail there, are easy and cheap enough to source in the trade. Last recon engine I had fitted, I took the old block in the back of a van to the local place, paid and the replacement with warranty was loaded on. The vehicle was off the road just 3 days.

If the pump has failed, that can also be refurbished a hell of a lot cheaper than a new one. Bonus being is it will not need programming to the ecu if you have the original rebuilt
 

TheBig1

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Nov 27, 2011
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When I was looking after a couple of competition Minis and other cars in the 60's I was a regular customer of engine reconditioners Lambourne and Ridley in Highcroft Villas, Brighton for that sort of work. They're long gone now.

I'm too long in the tooth and stiff in the back now to want to do it for others but just do classic Brit motorbikes on a waist height bike lift. So few of us 'old school' old boys around now that I'm constantly turning down requests (even from outside the U.K.) to work on other people's bikes but I stick to giving online techy help which I've done probably every day for the past 20 years. Developing my French and German engineering vocabulary has kept the 79 year old brain cells active. (y)
We have a motorbike garage and cafe locally that allow you to help rebuild your own bikes to save money. Somebody younger to do all the heavy lifting and all the tools needed on hand. Plus in a heated workshop. Takes all the hardship out of keeping a classic bike on the road. Tinkering down the shed in mid winter is not for everybody
 
Dec 24, 2014
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Hurstpierpoint. Mid Sussex.
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Ever since lighting was by Calor gas.
We have a motorbike garage and cafe locally that allow you to help rebuild your own bikes to save money. Somebody younger to do all the heavy lifting and all the tools needed on hand. Plus in a heated workshop. Takes all the hardship out of keeping a classic bike on the road. Tinkering down the shed in mid winter is not for everybody
When I retired I planned to pass on my experience by starting a free informal 'drop in' bike servicing and repair sessions for young lads. Opposite my house was a flint barn with lighting, leccy, water etc. and the farmer agreed to let me use it FOC.
I obtained sponsorship for 6 soldering irons, test meters, latex gloves, a bike lift, tyre pressure gauges, some tools and other stuff from local businesses. Unfortunately I had to contact the local council Planning/Building Regs Dep't (change of use) who then 'kindly' informed the local gov't Learning and Skills Council dep't who insisted that I obtained a CRB check, risk assessment, fire and leccy safety certificates, toilets, an Environmental survey, a qualified First Aider, third party insurance, masks and goggles and a lot more. I gave up, very disappointed and frustrated.
 
Jan 2, 2024
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There's a 18 K mile Complete engine on eBay( doubt even a full new engine will come complete( alternator,starter,injectors,turbo and lots more bit and pieces not all included)
They want £3850 plus from memory £800 ISH to fit including all new service items,not suggesting you buy it but a bit of a guide.
Also in my day a recon engine short or full had rebore pistons,crank ground and shells, new oil pump in short everything done.Reading many descriptions they check and renew if necessary.hone bores,replace shell bearings/regrind/rebore if needed

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