View Poll Results: what's the failure rate of a rebuilt engine within a year ?

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  • 100% success rate, every rebuilt came out perfect !!!

    5 29.41%
  • somewhere between 50 - 100%

    6 35.29%
  • 50% success rate, a coin toss

    2 11.76%
  • somewhere between 25 - 50%

    3 17.65%
  • 0% - every rebuilt engine has gone kaboom

    1 5.88%
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Thread: Rebuilt engine failure rate ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Default Rebuilt engine failure rate ?

    Not talking about factory rebuilt, only aftermarket rebuilt

    Everywhere I hear, aftermarket rebuilt engines are blowing up left and right. wondering what's your experience with them ? either from you, or your buddies.

    We are talking bottom end here, not just a head refresh.

    It seems EVERY S2000 rebuilt engine I've known has gone bye bye.

    Later I will start a poll on transmission. personal experience on 3 rebuilt Miata transmission is 100% failure rate. All built by "pro" shop.
    Last edited by bellwilliam; 04-27-2010 at 10:55 AM.
    Supermiata S1, SuperMiata S2, Supermiata S3
    13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    Everywhere I hear, rebuilt engines are blowing up left and right. wondering what's your experience with them ? either from you, or your buddies.
    My dying engine only had it's head rebuilt. The bottom end is the likely culprit.

  3. #3
    Senior Member VagaXt's Avatar
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    My FM turbo motor (rebuilt from my stock motor) has passed 42k miles and it's still going. Unlike other Miata Challenge Unlimited class guys... :P
    Driving to the limit is my goal.
    Winning with Team 949 Racing is merely the result.
    2013 NASA TTD National Champion
    NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill Winner: 2011 E2 Class & 2012 E1 Class.
    Multiple wins in NASA PT and WERC series, with many more to come.


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  4. #4
    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VagaXt View Post
    My FM turbo motor (rebuilt from my stock motor) has passed 42k miles and it's still going. Unlike other Miata Challenge Unlimited class guys... :P
    yeah, but you paid like 5x $$$
    Supermiata S1, SuperMiata S2, Supermiata S3
    13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
    17 GT350 !!
    08 M3 - Carmax warranty !!
    96 NSX
    06 EVO MR
    15 Mini Cooper S

  5. #5
    Senior Member VagaXt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    yeah, but you paid like 5x $$$
    Pay to do it right, right? BTW, how much is a rebuild motor? I spent about $4500 on my full build, not just a rebuild.

    I put it this way for myself: A car should have more time of its life moving and driving rather than on a lift in pieces.
    Driving to the limit is my goal.
    Winning with Team 949 Racing is merely the result.
    2013 NASA TTD National Champion
    NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill Winner: 2011 E2 Class & 2012 E1 Class.
    Multiple wins in NASA PT and WERC series, with many more to come.


    Cheer for us during races throughout the year and like us on Facebook and Twitter!

    "Drive well and have fun." Drive W2W in the SuperMiata Race Series. Also, see me in action on YouTube.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rob.ok's Avatar
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    I don't know..... I feel pretty confident that I could do it myself if I had the chance to use the proper tools. There is no reason why a rebuild motor (and yes a s2000 motor as well) can not exceed OEM specs. If you ask me, I feel that it has more to do with a quality control issue. These modern motors are not very well understood by both builds and tuners alike.

    -Rob
    Last edited by rob.ok; 04-27-2010 at 04:00 AM.
    Check out my '08 build on s2ki.com here....rob.ok track build.

  7. #7
    Captain Planet tq3z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VagaXt View Post
    Pay to do it right, right? BTW, how much is a rebuild motor? I spent about $4500 on my full build, not just a rebuild.

    I put it this way for myself: A car should have more time of its life moving and driving rather than on a lift in pieces.
    Who rebuilt your motor, what was done to it, and how did you get it so reliable for track use?

    Very very curious!
    Do you understand?

  8. #8
    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob.ok View Post
    I don't know..... I feel pretty confident that I could do it myself if I had the chance to use the proper tools. There is no reason why a rebuild motor (and yes a s2000 motor as well) can not exceed OEM specs. If you ask me, I feel that it has more to do with a quality control issue. These modern motors are now very well understood by both builds and tuners alike.

    -Rob
    ?? I thought you had a rebuilt engine failure. blew up within 1 day.
    Last edited by bellwilliam; 04-26-2010 at 11:05 PM.
    Supermiata S1, SuperMiata S2, Supermiata S3
    13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
    17 GT350 !!
    08 M3 - Carmax warranty !!
    96 NSX
    06 EVO MR
    15 Mini Cooper S

  9. #9
    Senior Member BigMac88's Avatar
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    It really depends on the builder. Most people aren't meticulous or accurate to the point that they should be when rebuilding a motor, much less do they have the necessary level of conceptual and real-world engineering 'know-how' to pull off a motor rebuild properly. Many people also don't tune a rebuilt/ performance-modified motor properly (or at least as well as they should). Most of the rebuilt motors that I've seen go bad have been due to a crappy tune. Obviously that doesn't apply to a factory rebuild, but you don't see too many people rip apart a motor without upgrading cams or adding compression, stroke, boost, etc.

    The level of abuse is also something to consider. A 'factory' rebuild that's conservatively driven will last longer than its balls-out race motor counterpart, even if they're built by the same person (assuming both motors are also build well).
    Last edited by BigMac88; 04-27-2010 at 10:54 AM.
    Hella Functional

  10. #10
    Senior Member Caoboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tq3z View Post
    Who rebuilt your motor, what was done to it, and how did you get it so reliable for track use?

    Very very curious!
    Flyin' Miata.

    I was actually looking at their track day package for a NA build...

  11. #11
    Senior Member VagaXt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tq3z View Post
    Who rebuilt your motor, what was done to it, and how did you get it so reliable for track use?

    Very very curious!
    Flyin' Miata built the motor.

    Full built bottom end, light headwork.

    I don't know why the engine is reliable, and I'm not really the nicest guy to machinery either... The turbo hardware (before the upgraded Inconel studs) was another thing all together...
    Driving to the limit is my goal.
    Winning with Team 949 Racing is merely the result.
    2013 NASA TTD National Champion
    NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill Winner: 2011 E2 Class & 2012 E1 Class.
    Multiple wins in NASA PT and WERC series, with many more to come.


    Cheer for us during races throughout the year and like us on Facebook and Twitter!

    "Drive well and have fun." Drive W2W in the SuperMiata Race Series. Also, see me in action on YouTube.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rob.ok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    ?? I thought you had a rebuilt engine failure. blew up within 1 day.
    I meant to say that these motors are not very well understood by tuners and builders alike.

    Yes I did (detonation from what I think was advanced timing). After investigating it and really taking a good look into the S2000 motor and building my own.... I fell I could do it better than OEM specs. Again I think the problem is quality control and understanding the fundamentals of new technology regarding tolerances. This industry is too use to being able to use bubble gum and duct tape and that crap doesn't fly with modern motors.

    -Rob
    Last edited by rob.ok; 04-27-2010 at 04:01 AM.
    Check out my '08 build on s2ki.com here....rob.ok track build.

  13. #13
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    William -

    Your poll is stupid. The question is "what is the failure rate?" and all the choices in the poll ask for "success rate." It doesn't make sense on its face. If I vote for 0% failure rate, I'm really voting for 0% success rate. All the other morons here seem to understand it, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm the law around here.
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

  14. #14
    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    William -

    Your poll is stupid. The question is "what is the failure rate?" and all the choices in the poll ask for "success rate." It doesn't make sense on its face. If I vote for 0% failure rate, I'm really voting for 0% success rate. All the other morons here seem to understand it, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm the law around here.
    oops, u r right, Sheriff.

    I also meant aftermarket rebuilt. I am sure most of factory rebuilt are good.

    every S2000 rebuilt engine I've known have blew up (that's 4 so far). Rob: who built your newly rebuilt engine ?
    Last edited by bellwilliam; 04-27-2010 at 10:54 AM.
    Supermiata S1, SuperMiata S2, Supermiata S3
    13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
    17 GT350 !!
    08 M3 - Carmax warranty !!
    96 NSX
    06 EVO MR
    15 Mini Cooper S

  15. #15
    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
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    One thing we've seen with SRF rebuilds (which all come from one source, SCCA Enterprises, as they are sealed engines designed to all have equal power outputs) is that more than one older engine has blown, been sent in for rebuild, and the rebuild blows in short order.

    Often, the reason for that is in the ancillaries bolted to the engine; for example, clogged fuel injectors, a bad fuel pump, a malfunctioning MAF. So the 'old' engine didn't actually die from being old, but because something was wrong, but since the engine WAS old, all too often folks never consider other causes -- and then smoke a brand new motor.

    I don't know that it would happen as often with newer generation engines (compared to the old Escort engines we use), but it's something to think about.

    Steve

  16. #16
    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    again, I am talking about shop / tuner / backyard rebuilt only. I would trust Porsche, BMW, Nissan, Mazda, even SCCA Enterprise rebuilt engines.
    Supermiata S1, SuperMiata S2, Supermiata S3
    13 Tesla, ma: no engine !!
    17 GT350 !!
    08 M3 - Carmax warranty !!
    96 NSX
    06 EVO MR
    15 Mini Cooper S

  17. #17
    Senior Member BigMac88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    William -

    Your poll is stupid. The question is "what is the failure rate?" and all the choices in the poll ask for "success rate." It doesn't make sense on its face. If I vote for 0% failure rate, I'm really voting for 0% success rate. All the other morons here seem to understand it, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm the law around here.
    We all just got
    Hella Functional

  18. #18
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    And can I really be the only one who thinks they all go KABOOM (100% failure rate, or to put it the other way around, 0% success rate)?
    The deposed former Sheriff of trackHQ . . .

    2006 Porsche 997 Carerra Coupe 6-MT - daily driver
    1992 Honda (Acura) NSX 5-MT - classic investment I couldn't resist and occasionally drive
    2004 Honda S2000 AP2 6-MT - track day car
    2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 6-MT - when I need a backseat, 4-doors, or a real trunk, and still want to haul ass . . .

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