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When Is It Time to Rebuild or Replace?

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  • When Is It Time to Rebuild or Replace?

    My 1994 has 202K and I drive it hard. From a performance standpoint it seems fine. Actually, with all the abuse I throw at it I'm amazed by the performance the old girl gives me. Blasting through the gears while whipping through mountain roads, I routinely run it close to the Red line and she hardly ever complains. A couple of years ago she surprised me with some ferocious lifter tick. After that "I just ran over my own dog!" moment, I let her rest she returned to normal.

    Over the last 8K I've noticed I'm adding about a pint of oil every other fill up. I don't see any drips or leaks and no smoke out the pipe. There is no oil smoke at crank.

    I guess I have several questions:
    First, any thoughts on the oil consumption? Seems high to me but I've never thrashed an engine with this many miles on it.
    Second, what is the tipping point between buying a rebuild or rebuilding what I Have?
    Third: Do it myself or pay someone else? I have access to tools and lifts. What I don't have is an excess of spare time.
    Fourth: If I use someone else, who? Any Atlanta area recommendations?

  • #2
    my last na consumed a good bit of oil the entire time i had it but never gave me an issue over two years around 40k miles. was told it was just rings sticking so who knows how long you can still go. if you have access to all of the tools but not alot of spare time i'd say the most time friendly way to go would be just to buy a used engine and swap it out.
    1997 mx-5

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    • #3
      RSpeed and MiataAfterworld are the 2 that I expect you will hear the most about. Both great resources.
      David Luney - Suwanee GA
      [email protected]
      04 RX-8, 10 Black MS3, 08 Red MS3, 06 550i, 05 325i 92 Spec Miata and a parts car or two.

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      • #4
        Typical of high mileage miatas. Keep adding oil until you are tired of it, then install a replacement. Good used engines cost far less than rebuilding one. Paying someone else to replace the engine could cost you more than the car is worth.

        If you're looking for more power, a 2001+ VVT swap + megasquirt 3 is a hard combination to beat.
        The only thing that oughta be hella flushed is a toilet.
        http://www.miataramblings.blogspot.com

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