Buying Car Engines Online - Specifiaclly Ebay

#1
I am giving serious consideration to replacing my car engine by this means and am doing my research before taking the plunge.

What experiences (both good and bad) have people had doing it this way? I am after advice - both positive and negative so I can arrive at a course of action.

Many thanks

Berlin
 
#3
feedback has to be spot on if buying, also making sure that the feedback pertains to engines and not lace doilies

I have bought/sold a few on ebay and other sites, with no dramas.

If you are fitting it yourself, then you know the costs involved, else ask me and i will list what you will have to buy on top of the engine.

Plus you have to face reality, is the car worth it?

Also dont go for one of these companies that fit in a day, a friend spent 2.2k on an s-line a4 engine to be fitted, needless to say the engine is now out and the issues when stripping it were horrendous ie bolts missing, turbo gasket missing, bell housing plate mangled, intercooler not fitted correctly, the list goes on

A good thorough fitting and test of the car should take 2 days in my honest opinion, a rush job will be just that
 
#4
As Bipolar has stated. Also, make sure that if you want the whole lot, you're getting all the ancillaries like injection pumps, manifolds etc.

I have bought a complete engine and 'box for a ZZ-R600, a Rocket box for and OSF and a couple of turbochargers from eBay with no dramas.

Mong sellers are usually given away by shite descriptions.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
If you buy one from a company in west London, get the company number and google it. There is a notorious gang that run under several names such as reconditioned engines or similar. A mate got her car taken there to be fixed, engine replaced etc on a really good deal. Once they had it, the price started bumping up day by day.

Edited to add link
www.reconditioned-engines.co.uk/

AVOID


Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#9
I've bought all sorts on eBay. Suspension, transfer box and bits and pieces. But I wouldn't buy an engine on eBay. I would want to look at it and look the man in the eye who I was buying it from. He would be a local scrapper. And I would know where he lives.

An engine change is major surgery and as has been said, are you getting just the block, or starter motor, alternator, pumps, carbs etc?

I'd go to a local scrap yard. You can nick all sorts while the Pikey bastards are not looking.
 
#11
As the above says..try to hear it and see it running
and ask yourself why is this engine in a breakers in the first place?
but in saying that I have bought trouble free major components from the like of dronsfield.
 
#13
Just to add that some key electrical items on engine can be uniquely registered to the OE engine management , meaning that it won't run unless put on dealer diagnostic's and reset , this can be overcome by using every sensor and switch from the original engine but often there have been small changes between years of the same model car.
depends what's up with your engine but odds are the "new" engine is likely to suffer the same issues , also many engines from crash damaged vehicles have suffered hidden damage by impact or by running whilst upside down etc , that said I know people who have fitted S/H engines with no dramas, personaly I wouldn't buy a S/H engine unless I had seen and heard it running for a sensible period of time , also had chance to see it before it had been steamed off and to look t the general condition of the donor vehicle , warrantys from these companys are worth little , if the engine is an exchange unit don't send yours back untill you are happy with the new one.
 
#14
I am giving serious consideration to replacing my car engine by this means and am doing my research before taking the plunge.

What experiences (both good and bad) have people had doing it this way? I am after advice - both positive and negative so I can arrive at a course of action.

Many thanks

Berlin
Firstly dont buy off a private seller as you have no worthwile warranty ,if you buy off an engine specialist check out if they are VAT registerd and how long they have been trading ,what car is it for ? many have owners clubs / forums , join and ask ,depending on what your car is it may be worth asking your main agent , sounds mad but you can be pleasantly surprised occaisionaly .

If you buy recon ask whats been replaced ie pistons , shells , cam and followers? and also ask what make the components were ie chinese of european made.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#15
My dear friend Dekka the Monkey has an elegant solution to a car with a blown motor.

Jack up the number plates. Slide the car out. Slide the new car in. Replace the number plates.
 
#16
My dear friend Dekka the Monkey has an elegant solution to a car with a blown motor.

Jack up the number plates. Slide the car out. Slide the new car in. Replace the number plates.
Just to add that some ... items ... can be uniquely registered ... , this can be overcome by using every [item] from the original...
For the number plates to work correctly in all conditions, the VIN plates need to be changed too.
 
#17
I wouldn't buy a donor engine unless I'd seen it running with my own eyes.
until I've heard and seen it run up, it's just a big lump of metal, value £100 for scrap. If the seller won't run it, I won't buy it.

I've bought all sorts on eBay. Suspension, transfer box and bits and pieces. But I wouldn't buy an engine on eBay. I would want to look at it and look the man in the eye who I was buying it from. He would be a local scrapper. And I would know where he lives.

An engine change is major surgery and as has been said, are you getting just the block, or starter motor, alternator, pumps, carbs etc?

I'd go to a local scrap yard. You can nick all sorts while the Pikey bastards are not looking.
And even when I have bought them, all the ancills usually cost more than the motor itself

Just to add that some key electrical items on engine can be uniquely registered to the OE engine management , meaning that it won't run unless put on dealer diagnostic's and reset , this can be overcome by using every sensor and switch from the original engine but often there have been small changes between years of the same model car.
depends what's up with your engine but odds are the "new" engine is likely to suffer the same issues , also many engines from crash damaged vehicles have suffered hidden damage by impact or by running whilst upside down etc , that said I know people who have fitted S/H engines with no dramas, personaly I wouldn't buy a S/H engine unless I had seen and heard it running for a sensible period of time , also had chance to see it before it had been steamed off and to look t the general condition of the donor vehicle , warrantys from these companys are worth little , if the engine is an exchange unit don't send yours back untill you are happy with the new one.
and if the ECU isn't convinced everything is right, then your buying more trouble.

What type of car is it, is it worth looking for a complete, running donor and buying a whole car? Loads of other spares to be had that way? I've done that a couple of times and usually get the iron Duke to cart all my scrap away. he's a pussycat really

Of course, a totally unscrupulas man might rent an identical model for a week from, say, Hertz, and spend the week swapping over the engines.
 
#18
I've done it a few times with mixed results. First one was a 5 cyl Audi engine back in the day, off a breakers, mail order and delivered on a pallet. Sounded great, smoked like a bastard. The seller refunded me and said keep the engine, so I used parts of it to fix the original one.

Bought a complete car once because it was cheap and I needed the gearbox. I got it running so I could test drive it and make sure the gearbox was alright. Turned out to be a nice result as the engine was better than mine so I chucked the whole lot in.
 
#19
In my experience it's very much cheaper to buy a complete car, accident damaged or TuV/MoT failure for rust/running gear and break the assemblies you need out yourself.

You can also flog off all the parts you don't need to pay for the whole thing!

Once you have two motors you can strip one down and overhaul it yourself in slow time, its a nice winter project, skimming, reboring, relining etc. is not that expensive and you have time to source cheaper parts, seals etc.

Breakers charge routinely 50% of the new price in Germany, more for an overhauled/guaranteed motor!
 
#20
I wouldn't buy a donor engine unless I'd seen it running with my own eyes.
Engines will usually outlast the cars and some cars are scrapped because of ludicrously expensive electronics failing (ABS, seat belt tensioners, etc). You can get good engines, you can get lumps of scrap being touted as good engines.


Of course, a totally unscrupulas man might rent an identical model for a week from, say, Hertz, and spend the week swapping over the engines.
That was an implausible story line in Eastenders about 20 years ago and was derided then. I'd suspect the hire companies have had every stunt tried on them before and have their safeguards in place. They'd usually want to see a photo-card driving licence and a credit card before letting you loose in their motor and they are known to charge heavily for random alleged scratches. It sounds like a fairly certain route to a conviction and jail.



In my experience it's very much cheaper to buy a complete car, accident damaged or TuV/MoT failure for rust/running gear and break the assemblies you need out yourself.

You can also flog off all the parts you don't need to pay for the whole thing!

Once you have two motors you can strip one down and overhaul it yourself in slow time, its a nice winter project, skimming, reboring, relining etc. is not that expensive and you have time to source cheaper parts, seals etc.
A sound plan if you have a garage, the time and know your way around an engine. Otherwise you'll just have to pay through the nose for the services of those who do. Or take the bus.
 

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