Hi there! I apologize for skimming over a lot of details, but the tl;dr is that my engine had been suffering from intermittent misfires and low power and surging conditions for a few months prior to completely failing, particularly after high humidity and rain. With this in mind, I replaced the COPs and spark plugs, as well as installing extra grounding points as suggested in old posts on this forum, and also installed a new battery. All of which were kind of due for replacement anyway.
However, none of this aided my issue. Skipping around a bit in the details, I eventually did a compression test of all cylinders, admittedly much later in the diagnostic process than I should have. I found all cylinders were between 70 PSI at worst, and about 145 PSI at best. From what I could gather here on the forum, the factory spec is about 200 PSI, +/- 10 PSI. So obviously I have a dead engine in need of major repairs.
My questions then are:
- Is it worthwhile to try to rebuild the engine? I assume if I'm going to undertake that process, it's really best to rebuild it from the block up, rather than trying to get by with only cylinder honing, new piston rings, and new crank shaft and piston bearings, assuming the heads don't show any major signs of wear or failure. I can do most labor aside from block and head machining, though I would probably need to purchase a handful of rebuild-specific tools. Hoping I could rent or borrow an engine hoist and electric drill (for cylinder hone), among other tools.
- Would it be smarter to try to source a junkyard engine, either to swap completely, as-is, or alternatively, to combine good parts from both engines?
- Or should I just scrap the vehicle? As-is, towed to a junkyard for whatever deal I might be able to get, $250 at most if I'm lucky (but more likely $100-$150)? Or instead trying to part the vehicle out? Though I doubt that there's much more to be gained from individual parting, considering it's not a particularly common and in-demand vehicle.
A few more details: The vehicle is largely in solid condition, with minor body panel rust in one of the quarter panels. Interior's main blemish is a drooping headliner that needs re-glued or reupholstered. Also missing the dash console lid due to broken hinges on the original part, which I still have. However, moving back to the exterior, the vehicle absolutely needs
4x tires, and ideally a FR wheel bearing replacement and alignment to go with new tires. As well, the brakes all around could probably use a refresh, and a fluid flush at minimum. Rear calipers likely need rebuilt due to poor rotor contact. Would also maybe be a good idea to replace the rubber brake lines in that process, just as preventative maintenance.
Engine has around 137k miles, iirc. Admittedly I wasn't too good with oil maintenance due to an oil pan leak (which I also fixed during above troubleshooting) and I did take the vehicle to a few SCCA autocross events. There was metallic flaking in the drained oil. So certainly the piston rings and/or cylinder sleeves are bad, but hopefully bearings aren't excessively worn (a moot point if I rebuild, but good to know for failure-mode diagnostics). I suppose now that I think of it, there must have been light blow-by which was a cause of minor oil loss from the front-bank crankcase vent.