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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a cylinder 1 misfire that has been coming and going (but more persistent lately) as well as my need to fill up coolant. After the mechanic did a compression test that failed and found antifreeze mixing through the combustion... he diagnosed it as a cracked head and recommended that I replace the whole engine as it's tough to replace the head on these engines.

The mechanic who diagnosed it is not able (or willing) to do the engine replacement as the most common way to replace is by dropping the engine and they don't have the equipment (though by reading this forum, it seems that a lot take off the bumper to do it instead)

I am getting a second opinion for another diagnosis to see if they come up with the same conclusion. My question is, is the mechanic right in skipping the head replacement and getting a new engine instead? Also, any other advice for this situation?

I'm based in Raleigh, NC if there are any mechanics in my local area!

Thanks
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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that mechanic is hinting that he really doesn't want to work on your vehicle

IIRC @Kip-on-truckin mentioned that if you remove the engine mount bolts and lower the engine a bit you gain more access to that rear head.

I'm assuming you have a gas engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
that mechanic is hinting that he really doesn't want to work on your vehicle

IIRC @Kip-on-truckin mentioned that if you remove the engine mount bolts and lower the engine a bit you gain more access to that rear head.

I'm assuming you have a gas engine.
Bingo, I don't think the mechanic wants to work on it at all 😅 You are correct. I have a gas engine.
 

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Clearly, he doesnt want to work on it, which is foolish as there is nothing that hard about swapping that rear head. If you remove the oval shapped fresh air intake, it’s actually pretty roomy.
Motor city mechanic on youtube has some very detailed head replacement videos.
He may or may not have a point about the replacing an engine. You are, to the best of my knowledge, the first person on this forum in 7 years to ever have any kind of head gasket/cracking issue. This would lead me toward a defect of some kind, which might make me wonder about the rest of the engine. Tricky stuff without more info.
I see two options:

replace the head: bare head is $600, plus another $100 for new rockers and lifters if you need them. . If you need cams (prob not) add $300 per. I would also consider a junkyard head which will be very cheap and can be inspected before you install it. Not sure what the job books at, but I’d think no less than 10 hours, no more than 20.
Engine swap: used engines with under 40k are $1200-1400. High mileage engines can be had for as little as $700. Labor is about 20 hours. It’s a big job but not too tough and doesnt require a lift or any special tools.
Feel free to ask questions. Use car-part.com to search junkyards. In NC, I imagine there is an abundance of decent indie mechanics who arent as timid as your guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Clearly, he doesnt want to work on it, which is foolish as there is nothing that hard about swapping that rear head. If you remove the oval shapped fresh air intake, it’s actually pretty roomy.
Motor city mechanic on youtube has some very detailed head replacement videos.
He may or may not have a point about the replacing an engine. You are, to the best of my knowledge, the first person on this forum in 7 years to ever have any kind of head gasket/cracking issue. This would lead me toward a defect of some kind, which might make me wonder about the rest of the engine. Tricky stuff without more info.
I see two options:

replace the head: bare head is $600, plus another $100 for new rockers and lifters if you need them. . If you need cams (prob not) add $300 per. I would also consider a junkyard head which will be very cheap and can be inspected before you install it. Not sure what the job books at, but I’d think no less than 10 hours, no more than 20.
Engine swap: used engines with under 40k are $1200-1400. High mileage engines can be had for as little as $700. Labor is about 20 hours. It’s a big job but not too tough and doesnt require a lift or any special tools.
Feel free to ask questions. Use car-part.com to search junkyards. In NC, I imagine there is an abundance of decent indie mechanics who arent as timid as your guy.
Thank you so much for the detailed response! I'm currently having a second opinion done and will see what their input is. Depending on what they tell me, I will probably bring it back home and tear it open a bit myself. I'm not too mechanic-inclined, but I've been slowly learning the in and outs through replacing the spark plugs/coils.

Not sure if I'm up to the task of swapping out the engine, but I've found a few of your threads from the last which have been EXTREMELY helpful so far. I appreciate it!
 
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