Diesel Rebuild Options
Need advice on what to do with my cruiser. I have a 1981 BJ42 – 3B engine – 4 speed. My engine went from bad to worse lately when it stopped running . Was at a stop light, accelerated in 1st gear when she all of sudden died. Rolled to the side of the road where I tried to start it up again with just a sold thunk as I started her. Tried manually turning the crankshaft to no avail. The engine had a rebuild in the near future as the compression was low, but it now most certainly needs one. I am conflicted on spending the time and money on a rebuild as I have not been completely satisfied with its power. I knew she was a dog, but the altitude (5,000 ft) and old, tired engine makes her hard to drive here in Colorado. I love this rig to death, but I may have to move on if I can’t make it more drivable. Obviously, with her not running I may take a substantial hit in a selling price. So what are my options?
1. Quoted $5,000 labor only for a rebuild. There would be a minimum of $2,000 in parts and that is if things look OK once torn apart. Can anybody recommend a good diesel engine rebuild shop in the Denver area? This would get me a “new” engine, but I would have the same low performance problem. Is there anywhere I can ship this engine for a rebuild?
2. Turbo it! Can anybody tell me, especially if you are at high altitude how a 3B will run after she has a turbo? Specifically, a mountain pass…can I ever expect to get her to 55mph going up I-70? This would add another $2,000-$3,000.
3. Swap in a used “Grade A” engine for $2,200 myself and sale her for what I can. This may command a better selling price even with the extra money spent then just selling it how she currently sits.
Bottom line is, I only want to keep it if I can make it a suitable daily driver and not worry about it drastically reducing speed with the hint of any small hill. Don’t need it to do 75mph, but would like for it to climb mountain passes without people honking at me while doing 35mph.