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Hello all,

I own a 2002 Sentra SE-R Spec-V with 130 000km on it. I purchased the car almost two years ago and I have loved owning it ever since. However, about two months ago my SES light came on, followed by it blinking (which indicates a misfire, as I know). This was accompanied by a low idle rate (500-750rpm), a lack of power, and the engine sounding unusually dull. I took it into the shop a day or two later (I put 10-15km on it between when the light came on and when it arrived at the mechanic's). They pulled the spark plug and found that something had smashed the gap together on the end. They had also scoped the engine and said that there was scoring on the cylinder walls, as if something had got into the cylinder and scratched it up. This was followed by telling me that my engine would be gradually deteriorating over the next few months and that I would need either a rebuild or replacement. They quoted me around $4000 for the replacement ($1900 for a used engine, $2000 or more for miscellaneous and labour) and $6000 for a complete rebuild. I contacted Nissan, and they told me that I'd be paying close to $8000 for a new engine.

Now, I have to ask: Should I fix my car, part it out, or just sell it as is and part ways?

I've really enjoyed this car, but it's now becoming a question of cost-vs-return. I paid $6000 for the car two years ago, and while it is in good condition apart from the engine, I can't imagine that it will be worth much after such major repairs. I'd like to see it running at top performance again, but I simply don't know if I should bother. I do not have the skills or equipment needed to do the swap/rebuild myself. While the used engine would seem to be the more reasonable of the two option, it has 20000km more on it than the one it's replacing. As a side question, would it be a good idea to look into aftermarket exhaust headers to be installed? I understand that a lot of Sentra engine problems are the result of a damaged pre-catalyst.

Does anyone have any suggestions/advice for me? I'm in university, so money is tight, but with a bit of saving I could afford to have the repairs done. I just don't know if they're worth it.
 

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If you cant do the repairs yourself, then the whole job, as you said, would cost more than the car is likely worth even after a brand new engine is put in. As you said, do you want to put 4000-8000 into a car that is now worth very little due to a damaged engine? Your car will gain little to no resale value from the general public with a replaced engine, so the car wont be worth much more. If you plan on selling the car, I'd do it now and not put the money in under the hood. If you want to keep the car, you obviously need to get it fixed. Rebuilds become much more affordable if you can acquire the knowledge to do one or make a friend that can either help you or do it for you. The price for a rebuild can go from the 6000-8000 quoted at the shops to 1500-2000. That may be an option. In the end, though, it is up to you and no one will be able to tell you what the right decision is. Also, it is hard to make a lot of money with parting out the car if you can't take apart the mechanical parts and resell them. You will never make more than the amount the car is worth as it sits by selling shift knobs and glove boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the advice! I really do like the car, but it simply may not end up being financially wise to repair it.

Out of curiosity, do you know how much I could ask for the car in it's current condition? It still runs, just not at peak performance. Everything is in decent condition (although there may be some brake work to be done, ABS light is on). I figure I'd be lucky to catch more than $1000 for it in current condition.
 

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if you gonna waste 8k on a new qr might as well vq swap that bichh
 
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Thank you for the advice! I really do like the car, but it simply may not end up being financially wise to repair it.

Out of curiosity, do you know how much I could ask for the car in it's current condition? It still runs, just not at peak performance. Everything is in decent condition (although there may be some brake work to be done, ABS light is on). I figure I'd be lucky to catch more than $1000 for it in current condition.
Umm just hotglue a rareearth magnet to the end of a semipliable stick or rod and make sure u get as much metal out of the cylinder as possible then put in a new spark plug so it will run.

The major loss of power is from that plug not sparking because its closed....

EDIT:
I'll comment some more in a while I'm currently at work and have had the same issue...
 

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If you're in a close distance to 2J, a busted engine is a perfect excuse to get 2JR's hi comp engine or turbo engine setup or VQswap, esp if you're willing to shell out the amounts you've previously been quoted.

Whether it's worth it is up to you, a whole new engine means you'll [probably] be keeping it for another 100k+ miles. Do you like the exterior styling of your sentra? Can you live with its interior that doesn't have all that fancy shmancy touch screen bluetooth electronics like in newer cars? Are you okay with the eventual wear 'n tear repair costs for a sentra at 130k miles? How much is its value now, because if you keep it for another 100k miles it won't be worth anything at all by then.

Are you even sure the engine is THAT far gone? Did you actually pull the code for the SES? Blinking doesn't always mean misfire. Sounds like you sucked up a butterfly screw if your sparkplug dented.

When my headgasket was going south my SES came up but never blinked. The code was for a misfire in cylinder 3.
I took it to a Nissan stealership; They told me they took a camera scope into the engine cylinders, my longblock was totally fucked and I'd need a new one ASAP or my engine would hydrolic lock on me from the coolant causing a car crash...yea they seriously said that.
Then I took it to a reputable local repair shop; they did their machining surgery, head was completely fine, cylinder walls weren't perfect but still good, just needed a headgasket replacement and extra TLC.


OR just fkitall and drive around a busted up car till it stops working like most brokeass college students.
 

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he talks KMs so im assuming canada.. for 3500$ shipped you can get a nice 2jr QR25.. if you are talking canada, im still seeing 2002 SpecVs pushing 5000$ in fully working order, so if you can stand it to be off the road, i would pull it, buy the motor, and then take a couple of weeks and you and your buddies can install it. then your happy...
 

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you could do that (buying a new or reman'd engine through either Nissan or 2JR) or what I did, find a used engine from like jdmenginezone.com or car-parts.com or jdmenginedepot.com or whatever website you want to use.... but I bought a used engine for $1600 with less than 50,000 miles and found a local shop to install it for $400, but for you it will be a little more cuz of shipping and all that, I'm guessing Canada. From here you could either get B16 internals and keep it somewhat stock or you could just find a good local shop and have them rebuild it for $2000+/- $300 and keep it stock or prep it for turbo or high compression....... depending on what you wanna do with it and how much your willing to spend. Like someone mentioned beforeI like the B15 body so its worth it to me cuz no matter what car you get you will do normal wear and tear replacements.... but thats just me.
 
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