View Full Version : Crate engine/rebuilt engine/remanufactured/used

09-22-2005, 12:27 PM
Does anyone know where I can get a rebuilt/remanufactured/crate/used one?

It appears my head is cracked in two places. Since my engine has 155K on it, a lot of mechanics I've spoken with believe it will be useless to rebuild my engine at this point since the tolerances might be too off. They said it's not worth sticking a new head on there with the bottom end not being rebuilt and having as many miles.

Consequently, they said even if I do rebuild my current engine -- it will cost around $6-7K ... so, it might be cheaper to buy a used engine, rebuilt/remanufactured/crate one.

Where can I get one of these so-called engines?

Any leads would be appreciated.

Thank you,


09-22-2005, 05:12 PM
We are talking about a BMW engine right? Chances are the bottom end if well maintained will still be within tolerances according to my mechanic. Many BMW engines show only minimal wear when rebuilt with over 200k miles. I would put a new head on it, pull than pan and look at the bottom end and the rings and just button it back up if things looked good.

Dave Apker

09-23-2005, 12:37 AM
I have no experience with these guys, but I seem to recall them being recommended on an E24 board: Bavarian Engine Exchange (www.bavengine.com)... (and for used engines, there's Bavarian Auto Recycling (http://www.bmrparts.com/used_bmw_engines.html))

...then again, I believe that Dave has a point -- have a mechanic you trust (and one who knows your particular chassis; I don't know what you're driving) take a look at the bottom end. My E30's M20 was perfectly fine with a new head at 156k and my E24's original M30 is well within factory specs at over 147k.

09-23-2005, 07:13 AM
I think a crate engine from the stealer is $5500. Call Bill.

09-23-2005, 02:19 PM
Thanks guys ... I get conflicting reports. It's an E36 S52 engine. I cracked the head in three places across the top of cylinders 3, 4, and 5.

a) some people say, you cannot visually inspect the block -- but, need to make sure by using a micrometer, etc .. that nothing was bent or mishaped. From the top half, there is no scorching, scarring, or grooving.

We are going to remove the oil pan and take a look from underneath.

I am concerned b/c it has 155K -- and I'm club-racing this car. But, I was wondering why I need to rebuild the bottom end -- typically, those do not go.

b) Some people say, don't get a used engine -- might not know what is wrong. I tend to agree.

c) I want to get a S52 head ... but, I am hearing conflicting reports. S52 head only ... some say I can use an S50/M52/M50/M50tu head ... others say only S52/M52 heads, etc ... etc.

It's all over the place ... called VAC -- they said all of them, called BMW of Fairfax, Sterling, etc ... they said no ... ONLY S52 ... Called active -- Karl says ALL of them ... other tuners/builders say no ... S52 has double vanos whereas S50/M50/M50tu only has single vanos which will cause problems ...

Don't know whom to believe ... everyone is great with "normal" things -- but questions of specificity ... EVERYONE seems to fall short ...

The easiest answer people are saying buy a new head ($2200) -- which does not include anything. So, I'll need valve guides/springs/retainers, etc. Or, buy a crate engine -- bavarian auto exchange wants $400 shipping plus $7622, of which $1K is a core charge. So, I'll spend $400 sending it back to them.

Crate engine from BMW -- I ask fairfax was $9500.

09-23-2005, 02:26 PM
I would suggest that you contact Tony at VAC Motors. He knows our cars, sponsers club racing and will treat you well. He did my machine work on my s14 rebuild and was super helpful.
Good Luck, you should at least pull the bottom end down and check bearing clearance to refresh if you are racing.IMO

09-23-2005, 02:35 PM
call Stickley http://www.cssmotorsports.com

07-18-2016, 02:18 PM
Your post is pretty old but your advice on VAC Motors was right on target.