Thinking Of Buying a Used JDM Engine? Here’s What You Should Know

Scoring a fully functional JDM car is a dream come true. Road-worthy cars are great because you don’t have to do anything but to drive them proudly.

But where’s the fun in that?

Although there is nothing wrong with just enjoying driving your JDM, there is certainly a spark inside a JDM enthusiast that ignites when you choose to modify or rebuild the car to your liking or needs.

There are different ways on how you can modify your JDM. If you’re afraid of messing it up, you can start with easy cosmetic car mods instead. However, if you really want to tinker with your JDM, changing the engine could be the best mod for you. Before you use up all your money to get that clip or a complete engine, here are the myths and facts that you should know.

JDM Engines Aren’t Cheap: Fact

For non-car enthusiasts, spending on these cars can look like a waste of money. However, when you’re spending on your passion and what you love, there is really no limit. That being said, you should still do research on what you purchase before you put in money into it. You have to really look into what you are buying.

Whether you spend a lot or not so much into a clip or a complete engine, a good and reputable supplier will make a big difference in the experience you get out of driving your JDM.

All Japanese Engines Are Only Used For 40,000 Miles Or Less: Myth

There is a myth around the JDM community that the used engines aren’t used beyond 40,000 miles. Although that is a very good thing, it isn’t really true. There is no requirement or limit on how many miles the engines in Japan should run.

However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to find one that has only run below 40,000 miles but you should also be careful and ask for proof before believing any importer who says so.

JDM Engines Aren’t Overused: Myth

Related to having under 40,000 mileage is that the JDM engines weren’t overused. Sure there are some which weren’t overused but many of them have already been driven hard. That’s why you see so many clips and engines that have scratches or dents. Additionally, the JDM cars are meant to go fast so why shouldn’t they be driven as fast as they could.

Even if they are used engines, EPA would still allow them to be used as long as the emission requirements are met. Just make sure that they pass and you are good to go. Additionally, the cars that were produced before 1974 are exempted from the rule.

Tips On Buying JDM Clips And Engines

Check For Completeness & Compatibility

As discussed, clips and engines aren’t cheap so it is best to make sure that what you buy is really worth the price. Among the things that you should check is the completeness of the clip. Even if the clip you just bought is worth thousands, it could still be possible that it isn’t complete. Make sure to read descriptions properly and to ask the seller. Don’t just ask them if it is complete or not because their definition of complete may not be the same as yours.

A complete set should have the engine, transmission, and an uncut harness.

Also, make sure that the complete set you buy is really compatible with each other. One buyer was disappointed to see that the complete set he bought for his S15 Silvia SR20DET had mismatched parts. It had an S15 wiring harness, an S13 turbo, and manifold plus an S14 tranny.

Such a combination just won’t work because they are not compatible with each other.

Know The Engine’s Condition

Cars that are meant to run fast would likely be driven fast by their owners so don’t skip checking the engine before swapping it immediately for yours. Some say that engines that are less than 5 years old are safe to swap but it doesn’t hurt to check thoroughly.

If the seller allows you, it would be best to see the spark plugs and left-over oils. Avoid those that have sludgy oil or radiators that have signs of water and oil mixture.