Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - Daz
Hi, have posted before about my car problem, well the engine in question has given up the ghost completly having swallowed 17 litres of oil in the past month.

I have tried places recommended by some of you but prices are more than I can afford so I bought an e&m and have found cheaper engines in there.

However, a few people have advised against recons - there seem to be a lot of clauses and possible add on costs which obviously will bump the price up.

A vauxhall repair guy I know suggested a 2nd hand would better and I could pick one up for around £500. Obviously then I need to get it fitted which will probably cost another £200??

My worry is that should I buy a 2nd hand one the same thing will happen again.

I need this car to for work and not having it runnning is a nightmare as is trying to find someone who has a 2nd hand engine.

Basically I would like to know from u experts 2nd or recon if so can anyone recommend a cheap but reliable recon company in essex or surrounding regions?

Your views will be much appreciated.
Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - Dude - {P}
Quite frankly IMHO, if you are thinking of spending £500 for a recon engine & £200 for fitting, with respect your car can`t be worth a lot more than this, and you would be better putting that money towards a decent low mileage Omega with full service history for not a lot more dosh, but a lot less hassle.
Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - Daz
I paid £2900 for this car last November it had covered 70k with a full service history so I disagree on getting another car for little more and that a low mileage or service history actually counts for anything.

The car itself is in great condition evrything works except the engine!

I'm loath to change it for another but really would like a new or 2nd hand engine and advice on what is best.
Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - andy n
have you considered rebuilding the engine yourself all parts are readily available and as long as you can find a reliable machine shop for any boring/crank grinding etc you should not have any problems, at the end of the day at least youll be sure the engines 100% right and should be good for many thousands of miles.i recently went down this route with a bmw m 20 engine after finding myself in a similar position to yourself
Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - Dizzy {P}

I think Andy has a good point about rebuilding the engine yourself. It's a frightening task the first time you do it but with the aid of a manual, and with advice when needed from a knowledgeable friend (like the Backroom!), it can be done. Perhaps it's only the top end that needs seeing to?

One other thought -- I don't know what model you have (nothing in your Profile!!) but some years ago my friend's 130,000-mile 2-litre Carlton was using a lot of oil and some was finding its way into the air filter. He was on the point of buying a recon engine when I took a look at it. All that was wrong was that a wire mesh filter in the rocker cover breather system was choked. I replaced the mesh and the car went on for many more thousands of miles with no further oil-consumption problem. Are you sure that you have major engine wear on the Omega?
Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - Daz
Yes I am not 100% but am pretty sure. The Vauxhall garage informed me sometime ago that there wasn't enough combustion in the crankcase and oil was going into the idle speed control valve.

Also the engine was very noisy and sounded like bits were flying around it when I managed to limp it home.

My knowledge of engines is very limited but I thought the pistons were at the bottom of the engine?

Also what would a complete re-build involve?


Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - Daz
It's a 2.0 16V ecotec 96 gls auto estate.

I will check the air filter housing and report back.

Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - T Lucas
Find a decent used engine and make sure you change the belts and pullys etc,dont bother with a recon,too many cowboys and you never know if your dealing Wyatt Earp until its too late.
I used to deal with a Vauxhall breaker in Romford called 'Vauxhall Spares'they used to advertise in Autotrader and E&M.
Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - Daz
Hi, thanks I have tried them but they have nothing in stock.

How can u tell what is a decent used engine?

I thought a 70k full VSH would be fine but it has lasted me 7k despite me getting vauxhall to fully service after i bought it.
Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - Dizzy {P}

Yours is a different engine to the one in the Carlton and I don't expect that the problem is the same. It does sound as though your engine trouble is more serious.

It's difficult to sum up what's involved in a complete rebuild. Since you are not at all familiar with what is where in an engine (the pistons are near the top, not the bottom) I think, after all, that you would need a bit more than advice from the Backroom; you really need someone with some experience looking over your shoulder.

A manual would be a big help, essential in fact, but you could still find the task a bit too much to handle entirely by yourself and I think I was mistaken in suggesting that. I had hoped you needed only a top end overhaul which might have been OK for a first-timer, but a full overhaul is probably a step too far. Sorry about that.
Omega Engine Recon or 2nd hand? - Daz
Hi, have checked the air filter housing and not a trace of oil I'm afraid.
Urgent advice needed - Daz
Right found a breaker with an engine except they have no idea or refuse to tell me a) the mileage and b) the year of the engine. It is from a car that was rolled and has a dmaged sump and a few ancilliaires are broken which they say they can nick of my existing engine. This will cost a grand total of £475 inc VAT and fitting.

Option two is a local guy that will fit a recon for a grand total of £995 inc VAT and fitting.

I need this car urgently and am waiting on your advice.

Most people say to go 2nd hand but the aforementioned engine comes with no history at all and only a 30 day guarantee.

PS Option two claims to price match so maybe be able to get him down to £835.
Urgent advice needed - Mark (RLBS)
Was it me, I\'d go with the second hand engine.

As soon as you get the car back change the oil just to make sure that there is no additive quietening down a noisy engine and drive it for a month - if there is anything major wrong with the engine you\'ll find out in that time.

One cautionary note, you do need to know how long the second hand engine has been inactive and where/how it has been stored. Much more important than its mileage.
Urgent advice needed - DavidHM
Maybe I'm just naturally overcautious but I don't get a good feeling from what you're saying about option one.

Either the breakers are deliberately keeping you in the dark or that engine has been passed around in the trade - meaning it's got to be pretty cheap for them to make a profit on the part and the labour for that price. Plus, as 'some ancilliaries' were damaged, is there any way of knowing that it wasn't more than that and the engine is less than perfect before being told that 'it's second hand, you've no right to expect it to run well' by the supplier?

Of course it depends what the guarantee on the second option and how much you trust the installer. Otherwise you could be paying double for literally the same engine.
Urgent advice needed - Daz
Excuse my ignorance but why do I need to know where it has been stored?

Not being funny, just a serious question for someone who knows v little about engines.

Half of me wants to go 2nd hand but the other half is worried that this engine could have covered many miles and if it is no good I'm left with a car with no engine at all!!
Urgent advice needed - Mark (RLBS)
There will be a difference in the condition in side the engine depending on how long it has been stored for and in what environment it has been stored.

Lying on its side in a field and could potentially have all sorts of rubbish in it, not to mention rust if the exhaust manifolds have not been sealed (and any other holes like the oil filler).

Stored upright in a sensible place for a small period of time and its unlikely to have come to any harm.

You've got a month to find out if its alright and get another if not. These engines are pretty robust.
Urgent advice needed - Mark (RLBS)


Hi I have asked Mark to post this on the site as I am having technical difficulties in posting at the moment. Because of this I cannot answer any further questions so I will try to cover everything I know in this one post.

Recently My 2.0 16V Omega engine started overheating I changed the radiator and this cured the overheating but now the apparent misfire was so bad that I just couldn\'t continue to drive it, (the engine was misfiring before and had been getting steadily
worse over the months.) I checked the compression (using gunsons Hi gauge) and had compressions....

11,18,18 & 18 for pistons 1,2,3,4 respectively no 1 is the front of the engine. Put some oil into No.1. piston and this improved it momentarily to 14, so I assumed the piston rings were gone or something similar..and decided to get a new engine.

Phoned around to discover..

Vega Engine.. or Irwin Engine both reconditioned to British Standards. cost 1250 plus vat old engine or thereabouts...too expensive.

a place in Stafford said 950 vat old engine plus 50 pick up delivery charge.

Exchange and Mart as you know offer aroud 700 inc Vat and fitting, (Engine World Stratford London) and they take the old unit.

I decided the best option was to find a scrapyard one because it would come with most of the ancillaries still on it, and I don\'t live near London (engine World).

I phoned round all my locals no one had one, one guy at vaux plus - Newport/Risca 01633 420333 didn\'t have one but you should phone him anyway, gave me some good advice on what to look for.

Anyway then I found some guy in Bargoed who said he had what I wanted and because of what the vauxplus guy told me I knew it wasn\'t from an Omega, it was out of a Vectra and was different so would not have fitted my car. He wanted 450 inc Vat and there was no inlet or exhaust manifolds, and no ancillaries whatsoever.

The Vaux plus guy said he would charge 450 plus Vat and I didn\'t ask him what ancillaries would still be on it.--if he had had one to sell.

The more bits they leave on for you the less work it will be for you to fit it.

I then tried another place and they had one, I went down, and it was the exact same engine in a shining example of an Omega with 106k on the clock, They wanted 400 plus Vat plus they wanted the old unit!!! (I don\'t expect to have to give the old unit to a scrapyard flippin heck!!) They wanted a deposit on my bringing my old unit back in 117 so the total cost from them was 500 plus the vat = 587.

I told him I wanted the wiring loom & ECU he agreed, I said I wanted to take it off myself (the wiring loom and ECU) so that it would not be butchered by his donkeys, he agreed. I did that and the donkeys removed the rest of the engine from the car, I just stopped one of them in time to stop him from cutting through a coolant hose which was part of the main spider hose assembly which costs about 55 pounds to replace. I know I had one on my existing car but I don\'t see the point in ruining a perfectly good one. plus if it is still attached then it is less work to do the swap. Also in the rush to get the engine off the car and onto the trailer, bought and paid for, the donkeys did not remove the alternator or anything, So the boss told me when I brought my old unit back it was to come back with those ancilliaries all connected aswell.

After taking the engine home on a trailer, and giving it a quick clean up, I took it to my appointed back street garage. We almost changed the clutch but I could not find a replacement quickly enough and I decided to keep the old one in situ, because time is money for me and my car. The garage charged me 100 for a straight swap, this was made even easier because all the components were still attached to the new engine.

The engine fired up first time and is running great. I checked the compressions in the new engine and I got:

15, 16.5, 16.5, & 16.5

So again piston no 1 looks like it might go in the future. I wanted to ask posters here if they knew of any faults in 2.0 16V engines relating to piston No.1 but I could not get logged in, then I saw you are having the same nightmare I had not so long ago.

Now I have mounted my old engine on an engine stand in my garage (there\'s no way I\'m taking it back to the scrapyard to get 117 pounds for it, no way, it\'s worth about 500 quid)

I have stripped it right down now to the basic engine unit and I am about to start to take the cylinder head off, then to take off the sump and the pistons, then I will repair and replace as neccessary, taking it to the engineers for skimming and grinding as neccessary.

I will then have an as new engine ready for when disaster strikes again!

I also have from my previous Omega, (written off retained salvage) a 2.0 8V engine which I was not sure if I could have used in my current car, But now I am very confident that this engine too could be used to replace the 16V you just have to remove the ECU and fit the 8V ECU in the car along with the engine.

You have my sympathies, but I advise you to scour the scrapyards for a suitable replacement engine, retain your old unit and do it yourself as I am or take it to the engineers they will charge you about 450 to do it for you, then you will have a spare engine for the time when your replacement engine goes bang.

I don\'t like the sound of that unit with the damaged sump, and It sounds to me like they would also retain your old unit. Avoid them.

another place in my yellow pages is in Gloucester 01452 410000

Now you know what to ask about, how much?

what components are still attached to the engine?
inlet and exhaust manifolds
starter motor
power steering pump
dis module (ignition)
throttle housing and idler valve

do you expect my engine in return? what deposit do you expect on my old engine?

Tell them you don\'t expect to have to return an old unit for a scrapyard engine.

Try to find an engine still in a car, a very rare occurrence I\'m sure!

If you live near London try Engine World 020 8555 0717

P.S. If you could check your compression values for your engine I would be interested to know the results, You have to disconnect the DiS module and the fuel pump relay to do this, and then remove all the spark plugs, turn the engine over with your foot on the accellerator and clutch.


Urgent advice needed - Daz
I cannot thank you enough for your amazing reply.

My knowledge of cars engine wise is quite basic if u hadn't gathered already!

I would love to be able to test the car for compression but mine is the auto version and your description above as well as being beyond my capabilities how can I adapt this for an auto vehicle?

Also I don't have a tow bar or trailer so would not be able to take the engine to be rebored etc.

I will have a word with aneighbour to see if I can do a compression test and report back.

BTW - Your advice re buying second hand is incredible.

Anyone know if Engine World provide a good service/engine?
Urgent advice needed - Ben {P}
Daz- sounds like you are having trouble. cant believe you guys are having so much trouble with these engines with service history. Have you any reason to believe it is genuine daz- have you phoned any of the garages in it. A friend of mine had one of these in a nova on twin webber 40's which he absolutely hammered, it had covered about 80k. No problems at all.

A proper reconditioned engine would cost a bomb. If anyone selling one claims to be a memeber of any guild or federation, contact them to check. I see a lot of reconditioned engines advertised for less than the cost of the parts to recondition them if done properly.

However, i would seek out a good second hand unit. scrap yards dont get documentation (well i dont think they do) anymore, so they cannot confirm the milleage. I would not buy anything unless i saw the car the engine was removed from, and could judge myself. You will just have to drive round as many srappies as you can find that have an engine like yours and pick the best. Use your wits. Ring round everyday, so you can get a freshly knackered car. You dont want an engine that has been sitting unsealed in a damp room as others have explained above.

Re the compression test, is it possible to put the gearbox in neutral and turn the engine over at the crank with an appropriate socket/breaker bar?

Urgent advice needed - Dizzy {P}

I had similar thoughts to Ben, i.e. was the 'full service history' genuine, and do the mileages recorded in it match or better Vauxhall's stated servicing periods?

Regarding testing the compression, usually this is done at engine cranking speed, i.e. the speed that the starter turns the engine with the spark plugs removed. With an automatic the engine will turn with the lever in Park or Neutral, though I think that some cars need the footbrake applied before the starter will activate.

Keep at it. You'll get there!
I have just bought an Omega recon engine - Daz
This is my third posting about my by now infamous Omega.

Sadly I could not get hold of a 2nd hand engine and I must have my car by next week so I bit the bullet and have just arranged to have a £900 recon fitted by Engines and Gearboxes in Gt Leighs.

They first quoted me £995 last week this mysteriously came down to £950 this week and evntually I screwed them down to £900 plus free pick up and delivery.

I have heeded the advice given on here and will make sure the oil is changed every 5000 miles and also have the timing belt changed immediately.

The car is being picked up tomorrow and being deliverd back to me on Friday. I will report back next week after I've had a chance to run her in a little.

Thanks for you guys who replied to my previous posts.
I have just bought an Omega recon engine - Dizzy {P}
I hope all goes well with the Omega now, Daz. You deserve it!

Just one thing I don't understand ... Why will you have the timing belt changed straight away? Surely the reconditioned engine will have a new one already? Also, if Engines & Gearboxes spot that it has been worked on by someone else, you may invalidate any warrantee that you have (or should have) been given.
I have just bought an Omega recon engine - v8man
You say the engine is reconditioned. Do you have a spec sheet of what is actually being done? Having rebuilt many large engines - £900 is not going to pay for many new parts and machining work plus labour. For example: a top end gasket set for a 2 litre Rover T16 engine is over £100! I don't want to depress you any further but it is important as a lot of supposedly recon engines have had nothing more than a de-grease and lick of paint.
I have just bought an Omega recon engine - Dizzy {P}

v8man is absolutely right. Lots of people have come unstuck when buying so-called recon engines. You need to be really sure what has been done, and to what quality standard, before spending that sort of money.

If you haven't already been told *in writing* what is being done (i.e. v8man's 'spec sheet'), it might pay to ask them for this ASAP, before you accept the engine back from them.

Everything may be perfectly OK of course. "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst" applies in this sort of situation.

I have just bought an Omega recon engine - Daz
D-Day tomorrow.

Vehicle should hopefully be arriving back will give u an update on how it feels, sounds, handles after the weekend.

Fingers crossed and all that!
I have just bought an Omega recon engine - Hugo {P}
Too late as usual.

Try Lancaster Spares (I think they're in Halifax) they advertise nationally under Engines and Gearboxes in the Yellow Pages, though they may be advertising under "2nd Hand Engines" In any case 192 will have the number.

18000 mile 1.8 16v engine for a Xantia (out of Pug equivilent R reg) £295!! Including delivery to Cornwall, by the way.

Everywhere around me was looking for £500 or more.

Apparently by the look of the clutch and other bits, the mileage is not understated.

I have just bought an Omega recon engine - Daz
Typical!, sadly Halifax is miles from Essex anyhow.

pink fluffy dice still have not returned my car I\'m now being told it will be ready tomorrow rather than their original deadline of Friday.

Value my car