Scion xB Daily Driver (Cheap Project)

Kwik_Cutty88

Kwik_Cutty88

Moderator
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Nov 22, 2011
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Coastal North Carolina
#1
I may be working on a new project daily driver. The car is a 2006 Scion xB with ~150,000 miles. The original engine was overheated so bad it lost compression on all 4 cylinders and cooked the oil. I know the previous owner so although its not my usual trusty GM product, I feel a little more comfortable with the car knowing its history.

The plan is to put a motor in it, replace the windshield and try to keep the odds and ends to a minimum to keep the cost down. I'm just doing some quick preliminary research to make sure I won't get burned on this project. I'm just trying to think of some possible things it may need to keep that in the budget. The #1 goal is cheap and reliable.

So far it seems that these cars have a pretty good reputation. Fairly reliable, good gas mileage, not many complicated systems to go bad. And from what I can tell replacement parts are fairly cheap. If the project goes through I'd be buying a used engine from a reputable source with some sort of warranty, just in case. I'm not interested in remanned engines, from what I've seen so far that drives the cost to a number I'm not comfortable with for this project.

My local yard sells complete engines for $299 with a $50 core. 30 day warranty (price is appetizing, but only a 30 day warranty)

On LKQ's website they have an engine for $895 and from what I can tell their warranty on engines is 6 month/6000 miles (seems fair)

My question is, are there any engine recyclers you guys have had good luck with? Any advice? Are there any things that I could be overlooking? I'm no stranger to a mechanical project of this size, but I just want to make sure I'm considering all options financially.

Here is just a quick list of things I've come up with so far.

PARTS (MANDATORY):

engine
radiator
radiator cap
battery
windshield
air filter
oil + filter
coolant

PARTS (MAYBE):

engine gasket set
head bolts
water pump
belt
radiator hoses
 
Last edited:
Tomeal

Tomeal

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Apr 17, 2016
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Johnstown,pa
#2
I'm not familiar with those engines, but lots of cars now have belts for the timing. Way easier to change before you put the engine in.
 
DRIVEN

DRIVEN

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Apr 25, 2009
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#3
Pretty common engine, used in other Toyota products. Those 1st gens have a cult following and get great gas mileage. They are pretty echo-y on the road though. No surprise there.
If your time isn't an issue, I'd feel comfortable with the 30 day warranty. You'll know within a day or two if it's going to live or die. Worst case is you get a dud and have to do the job twice. At least you'd be dealing locally if there was an issue.
Oil consumption can be a problem if the oil wasn't changed regularly and the rings get stuck. I've had good luck with Seafoam in the past. Hopefully you can hand pick one if you deal locally. See if they'll let you pop the valve cover off to see if it's sludged up.
I'd buy the other peripheral items from Rockauto.
 
Ribbedroof

Ribbedroof

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Jan 4, 2009
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Wellston, OK
#4
We've bought a couple enginesat work from LKQ, no issues. I bought a Ford AOD from them, was $300, and it appeared to be a very recent reman, all they required to warranty it was to replace front and rear seals, came with convertor.

If I had a need, I'd probably try LKQ again, not sure if their policy to non-commercial accounts is the same, but they're a pretty big player in the salvage game.
 
Texas82GP

Texas82GP

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Apr 3, 2015
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#5
We bought a 20k mile L96 6.0 from these folks for my brother's car and they shipped it to us (truck freight). They have a 199 day warranty and I think you can get a longer one. I think they specialize in low milage stuff. We got turned on to them by reading that new vehicles that are damaged in shipping go there to be dismantled. It's a good engine and dealing with them was a good experience.
https://www.nordstromsauto.com
Is the car an automatic? Remember, if the engine got that hot, the transmission got hotter. It might need both.
 
Kwik_Cutty88

Kwik_Cutty88

Moderator
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Nov 22, 2011
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Coastal North Carolina
#7
I ended up getting the car for free! Totally unexpected.

Here's the lowdown. It was a friend of a friends car, his daughters car actually. She drove it overheated and basically nuked the motor (not sure why it originally overheated, but the oil was burnt and it had no compression). 3 years ago it was towed into the yard for my dad to take a look at, but after the news that it needed a motor they didn't want to put any money into it. So it sat in our yard since then. We had intended on flipping it and then splitting the profit, but then other projects came along, life got in the way yada yada.

So now it's mine. I just got a used motor from LKQ. $904 (I'll get $100 back from the core) 104,000 miles, 6 month, 6k mile warranty. The car is really pretty clean (didn't get any interior shots) with 150,041 miles. Its filthy, but the paint looks in decent shape underneath. The hood is all chipped (expected) I might be able to find a junkyard hood or have that one repainted, its a small panel. The rear hatch has a dent and the rear bumper is cracked, I assumed they backed into something. Looks like blunt impact damage. When I tired to screw in the tow hook in the rear I realized the hole was bent in the bumper support. So I'll have to pop the bumper off and check that out, not a big deal. I'm trying to do this on the cheap. Between the motor, other odds and ends, and then selling my other daily driver I'm hoping to be in it for no more than $1800, but we'll see.

Here's my updated list so far:

radiator
radiator cap
battery
windshield
Windshield wipers
Air filter
Oil filter
Oil
Coolant
Water pump
Radiator hoses
Cabin air filter
Exhaust gasket (head and manifold)
Spark plugs
Fuel tank sock
fuel pump gasket
Rear wiper blade
Intake gasket
flex plate bolts (tty?)
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1evilregal

1evilregal

Royal Smart Person
Apr 23, 2009
2,201
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Greensboro, NC
#8
looks like a good score! there's def a cult following on those, no matter what gen they are.... have known a few people that had them, one had an accident in hers, and searched out another just like it. just get used to it being called a toaster, and asked where you plug it in at.... :ROFLMAO:
 
DRIVEN

DRIVEN

Comic Book Super Hero
Apr 25, 2009
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#9
My brother burned one down in the bay of his body shop years ago. Toaster name was definitely fitting.
 
1evilregal

1evilregal

Royal Smart Person
Apr 23, 2009
2,201
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#10
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