(This happened two weeks ago, but I only just got a new memory card reader after the one in my computer ate itself)

Three days of wrenching resulted in the Corolla above, with an engine in the trunk and a radiator in the back seat. I’m not building some crazy crack-fueled car though. This is the leftovers from fixing my partner’s problem Prizm.

The motor that used to be here is now in her Prizm and the Prizm is back up and running again. She was heavily involved in the swap itself at her own insistence. It is really nice to have a partner who wants to learn how cars work and how to fix them.


We did the swap super low-buck too. Basically choosing the better of any given part between the two motors and buying nothing we didn’t have to do. Besides the donor car the only things bought were 4 clamps for the trans cooler lines, some exhaust gaskets & clamps, a quart of transmission fluid and a gallon of coolant. Hell, the “new” motor had an oil change 500 miles ago, so it is still running that oil & filter.

Speaking of low-buck, this engine swap ended up costing very little. I paid $400 for the donor car, sold the hood for $50, sold the muffler & center stack(heater controls & radio) for another $50, and got $180 for the remaining carcass from Pick-N-Pull. So I ended up out $120 for the donor car, $65 for the engine hoist rental and $50 for the gaskets/hoses/fluids. I also kept the midpipe with cat to put on her Prizm(and to scrap the old oil-fouled one), and the extra starter & coils as spares. Not bad for $235 and a few days work.


I sill am tracking down the source of a a couple codes(P0125 & P0420), I swapped in the midpipe & rear oxygen sensor this weekend, but it threw another code today. She’s going to get that code checked(She is in another state during the week), but I am suspecting the front oxygen sensor is either not plugged into the harness correctly or got damaged in the swap. I couldn’t salvage the one off the donor as the wiring got pinched getting the midpipe free.