Here's the deal: the 1995 Escort jalopy has burned oil since I got it street-legal. But of late--as expected would happen eventually--the oil burning has increased. Yesterday I saw, for the first time, significant clouds of burned oil when I moved the car forward in the drive-through in McDonald's.
Like I said, I knew that this would happen, sooner or later. Any engine, no matter how well-kept, will wear out eventually; one which is already burning oil is already on its last legs. That's why I kept the drivetrain from the green car.
Anyway, seeing that, yesterday, made me think it's about time to do the swap. I've been noticing strong oil smells from the engine anyway, particularly after I've driven at highway speeds for a while.
But that drivetrain has 105,000 on it, and I'm not about to put it into the red car without putting in a new clutch. So a clutch kit will run $124, which is fine; that's what I expected it to be.
The kicker is the flywheel. The flywheel is part of the clutch system; it is one of two surfaces that the clutch disk itself rubs against when the clutch pedal is released. So when you replace the clutch, you don't want to leave the flywheel as it is; you have to either resurface the flywheel or replace it.
On the same web pages that I looked at for clutch prices (AutoZone and Advance Auto) I looked up flywheel prices. Turns out a new flywheel runs $62.
What would machining the old one cost? I have to believe it would not be less than $50, and it would probably be more. Shop labor is typically $60 or more per hour, and if they don't charge a one-hour minimum they'll charge you for "set up", making the deal a wash.
So I'm betting I'll just end up buying a clutch kit and a new flywheel, and a couple cans of brake cleaner to make sure everything is oil-free.
...and in fact while I've got it apart I'll replace the rear main seal, too, because as long as you have that stuff apart it's one of those things to do.
So I have a post up on the Fiero forum asking what it typically costs to have a flywheel resurfaced. I'm betting I'll end up buying a new one.
Further bulletins as events warrant.