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Help finding a shop in New Jersey
Posted to Open Discussion Forum on 12/20/2016 17 Replies

Thanks for taking a look, Everybody. My brother lives near Hackettstown New Jersey. I am trying to find a good shop that can fix his 2003 Dodge Caravan. From what he tells me, I think it has the typical fried wiring problem in the engine harness and possibly a loose valve seat. I would gladly just do it myself, but I am 900 miles away from him.

I'm thinking the most cost effective repair would be a good used engine and somebody who can correctly diagnose and fix the erratic electrical issue. I have tried to call around out there and find somebody who can do this, but it appears that most shops want only to put on another head, which is considerably more expensive and takes more time. A good used engine is about the same price as a new head alone, not counting the labor of assembling a head, and a decent reman head is almost as expensive.

A very common excuse I hear is that nobody trusts their salvage suppliers and they are all afraid of getting burned by a bad engine. I completely understand their concerns, but I never put in a used engine without carefully inspecting it first. In 40 plus years of doing this (and hundreds of engine swaps), I have only had about 2 bad ones that got past me. Those were a long time ago, when I was starting out. No problem today. I also don't have much trouble finding and getting decent used engines. I do not understand why it would be so difficult to do this is an area where there are literally thousands of used engines available.

Does anybody have some good recommendations for reliable, honest shops in the Hackettstown/Andover area? Surely somebody can handle this!

Thanks and MERRY CHRISTMAS! John

John Jagitsch
Owner/Technician
TJ's Auto Service
Champaign, Illinois, USA

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