Jasper v. Ford Remanufactured Engines
January 22, 2013 7:34 PM   Subscribe

My '08 F-150 likely needs a different engine. I do not want an engine out of a wreck or from the junk yard or one rebuilt by a local shop. I am looking for a remanufactured engine. Does anyone have any experience with or insight into the quality difference between a Jasper Remanufactured engine versus a Ford Factory remanufactured engine?

The truck is currently at a Ford dealer, but, quite frankly, the more I talk to them the less I trust them and the less I like their cost estimates. I can buy either a Jasper or a Ford reman and have it installed by a trusted large local shop that is a preferred Jasper installer and does a lot of truck fleet work and has certainly done scores of these. I have seen this thread on the f150forum website.

The Ford engine is more money, the labor is more but it has a 3 year unlimited mile warranty. The Jasper one only has 3 year or 100,000 miles. It is highly unlikely I drive it 100,000 miles in three years. I have 75,000 on it now after 5+ years.

I discussed a trade in with the Ford dealer both as a fixed truck (reman engine) and as is, and the prices they valued the trade in either way were so far under the worst estimates from edmunds or KBB that I laughed. Under the trade in value, not the private sale value. By their prices, they clearly do not want to take the truck. The body is in good condition. One ding that is only noticeable from a certain angle in a certain light, and the interior is in excellent condition.

So, I am going to essentially buy a used car from myself with a remanufactured engine. The only decision at this point assuming I don't want to try to replace the cams, the phasers, the timing belt, etc is which remanufactured engine to go with.

Anybody have experience with a Jasper engine or insight or opinion on a Jasper v Ford reman?
posted by JohnnyGunn to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
The unlimited mileage warranty is marketing BS that is essentially useless to you. IE: you won't take advantage of it and it doesn't signal any greater quality of a remanufacture. And the Ford dealer is playing typical dealer games. Twas me both saving money and getting the work done elsewhere would be enough to get the job done elsewhere.
posted by Mitheral at 8:34 PM on January 22, 2013

My thoughts while reading your question...

You: The Ford engine is more money, the labor is more but it has a 3 year unlimited mile warranty. The Jasper one only has 3 year or 100,000 miles.

Me: Huh, well, then it all depends on how much mileag--

You: It is highly unlikely I drive it 100,000 miles in three years.

Me: Oh. All right, then.

Personally I'd stop at that point and the Jasper engine it would be. Its warranty is equivalent to the Ford's.

The fact that the Ford engine offers an unlimited-mileage warranty doesn't mean that it's necessarily better quality. Warranties are useful as a very rough gauge of quality only. They are primarily marketing tools and must be viewed in that light.

(Rationale: The average driver in the US puts something like 12,000 miles a year* on their car. On a work truck it might be a bit higher but I doubt it's above 33k. So a 3yr/100k warranty and a 3yr/unlimited are functionally equivalent for the vast majority of drivers. For the edge-case driver who does do more than 30k/year, Ford just eats the cost but gets it back in the positive marketing benefits of having the "better" warranty. This is extremely common with new cars but I don't see how it would be any different for a crate engine.)

* If you are curious, the numbers are here. It's different depending on age, but on average across all age groups it's about 10k miles per year for women and 16k miles per year for men.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:13 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I had a professionally remanufactured engine put in my car a while ago. Looking back i should have junked the car and used the engine money on a down payment for something new or used. This is the route i would suggest.

The cost for the engine I got was substantial, and it took a while to get the work done. After it was put in, i was back into the shop several times for various issues. Connectors that never get disconnected normally all get redone when replacing the engine and can have issues. I lost communications to the automatic transmission while driving, which was a "fun" experience to lose the speedometer & tach while only having 2nd gear to get home.

Whether its a used engine, or professionally remanufactured its still an unknown quantity.
Mine turned out to be missing internal parts from the engine in addition to the installation issues i had. I finally got rid of it after getting fed up with its new issues. Don't expect your vehicle to be as good as it was before all the work.
posted by TheAdamist at 3:31 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

There are some horror stories floating around the net about Jasper not honoring their warranty, too...
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:03 AM on January 23, 2013

Response by poster: I ended up having the truck towed to a different Ford dealer (insurance covered the cost of the tow) and they installed a Ford reman engine at a materially reduced cost, 29% less than quoted at the first Ford dealer.

The engine is running smoothly so far. Really no issues except that I suspect the first dealer damaged the steering column in some way taking out the old engine as it now sticks. The 2nd dealer said it came in that way (I believe them way more than the 1st) and they could fix it easily with the engine out, but since I never had any issue prior to bringing it to the 1st dealer, I did not understand or believe there was an issue and declined to have them fix it.

When Ford sends me the customer service survey, I plan on being brutally honest about the 1st dealer. Just trying to charge me 30% more than any other dealer or the shop with the Jasper engine is enough to rip them. The only satisfaction I got was when I showed up with my tow truck driver to take the car. They could not believe I was really going to take it, and suddenly offered to lower the price (to a point $200 above what I eventually paid.) When I told them what I was going to pay and the only way they could keep the business was to beat that price by at least $400 dollars, the moron actually said to me, "But I have to make a living and our costs are higher than theirs. We are both making the same amount at the price [$200 above what I paid]."

For the record, the reason I went with the Ford as opposed to the Jasper was that I thought it would be easier to get service if there were problems during the warranty period as I could take it to any Ford dealer in the country. The Ford dealer network is materially larger than the Jasper network although Jasper does have an extensive nationwide network. Also, I drive a specific route to a cabin I own deep in the Adirondacks and there are two Ford dealers along the way up. There is no Jasper dealer with the top rating nearby.

Ultimately, the quality of the reman is somewhat arbitrary. While they both have specs to shoot for, it is not an exact science. I thought I would have had the same chance to get a well done reman with both Ford and Jasper which also implies the same chance to get a poorly done one from both remanufacturers.

Essentially, the way I view it, is that I purchased a used truck with a new engine from myself. If I was going to buy a used truck, I could not have gotten a new engine with a 3 year warranty nor would I have gotten the piece of mind of knowing how the previous owner treated the truck. Mine was treated well with regular routine maintenance, the body was in great shape and the interior amazing clean for having three kids and using it for lots of camping, lots of other dirt carrying outdoor activities and for the periodic times I did home repairs and remodeling myself.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:27 AM on February 24, 2013

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