Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chesterfield, Va
Since this old post has been resurrected, and now I DO work for advance, I've had some first hand experience. For the past 6 months or so I've been the CPP at 2 stores. Here's what I've seen.
1. Yes, I'd say in general stay away from the Spartan engines. I've seen an engine purchased w/o a hole for the dipstick, the replacement had a cracked head, and the 3rd was finally correct.
2. If used is an option - tell the salesperson to check ADVANCE SALVAGE. It's right on the sales screen. Takes some time to verify availability, but if done THE CORRECT WAY, so does any engine purchase.
3. If the store has commercial delivery (or if you have retail guys up front who actually WANT to sell and engine) have them call RMP (I forget the number). Typically theirs are cheaper than Advance listed engines. Also the warranty is 3yr, 100k miles vs. the 3yr, 75k miles for AAP engines.
Now, since we're on the topic of warranty keep this in mind. As of a couple months ago, AAP no longer provides ANY labor warranty claims for DIY customers. Engine still covered, and you should be made to sign a sheet with the warranty details (just saying you have read them and understand).
Again - if used is OK, Salvage is your best bet. Yesterday I priced up a Civic 1.6L Vtec engine. Sales screen $3k, salvage $1300 w/ 74k miles. And RMP had no availability anywhere in the country. Now if I can just get the guy to buy the friggin thing....
88 YJ, 4.2L, AX-15, NP231 w/ SYE, 3.5" RC lift, 1" booms
Cut down XJ shaft in rear
Ford 8.8 LS & Spartan Locked D30
Big Daddy Off Road rock sliders
35x12.5 BFG A/T KOs, XRC-8000
I love installing new stuff.