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If you’ve been having a hard time finding a replacement engine, you’re not alone in the struggle. The newer engines with internal reverse are far less common than the standard external reverse setup. So what to do if your engine needs to be replaced? Fortunately, there are solutions available.
(Option 1) Swap in a Standard 150cc Engine
If you’re not an engine mechanic and you just want to put in a new engine and be done with it, we highly recommend swapping in a standard 150cc engine. Standard 150 engines are very common, less expensive than integrated internal reverse engines, and nearly all parts are readily available through many vendors.
Problem 1: Rear mount is different
The rear mount on the 150R is about 1.5″ to the right of where it needs to be for your new engine. If you have welding abilities, you could cut the tab and weld it to the new proper location.
We offer a Bolt-in Engine Conversion Mount if you can’t weld, or just don’t want to make permanent modifications to your frame. The mount securely bolts and clamps to the frame, adding a new tab in exactly the right location.
Problem 2: Reverse
Standard engines don’t come with reverse by default. You’ll have to install that yourself by adding on a reverse kit. This adds cost to the job at hand, but can always be added later if you’d like to swap in stages. Be sure to pick up a non-reverse sprocket if you won’t be using reverse now.
Problem 3: Sprocket Alignment
The 150R has an odd sprocket location due to it’s internal gearbox. Similar to the rear mount issue, the sprocket is located about 1″ farther to the right of normal. There is an inexpensive, easy and well proven fix for this. Use longer Grade 8 bolts along with a short stack of washers on each bolt to space the sprocket to the proper location. A machined spacer could be made, but will increase cost with little actual benefit to strength. We ride our own buggies like this due to various custom modifications and have never had a problem with the extra length.
Bolts Specs: 5/16″ Diameter – 1.5″ Length – Grade 8
Ballpark Full Swap Costs ( From $415 to $730 )
If you fabricate everything yourself and don’t mind not having reverse, you can slide in a swap at around $415. The high range is around $730 if done with all bolt-in and reverse options are purchased individually. We’ve put together a Bundled 150R Swap Kit at a discount, so the cost is $686 if bought together.
Option 2: Rebuild your Top-End
Ok I’ll admit, this option doesn’t get you a new engine. But if your engine’s problem is low compression this might be the best and least expensive way to go.
With the most common engine failures being piston ring and cylinder related, you likely just need to replace a handful of parts. Just doing a top-end job instead of replacing the whole engine can really help keep your hard earned in your wallet. Good mechanical ability (or a friend with engine experience) is a must in order to take on this option. You could take it to a professional mechanic, but that would increase costs significantly.
Ballpark Top-End Rebuild Cost: $120 to $245 in parts
A cylinder rebuild kit and cylinder head run around $120 and $125 respectively. In most cases the original head in your engine will be fine, and only the cylinder rebuild kit is required.
Helpful Rebuilding Guides
Check out our guides below to help you through the trickier parts of a top-end job.
While these two options have a large price difference, we usually recommend swapping to a standard engine if you can fit it in the budget. It’s less costly and more practical in the long run. Since standard parts are so common, you won’t be limited to just one (or less than one!) source for what are often highly inflated replacement prices if you can actually find the part.