I have a 2003 Toyota Highlander, 3.0L V6, FWD, mfr 12/02, with a blown engine. My local salvage yard sold me a 2002 Avalon engine that "is exactly the same except the intake manifold". I took the engine home, replaced the timing belt, pulleys, tensioner, water pump, spark plugs, and oil filter. I pulled the pan off to check for sludge and it looked beautiful. I then delivered the engine and car to my auto shop for the swap. The small differences in the intake manifold were insignificant. Then we noticed the timing tensioner interfered with the right-side engine mount. This is a show-stopper. There are not many good Highlander engines available, and they are expensive. Can this Avalon engine work if I swap out the front casting and tensioner (not trivial)? Camry engines are more plentiful. Can I use one, and if so is it the '03 and up version? Any help you can provide will be WONDERFUL. I'm in deep doo-doo here.
It appears that the front aluminum engine casting, to which the timing belt components and water pump are bolted, could be changed to the Highlander version and that would allow the mount to bolt on. But it's not trivial. The lower casting that the oil pan bolts to would also have to come off to get to the front casting. And my old one may be junk, since the Highlander oil pan was filled with piston/rod debris. I'm hoping someone who knows can tell me if this will work, or if a Camry engine can work, before I spend the significant $$ and time. Thanks, RayZ