Did yours have the 24V DOHC or the regular 12V OHV? The former actually has a lot of power and moves the car pretty well. But yeah, the AX4S/AX4N isn't really known for lasting a super long time. Keeping the fluid changed (and changing the filter once) helps immensely with that though. And yes, the brand new SHO's are pretty damn nice. With a tune and a few basic modifications people have been getting near 500hp at the crank with them. And this is a V6 engine.