So I go to start Hal a couple days ago and the starter wouldn't turn the engine over. The starter sounded OK but it sounded like the engine would start to turn over but then just stop. So must be the started I thought.
Just put now put on a new starter and when I went to turn the engine over there was a loud BANG and violent shudder. I instantly turned off the engine and looked under the van to see oil pouring out.
Got the drain pan under there but not soon enough. One advantage of having cats. Big bags of cat litter.
So does this mean what I think it means (new engine needed)?
Hydrostatic lockup from failed head gasket, stuffed a rod right through the block, apparently this is common problem with the 4.2 and the engine does not have a good track record. I would not even consider repairing the engine, i would consider a complete transplant for the 4.9L six banger or even a 351 windsor but repairing the 4.2 is throwing good money after bad..
Well this engine ain't gonna be fixed. With the generational etronics, the best swap would be a 4.6 as it is native to that generation of van. Engine tells the computer what it's doing so trans can shift. As much as I like the 4.9--I put 100k miles on my '78 F100 that I ordered with that engine, the 4.6 in my '02 E150 performs great after 120k miles, and the 4.6's regularly go 250k miles in trucks and vans, cop cars and taxis, and limos.
I still love that 300 inch six--a real truck motor with direct timing gears. I'd love to build a rat rod with one
However, given the complexity of changing over computer parts (ideally a whole front harness and the ECU) for a 4.6 would probably make a solid rebuilt 4.2 the best choice. It would cost some bucks, but if it was built by a good shop (I like places that do race cars or commercial trucks), it would likely be better than stock. I am guessing that there may be aftermarket gaskets that would hold together better than the stockers. And built by guys who know how to make them work.
My late FIL needed head gaskets in his '83ish Cougar 3.8--thankfully under warranty. Long term problem.
Hey WVVan, let us know how you're doing. You've been such a staple contributor here.