A big thank you to kehoeautomotive! I cruised down to New Orleans and he loaded me up with a clean Perkins 4.236 and lots of goodies... everything I need to drop it into another Ford. Right now, I'm thinking it will do nicely in an Explorer 4x4, mostly because I already have three other Ford pickups! And all of them are two wheel drive.
I'm talking with a machine shop about diving into the bottom end to fix that knock. We'll just go from there. This is a race shop so I know it will be done right and they have experience with Perkins as well. I like the idea of a mechanical engine. No computers. Nothing fancy. I'd like the option of adding a turbo but that's not necessary.
I read of someone who put a 4BT Cummins in an Explorer and is getting 35mpg. Granted, that's a turbo but with the lighter weight vehicle, hopefully I can even improve on the previous 26mpg average.
If this served the previous family for 49 years and a rebuild can get only half that many years, I'll be 80 and still driving with this engine.