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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 12-15-2006, 04:04 PM
dastarddownhill dastarddownhill is offline
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Should I rebuild, or buy a new crate engine?

I have owned my 1993 ford f-150 for about 8 months. I have replaced all of the suspension,leafs,tires, oilpan, both exhaust manifolds,water pump,windsheild. Pretty much everything except the engine and tranny.

The truck has 200,000 kms (canada). I recently got a compression test done and learned that the truck is running on 7 cylinders.

My question is: Is it worth rebuilding the engine for a couple of thousand dollars, Or should I spend twice that and buy a new crate motor. I plan on keeping this truck for awhile, I would like to get another 200,000 kms out of it.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2006, 04:19 PM
150ford 150ford is offline
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Do they really want $4,000.00 for a crate motor. Man Id get rid off the truck before I spent that much money. How much money do you have in the truck so far. Including the cost off the truck. Hows the body on the truck. Any rust etc. Might be ahead to get rid off the truck. Tell me some more info.
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2006, 04:55 PM
dastarddownhill dastarddownhill is offline
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I forgot to mention that it is a 5.0 litre 302 standard with a mazda od tranny.

I initially spent $2600 on the truck. I got it safetied,and learned that the leaf springs were broken, among other things. So I spent another $3500 right away.
Then recently the water pump went, and while they were rplacing that they broke some bolts and had to take my oilpan off to tap out the bolts, so i opted to get a new oilpan because it was leaking and rusty. So all of that was another $1500 Canadian.

So to date I have spent over $7500 for everything. Since my last post I talked to my regular mechanic(which I trust) and he said that a rebuilt engine with labour and all parts could potentially cost me another $3700. He recomends that I rebuild it, and I trust that because this guy is booked so far ahead that he probably won`t be doing the work, so its not like he is trying to milk me.

The truck does have the classic ford wheel well rust, and a couple of small pock marks on the extended cab, But I plan on buying some replacement wheel wells next summer and doing the body work myself. I own a spray gun so I am going to paint it myself. I am not concerned about a pro paint job, I just want to take care of the rust and have a reliable truck.

This is my work truck, I`ve got my company name on vinyl signs on the windows, a custom rack I built, So I can`t see getting rid of it.
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:06 PM
SilverSport SilverSport is offline
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Wow .... So you bought it for a F250 HD down payment, and paid 6 - 8 months worth of payments very soon after, ouch. It doesn't sound like the book value of this truck will even be in the next town's ballpark when you finish all this. I have spent a lot on my Mach1 .... $16K as of 1995 when the first flood got it .... now gotta do it again, but I think your truck has a hole in it you are just throwing way too much money into. If it were a 56 or 60's model and a project truck, go for it. Better to pay the 500 a month or so note on a new one and let ford pay for all the repairs for the next 3 - 5 years.
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:13 PM
gustang818 gustang818 is offline
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I was trying to post that you should look at a local rebuild or a remanufactured engine from someplace like Jasper Engines but I hit the backspace button and somehow lost the post. And that $3700 is Canadian? A new rebuilt/reman engine and you could very well be driving for another 200,000 km. If you have the time, tools and skills, you could probably save some money off that $3700 by doing some of the work yourself.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2006, 11:48 PM
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Is that a running motor or a long block? It may be worth it to buy an engine and take the warranty and limit your down time.

Dont' worry about book value. If it isn't for sale that doesn't mean a thing. It is worth what it makes you.
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  #7  
Old 12-16-2006, 12:45 AM
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Since you seem to be pretty attached finacialy to the truck, I would get the engine rebuild. Crate motor would be cool, but for as much as you have put in it allreaddy, unless your making a show truck out of it, it might get to costlyunless you rebuild.
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  #8  
Old 12-16-2006, 12:59 AM
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If I were you I would consider buying a motor from a wrecking yard for 450-550 bucks, having someone install it for as cheap as possible. half the parts on your old blown engine are in great shape and can be used as donor parts for any parts on the wrecking yard engine that are in question (new manifolds on the old engine, rusted out crap manifolds on the new motor, swap them while they are both out).

A yard wont put a non running engine for sale, 80% of the time the motors are pretty well maintained and come from various collisions. They test all the motors, check them out etc. And believe me wrecking yards come across ALOT of solid motors perfect for swaps like you need.

I say, with shopping around for a good price on swapping the motors, you could have a low K egine put in for under a grand. If you go to the closest garage you know of, it may be 1500ish.

I sure as hell would not put a 4k engine in an old truck, and I wouldnt drop 2+ grand on an old truck with an iffy tranny. but thats just me, I put in a custom rebuilt tranny in my truck, but if my motor blows, I can have a new one in for 4-500 bucks in a weekend.

least its not a 97+ with a modular engine, then you into big labor and not as many cheaper options. Call the local wrecking yards, they usually offer 3-12 month warrentys on motors. the 4.9, 5.0 and 5.8 ford motors are actually very simple to swap.

Last edited by Galizien; 12-16-2006 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 12-16-2006, 01:52 AM
150ford 150ford is offline
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Gaizen makes a lot off sense here. You already gotta ton off money in the truck. Any way to save some money makes sense to me. Good Luck an hope you come out all right.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2006, 07:36 AM
f150plow f150plow is offline
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It is tough to say what the "right" thing to do is...

You are already well aware of how fast money can be spent..

What about picking up a rebuildable core motor from the wreckers..

Ask a few local hot rodders, buddies, people with experience.. "who builds a good engine in your town?"

Then you can have a long or short block built...buy someone you trust..

If you are handy and can drop a motor into your truck yourself, or with your friends..well then perhaps buying a running engine from the wreckers is for you..

If you are going to pay someone to do it.. you need to have peace of mind, knowing that this is your work truck that you depend on..no sense putting junk in..when you just pulled it out..


I am guessing here ..but I would bet that labour to put a long block together (since you would have all the parts from the core motor) is cheaper on the engine stand..then it is to pay someone to take your old stuff off..and put it on your "new" motor ...

Especially if you find some defects in the stuff you take off your old engine or the core motor..how long would that take to fix..find parts..how much is your downtime worth?

at least if you buy a core motor from a wreckers and it turns out to have serious problems..you can exchange it..

if you pull yours out and find something serious..then you have a dead truck and time spent looking for a core motor anyway..

I think a crate motor is too much money..a good rebuilder can give you the same reliability...

I like the peace of mind (warranty!) knowing that my mechanic has a good fresh rebuilt motor (complete) to drop in.. it takes the guess work out of things knowing that a good shop did all the critical stuff, and your mechanic can concentrate on getting your truck going and back to you as fast as possible..


just my o2
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  #11  
Old 12-16-2006, 09:46 AM
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Find a wrecked F-250 with a 351/ZF tranny and throw that in! That'll make a work truck out of it.

First, I wouldn't necessarily go for a rebuilt engine in this truck. I'd go for a used engine that I confirm has good compression (150 or so) and good oil pressure.

That way you know the motor is in good shape and you can put it in without a real worry.

I don't recommend jasper engines, or many of the high-volume mass produced reman engines. You can do searches on jasper to find out, I talked about them recently in this forum.
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  #12  
Old 12-16-2006, 09:49 AM
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Looking at your post, I take it that this truck is your business and you make money with it. By the time you pay somebody to go through this motor + parts you may be close to the new engine in $$.

If it is your living, why take the chance on a used motor unless you know it's history. Down time cost money.

Don't let yourself get to the point where you are stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime.
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Old 12-16-2006, 03:15 PM
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$4k for 1 engine, or $4k for 4-8 engines at $500-$1000 a pop? Hell up here I can buy a 92-96/7 Fseries with under 100,000 miles with no rust, and have money to spare. Gives me a whole donor truck full of useable/sellable parts. I would shop around for a complete truck to use as parts/upgrades.
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Old 12-16-2006, 04:55 PM
dastarddownhill dastarddownhill is offline
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No rush

First off, I want to thank everybody for their input. It helps to see several different points of view.

I spent some more time talking to my normal mechanic (the one thats too busy to do the work). In his opinion, if the the truck runs ok, and power isn`t sacrificed too much, that I should just keep driving it for now. I could easily get another 6-8 months, if not a year before its a total piece of crap. In that time I will be able to afford another engine a little easier.

At that point I will probably buy a factory rebuilt engine with a warranty.
If, at that time, I don`t feel like blowing 2 grand or more on a warranty rebuild, then I will probably do like Galizien suggested, and buy an engine from a wrecking yard.
My mechanic has already found an engine with 96,000 kms, and really good compression, for substantially less.

I do count on this truck, and I do need to avoid downtime, so I probably won`t cheap out on an iffy engine.

For a short time I was considering financing a newer truck, I had the truck picked out, $3000 for a down payment ready, my monthly payments were going to be about 350 a month. I almost sealed the deal, then I discovered that collision on this 2003 truck was going to be over $3600 a year because I am under 25 without much of a driving history. Alberta recently got pretty strict.

So my monthy insurance premiums were way more than I wanted to spend, About 4 times more than what I pay right now on my older ford.

So I quickly scrapped that idea and decided for the next 3 years I might as well take care of what I got, spend the money on repairs, and have a half-assed reliable truck.

My mechanic also made a good point. It doesn`t really matter what kind of vehicle you have, or how new it is. The fact of the matter is that vehicles break down, parts fail. And the newer the vehicle, potentially the more repairs will cost.

I do like this style of truck, more so than the newer f-150`s, so I can see keeping it around.

I may also consider buying another similar vehicle for a few thousand and parting it off. But this time I will do a compression test on the engine BEFORE I buy it!
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Old 12-16-2006, 05:50 PM
SilverSport SilverSport is offline
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Almost makes you want to get married. When I was 25 I was just married, the DUI at 18 went off the record and .... I was 25, I insured my car full, my Mach for Liability, and another car for the wife with Liability and still had money left over for a few good meals every 6 months.

You have a lot in it .... hope it makes you a lot, I would amost consider getting a backup truck for some of the repair bills you already have, I don't use mine for work ... and it is costing about 100 a month average on repairs. Get a 4.9, maybe not as much a hotrod ... but very reliable.

Worse comes to worse .... just remove that piston and replace it or just the rings on it. I did that on my Mustang motor 351C4V and it ran great until the first flood hit it 3 or 4 years later, I haven't driven it in 13 years now and didn't drive it too much then, but it did see three numbers on the Speedo a few times after that repair. I plan to do a total rebuild when I do it again. That piston had broken the meat between the two compression rings in a few places.
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Last edited by SilverSport; 12-16-2006 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 12-16-2006, 05:50 PM
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