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Jim Robson
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I have caused myself a few problems with my engines and I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions. My first engine had a blown head gasket and I found a good head and had it inspected by my machine shop and it passed with flying colors. Flat as a pancake, didn't need a valve job and passed a magniflux test. Soon after I installed it, I ran the cooling system dry and it broke down on the Interstate. I nursed it home by adding water and driving about a mile at a time until I was home. It was very noisy but I never had an official diagnosis and I decided to replace it. I still have it. I found a replacement at a quality used Ford parts house here in Jacksonville (Rusty Acres). They have a great local reputation and the engine came with a no questions asked 90 day warranty. I got preoccupied and let the warranty expire. When I finally installed it, it would run for about 2 minutes and then lock up and stall. It had the correct oil level and water level. Soon thereafter it wouldn't start at all. The starter motor was bogging down and turning it by hand was nearly impossible. I pulled the head and the binding was still there.

Where should I go from here? Which engine would be the best bet to repair? The truck is a 1981 F-100 Custom short bed.

Thanks, Jim

I take full responsibility for my predicament, please no guilt or shame. I feel bad enough as it is.
 

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Super Moderator
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Best judgement would be from whoever gets to look at the crank and bearings. Both situations sound like either one could be a basket case, but the 300 was always pretty durable, one of them may surprise you.
 

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Best judgement would be from whoever gets to look at the crank and bearings. Both situations sound like either one could be a basket case, but the 300 was always pretty durable, one of them may surprise you.

I have to agree about the 300. I had one that lasted to 550,000 +/- miles before the head literally blew off the block. They're comparable to the old Dodge slat six, practically run forever if taken care of...
 

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Jim Robson
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
One of my local mentors advised me to drain the oil and observe the color. Look for metal flakes and grey oil to predict the condition of the lower engine. Can you guys add anything or comment on that advice? Thanks, Jim
 

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Jim Robson
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I drained the oil and showed it to my friend and he said that it looked perfectly normal. No metal flakes and no discoloration. I then showed him pictures of the cylinder head and the cylinder walls. He said that the head was fine, but he was concerned about the condition of the cylinder walls. He said that they looked as if they had been starved of oil. I felt them with my finger and in my inexperienced opinion, they didn't feel too bad. I'm tempted to put a quarter cup of Marvel Mystery oil in each cylinder just to see what happens.

Any ideas? Thanks, Jim
 

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Super Moderator
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I have had some engines where they seized up due to timing tensioners collapsing and jamming up . But I believe yours has fiber and phenolic timing gears. If correct with that engine we had some with that set up on a few Ford models way back in time . I had a few where the fiber teeth on gears had sheared resulting in further damage and jammed up engine .Not 100% sure with your engine though but either timing set up failure can cause this . Cyl. bores dont look too clever but hard to judge from pictures and may clean up .
 

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Jim Robson
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I'm real anxious to pull the oil pan. but I have a small problem. My neighbors are getting upset about me doing extensive work in the car port. "It's not that kind of neighborhood". So I have to reconfigure my privacy fence to allow me to put the truck in the back yard. That will cause a several day delay. Sorry to get everyone involved and then have a delay. I'll let you guys know when it's time. It might be this weekend. Thanks, Jim
 

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Although hard to tell from that pic, the cylinder walls look a little scored so may have worn/loose wrist pins that are hitting the walls; in any event check them. Also check the piston rings are in the right order and have been properly gapped (the gap might have been made too small or they may not have been filed to fit at all); something looks wrong. They also appear to have a ridge at the top that needs reaming away and may have been dislodging rings.
 

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Super Moderator
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Given what we're seeing, I'd strongly recommend honing the cylinders and getting a good look at the journals. As a tech tip, I generally run a magnet through the used oil. Majority of what ends up in the oil is nonmagnetic, but there is ferrous, but generally if your picking up magnetic debris, it's toast.
 

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Jim Robson
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the input guys. From what I have learned, what you are saying is all valet. But I have a big surprise.

I have a friend who owns and operates an automotive machine shop here in Jacksonville. We had lunch yesterday and he agreed to do my engine for the cost of the parts. He will turn the crankshaft, hone the cylinders, mill the head, do a valve job. All I have to do is get it to the shop, hang around every day while it is being done and do any grunt work like disassembly, parts cleaning. I also have to fix his air compressor which needs anew pump. He will buy the pump. He estimates that the parts will cost about $350, if the crank is usable. including rings and bearings, gaskets etc.

I must have died and gone to heaven.

He rebuilds anywhere from 2 to 5 engines per week so he knows what he is doing.

I'll keep you all informed.
 

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Jim Robson
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
There are several overhaul/rebuild kits available on eBay, but some of the prices are unbelievable. Some forums don't allow links to eBay but I'll give it a try here and see what happens.

ENGINE REBUILD OVERHAUL KIT for 1968-1985 FORD 300 4.9L INLINE 6 TRUCK https://ebay.us/QS2VeA

The seller has over 22,000 positive feedbacks and a 99.9% track record. What can go wrong with a deal like this? My machine shop guy is ok with this kit pending size determination when we open the engine up.

There are also kits available which include the camshaft and lifters for $325. That need will also be determined once we open it up.

Thanks, Jim
 

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Jim Robson
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79 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I hate to tell you this, but my friend has backed out on his offer to rebuild one of my engines. He has reinspected them and decided that neither one is worth investing in. My wife has also jumped on the bandwagon and refuses to spend any more household money into that truck. I am not independently wealthy so I'm giving up and calling the local junkyard to come and get it.

I start saving my money and keep my eyes open for a dependable daily driver that won't turn into a project truck. I really don't have time for another project.l I'm currently remodeling the kitchen, moving the air handler to the attic and when that space is cleared, I'm installing a bathroom in the space. Oh, and by the way I'm also currently expanding the backyard privacy fence and installing a vehicle gate. I also want to clear the junk out of the garage so I can put a vehicle in it. Local ordinances do not allow for working on a vehicle in a residential neighborhood unless it is in a fully enclosed structure, and today was my deadline to move my inoperable vehicle off the property or face a $250. daily fine which would be filed as a lein against my property. With the help of a friend I was able to move it on time.

So there you have it guys, and gals. I'm giving up the fight to return victorious on another day.

Pray for me. I am very discouraged, but know in Faith that God is in control and it will work out good in the end. It just isn't the end yet.

Warm regards, Jim
 
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