A while back I bought a Ford 300 with some unknown history. The guy was upfront and honest that he knew very little about the engine, he bought the truck to part it out, said the engine smoked, but he drove it home and it drove fairly well. I took the gamble on it based the the indestructible reputation of the 300 six, and well.....
I lost that bet. Before I even got into the bowels of the engine, the exhaust manifold was cracked clean in half, and the intake had a busted off mounting ear, so both were shot. Inside though is where the real fun began. Top rings for cylinders 1,2, and 4 are shattered as you can clearly see. The top ring for cylinder 5 is just plain gone, nowhere to be found, except for the little pieces left embedded in the piston. That discoloration you see on piston 3 is a crack that runs clean through the skirt. In addition the bearing on #2 had a decent score in it as well. Shockingly the cylinder bores and the crank look to be in good shape, a quick hone and the block should be usable, but I’m at a crossroads debating whether or not to rebuild, or junk it and look at other options.
I’m only $200 into the engine and trans currently but if I decide to commit to building it I’m looking at roughly $700 to have a run ready, drop in ready drivetrain, assuming no machine work and no other major problems. I can find running trucks for that price or less, but there’s no guarantee as to what you’re getting there either. The third option, which I’ve been debating lately, is abandoning the entire project, selling off the project truck and parts truck, and using the money, plus some extra, to buy a fun vehicle that already runs and drives. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to build this truck, but the idea of a ready to use truck is certainly appealing.
What would you do Oppo? Is it worth rebuilding? Do I take another gamble? Or do I scrap the whole idea and buy something different?