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Blew my engine! Thinking of a swap.

Discussion in 'Personal Projects and Builds' started by ProjectVicky, May 20, 2013.

  1. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    I came back from my honeymoon, had a great time, and then I started having engine problems. The car made a slight ticking sound and the progressed to a knocking, I tried to pull over quick but I was in Austin, TX in 5 o'clock traffic. I pulled over, the radiator was boiling out the overflow reservoir, so I let it cool off, I put more oil in it -- the engine was chugging quarts of oil in minutes (added up 2 quarts and in about 10 minutes, had to add another 2, burned in five minutes -- no leaks or anything -- oil went in, and burned up quick), . . .didn't work for long. . . long story short, my dad and I think it may be a rod that went out. :mad:

    Ironically, I was about to buy a used 99 v6 and do a split port swap after we got back from our honeymoon. Now I have no choice. Should I just swap in a 99 motor? I don't think the bottom half of my 98 is good anymore. The rest of the car is fine as far as I know. I thought about a v8 engine swap, but I don't have time to rewire the car and get engine mounts, etc, etc. Is a 99 v6 considered an easy swap?:wtf:

    I'll get some pictures once I get the engine apart. Oh, and I did take good care of the car, I did routine maintenance (especially before our 1,000 mile road trip), and the car had 223,000 miles on it. I was hoping to squeeze 300,000 but that's out of the question now.
     
  2. greensteeda

    greensteeda Retired Speed Racer Mod. Suck It!

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    I think it would be a lot easier to just swap the whole motor. By the time you pay for a machine shop to clean up your block, assemble it, fit the heads to the block, you will be in it way more than just a full motor swap.

    Sorry to hear about the bad luck but that is a lot of miles and I will be interested to see what failed if you take it apart.
     
  3. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    I think you're right. And even though I hate being stranded on the side of the road, I really can't wait to see what went wrong. My dad and I just tore into his ford Ranger and replaced his old engine with a Taurus engine, and we found he had a groove carved into the side of one of the cylinder walls. We had no idea prior to the swap.

    I think I can find a 99-01 v6 motor easily. I just hate being forced into that option instead of doing a swap on my free time.

    Oh, and somebody might find this interesting -- I got stuck in the sand at the beach on our honeymoon, I was able to be towed out because I installed a tow hitch on the back of the car for using a light trailer. That tow hitch has gotten me out of a bind time and time again. I use a small class 1 trailer for camping trips, scrap metal hauling (which paid off the trailer and hitch), I hauled a small v6 engine for my dad, and I haul small building supply loads. If I get there, I may use it for bringing extra tires, tools, etc to autocross events.
     
  4. greensteeda

    greensteeda Retired Speed Racer Mod. Suck It!

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    I think I saw used mid mile motors for the 350-400 range when I was looking a couple months ago. You are right about the trailer hitch, they are pretty popular in the track day and autox crowd to bring toos, tires, tents, etc.
     
  5. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    How did you start your replacement-engine-process? I've never bought a used engine and I'm a little worried I'll end up with a piece of crap. Is it best to shop ebay or local junkyards? And if I get one, how do I check to see if the engine is good or not?
     
  6. greensteeda

    greensteeda Retired Speed Racer Mod. Suck It!

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    I will not be the best case study as I was looking for a stock replacement just to get the car running and back on track again but ran across a killer deal on a forged 4.3 engine from Super Six Motorsports (built by them but bought from a member here).

    I had a few lined up from a Mustang specialty parts place in Atlanta. There are several companies that specialize in refurbishing motors. Just find the best balance for price and warranty. Generally the longer the warranty period the more you are going to pay up front. Ebay is the place I found most of the companies. Funny how ebay doesn't have very many auctions anymore and is purely vendors.
     
  7. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    After looking around online I realized I may be a head gasket leak. All I know is the radiator was boiling over, 5 quarts of oil went in and didn't leak out (I have a bad feeling I'll find oil where it doesn't belong), and there was an obvious knocking sound. This happens after about 5 minutes of running. Is it possible it's only a bad head gasket? I've never replaced it since I had it at 117,000 miles. Even then, there may be too much damage already to just replace the gasket. I suppose I won't know for sure until I take it apart. I'm still somewhat new at this, so some of these questions may sound dumb.

    Just out of curiosity, what's the story on the 4.3? I may be interested. (edit ) nevermind, I guess I read too fast and thought you had one for sale.
     
  8. 963.8

    963.8 Retarded User

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    If it is a head gasket I wouldn't waste the money on replacing it with that many miles. If you're getting coolant in the oil it is bad for the bearings that probably weren't real great before.
     
  9. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    That's what my dad suggested. I decided to swap in a newer engine. I'm still looking around for one, not in a hurry. The junkyard nearby said they have a 2002 v6 for $500. But I haven't had a chance to look at it yet. From what I understand, it's a direct swap, but I may need to modify the wire harness.
     
  10. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    Okay, I have a lift, and I've disconnected a large portion of items off the engine. WHERE do I attach the lift? My dad said there may be a spot to do so where the headers went. i looked online and on this site but didn't have any luck as to where I mount the lift. When I find it, do I just slip the chain in between the bolt and the block? Or do I need a specific attachement? Anyone who has done this a million times before -- you're input would be greatly appreciated!
     
  11. Fink

    Fink Active Member

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    There should be some threaded holes on the front and back of the heads, just thread some bolts into them and pull it out. I wouldnt use the header bolt holes since those are small diameter.

    If you can, use a transmission bolt hole on the back of the block and one of the holes for the accessory brackets.
     
  12. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    Got it. I'm removing the rest of the junk off tonight (headers, electronics, radiator, etc.) I'll look for those holes tonight. and I'm gonna spend all day Sunday removing the Trans or the A/C. Maybe both if I'm lucky.
    Some friends of mine were telling me to chain up the headers, but I REALLY didn't feel comfortable with that. Or to buy a lift plate that you mount on the top of the engine after you remove the intake, I didn't go that route 'cause I'm trying to keep the mess of parts on the floor to a minimum. I knew there had to be an easier way to pull it. Thanks for the info!
     
  13. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    Okay, I'm now at the buying-a-used-engine stage. My question is -- after looking everywhere in my Chilton manual and online without luck -- what is the difference between a 98 V6 engine and a 99-04. More specifically the BLOCK. Is there a difference in webbing, bolts being different lengths, etc. I've heard they are the same, but that could be interpreted many different ways. I need to know HOW they are the same or what their major differences are if there's any at all.

    My plan is to buy a 99-04 v6 engine (thus saving me from doing a split port swap later) and swap all of my 98 v6 components over. Is that a reasonable idea? Or do I need to modify wire harnesses, rails, cables, etc.
     
  14. greensteeda

    greensteeda Retired Speed Racer Mod. Suck It!

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    There are differences but I believe the block is basically the same. The later model blocks have extra support and tend to be stronger but it doesn't sound like you are going to be pushing the power limits of either. The later model cars are internally balanced so you will need a new flywheel and the appropriate crank dampener. The wiring harness is different but can be modified easily to work with the later engine. The fuel rails are different but I think that covers the major things. I have a fuel rail that I don't need if you end up going that direction.
     
  15. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    Thanks for the help. I may call you up on the fuel rails. With that information, I'm going to start looking for a junkyard engine. No, I will not be power adding or doing anything big with the engine. I will be adding a SSM cam (maybe the rocker arms too if it's in the cards), longtube headers, catted h-pipe, american thunder catback exhaust, and an upper intake off a windstar. Before I build one up though, I needed that info.

    So I need a 99+ flywheel, crank dampener, modify the harness where necessary, and fuel rails. Everything else should transfer over from my 98 then? When you added your windstar intake what else had to be modified/ changed out to fit it (besides the hood clearance)?
     
  16. 963.8

    963.8 Retarded User

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    The fuel rail will have to be modified. Your car has a return style fuel system while the split port cars have a returnless style.
     
  17. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    Is it cheaper or easier to modify the fuel rail to match the return style fuel system, or could I replace the 98 fuel system with a 99 returnless style fuel setup? What's the difference or benefits of return or returnless?
     
  18. greensteeda

    greensteeda Retired Speed Racer Mod. Suck It!

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    To me, a return fuel system has several advantages over the returnless. It will typically see less fluctuation in the fuel rail pressure and can be easier to tune. It also doesn't require any pricey fuel pump voltage regulators. You can modify a splitport rail to be a return rail but it does require quite a bit of creativity.
     
  19. ProjectVicky

    ProjectVicky Wrench Monkey

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    Uh-oh. How much "creativity?"
     
  20. greensteeda

    greensteeda Retired Speed Racer Mod. Suck It!

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