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Monday, August 26, 2019

Leigh Lets Phil Know The East Coast Has Some Stubborn Bastards As Well.....

Ah, yes - more tales from the Farm Ford Follies.

My nephew bought a F250 from some of the local mud boggers, with the notion of swapping a good running V-10, for his V-8 1/2. Yes he had a very sad running V10. I made him replace a whole bunch of things before just yanking one out and jamming one in. Though he initially thought he would be able to get away with it. I refused to help him unless we did it right.

So I got a new heater tube that runs under the intake, to a nipple on the back side of the water pump. Genuine Motorcraft for $18 - gotta love Rock Auto. OEM O-rings too.

All the studs in the heads that hold the exhaust manifolds were replaced. That made Phil's broken intake bolts look like pulling a little bitty sliver. Twenty studs that ALL had to be heated and pulled with a spiral extractor. Four had to be drilled, heated and extracted. One I had to drill, bore out with a die grinder, and then heli-coil. I reckon it took me ten hours over two days to pull them.
The four studs that hold the Y pipe flanges were changed as well.

New intake and exhaust gaskets. New plugs, filters and oil. It got a trans filter/fluid change too, but that wasn't initially on the docket.

Finally I got the motor all cleaned up and ready for transplant.

Yeah, it isn't the prettiest thing in the whole world, but this is a swap - not new, or a rebuild.

I got to the Farm, Saturday and hit with the question: Where do you want to do the motor - garage or Agway building?
I opted for the larger building with the flatter floor. So the Agway building it was.
I had hoped to see a partially stripped vehicle, but nope, it was totally complete.
I started at 9:30 that morning by pulling the grill, turn signals, radiator support and fiberglass nose structure.
After that, we started just gut ripping the whole thing.

Not wanting to make things easy on me, my nephew threw a few curves at me.
He wrung off a transmission line when the compression fitting wouldn't come free of the radiator fitting. He wound the whole thing right out of the radiator. Twisted it right off behind the fitting. I don't know what the hell he was thinking?
Then when I told him to drain the oil from the engine, he drained the tranny. I need to get him wrenching more on his own stuff so he learns more. So there was a trans filter change we didn't budget time for.
I had to cut off the collector bolts, on the Y pipe, so that it would clear the block. So, there was another thing to R&R. New gaskets, bolts,  and sealer.
Aaaand the starter wire to the starter solenoid snapped off at the terminal stud, Fortunately, the donor vehicle had a brand new NAPA starter. Whew!

When it was all said and done, we had the sick motor out by 8:30 that night.

This is how it started for me, Sunday morning - 9:00 am.

It took a couple of hours to get it wrangled in, and dogged down. Didn't want to rush and screw something up - do it once and do it right.
After that it was a matter of hooking everything back up to where it belonged.  Which doesn't seem like much, until trying to remember where everything goes.
While I reassembled it, the boy was finishing the trans filter change and miscellaneous  odds and ends.

8:30 that night, the battery was put in, and the fluids were good enough to fire it up.
I cycled the key a half dozen time to purge the air out of the fuel rail, then rolled her over.
God hates a coward.
On the second flop she tried to catch, stumbled and quit.
I hit her again and she lit with a flurry of smoke and chugging.
The chugging cleared, but it never kept an idle and stalled.
A quick thought, and a check of the IAC plug, found that the connector didn't lock.
A firm push until it clicked, cycle the key and waited a second.
Rolled her over, and it idled like a champ.
While it warmed up I started putting the rest of the nose back on her.
By 9:15 all the fluids were topped off; and fifteen minutes later the last screws were in the grill and the hood shut.

Twenty three-ish hours, over two days.....
A half dozen set backs dealt with......
Started right up, no leaks, and only one small glitch right at the end.
And one exhausted; fat, yet happy, mechanic.


  1. What's your wait time for taking on another motorswap? Asking for a friend.

    Lol! Wish my mechanics were that knowledgeable and thorough.

  2. My hat is off to you Mr. Leigh. Holy crap I think I would have stroked out before I got finished with that mess.
    That was a SHIT TON of work to get done in two days, basically by yourself!
    Gotta love the feeling you get when the fire right up though. There aren't a whole lot of people around could pull that off. Right off the top of my head I think I know less than five guys anymore that can still do that kind of thing.
    Hell of a job.

  3. A;ways good to read a job well done!
    Very nice work, and the boychild might have learned more than you know.

  4. Thanks, guys.
    It was a lot of work, but worth it in the end. It would have been nice to been able to completely freshen the engine, but I have to work within the boy's budget. Just having an engine that hits on all cylinders is an improvement.
    You all can thank Irish for the custom art work on the last picture. Now my kids want to use that image for our Christmas cards.....

    Whitehall, NY

    1. Excellent job, Leigh!

      Any idea what 'donor vehicle' the engine came out of?

    2. Thanks, DrJim.

      We pulled it from a 2000 F250 Super Duty. It was said to have a good running engine, but the chassis had too much rust to be inspectible any more. Bought sight unseen for $350. All of the suspension and drive train are interchangeable, between the two, as well. Which makes it that much better of a deal.

      I've done this before. I bought my '01 F250 plow truck with a blown engine. Picked up an '04, 5.4 motor from the local salvage yard. I changed it in a garage just big enough to close the door, while having to come in diagonally with the engine hoist. I did that completely by myself over the course of a week - during February. Still going strong, eight years later.

      Whitehall, NY

    3. By the way: the Nephew's rig is a 2000 Excursion.
      Which is essentially Ford's version of the Suburban - but a few inches longer, with a heavier frame. It is built on the Super Duty chassis, so having a F250 of the same year almost made the swap a no brainer.
      It was in the header I sent to Irish, but got left out. I essentially called out Phil's brake job, and raised him an engine swap. ;-P
      No disrespect to Mr Phil either. We are basically living the same life separated by 15-20 years, on opposite sides of the country. I can fully appreciate how pissed off one can get, when shit don't go right. I've been doing this for almost 40 years.

      Every half hour job is just one broken bolt away from being a four day ordeal.
      The story of my life.....

      Later all.

      Whitehall, NY

  5. If you like broken studs try working on a 10 yr old saltwater outboard. There all bad but Yamaha is the worst. Stainless steel bolts in aluminum are a nightmare.


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