I had pretty much decided I was going to have the motor gone through, but decided to try to get it running so when I did have it rebuilt it should fire up right away. I disconnected the gas line and ran one into a gas can. The starter solenoid was bad, so it was replaced. I didn't have any spark, so a new coil solved that. It wasn't getting any fuel, so the fuel pump was replaced. It then fired, but wouldn't stay running. It still had a single barrel, so I got a kit and rebuilt it. It then started and ran! I thought I'd put some water in it (it didn't have any coolant in it, I figured b/c of the blown head gasket) and run it down to have a VIN check (required in Ohio for out-of-state vehicles prior to getting an Ohio title), so I got the hose and started putting it in the radiator. In very short order, water started running out from under the truck! So much for taking it for a drive! I figured I better make sure I could get a title before going any farther, so I talked a dealer into coming to the house for the inspection, then went to the title office, paid the tax and was issued a title. It was officially mine! A buddy loaned me his hoist, so I pulled the big six. I found out why it leaked coolant so bad. PO had suggested I put new freeze out plugs in...
There's a reputable engine builder very close to me, so I talked to him and delivered it last week. They disassembled it and found 1 piston had a broken skirt and the oil pick-up tube bracket was broken, but everything else looked pretty good. The PO had told me the original owner, who he bought it from, had had a Ford replacement motor put in and there was a receipt and a tag that indicated it was done in 95. But apparently it was a rebuilt replacement (my builder said they did do that back in the day) b/c the pistons were .020 over. Hopefully I will have it back in a week or two.
Of course there are other issues to look into while I'm waiting on getting the motor back. I got recommendations on a clutch set from the forum and ordered it. I took a pressure washer to the engine bay and underneath. I'm still amazed at the condition of the metal on this thing. I had a 2000 F150 I bought new and it was rusting much much worse than this 81. I pulled the fuel tank today and removed about 6 gallons of old gas. I had thought I might have to replace it, but it is in very good shape.
I was going to drain the tranny, transfer case and differentials, but I think I'll top them off and drive it first to get them warmed up and check for leaks or other problems first. The next step, I think, is to flush the brake system.