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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
And the worse that could happen, happened. My engine started to make a tapping noise the other day and after following Ziggy instructions I changed to oil to inspect the old one (which I recently changed by the way). I let the oil sit for a while and then slowly dumped it on another container to inspect the bottom residue and this is what there was:





As you can see I have small metal particles, most likely from bearings because of the bronze color. Which means the engine needs to be rebuilt. I wasn't really counting on this since the PO told me the engine had been rebuilt already, but then again he lied about so many things that I am not surprised. I can´t really afford the cost of a local rebuilder, so I was wondering if any of you has had a good experience with one of those bulk engine rebuilders such as:

-Rebuilt Engine Store which is a division of S&S Engine Co. located in Spokane, Washington.

They offer a 400 V8 engine for $1,131 and $150 core with 10 Year Full Warranty. Which sounds too good to be true.

-Another S&S Division, this one called Rebuilt Auto Engines

They offer a 400 V8 for $1,333 with a $200 core with 7 Year - 70,000 Mile Warranty.

-Hi Performer

They offer a 400 V8 for $1,333 with a $200 core with 7 Year - 100,000 Mile Warranty.

-Auto Dynamic Engine

This one for $1,689.35 and $400.00 core with 3 years or Unlimited miles, whichever occurs first warranty.

-Power Train Products

This one is the most expensive of all of them at $1,899 with a $350 core, with 5 Year Unlimited Miles warranty, but you have to pay for it, $349

-I have also heard really good things about Jasper Engines, they say is the best bulk engine rebuilder. But I could not find any price on my specific engine in their website. I will have to call them.

Let me know your experiences and recommendations, I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much!
 

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I would stay away from the bottom price rebuilds - no matter how good of warrantee they say. To get a decent "remanufactured" engine you'll need to spend $1800 - $2000. A jasper will probably be $2000-$2500 but they do have the best reputation.

From your list I would probably go with the Power Train Products and NOT buy the warranty. The warranty is generally useless unless you have an authorized dealer install it. If you install it and something does go wrong you will need to pull the engine, ship it back to them to let them inspect it to see if the problem is one they will cover. All on your dime. They will then let you know if it's covered. If not, you'll need to pay to ship it back, then repair it yourself. Get a remanned engine with the best reputation - not the "best" warranty on paper.

BTW, looks like you have water in your oil. That's an ugly shade of brown goo!!
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I can't remember who I got my engine from, sorry. But I like the one from Hi Performer on your list.
Thank you. With a little research I found out HiPerformer is a division of S&S as well. And they seem to have some complains at BBB.

'HiPerformer.com is a privately owned company under S&S Engine Remanufacturing Co., and a member of the Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association. HiPerformer builds in excess of 5000 automotive and marine engine units each year. The company offers the industry?s longest warranty on remanufactured auto engines at 100,000 miles / 7 years.'

'BBB processed a total of 10 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total of 10 complaints closed in 36 months, 4 were closed in the last year.'
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I would stay away from the bottom price rebuilds - no matter how good of warrantee they say. To get a decent "remanufactured" engine you'll need to spend $1800 - $2000. A jasper will probably be $2000-$2500 but they do have the best reputation.

From your list I would probably go with the Power Train Products and NOT buy the warranty. The warranty is generally useless unless you have an authorized dealer install it. If you install it and something does go wrong you will need to pull the engine, ship it back to them to let them inspect it to see if the problem is one they will cover. All on your dime. They will then let you know if it's covered. If not, you'll need to pay to ship it back, then repair it yourself. Get a remanned engine with the best reputation - not the "best" warranty on paper.

BTW, looks like you have water in your oil. That's an ugly shade of brown goo!!
Thank you Scoop, seems like the first three are basically the same, all divisions of S&S.

I'll keep researching and I will call some of them especially Jasper for more info.

I'm not sure this was water, there would be more of a whitish goo if that was the case. Although I do know something is wrong in my heads (or head gaskets) because I had a leak in the front coming from the driver's side head and pouring a bit of coolant on top of the front of the engine next to the distributor. Very small leak, but not a good sign.
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I called a couple of local shops that have really good reviews on yelp and I also called Jasper:

-One Stop Engine Rebuilding:

$1,300 for short block rebuild
or
$1,700 for long block rebuild

With 1 year warranty or 12,000 miles.

-Franco's Engine Builders
This one I really liked. It has over 35 years of experience and the guy was super nice and responsive.

$1,150 for a short block rebuilt.
or
$1400.00 for a complete long block with a HV oil pump and brass freeze plugs.

With 1 year warranty or 12,000 miles as well.


-Jasper
I didn't really like the guy. Sounded more like a sales person trying to sell me hard his engine at a really high price and when I asked him to explain why, he could only say that people loves their broncos so much that they are willing to pay that much. I wonder if he would have said the same price if I didn't mention it was for a Bronco. He said you do not loose the warranty if I install it myself tho, the only condition is that I would have to bring it to them for an inspection after the install (the inspection would be free).

$2,930 plus taxes + $360 core charge for a long block. 3 year/ 100,000 miles warranty. That does not include removal of old one and installation of the new one.

To me this is way too much. I feel like if I could do this for 1,500 it would be great, I could push a bit more but no more than 2k, can't really afford more at the moment.

So I guess Jasper is out.
 

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Skip the Jasper. My first one, installed 2014, burned a toooon of oil and rear main seal leaked. I only put 4,000 miles on it.
Got them to swap in a new one after a year. New one ticks, and who knows what else will develop. I've only had it for 500 miles.
I drive my Bronco only a couple of miles a day on average, and the warranty period doesn't reset when they give you a replacement, so all Jasper has to do is wait out another year and I won't be their problem any more.
I'll probably just drive this thing into the ground and rebuild it myself next time. Only reason I didn't rebuild on my own initially is lack of time.

Their price would be fine if the engines were spot on, but for ~$5,000 after install I think it's shit. And they only cover $40/hr for warranty work IIRC.
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you so much for your insight on Jasper. It sucks that you had to pay so much for an engine that had so many problems. I thought they had a good reputation.

I feel more and more that my best option is a local shop. Considering it was previously "rebuilt" there is a chance that something might have been right in there and that way a local repair/rebuild with only tackling what its needed might be my best solution.

As someone has already said, what really matters isn't the warranty that a shop offers but their reputation. So a lot of satisfied customers is more attractive to me than a 3 year 100,000 warranty or the bullshit 10 year Warranty that S&S offers.
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
BTW, looks like you have water in your oil. That's an ugly shade of brown goo!!
You were right in the end Scoop. I had a lot of water in the engine. Unfortunately when we replaced the water pump and the timing cover we might not have sealed it properly because water had gotten everywhere. Oil pan, Valve covers and timing cover were covered in this light brown goo:



We found also a problem with a couple of lifters, one was completely loose and the other just a bit. This was probably the reason for the tapping noise. I am glad we caught all this in time before it was too late. I am so lucky Ziggy is been helping me with this, it would have been impossible to go any further without his help:



And to add to the list of problems it was also burning a lot of oil. Only 2 out of the 8 spark plugs were ok:



I might post more details on how we pulled the engine on my build thread.

By the way, we tried to get the engine serial number, but it was almost gone. Not sure if anyone can decipher this, seems like the end of the serial number something like ...3612-N



The goods news is that the engine has been at Franco's for a week already. So far everything is looking good. He confirmed that the engine had been rebuilt before and its 30 over and will have to be bored 60. Which means that it won't be able to be further rebuilt. More than 60 thins the walls too much. 60 will also give me a few more cubic centimeters which translates in a bit more hp. The crank was previously ground at 10,10 and should grind now to 20,20.

He is checking the heads this week, they are magna fluxing them now. Hopefully they won't need new seats and there won't be any cracks.

Franco also commented that the reason the lifters went bad could have been because I was using synthetic Mobil 1 oil and I should have stick with conventional 10w 40 (high in zinc) oil. I was also using the Lucas additive and he said not to use that unless you have low pressure oil.

He also recommended to put an rv cam. Even tho its meant for towing (recreational vehicles) it still will give me an extra kick that will help when starting and at high speeds on highways as well. So I think I will go for it. The only issue is that it is not CARB Compliant, but someone in this forum has posted that it past the Smog in CA, as long as you have the stock 2bbl carburetor and all the smog valves and what not.

In terms of pistons he recommended the Silv-o-lite pistons which although they are made in Mexico he vouches for their quality. They are aluminum tho and we talked about upgrading to another type (which I can't remember the name now) that are half way between aluminum and forged in terms of strength. So they do not expand and contract that much in comparison to aluminum. He will give me a quote for that in case I want to go that route.

That's all for now! The adventures with my 78 Bronco never end! :thumbup
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Just wanted to give you guys an update. The engine has been rebuilt with no issues and we are picking it up tomorrow. I ended up going with Franco and he installed a high volume oil pump, brass freeze plugs and an RV Camshaft from Enginetech, model number ES1085R. I was going to use the one that Edelbrock has but after talking to Franco and realizing that the specs were exactly the same between the two, I saved a few bucks and went with Enginetech. This are the specs of the camshaft:



It was confirmed that the lower block had been rebuilt before, it was 30 over. And the crank had also been reground at some point by the PO and was 10,10 on the mains and rods.

So Franco rebored the block at 60 and ground the crank at 20,20. The seats and valves were in good shape and didn't need replacement. The heads were also good with no cracks after magna fluxing them. This will be the last time this block will be rebuilt, further than 60 it is not recommended.

Here some pictures of the rebuilt process, I will post more on my built thread soon:





 

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Only thing I see, that could have been improved is pistons and oil mods. Not saying your doing it wrong, but TMI inc has pistons, that are a ton better than those you used and His oil mods help correct the 400 low oil pressure issues. I think that the low oil pressure issues are over exaggerated, but the pistons are a great upgrade and really the only pistons that do it right in the 400. I can't believe nobody has told you to check these sights out, http://www.tmeyerinc.com/ and here is a forum devoted to the 351m/400 , https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum54/ Happy reading and good luck with your build.
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Only thing I see, that could have been improved is pistons and oil mods. Not saying your doing it wrong, but TMI inc has pistons, that are a ton better than those you used and His oil mods help correct the 400 low oil pressure issues. I think that the low oil pressure issues are over exaggerated, but the pistons are a great upgrade and really the only pistons that do it right in the 400. I can't believe nobody has told you to check these sights out, http://www.tmeyerinc.com/ and here is a forum devoted to the 351m/400 , https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/forum54/ Happy reading and good luck with your build.
I wish someone told me this before. :banghead I did talk to my rebuilder about the pistons because I thought there had to be better options. But he was pretty adamant about the Silv-o-lite. On the other hand, I bet he would not want to put something crappy in there, his reputation is on the line. But still, I wish I knew about this. Are these pistons hypereutectic? Because I did ask him to find some for the 400 but he told me he could not find any. I think he only works with certain brands like EngineTech, Melling and Silv-o-lite and did not want to bother with anything else.
 

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Jan'19 F.O.T.M.
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I have bought quite a few transmissions from Powertrain Products, top notch service and custom setup for a reasonable price.
I considered them for a while but I preferred having my original engine rebuilt. Good to know for the future! thanks
 
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