Full Size Ford Bronco Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Back in September of 2019 I inherited my grandfather's non-running Bronco that had been sitting for around 2 years. It has the carburated 351W in it. I don't have enough posts to post this anywhere but here, so sorry if this breaks any rules. I've done plenty of searching on this issue prior to posting.

Since then I've done the following things to get it running:
  • 4 New Tires
  • Clean out carb and tighten it down to resolve leak
  • Starter Solenoid
  • Fix some bad ignition wiring
  • Oil pressure sending unit
  • Wheel bearings
  • Brake pads
  • One new brake caliper
  • Header back exhaust (factory replacement but with Flowmaster muffler)
Now that I can actually drive it it is pretty clear that there is an oil pressure issue, and based on everything I've read from searching the forums here, the engine is trash - good pressure at startup and then drops after 10 minutes or less and then gets LOUD with knocking.

I took it to Ford and they confirmed my fears saying that the rods and bearings on the bottom end of the motor are all bad. They want $6900 to replace just the long block, which is insane to me. A local shop quoted me $5700 out the door for a remanufactured Jasper engine and install kit which is basically everything except for the intake/carb, the distributor, the alternator, the AC compressor and brackets for those accessories. All filters, hoses, plugs/wires/distributor cap/rotor, thermostat, oil pan/pump, water pump, fuel pump, etc are included. This also includes a 3 year 100k mile warranty.

Unfortunately, I am in a situation where I am 1) paying for storage on the truck because I only have one parking spot where I currently live, and 2) have no place to work on it. Due to this, my choices are to either pay someone to do the work now so that I have a well running driveable vehicle, or I just trailer it to my dad's place a few states away where he can safely store it until I either pay someone to do it, or take time off work to attempt it myself. I do not want to pay for local storage on a non-running vehicle.

I have the money so my head is leaning towards just paying for the work now and getting it over with and I am looking for a sanity check on the price.
Does $5700 for that work sound like it's in the wheelhouse of quotes that any of you may have gotten? Am I overlooking anything else critical that I should be checking on prior to committing to this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
I know here in VA that quote would be high. Find a local machine shop / engine rebuilder. If you are doing a stock replacement long block, there's no reason you couldn't find one for under $2K. Add another $500 or so for fluids, supplies, water pump, belts etc.

That's $2500. $3200 for LABOR is ridiculous in my opinion.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
273 Posts
Its not uncommon here in Houston area to see a large variance of install prices. This is due to a high number of somewhat shady shops that probably do great work. just don't expect them to fix it if it goes south in a year. Dealerships will most likely charge you for between a 15 and 20 hour job at around $150.00 per hour. Factor a new engine at roughly $2,000.00 and you will have a solid baseline. Throw in another $500.00 for broken bolts and extra time that will inevitably come from this. Labor isn't as cheap as it once was at quality shops.

You can usually get almost anything for less. How much is your peace of mind worth? The shops in Channelview Texas that pull your Bronco under an old swing set to remove the engine in a dirt lot have tons of experience. But, in the end your still going to pay about $3,000.00 including the engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
What did Ford do to confirm the bottom end is trash? Pressure falling out could just be a worn out pump. Life's usually not that easy, but it's possible, if not probable.

You could fill it full of 15-40 or heavier and see if that buys you enough time to vet some options. It's only a $30 experiment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Its not uncommon here in Houston area to see a large variance of install prices. This is due to a high number of somewhat shady shops that probably do great work. just don't expect them to fix it if it goes south in a year. Dealerships will most likely charge you for between a 15 and 20 hour job at around $150.00 per hour. Factor a new engine at roughly $2,000.00 and you will have a solid baseline. Throw in another $500.00 for broken bolts and extra time that will inevitably come from this. Labor isn't as cheap as it once was at quality shops.

You can usually get almost anything for less. How much is your peace of mind worth? The shops in Channelview Texas that pull your Bronco under an old swing set to remove the engine in a dirt lot have tons of experience. But, in the end your still going to pay about $3,000.00 including the engine.
Thanks for this. It's really helpful and one of the things that I would be looking for with this investment is peace of mind. The independent shop that gave me the quote is one that I have worked with before and they seem to be very honest and straightforward guys. They've been in business for 30ish years in my area and have really good online reviews, plus a friend of mine who used to have a gen 4 Bronco and now has a Landcruiser recommended them to me.
 

·
Registered
1984, 300 L6, smogless, manual 3speed with overdrive.
Joined
·
737 Posts
$5000-$6000 in my neck of the woods will get you a running driving Bronco if you wait long enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
What did Ford do to confirm the bottom end is trash? Pressure falling out could just be a worn out pump. Life's usually not that easy, but it's possible, if not probable.

You could fill it full of 15-40 or heavier and see if that buys you enough time to vet some options. It's only a $30 experiment.
I will have a more detailed discussion with Ford when I pick the truck up tomorrow so I'm not fully clear on what their process was. I didn't tell them that I thought the motor was bad, but in my head that's what I expected to hear based on all of the knocking.

EDIT:
Ford said that they put a manual gauge on it and only got 2 psi at idle with the truck warmed up and that they put it on the lift and could hear constant knock from the bottom when they were underneath the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
$5000-$6000 in my neck of the woods will get you a running driving Bronco if you wait long enough.
I don't disagree but since my grandfather bought this one new in 87 and I have a ton of memories with him in it, I'd rather put some money into it and keep it in the family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
I recently found a low mileage 351 at a yard for 500$ and stabbed it into the truck in two weekends. It requires a lot of tools to do this though. I came in around 2k all done though. Had to buy a flywheel, motor mounts, gaskets and tool rentals, plus a tow. Not having a place to do the swap is a problem and a shop that charges 15-20 hours isn't out of line as far as labour is concerned. If you got a reman engine for 2k, 1500-2000 plus 500-800 for miscellaneous parts can be expected. It's really pricey to get this done.

Towing it across multiple states then buying the needed tools and traveling to get it done will be pricey too and maybe similar in cost with no guarantees.

You could try some local members on a forum that are really into wrenching or a local 4x4 club. Maybe someone is willing to trade beer and some of your services to help you with this? Just a thought.
 

·
aka: kemicalburns
Joined
·
7,708 Posts
My first 5.8 swap i completed in a weekend by myself. I rented an engine hoist from the auto parts store, bought a wrecking yard roller 5.8 for $600. spent another $200 on gaskets, hoses and water pump, motor mounts. That motor lasted me 3+yrs before it ingested sand while at the dunes. had that not occured i am positive it would still be in the bronco today.

so dont fear a wrecking yard motor, most places will provide a 30day warranty and a mileage number on the motor prior to pulling it from a rig.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
My first 5.8 swap i completed in a weekend by myself. I rented an engine hoist from the auto parts store, bought a wrecking yard roller 5.8 for $600. spent another $200 on gaskets, hoses and water pump, motor mounts. That motor lasted me 3+yrs before it ingested sand while at the dunes. had that not occured i am positive it would still be in the bronco today.

so dont fear a wrecking yard motor, most places will provide a 30day warranty and a mileage number on the motor prior to pulling it from a rig.
My junkyard motor is way better than the old one. Doesn't burn any oil, fires off immediately when cranking and feels twice as fast as the old one. I have confidence that the body will rust out before the motor goes unless I hydrolock it again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
1/24/2020 Update:

I found a local Mustang specialist who restores old Mustangs and does high performance upgrades on newer Mustangs. He advised that he is a Ford trained mechanic who will work on Fords of any year and he quoted me $4900ish for a remanufactured motor.

2k for the longblock, 2k for labor, plus 500 for incidentals like the spark plugs, filters, oil, coolant, and etc, then tax. I've checked a ton of local reviews and between that and speaking with him he seems to be the right man for the job so I'll most likely be going that route.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in here.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top