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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! New to the forum. On my second FSB...had a '87 back in '91, and just bought a 89 this year to pull a boat around. Basically I drive it once in a while to keep it running and pull the boat a couple miles to the ramp and fifty miles to the Keys every so often.

Although it is an "OJ Special", I call it "John Elway" 'cause it is a 'slow white Bronco' :duh

It'll get some attention, but between my Jeep and boat, I have to share the budget when it comes to the toys. Would like to mod it up someday though! For now it;ll be a keep it running and enhance as I replace.

The 351 motor has 180k+ on it and runs pretty good, but wonder if it is a ticking time bomb? I realize it is a subjective question...don't really know the history of it's previous use, but since I am in FL, I think it is a pretty safe bet that those are a lot of highway miles. I do hear a ticking/ratttly sound when it is at higher revs, (but not at idle)....At first thought it was a valve or lifter going, but now think it may be the exhaust header gasket (see next paragraph)

The last owner started to put headers on it, but only did the 'easy' side (drivers side). Is it bad to run around with one header and one stock manifold? It is hard enough to get to the spark plugs on the passenger side, so I am guessing the ex. manifold bolts would be a PITA...? i am half considering cutting out all the wheel well lining to make getting in there easier...is this a good or bad idea?
 

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Welcome.

Run the codes to see if any issues have popped up recently. You can also run an engine balance test which will show you if you have any weak cylinders.

To check the condition of the engine, check the oil for metal shavings, check the spark plugs, check the compression, and do a leak down test. Check oil pressure, too. If all that looks good, you should have a solid motor.

For the ticking.... Since you can't hear it at idle, it's not a rod knock. That's good. It could be a valve or lifter, or it could be failing bearing in the water pump, power steering pump, smog pump, alternator.... anything connected to the belt. Have someone rev it up and try to isolate where the noise comes from.

Running one header and one manifold won't do anything bad to your rig. I would finish installing the headers. It may be a pain in the ass, but I would leave the fender in.
 

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MARBLE GARGLER!
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If you have 20/50 weight oil in the crank case AND it rod knocks... THAT is too many miles on a 351-
 

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Welcome.

Run the codes to see if any issues have popped up recently. You can also run an engine balance test which will show you if you have any weak cylinders.

To check the condition of the engine, check the oil for metal shavings, check the spark plugs, check the compression, and do a leak down test. Check oil pressure, too. If all that looks good, you should have a solid motor.

For the ticking.... Since you can't hear it at idle, it's not a rod knock. That's good. It could be a valve or lifter, or it could be failing bearing in the water pump, power steering pump, smog pump, alternator.... anything connected to the belt. Have someone rev it up and try to isolate where the noise comes from.

Running one header and one manifold won't do anything bad to your rig. I would finish installing the headers. It may be a pain in the ass, but I would leave the fender in.
I would most definitely agree on running a Leak Down Test and Compression Test. If your compression is low or your leak down test shows worn rings and/or cylinder walls, you know your going to have to pull the engine. And, that's big bucks any way you do it. The rest of it is just changing parts which you'll probably want to do eventually when you get bored and decide to go for more power.
 

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timing chain maybe. if its a lifter try sea foaming the engine see if it helps. a buddy of mine has 216000 on his 351 and doesnt have any issues as of now. just depends on how it was taken care of
 

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My 302 has almost 200k on it. Of course I have no idea if its ever been rebuilt or not since ive only had it for 7000 miles. It still runs like a champ though. It really likes Synthetic 10w30
 

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My 351W has 181k on it and running like a champ. I have kept a good oil change and tune-up on it. Does not show any signs of bad wear. Not my dd but I am hoping to get another 50k out of it if I don’t do a diesel swap before then.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the responses guys! :beer

It is great joining up on a forum which is this active~
Lots of great tips and ideas...thanks for getting me pointed in a direction!


I will start with the basic diagnosis and take it from there....I don't have a heck of a lot invested in it, and like I said it was intended to be a boat puller...(1979 Mako 236 with a 350 straight inboard) But skimming thru the FSB forum could be a bad influence...:goodfinge
 
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