After some more quality phone time with , the best idea that came up was to visit the Ford dealer and maybe a local engine rebuilder and see if they could help. . The diagrams in the factory manual were elusive at first, and even when found, they did not show the plastic supports. Pretty much everything on this website is , if you want to use something,. The plan was to paint the pieces first, then clean out all of the passages of any remaining machining dust, then re-oil the insides, and finally, assemble the motor. All of the bearings were worn pretty uniformly, with no unusual damaged areas or problems to note. With the engine apart and reasonably clean, I then checked all of the key measurements to see how they compared to the published engine specs.
So, the innards of the engine seemed to agree with the seller's story about the engine condition, which was good news. Figuring out where all of the intake bolts went was a bit of a chore, and after some futzing about, I'm pretty sure I got them right there are two length studs plus regular bolts, and they all need to be in the correct places , but we'll find out later on if I got that right or not. Its width was 70 inches and its height was 69. The main caps came off without any problems and the crank came out without incident. At this point I was far enough along to get out my spiffy new Ford oil pump priming tool, dump some oil into the engine, and prime the engine with a hand drill to see if it had any oil leaks. They did dribble sand while being moved around, and will need a more thorough cleaning before they are installed onto the engine.
So I call up and they're stumped too. I did this same thing on , and that seemed to work pretty well. There are some pieces for the throttle linkage and such I could mess with at this point, but not much else really needs to be done before it's ready to go into the truck. It was wrapped with a plastic piece to help it stay in place and it went over two special bolts at each end. The depth of the groove in the piston is less than the width of the ring. I did have to do a bit of quick sandblasting on the valve covers and the thermostat housing, but nothing major. They would be hard pressed to fall off even if the engine was upside down with all of what they are plugged into and the tight spaces the harness runs in.
They won't fit between the motor and the engine stand, so you need to install these after the engine is off the stand. The short bed model's wheelbase was 117 inches, while the long bed truck had a 133-inch wheelbase. Price was a bit more than I could get mail order, but the quality seemed comparable and he was willing to not make me buy the ring set if they didn't fit, so I went for it. Then they call back again when the work is all done to tell you to come get your pile of clean and freshly machined parts. He said he had a few more places to look, and he said he'd call me back later. The heads needed to be rebuilt, so I bartered with a friend to get that done on the cheap - he's good, he works for beer, and he's been doing all of my head work for a while.
At this point we ran out of working time for the day and had to call it a night, so I taped up the openings in the intake both the center air flow area and the injector ports and carefully set aside the parts I had dug up from the far reaches of my garage so it would be easy to do the next pieces of assembly. The lifters dropped in mostly without incident, though one of the lifter bores had some gunk in it that needed to be cleaned out before the lifter would go in all the way. Ford added rear space to the super cab trucks consisting of a 39-inch headroom, 29-inch legroom, 67-inch shoulder room and 61-inch hip room. First up was the oil pan and the heads. Moral: Don't let your 5 year old daughter jabber away in your ear while you're trying to rebuild a motor. I then installed the new rear main seal and the harmonic balancer - after the balancer was cleaned and painted. Once I got going it went reasonably smoothly.
Unfortunately, it meant this simple rebuild was now stretching out past the eight month mark. I had previously installed them just tight enough to pre-lube the engine and verify all was well. It's what I bought when I did this for the Suburban. Getting all of the studs and nuts figured out was a real chore, though - even worse than the intake manifold. In 1993, a turbocharged version of the engine was released, which pushed torque to nearly 390 lb-ft. With the three-speed automatic and the V-6 engine, the rear-wheel-drive F-150 achieved 14 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway.
The water pump had a few issues sorting out which studs went where, but for that I had a nearby motor to compare against so it wasn't too painful. It's mostly fool-proof due to molded connectors and different size hoses in critical areas, but it did require a bit of head-scratching to get the initial details sorted out. To check the bearings, I needed to turn the engine over, and I didn't want the lifters to fall out onto the ground into a pile. Courtesy of taking apart two motors original from the truck + this replacement and some other parts scrounging, I had something like 40+ Ford orange top fuel injectors laying around ready to be cleaned and used. I had to remove the intake on the Suburban and replace the intake gaskets about 10,000 miles after the rebuild and the lifter valley was still as pristine as the day I assembled the motor.
I had to drill out the mounting holes on the 1989 bracket to allow using the larger 1987 bolts, but in the end it worked. Next up was the lower intake manifold and the valve covers - basically enough to get the engine roughly sealed up. Next up was the fuel rail and injectors. The first day back on the project was somewhat of a mad scramble to find parts, wrap up small details, and clean lots of hardware so we could install stuff. I even remembered to put some assembly lube on each camshaft lobe and on the bottom of each lifter - this was crucial since the engine had sat partially assembled for so long and some lube had no doubt dripped off the camshaft while it was sitting. The interior was reworked and restyled to be both more comfortable and more current-looking.
I checked the specs on the rings the internet is a wonderful tool at times and they're for the right application - they fit pretty much every Ford 5. In addition to the lifter valley, I also painted the sections of the heads that overhung the lifter valley to help prevent sludge from gaining a foothold there. The bearings were worn into the copper, but not gouged, scarred, or damaged - it looked like a typical high mileage motor that was tired but would have run fine for a while. My lifter puller slipped out of it twice, and on the third try things got ugly - the top of the lifter body shattered into many pieces with the bulk of the lifter still stuck solid in it's bore! The outside of the motor is getting a quick shot of Ford grey paint, the same as it had originally. The next step was to removed everything else from the block to get it ready to take to a machine shop and to verify it's condition. At least I should be able to cobble together a few good sets out of the pile, right? That's a lot of tidbits to get installed properly with all of the studs in the right places.