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Discussion Starter #1
Well hell, this sucks. Looks like I just ate a motor in my daily driver F150 Lightning. It is pouring coolant from the back of the motor, so the water jacket is probably cracked. I got a good 150k miles out of the motor, so not unreasonable for it to let go.

Now I have to figure out what to do. For $7-10k I could restore the truck and keep driving it. For about the same I could buy one similar to mine, but with a motor. Or I could spend $20k and get a second gen Lightning. But between the Elise and my wife's new TL, I need to tame the pocketbook.

Pretty sure that I want to stay in a Lightning one way or another. I use the truck to tow my race car and haul home project supplies. I really like that the Lightnings aren't as painfully slow as most trucks.
 

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JeffersonRaley said:
Well hell, this sucks. Looks like I just ate a motor in my daily driver F150 Lightning. It is pouring coolant from the back of the motor, so the water jacket is probably cracked.
Doesn't sound like anything a couple of tubes of JB Weld couldn't fix!
 

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$7-10K? Really? Talk to SVTRuss... (PM him) he's got a '94 Lightning with as many miles and a 2003 SVT Cobra. I think you can buy a 351 shortblock from Hawaii Racing (Simi Valley, CA) for under $2K. The last time I was in there (a while ago), they had a couple of 351 motors on pallets (long blocks.)

Those 5.8 (351) blocks are indestructible and the motor is completely understressed. I'm guessing that either a freeze plug or head gasket let go. But that's just a wild arse guess on my part not having seen it. What makes you think you've cracked the waterjacket on the block?

Bob
 

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Bob - I think you're right, probably a head gasket that let go in a big way. The only thing is that I didn't get any white smoke out the exhaust, and the coolant didn't have oil in it when I flushed the rad last weekend. Coolant is pouring out of the back side of the block, so it could also be a freeze plug. I'm about to go pick it up (it's on the side of the road) and take a look. Either way, the engine is almost definitely repairable for 2-3k.

The problem is that the truck already needed about 5k worth of work. Paint, A/C, front ball joints, light motor work, etc. My engine hoist isn't big enough to pull that motor, and I don't want to beg/borrow/rent a car for the month that it'd take me to do the work. That adds a lot of mechanic labor cost.

I found a 1st gen Lightning that is in very good condition for only $9800. Even better, it has a blower. So I can get a nice replacement for only a couple thousand more than repair would cost. I can probably part (or repair if just a head gasket) the current truck to make up the difference. That is what I'm leaning toward right now.

Thanks for the response. Anything that puts the Elise funds in jeopardy is a huge concern, and I may be over reacting.
 

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I'm the guy with the Gen 1 L that Bob (rtking) mentioned. Like Bob said, it's extremely unusual for anything to happen with the Windsor block. They are sturdy...sturdy enough to produce over 700 HP or go a quarter million miles without a bore and hone.

It's possible the problem is a head gasket or freeze plug, but I would also check the heater hoses. A system pressure tester should help pinpoint it.

IMO, it probably won't cost you more than a few hundred to repair...maybe less.

- Russ
 
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