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Old 03-17-2014, 05:25 PM   #1
THS_Steed06
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Question How to inspect a used engine? Plan for hi-po rebuild...

Hi guys,

I wanted to get some advice from those of you who have bought used engines out there and were burned or did good. 42k miles on the running motor (nearly complete missing only the timing cover) for $300. Cheap as hell IMO.

I have been watching craigslist ads for months and finally came across what appears to be a good candidate 4.0 motor for my 2006 Mustang. I've been wanting to do a unique 4.0 upgrade build for my car with the following plan:

- Have rotating assembly balanced by machine shop
- Install higher compression pistons (Wiseco) to go from 9.6 - 10.5
- Install upgraded rings over stock
- Have the heads gasket ported & decked
- New valve job
- New timing chain and tensioners
- New seals and gaskets
- Have block line bored if journals aren't straight (TBD)
- Add light weight flywheel

The good:

The donor car was apparently in an accident, car was one owner with 42k miles when it was hit and totalled on the RH front feder. Apparently the shop that pulled the motor from the wreck said the timing chain cover was cracked (aluminum part) and so they have pulled it off the motor. The guy vouches he can show records of the customer who had their oil changed there and said I can inspect the engine in the shop and rotate it with a large wrench to confirm rotation. He also said I can pull the valve covers and inspect the heads for sludge...he says I won't find any.

The bad:

- Motor was drained of all fluids
- Motor was left outside for a few weeks after the accident and got rained on so I don't know how bad the sensors could be affected. I can probably just transfer my sensors to it though (along with timing cover)
- Then Motor was stored outside all winter under a tarp with no timing cover
- Apparently the plugs were left in the heads (thank God)
- I don't know if the cracked timing cover also damaged anything else in the accident, since I can't run the engine kind of a leap of faith
- I don't know how the exhaust manifolds weren't damaged in the accident (not much clearance) but the photos shows they are ok


I think this might be the one, it's almost $1k cheaper and lower miles than any other engine I've seen out there. The guys place is 40 miles from my house so it's close to go inspect it.

Besides looking it over really well, rotating it, looking with a flashlight into the spark plug holes to check the piston tops what else should I look for? Is there anyway to see hairline cracks in the block. I have no idea.

Help & advice appreciated. No I don't want to swap in a 4.6 because it will cost me WAAAY more to upgrade everything else (trans, K member, rear end, drive shaft, computer, wire harnesses etc).

Thanks,

Tom
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2006 GT Premium 17's, Fuzion ZR summer tires (staggered)
2010 Stripe kit, 2012 OEM spoiler, custom mod. OEM tails w/LED
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Coming soon...SR Perf. Springs, GT F/R sway bars, and Project X engine!
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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I'd pass. No Oil means it could be rusty inside, not sure what you can see through the plug hole. No coolant means it could have rust inside the block.
I'd only consider it if I could pull the heads and the oil pan. Maybe offer him $100.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:42 PM   #3
THS_Steed06
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I think I could probably talk him into at least pulling the oil pan and possibly the water pump. That would allow me to check for rust. Even if there is some rust though, since I'm planning to rebuild it how damagingwould some surface rust be (assuming its not on the cams and crank journals)

Tom
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Going faster is only part of the problem...



2006 GT Premium 17's, Fuzion ZR summer tires (staggered)
2010 Stripe kit, 2012 OEM spoiler, custom mod. OEM tails w/LED
Behind-the-grille Westin fog lights, tinted headlights
Dynomax full dual exhaust w/x-pipe and ultra flo mufflers
Airraid CAI & DiabloSport Tuner
Auburn LSD & 4.10s
Coming soon...SR Perf. Springs, GT F/R sway bars, and Project X engine!
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:40 AM   #4
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The 2 strikes that immediately caught my attention:
- the front cover was cracked, bad enough to be ripped off or removed afterwards. That means the engine took a hit of a lot of force from that side. The front brackets bolt to the heads, too, so some of that force has had to have gotten applied to at least one head.
- engine has been open, and water definitely got inside from the front. What all that damaged could be minimal, could be extensive.

You might as well go look at it, but watch out for cracks in the block or heads. Look at all mounting brackets for cracks, loot at the bolts, look at the damage that may have been caused. It should turn over just fine, but if the timing chains are not attached, do not turn the motor (you can bend a valve).

Look closely at the front, how much water might have gotten in, and through the throttle body or intake. Water can be just as bad as any damage the accident caused. (I went to look at an engine once and it was left outdoors and rain got into it; I passed on it).

Look at the engine, price-wise, as it might not be good enough for what you want; but, you might be able to use some of the parts from it. The block MAY be ok, or may be compromised; even if there's a small crack somewhere and you don't see it, would you want to trust a motor to hold up to being over-powered?

If you can get it all for $200, it could be worth it, just get it and tear it down and see. Worst case, sell off the heads and other parts afterwards if you don't use any of it.


Now, back to your reason to not do a 4.6 swap. First of all, the cost to build a 4.0 is not much less than building a 4.6. You still have to buy a lot of parts, and the suppliers are far fewer for the 4.0, making them more expensive. The reason I didn't build my 4.0 was due to the cost, and the power would be far less than what a 4.6 could hold up to.
Buying a complete 4.6 package can overall be a far more economical deal (I know of a good and complete 4.6L setup in Mississippi that would be better for you!)
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:42 AM   #5
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Could you take one of the freeze plugs out to further inspect the water passages? I'd also be skeptical of the engine given the cracked timing cover. Can you borrow an inspection camera from a friend, or rent one from somewhere to get a better view of the combustion chambers and intake? I wouldn't be as worried about it being stored with no oil, there's still enough sitting on the interior surfaces. It's really just a question of how much water got in it. I Had an old 302 that sat for over a year with oil in the pan, but it was never rotated or turned over. I drained the pan and pulled the engine to drop the pan and there was still oil coating the interior surfaces and it spun freely. Is the oil pan plug back in place? You could crack that open and see if any water comes out. Not a real reliable method because it could evaporate but if you find any there you know it got in a lot of other places.
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:45 PM   #6
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Hey guys,

Thanks for the good advice! Last weekend I got a good look at it. Was able to pull a valve cover and use a bright small LED flashlight to see inside the plug holes. Pistons had flat tops and looked a good color. I read that this motor is NOT an interference motor so we used a deep well socket and ratchet to turn the motor over. It turned over very nice and smooth with the plugs out and built a lot of resistance with plugs in. It truly is complete even with all accessories and brackets.

I was not totally correct in my original description. They had actually covered it with plastic and only the oil pan had about 2 cups of water in it. There was no cracks or damage on the heads or block that I could see. Long story short...I bought it!

I'll post some pics later this weekend but I'm stoked about it. Project X begins soon!

Tom
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Going faster is only part of the problem...



2006 GT Premium 17's, Fuzion ZR summer tires (staggered)
2010 Stripe kit, 2012 OEM spoiler, custom mod. OEM tails w/LED
Behind-the-grille Westin fog lights, tinted headlights
Dynomax full dual exhaust w/x-pipe and ultra flo mufflers
Airraid CAI & DiabloSport Tuner
Auburn LSD & 4.10s
Coming soon...SR Perf. Springs, GT F/R sway bars, and Project X engine!

Last edited by THS_Steed06; 04-04-2014 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:42 AM   #7
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Here's some pics of the "Project X" 4.0...

Click the image to open in full size.
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Going faster is only part of the problem...



2006 GT Premium 17's, Fuzion ZR summer tires (staggered)
2010 Stripe kit, 2012 OEM spoiler, custom mod. OEM tails w/LED
Behind-the-grille Westin fog lights, tinted headlights
Dynomax full dual exhaust w/x-pipe and ultra flo mufflers
Airraid CAI & DiabloSport Tuner
Auburn LSD & 4.10s
Coming soon...SR Perf. Springs, GT F/R sway bars, and Project X engine!
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:55 PM   #8
THS_Steed06
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Fyi I have moved the build thread over to the V6 S197 forum here:

http://mustangforums.com/forum/v6-s1...ld-thread.html

Thanks!
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Going faster is only part of the problem...



2006 GT Premium 17's, Fuzion ZR summer tires (staggered)
2010 Stripe kit, 2012 OEM spoiler, custom mod. OEM tails w/LED
Behind-the-grille Westin fog lights, tinted headlights
Dynomax full dual exhaust w/x-pipe and ultra flo mufflers
Airraid CAI & DiabloSport Tuner
Auburn LSD & 4.10s
Coming soon...SR Perf. Springs, GT F/R sway bars, and Project X engine!
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:55 PM
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