First I should tell some history about my engine situation. 2 Years ago I bought a 351 roller block. It was a factory shortblock straight out of a truck. It needed a rebuild but it was a good start to my project. I paid $150 for it because the guy was sick of tripping over it. I also had what I thought to be (my father in-law supposedly helped the PO with the engine) a good running 289 in the car. Four months ago I sold the 351 roller shortblock for $300 because I was sick of tripping over it. I did well over the 2 years since I doubled my money.
Two months ago I finally got the 289 running and that was an exciting day. I had owned the car for 8 years and it could finally move under it's power. That happiness was short lived once the blue smoke starting pouring from the exhaust as well as the breather. It started huffing and puffing like it was trying to blow my house down. The 289 came out and the heads came off. The supposedly "great running" 289 needed a rebuild. It had a huge ridge and the cylinder walls were all scratched to hell.
Now the search began. I was looking for something cheap to get me through the summer without needing a rebuild. Next winter I would rebuild the 289 and put on a pair of windsor jr heads I have sitting here. After going and looking at 3 different engine and talking to numerous other people about possible engine purchases I had almost given up. Everything was junk or somebody had just bought it or I got the "I decided not to sell" story.
While searching craigslist I saw this ad
"Have a Ford 351 Windsor taken out of an '89 Bronco. Have all parts to go along with engine including another set of heads. Engine has all new bearings, pistons, bored .030" over. Short block completely rebuilt. Heads are not done. Would make a great project. Painted Old Ford Motor Blue. Pictures soon to come. Make me a reasonable offer."
So I emailed the guy because he was only 1 town away. I was really looking for just a shortblock and didn't want anything else.
His email responses kept saying make me an offer. I kept replying that I need to know what's in it before I can make an offer. Yesterday I got an email from him saying someone had offered him $200 for it and he wanted me to have the first crack at it. I said I'll do $300. I figured I could backout once I got there if it looked like anything wasn't right. He accepted my offer and we scheduled a time to pick it up from his work. He sent me the address and it was an auto repair shop.
My confidence was increasing that this might be a good deal, after all if he works at a garage then he probably knows something about rebuilding engines so the rebuild will most likely be done correctly.
When I got there we started talking about the shortblock and it turns out that for his job he took an engine rebuild class at the junior college. This was his "project" for the class and he said "I rebuilt it with hyper pistons and a mustang roller cam". As we walked over to his truck I kept thinking why would he install a roller cam in a flat tappet block. I figured I would just pull the cam and put in a flat tappet cam. We arrived at his ford ranger and the pickup bed full of parts including the shortblock wrapped up neatly in plastic. We opened the bag up and everything looked great. It had a nice crosshatch on the cylinder walls, the threads had all been chased, and it had moly lube on the cam and bearings.
He then said "take what you want because I am just throwing this stuff away." Bewildered I said how much more do you want for this. His response "nothing, my dad wants this junk out of the garage". So I grabbed the full gasket set, the arp bolt kit (intake,exhaust,oil pan, motor mount, timing cover, fuel pump and some others). I also grabbed an efi timing cover, tfi dizzy, pushrods. He also had a bunch of roller lifters, dogbones and spyder holddown.
I figured I might be able to sell some this stuff and recoupe part of my $300. I gave him the money and we loaded the shortblock up. It was at this point I noticed the casting code on the block F4TE and I couldn't help but smile. Holy crap this 89 bronco had an engine swap at some point and this was a damn roller block.
I felt like I hit the lotto.
So now I will double check all the torque specs and try to locate the rest of the parts necessary to swap this thing in. I already have a 351 oil pan so I will need to find a dizzy (I already have the steel gear), an intake, possibly pushrods and some head bolts.
Thanks for reading this longwinded post. I just had to tell someone because my wife could care less.