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Post Info TOPIC: Engine died. It's decision time and would welcome some advice.


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Engine died. It's decision time and would welcome some advice.
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As many of you know, we are planning on going FT when we retire in about 3 years. Almost 2 years ago we bought a 6.4l 08 F-250 to pull a TT that we planned to purchase when the time comes. However we just had a little setback.

When on vacation last month, camping in the Smokies with our little Aliner, we were returning from visiting our son in Gastonia, NC when a rocker arm broke. We had it repaired at Mountain Ford in Bryson City and it ran great almost all the way back home - till we reached the MS, LA line. Then it started acting up again. We limped home and my local repair shop found that another rocker arm had broken. After replacing the complete rocker set on the driver's side (and associated parts) they discovered that one of the lifters wasn't working. 

Now I've got about $1,800 into this motor and need to make a decision. At a minimum it will need a lifter or two and possibly the driver's cam, (maybe $5-$6k in repairs) or there could be lots of internal damage requiring a $10k repair for rebuilt long block and labor. Of course you can't tell what it needs until it's torn down - the point of no return.

Ten grand is about what my repaired truck is worth, so it's decision time. I can either bite the bullet and repair it (but who knows what caused it and if it might happen again, in which case I'd be SOL) or sell the truck for salvage (about $2k) and get a used gas motorhome a little later to FT in. If I go this route, I'd be towing my 06 Chevy Cobalt SS (that I am having a new transmission put in as I type this) as a dingy, as it is flat towable. I've been pricing used Class A's as I contemplate my options and found I can get a decent older (yet low mileage) one for within $5-8k of the TT I was planning on purchasing. This is the direction I'm leaning, but I am looking for yawl's valued opinion. The money saved not purchasing a TT hitch will be offset by a tow bar and brake system for the toad, so this is a financial wash.  Of course we'll probably have to give up our 2 little motorbikes, but as we age they become less practical transportation alternatives anyway.

I know that comparing a MH to a truck and TT is apples and oranges, but what would you guys do if you were in our shoes? Just for a lifestyle reference, once we go FT we'll be monthly movers and are planning on boondockng about 50% of the time, as we'll be on a limited budget.

Thanks in advance for your kind advise.

Chip  

 

 



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2008 F-250 6.4l supercab 2wd - motor blew, cost more than truck so sold it for scrap

Now looking for a used Cass A gasser for FT use.

2006 Aliner XLE pulled by a Chevy Cobalt SS with 380k miles and counting. It will be my FT toad



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Likely wiped out a cam lobe.....



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Thanks Trailerking.

That's what I'm thinking. Min. of a cam and 2 lifters - about $6k, and that's if the oil pump hasn't been damaged. And then there's finding and fixing the cause - I suspect getting rid of the DPF and EGR will do it - another $1,500 or so to do while it is apart. That's why I'm thinking to just sell it and start over in another direction. Diesels are too rich for my blood.

Chip

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2008 F-250 6.4l supercab 2wd - motor blew, cost more than truck so sold it for scrap

Now looking for a used Cass A gasser for FT use.

2006 Aliner XLE pulled by a Chevy Cobalt SS with 380k miles and counting. It will be my FT toad



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My first thought is to go with the MH.

It's your choice.... but as my wife always reminds me.... you'll be buying someone's problems.

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Chip,

Sorry to hear of all those problems.  I don't know how many miles you have on the truck, but being an '08 model, I'd say a change just might be necessary.  The one big drawback I see to the purchase of the motorhome would be that with 2 or 3 years yet to go before full-timing, would there be a problem of only having the Cobalt to use as a daily driver?  If that wouldn't be a problem, I'd say the motorhome would be the way to go, unless you later decide to stay longer than a month in various places.

I certainly hope that things begin to look up for you, and hope the Cobalt's engine doesn't go out next.  After all, it is 2 years older than your truck.

Terry



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Terry and Jo wrote:
 and hope the Cobalt's engine doesn't go out next.  After all, it is 2 years older than your truck.

Terry


 Hahaha..........Terry you sure know how to "Rain on the Parade".

But yeah that's the reality of it all.



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The TT should be easier to maintain and repair. I'd say if you already picked out the TT that you want to full-time with then I see no reason to switch to a motorhome. I would look at either fixing the Ford or finding a replacement.

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Thanks for the replies all.

If I decide to keep the truck (which is doubtful now) I think I'll just go with a rebuilt blueprinted long block from Blackwater engines. My truck engine now has 147k miles on it, but the specs published by International (the engine manufacturer) says it has a B-50 life of 500k miles. However my experience indicates otherwise. A spare vehicle would sure come in handy, but I couldn't afford another engine in the truck if it ever died again.

Yes my Cobalt will need a new engine in a couple years, as it currently has 300k miles on it now (but doesn't burn a drop of oil and still has good compression). The 2.4l LE5 engine in my Cobalt is the most reliable engine GM has ever built (according to GM stats). I could drop a good used engine (around 50k miles) in it for around $2,200 - a far cry from what a new engine in my truck would cost and a fraction of what a new or even a low mileage used car would cost. If I decided to sell my Cobalt I doubt I could get $800 for it with 300k miles on the clock, though it's worth much more to me cause I know how it was maintained.

If I get a motorhome with a Ford 6.8l V-10 gas engine and it dies, I can replace it with a rebuilt one for under $3k, (plus labor) not $15k (plus labor) that they want for a rebuilt diesel like mine.

There are many good, low-mileage used MHs in the $20-$25k range on RV Trader. My truck will cost $11.5k to fix (with the DPF and EGR delete) plus $15-20k for the TTs I'm looking at, making the truck + TT option about $6.5k more. I wouldn't mind spending the extra if I felt it wouldn't break again, but once bitten twice shy, I will always have a lingering doubt as to the durability of this diesel engine. I couldn't sell the truck for what I will have in it after it is repaired, but can have been offered $2k for it now. I just don't want to throw good money after bad and repair the truck only to have it break again after we are retired and living on around $30k/yr. when I can't afford to spend another $10k+ to get it repaired again.

Another option is to find a good used F-250/350 with a v-10 gas engine to pull my planned TT, as it has the same tow rating as my diesel does. Not only will it be cheaper to buy, but if the engine dies in the future, I'm looking at about 1/3rd the repair costs vs. a diesel.

Decisions, decisions. Thanks for your help.

Chip


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2008 F-250 6.4l supercab 2wd - motor blew, cost more than truck so sold it for scrap

Now looking for a used Cass A gasser for FT use.

2006 Aliner XLE pulled by a Chevy Cobalt SS with 380k miles and counting. It will be my FT toad



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Its up to you. As they say to each his own. An 08 is only 6 yrs. old. A new engine and you ought to be good to go for many years to come. Weigh it all out and good luck in your travels.

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Uh, an '08 truck is almost 9 years old ('17 models will be out shortly).

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If I'm reading your original post correctly, your '08 6.4 is a PowerStroke. If that is the case, it would be throwing bad money after good to put any more money into that engine. Of everything Ford has made, the 6.4 has the poorest track record for reliability and longevity. Whether you go with the motorhome or a new truck and a trailer, I would not put any more money - especially thousands - into the 6.4. 

Rob



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Anyone see this thread is almost 8 months old? I would have to believe that the original poster has already moved on to doing something long ago. Confuses me why people kick start a thread more then a couple of months old. Just my opinion.

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Thanks for the reply, Second Chance.

I have indeed moved on, sold the truck tor salvage and am saving my pennies for used Class A gasser and I'm planning on flat towing my little Cobalt. I think I can get the most RV for my money choosing his option.

I'm looking at something with at least 4,000 lbs of CCC, so there is enough payload capacity to add a large solar system for boondocking (along with carrying all our worldly possessions.) Does everyone think I need to be looking at a tag axle model to get this much carrying capacity? It's much harder to determine carrying capacity of a Class A than a trailer from the info posted online. They often give the GVWR but not the actual empty scale weight. From the few calls I've made to the dealership salesmen, they are of no help either, as I'm looking for a hard number before I make an offer, and not a vague assurance pulled out of their... well you know. It's amazing to me how they expect to sell their units without this information. I don't want to drive across the country to pick up an RV only to discover, after weighing it on a CAT scale, that it is unsuitable for our needs.

I've already started "the purge," having a truck from Habitat for Humanity stop by yesterday to pick up some donations. I just need to know how much we must get rid of - for instance is there room for about 100 lbs of stereo gear for my home theater? How many tools can I keep (I used to be a mechanic and like to fix things myself)? 75 lbs worth? 100 lbs worth? To make an informed decision we must weigh everything and do the math. Carrying capacity is a very important consideration for us; even a deal breaker. I'm not surprised it's not at the top of every full-timer's short list.

The adventure continues.

Chip

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2008 F-250 6.4l supercab 2wd - motor blew, cost more than truck so sold it for scrap

Now looking for a used Cass A gasser for FT use.

2006 Aliner XLE pulled by a Chevy Cobalt SS with 380k miles and counting. It will be my FT toad



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Rickl wrote:

Anyone see this thread is almost 8 months old? I would have to believe that the original poster has already moved on to doing something long ago. Confuses me why people kick start a thread more then a couple of months old. Just my opinion.


 Because the date is in very small type, off to the side, so when you are reading the OP and followups, it is not located where the eye naturally goes as you scroll down - especially if you are old, like a few of us, and the eye muscles are slower to bring things into focus.



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2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)

Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net

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