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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I've got a dilemma. I've got a 1999 F250 4x4 pickup. Body is in good shape (no real rust to speak of on anything but the bottom of the driver's door), runs great, drives great, has a plow setup (plow blade is beat and has holes, but it works. :) ) 125K miles.

It's my extra vehicle that I use on very rare occasions, and sometimes to plow the driveway. I've owned it for 10 years and put 8000 miles on it in that time.

It has the 5.4L Triton, which (insane as it may sound) has a heater hose/pipe that runs underneath the intake manifold. Yes, you can guess - that is now leaking (or that is at least what it looks like - it could be the hose at the back of the block too.) Common thing with these I gather. It just leaks coolant all over the ground right now, I refill as necessary.

Cost to fix at a local garage or dealer (I've checked around) is varying from cheap to expensive (edit: I've called a few other places since posting, and the costs now vary widely from $600 to $1500 depending on the problem.) It's labor intensive if you have to pull the intake - pull the intake, and to get to the intake, pull apart 1/2 the engine bay. Fix a $40 pipe, put it all back together. BTW - yes, I have checked the redneck fixes for this to just route around the problem. The problem is, this is a 1999. It has both the upper and a very large lower intake manifold that they changed starting in 2000. There is no real way to get to the hose on a 1999 without pulling the intake off. I may still attempt to see if I can do the route around fix, but if not, I'm then down the path of fix it myself because it will be dead in the water (so to speak) at that point.

Everything is crusty under there. I guarantee bolts and brackets will break, etc. Many/most hoses are original 21 year old vintage. If I do it, I'll probably get it apart and not back together given my luck without some major surgery to something.

So - attempt to fix it myself? Have a dealer/garage fix it? Sell it? Let it sit and become a very large planter? Target practice?
 

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Attempt to fix it yourself. Take your time and soak the crusty bolts in penetrating oil ahead of time - this is how we've all been able to disassemble our 50+ year old Chevelles after all ;) . And since you don't drive it much to begin with, who cares if the job takes you a while?

If you're not up for that, then sell it so it doesn't just sit there.
 
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What about a new / used engine?? After hearing your description, I was ready to sell it, and its not even mine! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As a little bit of context, here is what I'm dealing with. Note that big aluminum spider is the upper intake manifold. And you only see the front part of it, there is more buried up in there. There is also a lower one under it, and under that is the valley that the hose goes through to the back of the engine. Also note that about 1/3rd of the engine and all the hoses and such are up underneath the cowl. All that stuff from the alternator back has to come out.

I am tempted to do it myself and take my time, and yes, that's how I learned about old cars and stuff - but this is a completely different beast with all the fuel rails, coils, wiring, plumbing, etc needing to be dealt with... Just to change a freakin' heater hose. Ugh. I'd love to meet the brain surgeon that designed this.
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IMG_5569.JPG
 

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Isn't that the engine with the 'next to impossible' to remove spark plugs without breaking them off in the head?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's the 3 valve version introduced in 2004 or 2005 I believe. This is the 2 valve version that isn't as bad (or so I've been told...)

Isn't that the engine with the 'next to impossible' to remove spark plugs without breaking them off in the head?
 

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Doesn’t sound like you’re heartbroken about it. Anything is fixable, but is it worth the effort? I take it you own it free and clear with no payment, and that’s worth something in itself. Only you can decide what your time and effort are worth to do the job yourself, versus what value the money it would cost to have someone else do the job. What would it cost to replace the truck with equivalent?

Devin
 

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Automotive engineers suck.
 

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Ok well let’s think this through.

option A. Sell it. Well if you sell it will you need to replace it with another vehicle? That could be costly. If you do sell it and are honest about the leak you will have to sell it cheap or for a couple $K less than what one with this repair already done.

option B. Pay someone else to fix it. To be honest $1,500.00 doesn’t sound bad for a repair of that depth. That is if you have someone you can trust and they won’t tell you $1.5K but charge you $2.8K. Also if you did fix this issue do you feel you could get at least 3-5 years more out of it without running into big expense.

option C. Fix it yourself. If you think you can get it done without killing yourself and you don’t mind doing the work it may be worth considering. Are there any videos on doing this job? would it possibly be easier to just pull the engine and work on it out in the open? Maybe a couple other things could be done at same time?
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I’m thinking option A. And I’ll be honest about it and let the buyer decide.

I edited my first post to reflect a few more quotes. One was as low as $600, which I suspect will fall into the “we hit issues and now it’s $2.8K”.

I don’t need to replace it, since I use it so rarely now.



Ok well let’s think this through.

option A. Sell it. Well if you sell it will you need to replace it with another vehicle? That could be costly. If you do sell it and are honest about the leak you will have to sell it cheap or for a couple $K less than what one with this repair already done.

option B. Pay someone else to fix it. To be honest $1,500.00 doesn’t sound bad for a repair of that depth. That is if you have someone you can trust and they won’t tell you $1.5K but charge you $2.8K. Also if you did fix this issue do you feel you could get at least 3-5 years more out of it without running into big expense.

option C. Fix it yourself. If you think you can get it done without killing yourself and you don’t mind doing the work it may be worth considering. Are there any videos on doing this job? would it possibly be easier to just pull the engine and work on it out in the open? Maybe a couple other things could be done at same time?
 

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Can you get it from underneath? Cut the hose off and reroute it?
 

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If you want to keep this truck as a spare vehicle, would it be possible to just cap the leaking hose/pipe and run it without a heater since you don't drive it a lot anyway?
 

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How much is it worth with and without repair? That would be my guide. I’d probably do it myself to control the cost and the quality of the repair.

It’s one of those things where there’s a guy out there that can probably fix it for $800 and be better than the $1,500 repair. You just have to find him.
 

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I had to replace the knock sensors on my pickup - which are under the intake. I don't think the gen 3 (aka LS) engines have as much crap to remove as those furds do though. Even so, disconnect lots of connectors (with fiddly easily broken tabs), disconnect fuel line and other hoses.... figure out a way to keep the wiring harness out of the way, unbolt the intake, then pull it up and out.

Also, in the early gen 3 engines, the coolant air bleed tubing runs to all 4 corners of the head. Thanks to GM using foam baffles underneath the intake to keep dirt and water away from the knock sensors (which obviously never worked), it held water that ultimately rusts out the bleed tube! Mine was not far from going through when I did that job. And that part's no longer available either.

The sucky part about doing that job was that one of my new knock sensors failed in just a few months.... prompting having to do the job over again!:mad: I haven't done that yet because I learned of a cheat --- connecting the good sensor to both computer feeds... tricks the computer into thinking all is well. I'll replace the hacked harness when I get under there again -- someday soon.;)

So, I say do it - I found it immensely satisfying to remedy the errors that many people say can only be done by a garage with all those modern diagnostic tools. Bah! With the code(s), a little research will usually net the proper solution in short order.
 

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Paid for, don't need it much but still use it occasionally. That's what I call a wood hauler. It's worth more to have it than what you can sell it for. And if you want another one in the same condition and known background, it'll cost more to buy one that what it's worth. In my book, bypass the pipe if you can and take you time tearing it down if you can't. Soak hardware with BP Blaster or Kroil.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Can you get it from underneath? Cut the hose off and reroute it?
Unfortunately, no. The lower intake is in the way in the front, and in the rear I can barely get a borescope in there - forget any tools of any kind.

If you want to keep this truck as a spare vehicle, would it be possible to just cap the leaking hose/pipe and run it without a heater since you don't drive it a lot anyway?
Not that I can see - no real room to get in there.

How much is it worth with and without repair? That would be my guide. I’d probably do it myself to control the cost and the quality of the repair.

It’s one of those things where there’s a guy out there that can probably fix it for $800 and be better than the $1,500 repair. You just have to find him.
Right now I’m looking up book values on Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and NADA. All are relatively close together. I’m surprised at what they are - they are right about what I paid for it when I bought it 10 years ago (without the coolant leak factor.)

Paid for, don't need it much but still use it occasionally. That's what I call a wood hauler. It's worth more to have it than what you can sell it for. And if you want another one in the same condition and known background, it'll cost more to buy one that what it's worth. In my book, bypass the pipe if you can and take you time tearing it down if you can't. Soak hardware with BP Blaster or Kroil.
lol yup I was talking with the wife, and we figured out that I used it 4 times this year total. Twice to haul firewood, once to haul our kayaks to the lake, once to plow 2 inches of snow off the driveway (Because I just felt like using the plow instead of the snowblower.) A few other times I drove it just to drive it so it didn’t sit. Each year, insurance costs me about $600 on it. Plus registration every 2 years and $35 for yearly inspection. For the 3 of the times I used it this year other than the one plowing job, I could have rented an 8 foot pickup from uHaul down the street for $30 for the day plus mileage. Less than the yearly insurance bill by a lot.

I don’t use it enough to justify even the insurance cost anymore, much less the price of maintenance and repairs. Heck the tires have great tread, but are aging out as well.

It does have the convenience factor of just being there at a moments notice (when it’s working.) Those moments are few and far between, and it is suffering from just sitting and never driving as small things fail here and there (a trans cooler line rusted through, and the shifter linkage needed replacing from seizing up from sitting for example.)

At this point, I think I’m back to option A - sell it. Now just trying to set the price, list it and see what happens. It’s actually a good time of year in the Northeast to be selling a plow truck.
 

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JMHO, if you aren't gonna sell it, farm the job out. Personally, I had enough fixing things like that during my career as a Mechanic. I do brake jobs and that is about it now!!
 
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