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So, this isn't going to be your typical build thread, or, well, it's not going to start out that way. First a little background information, here's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I bought my 2004 F150 SCREW 4X4 Lariat in 2007 with 60k miles on it. The truck was immaculate, and in the glove box were every single record of maintenance ever done to the truck... from day one. The truck was truly well taken care of, and I got it for a pretty decent deal.
So, over the years that I've had it, I really haven't done much to it other than drive it, keep up on the maintenance, and do some towing with it. Overall it's a great truck.
I did have some issues with the truck, a low grade misfire that I was never able to completely resolve, had to replace the PCM around 90K miles, and had 2 broke plugs at 100K miles. Other than that, the truck was great.... until 147K miles... dun dun dun (suspenseful sounding)
See, I was away from home, working out of state, and my wife was driving my truck to keep miles off of her vehicle. She said to me one day, "your truck made a funny noise today" so I asked her to describe it. It was the phaser tick noise, but she said it went away after about 30 seconds. I told her to keep an ear out if it happened again, to let me know. Well, it never happened again so on one of my visits home, we're out running errands, it starts making the noise again. She says "there it is, thats the sound it was making". So I listen to it, and as I'm pulling away from a stop light, clank ching cling ding ring. The motor barely gets me through the intersection, I pull over, shut it down and get towed home by a friend. I run the codes, and I get a driver's side cam position sensor failure. So, I run up to the store, get a new CPS, swap it out, try to start the truck, and nothing but smoke comes out of the tailpipe. I try to no avail and end up getting it towed to the dealer.
After a week at the dealer, they can't tell me whats wrong with it and say that I have low compression on the #8 cylinder. They said that to diagnosis it any further, they would have to tear the engine down at a cost of $800 and may still have to replace it, or to just replace it for $7500. Me, not wanting to take a chance, and not having an extra $7500, decide to have it towed home and work on it myself when I return home full time.
As I get into the tear down, I see that drivers side valve train looks good, but when I try to turn the motor over by hand, I'm not able to make a full revolution. This told me something was wrong in the passenger side valve train. So, engine removal it is...
After getting the motor out, and pulling off the passenger side valve cover, I find this
And I pulled a valve spring and two rockers out of the valley of the head
So, I pulled the head, and took a look at it. I see that there are 2 valves still in the head, and theres one missing with some damage
So geee, where is that missing valve? Oh, there it is, implanted into the top of the piston
So, at this point, I was in a pickle. I started researching what I wanted to do, whether build a motor, or get a re-manufactured motor I went through every possible scenario including performance upgrades, stock rebuild, having a motor build, what parts to use.... and I came out with some pretty wild numbers. Not to mention, all while I was doing this, I was working on my masters degree and working full time. If anyone here knows the amount of time it takes to work and work on classes, you'll understand why it's taken me almost a year to get to this point.
So, one day I was on another f150 forum, and my mind about my motor got made up real quick. Another member had bought a remanufactured long block from a company that I was looking at. It turns out, that member was not going to end up using the motor and decided to sell it, and sold it a bit cheaper than he bought it for. So I jumped on it. I bought it and had it shipped from Salt Lake City UT to Orlando Fl.