Need advice/guidance with an oil pan repair
I have an early `99 (10/98) F250 CC SB 2x4 with 330K miles and the dreaded ‘rusted out oil pan’. This is my work/play truck, I’m the original owner, and do 90% of the work on it. I need some advice and guidance on how to approach this project.
Basic specs are: Superchips programmer set at Race level for past 10 years / 230K miles (I can’t find the programmer!), DR Performance injectors, stock turbo w/ wastegate disabled, 4” turbo-back exhaust, stock air intake filter assy w/ K&N, BD Trans controller, BD exhaust brake controller, custom built auto trans, 3.57 gears, gauges; boost, exh temp w/ alarm, trans/diff temp.
The engine has the “California Cackle”, but otherwise has been a great runner, burns 2 qrts of oil every 5K miles like it has from day one, and occasionally I can still sneak 20 mpg highway out of it.
The truck never sees anything less than a 1,000# payload (tools and equipment) and often tows 3-6K# trailers and an occasional 12K# toy hauler. After driving every other late model Powerstroke, Duramax and Cummins, I’ve decided I’m keeping this truck which will see 25 – 35K miles/year for the foreseeable future provided I can stay ahead of the corrosion.
Research on this site tells me that the only way to ensure that the oil pan seals properly with the block is to pull the engine. Funds are limited and time is short but if I have to R&R the engine I thought I should think about some upgrades/preventative maintenance while it’s out.
So here is what I’m facing and not entirely sure how to approach,
The engine has an intermittent skip that only shows itself at very low power settings (just off the IVS switch) when at 2,000+ rpm (highway speed, light cruise) or a little deeper into pedal when rpms are lower, 1,100+ rpm, (this you can hear as well as feel as it “cackles” very unevenly). But the skip either goes away (or is covered up) when I stick my foot into it; accelerating or climbing a grade. A recent scan/test of the engine showed only one (1) issue; the contribution test showed that the #8 injector has a pietal (sp?) value of 4+ compared to all the other injectors at 1+/-. I don’t know what these numbers actually mean, but the mechanic that ran the scan for me feels that the #8 injector is weak and may be on its way to out and that this could explain the skip. So, should I R&R the injectors while the engine is out?
I was also thinking of upgrading the turbo to something that could hopefully start to boost around 1,200 rpm to provide some more low-end grunt when driving around town w/ trailers 35-50 mph. But if I understand this all correctly, my turbo options are about “0” because it’s an early `99. All the aftermarket turbos I’ve come across so far are for `99.5 and later engines only. And that converting an “early” engine to a “later” engine requires swapping out the entire intake system and up-pipes. Am I correct or am I missing something?
So my big questions are these. Do I upgrade/covert this early engine with only bolt-on mods/parts, replace the oil pan and injectors? Or, should I just replace the injectors and oil pan for now, buy a “later” used engine, do a proper rebuild/upgrade (including the heads, etc.), and swap the engines later? I know the latter is the “right” answer, but it’s also significantly more expensive.
I’d be grateful for some input from any of you on this. Sorry, I didn’t mean to write a small novel, but I wanted to give you the important information.