Advice needed - 98 S-10 Blazer 4x4 LT w/ Engine Damage

blazer
s-10

#1

I screwed up. I was moving from south Texas to Colorado and had a U-Haul trailer that I was towing. I was doing fine until I got into the hills near Austin and then had trouble. (The trailer was not overloaded and was less than half full.)

Going up a hill, my engine started clacking and I lost acceleration power. (yes, I was in overdrive - which I now know I shouldn’t have been). I immediately pulled off the road and into a gas station. Upon stopping, my oil pressure gague dropped to zero and my engine temp maxxed out. The temp was fine until I stopped. I let the engine cool off for an hour and made a lot of phone calls for help - eventually finding an AutoZone and Goodyear service center only 4 miles away that would see me. I idled there and they took a look/listen.

After listening to it for a few seconds, I was told that I had a problem they couldn’t fix. We put a compression fix oil additive in it to see if that would help. It did raise the oil pressure when cold and when running with the RPMs up, but after running for a few minutes, the pressure would drop to zero on idle. At that point, they suggested that I shouldn’t drive it anymore. I then rented a box truck and an auto trailer and trailered my truck the rest of the way.

I’m now in Fort Collins, Colorado and have a dilemma. I had a local mechanic look at the truck and he also agrees that I have a failed/failing rod bearing. (back of the engine near the firewall)

The question is to repair or abandon the vehicle. I’m not a mechanic and can’t do the repair myself. It has 158K miles and has been meticulously maintained. Unless I also damaged something else, the rest of the truck is in good shape. Is rebuilding the engine possible or even worth it? A rebuild kit is $600 plus labor. And, I priced a reman engine at around $2,300 - which with labor is more than the truck is worth on BlueBook.

Aside from the obvious recrimination regarding my stupidity and doing this to myself, I would welcome your thoughts or advice.


#2

Seems like you already know the outcome of this adventure. Your options are to rebuild it or replace the motor. Both will cost more than the truck is worth, so your best bet would be to limp it to the local junk yard, and put the dosh towards a new ride.

The only option you haven’t considered is a junk yard motor. They’re never really a safe bet, but you might get a few months to a year out of one. If you’re really lucky, maybe a few years. Not all motors are there because they failed, and some trucks were actually wrecked because of accidents.

Best of luck,
Chase


#3

At 13 years of age and 160k miles I could not see spending big bucks for a reman engine and I would take that 600 dollar figure with a large grain of salt. That may pay for a minor overhaul set but there’s the issue of a ton of automotive machine shop work. (crankshaft grinding, cylinder boring, etc, etc, etc, etc)
That sounds like what is often considered an “in car minor overhaul” and the final results may be very shaky to put it politely.

A salvage yard motor or something like that would be the best option but as chaissos says, you never really know about what you’re getting.

You might check with some of the larger yards in that area and ask if they do installs. Some will do an installation for a nominal fee and in the event there’s a problem they will be the ones on the hook for redoing it.
I’ve spent some time around that area and I kind of remember there being a few large yards in that neighborhood but I do not remember the names.
Hope that helps and good luck.


#4

Yeah, thanks guys. Second and third opinions here are telling me the same thing. It’s a waste of time and money to even attempt fixing it. Accept the loss, junk (or part out) the vehicle, take the cash, and put it toward another truck. Sucks, too, because two days before I left I put about $1,500 in preventive maintenance into it getting it all prepped for the move. I really loved that Blazer - new BFG T/A KO 30x9.50 tires, new belts and hoses, radiator flush, oil change, transmission check including 4x4 service & lube, new battery, detail, etc.

Effectively, I now have a very large, well-maintained yard ornament.

But, hey, my wife can’t dispute that I DO need a new truck now…

Time to go shopping. :slight_smile:


#5

I like ok4450’s idea of getting a salvage yard to do a swap with a used engine. Your engine is quite common and usually a reliable and durable engine. Make sure they put on a new oil pan gasket and timing cover gasket before the swap, as these are common failure points on this truck and require the engine to be pulled to repair. If you fix it, you could keep it as your winter beater, and buy something newer to drive when the weather is good.