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Need sound advice on seized F250 V10

Ok, I need some good advice on which way to go…I have an 03 F250 w/ the 6.8 V10 and was pulling a camper to Myrtle Beach this past weekend in 100+ heat. With no warning I heard a loud clatter, looked at the gauges, the check engine light and oil light were on. Pulled over immediately, and shut down. Tried to restart to no avail. Got towed to the AAA service center where it sat for a day. They finally got to it and it started right up w/ clatter. They shut it down, put 3.5 qts of oil in to bring it up to the correct level on the stick. Started it up and clatter went away. But no pressure on the oil gauge. They put a pressure gauge on the pump itself and found no pressure. Said I needed to have the pump replaced. In comparing costs, Ford said they’d never had to replace an oil pump and that it may be something else. I asked if the intake screen in the oil pan could be clogged w/ sludge? They said if it is I may as well get a new block @ $2500 + labor as the cams are probably bad. To drop the oil pan and inspect for blockage would be $600. I had others tell me to go ahead and replace the engine and have read online about how cleaning out the screen, etc may solve the problem. I realize there is obviously some amount of damage to the engine. I just don’t want to put $5000 into the truck if a $1000 will fix the problem. No compression checks, etc have been done, only the pressure from oil pump. I believe the book calls for 6 or so qts of oil and they only had to add 3.5 to get it up to the proper level, so we know there was oil in there but don’t know where the rest went. Thx

Somebody has to start opening it up or the condition will remain a mystery. They have to at least look at the pump because no pressure means check the pump. You won’t know anything at all until it is done.

It’s my opinion the engine is damaged goods now. It’s possible the oil pump could have gone bad but that’s kind of iffy at this point.

The problem with oil capacity is that the remaining 2.5 qts is not all lying in the bottom of the oil pan. It’s in suspension, which means it’s coating everything in the engine, pooling in numerous cubbyholes, filling up oil galleys, etc. This means the oil pump was more than likely sucking air at some point and it only takes a few seconds for the overlay in the bearings to disappear.

Before replacing an oil pump, etc. I believe I would drop the oil pan, remove a few main and rod bearing caps (preferably near the rear of the crankshaft as they’re further away from the oil pump) and note if the bearings are gone, crankshaft scored, etc.

You did not state the vehicle mileage, but if the oil disappeared then it has to have been burnt in the engine, leaked, or possibly not filled all the way if you had a recent oil change performed.

Did I read right, the engine seized up? If so, you ain’t got a prayer fixing it for $1000. You’ll be putting an engine in it.