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Tired old V8?

I went to look at a truck for plowing yesterday. A '65 F-250 4x4 with a 352. Assuming the OD has turned over at least once, its got around 180kmi. I took the radiator cap off after he had run it for about 5 or 10 minutes and it came off in several pieces (spring, gasket, etc). Looked dry inside, but I couldn’t gauge the level of the coolant. The cap was not warm. This worried me a little… he said he had been starting it and letting it run periodically. Another thing is, after it had been running I took a look at the oil and some smoke came out of the dipstick hole and the oil filer port. Is that a sign of loose rings and valve seals?

Just looking for some advice. Not looking for a rebuild project :slight_smile:

thanks, folks.

The “red flags” are flying all over the place. It’s time to turn and run. Keep looking because you would probably need a wrecker escort anytime you tried to plow.

Agree a lot of uncertainty on this one. Back in '65 they didn’t have much in crankcase emissions so some smoke out of the dipstick might, or might not, be a problem. If you are really interested get the motor to a mechanic for compression check and some other tests.

A new radiator isn’t that hard a job on an old truck like this, but a cracked head would be. If all you want is a beater to plow some snow it might work, but for how long?

Snow plowing is about the toughest duty out there for a truck. Tough on the transmission, and all the drive train. As long as the motor runs decent you can plow. That is as long as the tranny, differentials, and frame hold up to the stress. It can smoke, burn oil, and leak power steering fluid; but if it runs smooth enough you can plow with it.

Good points. This was originally a service truck for a utility company and I’m sure it pushed hard. The engine seemed to run OK, but I don’t know how long it has been run low on coolant and he probably had not changed the oil in the 6 years he owned it. It had an older style push and pull level type system that operates the plow, and the interface with the controls and hydraulic system was leaking. I don’t know what the rebuild cost is for that. I don’t mind working on it, but don’t want to get into replacing heads just yet. Thanks for the thoughts.

A lot of times hydralic leaks are things like 0 ring seals. Just using the system might make is worse or the 0 rings could swell back up, reseat, and reseal and the leak goes away.

If it is a beater the question is how much more beating can it take? Some old trucks can take a lot of punishment. It is a rusty frame that I’d really look at. You can’t fix or replace that.

since you are not looking for a project, turn and run the other way, it has all the indications of worn rings and leaky cooling system that may include blown head gasket.
If you are looking at a great price point, and willing to invest to have some upgrade repairs short of a full blown project, then check the pcv valve, run a compression test, and a bleed down, and run it with a vacume gauge attached. that will tell you all you need to know, oh, and fill the cooling system yourself to find out just how low it is, and then try to determine why it is so low. The hydrolic leaks, unless there is actuall spraying fluid, sound minimal, and maybe you just want the plow without the truck to go with it, for mounting on some other truck?

This is not a “Work Truck”…This is a museum relic. For the same money, you can buy a plow 30 years newer…

Run fast and far. I’d bet my bottom dollar that that smoke that came rising out of the oil filler and dippstick holes was exhaust that had blown past the rings and filled the crankcase cavity.

Nice work checkin’ it out, by the way. It’s a pleasure to hear of someone actually checking things out instead of just assuming.

If it’s more than a few hundred bucks, I’d run away. If it’s only a few hundred bucks, I’d probably still run away, but not quite as fast.

Thanks! I spent almost an hour looking it over. I just like to make sure before I get into something.

The truck was actually an F-250, but the door tag said F-260 body style. It was basically an F-250 for service work with a utility-type bed and heavier suspension. GVR was 6800 pounds. So, that had my interest piqued. He wanted $600, but I did not want to have to get into serious engine work right off the bat. Thanks for the replies. Its helpful to have folks to discuss these things.