Value of SUV with High Miles and Engine Problem - What To Do With It?

I have a 2003 Lincoln Navigator with 156K miles. The engine shut down without warning. Towed it to the nearest Ford dealership. They could not find any codes from the computer, but note that compression was lost in the left cylinder bank. The mechanics said the likely cause is a cracked cylinder head and this known to occur in my model year. Cost to fix approx $5K. They recommended a refurb engine that comes with a warranty at approx $7K (incl labor). I checked Edmunds TrueValue (w/o engine problem): Trade In - $3699, Private Retail - $4794. KBB (w/o engine problem): Trade In - $3211, Private Party - $5351. My dilemma is I prefer to put 5K or 7K into the purchase of a new vehicle, but I don’t know what to do with the Nav. Trade-in doesn’t seem possible given repair vs current value. What can I do with the Nav and what’s the most I can get for it in it’s current condition? There’s a lot of useable parts in the vehicle; just seems like it should be worth something. Any suggestions?

Donate the Nav to charity and take a tax deduction.

I’d probably take it to the scrapyard. A big heavy vehicle like that ought to net you $400-500, less whatever expense is incurred in getting it to the scrapyard.

A more labor-intensive route (but with better return) would be to pull parts off of it (starter, alternator, etc) and sell them online.

There’s no way it’ll net you the $5K

The trouble with the donation is that under the current rules you can only deduct what the charity actually sells the vehicle for. In its current state, the won’t be worth the effort. But it IS a way to get rid of it. Just don;t expect to get the $5K that you hope to put down on the next car.

Sounds like dealer wants to sell u new car. An entire cylinder head does not read zero compression on all 4 cylinders. Even a blown head gasket will give u some compression on several cylinders. Any good garage can replace 1 cyl der head for 1500 or so. U do not need a complete new or remained engine. If ur overhead cam timing chains are ok than u only need a good head installed.

The first dealer wanted to get me into a new vehicle - I recognized that. I took it to an automotive shop that doesn’t sell vehicles - one that was recommended by a friend who had a remanded engine put in their Expedition and were very happy with the results. This company indicated going the repair route is $4-5K. I decided to buy another vehicle regardless. I’m just trying to determine what I can do with the Nav. I will follow-up with repair shops on Stoveguyy’s comments - explore the possibilities. But, no one I’ve talked to so far has mentioned anything in that cost range based on the symptoms. If I have to junk it, I will take out the stereo/navigation and other key items that I can store in the garage. First time I’ve had a vehicle where the engine failed - takes away a lot of options. Thanks.

Put it on Craig’s list for $2,000, people are always looking for vehicles to fix to save a buck. Before long someone will offer you a thousand for it.

I’d dispute the cracked head part. Ford heat treats all their heads so they won’t crack or warp. At the factory, they are heated up to almost 500°C (about 900°F) and dunked into a tank of boiling water, then aged at around 250°C (about 450°F) for 6 hours or so.

I’m also a bit skeptical about the bad head diagnosis. They state compression was lost on the left bank. They should have provided you with raw numbers instead of a “likely” diagnosis.

The engine was apparently fine until it shut down without warning and that’s really not the sign of a cracked head.
The scenario I come up with is the possibility of a broken cam gear or chain but that should make some noise when it let go and it should also affect the other bank.

It would be interesting to know the diagnostics involved and how they came to the cracked head conclusion.

How about donating it to your local high school or junior college auto shop class? I’m sure they’d appreciate it. And in return they might fix a problem or two on your next car as a favor to you for your generosity.

ok4450, “compression was lost” was just my summarization as I was more focused on disposal than spending $K trying to fix it. Everyone I talk to says they have to go into the engine to find the actual problem/answer - racking up labor costs at a minimum. All of this is likely to end with a repair that I won’t want to pay for (as opposed to putting that money into another vehicle). My attitude at this point is to cut my losses on a SUV with 156K miles. My comments to the service dept: “I was driving, the oil light came on, then the engine starting missing, then vehicle stalled. Engine turns over, starts, but stalls. I had an oil change 2 days prior”. I was driving about 40mph and this all happened in a span of less than a minute. Service dept calls next day and provides a report that says: “Start vehicle. Stalls and barely runs. Hook up IDS. No codes. Replaced fuel filter. Vehicle idles, still no codes. Vehicle has misfires on all 4 cylinders on drivers side #5,6,7 and 8 bank 2. Power balance performed 7-12 percent difference. Needs cylinder head on drivers side.”

The oil light coming on gives me a clue. First, why did the oil light come on? If the engine lost oil pressure, it would immediately affect the valve operation. The rocker arms on this engine are suspended between the lifters at one end and the valve stem at the other.

It actually hinges on the lifter, although in this engine, the lifter is not actually a lifter. The cam rides on top of the rocker arms and pushes down on a roller in the center of the rocker. If oil pressure is lost, then the lifters will collapse and the cam will have almost nothing to push on.

There is an oil passage that runs from front to back on this head that supplies oil to the lifters. There is just a plug (0.25" freeze plug) on each end. Has anyone checked to see if one of the plugs came out? Has anyone checked the oil level?

U should get 1500 as is private party. It needs a 2k head repair. Can u find a nice car for 2k? Would u want to drive it? A used motor is 1k. Any shop will put it in for 1k.

Keith, that was the first thing I checked. My gut reaction was someone left filter, plug, dipstick, or cap untightened after the oil change. But, I had not noticed any leaks. No aroma of oil burning. No smoke. And, the oil level was right on the line. I could not see any oil loss. Service dept did not reference any issues with oil loss.

Stoveguyy, thanks. From everything I’ve read and research so far, looks like I should be happy to get 1500 and be done. I haven’t gone to the junk yards looking for a used engine, but I took a peek online because I was curious. Did not see any used engines for 2003 Lincoln Navigator for 1K. Nor has any shops in my area said they could drop in an engine into this vehicle for 1K. But, I don’t want to go this route anyway - with a used engine.