Freaking out, head gasket blew

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technerd88

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I don't even know how to start this but I'm absolutely freaking out. So when covid first started I and my partner were forced out of our apartment because the landlord didn't take care of anything. Didn't even have a working bathroom and the floor was so bad it felt like I was going to fall through it. Landlord blamed us even though there was no way we could have done this. Bad luck with landlords as the one before this one had left us with a flooded apartment and never even came to help us knowing we didn't have the money to sue...go figure. So essentially during covid we were forced out so we had no choice but to stay in a motel for a year while I did my absolute best to fix up our truck which involved a new transmission and engine. Got it in there, started it and drove great. Thought I was good and ok at least and was finally going to be able to leave the damn motel after a year and 23,000$ maybe more, have the receipts still from it. I thought I was finally going to be able to save money to be able to afford help for my illness but that turned out to be a big nope. Went to go get my truck from the lot I paid to park it in just the day after I was done doing the final things I had to do to be able to drive it, like registration and insurance...etc. Went to fire it up, got most of the way back to the motel to get our stuff, and bam engine locks up. I freaked out and burst into tears. I thought it was my fault but after getting a tow back to the motel as it was closer the next day I drained the oil and there was gritty sand in it...oddly exactly like what the truck lot I was at was covered in. 1000 bucks down the drain, completely destroyed engine. So I checked my security cameras only to find out all the recordings had been deleted and found evidence of someone breaking into the converted part(the box) where the DVR is and I pretty much know who did this but the police weren't of any use. The guy found out I was gay, and went out of his way to sabotage my engine.....and even after that I stayed calm. Why someone would do this I do not understand at all....but now it gets worse.

I find another engine and rent a truck to go get it, I get there and check it out, then pay the guy. All is well. I got the manager at the motel to give me permission to be able to change my engine as I wasn't going back to that truck lot to do it for obvious reasons. So I did, pulled the blown one out and put the new one in which was a hell of a lot of work especially figuring out how to get the heavy cast iron behemoth over the rocky parking lot on the engine stand. Imagine having MS with barely working legs and extreme lower back pain trying to do this just for a second so you can imagine how hard it was. I did it though, turned the key and it fired right up, ran like a brand new 300 i6. Months passed, we stayed a few different places and were finally able to save some money over the year. Hopeful FINALLY that I was going to be able to afford to get things for my business so I could make enough to pay for treatment which costs a copious amount of money for whatever reason. Finally saved enough for everything I needed and got all of it so I could go get some contracts and make money for treatment. Everything was going great. We are now FAR FAR away from anyone we even know in california, because now we are in buffalo NY. Go to drive to pick up equipment for a customer, 37 degrees outside, truck starts like it always did since I replaced the engine the second dang time. We get right next to the buffalo municipal airport and bam....tick tick tick tick tick and lots of smoke out the exhaust..... engine dies. I couldn't do much to check to see what happened so had to pay 600$ for a tow to a truck stop so I could check it out. Went to sleep and woke up to hell when I was able to finally check because the wind died down. Milkshake oil, blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head. No idea how either because I always check all the fluids every single time before we drive anywhere because this isn't just our vehicle, its our home. Now I'm really in between a rock and a hard place, just being lucky enough I have heat. To make it even worse, caught covid two months prior and haven't been able to shake it. Headaches and fatigue have been getting me so bad some days I cant even stay awake for 6 hours just resting. I can't even find a mechanic that will even touch this. It's so hard these days for some reason to find a mechanic who could do a repair I could do myself if I wasn't so sick(80s carb'd truck). I have no doubt its a mix of both MS symptoms and long covid.

I've just about pulled all my straws if you will. Don't really know how much more will I even have and there's no way I'm getting that cylinder head off and sourcing a new one if its crack or even having it checked out so I can just replace the gasket. Probably not enough time either as they aren't going to be happy with me being here that long I'd guess. At this point this 70$ bottle of blue devil head gasket sealer works or that's the last of me, no money now because I couldn't get to my job and I spent the last I had on my last hopes of fixing this(sealant,two oil changes and filters,coolant). Ill freeze to death on the street along with my partner or die in a shelter because we are both extremely compromised immune system wise. Barely have any food left either. I'm hoping this works at least well enough to get to my customer so I can afford to have this fixed because I obviously cannot do it myself in this cold of weather outside. I just have no idea how this happens to the guy who actually checks his fluids every time I start the engine. I even have a temp gauge and oil pressure gauge I added so I could monitor it. Never even got past 185 degrees F when it went and oil pressure at 50psi hot. It still starts amazingly though but this is a literal living nightmare. I just hope this quack shite in a bottle does what is says it does or I fear this is the end of the line.....
 

bullfrog

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Contact Homes On Wheels Alliance and see if they can assist you in any way. Maybe see if there is any place you can work that comes with housing like a motel, lodge or ski resort. Maybe even the truck stop you are in will have something you can do. Check coolworks.com or maybe a construction company locally that needs some night security. I haven’t had much luck with quick fixes in a bottle especially if the coolant is getting in the oil. If you have water in the oil.you will have to change the oil and filter before running the engine and you need to get the oil/coolant drained asap. You may be able to tell where it is blown by pulling the spark plugs ( a super clean white electrode on the spark plug indicates it has been exposed to coolant while running ) and cranking it over you may actually see coolant being blown out of the spark plug hole onto a paper towel. You could pressurize the cooling system and feel or hear air coming out the spark plug hole/holes of the cylinder/cylinders affected to get a better idea of how bad the problem is. Keep us informed and best wishes.
 

Morgana

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Wish I had something to offer here!
The only thought I have is that some staff in a local support agency -- homeless shelter, food bank, etc. -- might have a lead to some resources that would help you, even if it's not directly related to their main mission ... people who work in one org often have ties to others, and if you're lucky enough to draw a committed, experienced staffer who knows the area, who knows what they might connect you to? I would just scrape the barrel of every possible social service that might be available to you. No doubt that will lead to some frustrating conversations but you might hit pay dirt. If anyone "deserves" a break, you do -- look how hard you have worked to help yourself.
Good luck and keep us posted.
 

gone2day

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Sorry for your troubles. Good suggestions on seeking out social services above. Diagnosis of the problem with the engine is foremost. If you find you can tackle the mechanical part at some time, it would help to join a Ford forum:

 

Carla618

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Maybe contact the local Catholic Charities? They used to give donated vehicles away or pay for repairs, according to this article from 2008:


Edit: Also try Salvation Army and other churches

Also, you have probably already checked into government assistance, but if not, they have temporary emergency cash assistance (as well as SNAP [food stamps]): https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/1320
 
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FlipperFla

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If you can get the head off as a last ditch attempt there is a product called MarineTex, it’s a 2 part epoxy that has the consistency of toothpaste when mixed. Had an engine where the block and heads were so corroded it was getting water in the cylinders, a new gasket would not have helped, mechanic said it was trashed. Took it home, mixed up a batch of marine Tex, smeared it on the block, bolted the heads back on, let it sit over night, next morning the thing fired right up, ran for years! Same with a lower unit, 1/2 crack from the tip of the nose cone back to the prop, filled it in with MT, sanded it down, it sands like body putty, filled it back up with oil, stayed together for the rest of the week and saved our vacation in the Keys. One and done, last resort because it’s never coming apart. Good luck.
 

Seajatt

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I don't even know how to start this but I'm absolutely freaking out. So when covid first started I and my partner were forced out of our apartment because the landlord didn't take care of anything. Didn't even have a working bathroom and the floor was so bad it felt like I was going to fall through it. Landlord blamed us even though there was no way we could have done this. Bad luck with landlords as the one before this one had left us with a flooded apartment and never even came to help us knowing we didn't have the money to sue...go figure. So essentially during covid we were forced out so we had no choice but to stay in a motel for a year while I did my absolute best to fix up our truck which involved a new transmission and engine. Got it in there, started it and drove great. Thought I was good and ok at least and was finally going to be able to leave the damn motel after a year and 23,000$ maybe more, have the receipts still from it. I thought I was finally going to be able to save money to be able to afford help for my illness but that turned out to be a big nope. Went to go get my truck from the lot I paid to park it in just the day after I was done doing the final things I had to do to be able to drive it, like registration and insurance...etc. Went to fire it up, got most of the way back to the motel to get our stuff, and bam engine locks up. I freaked out and burst into tears. I thought it was my fault but after getting a tow back to the motel as it was closer the next day I drained the oil and there was gritty sand in it...oddly exactly like what the truck lot I was at was covered in. 1000 bucks down the drain, completely destroyed engine. So I checked my security cameras only to find out all the recordings had been deleted and found evidence of someone breaking into the converted part(the box) where the DVR is and I pretty much know who did this but the police weren't of any use. The guy found out I was gay, and went out of his way to sabotage my engine.....and even after that I stayed calm. Why someone would do this I do not understand at all....but now it gets worse.

I find another engine and rent a truck to go get it, I get there and check it out, then pay the guy. All is well. I got the manager at the motel to give me permission to be able to change my engine as I wasn't going back to that truck lot to do it for obvious reasons. So I did, pulled the blown one out and put the new one in which was a hell of a lot of work especially figuring out how to get the heavy cast iron behemoth over the rocky parking lot on the engine stand. Imagine having MS with barely working legs and extreme lower back pain trying to do this just for a second so you can imagine how hard it was. I did it though, turned the key and it fired right up, ran like a brand new 300 i6. Months passed, we stayed a few different places and were finally able to save some money over the year. Hopeful FINALLY that I was going to be able to afford to get things for my business so I could make enough to pay for treatment which costs a copious amount of money for whatever reason. Finally saved enough for everything I needed and got all of it so I could go get some contracts and make money for treatment. Everything was going great. We are now FAR FAR away from anyone we even know in california, because now we are in buffalo NY. Go to drive to pick up equipment for a customer, 37 degrees outside, truck starts like it always did since I replaced the engine the second dang time. We get right next to the buffalo municipal airport and bam....tick tick tick tick tick and lots of smoke out the exhaust..... engine dies. I couldn't do much to check to see what happened so had to pay 600$ for a tow to a truck stop so I could check it out. Went to sleep and woke up to hell when I was able to finally check because the wind died down. Milkshake oil, blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head. No idea how either because I always check all the fluids every single time before we drive anywhere because this isn't just our vehicle, its our home. Now I'm really in between a rock and a hard place, just being lucky enough I have heat. To make it even worse, caught covid two months prior and haven't been able to shake it. Headaches and fatigue have been getting me so bad some days I cant even stay awake for 6 hours just resting. I can't even find a mechanic that will even touch this. It's so hard these days for some reason to find a mechanic who could do a repair I could do myself if I wasn't so sick(80s carb'd truck). I have no doubt its a mix of both MS symptoms and long covid.

I've just about pulled all my straws if you will. Don't really know how much more will I even have and there's no way I'm getting that cylinder head off and sourcing a new one if its crack or even having it checked out so I can just replace the gasket. Probably not enough time either as they aren't going to be happy with me being here that long I'd guess. At this point this 70$ bottle of blue devil head gasket sealer works or that's the last of me, no money now because I couldn't get to my job and I spent the last I had on my last hopes of fixing this(sealant,two oil changes and filters,coolant). Ill freeze to death on the street along with my partner or die in a shelter because we are both extremely compromised immune system wise. Barely have any food left either. I'm hoping this works at least well enough to get to my customer so I can afford to have this fixed because I obviously cannot do it myself in this cold of weather outside. I just have no idea how this happens to the guy who actually checks his fluids every time I start the engine. I even have a temp gauge and oil pressure gauge I added so I could monitor it. Never even got past 185 degrees F when it went and oil pressure at 50psi hot. It still starts amazingly though but this is a literal living nightmare. I just hope this quack shite in a bottle does what is says it does or I fear this is the end of the line.....
Quite a few mechanics don't know how to properly apply a new head gasket. So it could be that whoever you got that engine from..well, it just decided to let go now. I think your best bet might be a junkyard to see if you can pull something cheaply? If not, maybe get a little beater off CL. Tough situation. I feel for you.
 

tx2sturgis

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This is a very heavy burden you're carrying. Is the partner helping out financially?

If not, you may have to consider abandoning this sinking ship.

There is an old saying, when you find yourself in a deep hole, quit digging!
 
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