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Old 07/23/2003, 07:20 PM   #1

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Cali Special w/ 175k on engine?

Im looking to buy this california special with 175 k miles on the engine it has never been rebuilt. Will I have to rebuild the engine when i get it or will it last. What are some signs I should look for to tell how the engine is? Does $2300 sound like a good price for a engine rebuild?

Thanks for your help
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Old 07/23/2003, 07:57 PM   #2

Joined: Aug 02
Posts: 272

Re:Cali Special w/ 175k on engine?

Honda engines these ain't. After 35 years and 175,000 miles, that engine will almost certainly need a rebuild. Even if it seems to be running fine, it's just a good idea. Do you know if it's had ANY work done to it (like head work, for example)?

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Old 07/24/2003, 10:19 AM   #3

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Re:Cali Special w/ 175k on engine?

I have 2500 in my 302 V4 motor. Your price sounds like it's in the ball park. Good luck
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Old 07/24/2003, 12:15 PM   #4

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Re:Cali Special w/ 175k on engine?

If the motor runs, drive it and have fun. If you aren't beating on it and the motor has been maintained properly you should be able see the short side of 200,000. If it were me I would plan on a rebuild in the not to distant future. A new tight motor is a beautiful thing, especially when it is purring in the engine compartment of your classic Mustang.

If you do the rebuild yourself, the parts and machining for a stock rebuild shouldn't be more than $1,000 to $1,200, if you are paying a shop to do the R&R your stated price is right in the ballpark.

For a quick visual on engine condition do the following:

-pull the breather off the rocker cover. If you see a grayish smoke coming out the piston rings are getting tired. The more and forceful the smoke, the farther along the wear is.

-Have a friend follow you on your test drive.

a. During acceleration, white smoke from the tailpipe is the rings again.

b. Lifting off the throttle will create a vaccum, if the valve guides or seals are worn oil will get sucked down into the cylinder and burn causing more white smoke from the tailpipe.

If you want, a compression and leak down test is a good idea but this involves removing the spark plugs.

Listen for abnormal noises. Just remeber, worn bearings can be quieted down with motor honey or real thick motor oil. Valve train noises can be dampened with rags stuffed under the rocker covers.

Hope all this helps.

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Old 07/25/2003, 09:56 AM   #5

Joined: Feb 03
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Re:Cali Special w/ 175k on engine?


What do you mean "pull the breather off the rocker cover"? Are you talking about the pcv valve? also, I assume you make this check while the engine is running.

Ratwhip, while your friend is following you, if you see black smoke, that is fuel related and if you see blue smoke, that is oil related. If you want the car, I (along with most everyone else here) would get it, drive it, and save for the engine rebuild. $2300.00 should be plenty for a great rebuild. Places will do it here (AR) for 1300.00 and pull it and put it back in! Guaranteed!
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Old 07/25/2003, 03:59 PM   #6

Joined: Nov 02
Posts: 118

Re:Cali Special w/ 175k on engine?


The breather is where the oil fill opening is. instead of a cap some engines have a small filter to allow air in the crankcase that the pcv sucks out, pulling the pvc valve would work also. The objective would be to remove something from the valve covers that would let you see if there is cylinder pressure building up in the crankcase while the engine is running.
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