2003 Expedition. Engine gone. Repair or scrap?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 20th, 2019 1:56 pm
Mar 30, 2019
245 posts

2003 Expedition. Engine gone. Repair or scrap?

My 2 mechanics are both away for the weekend so I cant call to get answers and it's time sensitive, so if I could get a little advice it would be greatly appreciated.

A good friend of mine has a 2003 Ford Expedition 5.4 V8. He is being told the engine has lost its compression and 1 cylinder is also shot. At this point, it has a loud knocking sound when idling.

My question: is it worth it to either repair or swap the engine, and roughly what would the cost of that be, ballpark? Or should he just scrap it?

7 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 19, 2018
1371 posts
On one hand, it is still a very nice car for sure, on another hand... it is not worth more than $3k fully working, and swapping an engine like this would cost you another 2k~... I'm not sure how it is possible to fix a cylinder like that but most of the time it is not doable? I guess if you luck out and find an Engine sitting around for you to do everything under 1k it would be worth it.
Sr. Member
May 2, 2017
792 posts
Unfortunately in this type of scenario mechanics will rarely give you a firm price up front, as they often have to pull the engine apart to see exactly what is wrong with it. So, best case scenario, you're looking at a couple grand to fix it, worst case you'll need a whole new engine put in (used engine unless he's crazy). Keep in mind it is a 16 year old truck, so you'll never get that money back out when you sell it.

If your friend likes it and plans to drive it for at least a few more years, it would be cheaper to fix it than to buy a new vehicle, but on the other hand he could probably just go buy a used expedition for around the same price as the repairs would cost. Possibly less.

Personally I would probably scrap it, it's a bit too old to invest much money in unless it's otherwise in perfect condition.
Sr. Member
May 6, 2010
622 posts
Richmond Hill
if overall car is solid and satisying, swap the engine.
Tons of them are available.
2K +
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2013
2580 posts
Sadly the Triton 5.4 3 valve is a point in actually fixing it because it'll cost more and have even less guarantees of reliability. If you even bother dumping new Triton 5.4 3-valve, you need to religiously do your oil changes on time and under old oil change intervals the old 5000-8000 km intervals, failure to do so will sludge the engine up and it will fail and sadly used is not a good option here either for this reason. If you're seeking a re-manufactured engine, you'll want one that specifically updates and thus corrects the flaws of the Triton 3 valve design.

Seek new engine if you like it, scrap it if you don't.
Mar 30, 2019
245 posts
Thanks for the advice everyone. I think after this my buddy will most likely scrap it for $500. And be done with it.

Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2010
9621 posts
Just buy re manufacture or re built engine. Throw one in and call it a day.
Deal Addict
Nov 16, 2011
1285 posts
Unless it is something really special, it is rarely worth tossing a motor into a 16 year old vehicle..........