Time is rarely kind, and even the most reliable engine can struggle to fend off its effects. Ford’s 351-cubic-inch Windsor V-8 is a tough and beloved motor, but sitting on a shelf for nearly 20 years has been catastrophic for the mill, which looks like it lived with excess moisture for far too long.

A new I Do Cars video dismantles a 5.8-liter V-8 that originally powered a 1997 Ford F-250, the last year of production for the engine. It was dismantled and put on a shelf 17 years ago after 210,000 miles. The Ford engine initially made 210 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque.

It’s evident early in the teardown that the engine’s glory days are far behind it. Many of the components are rusted, including an entire bank of valves. Intake ports are clogged with grime, while even the cylinder heads exhibit rust. Many of the cylinder walls show crosshatching.

But not all the parts are destroyed. The water pump comes off in one piece and appears salvageable. Even the lifters slide out with little issue. Unfortunately, there’s very little oil in the pan, mainly just water and gunk. It looks like it spent some time sitting in water.

However, time and rust have made it impossible to take apart fully. The cam remains stuck, as do several pistons, which appear rusted to the cylinder wall. It’s unclear how the engine died—there were no signs of any catastrophic issues that may have killed it. Perhaps it just got a bit tired and was put on a shelf, forgotten, which is what we should all fear in life. In any case, water has well and truly put this old Windsor V-8 out to pasture.


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