So! progress has been slow, but it has been made. Had some delays and other projects around the house to tend to, before i could really tear into this thing. So, here's what i found.
So the verdict is in, the 351 is blown. Turns out when i cranked it over, i bent the #8 rod, and the crank hit the piston and broke it.
Blown head gasket:
One of 3 chunks that broke off piston
Lots of metal in the pan
patiently awaiting its demise
Did some searching online, trying to figure out what to do. Rebuild, replace, used motor, etc. Ended up stumbling across another 351 with 70k on it for $400, so i snagged it up, and then sold an 8' truck bed i had kicking around, to cover the cost.
...and the donor 351, coincidentally also out of a 97 F250
Broke 10 of the manifold bolts. Extracted em all, and chased threads in every hole
Sloppy chain replaced
This pretty much gets me to today. i snapped a bolt off for the water outlet, thats been removed and the threads chased. Also snapped one off in the timing cover, but that was fixed before i did the chain. So many broken bolts! Took forever to take care of them all.
I am reusing the valve covers & oil pan off the original 351, but since they got all beat up pulling the motor, they got a fresh coat of paint this morning. I need to order a water pump and a couple other seals i dont have laying around, and then i can paint the block and begin putting the motor back together. My goal is to be able to drop the motor in the truck next weekend.
The donor motor had the oem oil cooler on it, along with all the hoses. Im going to reinstall it, as soon as I source a replacement o-ring for the cooler adapter to the block as well.