If it has as much miles as he says then the cylinders will probably need to be bored. This is what I would do since it is exactly what I did awhile back on my Ford 360 V8. Since I had already done a Ford 302 and 289 it was very much the same. I removed the engine and broke it done completely. It was obvious the bearings needed to be replaced. A cylinder wall had a gouge. I miked a few cylinders and decided I could go .020 over. I l already had a 390 crank ready that was .010 under. The rods needed to be resized. So now off to my machine shop. One guy handles the heads and the other guy handles the blocks. I discussed it with them and then they gave me their recommendations.
Now this is a V8 so that means 8 sets of everything and not 4 sets. My engine was also balanced which many don't do. I supplied the cam I wnated and the valve springs. I let them assemble the engine this time so my time was short. For $100 it was actually a bargain. I end up coming out with a 390 engine with the machine work, head work and all the needed parts all for $2300 which included a sleeve. That is San Francisco Bay Area price. A four is definitely less than that. These same guys will one day do my Mazda engine along with two others.
Glad to hear. One just doesn't replace a ball joint on these cars. Always better to replace the entire control arm rather than deal with knocking out a ball joint. Now if it is an upper control arm on say a 1967 full size Mercury you do drill out the rivets and replace the ball joint. This job isn't that hard to do except you need a 1/2" drive ratchet with sockets along with a tool to separate the ball joint stud from the knuckle. Then reassemble, lower the car, and then do the final torquing of the two bolts that attach the control arm with the cars weight on them.
Gearbox is good! Gave it a clean. Took the old one out today. Replacement - beside the transmission crane is in the car. Just have to reassemble get new 80w90 gearbox oil. Have a vid of me putting the car on the hoist.
Ok...here's an update.
I had the thermostat replaced; the oil pan gasket replaced (turns out it was only siliconed in place — I haven't had that touched since I bought the car 9 years ago (shudder); the coolant overflow bottle (it was leaking like a sieve when they did a pressure test; I had it replaced not quite 3 years ago); and one of the two valve cover gaskets (the other will likely be done in two oil changes, unless things look dire). The car is running cooler, though things aren't perfect — when I'm stopped at a light, or even running down the highway at 70 (65 or 55 isn't quite so bad), even without AC, the temperature gauge keeps creeping up, though it never reaches the danger zone mark.
My mechanic is going to replace the aftermarket radiator fans with OEM fans — thankfully his parts guy was happy to do the exchange without charging more — and we will see if they were insufficient for the task. If the overheating continues, this leaves us with a couple options, neither of which are pretty:
The radiator needs to be replaced.
The head gasket is going/going/gone.
When we do the fan swap he's going to test for exhaust in the radiator fluid, and we'll go from there. Any other suggestions as to what else it could be? The car generates good heat (outside of the engine itself tending toward overheating), so the heater core is fine, and we've narrowed it down pretty well so far, it seems, especially as we replaced the water pump last year.
If it turns out to be the radiator, are there any cheaper varieties you've used with success?