Is it worth fixing and how to do it

My son was driving our 96 Tuarus station wagon w V6 on a long-distance trip. Apparently, the serpentine belt broke and he kept driving the car (Duh!). (He said the temp gauge never registered hot.)
The check engine light eventually came on and the car sputtered to a halt. I won't start now. He said coolant and steam were everywhere. The car is 450 miles away right now.
For you gurus: What's the worse case scenario? The engine does turn over. It just won't start. I'm trying to decide whether it's worth going up there to try and fix it, if it's within the capabilities of a backyard mechanic like me.
Or maybe it's time to just junk it. It only had 80k miles on it and up to this point was a great car. I recently had a lot of work done on it too! A local yard offered me $50 for it, which really impressed me!
Thanks ahead of time for any suggestions/ideas.
_________________________________
"Take a little 5FU, leucovorin and irenotecan for thy stomach's sake." -- 1 Timothy 5:23 (adapted)
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$50 is a bargain for them, they'll make that back in no time once it's chopped up and parted out.
Sounds like your motor is totally fried. The obvious answer is that your son siezed the engine. Even if the temp guage didn't register anything (which is very doubtful!) I'll bet the battery light came on when the belt broke. Hmm... I guess that didn't mean anything to him either.
Duh is right. Nothing like turning a $100 repair on a new belt into a $3000 repair for a new engine. I'd recommend making him pony up half the dough to reinforce some kind of lesson!
Even better, make him buy his own car and insurance, so he can sieze HIS engine and feel the pain firsthand.
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Which V6? The Duratec (24 valves) or Vulcan (12 valves)? The Duratec's water pump is driven by a different belt.

If you fix the car, will your son or someone else be driving it a lot? If yes, you are probably best off replacing the engine with a rebuilt one. It will cost $3000 or something. But you should get a lot of miles out of the car (assuming your son doesn't cook another engine). I like the idea of your son paying for the repairs (or at least some of the costs).
Jeff

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It's the cheesier vulcan motor. I told him to pull a spark plug and turn over the motor. He reported to me that coolant came spewing out of the spark plug hole.
I'm wondering therefore if the problem is just blown head gaskets. That would explain the coolant, and maybe the engine shut itself off before the block/pistons got cooked. Is there any way of checking this?
If it's not worth fixing maybe I should just part it out and sell pieces through the local car/car parts rag.
Funny.... the junkyard that wants to give me $50 is the same one that sold me a hood for the car for $325. They get their hood back + the car and I end up with enough for a meal at a restaurant. Somebody told me you get more $$$ by taking the car to a metal recycler rather than a yard.
As for my son, now he has NO wheels and I'm certainly not going to let him drive my new Accord. I told him his old 10-speed bike is in the basement. He had to pay for his bus fare back.
wrote:

_________________________________
"Take a little 5FU, leucovorin and irenotecan for thy stomach's sake." -- 1 Timothy 5:23 (adapted)
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No, the problem is that you have an overheated engine. Probably ring damage and bearing damage as well.
To find out, you have to take the engine apart. But I would be afraid that if you only worked on the heads, you would end up replacing stuff in the bottom half of the engine in six months. If you have water in the cylinders, you may have water in the oil. And water oil with water does not lubricate well.
You should be able to get a rebuilt engine on for around $1500 or less with shipping(http://www.rhinoengines.com/ford30engines.htm ). I would figure maybe $1500 to replace it.
So for about $3000, you have a car with a rebuilt engine. You should be able to get 100,000+ mi out of the car, if the rest of it is in good shape.

The yard will probably do a engine transplant and resell the car. That is what I would do if I were the yard. And if it were my car, I would replace or rebuild the engine.
Jeff
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Aluminum heads warp when hot. Sometimes a machine shop can machine them flat.
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Correct. But this is the vulcan engine, which is not aluminum.
The problem is that the entire engine overheated. The rings and bearings like have been damaged as well as the cylinder head. The entire engine should be rebuilt.
Jeff
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Before you blame your son, when was the last time YOU had the belt replaced. You know, preventive maintenance.........
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