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Sell it or fix it???

12-20-2017, 12:06 PM
A few months ago, I bought a 1995 Ford Explorer (250k+ miles, 6 cylinder, FWD) from someone whom I'd bought several cars from already. He's a mechanic with a tow truck who buys cars to repair and resell. However, this time I seemed to have bought a lemon and am unsure as to how to proceed with my issue. Here's what happened...
He was selling it to me for $500. I only had $300 cash on me, so he took it and gave me the Title. He asked me to deposit the balance into his account over the weekend because he was going out of town. He told me that he had driven it several times and it had a good motor and transmission. The only thing he did recommend was that I replace the spark plugs and wires because it had been a while since its last tune-up.
I drove it around town just a little, but I live in another city about 40 miles away so that night I needed to drive home. It didn't do well on the freeway and had trouble reaching the speed limit of 65. Between 45 & 50 was where I started to notice it, so I eased up on the accelerator and let it climb gradually. But as it reached 55 it again had trouble reaching 60, so I eased up again. By saying "it had trouble", I mean that it seemed to want to overheat "and" turn off on me, and eventually it did. It stalled on an off-ramp halfway to my home and I ended up calling a cab, which had trouble understanding where exactly on the freeway I was. So in the middle of the night I ended up paying almost $100 to get home.
The next morning, my son gave me a ride to pick it up. It had gas, the radiator had coolant/water, but once I climbed on the freeway again, it started doing the same thing so I drove off and parked. We bought the spark plugs and wires and replaced those. It seemed to drive ok after that, but using the back streets, until about a mile away from home it turned off on me again.
A few days later someone came and replaced the thermostat, which was so corroded it was disintegrating. When I tried to start the truck, something sounded like a water balloon bursting and water gushed out. I had someone else look at it and he said the radiator hose seemed fine but it looked like it might've been the water pump. Then while someone else was looking at it, I checked the motor oil dipstick and the oil was thick and dark grey. He said it was a head gasket or possibly even a block due to water leaking into the engine, but I would need to have the engine pulled out to look at it.
I have not driven the truck since the day it stalled on me, it has been parked there ever since. I tried to move it but now it doesn't want to start, it seems to have a bad cable connection because the inside lights turn on but as soon as I jump in the truck they turn off again.
I posted it for sale online when I was trying to replace the radiator hose or water pump. But now I'm just selling it for parts. What's a good price for it now? Or...
Everything else under the hood looks good! The body has no dents, it has tinted windows, nice big tires, extremely roomy inside, rear seats fold forward, you can even sleep in it! Should I just fix it? Replace the engine? How much would "that" cost?
I am on Disability and am separated so I'm basically homeless for the next couple months, but in transition as I will be getting my own place in February when I get a backpay payment from SSDI. So I'm thinking I can sleep in it till then(?) But it needs to be moved from where it's been sitting and I'm afraid to drive it in its condition. I don't want it towed, what should I do? Please help!!!

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