Thx 63-4drpost - I kind of thought that was the case with the 400ci, but thought I would ask.
And thx Mr. Dare, I hadn't even thought about such things. I just figured a blown head gasket meant I replace the head gasket and I'm ready to go. Never even occurred to me that way more damage could have already been done.
I didn't get a great look at anything. It had just started to rain so I had to hurry. The radiator cap had good clean green antifreeze on it when I opened it. After dipping my finger in it there was black and antifreeze was on my finger - the black was like grease. After I wiped it on a rag my finger still had a black smudge. (hope that makes sense to you)
I think that if I CAN'T test drive it then I'll pass for now. Way too much $ for a truck that doesn't run. There will be more 390's around eventually. However if i can test drive it I'll check for bubbles and also check the oil after I drive it to see if it looks or feels wrong.
Once again, this is just a Rat Rod thing so if I can find a 390 that runs (even average) I'll be good for several years. I can either rebuild it, or bore and rebuild my 352 over many years. I'll also have to talk to the guy good and long about the history of the truck - after we talk I'll either have a good or bad feeling, and I'll go from there. Hopefully he'll be back from hunting this weekend.
Thanks to everyone, I'll keep you posted if I have more questions.
- Dave J