I would go to a Ford dealer directly and negotiate with them. Ask them for some goodwill discount since this is a known issue. At least that way, you'll have some warranty on the new engine.Okay, so I took the car to another mechanic a friend of mine recommended, they have confirmed coolant intrusion on cylinders 2 and 3. They referenced TSB 19-2172 which has been superceded by 19-2208, the result is still replacing the long block. Total estimated quote from the mechanic for a remanufactured engine/parts/labor is just shy of $7500, which is about what the car is worth on a trade-in, according to KBB. I inquired about the necessity of doing the whole engine, they confirmed with this design it is necessary, and I followed up asking about the reliability of the reman engine, whether I might see the same issue down the road with it, the reply (verbatim) was "The company we use uses enforce head gasket : I know they have few updated designs on this engine"
It's hard for me to make a call on this, I have no idea if getting a remanufactured engine is normally okay or if it';s even worth going ahead vs. looking into trading it in for another vehicle. I have finished paying this one off, so it is 100% mine now. Obviously getting a different vehicle would have me back on payments for a few years. In essence, I need to hear from folks who've been through this to help me understand and figure out if this is worth my time or is more trouble than it's worth.