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TL,DR; If I try to rebuild the motor myself, what should I upgrade, what vendors would you recommend and about how much money should I expect to shell out for a DIY job?

Long Story:

I bought this truck just a couple months ago, and have dumped a huge load of time and money into it already, suspension work, oil cooler, egr/dpf delete, H&S MiniMax (but running stock tune) 5th wheel install, new tires, rear brakes, axle seals, 10" radio, back-up camera...just tons of work. So I have a lot of time and money in this truck already.

The whole point was to make the truck as reliable as possible before my road trip (hence the stock tune + egr/dpf delete, along with the oil cooler and all the other maintenance.)

However, pulling a hill on I-80 east of Wells, NV I heard a loud gush of air, and oil sprayed out all over the right side of the truck. So I pulled over, looked under the hood and saw the rear most glow plug cap blown out on the passenger side. Got the truck and 5th wheel towed, and this morning got the news from the shop that I have lost compression on one of the cylinders, so I have a borked piston or rings or something along those lines.

Shop quoted $18k for a Ford drop in replacement, and I didn't even spend that much on the truck, so just..no.

If I go at this myself, say I pull the motor, get it machined assuming its salvageable, how in depth should I go? What do I do for better pistons, since those are a weak point on these things? Should I spend the money and replace the HPFP? Do I have the injectors serviced or just replaced? What else should I consider doing while I'm in there with that motor to beef it up as much as possible? And finally, is it worth doing, how much is it going to cost for me to do it all myself?

I'm having a bit of sunken cost fallacy. All the time and effort I've put into the truck has me more attached to keeping it. But also, this thing has been a giant turd and I'm already on the phone with my insurance company to see if I can write the thing off, and never, ever buy a Ford again, because this has by far been the absolute worst vehicle I've ever owned. (It had death wobble, oil cooler issues, and now this...in the couple months I've owned it) It's already a money pit, I've spent more on it than it's worth. And now I'll have to spend thousands more on it to keep it going. So the question stands, do I bother?
 

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1997 F-350 CCLB 7.Tree
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how many miles on truck?, in all reality it ends up being what you want to do. I dont own a 6.4, and I dont believe I ever would, that foes for a 6.0 to. it seems you did alot of the items people on the forums do to "bullet proof" their 6.4's. With that being said, pistons, ARP head studs, new rockers, valves, hopefully you can reuse heads, decking the block and heads. To me it would seem this truck was ran hard and put away wet at some point in its life.
 
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