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Old 08-07-2008, 10:41 AM   #1
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Unhappy 4.6 Head Gasket Problem

Need some thoughts on this one. Here's the scenario. 96 F150 4.6. A few months ago it started making a high pitched squeal every now and then. Didn't think much about it. Then it started pumping antifreeze out of the overflow (not a lot, just enough to notice). About a month after this, it started to miss when idleing but once you hit the gas it's ok. Now I'm getting a lot of steam out of the exhaust when it's first started up, this last for a few minutes then it calms down.

Here's what I think has happened. head gasket is failing probably due to a warped or cracked head and it's pressurizing the cooling system.

If this is the case, I need your thoughts on my options.
1. pull the motor and heads, check them out, have them planed and reassemble and reinstall.

2. pull the motor and replace with a low mileage motor from a salvage yard.

3. pull the motor and replace with a crate motor.

Truck is in decent shape, has 130,000 miles on it and is used for pulling a camper and getting firewood. Not a daily driver.

What do you think???
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:03 AM   #2
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Although I personally have never heard a head gasket making a noise as you described, I guess its possible. Every thing else is definately right on target. If you are going to pull the engine to do the work, think about giving the engine to an overhaul shop for overhaul. Getting an engine in a crate is a good option. Junk yard engines scare me, no history of anything about the engine, except the alledged mileage. If you want to pull the heads in place, yes, get them surfaced and valves ground. This should fix the problem with minimum expense.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:08 AM   #3
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bill, thanks for the response. All the research I've done says you almost have to pull the engine to remove the heads. I've never tried it with a ford truck. Is it possible to pull the heads without pulling the motor. I thought it was too tight.

thanks,
Jim
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:40 PM   #4
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According to my sources at the local dealership, the heads should be able to be removed in place. They did question the 96 with the 4.6 engine. The old body style according to them had the 5.0 engine. The 97 with the new body style had the 4.6. Been in another industry since 91, so I don't have the hands on experience with either installation. If a hoist is available, it will definately be easier out of the vehicle. It will probably take the same time to pull the engine as it will take to reomve the heads in place. Its a matter of choice. Perhaps another member will offer up his experience.
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:09 PM   #5
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Bill is correct. Does sound like headgasket to me also.
Pulling the engine is about the same time as pulling the heads off. YES you can remove the heads in the engine bay. I have done it on a 4.6 town car and on a few expeditons and f150s with both the 4.6 and 5.4 engines.
If you do pull the heads. Do know that there is a plug in the back of the heads for oil. Do not put the heads back on with out making sure the machine shop put them back in if they remove them, and dont install the head backwards (yes they will swap from side to side) or else you will have oil blowing out the rear of the head. This hole is there to oil the timing chain tensioners. and its on the front and rear of the head since the heads are interchangable from bank 1 to bank 2.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:57 PM   #6
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I was working on my 5.4 heads and took some pics of the hole you guys are talking about:
#1 is the front of bank 1 [passenger side] head

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:58 PM   #7
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#2 is the back of bank 2 [driver side] head

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:48 PM   #8
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Great pics. Thats exactly what I was talking about.
Using a reman head from ford once. I assumed the plug was in the head put it on the car. Started it up. Blew oil out the back. Shut vehicle off installed plug from old head. Problem solved.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:09 AM   #9
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Thanks Torkum, first time ever for me to see these new engines, actually thought you lost it, that's a block upside down! Wait a minute, a square block, where's the V. Oh you dumb "****", thats an overhead cam. Like I said, first time exposed to the new engines. Are all the engines overhead cams?
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:26 AM   #10
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all the tritons are.
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:26 AM
 
 
 
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