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Old 09-16-2008, 01:58 PM   #1
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Default Please Read!! Troubles with Ford 4.2L V6

I looked around and I have found the early Ford 4.2L V6 has a serious problem that led to a Owner Notification Program # 99B29 this is an in house recall that has expired but the problem was the gasket on the timing cover was too thin it would fail which dumped coolent into the engine which in many cases demolished the engine. If you have one of these early 4.2L engines check to see if the timing cover gasket has been replaced if not I would replace it just as soon as you can. While you have the engine torn down this far you might just as well change out the head gaskets and head bolts this is a also a reported problem as well but just not as wide spread. I find this ironic they replaced the great 4.9L I6 which is noted for it bullet proof construction with a V6 that at least early on does not have this reputation. We have had reports of knocking 4.2L V6's here and I suspect this is what has happened. These hydrostatic lockups have kicked connecting rods out the side of the engine blocks. If I had one of these 4.2L V6's in question (1997-1999?) I would replace, or have replaced, the timing cover gasket, the head gaskets and the head bolts this is cheap insurance as the alternative is a new engine.

I don't know what went on but this type of problem was not confined to Ford. GM had similar problems with the 305 V8, and the 2.8L V6. In the case of GM the problem was caused by bad head bolts purchased, I believe, from Taiwan. When they were torqued down they started stretch out which led to blown head gaskets. GM tried to save money with cheap head bolts and ended up loosing big time.
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Last edited by transmaster; 09-16-2008 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:22 PM   #2
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Am looking to read the recall, having trouble. Is my 2002 considered one of the early ones? Don't need issues right now, hope I'm not affected.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:45 PM   #3
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The timing cover was addressed in 1999. I am not sure about the rare head bolt issue I can't find a Tech note on it. I would just watch the coolent and oil for any problems I would only replace the the headbolts and gaskets if I have to work on the timing chain cover or the head gasket actually fails. I don't think you have to worry about it

Date: 12/01/1999
Component Name: 060000 ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
NHTSA #: 99B29
SUMMARY: SOME VEHICLES MAY EXPERIENCE ENGINE COOLANT LEAKS AT THE ENGINE FRONT COVER GASKET. OWNER NOTIFICATION PROGRAM PROVIDING REPLACEMENT OF THE ENGINE FRONT COVER GASKET. *TT
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Old 09-17-2008, 03:29 PM   #4
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Thank you. Checked and found the old gasket #. Will replace. Good Lookin out.
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:44 PM   #5
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Default Consumer Reports rated this engine the most reliable ever made in an American vehicle

I just recently ordered and purchased a brand new, fully-loaded 2008 F-150 XLT regular cab with the 4.2L V6 engine that was made in the final month and year (May 2008) Click the image to open in full size., due to Consumer Reports' rave with this engine. Some goody, high-tech options include reverse beeping sensor system, rear-view camera, auto-dim mirrors, etc. Sticker price was $29,350, and the dealer that I bought from thought I was insane. Only ONE fully-loaded F-150 V6 was produced by Ford this year. So far, I have 6,000 miles with no problems at all.

Every time I drive this truck, I always have a hard time understanding Ford's 4.2L V6 engine itself and its role of durability. The early ones did have gasket/rod problems (like all of you are experiencing), which lead to catastrophic failures, but after the gaskets were corrected in 1999, this engine really has rated high in reliability by Consumer Reports. I have all the Consumer Reports used car reliability data since 1965, and I have never seen anything like this before in an American vehicle when Consumer Reports rated the 4.2L V6 engine "excellent" (solid red dot) in reliability for FIVE straight consecutive years. The 2004-2008 generation with this engine all rated "excellent" (solid red dot) in their verdict reliability rating. This is a similar rating to a Honda or Toyota. Besides the V6 F-150, none of American vehicles has earned this rating so far. Not even the V8 Triton, 3.0L V6 Vulcan, and GM (Buick) 3800 can beat this rating. Earning "excellent" in reliability is extremely rare for domestics. Consumer Reports even claims that the 4.2L V6 engine is far more reliable than the old inline 4.9L I6. Despite the 4.9L I6's bulletproof design, the old inline engine earned anywhere from "poor" (black dot) to "average" (white dot) during the 80s and 90s, but never did earn at least "above average" (half-red, half white dot).

I have yet to find anyone having any problems (or gasket failures) with this engine in 2004-2008. I've searched through Google extensively with no luck so far. I'm still surprised (and I praised Ford) as of today that Ford could overturn this ho-hum V6 engine from being the most unreliable/terrible reputation ever made to the most reliable ever made by Ford (and domestics) in history. It's just incredible. Click the image to open in full size.

(No, I don't work for Ford.)

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Old 09-21-2008, 07:30 AM   #6
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recall that expired? I had no idea they expired. I figured they could get sued if something failed, they knew about it, but refused to fix it cause you missed the "cutoff window" Every now and then, I call up the dealer and see if there's are any recalls my vehicles may need. Thanks for the tip (even though I've got the V8)
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:00 PM   #7
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yeah man. I have a 2003 Ford F150 XLT shortbed, extended cab, really amazing condition with 200,000 miles on it. Original everything. The engine is pulletproof i must say, no leaks to complain about, runs strong, starts up every morning. I love this truck, im going to try and get it to 500,000 miles on the original engine and trans and rear, i know its hard but im going to shoot for it haha.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:08 PM   #8
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Default What's the odds of my luck..

I got in the truck this morning and boom. Thats right. My 97 4.2 with only 82,000 miles on it had to go and blow the head gasket. I guess i'll be spending the weekend tearing my engine down now. Woohoo for Ford and there recalls. Even better is that a year ago I payed $1000.00 for someone to replace the timing cover gasket which blewout. What next for this truck?
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Old 10-17-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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I wonder why they never sent me a recall letter? I got letters for the lug nuts and for the master brake cylinder, but never for the front cover gasket. I've never had any problems with it at all. My truck leaks very little coolant. I've only had to add coolant between coolant changes once, and even then it was maybe a quart, if that. I just assumed it had boiled off or something.

It's a 1998 F-150 with the 4.2 liter V6, which, IMO, is indestructible.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:24 AM   #10
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Well I have a 1998 F150 XL Sport Super Cab and had the problem 4.2L V6 engine. At 92,000 miles and no notification from Ford, I went to start my truck 1 Sunday and ripped the connecting rod right out of the bottom of a seized piston. This was attibuted to the infamous coolant leak thru the intake manifold gasket into the cylinder from a too thin factory gasket. Ford would not even acknowledge or return any phone calls regarding this. Almost 50,000 miles later on a new engine and an aggressive maintenance plan, this truck has become a money pit. The lifters have been replaced 3 times with dealer parts (I replace all of the lifters at the same time, $250 a pop), the exhaust system is shot and rusting from the inside out, I just replaced 1 broken exhaust manifold and have to replace the other, the egr system has given me problems since I bought the truck, etc. They say this new engine is awesome, I think it's crap. It's burning coolant and no one can figure out where. It's not the head gaskets or the intake manifolds again. It is a complete roller motor but I wount even allow my daughter to drive it. It hasn't left me stranded, YET.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:24 AM
 
 
 
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