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Hole in Timing Cover 2003 F 150 4.6 Romeo

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Hole in Timing Cover 2003 F 150 4.6 Romeo

 
Old 02-10-2019, 04:15 PM
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Default Hole in Timing Cover 2003 F 150 4.6 Romeo

As I stated in my introductory post a few days ago this truck has a body in as near perfect condition as you can get but has very high mileage (231 000). The previous owner disclosed an oil leak from unknown source and service engine light on. The oil leak (at least the major one, there may be more) was fixed with a new oil filter adapter gasket, the service engine light problem shows two codes P0171 & P0174 when a scan is done. Lean on both banks. When I test drove the truck it ran good and seemed strong but there was a pinging & slight clanging noise at idle and when accelerating. It sounded like a bad bearing in a pulley or tensioner. Since the price was very reasonable I took a chance & bought the truck and drove it home, approximately 30 miles. All gauges read very good, temperature, oil pressure and alternator all registered where they should be. On the way home I filled it up with premium gas thinking that part of the noise was coming from spark knock, it didn't change anything that I could tell. Yesterday I had time to troubleshoot the noise problem, using an auto stethoscope I tried to pinpoint the source of the noise, the only place I picked up the pinging, clanging was on the idler pulley above the tensioner. I took off the serpentine belt & figured if I started the engine briefly and the noise went away I'd be pretty sure it was the idler pulley. Well the noise was still there indicating an internal engine problem. Quite by accident I noticed movement on the front of the engine with the belt off. Closer inspection with a light revealed a hole in the timing cover just below the idler pulley. The noise seems to be the timing chain hitting the cover or maybe something else inside. I tried to attach a photo of the hole without success, guess I need to go back & read the instructions again. In any case the front or timing cover must come off, my main question is if this can be done with the engine in the truck? If so any pointers on the easiest way to get it off and any idea what may have come loose or unattached in the timing chain system? Thanks in advance for any information/ideas.
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