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Old 12-17-2013, 05:17 PM
Camperdoodles Camperdoodles is offline
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5.4L clicking up a storm, does she need re-building?

Hello all,

My poor truck is suffering horribly. She has 214k miles on her and has reached the point where she is clicking and clacking up a storm, so I started looking around to get her engine rebuilt, made an appointment for a smog and next day to drop her with a "back yard" mechanic for a look see... and then....the temp dropped to below freezing over night, and she won't turn over. Her appointments had to be cancelled. She is an F250 XL Super Duty 2001, V8 5.4L crew cab short box 2WD.

So I need to back up. For the past 8 months or so, I would only start her on the weekends and drive her on very short trips to the store, the car wash, etc. and back. For the past 5 or 6 weeks, she would not want to start on the first turn of the key, she would turn over like once and then die. But on the second turn of the key, she would always start up. Then, on Saturday morning when she had her smog appointment, it had snowed the night before, and temps that day dropped to below freezing, and she would not turn over. Just crank and crank, but not turn over. I googled that, and read that oil of the incorrect weight for freezing temps can freeze, and so can coolant, and literally clog up and not allow the motor to turn over. Makes sense?

She had been clicking a little bit ever since I've had her, and it has gradually gotten worse over the years, and recently to the point of sounding like she's going to break any moment.

So about two months ago I had her evaluated by my local trusty (honest) mechanic. She has several things which needs fixing, minor things, and the major thing being her motor with all that clicking. He advised me to just sell her for whatever I could get because she was not worth the cost of repairs. But...I love her...I don't want to sell her. So then I started looking around for a back yard mechanic to rebuild her motor.

I found a one. He wants to charge me an $80 diagnostic, non-applicable towards the cost to repair her unless he can do it in less than 2 hours. I told them that I believe her motor needs re-bulding because of all that clicking, and he replied he just worked an F150 with the same symptoms and he did a tune up and it runs great now, so might be all she needs. I am in doubt. Am I wrong? Why did my trusty honest mechanic tell me such horrible news then??

As the weather warmed up to 70 degrees yesterday, she wanted to turn over a couple times with each turn of the key, but didn't start.

If I can get her started, I plan to drive her straight to a shop and get the oil changed immediately to lighter weight and the radiator flushed and the coolant replaced with the correct type.

Let me back up again. Prior to April 2012, my older kids used her in exchange for providing day care for their younger sibling, and they were responsible for her oil changes and topping off her fluids etc. I have a sneaking suspicion her coolant is of various mixtures and her oil is probably not the right weight for winter temps.

So back to the present. I believe her engine needs to be rebuilt because of all the clicking and clacking. Any advice on that? Someone once said those are her "lifters" and they need adjusting. I can't get a mechanic to admit to that though......

And the back yard mechanic who wants to charge me an $80 diagnostic?

Anyone have thoughts about her sudden unwillingness to start in the freezing temps, then wanting to as the weather warms? Do you think I will be able to get her to start eventually or am I causing her more damage by trying?

I would love to find a "back yard" mechanic near Sacramento. I have AAA and can tow!

Thanks for any advice you can share
Camperdoodles
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2013, 09:36 AM
enriched&beyound enriched&beyound is offline
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start with simple things, or the low hanging fruit ,so to speak. Mostly because this truck fairly new to you and past maintenace is unknown.

check the oil, on the dip stick, one for correct level and any hint of coolant. then also check the coolant for oil...most parts store carry a coolant test kits that can test for exhaust gases, (this will help evaluate if the head gaskets are bad), & also other kits with die to show where any coolant leaks are, But, I'm not sure if you need to get it running for the 1st kit mentioned. The second one definitely needs to be running. These kits will help you understand the level of repair needed.

If your head gaskets and are leaking and your concerned about repair costs....it might be better just to swap out the sick engine for and used solid running one.

if you want to try to invest in the old engine.
1st off I'd make sure the battery is up to the task, fresh spark plugs and fuel filter and fresh oil & oil filter.... Also make sure the battery cables are up not all corroded....hopefully this will help the hard starting.


If you are not that handy....then start saving for your local trusty mechanic to do the work necessary to get it running again.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:52 PM
Camperdoodles Camperdoodles is offline
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Originally Posted by enriched&beyound View Post
start with simple things, or the low hanging fruit ,so to speak. Mostly because this truck fairly new to you and past maintenace is unknown.

check the oil, on the dip stick, one for correct level and any hint of coolant. then also check the coolant for oil...most parts store carry a coolant test kits that can test for exhaust gases, (this will help evaluate if the head gaskets are bad), & also other kits with die to show where any coolant leaks are, But, I'm not sure if you need to get it running for the 1st kit mentioned. The second one definitely needs to be running. These kits will help you understand the level of repair needed.

If your head gaskets and are leaking and your concerned about repair costs....it might be better just to swap out the sick engine for and used solid running one.

if you want to try to invest in the old engine.
1st off I'd make sure the battery is up to the task, fresh spark plugs and fuel filter and fresh oil & oil filter.... Also make sure the battery cables are up not all corroded....hopefully this will help the hard starting.


If you are not that handy....then start saving for your local trusty mechanic to do the work necessary to get it running again.
I apologize for not being clearer. I've had her since 2002. When I acquired her she had 10k miles on her, one owner. So I've had her for all these years and pulled regular maintenance on her.

She has a brand new battery and had new plugs 100k miles ago. Probably time for new ones again, but that's not the low hanging fruit. All the fluids are at the correct levels and she's had regular maintenance over the past 11 years I've had her.

I think the motor is worn out at 214k miles. But I don't know. She has mostly highway miles. It's all the clicking and clacking is what bothers me. I can't rebuild a motor myself nor "adjust lifters" but I can do small stuff.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:26 AM
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JWA JWA is offline
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First misconception is plugs in these motors can go 100K miles with no downside---WRONG! 50K at best regardless what the hype says.

IF the $80 diagnostic fee includes a thorough evaluation of everything including actual oil pressure etc etc etc then its worth it---any mechanic will take at least an hour for this. After he's spent that time and comes up with nothing but bad news he's still out that time and income if repairs aren't done. Would you work an hour at your job for free "hoping" something will come of it---doubtful.

Whatever this clicking and clacking turns out to be I'm betting its not as bad as you fear. I hope I'm right if only for the sake of your wallet!

I'm running an '00 E250 with 273K miles, bought it with 203K on the clock. At 214K miles unless something catastrophic has happened the engine is NOT done for at all.

Here locally I can buy a Ford reman'd/guaranteed long block and have it installed for slightly less than $4K out the door. Instead of searching just for the cheapest price consider if this truck is loved enough to spend that much money on it. If so and it lasts another 11 years that's not a bad investment. The alternative is shopping around to see what the cost of repairs will run you---compare and proceed accordingly.
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:43 AM
enriched&beyound enriched&beyound is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camperdoodles View Post
I apologize for not being clearer. I've had her since 2002. When I acquired her she had 10k miles on her, one owner. So I've had her for all these years and pulled regular maintenance on her.

She has a brand new battery and had new plugs 100k miles ago. Probably time for new ones again, but that's not the low hanging fruit. All the fluids are at the correct levels and she's had regular maintenance over the past 11 years I've had her.

I think the motor is worn out at 214k miles. But I don't know. She has mostly highway miles. It's all the clicking and clacking is what bothers me. I can't rebuild a motor myself nor "adjust lifters" but I can do small stuff.
wow, I did get the wrong impression. You had it since 02'. & all low fruit is satisfactorily maintained

OK lets go with other suggestions, work your way up to the next set of fruit. OK now you'll need some tools... you can rent them or buy or borrow them your choice. Most major parts stores rent tools.
First off, get a code scanner and scan for tripped codes, this will help narrow down which branch to start picking...if codes are present. shouldn't need it running for this.

When it ran last...did this noise clear up as it ran or did it get worse as it ran?

If you got that many miles on the plugs...start there. but as the old plugs are out, check the engine compression on all cylinders. (but remove the fuse for the fuel pump 1st)... With the new plugs in and recorded compression readings....replace the fuel pump fuse & Then test the fuel pressure. The Idea is to get this running sounding bad or not.

the clattering and clacking maybe be from a ejected spark plug or a cracked exhaust manifold...or just a bad Coil On Plug, aka COP.

Any way if you want to do this work, which BTW isn't all that hard, your gonna be under the hood. but even if you don't get this running at least you will figure out how sever it is and then the local mechanic will have a much better idea where to head and minimize the repair costs
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Old 12-22-2013, 07:43 AM
 
 
 
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