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Old 03-16-2005, 12:54 PM
GaryJ GaryJ is offline
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Question Cylinder head recall??

So I am looking at buying something in the neighborhood of a '99 or '00 F150 and plan on getting the 5.4. I was talking to a friend of mine and he mentioned something about a casting problem or something to do with the heads on engines of about this age. He thought there was a recall on them. I searched FTE and the closest thing I can find is a head gasket problem that quite a few people have had.

Does anyone know anything about a casting problem or anything??
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:47 PM
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Probably refering to spark plug blow out. The heads are aluminum and don't have too much thread on them for the plugs. You hear about it alot, but it's actually not very common.
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:42 PM
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Right, I had heard about that. I asked him if that was what he thought and he said he thought it was a casting thing. I don't know. I've never heard anything I can remember from anyone else...

Does anyone else out there know something maybe??
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:35 PM
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The earlier ones had heads that weren't machined properly and caused oil leaks at the rear of the heads.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:12 PM
MrBSS MrBSS is offline
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Yeah, my daughter's '99 Expy 5.4 had that problem. If you notice a constant burnt oil smell, you may have it too.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:17 PM
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Is there any way to tell if it would have this problem by the VIN or something like that?? Or was it all '99s??
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:32 PM
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One more question. What was the fix on these heads?? I am thinking replacement, but I almost seem to remember reading someone saying that they just used a different gasket....am I dreaming??

Thanks guys.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:16 AM
Ted98 Ted98 is offline
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Ford has made numerous revisions to their MLS gaskets. When I swapped heads, my original head gaskets were only 3 layers. The new ones from Ford have 4 layers along with other improvements.

I've been told that Ford is on their 7th or 8th generation of MLS head gaskets.
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:01 AM
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OK, one more question. My well-meaning friend also told me that any Ford dealer should be able to look up the VIN and tell me if this repair had been done, as there is some system that tracks this kind of stuff.

Can anyone confirm this?? Guess I could just call a dealer...
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:43 AM
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I think they removed the head, dressed it and replaced the head gasket. On my daughter's, I think they just had to do one side. Going from memory, it would have cost ~ $700 because she was out of warranty, but I had recently bought a new F150, so my dealer took care of us. We did have to work for it a little, because at first they denied any knowledge of a flaw.

My guess is that most dealers will be reluctant to admit this, or admit to any resposibility, but if you examine the head areas, you will be able to tell if there's any leakage. It should be obvious unless the engine has just been cleaned. If not, you don't have the flaw. If so, you can get them to fix it, or you can go elsewhere.

PS: There is a system that tracks repairs, but I don't think it will show repairs not done at a Ford dealer, and in the past at least, the system purged data after several years. Maybe these days it is more comprehensive.

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Old 03-17-2005, 10:24 AM
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Just had mine redone after I bought my 99 5.4. They had it for a week and I had a leak at the rear of passanger head. I was told by several dealers it was going to be $2,400. Found a Ford dealer to do it for $1500 and then I asked for some assistance for the repair because it is a 99 5.4 problem. I went to NHTSA and found 46 conplaints. Dealer assisted. I was told that the majority of them have this problem and there was no recall. I still came out on top as far as total $ spent on the truck.
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:22 PM
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Well, the dealer admitted the TSB and checked the VIN on the truck I am looking at. Nothing was found, no outstaning recalls, but she said she can't see anything that wasn't a warranty item.

I asked if there is assistance with Ford on things like this, since by issuing a TSB, they are essentially admitting there is a problem, and she told me good luck. Since I am not the original owner that I would have a lot of difficulty getting them to even listen.
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Old 03-17-2005, 08:50 PM
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Here is how I got my assistance (this is my first Ford always been a Toy man). I took it to the dealer and they verified the leak. If you look in the blue book for warranty issues there is a 1800 number. I called and complained about the issue (about 20-30 mins of it). The customer service person was typing as fast I could talk. Needless to say there was an email sent to the Ford Rep. for the area and he went to the dealership. My service writer who I have never dealt with before brought out his guns to stand and fought for me. He said it should not matter if you are the 1st or 5th owner of a vehicle if Ford has a problem then they need to deal with it. He got it down to where I paid about a third at the end. I wrote a letter to the owner and his boss and will give him referrals all day long. You just need to call and complain and state facts such as off NHSTA web page. Good luck. Keep us informed.
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Old 03-17-2005, 08:50 PM
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