2001 F150XL, 4.2/V6 Oil Leak: Intake Manifold or Head Gasket? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

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2001 F150XL, 4.2/V6 Oil Leak: Intake Manifold or Head Gasket?

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2001 F150XL, 4.2/V6 Oil Leak: Intake Manifold or Head Gasket?

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  #1  
Old 08-10-2018, 12:18 PM
Tighty Whitey
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2001 F150XL, 4.2/V6 Oil Leak: Intake Manifold or Head Gasket?

I've had the truck since January, 2018 and it has never had an oil leak, until I noticed surprisingly large puddles underneath after it sat overnight. Checked the oil level and I'm 1 1/2 quarts down since the last time I checked about 3 months ago. I'm still driving the truck, and monitoring the rate at which I lose oil, as I cannot say for certain when it started.

Yesterday, I took the truck to a local mechanic shop (Brake Check) and the guy there did a visual inspection and said both Head Gaskets were leaking. Estimate for Head Gasket Replacement is $1,800. Because I know the Manager at another Brake Check, I took it to that one this morning and he said the 1st guy might be right, but because most of the oil seems to be centered at the back of the engine under the firewall on the top of the engine, he thinks it's more likely that the intake manifold gasket is leaking, but no guarantees. He won't know until he pulls the intake manifold off. If it's a leak at the manifold gasket, the cost is $600.

I did a head replacement on a 4 cylinder mitsubishi truck about 15 years ago, so doing the work myself is on the list of things I'm considering.

Looking for opinions on whether it's more likely to be the Head Gaskets (both, since there's oil on both sides of the engine), or the Intake Manifold (the 2nd mechanic's opinion, or both could be bad. Also, I'm aware that if the Head Gaskets are replaced, the intake manifold gaskets will also need to be done, plus the cost of machining the heads, if that's necessary. I would assume they would need to be done. Or is there a possible 3rd alternative explanation.

At this point, unless I get more, better opinions, I'm planning to replace the Intake Manifold gasket on my own, and am looking for any tips, help, suggestions, etc... also if there are any special tools I will need besides a torque wrench. Watched a short Youtube video just now showing how the back 3 Intake Manifold bolts (under the firewall) need to be removed using a box-end ratchet wrench (I can post link to this video if it's useful).

Since I know that quality of parts is important, any advice on where to buy, or not to buy, parts like the gaskets would be appreciated. Is OEM NECESSARY? is a big question. This is probably going to be a long thread, because I think it's likely I'll end up doing the Intake Manifold gaskets, and will be asking lots of questions as that process moves forward. Any help appreciated, and thanks in advance.
 
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:16 AM
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you tube can be a great educational tool for sure.
if you have another vehicle to drive or borrow , or the ability to car pool. You might be wise to have that lined up, incase it takes more than a weekend to fix.

You can test the coolant for exhaust gasses, (most parts store should carry a test kit). If the testing indicate that there is some exhaust gasses present in the coolant....then it is most likely head gaskets are going to be needed anyway in the relative near future, even if they are not leaking the majority of oil. Also doing a compression test on all cylinders might help zero in on which cylinders potentially leaking. In general, It would help indicate the over all health of the engine too. If the compression is really low on all cylinders , it might be cheaper to swap out the engine for one that is isn't leaking and runs better. But that is extreme.

I guess that if I were in your shoes, I would plan on doing the head gaskets. It is the same process for both, intake manifold & head gaskets. Just that the head gaskets/ heads are just another "layer deeper", so to speak & thereby more labor to get to & includes the exhaust gaskets and manifolds.

If no exhaust gasses are indicated in the coolant, then maybe it could be just the intake manifold . So like your mechanics indicate, you'll know more when you start digging into it, if you decide to tackle it yourself . If you tackle it .and you get parts necessary for the head gaskets and everything, and if you discover that it was only the intake manifold is the culprit. You can always return the unneeded parts.

OEM parts are not necessary.....but be cautious of the lure of cheep aftermarket parts. OEM parts also come with longer warranty then aftermarket in most cases
 
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:05 PM
Tighty Whitey
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Originally Posted by enriched&beyound View Post
if you have another vehicle to drive or borrow

Thanks for the response. We have another vehicle to use, and I'm budgeting a week to do the repair.

I've thought about it and decided that, at minimum, I'm going to do the Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement. Looking for parts now, etc... I decided that, even if the Head Gasket(s) are leaking, replacing the Intake Manifold Gasket is much faster, cheaper, simpler and it might solve some, most or even all of the oil leak problem. Also getting into and out of the Intake Manifold will prepare me for the much more difficult job of going down one "level" to do the Head Gasket Replacement, if that turns out to be necessary. Plus, as a computer repair technician, I'm forced to consider how likely it is that both sides of the V-6's head gaskets are both going to suddenly start leaking a significant amount of oil, after a long history of NO oil leak, both at the same time, and without any overheating, etc... Intake Manifold gasket seems likely to be the only problem, and I'm willing to gamble the time, energy & money on replacing just the IM gasket on the chance that I'm correct.

So, having established that, things get much clearer.

What special tools, tips, tricks, materials, methods, etc... do I need in advance of doing this repair? Is there a Service Manual anywhere. I can borrow a torque wrench, but I need torque specs, and whatever else that goes along with it. Repairs in the past I've done sometimes require that you always replace certain ancillary parts (bearings, whatever) so those types of insights would be appreciated. I'm also planning on replacing whatever vacuum hoses, etc... I come into contact with, since I found one bad vacuum hose in the area already and the engine feels like it has a vacuum problem, as it runs rough intermittently, for no apparent reason. Guess that could also be the failing/failed intake manifold gasket too, though, so maybe I'll cure more than one problem.

What I'm really looking for is "special" knowledge. For example, when I did the Head Replacement on the Mitsubishi 4-cylinder, I learned that you can't torque the head bolts to factory specs on an old, aluminum block engine, as the metal deteriorates with age and the threads will strip out. I learned this the hard way, and it only took two stripped head bolts before I stopped long enough to start asking questions. That's also how I learned all about Heli-coils and Keen-serts, and I'd rather not learn another lesson like that the hard way. I'd prefer to take things the easy way and pay attention to someone who has been there before, done that, got the t-shirt and is willing to help someone else out.
 
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:28 PM
Tighty Whitey
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Just found this Youtube video. I can't confirm that the engine is the same as mine (I have a 4.2 V6). Also, as an aside, I'm really trying to "pin down" exactly which engine I have, in order to be certain that the IM gasket kit I order will be correct. There's some ambiguity in the engines, and it boils down to whether or not there is a "2" (as in "Type 2") at the 8th position of the VIN number. Mine has the "2", and the auto parts "software" I'm entering the information into seem to indicate that I have the right gasket kit, but when I dig a little deeper, I find out there's names for these engines, some or all of which are made in Canada.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_E...gine_(Canadian)

For the record, I have a 2001 Ford F150 XL with a 4.2 V6 engine with an automatic transmission. Wondering how many different 4.2 V6 engines were used in 2001, and from there I can rule-out those that I know that I don't have.

Anyways, the YouTube video shows clearly how an Intake Manifold Gasket fails at 19:37. Not sure what the exact nature of the failure was (oil, coolant, etc.. leaking into where). But it's proof that they fail. Removal and access to the gaskets does not look THAT difficult. Be nice to find someone that has actually done this, in order to confirm if this is true or not.

 
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