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SuperDave, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
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Experience:  over 16 years experience
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f-150: / the 5.4 triton with 113 k miles..I drove..deisel..rpms go up

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Bought a used f-150 w/ the 5.4 triton with 113 k miles. 75 miles after I drove off the lot the engine sounds like a deisel at idle when temp goes to normal. Sounds normal when rpms go up. Runs great, no loss of power. Oil pressure says normal. Heard /read about a cam phaser. is the engine going to blow up ? How much does it cost to make it go away ?

There is a TSB for that:

TSB 06-19-8

10/02/06

TICKING AND / OR KNOCKING NOISE / STARTUP RATTLE FROM ENGINE - 4.6L / 5.4L
3V

FORD:
2005 Mustang
2004-2005 F-150
2005 Expedition, F-250, F-350

LINCOLN:
2005 Navigator

This article supersedes TSB 06-4-7 to update the Service
Procedure.

ISSUE
Some vehicles equipped with a 4.6L 3-valve or 5.4L
3-valve engine may exhibit a ticking and I or knocking noise after reaching
normal operating temperature, or a rattle upon starting. The noise may be
described as ticks, taps, knocks, or thumps. In some cases the noise may be a
normal characteristic of these engines. In other cases the noise may require
further investigation. Sorting out and defining the noise as reported by the
customer is important to successfully diagnose and I or repair the condition.

ACTION
Before starting diagnosis, it is critical to determine the
specific engine noise the customer is concerned with. The customer should be
interviewed to get their detailed perception and description of the noise, and
to determine if the noise occurs at idle or above idle
speed, and if the engine is cold, hot, or both. Attempt to duplicate the
noise, and determine the source of the symptom. Refer to the following Service
Procedure to help determine the source of the noise and if a repair is needed.

SERVICE PROCEDURE

NOTE READ THIS SECTION IN ITS ENTIRETY BEFORE
BEGINNING.

NOTE THE 4.6L 3V AND 5.4L 3V ENGINES ARE INSTALLED IN SEVERAL
VEHICLE PLATFORMS, WHICH MAY INFLUENCE THE INTENSITY OF NOISE DUE TO VEHICLE
DIFFERENCES IN SOUND TRANSMISSION PATHS, HOOD AND BODY INSULATION PACKAGES, AND
ROOT CAUSE OF THE COMPONENT(S) CAUSING THE NOISE.

PRE-CHECKS

















1.Make sure you have a detailed description of the noise the customer is
concerned with, including whether the noise is occurring at idle or above idle
speed (does it disappear above 1200 RPM), and if the engine is cold, hot, or
both when the noise is occurring. These engines generate a lot of "normal"
noises, so it is critical to confirm the noise the customer is concerned with.
Determine what environment the customer is in when the noise is most noticeable
to them (inside passenger compartment, next to building with / without the
driver and / or passenger window open, or beside the wheel well). Validate by
using your own perception.
2.Compare the noise generated with a new vehicle, if available, with an ENGINE
build date of 3/30/2005 or later on Mustang and 4/18/2005 or later on F-150 to
F-350, Expedition and Navigator vehicles.
3.Diagnose noise when engine is at normal operating temperature (Oil at 160°F
(71°C) or above). Verify oil temperature by using a diagnostic scan tool and
monitoring the engine oil temperature (EOT) PID. Startup rattle may only occur
with cold oil.
4.Check the type of oil
filter installed on the vehicle. A dirty or clogged filter may cause a
pressure drop. Look for aftermarket brands not recognized in the market or a
production filter that has gone beyond the standard Ford recommended change
interval.
5.Check for signs of oil brand used and viscosity (interview customer if
needed). Motorcraft® SAE 5W-20 Premium Synthetic Blend Motor Oil or equivalent
is recommended.

Once the above pre-checks are complete, check for sound level from the
following components, in the order listed. Compare the sound from these
components to the noise the customer is concerned with, to determine the source
of the noise.

INJECTION / FUEL SYSTEM

Injector noise (ticking) is considered normal. Noise increases with RPM hot
or cold and is recognized at the top of the engine.

VALVE TRAIN

Lash adjusters can make a ticking / tapping noise noticeable at any engine
RPM / temperature and is audible through the wheel well or an open hood.
However, with the hood down, lash adjuster noise can be heard as a light tapping
noise through the wheel well and is considered normal.

Tracing this noise must be isolated to a cylinder bank. If one bank is louder
than the other bank, focus the diagnostic to the loud bank. If both banks seem
loud with the hood down, compare wheel well sound level to another comparable
vehicle.

Use a stethoscope on the top of the cam cover bolt heads to confirm
which bank is affected. Move the probe from front to rear if necessary.
If
isolated, only replace the intake and exhaust lifters on the affected cylinder
bank.

VARIABLE CAM TIMING

The 4.6L 3V and 5.4L 3V variable cam timing (VCT) feature may emit a light
knock in normal operation and is audible only at idle
speed, with a hot engine (gear selector in park I neutral). However, it may
be masked by or mistaken for other noises generated from either injector firing
or a malfunctioning valve train as described above. The noise does not affect
performance or durability of the part.

VCT phasers may knock at hot idle. It may be heard inside the passenger
compartment, or the wheel well area. Some light noise is normal. The engine may
require a cold soak overnight for a full diagnosis to effectively be made at hot
idle, particularly when a VCT phaser is suspected. The knock is not prevalent at
cold temperature.

To test for VCT noise:

















1.Place the transmission in park or neutral
2.Bring engine oil temperature to 160°F (71°C) or above as indicated by the
scan tool "EOT" PID.
3.Allow engine to idle, and determine if noise is noticeable.
4.Set engine speed to over 1200 RPM (if noise is a VCT knock, the noise should
disappear).
5.Return engine speed to idle (verify knock returns).

If the noise intensity is more than a lightly audible knock at hot idle under
1200 RPM at engine operating temperature, replace the cam phaser using the
"In-Vehicle Repair" Camshaft Phaser and Sprocket procedure found in the Workshop
Manual, Section 303-01

START UP RATTLE

Some 2004 F-150 and 2005 F-150, Expedition, Navigator, F-Super Duty, and
Mustang vehicles may have a rattle on startup that lasts 1 to 3 seconds. If
initial pre-checks have been completed and the noise sounds like it is coming
from the front of the engine, replace the VCT Phaser Kit. If the engine
continues to make the rattle noise after the initial startup do not exchange
VCT.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Will the engine blow up if I don't do anything till I can afford to repair ? What is a ballpark price to replace the cam phasers ?
no it will not blow up.the cost is around $2000
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