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Fordanswerman, Ford Motor Company Certified Tech
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3306
Experience:  Ford Engine Master/Transmission Master/Chassis Master=Ford Senior Master also Diesel 7.3/6.0
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ford f-150 4.2L; losing antifreeze. no detected leaks,no water

Resolved Question:

ford f-150 4.2L; losing antifreeze. no detected leaks,no water in oil/oil in water. slight valve or lifter tick. recently started, motor turned over but hit hard once almost stopping. now, definite tick/knock. good oil pressure, no smoke, no change in driving change other than knock/tick. suggestions on where to begin. heard of other problems with this model motor.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Fordanswerman replied 8 years ago.

Thanks for your question.


When you said "hit hard once" do you mean while cranking, the engine locked up momentarily?


Repair history?


How miles on truck?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
yes sir, for a moment then continued to crank and start with the added tick/knock that increased and decreased with rpm. the truck has 150k with no mechanical failures or required repairs. normal maintenance at recommended intervals and changes. manual transmission failure at 12k repaired under warranty.
Expert:  Fordanswerman replied 8 years ago.

What year was this truck?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
1998 f-150 from the motor decal it appears it was manufactured 12-1997.
Expert:  Fordanswerman replied 8 years ago.

From what I'm reading, it sounds very likely that the head gaskets have failed allowing coolant directly into the cylinder. This is why it locked up when cranking. It hydralic locked, that is not good either, because if that happens enough times, it could bend a connecting rod.


You might not see any coolant in the oil. If the coolant is going right into the cylinder, it has a very hard time getting into the oil because of the piston rings.


You should be seeing at least a slight white smoke from the exhaust and a sweet smell from the exhaust. This is confirmation of head gaskets bad and need to be replaced.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
changing the head gaskets and while i am in there, change the intake gaskets should not be a big deal. however, before the expense, is there a way to determine if i already have a bent connecting rod. once repairing the gasket and/or leaks, should the tick/knock deminish. i do not want to put the money into the gasket repairs and bolt it all back up only to have a bent rod and have to replace the motor.
Expert:  Fordanswerman replied 8 years ago.

If I suspect a bent rod, when I get the cylider heads off, I bring all of the pistons up to TDC and compare how high all the others come up to the top of the cylinder. If I notice one of the pistons isn't quite at the top like the others are, more than likely the rod is bent on the one that is a little short. Also look at all of the cylinder walls for scoring. Bring each piston all the way down, and look really close at the cylnder walls. If there is excessive scoring, that means something is wrong, and you would need to dig in deeper to find out what has caused this.


Also it wouldn't hurt to check the oil pressure too before tear down. You want to make sure the oil pressure is sufficient.



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