Ford truck problem

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by retire2$, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    Engine quit running

    Going down the road and the engine quit. The engine did not make any noise when it quit - no backfiring, chugging, loud noises, etc. There has been a noise (like a diesel pickup sound - chattering) and an increase in the engine rpm's as I shift through the gears for the last month. The distributor will not rotate when the engine is turned over. I removed the distributor from the engine. Gears on distributor look fine. Thinking it may be the timing chain but a check in the Chilton Manual indicates there is no timing chain or belt just 2 gears. My next step unless someone has other suggestons is to remove the radiator, fan, and timing cover to check the timing gears.


    1994 F-150 with 4.9L (300 cubic inch) straight 6 cylinder.
    147,000 miles on truck
    oil change every 3500 miles
    truck did not miss, burn oil, etc.

    Someone posted a site that discussed Ford problems but I can't find the reference. Anyone know what it was?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Yankee1

    Yankee1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    If memory serves correctly the distributer is turned by the gears on the camshaft and if it does not turn that indicates a sheared cam or maybe the woodruf key in the alignment slot at the timming gear area. The diesel like chattering fits in with loose timming problems. Pull the oil fill cap and see if you can see the closest valve pushrod, turn the engine over and watch for movement, if none go directly to the woodruf key and cam connection.
     
  4. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Messages:
    19,568
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    I think I know this one.There is a little flat piece my wife calls the Brain,just below the distributer,its just plugs in,have to have a speacial tool to take it off and on.

    Then again it might be your Pickup Coil.

    big rockpile
     
  5. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

    Messages:
    6,143
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    look down the distributor hole while someone turns the engine over. If you see the camshaft turn the gears should be ok. If the camshaft doesn't turn, i'd lay money the gears are stripped.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    There is a roll pin in the gear on the end of the distributor. If that pin shears the rotor in the distributor will not rotate. You could remove the valve cover to verify that the cam is rotating resulting in the push rods causing the rocker arms to move. If the rocker arms are moving pull the distributor to check the above mentioned roll pin. You may be lucky :)
     
  7. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Messages:
    19,568
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    agmantoo forgot about that.Wife had that come out on her,the gear fell down in the Oil Pan.

    big rockpile
     
  8. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    890
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Clarksville TN.
    Oh poo! Can you reach it with a magnetic pick up tool? Watch out for the oil pump rod! It probably fell over the rod/center the gear hole.The oil pump rod just lifts out (on older engines anyway,not sure on yours?).So look in there and see where the gear is first.So it doesnt fall farther into the oil pan.
     
  9. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    Thanks to all for your input. I've not had a chance to do much with the truck in the last few days. Going to try a few suggestions today. I will keep you posted with the progress and results.
     
  10. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,977
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    East TN
    Your truck should have timing gears and no chain if my memory serves me correctly. I know the earlier model 300 6cyls. had gears only. The cam gear is a phenolic material on some to keep the gears quiet.
    It is common for the pin on the dist shaft to shear and not allow the dist to turn.
    IF YOU REMOVE THE DISTRIBUTOR AND CRANK THE ENGINE OVER YOU WILL HAVE TO BE SURE TO RETIME THE DISTRIBUTOR.
     
  11. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

    Messages:
    19,568
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    IF YOU REMOVE THE DISTRIBUTOR AND CRANK THE ENGINE OVER YOU WILL HAVE TO BE SURE TO RETIME THE DISTRIBUTOR

    Easy done just pull number one Plug,bring Piston up,point Rotor to it should be close.

    big rockpile
     
  12. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    Progress report. I took the distributor out of the engine. The gear on the distributor turns when rotated. There doesn't appear to be any wear on the gear. Didn't turn over the engine as I am home alone. Replaced distributor back into engine. It was recommended that I drain the oil and cut open the oil filter to see if there was metal chips/shavings on the filter. Did that and filter appears OK. Next step was to remove the timing gear front cover. Chilton manual says to remove the crankshaft pulley. The pulley has a slot in it - I'm assuming you put a screwdriver in it to keep the pulley from turning as you remove the bolt. QUESTION - where do you wedge it on the motor to keep the pulley from turning or what is the correct procedure. It appears that the timing cover is lightweight metal and I don't see any other possible spots. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  13. 12vman

    12vman Offgridkindaguy

    Messages:
    793
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    Out in the Boonies.. In Ohio
    Leave the belt and the tightener (if it has one) on the pulleys and wedge the alternator or something else to hold the pulley you want to loosen just to break it loose. After that it should come off with a puller..

    That's a lot of work to check the timing gears. Are you sure there is spark and fuel? As stated above, see if the valve train is working before tearing it down. Might as well replace the valve cover gasket too and maybe save yourself a lot of work..
     
  14. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,977
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    East TN
    Before removing the cover remove the oil fill cap and observe the valvetrain. See if the rocker arms move while engine turns over. If there is no movement you know where your problem lies. Also can remove spark plugs and do a compression test. Many times a gauge is not necessary, just a finger in the hole. If valve timing is off you will get no compression or suction instead of compression on some cyls.

    Is the harmonic balancer and the frt. pulley one piece or does the pulley come off seperately? The frt. of the balancer should have 3 bolts or at least 3 bolt holes. This balancer is press fit on the crankshaft and will require a puller and installer to remove and install it. You should be able to install a couple of bolts in the balancer and leverage it with a prybar while loosening the nut. Be careful what you wedge or pry against or you can damage parts.

    If the timing gear did go bad here's some of the bad news. The cam gear if phenolic will have shed it's teeth into the oil pan and can be sucked up into the oil pump pickup screen. Fords are notoriously bad for clogging the screens just with sludge and debris won't make it better. Next problem you might encounter is the cam gear is pressed on the cam, not bolted like others. Again this will require a puller and installer.
     
  15. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    Solution to engine not running.

    After reading the posts and speaking to others I've decided to bite the bullet and have the engine rebuilt by a machine shop. I'm having truck withdrawl symptons and if I don't get it fixed quick I may start riding past new truck dealerships :( .

    Having the work done is costly but not near as expensive as buying a new truck and less time consuming than for me to try and do it myself.

    Thanks to everyone who offered advice.
     
  16. luckypabst

    luckypabst Active Member

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Location:
    Lone Pine, CA
    Little late here but I could have told you from the top it was the phenolic gear. The 4.9's are notorious for shredding those gears. There is a full steel gear set on the market now that solves that problem.

    I just swapped an EFI 4.9 in place of a carbed one in my Army truck. Timing gear swap was one of the first upgrades in preparation for the swap. The set alone cost about 80 bucks but I saw a set go on Ebay for less that 20.

    What kinda miles are on the truck now? (Nevermind, I see it now) Those engines have a reputation of making it to Toyota time (300,000 miles). I'd suggest checking compression and vacuum and maybe leakdown before dropping the cash on a rebuild - of course you'd have to swap the gears first just to run the tests.

    Chris
     
  17. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    you may also want to check prices on rebuilt engines from your local parts stores. i got a rebuilt 351W for my Bronco for less than $1000 after i returned the core. after replacing a whole lot of stuff (vacuum hoses, power steering pump hose, alternator, etc) to fix other problems i was only out about $1500, which i think is pretty cheap for a working truck with a fresh engine.
     
  18. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    Luckypabst,

    I haven't done the rebuild yet. I'm supposed to take the truck to the mechanic tomorrow (Sat.) I was told that even if it was the timing gear the pan would need to be pulled and cleaned of the debris to keep the oil pump from clogging.

    The complete job (pulling engine, taking off and putting bolt ons back on, reinstalling the engine by the mechanic is $250.00. The mechanic works for Ford but has a side line business. Overhaul by a machine shop is $1400. I did price the rebuilds from Advance, Pep Boys, Autozone, and the internet. Prices are similar and I like the idea of keeping my original engine.

    What did you do to the motor after replacing the timing gears? How difficult and approximately how much time did it take. On a scale of 1-5 what is your mechanical ability so I can compare your time to what it would take me to check this out.

    Thanks in advance
     
  19. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    if you stripped a gear or snapped a cam or something, your gonna have metal shards in the pan.... so the engine needs taken out and torn down to the block, then refitted with some new parts..
    sounds bad but there is a real upside... its a I6, so its not so big lke a 390 (like I have). My cousin has a few ford trucks and all but one have I6's, they yank strip and rebuild them in an afternoon... of course he is a diesel mechanic and has been doing that for years for kicks. Ive watched, doesnt look to hard once its OUT.

    the upside is, once you recover from the shock of having to do it is, you can put new parts in there... a good improved cam, gears, gaskets ect... send the head out to be checked ttanked and shaved if needed.
    you will get to inspect the pistons and sleves, the valves ect... while its stripped you can flush the oil ports and channels with diesel and get everything good and clean.
    clean out that oil pan screen... maybe even put a new pump in. 147k you are about due for a new one anyhow.

    so lets guess about.... 300 bucks or so you will have a good overhauled engine you dont have to second guess for another 147k....maybe longer.

    I sweated and groaned over dismanteling my 390 till we got it half done... I found a cracked valve, a head leak, a few blocked up oil galleries... when its done, at least I can breathe easy for a few yrs knowing I SAW int inside and what was done.

    you wil be better off than picking one guess and fixing that over and over again.
     
  20. luckypabst

    luckypabst Active Member

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Location:
    Lone Pine, CA
    The gear that is stripped is fiber, there will be NO metal shards in the engine. Anything that got past the pickup screen would have been taken out by the oil filter. Yes, dropping the pan is a good idea to clean out the mess, maybe clean up the screen too.

    147K is midlife for lots of these engines, like I said run a few tests before you commit to rebuilding. But for vacuum and compression you'll have to replace the gears first. Maybe check leakdown to get an idea of the condition of the heads and rings before you do anything.

    Never seen a 300 dollar overhaul. Maybe a 300 dollar rebuild kit. Factor in grinding the crank, boring the cylinders, touching up the cam, full head job, resizing the rods and you're closer to 1200 bucks from the machine shop, before even beginning to cover labor. This is SoCal typical costs. Many other locales are somewhat cheaper but not by much for quality work. Parts store (Kragen, Pep Boys, etc) rebuilts are junk. Very high rate of warranty work, if you can get them to even honor their warranty.

    I have zero formal training in mechanics but it has been an obsession of mine for the last 12 years, since jr. high school. I don't want to boast but I'm highly confident in my abilities and I have done a lot of jobs on my personal fleet of junk that most general mechanics wouldn't take on.

    Cleaning the oil pan and swapping the timing gears would take me the better part of a day with many beer breaks. 250 to pull and replace the engine sounds rather fair, especially for an EFI motor. But the job could be done with the engine installed. Timing gears can be accessed with the grille and radiator removed - you'll need a harmonic balancer puller, a two jaw puller for the cam gear and a heavy duty steering wheel puller for the crank gear - all available through those parts store "loaner tool" programs. The oil pan can be removed from beneath the truck unless you have a big crossmember in the way, if so the pan may or may not come off. Use a late model one-piece oil pan gasket, not the 4 piece set used on pre-EFI trucks. Other than those three tools, the job can be done with basic hand tools. You'll also need a timing cover gasket set. I did this job with the engine on a stand so if you decide to tackle it yourself be certain you have room in front of the engine, even with the radiator/grille removed to fit the pullers you'll use!

    I would estimate the parts cost like this-
    New gears - 80
    oil pan gasket - 20
    timing cover set - 25
    rent-a-tools - 15-20

    Chris