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Another 5.0L Miss Thread

Turdle

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Cali' Explorer said:
JTSmith-
Thanks for that, but the shipping cost to get them here tomorrow is probably more then the cost of buying them all. I could just get the 2 I am missing and call it a day, but then there would be 2 Grade 8 and 2 whatever these are... for some reason I like everything to match whenever possible, haha.
I'll just keep sending positive energy then lol
 



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Cali' Explorer

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Thanks, I can use all the positive energy I can get right now :)
 






V8BoatBuilder

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Just saw this thread for the first time... good luck on the reassembly and let me know if I can help.
 






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Well all, have some statuses to give. There's some good news, some bad news, and some potentially nasty news, so here goes.

The Good News
I got the Explorer all put back together and fired it up for the first time in over a month yesterday around 4:00 in the afternoon. Took about 2 cranks of the motor to start, stumbled a little and then fired right up. The pedal was a little slow to respond, but this seems normal when the computer has been reset (and mine was disconnected for over a month). Everything seemed to be pretty much ok on this front. After talking with a friend, he recommended starting the engine up for the first time with no coolant and running it for 1 - 2 minutes. He said that this will cause the motor and gaskets to expand and compress without risk of coolant seeping in if there is a small gap. After this all was good, so I let it cool down. I then filled it with coolant and burped the system (or so I thought).

After about 1/2 an hour or so, I fired the Explorer up again and everything still seemed ok. I let the engine idle for about 20 minutes looking for leaks, keeping an eye on the temperature, etc... Everything still looked fine, heater appeared to work, A/C was fine, all seemed ok.


Some Bad News
I then took it for a test drive around the block. As I got on it... low and behold, the miss at 4k is STILL there!

Now, the one thing I will mention, the spark plugs in the engine (despite only being 15k old) looked pretty nasty. It looks like oil from the valve seals were contaminating the plugs and possibly my ignition problem was causing them to get hot. This combination seemed to almost eat away at the plugs (I took a look at one electrode this time and it looked like it was about 1/2 worn already). My friend had told me to replace the plugs, but without a car, I was unable to get to the parts store to get new ones. I will be picking some up this week. This would also follow the previous problem I had with the plug wires causing a similar, but much worse problem (see earlier posts).


Some More Bad News, Maybe
After I got the Explorer all loaded back up, we headed out on the Freeway. Not 30 seconds after getting onto the freeway the Explorer started to overheat (Great). We pulled of at the next exit, I let the engine cool for a few minutes and then I pulled the radiator cap (letting it bleed off the steam into the resorvoir tank first). The water level was way down, so I started filling. The engine took about 1 1/2 more gallons of water and seemed to be happy. I then started it back up and continued on the freeway. Again, not 30 seconds or so and the temperature starting rising, although it didn't actually get to the "Hot" like it did the first time. I pulled off the freeway and decided to head back, leave the Explorer and deal with it next weekend because it was already almost 11:00 at night and we both were supposed to work today.

Now for what I checked. My first thought of course was "Great, Cylinder Head Gasket Leak". But, things haven't followed that pattern yet. The Explorer has not had steam coming out of its tail pipe at all yet, nor has the oil turned to a milky color at all. Similarly, after I took it for a test drive around the block, I left it idling in the driveway for nearly an hour and not an ounce of water spilled out (only a small amount of condensation from the A/C).

The overheating appeared to only occur once I got on the freeway. The other thing was, one the temp would start to rise, my heater would start to work, as soon as the temp dropped, my heater went cold. The cylce from hot to cold was almost instant (maybe 2 seconds from overheating to normal). Also, after putting in nearly 2 more gallons of water, it never actually got to the "Hot" spot, but only got 1/2 way between normal and hot. It seems like I just didn't get all the air out of the system.

I was basing how much water and time to let the engine burp based upon when I did coolant flush and Thermostat change about 2 months ago, but I didn't actually get all the water out of the block and the heater core that time, so that would certainly account for the additional air in the system and the weird heater issue. Plus, the fact that as soon as the thermostat appears to kick in, the temp immediately drops seems like air in the system.

One question on this front, I checked the Haynes manual and it said that the system should take between 12.8 and 15.7 Quarts to fill (+/- 15%). I've so far put in between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 gallons (not 100% sure because I wasn't measuring my water out in gallons, just filling the system until it seemed full enough). How much water have those of you who have done things like this had to put in? I think I'm close, just a little concerned.


Some Other Good News and Notes
The new valve covers did clear the roller rockers fine with the removal of the oil baffle. The only spot that was close was in the corners at the top where I hadn't remove the casting material yet. They did fit, but if I pulled the valve covers to one side or the other, they would hit slightly. I opted to clean out the stuff in the corners just to be safe, but there did seem to be enough clearance for my roller rockers. That means, if you are running the FMS Roller Rockers which are clearanced around the sides more, you shouldn't have any problems at all.

I've also had the car running through at least 4 seperate drive cycles now, and there have been no CEL thrown yet (thank goodness). I will be throwing the OBD-II Scanner that Glacier let me borrow next weekend when everything else is together. I didn't have time this time because I got it all buttoned up just with time to leave... Biggest suggestion to anyone, don't rush, even if you've spent 30+ hours on it like I have (a lot of that is wasted time stumbling with getting 1 bolt in for 2 1/2 hours in 100* heat, haha). Also, a second pair of hands and eyes will save you a lot of time (took me about 30 minutes to find TDC on the compression stroke the first time because I kept passing it up).

It also looks like some TM Headers will be in my not too distant future (once I can resolve the miss). The drivers side header (which was replaced under warranty by Ford about 20k ago) was warped so badly that I couldn't get one bolt in. If I installed that bolt first, I couldn't get 3 - 4 in, even with a big breaker bar. If I put all the others in loosely, I couldn't get that one in. the Passengers side went on like butter, took 20 minutes. My guess is because of the wonky design of the drivers side, it just warped from heat. Time to start saving, haha.

The only other issue I had was with the egr. Because of the upper intake spacer and the taller Valve covers, I had a hard time getting the egr tube to clear and fit the EGR on. I ended up doing it, but the tube is sitting awfully close to the valve covers. I may force a breaker bar in there as well to "Adjust" the tube a little more.


I think that's pretty much it for now. I'll give you guys an updated as I find out more... a little bummed about the overheating, but glad that she started right up, that was probably my single biggest concern.
 






Turdle

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Hopefully, you just got all the air burped out.
I have luck if the mounty is facing uphill.

Also, check those doggone crossover tubes way back at the rear of intake, feel for water-coolant there.

It does take quite a bit to completely fill the cooling system, I dont think you lost anything but air???
Is the return tube from the reservoir clogged?


I'll bet you felt like a new man when she fired up eh??

Jon
 






410Fortune

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how old is the thermostat?
 






Turdle

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410Fortune said:
how old is the thermostat?
I was just going to ask that, or suggest even if it is new it seems to be sticking
 






410Fortune

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I always test them before I install

it cannot go in backwards (wont fit)
the weep hole should be up top
sounds like either a faulty sensor or thermostat or you have air in the system
also your heat working/not working is odd, sure you dont have a vacuum leak?
 






Turdle

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410Fortune said:
I always test them before I install

it cannot go in backwards (wont fit)
the weep hole should be up top
sounds like either a faulty sensor or thermostat or you have air in the system
also your heat working/not working is odd, sure you dont have a vacuum leak?

The intermittent heat could be from air pockets thru heater core????
It is highest part of cooling system, correct?
 






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burp that system! I have poured hot water down the upper intake hose before to burp a 4.0L, this opens the thermostat and allows any air trapped behind it to escape.....
 






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Hey Guys, thanks for all the information.

First, the thermostat is pretty new. I installed it about 3 months ago when I swapped the coolant out at 100k. The thermostat worked fine and everything up until now, engine always stayed dead even for the 2 months it was in. When I pulled of the lower intake, I didn't even remove it so as not to mess with it.

As for the Air, you are correct, when I cracked the Radiator cap to depressurize, all I got was air coming out into the resorvoir tank (well, steam). I then put in about 1 1/2 more gallons.

I'm assuming that since after putting the 2 gallons in it was staying cooler even when it got hot that I still just didn't have enough in there. I do think that it was probably the heater core that was the issue as I know I didn't drain that last time... I figure when I did the thermostat swap I probably didn't empty the block, parts of the manifolds, or the heater core. Between those, I'm sure that's at least a gallon or two of water. So hopefully just burping the system some more, parking it up a hill (IE: On my ramps) will get her finished off. I just hope I didn't do any damage with the heat, but I don't think it was hot enough, I only put 8 miles on it, and most of that was taking backroads to get home so the engine didn't get as hot. We'll see on that front.


On another front, what are individuals thoughts on the Spark Plugs? The biggest thing about this miss is that's its almost like a switch. If I have the pedal floored and I'm above 4k, it does it. I have tried it not at WOT and it doesn't seem to do it... but, its hard to keep the engine at or above 4k without it being at WOT. Only other thing I am thinking is maybe clogged injectors? I know I have proper fuel pressure to the rail, but maybe the fuel injectors can't get it into the motor fast enough? How would I go about checking those?
 






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It could be the computer itself if the miss only happens at 4K.
Normally a bad PCM (from what I have seen) however would have some codes
 






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That was kind of my thought 2. The other thing is this problem was somewhat progressive. I've been fighting a loss of power issue for well over 20k. About 20k ago, Ford Replaced my Lifters and Exhaust Manifolds becasue of this same issue. I have since replaced the Spark Plugs, Wires, another set of Exhaust Manifolds and now had the Cylinder Heads done and all the other goodies on top. Still missing the power it used to have which leads me to think that something else is going on. Up to this point, the only thing to have made ANY difference was the lifters, but that just stopped the motor from doing a severe stumble on accelaration (through the whole driving range).


I have also been thinking about the coil packs again. When I had the loss of power issue before, I replaced my stock Coils with Accel Units. The change made no real difference, but I'm wondering if that might not be the culprit of the spark plug disintegration (or at least a contributor). At this point, I have replaced all the ignition but the spark plugs with Accel Aftermarket gear meant for the Explorer.
 






410Fortune

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You need to monitor what is happening with your computer, air/fuel as you drive it in real time and it occurs IMO otherwise you cuold be chasing this for years.

I have had similar power issues, 90% of the time they are fuel related OR a clogged cat converter (also loose catalyst).
 






Cali' Explorer

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I will keep that in mind. At this point, I'm going to do the Spark Plugs either way and get the air out of the system. The car was totally driveable, but I wanted to look into this issue because this is the only time of year I can afford to be without a car for more then 2 or 3 days. In the end, it was worth the time as the Valve Guides were definitely loose and while they might not have been causing all of my problems right now, they were sure to cause me problems not too far down the road if they hadn't been fixed.

My next step will be to hook up the OBD-II Scanner and have it capture data through several drive cycles. I'm really hoping that turns something up. At this point, the only major components in the entire system not replaced are the MAFS, Injectors, O2 Sensors and Spark Plugs...

Does anyone know what the test procedure is for a fuel injector? Just curious.
 






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I'm a firm believer in simple copper sparkplugs. They're cheap, and have the best conductivity of all plug types. They don't last as long as Platinum, but they work better and I just replace them every 20-30k miles, which allows me to see their condition.

Also, you should be putting in about 4 gallons of coolant in, so you seem OK. (15qts = 3.75gal)
 






Cali' Explorer

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A couple of people have mentioned using the Copper Autolites. How are those working out for you so far? What type did you actually end up getting and did you use the factory gap of .054"?
 






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The plugs seem to be working well, they've been untouched for about a year. In the next month I'm going to pull them and inspect, maybe do a compression test for S/G.

The truck has been running well, although it's developed a random problem where sometimes it will "feel" very fast, and other times it will feel like it's towing or fully loaded with gear when it's not. Every normal test checks out fine, so I'm not worrying about it until I have some free time.
 






Cali' Explorer

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V8BoatBuilder-
Ahh, ok. So, it sounds like your issues may not have been totally resolved 100% either? Or has this "Fast" and "Slow" feeling been a more recent thing?

Also, what gap did you use on them? Just curious.
 



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V8BoatBuilder

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Cali' Explorer said:
V8BoatBuilder-
Ahh, ok. So, it sounds like your issues may not have been totally resolved 100% either? Or has this "Fast" and "Slow" feeling been a more recent thing?

Also, what gap did you use on them? Just curious.

It's been off/on since I bought the truck, but the "fast" periods have been more frequent lately. I want to find out what causes them, so my truck will be "fast" 100% of the time.
 






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