Question about 1997 Ford F150 Regular Cab

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Thank you for the input as far as your beliefs about it not being the torque converter as I was about to purchase one and have it installed. My question is what could cause this to be happening then? before I turn this engine over again and cause more damage that might have already occured in the fifty miles this second time around, I need to know what could possibly be causing the first crank and Main bearings to go as for sure now we know it wasn't a factory defective crank if the noise is starting again? Again thank you for your input in advance.

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  • bernierfamil Jun 23, 2009

    As you may have already figured out I am new to getting help online. To clarify what is going on with my question above, I own a 1997 Ford F-150 two wheel drive long box with a 256 CID V-6 engine 4.2 liter. I bought it used as a second vehicle owned it two years and put about 10,000 miles on it in that time. The truck has 114,500 +/- miles on it. last summer I went to start it up and it wouldn't start, I had a local garage tow it to there shop and see what was up. They found nothing wrong, when they turned it over it fired up and ran. I got it back and drove it for about two months with no problems. One day I went to start it and again it bucked a couple times and turned over, it acted like it was flooded and after a short distance the truck cleared up and ran smooth. a while past and it happened again (all the while the truck sits for long periods in my yard as I only use it as a second vehicle) anyway this time it started rough and I noticed a tapping noise as though it had a lose lifter. thinking it was only a slight adjustment I drove the truck around for a short time as I was getting the money together to have it checked out and over this time the sound got louder so I parked it and it sat for about six months. I had a couple semi experienced mechanics check out the sound by starting the truck up for a few seconds to hear it and they said the sound was deeper then the lifters tapping, the mechanic that actually repaired my truck recently did another 1997 Ford engine but it was the 4.6 liter engine that was making the same sound and he felt it was a broken connecting rod. I got some money together and he tore into the engine of my truck and found that the connecting rod hadn't broke but bent. this was caused from the gasket blowing out and filling the cylinder port with antifreeze, hence (hydrolocking it ) and bending the connecting rod and the piston in its downward motion slapping the crank breaking off a small piece. After ordering all the parts ( new crank and bearings, entire engine gasket kit, new piston, all new rings, and connecting rod, as well as the transmission main seal because the mechanic didn't want it to leak after the newly rebuild engine was installed) the Mechanic cleaned the block and all the remaining parts, and reassembled the engine honing the cylinder walls etc. After only about three hundred or so miles the engine would make a clicking sound which sounded like the plate between the transmission and engine mainly on take offs on inclines (hills) as time went on about 350 to 400 miles the tapping began to get louder and louder. I brought it back to the Mechanic who did the job and he had me park the truck and he found that the crank could be pushed and pulled back and forth. The Engine came out a second time and he discovered that the crank main bearing brackets were worn right off. The crank and bearings had to be replaced again. In trying to get the crank warranteed due to the Auto Parts dealer telling us there have been a couple cranks returned due to factory defect and after about three weeks another was in the mail. The place the crank came from said the only way something like this could have happened was if the torque converter blew up? I have been told by the mechanic who is trying to resolve this problem that he really doesn't know that that is the problem because the truck runs and drives and he has told the manufactures of the crank this. I have had the truck on the road for two days (fifty miles maybe) since the second crank and bearings were installed and the noise is starting up again very faint but ultimately I know where this is going. Before I start this truck up again and cause any further damage, I need any and all possible reasons what could be causing this to help my Mechanic keep his sanity. A new rebuilt engine was my first gut instinct but going against that after the machine shop and two seperate mechanics believed that if the cause for the hydrolock up was obvious (the blown head gasket in the location of the bent connecting rod) then rebuilding the engine would be my best bet. I now have about $1,600.00 into this engine and really cannot afford to scratch this engine and buy another engine new, used or rebuilt. Really need solutions to repairing what is causing this issue with the cranks? Thank you and I am sorry for the book I wrote just wanted you guys to know the whole story. Thank you very much for your time.

  • bernierfamil Jun 24, 2009

    In reference to the above issue I am having with my 1997 Ford F-150 256 CID V-6 4.2 liter engine, The mechanic that did the work feels strongly (after close examination to the sound the truck is making) that the engine is not what is causing the noise. Even in idle parked in my driveway at alittle less then a 45 % grade, the truck makes that same noise as if something is hitting something else. If the truck is just idling in park the noise can't be heard, if you throttle it up the noise becomes ever present and is loud. He also tried to pull and push the crank in and out and says that seems to be fine, he took careful notice of how much play it had after reassembling and says there is no difference in the play the crank has now . I don't know enough about torque converters and flex plates to know if this is what is causing the noise now, but it appears the sound is comming from the particular area where the torque converter is located? I would like as many Ideas as you guys have on this problem or many that support each other in the same idea of what it could be. One other thing the mechanic said was that it wasn't the main bearing flange that was worn right off it was the actual main bearing that was worn right down on the first crank. and the last thing is the block was not line bored before the new crank was installed. the mechanic who did the work said he has never had to do this step unless he was doing a complete motor rebuild. he said in all the cranks he has installed he has never once had to have the blocks line bored? I tend to believe him. anyway any and all opinions are going to be taken seriously and if I get many of your experts to agree with eachother on this subject I will be more likely to try the solutions you have. Thank you for your time

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    to much dialog.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    this is a 12 year old truck it could be anything.

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Your comment of "mainly on take offs on inclines" indicates excessive thrust on the crankshaft. If thrust is excessive it will travel longitudinally under load. This is verified by your other statements of "the crank could be pushed and pulled back and forth" and "the crank main bearing brackets were worn right off". These are not "brackets". One of the main bearings has a large outer flange type surface that acts against a machined surface on the crank to limit "thrust" or longitudinal travel. If the crank is improperly ground then it will quickly wear this bearing surface and present the problem you are describing.

Having been an engine and primarily transmission rebuilder for a number of years I can tell you that their claim of the torque converter "blowing up" and causing this problem is a load of bull.

Have your man carefully examine the crank for machine errors - all journals, but especially at the trust bearing, taking careful measurements and report any evidence of faulty crank to the machine shop responsible.

Every new (rebuilt) crank should always be carefully examined prior to install, bearing journals measured, bearings plasti-gauged, and thrust within limits.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009

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