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5w30 Guzzler
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1,462 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
ive been smokin out my tailpipes for about a year now. it's gotten progressively worse. now it's getting PRETTY DAMN BAD. ive lost coolant. MAYBE noticed a SLIGHT decrease in power. i assumed i had leaky valve guides or piston rings. pulled the plugs. only one has oil on it. but there's lots on it.
ive heard it's RARE to blow headgaskets on the 4.6s, but i talked to a guy at a local ford dealership and he said he's seen plenty of blown hg's on 4.6's. says the same is happening/happened on mine. said i'll start noticing a big miss, loss of power, then it just wont startup anymore. he told me i should sell it before all this happens.

this worries me, but i know i shouldnt just take his word for it. i'd never sell the problems to an unsuspecting buyer. especially someone who would but a tbird. im gonna keep the car no matter what. this may even be a good chance for the '02 explorer engine install.(btw-how much could i get for a slightly used one?)

should i be worried?
 

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Astrophysicist / PostWhore
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2,028 Posts
What does your oil look like (on the dipstick, or when you do a complete change)? What does the coolant look like in your coolant overflow bottle?

If the engine is toast....why sell the car? You can get an '02 Exporer engine for a decent price and plop it down in there.


Car-part.com
 

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526 Posts
If you are slightly mechanically inclined, you could attempt to replace the head gasket yourself. Not a repair I would recommend to most who haven't done any engine work at all, but hey, I learned out of necessity also!

Parts will cost a couple of hundred bucks, depending on what you replace timing gear wise. If been able to get a complete Melling timing gear set for just over 300. Head gaskets are about 60-80, and you will need a new set of head bolts which run about 40 per set. You will also need an intake gasket set, possibly fuel injector O rings, a power steering pump pully puller (loaned from autozone or 10-20 bucks from harbor freight), and you might as well clean the EGR passages from the intake, exhaust manifold tube, and replace the EGR valve, DPFE sensor and IAC valve. Those last three will cost you at least 150.

Oh, yeah, you better have another car to drive and lot's of time to work on the bird. Mine has been out of commission for 3 weeks now...going on 4. I've been taking my time working on suitable weather weekends and after work for a couple of hours each day. I'm finally ready to start re-assembling my engine this weekend.

This has been my experience. I initially was investigating a possible blown head gasket and ended up rebuilding my engine. 1500+ dollars later, if I knew then what I know now, I would have investigated seriously a 2002 Explorer motor and gone that route.

The simple head gasket change that I used to do on GM engines just doesn't exist for a Ford 4.6. But still, it's been a great learning experience.

Good luck on whatever you decide!
 

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5w30 Guzzler
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1,462 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
oil on dipstick looks fine.
coolant in overflow tank looks fine.
after looking at car-parts.com, i see that greenleaf has the cheapest '02 explorer setups. if i decide to do so, should i be confident with buying from them? will i get EVERYTHING i need to do the swap?
 

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02 Explorer Pioneer
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2,880 Posts
Do a search on 02 explorer motor to find the old post covering what is needed. All greenleaf motors come with 6 month warantee
 

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I paid $1800 for a remanufactured 4.6 SOHC Explorer engine from a local company here in NJ, came with a 3 year 36k warranty. I have to get down and clean the egr tubes coming off the exhaust manifold. Are those the one that are called "differential"?
 

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Actually a friend of mine did the R & R, laborwise it turned out to be about $1500 cheaper than having a shop do it. I can hold my own when it comes to regular maintenance and such but for doing a job that big it's a little out of my league. Now mind you this is a friend of mine and when I asked him what the final damage was he thought for a second and said if it was anyone else it would be a $2000 job easy. Like I said the engine was $1800, $350 core charge and $129 for tax. The company name is Headmaster Inc., 236 Rt 46 West, Saddle Brook, NJ 0766, 201-843-6666. If you know someone you can trust to do the R&R you will definitely save on the labor. Every other place I called wanted $2500 or more not including the core. From what I've seen depending on where you live, shipping will run you from $300-600. If you have any thoughts about going with PI heads specify that when you order the engine, won't be a cheap option though. We sat down and did the math rebuild vs reman, with the rebuild your only saving about $300 and you don't have a warranty. My total for the entire swap was right at $3000 after replacing the water pump, hoses t-stat and a few other necessities. Yeah, he cracked my windshield putting the hood back on so I'm getting my J-mod done for free, can't really complain about that.
 

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Just wanted to thank you guys for sharing your experience. Most times that I'm researching problems with my 95 Tbrd this group comes up in the results.
Currently the issue I'm having seems like it may be a head gasket so I'm getting the OEM Engine block tester 27145 to see if there is exhaust in the coolant. Really hoping that it's something less serious.

Interestingly, when I checked the thermostat it had actually broken. The washer piece and little spring were laying in the manifold. I'm not sure if it was still operational or not but I'm going to put it in a pan and heat it to see what happens. After I put the new one in, the temp gauge is more consistent but always reads cold.
When I start it, it begins to make some heat but that doesn't last long and it goes back to all cold air. Recently the original radiator broke and dumped all the fluid. I thought it was old age but now I'm wondering if a combustion leak put pressure into the cooling system.

It had developed a miss that got worse and worse. The plugs were very old and replacing them fixed the miss for about a month but it recently came back.

Anyone ever tried BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer?

Rusty brake lines. Anyone ever bypass all the ABS stuff in the left front to simplify replacing the lines? ABS hasn't worked in a long time anyway...

Thanks again!
 

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220 Posts
Intermittent heat is likely low on coolant, coolant not getting to the heater core. Symptoms similar on my 14 Fusion after the dealership replaced the water pump under warranty. I opened up the reservoir tank with the system hot and the engine sucked in coolant from the tank. Still hear bubbles in the heater core when I start the car but now it has plenty of heat.
 

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Super Moderator
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10,305 Posts
Every time I thought I had a blown Headgasket, it was the filter adapter gasket.

3 times so far. :grin2:
 

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Super Moderator
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7,479 Posts
I would bet money it is not a blown head gasket. That being said, also stay away from all the various block sealers, as they don't work and are likely to clog up other things like your thermostat and your heater core. I see you are in Long Branch, I have a shop in Lincroft and could check it out for you if you are still having issues with it.
 
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