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Discussion Starter #1
I have years of experience as a service manager/mechanic, but left the trade in 1994 and have NEVER touched a Ford 4.6l.

I need to do a roadside check of a 96 TBird, that owner says "I was driving on the highway, saw white-ISH smoke in my rear view mirror, lost power and pulled over and I shut engine. Gauge did not show overheat and the engine would not re-start"

Owner- "Before this breakdown, the car had been lacking power, because (he was told) it had bad cats"

What do you 4.6 guys think?

I plan on bringing basic hand tools, my code reader, compression tester, timing light and volt meter.

Do I need a special adaptor to allow my compression tester to reach down into, and screw in to the recessed spark plug holes?

Should I be concerned about jumped cam timing? Can I check same with out teardown? Is the 4.6 an interferance(bent valve) engine?

Sorry I don't have more, the owner is out of town and is totally NOT car smart.


Thanks!
 

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How does the coolant and oil levels look...too low or high? Does it sound like it has good compression while cranking? To my knowledge, jumped cam timing is not common with these engines, but yes it is an interference engine. Good Luck and let us know what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Owner- "Before this breakdown, the car had been lacking power, because (he was told) it had bad cats"

What do you 4.6 guys think?

Do I need a special adaptor to allow my compression tester to reach down into, and screw in to the recessed spark plug holes?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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My cats just went bad in my 95 last year. My dad and I thought it had to be a fuel or timing issue. I worked at a shop for the past year so i consulted the mechanics there and they told me the same thing. So I bought a little hand scanner and could never successfully pull a code so i proceeded to go to town on the engine compartment...

After checking spark plugs, fuel pressure, and electrical connections I began replacing the cam sensor, crank sensor, the front 02 sensors, the canister purge valve, new injecor o-rings, and trying a new pcm.

Finally we gave up and brought it to the family mechanic. After 2 weeks of him pulling off timing covers, checking injectors, and plugs he decided to try to start the car with the front o2 sensors removed. It successfully started but it shot fireballs at the inside of the fender well.

If it is the cats pull out the front o2 sensors, between the maniforlds and the cats, on each side. Try to start the car but never take your hand off the key or there may be little car left to fix. This is what i was told worked for my car.
 

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To answer your second question: Your compression tester will need to thread into the spark plug holes. So if the hose connected to your compression tester has no threaded tip (to screw in, in place of the spark plug) then you will need to find an adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info. My comp tester does have treads, on the hose end. I was Just wondering if I needed some kind of extension, to reach in.

I'm still waiting for the Tbird keys, to check it out, but I did "eyeball" it. Owner said clear title..........wrong "salvage title"! First bad. Second bad, both air bags were deployed, so I'd have to at LEAST get used bags.

I noticed the motor oil looked OK, but the rust-stained coolant reservior was empty........with a coolant gallon bottle in the car. He's been leaking / using coolant and most likly ran it till it got so hot, it stopped running and probably siezed!

Body needs right fender, hood, 2 outer door handles. Front bumper cover has a small crack and right door, a small crease, but would be Ok for a teenage driver(daughter).

I think it's time to send this ThunderBird to the "big nest in the sky"!

ONE LAST QUESTION.........How does the 4.6 handle bad OVERHEATING?

Thanks.
 

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white smoke..... over heating..... gallon of coolant... empty radiator.... hummm sounds like blown head gaskets to me.... check the oil... if its milky than theres a strong chance the engine either hydrolocked itself or washed out and seized.
 

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I cracked my manifold so bad it sucked in coolant...

Thick, White smoke behind me, as far as I could see... :D

I broke it at 5 grand, making a pass; the alternator was loose after.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks again for the replies. I told the seller I'm not interested.
 
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