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Mar 25th, 2012
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Need a good Ford engine mechanic in the Houston area #5274556 08/27/14 02:49 PM
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hou270win Offline OP
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I have a 2004 F150 with the 5.4L that is making a ticking noise. After doing a lot of reading at the F150 forum, it appears they have a history of this issue, and so it likely needs work on the camshaft timing chain phasers & guides. I tried one local shop of good size and they only wanted to replace the engine, and gave me no confidence they knew what they were doing. The engine runs well, and oil consumption is not excessive so I don't believe it needs an engine.

Can someone suggest a competent, honest shop with experience on these engines, that won't try to sell me everything and a kitchen sink? Prefer in West/northwest Houston.

Re: Need a good Ford engine mechanic in the Houston area [Re: hou270win] #5274572 08/27/14 02:57 PM
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Im not supper up on the fords, but from what ive heard/read the problem your dealing with costs in the neighborhood of what a new motor costs, just to repair it. In that case why not get a new motor is probably what the first shop was thinking. I may be off on this however.


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Re: Need a good Ford engine mechanic in the Houston area [Re: hou270win] #5274585 08/27/14 03:05 PM
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I've heard $1200 on the job. An engine supposedly requires lifting the cab off the chassis smile

Re: Need a good Ford engine mechanic in the Houston area [Re: hou270win] #5274968 08/27/14 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted By: hou270win
I've heard $1200 on the job. An engine supposedly requires lifting the cab off the chassis smile


Quotes ive herd were all around 3k or more. Pulling the cab off sounds horrible but for a shop that works on them it makes it easier. You looked under the hood of most modern vehicles? Its hard to stick your hand anywhere much less where it needs to go.


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Re: Need a good Ford engine mechanic in the Houston area [Re: hou270win] #5275054 08/27/14 07:15 PM
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hou270win Offline OP
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that's why I let other people change the spark plugs smile

Dad owned a garage and I worked for him through high & college, but I'd be feeling my age in a hurry if I had to do it.

Re: Need a good Ford engine mechanic in the Houston area [Re: hou270win] #5275068 08/27/14 07:31 PM
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I had my 5.4l 2004 replaced instead of getting it fixed. I had cam phaser isssues and the timing was shot. Cost me $2k more to get a new motor with a 3 year/100k mile warranty than getting it "fixed" and having a 90 day warranty.

Re: Need a good Ford engine mechanic in the Houston area [Re: hou270win] #5275228 08/27/14 09:18 PM
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If you have a good set of tools and are mechanically inclined, you can do the job yourself.
You do not have to pull the cab, all that would do is make the job take longer.

If it sounds like a 7.3 diesel engine running it is more than likely the cam phasers. Usually at operating temp the idle fluctuates, can be just slightly to several 100 rpms.
If you drive it a while to get to full operating temp, then in park rev the engine to 1500 ~ 2000 rpm for about a minute, then let off the accelerator pedal it will make quite a bit of racket.
You can buy a kit for around $450 ~ $750 (depending on where you get it and what it contains) and install yourself if youre mechanically inclined. The complete kits come with everything you need to do the whole timing system.

If it sounds more like tapping, clicking, ticking with the occasion clack its more likely normal, as long as it doesn't make a bunch of noise when you lift off the accelerator as described above.
The timing chain tensioners are hydraulically operated. Low oil pressure of idle causes the chains to slap into the guides and phaser pins slap back and forth.

Re: Need a good Ford engine mechanic in the Houston area [Re: hou270win] #5284845 09/03/14 12:03 AM
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There are many things that could cause the issue you describe. From blown out seals on the timing tensioner, seen many a broken rocker arms, to even loose spark plugs cause a lifter type noise. My advise would be this, if you do have internal engine noise, you need to check the crank shaft end play, any thing over .010 is out of spec. The earlier year 5.4l 3 valve engines where known for eating up the thrush washer in the crank. If this has happened, put a engine in it.
Take it for what it's worth, I am a ford tech and have been for the last 15 years

Last edited by Junebug; 09/03/14 12:37 AM.
Re: Need a good Ford engine mechanic in the Houston area [Re: hou270win] #5286230 09/03/14 05:42 PM
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Thanks - I'd actually like to trade the 2004 for a smaller truck, (I also have a 2014 F150) so not eager to drop $5k on an engine. One respected local shop quoted me not to exceed $2100 to do the cam chains, guides, phasers, etc. I am thinking I'll change the VCT solenoids myself, which some folks have reported to correct the problem. If that doesn't work I am inclined to let this shop do the chains & related stuff.

Re: Need a good Ford engine mechanic in the Houston area [Re: hou270win] #5301493 09/11/14 09:51 PM
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Do yourself a favor, and double check that the spark plugs are all tight. Put your fingers on each coil individually. You can feel the blow by. If any feel different, remove the coil and tighten the plug. I've seen this more than once.


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