ford 4.6 engine cam problems?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Summitdrinker, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. Summitdrinker

    Summitdrinker Golden Member

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    Engine noise: Some 4.6L engines may develop a ticking sound from the engine at idle requiring replacement of the cylinder head and camshaft assembly. (2003-04)

    from:
    http://consumerguideauto.howst...lincoln-town-car-2.htm

    I am thinking about buying a used car, mercury grand marquis or lincoln town car from about years 2000 thru 2004. came across this issue that I never heared of before?????????

    but it doesn't list this problem under other cars with the 4.6 engine, just the town car?????????????????

    anybody know anything about it?
     
  2. foghorn67

    foghorn67 Lifer

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    I never heard about this. And there is a ton of 4.6 placed in various Fords around my friends and relatives.
    I will pass this on just in case.
     
  3. exdeath

    exdeath Lifer

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    Ah yes, the infamous "tick", the greatest fear of every new '03-04 Cobra owner. Has to do with flawed head casting and coolant flow design on the first revision of the head that causes coolant to dead end in the back of the driver side head and causes the 7 & 8 cylinders to run hotter than the others. The ticking sound occurs when the valve guides and/or seats warp due to running too hot and the ticking itself is the sound of the valves not seating correctly and tapping because of it.

    It's only on the DOHC 4v heads for 03-04 and is more prominent on the Cobra and Mach 1 due to their high performance nature and tendency to be driven hard. Either the head can be replaced with a revised casting (usually referred too as "Jan '05" heads) under warranty (or discounted cost if out of warranty) or you can install an after market bypass kit for about $200 that replaces the freeze plug on the driver side head with an elbow and hose and allows the coolant to flow out the back and merge with the exit path that IS on the passenger side head.

    I've had two '03 Cobras, the first heavily modified and both driven hard. My coupe is sitting at 40k miles and is completely stock. Build number on the coupe is #50 and it was made in '02 and the earlier ones were the ones most vulnerable to it. But I haven't had any problems on either car. All in all its very rare and nothing to worry about, and most cases of it occurring are after the vehicle has been driven very hard in hot weather, top speed pulls, or modified to make crazy horsepower without any kind of cooling system upgrades, etc. If you are paranoid about it, I'd suggest looking for a more recent build date and not anything with that engine made in 2002 - early 2003.

    It's a bad thing to end up with, but the chances are slim. I wouldn't worry about if. If you buy a used car that has 20-40k miles or more on it, and you let it get to full temp and test drive it and pop the hood and don't hear anything then you're fine. (it's very loud you will know it when you hear it, don't confuse with injector tick which is normal). Basically if it hasn't developed by then, it won't at all.
     
  4. jagec

    jagec Lifer

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    excellent post!

    I was wondering how a noisy cam warranted the replacement of the entire head.
     
  5. Summitdrinker

    Summitdrinker Golden Member

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    thanks for the info exdeath, the website is in error then as town cars didn't have the 4 valve engine installed only Mustangs and Marauader

    jagec, A bad head can cause problems, like a casting problem that starves the cam of oil, a warped head, or a cam bearing bore that it the wrong size or out of alingment
     
  6. Pacfanweb

    Pacfanweb Lifer

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    Ford had lots of problems in the late 90's and early 2000's with the SOHC 4.6 and 5.4's leaking oil from the heads, but not cam problems.

    As mentioned, the DOHC cars are the ones that had cam problems.
     
  7. Demon-Xanth

    Demon-Xanth Lifer

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    In the case of the SHO V8 the cam gears would slip on the cams themselves, sending the valves out of timing and into the cylinders. So it could be worse. :)

    iirc, the preventative fix was to tack some welds on the gears so that they weren't just pressed on.
     
  8. kevman

    kevman Diamond Member

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    are any of the 4.6L Trucks affected by this ( f150, expedition, etc ) ?
     
  9. boatillo

    boatillo Senior member

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    What he said, I have a very early production 03 Mach 1 and am still worried about this happening someday (6200 miles atm) but I don't drive it hard and no power adders on the engine so I hope to be ok! No more warranty, eek. There are LOTS of 4.6 engines produced by Ford, but I've only heard of this with the early 03 Cobra & Mach 1