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 Post subject: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: April 19, 2017, 11:51 pm 
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Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
Probably newer than most would expect​, but I'm going to be doing a few major repairs on my 2010 F-250 this summer. It's my work truck, and it's led a tough life. It's been basically a bush truck since new, and working in the oil patch is hard on equipment. Most guys doing the same work as me only run their diesel trucks to about 150,000 kms, so I'm way ahead of the curve on that. Mine has the 5.4 gas engine, and currently it has 348,000 kms. Considering the usage, this truck has been amazingly trouble free. Up to now it's only needed oil and filter changes, brake pads, and last fall it got treated to new springs. I was planning to just change the tires, sparkplugs, and a worn tie rod end this set of days off, and figured while I had the plugs out, I'd do a compression test. #8 plug was pretty black, and it only went to 30 psi, so I guess that's where the oil has been going. The rest of the truck is mostly pretty solid though, and I would rather fix this one than buy another, so here we go. I hate car payments, and don't really want to buy someone else's headache for something that has to be reliable in some pretty crappy conditions. This will be my first time getting into anything this new, and the second engine I've put together, so it should be fun. I've ordered a factory service manual dvd and a book on rebuilding Ford's modular engines, and doing as much reading as I can about people rebuilding these engines, so hopefully it goes well. I'm torn between ordering a rebuild kit now so it's here when I'm ready for it, or waiting until after I tear it down and check the condition of the cylinders and bearings. Apparently the bores might still be good enough to avoid boring them out. If anyone here has any experience rebuilding these newer 3 valve engines, I would definitely appreciate any advice. I'm probably going to use a DNJ rebuild kit, OEM phasers, and a Melling high volume oil pump. I'll leave the engine rebuild for later this summer, and look after some of the less time consuming stuff now. I ordered new mud terrain tires at Christmas in preparation for the spring time mud, so I put them on yesterday for a bit of lipstick on the pig. Today was replacing the loose tierod end and checking wheel bearings. The front right was loose and noisy, so I'll pick up a new one tomorrow and replace it. $650 a piece for the unit hub/bearing assembly, ouch. That's from SKF, Ford wanted $950. While I had the Ford parts guy on the phone, I asked what a reman engine from them is worth, just for giggles. $6500 isn't actually that bad, but doing it myself should still be way cheaper. Here's a picture of the beast all covered in mud at work. With all my tools and equipment in it, it weighs about 9500lbs, and gets beat on pretty hard on some pretty bad bush roads.
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Here's the kind of roads it mostly sees, and this is during dry weather and good road conditions. Pavement is less than 10% of my driving.
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Pulling the hub/bearing unit.
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The old tierod end. The threaded part where it's bent is 1.25" solid steel. I went off the road a few years back and hit a stump hard enough that I had to cut the tierod to take it off. I guess the tube wasn't the only thing that got bent.
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That's all for now, but this should be interesting. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to do much with the locost this summer.
Kristian

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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: April 22, 2017, 7:02 pm 
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> $650 a piece for the unit hub/bearing assembly,
> ouch. That's from SKF, Ford wanted $950.

Gee, and I thought bearings for my Mustang were expensive at $12...

Considering the expense, how about looking for some used hubs at the local yard or eBay? They're easy enough to change if one fails in 50K or so.


> rebuild

Ford has many many many variants of the Mod motor. Some cross over at year/model, some by application, some by VIN, and some are apparently random. Even if you give every bit of information to the parts guy, you may still get wrong parts, so don't mung the packaging in case you have to send some of them back.

The most expensive bits are the timing chain and tensioners. Ford has a $1,500 alignment tool you're supposed to use to install everything, but you can find cheap DIY workarounds on the web.


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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: April 23, 2017, 8:53 pm 
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Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
I hadn't thought of a used hub, but there aren't many junkyards around here anyway. I don't think I'd want to spend the time to pull one anyway, I fought with the snap ring that holds the stub axle in the bearing for most of a day, and ended up improvising with tools because none of the snap ring pliers I tried would fit properly. It would have been even less fun in a junkyard.

I replaced my tie rod end with a greasable Moog unit, but I don't know how good an idea that was. The grease nipple will probably get torn off as soon as I get in some mud, and it looks like I'll have to take the wheel off to grease it anyways, even at full lock. I might just pull it and put a plug in instead.
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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: May 11, 2017, 4:04 pm 
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Well I made it home from work again without cratering the engine in my truck, and I'm over the mileage I needed to win the bet I had, so now I can pull the engine to see just how bad it is. It was probably a stupid trip, I drove 900 kms last night after work, including through a couple mountain passes, after pulling spark and fuel to the bad cylinder a week ago, just to win a $100 bet, but I've done dumber things too.
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If the cylinder bores and heads are ok I'll probably just put in standard size pistons and rings just to get it back on the road again, if it's much more than that though, I might buy a used engine that I found for $3830, shipped. It's supposed to only have 80,000kms and ran good when it was pulled, so I might be better off with that route than spending a bunch of money on machine work. There's also the option of a reman shortblock from Ford for $3200, but that doesn't look like it includes any timing parts, gaskets, or headbolts, so it probably wouldn't end up a ton cheaper than a complete engine. DNJ brand rebuild kits are about $1000 on Amazon, including basically everything except the cam phasers, so it could be an almost cheap fix. I won't be expecting a great amount of life out of it by cheaping out, but if I can get another 100,000 kms out of the truck, I'll be extatic. The truck really doesn't owe me anything at this point anyways.
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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: May 20, 2017, 1:09 am 
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Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
I made some actual progress on the truck today. I've been busy with other stuff, including cleaning out the garage enough that I could actually work on stuff in there. It was cleaner than it's probably been in the last 10 years, for almost a day. Pulled it in this afternoon after helping my parents with cattle this morning, and tore into it.

First step was pulling the hood, so now I won't be smashing my head on the low hanging grill.
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The back end has a front now, and also somewhere to put the kids to keep them out of the way.
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Got it in the shop and the rest of the front fell off before supper.
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I'll have to take a picture from the side to show how far back the engine is. The crank pulley is pretty much even with the front axle. These trucks are pretty slick to pull the whole front structure off. Undo some wires and a few hoses, pull 6 bolts, and the road support and all the assorted coolers come out. Should make pulling the engine way easier, I can just climb in and stand on the tierod to access the engine now. I'm not sure why the manual says to use a hoist, so far everything has been easier to access from the top.
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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: May 21, 2017, 1:10 am 
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Here you can see how far back the engine sits.
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I was tired of slicing up my hands on the cooling fan, so that was one of the first things to come off today. Ford sells special tools to hold the fan pulley and loosen the fan, so I had to make a 2 1/8" crowfoot socket out of some 1/4" steel and a 1/2" drive 11mm socket that I'm pretty sure I've never used until now.
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Alternator, cooling fan, power steering pump, AC lines are all off, and I think I've got all the wiring unhooked and tucked away. There's way more stuff to do before actually pulling an engine than I expected, glad I bought the manual before starting this.
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The intake manifold is quite the unit. The plenum sits down in the valley, and being an overhead cam means there's no oil draining back, so nothing splashing up and heating the intake either. The ports look like they're a straight shot down to the valve from the intake port.
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Getting closer to actually pulling it out now, still have to pull the starter, unhook the exhausts, and unbolt from the transmission.
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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: May 21, 2017, 10:50 am 
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turbo_bird wrote:
I was tired of slicing up my hands on the cooling fan, so that was one of the first things to come off today. Ford sells special tools to hold the fan pulley and loosen the fan, so I had to make a 2 1/8" crowfoot socket out of some 1/4" steel and a 1/2" drive 11mm socket that I'm pretty sure I've never used until now.


I built a similar tool for my Jimmy fan. I didn't add the socket. I just extended it long enough to slap it with a 2 lb hammer (impact) to break it free. It was free turning afterwards.

OMG! what a mess of wires, and hoses, and tubes and , and , and .... to get down to the engine. Makes me really appreciate my ol' MGA. It looks like you are there now :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: May 22, 2017, 1:36 am 
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Yup, massive mess of stuff to remove before you can even get at the engine in a modern vehicle. I've got to say though, it's actually pretty well thought out how it all comes apart. The starter was pretty ignorant though, a the top bolt is almost completely inaccessible, and you definitely can't see it. I needed to use a stubby 1/4" ratchet and a short wobble extension. I gave up on it a couple times to work on other stuff today. It's time consuming to make sure everything is unhooked that needs to be, but once that was all done, it came out real easy and took maybe 10 minutes after I had the crane hooked up to engine on the floor. I missed a ground strap and a hose was still stuck in a holder, but that was all that hung up on the way out. I'd like to talk to the guy put the long bolts through the firewall from the inside of the cab though, those suck. I had to lay down in the valley between the heads and stick my head behind the engine to get at some of the bolts and connectors, not real easy when you're 6'2", too many lbs, and have short arms. I'm glad I saved the foam floor stuff we had for when the kids were learning to walk.

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Here's looking down one of the intake ports at the valves, nice straight shot.
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Hopefully I get the heads off tomorrow and find that the bores are ok and it only needs pistons and rings.
Kristian

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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: May 22, 2017, 3:09 pm 
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Yeah it's out! A lot easier to work on when you can get to stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: May 22, 2017, 8:05 pm 
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turbo_bird wrote:
Hopefully I get the heads off tomorrow and find that the bores are ok and it only needs pistons and rings.

When I read this I had to chime in with my 2 cents. I'm an old school mech and a firm believer that an engine will wear out "balanced", and if you disturb this balance the chances are there that the repair may give you grief.
I've seen many times engines with new rings and brgs burn valves shortly thereafter. Likewise I've seen engines with valve jobs and no re-ringing turn into oil pumpers. Everything is balanced, if you re-ring the engine and the valves aren't sealing 100% they may fail because of increased compression. On the other hand, if you do a valve job without re-ringing the engine it may very well start to burn oil due to increased compression and weak rings.
My deciding factor on this job if I didn't do the valves is how hard is it to pull the heads in case of a failure when the engine is back in the truck.
Then again you may have no issues at all! :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: May 22, 2017, 9:03 pm 
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Yup, much better access with it out, unfortunately it won't be going back in. I got it apart and had my dad take a look at it. We measured the bores that had the lowest compression, and they're pretty bad. The worst one is wore .018", and .020" is the limit on boring these out due to how thin the cylinder walls are. And the wear isn't centered, so I'd have to bore it out .030" to get it to work. Pistons and rings that big are available, but not recommended. Looks like I'm going to have to call the place that had a used engine for sale and get some more details. It's funny that the two rearmost cylinders are the only really bad ones, they all have the same mileage on them.

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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: June 11, 2017, 3:45 pm 
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Could they have made that sucker and bigger!?! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: June 11, 2017, 6:40 pm 
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> It's funny that the two rearmost cylinders are the only really bad ones,
> they all have the same mileage on them.

With old-style (OHV) Ford V8s, the cooler cylinders, up front behind the water pump, wore more rapidly than the hotter cylinders at the back.

Interesting that the Modular wore the back cylinders most...


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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: June 16, 2017, 5:49 pm 
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Bigger? It's just right the way it is. It's funny parking next to stock height Chevies and Dodges, this thing is stock height and pretty much towers over them. It's a seriously tough truck though, and for putting on lots of miles on rough roads, I don't think I'd change anything, except for rubber floors instead of carpet. I do wish it had the 6 speed standard too, but they don't sell them with a manual anymore.

I'm curious about the cylinder wear too, I'm going to try to remember to ask the guy at the machine shop if that's normal for these engines.

Disassembly continues today. I talked to the guy at the machine shop about whether a block with this much cylinder wear is worth rebuilding, and he said it should clean up fine, but .030" is the max you can go. He also said the heads need to be skimmed when they come off, so I'll drop them off too. He said he'll vacuum check the valves and if they leak give them a touch up. I still have to measure the rods for out of round, but the inside where the bearing shell sits isn't shiny, so that's a good sign. The caps are cracked off, so the rods and caps are mated for life. The machinist says if they need work they hone them a couple thou and install oversize outside diameter rod bearings. The crank journals all look like new, so that's a good sign. The cams and bearing caps show a bit of wear, but not really bad enough to catch a nail in. According to a book on rebuilding Ford modular engines, that's pretty much normal and ok. The cams run direct in the aluminum heads, no bearing shells, so that's a bit chintzy. On to the pictures from today.

These things have tiny hydraulic lifters and roller followers. The big block with the electrical connector is the control solenoid for the cam phaser.
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Cam phaser solenoid bolts on the front of the head and sits behind the camshaft sprocket.
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There were three broken exhaust studs between the pair of heads. All broken about 1/8" below the surface of the aluminum head, so nothing to grab.
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I really hate easy outs. A lot of times they just make a situation worse, especially when your trying to pull a steel stud out of aluminum. Get the hole off center just a bit and break of a hard easyout and then you're really in trouble. My dad used to be a machinist, and he said that's usually the point where people would bring stuff to him. There's better ways than that. Center a nut over the broken stud/bolt.
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Weld the nut on, starting in the center of the broken stud and filling up the nut.
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Yay, no more broken studs.
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And now I've got some of the crappiest bolts you'll ever find.
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Pistons, rods, etc. Rod bearings don't show any odd wear patterns and actually look really good still. Lots of carbon on everything though. Full floating wrist pins too, which makes things a bit easier.
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Main caps are all individually marked, and the arrows point to the front of the engine. This one's pretty much just so I remember where to put them back.
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Main bearings show some wear, and something must have gone through a couple of them.
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Crank journals look like new though.
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Old school hotrodders would have killed for an engine like this. Cross bolted mains and everything. There's dowels that get tapped in between the main caps and the sides of the block, then the cross bolts go through them.
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I'm dropping the parts off at the machine shop Monday, and then heading back to work on Tuesday, maybe everything will be ready when I get home in two weeks. I've found a rebuild kit on Amazon for $1000, but haven't heard back if they have them in the correct oversize, so I might just get the machinist to supply parts. He said it would be about $1600-1700 for everything, so not too bad, considering the Amazon kit doesn't include any of the torque to yield bolts. Guess I better make the pictures work, not sure what happened there. Apparently I clicked on disable BBCode, they work now.
Kristian

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 Post subject: Re: Ford F-250 overhaul
PostPosted: June 19, 2017, 11:25 pm 
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It's in the hands of the machine shop now. I dropped off the block and heads today, and the guy that runs the place is going to put together a price for the rebuild parts for me too. I found a kit on Amazon for just over $1000 including shipping, but still haven't heard back from the seller on what it includes or doesn't, or if they have it in the correct overbore, so I think I might be better off dealing with someone local that knows what he's doing. That way he will be able to make the cylinders match the pistons properly too. Ford specs a cylinder clearance of .0015-.002", so things have to be pretty exact. I left the main caps at home, so I have to bring those in for him tomorrow so he can bore and hone the block.

I asked about the cylinder wear, and apparently the rear cylinders wearing more than the rest is common on these engines. He told me that back when he used to do lots of rebuilds on Ford 300 straight 6's that it wasn't uncommon to bore #1 .020" and leave the rest the alone when someone wanted a cheap refresh. Those were due to having cold water coming straight in and not letting the cylinder expand as much as the piston. Not sure why the 5.4 would wear the rear cylinders, the coolant comes in at the front of the block there too, I think.
Kristian

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