1 2 3 4
akamcfly
akamcfly Dork
7/24/18 4:54 a.m.
Will said:

 

That's either a HUGE timing cover or a tiny engine.

Will
Will UltraDork
7/24/18 9:47 p.m.

It's a pushrod V6, so it's fairly compact, but yeah, the timing chain cover is large. The cam synchronizer (distributor with a digital head, basically) drives off the front of the cam (in front of the timing chain) and in turn drives the oil pump, so there's a bunch of stuff in there when it's all together.

Will
Will UltraDork
7/28/18 3:59 p.m.

Only three pics today, but they do represent a fair amount of work. First, I got the heads installed. Ford has a six-step tightening sequence, with a final step of turning each bolt an extra 180 degrees to stretch them. Blown head gaskets are reasonably common on these trucks (much more so on the 97-98 than the 99-03, but still), so I'm crossing my fingers I didn't miss anything.

Edit to add: I guess I should comment on the heads. These are known as the "split port" heads. They're the best flowing heads for these engines--the only downside is they won't work with a Supercoupe intake manifold, so adding a supercharger isn't as simple as swapping the intake. And that means I'm not going to pursue that path, though another guy I know is.

Anyway, the machine shop decked them a bit to restore the sealing surface. They also gave them a mild valve job before putting stock valves, springs, etc. back in. I had actually planned on rebuilding the heads myself, but when I showed up at the machine shop and they were fully assembled, I wasn't going to complain.

Next came the pushrods and rockers, which was pretty straightforward. 

Finally came the valve covers. This shouldn't have been as hard as it was. As they came out of the truck, the valve covers were gross, so I cleaned, sanded and painted them. It's not my best work, but they're better than they were. In my haste, I forgot to reinstall the O-rings for each valve cover bolt, so as I was torquing them down, I snapped one when the bolt sleeve bottomed out. Fortunately, I was able to get it out, put in the O-rings, and get the valve covers on without any more drama.

Good enough for today. To make installing the engine easier, I'm not going to install the intake manifold until the engine is in the truck. Tomorrow I hope to get the oil pan and exhaust manifolds installed.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry HalfDork
7/28/18 7:20 p.m.

Did you check pushrod length?

looks good!

Will
Will UltraDork
7/29/18 12:27 p.m.

Yeah, they're within spec.

These engines don't actually have an oil pan gasket (aside from the rear bearing cap seal)--the factory procedure is to use silicone. So I cleaned up the mounting flange and inside of the pan, installed the rear seal, and squished it all down.

Got the driver's side manifold and dipstick installed.

I have the passenger side manifold loosely in place, but I realized I can't torque it down properly yet.

Remember this guy? It's one of the factory engine lift tabs, and it bolts to the passenger side manifold. It broke during engine removal. I need to go find a replacement at the junkyard.

So here's where we stand.

Will
Will UltraDork
7/29/18 3:01 p.m.

Well, this sucks. I just had a total facepalm moment.

Realized I forgot to pull the pin on the timing chain tensioner. This means the front cover and most likely the oil pan are going to have to come off.

Will
Will UltraDork
7/29/18 5:24 p.m.

Got it fixed--good thing I had extra gaskets for the timing cover and water pump. Not as confident in the timing cover to oil pan seal this time around, though.

Will
Will UltraDork
8/13/18 6:35 p.m.

One molehill I've been making a mountain out of has been setting ignition timing. This engine uses a cam synchronizer, which is basically a distributor with an electronic sensor instead of spinning magic at the top. Most of my other cars have had purely digital ignition, and just as older guys may be intimidated by electronic voodoo, I'm intimidated by the mechanical demonry of the distributor. Just seems really complicated to me.

So anyway, here's how you set the ignition timing on a 4.2 Ford V6:

1. Set #1 to TDC (it hasn't moved since I set the cam timing). Drop in the synchronizer just to get a feel for it. 

2. Buy the special tool that keeps the cam synchronizer shaft from rotating in the housing.

3. Buy a fancy digital angle finder so you can set the sensor 54 degrees from the engine centerline.

4. Use your fancy new tools to find out that you've already dumb lucked the timing to within 1 degree.

5. Tighten the clamp and install the sensor.

 

 

Will
Will UltraDork
8/15/18 6:00 p.m.

Back in May I posted about my junkyard score of a dual-core radiator that ended up being a non-score because one of the end tanks was cracked. It was so cheap that I took it to a repair shop to see if they could fix it, and they said the could for $60.

It took them forever, but they finally called and said it was ready. Went to pick it up, and it was pretty clearly not my radiator. Not even close. They say they'll find it and call me when it's ready.

They call a second time saying it's fixed. I go down a second time. For the second time they show me a radiator that doesn't fit my truck. This time I search the shop with them to look for my radiator. They managed to lose it completely. It was a E36 M3 show, but at least they refunded me what I paid for repairs and what I paid for the radiator.

During the last ebay coupon sale, I ordered a dual core radiator for the truck. At $95 list price and $80.75 after the coupon I had my doubts, but how bad could it be?

Old radiator top, new radiator bottom. I have to say I'm impressed: It looks OEM quality.

O

New on left, old on right.

The stock radiator has a 1" core; this one is 2.25". Should go well with my electric fan kit.

Will
Will UltraDork
8/15/18 6:40 p.m.

Oh yes. This will work nicely.

The fans are part of a Flex-a-Lite kit, part number 270. They claim the twin 15" fans move 5,500 CFM of air and recover 17 hp and 20 lb-ft. I kind of doubt I'll see those sort of gains on a V-6 truck, but I also kind of doubt I'll see the temp needle pegged.

Fitment between the radiator and fan shroud is excellent. This is a true bolt-on.

I'll describe/deal with the electronics when it's all ready to go back in the truck.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks UltimaDork
8/15/18 8:29 p.m.

I like what you're doing here.  It's fun to follow along!

Will
Will UltraDork
8/16/18 6:11 p.m.

I had expected a big fight from the crank pulley/harmonic balancer, but this is the easiest one I've ever installed. The stock M14-1.5 bolt was too short, so a longer one from McMaster-Carr helped pull the balancer back on the crank. Didn't need to heat the balancer or make a special tool as I've had to do for LS1s and mod motors.

I have hopes that this may be the weekend the engine goes back in the truck. No promises, but we'll see.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
8/16/18 6:52 p.m.

A nice piece of corrugated double-thickness cardboard shaped to fit your AC condenser should keep the water pump nose from poking a hole in it if you're slow and deliberate.

Will
Will UltraDork
8/18/18 5:58 p.m.

This morning I went to the junkyard to find a replacement for the broken lift bracket that bolts to the passenger side exhaust manifold. Found one, so that's taken care of.

I spotted another F-150 that had one of those K&N "don't throw away this air filter" stickers on the stock air box. I popped it open and found a K&N filter that looks brand new, so I grabbed it. These retail for over $60. The junkyard charged me $2.58.

Will
Will UltraDork
8/19/18 2:47 p.m.

Okay, so in a strictly literal sense, the engine is back in the truck. It's kinda sorta bolted up. Some of the motor mount bolts are in, and some of the trans to engine bolts are in. It's not going anywhere. But I'm having a problem getting the flexplate to spin independent of the torque converter, so I can't get them bolted together.

Will
Will UltraDork
9/2/18 2:32 p.m.

The engine is now back in the truck correctly. Trash bag over the valley just in case it rains before I can get the lower intake back on. I'm hoping to get that done later tonight when it's cooler out.

A friend came over and helped me separate the engine and trans enough to let the TC and flexplate spin independently. We got them lined up, then bolted the engine and trans together, bolted the engine to the motor mounts and the mounts to the truck, then got the TC nuts torqued to spec.

I've got a long checklist I still have to get through, but the hardest parts are all behind me.

Will
Will UltraDork
9/2/18 5:11 p.m.

This is it for the day. I'm beat. It takes 14 bolts to secure the lower intake to the heads, and of course there's a two-step torque sequence. And two of the bolts have heads of a different size.

Lower intake, injectors and rails are in place just to close up as many holes as possible, because the rain is definitely coming. The upper intake will be in the way of everything if I install it now, so that'll be one of the last things I reinstall.

Will
Will UltraDork
9/3/18 6:39 p.m.

This morning I went to the junkyard for the 40% off sale. I needed a piece of window trim for my Supercoupe, and anything I could find worth selling (picked up a 97 T-bird cupholder console and some Navigator sun visors with the homelink stuff built in). But I also wanted to pick up a factory trans cooler for the truck.

We took the grille and bumper off to install the engine, so it'll never be easier than now to install the cooler.

The cooler on the right is for power steering, and as far as I know, all 10th-gen F150s got those. The cooler on the left is the trans cooler I picked up today. It was optional, and my base-model truck didn't come with one.

I had hoped to pick up all the hard lines I needed, but they were all pretty rusty. If I can't find a nice set, I'll just get them from Rock Auto. And it's not as if I need them now. Anyway, the cooler by itself was $7.55. Yes, aftermarket ones are bigger and probably better, but I figure this is a lot better than nothing. And the holes to mount it were already there.

I waited until evening to work on the engine and got to spend about 90 minutes at it. I didn't take pics as I worked, but I got the accessory brackets and all the accessories reinstalled. It took a while to remember where everything went, but I got it figured out. While I was at it, I also plugged in some of the more hidden wiring--the crank sensor, oil pressure light sender, etc.

All that and I only got to cross one item off my checklist, but I feel so much closer to the end now. Here's what I can remember of the top of my head that's still left:

  • Wiring
  • Vacuum lines
  • Upper intake
  • Coil pack
  • Spark plug wires
  • Exhaust collectors
  • Starter
  • Thermostat housing
  • Radiator
  • Fan wiring
  • Hoses
  • Fluids
  • Belt
  • Bumper
  • Grille
  • Passenger side fender liner (it made access to that side of the engine so much easier)
Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
9/3/18 9:08 p.m.

I've been with this thread from the beginning. Good to see it's nearing completion.

Will
Will UltraDork
9/4/18 7:11 p.m.

It'll be hard to tell from the picture, but tonight I took care of the spark plugs, thermostat housing, EGR, oil filter, oxygen sensors, and some more wiring. 

This means I still have this stuff, plus anything I've forgotten:

  • Wiring
  • Vacuum lines
  • Upper intake
  • Coil pack
  • Spark plug wires
  • Exhaust collectors
  • Starter
  • Radiator
  • Fan wiring
  • Hoses
  • Fluids
  • Belt
  • Bumper
  • Grille
  • Passenger side fender liner

The list isn't shrinking as fast as I'd like because I keep remembering more stuff I need to do.

Will
Will UltraDork
9/5/18 8:54 p.m.

Minimal progress tonight. When I remove a part on a long-term project like this, I try to leave the bolts in place so I don't lose them or forget where they go. This backfired on me a bit--I had left the starter bolts in the transmission, and when we installed the engine, we must have smacked one, because it was still threaded in, but knocked way off to the side. It deformed the trans case threads rather than the bolt. 

Fortunately, the threads on the back side of the transmission were still straight, so I was able to run it in from behind, straighten out the threads, and then install it and the starter properly.

Starter done. One less thing on the list:

  • Wiring
  • Vacuum lines
  • Upper intake
  • Coil pack
  • Spark plug wires
  • Exhaust collectors
  • Radiator
  • Fan wiring
  • Hoses
  • Fluids
  • Belt
  • Bumper
  • Grille
  • Passenger side fender liner
Will
Will UltraDork
9/6/18 6:39 p.m.

Got the inner fender liner in tonight, and that might be it for a few days. I'm waiting for a delivery of exhaust collector nuts and heater hoses, and the latter will be harder to install if I install the upper intake first. And the sensors that bolt to the upper intake are really the only pieces of wiring left.

Actually, I know what I can do this weekend: a super-cheap air intake upgrade known as the Gotts mod.

Will
Will UltraDork
9/8/18 9:16 a.m.

In the very first post of this thread, I said I wanted to resist the temptation to buy stuff like cold air kits because the truck doesn't need them. At $200, it seems like a really questionable investment, especially on a V-6 truck. But there's an alternative: The Gotts mod.

The Gotts mod starts with the factory air filter housing. The housing's inlet is about 2.75", but it connects to a snorkel that necks down to 2". That's the restriction to eliminate.

You can just rip the snorkel off.

 

The snorkel draws cooler air from a hole in the fender. You need to make up the length of the snorkel, but the hole is oblong--about 3.5" x 3.25".

The easy solution is to get a piece of 3" thick-wall PVC pipe and grind down two sides until it fits in the hole.

I added a 2.75"-3.5" silicone adapter to the air filter housing to see how much pipe I'd need. It's not much--only about 2.75".

I cut the pipe to fit, added the hose clamps and put it all together. 

Here's how it looks when done. Not the prettiest thing ever, but this isn't a show truck.

The costs:

  • 3" of PVC pipe: $0.44
  • Silicone coupler: $4.25
  • Hose clamps: $4.36
  • Junkyard K&N filter: $2.58
  • Total: $11.63

Will it actually add any power? I don't know. It might make a difference, or it might make a difference for a V-8 but not a V-6, or it may do nothing at all. But at that price it's worth a try.

759NRNG
759NRNG SuperDork
9/8/18 12:50 p.m.

Gott's mod ..............I knew you couldn't resist............now about that cat back .....isn't a $40 day at LQK comin' up pretty soon?

what year was your 'V'?

Will
Will UltraDork
9/8/18 2:18 p.m.

I had an 05 CTS-V. Sold it because I also have a 94 Supercoupe and 99 Z28, and didn't need three big RWD cars with similar power/performance.

LKQ just had a 40% off sale last weekend. Doubt they'll have another one until Black Friday.

I'd be wary of picking up a catback at a junkyard. There are so many variations in these trucks, and basically all of them affect the exhaust--2WD vs 4WD, bed length, cab size, engine, gas tank size, and year (97-98 have a lot of differences from 99-03). I'd basically have to find a clone of my truck to know it would fit.

And remember, until this thing actually runs, I don't have a vehicle that can haul anything that big.

1 2 3 4
Our Preferred Partners
H9RwzJb3V3ekFjocXGDubbDvLKqGvnokpCeqqMmTviiPMglq0uNJy4zXyEt3C2mE