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Old 09-17-2018, 12:16 PM   #11
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Curious....wild speculation, but maybe an issue with the oil pump, lack of upper lubrication at the wrong time created this. Replacing the oil pump in place is a possibility, but if the damage has been done..Sounds a a bit like valve train, that higher pitch....That is really unusual for this engine, even with twice the miles. As reliability is the motivator, down the road with it.....
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:37 PM   #12
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As reliability is the motivator, down the road with it.....
Triple yep on that call MooreEFC! The van in question was new-to-me with 140,133 miles, 393 miles later (including a 350 mile trip home after purchase) I had to replace the transmission. Oddly enough the existing transmission was a reman'd unit most likely from Ford--it was horribly bad and broken it gave my rebuilder fits.

I suspect this being fleet-owned has a lot to do with the drive train condition. Hind sight has me walking away from the original purchase BUT I do have a 2005 E350 extended body including raised roof and extended height doors. Truth be told that's what I was seeking anyway so I'm not too bummed by all this. Having the money not being spent would be great--at this point I'm neck deep into the whole process, well past the point of no-return.

I could have piece-meal'd it all but replacing just the oil pump requires almost as much labor as pulling the entire engine. As you mention replacing just that MIGHT have fixed things but that's just too much money and work "hoping" the right repairs were made.

Had the noises been just a matter of low oil pressure they'd have been greatly reduced with the heavy weight oil added. They weren't reduced even a little especially with engine at operating temperature which is where I made the decision to simply replace the engine.

This being a 2wd vehicle makes this "easier" and while a PITA to do on a van its not terribly complicated. I have a top-tier guy doing the work for me so that part of the equation is in hand. His bill will be about $800 so that's peanuts with the trust factor not even debatable.

I'd LOVE to tear into the replaced engine but as its an $800 core waiting to be returned that won't happen this time out.
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:47 AM   #13
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The later 5.4's are roller lifter engines I believe (I'd confirm that). If that's the case, you get around having to add ZDDP and break in the (flat tappet) cam and lifters. There's a modern (post 200-ish engine oil re-formulation) procedure for that... 1500-2000 rpm for 20min, never allowing it to idle. So simple even a caveman... never mind.



With a roller lifter engine, the only thing that needs to be broken in is the rings. Rings break in under load, period the end. Most don't want to believe that, but it's true.



The rod and main bearing clearances, the valve train, the oil pump and cam drive, are either right, or they're not, no amount of break in will change that. Good machine work is good. The inverse is also true.



Breaking in the rings: Use dino oil, break in oil, light weight, but never synthetic. I personally save the additives until after the rings are seated. Put a load on the engine asap. Cylinder pressure forces the rings outward toward the cylinder walls, by design. Cylinder pressure goes up with engine load. Theres' very little cylinder pressure at idle. It's that cylinder pressure that facilitates ring break in. Don't let it idle. Pre-lubing the oiling system is great, but not 100% necessary on a street engine in my experience. This is particularly true if it's been run-in on an engine run stand by the re-manufacturer already, but that can be hard to determine, the reman engine sales guys are the worst at relaying accurate information. Worse, some of them 'just make shit up' during the sale. Ahem. Spinning the engine over with the spark plugs out until the oil pressure gauge needles moves is a good way, as is pressurizing the oil system to 20psi by adapting a tank and temporarily adapting your pre-lube rig to the oil cooler plumbing. Reconnect everything as the factory intended before start up.



Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:13 AM   #14
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Hey Tom---thanks for the input!

In a thread on FTE by a long-time engine builder he advises against the break-in oils or other friction modifiers--even Ford's installation pamphlet inside the shipping crate advise against something like the ZDDP additives.

Since this is a Ford reman'd engine that same engine builder says its almost definitely been run-in, it already has a full oil level from the factory. Because of this apart from a bit of higher RPM driving in the first 1500 miles (occasional OD off, vary driving speeds on the freeways) there's not a lot to do really. That's kinda shocking to me but I'm not a full-time engine builder either.

Your advice about seating the rings is very spot on as is the clearances and fits of components is either right or not--that's one reason I bought the Ford unit from my local stealership.

My mechanic tells me this is about a week from being done---he's doing it after working his full-time job in his dad's big truck shop. Looking forward to driving an almost brand new E350 now.
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:54 PM   #15
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Hey Tom---thanks for the input!

In a thread on FTE by a long-time engine builder he advises against the break-in oils or other friction modifiers--even Ford's installation pamphlet inside the shipping crate advise against something like the ZDDP additives.
Only use ZDDP break in additive if your engine is a flat-tappet type. I don't think yours is.

*interesting side note: The oil manufacturers stopped adding significant amounts of 'anti-wear, anti-scuff particles' mostly suspended zinc, as a way to extend the life of catalytic converters. As the OEMs got completely away from flat-tappet style valve trains, went with more expensive roller designs, the need for those additives went away. This change in oil formulation was just about kept as a secret, and screwed a guy who built a new flat-tappet engine, when a large percentage of high valve-spring pressure performance and race engines had their cams 'go flat' in no time.
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Old 09-19-2018, 03:29 PM   #16
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Thanks again Tom---its not easy being a DIY mechanic these days is it?

Lots of good info here, thanks to all who've added to it!
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:15 AM   #17
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So updating this thread about break-in procedures...........

First of all I'll say I'm highly pleased with purchasing this motor directly from Ford. It came fully loaded with recommended oil already in the pan, intake/exhaust gaskets and exhaust manifold studs/nuts too. The packet of info included into prominently mentioning Ford's toll-free telephone number and encouraging one to call with any questions an installer might have. I did that very thing and discovered:

-They'll ask for your VIN which I'm sure is one way to track or register the engine purchase and installation dates. I'm sure the conversation is somewhat boiler plate so they make sure their recommendations are known, impact of not following them being a warranty claim refusal if one should arise. (My cynical/suspicion ya know........)

-Ford builds these engines to be started and driven "normally" without any break-in period. The idea here to allow a dealership to install the engine, start it up and warming to normal operating temperatures. After checking for leaks etc a brief test drive by the installer and hand it over to the vehicle owner.

-Ford's idea is to build a better engine from the start and greatly minimize any warranty claims that are contingent upon the average driver/owner's ability to follow a breaking-in period. Being able to drive away from the dealership "normally" has to add to customer satisfaction too.

The Ford representative was very, very helpful along and quite knowledgeable---obviously a "car guy", not just someone answering a ringing phone with a script in front of them.

But anyway after a few hundred miles I have a small coolant leak over cylinder #4 (back of passengers side) that's coming from the intake not sealing against the head. Having used Ford's included gaskets I'll approach them but I'm sure they'll advise replacing the intake. That's wise and while a bit pricey I'd hate to try re-sealing the existing intake and that not fix the problem permanently. At this point its not about parts cost, its about labor to "fix" something the cheap way.

I did check intake bolt torque and it was still at 18 ft/lbs per Ford's Work Shop Manuals.

Hope this isn't too boring but anyone thinking of a reman'd engine should give Ford first shot at being the supplier. It's worth the time and effort.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:41 AM   #18
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...Hope this isn't too boring but anyone thinking of a reman'd engine should give Ford first shot at being the supplier. It's worth the time and effort.

Quite the opposite in my opinion. It's great to see issues come full circle to closure, even if you're not quite there yet, not to mention it being documented here for future reference.


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Old 10-01-2018, 11:50 AM   #19
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Arg,,those pesky post install issues....Good to hear of your experience otherwise. I know another who bought a Ford reman (trans and engine) who had more than several years of solid experience. The interesting thing about these vehicles is that if maintained they keep going, and because (in a Sportsmobiles case) the infrastructure is of relatively high value it is worth it to continue contributing to the adventure...
Nice writeup!
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:19 PM   #20
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Thanks Herb and MooreFC too---nice to know!

I'll add to this maybe once or twice more in the future---the final touches and fine tuning always seem to take a bit longer than the actual install.

The coolant leak repair labor will be handled as in-warranty from my installer, I'll supply the gaskets.

Next up for me is cleaning the throttle body---looks easy enough from a YouTube video or two.

Stay tuned................!
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