Re: buying a cvpi...questions
OK this is the result of my research so far...
It seems that the new engine (4.6L) was introduced in '92 and all engines made thereafter have the plastic intake problem...unless they have already been replaced with new improved parts.
Replacement parts are aluminum. The switch from plastic to aluminum is a clear sign that Ford knows the plastic part is unsuitable for intake, but it offers free replacement only on police interceptors. Free replacement is only for PI's in or out of police service, and there is a 7 year limit from the "start of warranty date" (date of original purchace by police dept?) in the US. The plastic part must be broken for a free replacement, so Ford doesn't do it as preventative maintainance item, despite the high failure rate.
Recent poll at another CV website says 50% of owners experienced the plastic intake failure. Some are high miles some low.
Gas tank mod to reduce the likelihood of cabin fire after rear end collision is free for '92 to '03 (may be 04 and 05 models too but I don't know) for CVPI's "currently in law enforcement duty". So if it is out of police service you can't get it done for free. If your plans include getting hit from behind at 60mph, you should worry about this.
Based on these information I will look for a CVPI with gas tank mod already done on it, and plastic intake already replaced with aluminum one. These seem to be the only major flaws on CV's.
That said, is there a way to see the intake and tell whether it is plastic or aluminum? It seems to be behind the alternator but in pics it is hard to see what is what. And, how difficult to replace it? I have basic mechanical skills (overhaul carbs, replace standard items like AC compressor/alternator/starter, etc.) Can an average home mechanic do the replacement himself?