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Old 03-10-2011, 14:52   #1 (permalink)
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1997 Ford F150 Engine knock and white smoke (burning water)

I have a 1997 Ford F150 with 4.2L V6 Engine. it has a knock and the amount of smoke (white) is just unbelievable. A cop thought my house is on fire when he saw the smoke coming from the backyard where I was parking in the garage to work on the engine.

I know it has a headgasket problem and the engine is done! it has 160k miles. Here is the problem:

Cheapest used engine from a junkyard has 121k miles on it and it is $1000 plus that I have to spend good 4 days for swapping motors or pay $500 for a mechanic to do it and end up having 120k miles truck that can break any time soon.

What rout should I take? rebuild the engine even thought it is small and not worth it even if the cost was $2000 for rebuilt, I am getting a rebuilt engine? or go with used engine and take the chance of going bad soon?

I have parted out 1997 Ford Mustang Engine to rebuild but never did for the lack of time while back, don't they both have the same heads? that's a 3.8L V6 was in the mustang.

any help or advice is appreciated.
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Old 03-10-2011, 16:40   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Ford F150 Engine knock and white smoke (burning water)

See if you can find a better deal through here. Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market
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Old 03-10-2011, 17:18   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Ford F150 Engine knock and white smoke (burning water)

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See if you can find a better deal through here. Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market
Thanks Bert, found one for $500 here but didn't say the grade or how many miles on it. It is about an hour far from where I live but I will get it.

Thanks alot!
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Old 03-10-2011, 21:20   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Ford F150 Engine knock and white smoke (burning water)

You're welcome. If they have a toll free number, you should be able to ask them more about it.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:04   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Ford F150 Engine knock and white smoke (burning water)

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You're welcome. If they have a toll free number, you should be able to ask them more about it.
Yeah, will do that definitely to see what is the mileage and the condition. The same company has 3 more engine but they are $1200 so I am wondering why this one is so much cheaper.

Anyway, I am ready to get my hands dirty and rebuild the engine if I wasn't lucky in finding a reasonable used one. I know it so much harder, but I am gonna go for it with friend's help and a DVD rebuilding engine tutorials I purchased to be able to do these things.

Thanks again Bert, have a great weekend!
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Old 03-11-2011, 17:32   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Ford F150 Engine knock and white smoke (burning water)

You are better off rebuilding your own and you'll know what's in it. It would be cheaper too. Chipset could give you some good advice on that.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:24   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Ford F150 Engine knock and white smoke (burning water)

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You are better off rebuilding your own and you'll know what's in it. It would be cheaper too. Chipset could give you some good advice on that.
That's what I thought and been debating this weekend. The same salvage yard which has the engine for $500 has 4 more of the same engine with ridiculous miles (135k and up) and they are for $1200 each huh. Makes me wonder why this particular one is only for $500. I am calling them tomorrow to find out, but most likely I am gonna be rebuilding my own. The truck still looks good and everything besides the engine is working just perfect so let me try to get the most of it even if I had to be tied to 2 months project.

Rebuilding can be cheaper if some of the parts in the engine are reusable. Otherwise it is gonna be expensive especially when using OEM parts not aftermarket. I will go with aftermarket and try to change almost everything even thought the money is tight. You know pulling an engine and rebuilding, then putting it back in the truck is just pain so I will do it the right way.

Thanks Bert!
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:59   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Ford F150 Engine knock and white smoke (burning water)

it usually is not cheaper to rebuild your old engine but at least you will then know what you have and why it failed. Rebuilding your old engine is a good idea because your engine is a truck motor and they are NOT the same as a car engine. Your engine is also one year only so you have to get the exact year for a replacement. You are buying a DVD on engine rebuilding ? Now you are starting to scare me. There are many tricks and " things" that the DVD will not tell you because they don't know. Prime example. I'm sure
that engine has a roller cam. If using the old lifters, and usually you can, Make sure you
put them back in the same spot and FACING THE SAME DIRECTION. Same with the push rods. Do you know how much oil is too much when you pre lub the piston rings when you
install them ? You can put in too much oil and the rings will not seat on the piston body
properly and put too much force on the cylinder walls. That will cause premature wear
on the rings and cylinder walls. Oil burning will start in about 500 miles because the oil will carbon over and jam up the works. If that engine has a plastic intake, and i think it
has look it over VERY CAREFULLY
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:04   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Ford F150 Engine knock and white smoke (burning water)

Sorry about that. This piece of shit computer posted when i wasn't finished. As i was trying
to say if the manifold is plastic look very carefully for cracks in the water passages.
Also try to find a friend that has rebuilt a few engines and knows what to look for.
Also re lap the valves and do the heads. If you need help just ask me. I'll do what i can.
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