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:fmad: Ford engineers really have me fuming!
I have 106,000 miles on my Bird, and am changing the coolant, hoses and serp. belt. Last night at the pub my local Ford mechanic and I talked about a hose clamp that I spied resting on the top of the engine (4.6 V8). He laughed and said, to my dismay, that this clamp is for the rubber hot-water bypass hose. The only way to get to it is to remove the intake manifold. Fortunately, the fuel rail doesn't need to be removed.

Usually, this hose only gets replaced after its fails! The failure makes quite a sight: plumes of coolant vapor rise as it splashes along the enigne. Apparently Ford engineers did think about the inaccessible location of this hose: there are drain ports at the rear of the enigine that prevent pooling; coolant flows along the back of the engine, down across the bell housing of the tranny and out to the mother earth.

Of course, removing the intake means replacing the gasket for the manifold (even though Ford says that it can re-used) as well as the T-stat (the two T-stat bolts also hold the manifold. There are about 7-9 bolts holding the intake manifold down. The caution, of course, is when re-torquing the bolts to not break an ear on the corners of the manifold.

Great job Ford :evil2: ...keeping designing engines with ease of maintenance at the forefront (like the location of the oil filter; fuel filter; engine oil spout etc.). The 429 in my '71 T-Bird is much more user-friendly!
 
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Bypass hose blues

I had the unfortunate experience of actually having the bypass hose on my 4.6v8 powered 95 T-Bird fail, one week before Christmas. The dealer had the car for a total of eight days, while awaiting parts, and having the manpower to work on it. The repair cost over $600.00. What a poor design !!!!!!!!!

ps. And I thought changing the oil filter was "fun"
 

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NOTE TO SELF:

DO NOT PURCHASE LATE MODEL TBIRD!!!! ;)
 
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