questions about '99 F150


ericbphoto

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Ok. I'm looking to buy something to replace my Mercedes. Found a '99 F150, 2wd, extended cab that looks good in the pictures. 166,000 miles. appears to be a southern rust-free truck. asking $3200.

I will be using the truck mainly as a daily driver (about 30miles each way to work, half interstate highway) and rare occurences of towing a 6x10 utility trailer. I have a couple brief questions.

1. Is the 4.2l V6 worth having or is it a dog? This truck is V6 with automatic. Don't know what transmission it is.

2. Is the 4.2l engine one of the ones with the problem with spark plugs that break off? That doesn't scare me. I just want to know if I should plan on buying the removal tools and upgrading the plugs soon.

3. Any other common issues with the 4.2l?

4. Any particular issues with trucks of this generation (97-04?)? electrical?

I would rather have a V8. But Money is not plentiful and I have to find something that my wife would be comfortable in and not embarrassed to ride in. Otherwise, I'd get an older model full-size with roll-down windows, no A/C and simple stuff to work on. My search just started in seriously this morning.
 


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adsm08

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The 4.2 is not a dog by any means, like the 2.9 and the 4.0 it seems to adjust it's total power output to whatever you try to do with it. They do have issues with the bottom end though. It's basically an over-grown 3.8 without the head issues. It will rival a 4.6 for power, and a 5.4 for fuel economy.

It neither spits nor snaps plugs, those where the 2v and 3v Triton V8s respectively. It does have IMRC and intake gasket issues and a 1/4 drive7MM medium deep socket is required to removed some of the intake bolts. Yet another instance of Ford taking an engine designed for transverse mounting and putting it in longitudinally.

Rust is the biggest killer on that era, but being down south you should be OK there.

They also had issues with the windshield leaking. It would usually happen in just such a manner as to allow the water to flow right into the GEM and the electrical gremlins were the first sign there was any problem at all, although IME the Expeditions have more issues with this than the F-150s of the same body. Not sure why.


Trans is probably a 4R70, nothing to shy away from there.

I'd also keep an eye out for a V8 that has spit plugs. I can buy 97-03 F-150s and Expeditions around here all day for $1000 because they spit a plug or two and nobody wants to fix them anymore, all the shops want to charge you $1500 to slap a head on it rather than do a plug repair.
 

ericbphoto

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Yet another instance of Ford taking an engine designed for transverse mounting and putting it in longitudinally.
Oh, how cute. A perfect match for my 3.0 Ranger :icon_confused:

How serious/common are the "bottom end issues"? Usually just trucks that get run hard or abused? Would I hear that pretty easily if it's happening?

It does have IMRC and intake gasket issues
IMRC?? a particular intake gasket? or "If Memory Recalls Correctly"? Intake gasket doesn't sound like a bad repair to do.

The windshield leak could be irritating. Something to fill my spare time. We had an '05 Mustang GT with the "wet GEM" electrical issue. But my wife convinced me to sell it before my research discovered that that was the problem. I wish I still had that car.

Thanks. Another free beer on your tab. (I'll have to keep track of who actually earns these things)
 

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85_Ranger4x4

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The 4.2L truck I pulled my M5OD out of had a gooseneck hitch in it... looked like he used 3rd and 4th a lot too.
 

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Oh, how cute. A perfect match for my 3.0 Ranger :icon_confused:
It does seem to be a theme.

How serious/common are the "bottom end issues"? Usually just trucks that get run hard or abused? Would I hear that pretty easily if it's happening?
I don't really know. I imagine it would start knocking before it blows up. I've never seen one do it, but I have worked on precious few of them, and most of those were in Freestars. I know we priced out one engine for an F-150 at my last dealership and a used one with 150K miles was $6000, more than a reman, and the shop foreman told me they had bottom end issues, and that's why used ones were so expensive, most of the ones that ended up in the yard were no good.

IMRC?? a particular intake gasket? or "If Memory Recalls Correctly"? Intake gasket doesn't sound like a bad repair to do.
Intake Manifold Runner Control. It's basically a set of butterflys in the intake runners for making long and short runners on the fly. The bushing that holds the actuator rods in the butterfly shaft wear out, crack, fall out, and then the rods come loose and fall off, or don't reach full activation and sets codes.

Its actually a pretty nifty performance thing, not nearly as problematic as variable cam timing. The issue on this engine with the system is easily fixed in the vans, because the spot is out in the open. In a longitudinal setup it is in the back and removing the upper part of the intake is the only way to get access.
The windshield leak could be irritating. Something to fill my spare time. We had an '05 Mustang GT with the "wet GEM" electrical issue. But my wife convinced me to sell it before my research discovered that that was the problem. I wish I still had that car.
It may be worth getting the windshield resealed right away.

That sucks about the Mustang. One of my first big electrical/electronic diag jobs when I got out of school was an 06 convertible in from Enterprise, nothing worked, no radio, no windows or locks, all the lights on the dash were on, I messed with it for an hour before being told that the roof had been left open over night through a huge rain storm. It got totaled out.

Thanks. Another free beer on your tab. (I'll have to keep track of who actually earns these things)
Thanks. I'm partial to the A&W kind.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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I owned a 97 4.2/m5od. It worked fine. I used it for my siding and renovation work. It would carry a lot and tow OK.
I had a problem with the intake manifold. It has 2 separate runners to each cylinder. There is a rod that actuates the valve that opens the "secondary" runner when you punch the throttle. That rod would pop off occasionally, it's a bit of a pain to get to but possible from under the truck.
I didn't have the intake gasket problem. From what I heard it was such that rad fluid would get into the front cylinder and hydro-lock the motor.
Occasionally the shift fork would screw up. Easy fix by pulling the shifter up and pushing the [cogs? dogs? ] back into position and install the shifter.
I liked it but needed a better truck for towing my siding trailer.
 

ericbphoto

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All good info. I also found a 97 f150 , 4x4 xlt, lariat 5.4l. But they want $5000 for it which is at least $700 over kbb price, the paint is messed up in a few places and the ad indicated he is pretty firm on the price. I'll keep looking. I can expand my search to Atlanta and Charlotte pretty easily.

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alwaysFlOoReD

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Don't give up on that truck. Indicate why your not willing to pay his price and leave an offer. It's worked for me.
 

ericbphoto

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I won't cross it off the list yet. Sometimes "time" itself gets people to lower their price. I need to look at it in person before passing final judgement.

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Yes, time is on your side if it's over priced.


"Time is on your side". That reminds me of a song, I just can't quite remember which one.
 

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Still looking. Might check out a 97 with 4.6l and/or a 92 with 5.0l over the next day or two. Both extended cab, low mileage. The 92 looks pristine in the pictures and only has 56k miles. The photos of the engine bay definitely look like a garage-kept vehicle with that many miles. I like the 5.0l engine. Always a favorite in my book.
 

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We'll, I bought the 97 today. It's in good shape. Paint is scratched a bit.only 2 things wrong with it and one I didn't find til I got home.

1. CEL is on. Seller told me it is for EGR and EGR valve has been replaced at least twice. But light comes back sporadically. My OBD2 thingy says it is "insufficient flow". I'll have to read up on EGR system and figure out what could cause insufficient flow.

2. I meant to check engine oil and transmission oil after the test drive when everything was up to temperature, but forgot. So when I got home I checked them and found the transmission dipstick tube broken. It was real floppy. So I pulled the tube and it broke the last little thread of metal that was holding it together. Anyway. The fluid on the stick looked clean. I'll get a new tube from the junkyard or order one somewhere. Then change the fluid and maybe filter if that transmission has a replaceable filter. Don't even know what transmission it is yet. Just "4speed automatic".

Truck runs and drives great. Heat and A/C working great. 4.6l, XLT, 8.8" with 3.55 limited slip. Supercab, short stepside bed, maroon color.

newtrucksmall.jpg
 
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adsm08

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Replace the DPFE sensor for your check engine light. Probably should do the hoses too while you are there, they do wear out, and they are special, don't just throw regular rubber in there. The sensor carbons up inside and will not register the pressure change when the valve opens.

Trans should be a 4R70W behind a 4.6. Yes the filter is replaceable. Have fun snaking a whole dipstick tube back in, it's not impossible, but I'm told its not easy.
 

ericbphoto

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Replace the DPFE sensor for your check engine light. Probably should do the hoses too while you are there, they do wear out, and they are special, don't just throw regular rubber in there. The sensor carbons up inside and will not register the pressure change when the valve opens.

Trans should be a 4R70W behind a 4.6. Yes the filter is replaceable. Have fun snaking a whole dipstick tube back in, it's not impossible, but I'm told its not easy.
Thanks. I should have mentioned that I did have a plastic plug (like the ones that come on the ends of new hydraulic hoses) that was the right size to plug the broken tube and hopefully keep dirt and water out. I have a short list of things to order from Rock Auto. I'll add the dpfe sensor and hoses to the list.

I need to save up and get a double din radio with nav screen and aux input for my satellite radio tuner, too. Anybody want the OEM cassette deck with 6cd changer when I pull it out? Somebody did put good Infinity speakers in it.
 

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I have a 98 that could use a better radio. Check shipping to Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
 


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