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6 Signs That Your Ford Truck Engine Needs a Rebuild

Written by the Brant Jones Team

Do you have a Ford truck that has clocked thousands of miles? Then you must be wondering whether the engine of the truck needs a rebuild or not. Here are some signs indicating that you should go ahead with a truck engine rebuild.

1. Check the oil condition and oil level 

Excessive oil consumption and low oil pressure are not only warning signs, but they also point to the source of the issue. The clearances between the components in your engine are usually the source of these issues. The clearances between the parts expand as they wear, enabling oil to leak into your engine and be burnt off. This usually manifests itself as blue smoke coming from your exhaust. Broken piston rings, worn valve guides, and worn bearings are the main culprits for high oil use and low oil pressure.

2. Listen to strange noises coming out of the engine 

Those strange noises coming from your engine might indicate a problem. More significantly, they can point you in the right direction if there are any issues. A fractured piston ring, for example, will generate a rattling noise. A knock will be heard if there is too much space between the piston and the cylinder bore. A chattering sound at half-engine rpm is a warning sign of valve train problems.

3. Examine the Compression

Loss of compression, like oil consumption, is a leading symptom of internal engine issues. A blown head gasket, worn piston rings, worn cylinder bore, broken cylinder head, or burned exhaust valves are all examples of this.

So, what's the best way to narrow it down even more? There are a few options:

Compression Testing: Using a compression gauge, you may compare an engine's cylinders. The pressure in the cylinders should be relatively consistent. According to author Tom Monroe in HP Books' How to Rebuild Small Block Ford Engines, the lowest pressure should not differ by more than 75% from the most significant pressure among the cylinders. If the pressure in one or more of the cylinders varies by more than a tablespoon, try adding a tablespoon of oil to the cylinders that aren't working. If the pressure rises as a result of this, the rings and bore are faulty, and you'll need to rebuild them.

Leak down Testing: A leak down tester is a more thorough approach to assess the condition of your engine. A fractured piston ring, burned valve, blown head gasket, or cracked cylinder head or cylinder wall are the most common problems found by leak down testers when an engine leaks 20% of the test pressure (applied by leak down tester).

4. Check the coolant 

Examine your coolant if you suspect a blown head gasket. If your radiator is losing an extraordinary quantity of coolant, it indicates that cylinder pressure is seeping into your cooling system. Remove the radiator cap with care and inspect the coolant surface after the radiator has warmed up. If bubbles appear in your cooling system, cylinder pressure is flowing into it. If the coolant smells like fuel or exhaust, you probably have a blown head gasket on your hands. Combustion Leak Detection Kits are also available to assist in locating that elusive blown head gasket!

5. Check the valves 

If you've determined that your head gaskets and piston rings aren't the sources of your compression loss, look into your valves. A combustion chamber with burned exhaust valves or sticky valves (that won't shut) will not be able to seal properly, resulting in a loss of compression. Remove the valve covers and use calipers or a dial indicator to examine whether the valves are entirely closed. A closed valve that leaks is most likely burnt.

6. Examine the camshaft

A performance camshaft is included in specific repair packages. This is because camshaft lobes wear out with time, requiring the replacement of the camshaft. While examining your engine, double-check the lifts of each lobe to see if there's any camshaft lobe wear. Camshafts usually wear one lobe at a time, but even if the wear is limited to a single lobe, you should replace the camshaft and lifters.

You can probably replace your camshaft if you observe cam lobe wear but no excessive oil consumption or compression loss. If your engine burns oil and several cylinders have poor compression, you'll most likely require a complete rebuild.

Final words

Now you are aware of the signs to look out for when deciding to rebuild the Ford diesel truck engine or not. If you need to rebuild the engine, you should go ahead with it without any delays. Then you can get the job done while saving money and avoiding hassle.

Contact Brant Jones Auto & Diesel Today!

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