2004 Lariat With 51K Miles

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Nov 24, 2017
I detail vehicles for a Ford dealership. I am very good friends with the shop foreman. My 2004 Ford Lariat, 5.4 3 valve engine, has 51K miles on it. I had my shop foreman friend replace the transmission cable. He was listening to my engine and said the VCT solenoids need to be replaced. I was going to do a UOA on my engine after he advised me to. Will the VCT'S affect the outcome of the UOA?
Originally Posted By: SatinSilver
Hi there Robert, Not sure if it will or not but I'd get the sampling kit from Napa as they seem to have the best deal on them. thumbsup https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/FIL4077
My dad (BlueOvalFitter) has a UOA kit from BLACKSTONE. He got it in the mail from SHELL when they were doing the FREE Pennzoil oil sample UOA. He said they will charge me $25 and that is what most people here use. Back in 2004 he bought a UOA kit from Ringhaver Caterpillar in Tampa, FL. for $13, and it included the UOA. How much is the NAPA kit, and does it include the UOA? I edited my reply because I just saw the link.
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Is the engine rough idling? If you're just hearing a light rattle at 800-1,200 RPMs, there is really no need to replace them, unless the noise bugs you. Literally 99.9% of 3 valve engines do this. I own one myself and it's done it since day one. Over 150k on it now.
Backwood41695, my truck is getting terrible gas mileage. At idle it kind of idles ruff. I can watch the tachometor needle jump around. My mileage thing on the dash sometimes says 10 mpg. I didn't tell my friend all of this but I read on GOOGLE these are signs that they need to be replaced. A older man and older lady bought the truck and a Taurus at the same time. The man died in 2009 and the truck sat in her garage until last year. She traded the truck and the Taurus in for a new Explorer. I bought the truck from the dealership after they put it through the used car section fixing any thing that was wrong with it. The oil change guy said the oil was nasty and the oil filter looked like it had been on it since 2009. My cousin changed it a couple of times after my dad had him put Marvel mystery oil in it.
Yeah, any time you don't maintenance one of these engines, everything messes up. Solenoid screens are probably blocked. When they get the solenoids out, need to check chain for slack. Broken guide or collapsed tensioner is possible. Cats are known to plug up too when running rough. If the plugs haven't been done that you know of, I'd suggest doing those as well. I know it's low mileage, but these plugs love to seize themselves and break off in the head. They are probably carbon'd from running rough too and could use a fresh set.
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I'd prob do an engine flush following the directions to a "t". Which will be something like getting the engine nice and warm. Pour in flush, idle it 5 mins or what the directions state, drain oil, fill with new. Prob do that for a few oil changes. Motor Medic at Walmart or some CRC Engine flush, etc just go with a name brand flush. Also a bottle of MMO in the oil for the last 1000 miles before an oil change would be good as well.
Do the easiest thing first. Get a decent torque wrench and change the plugs. Be careful,those plugs may have been in there since 2004.
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