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  1. #1
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    F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Hey everybody,

    I have a 2008 F150 and the engine started to tick constantly last night. It sounds sort of like a diesel engine. I had a buddy who is decent with engines listen to it and he thinks it is either the fuel injector or timing chain. He isn't sure if it would be safe to drive it or not. I am an hour away from my mechanic back at home and am curious if it would be safe to drive it at highway speeds for an hour and take it straight to shop? Any help appreciated and please serious replies only. Thank you!


    ďI told you, I donít care if youíre black or white. I donít care if youíre rich or poor. I donít care where you come from, whether itís Texas, Florida, California, or right here in the state of Iowa, I donít care about any of thatÖ But what I did care about is moving forward from that day on, that we were one team." -Paul Rhoads

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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by CysRage View Post
    Hey everybody,

    I have a 2008 F150 and the engine started to tick constantly last night. It sounds sort of like a diesel engine. I had a buddy who is decent with engines listen to it and he thinks it is either the fuel injector or timing chain. He isn't sure if it would be safe to drive it or not. I am an hour away from my mechanic back at home and am curious if it would be safe to drive it at highway speeds for an hour and take it straight to shop? Any help appreciated and please serious replies only. Thank you!
    Little more specific. Type of engine? Oil pressure still there? Oil still at a safe level on dipstick? If the engine is ready to blow up wont be unsafe to drive, it just might not make it to your destination. But at this point if it is hurt enough to blow, who cares, drive it home anyways.


    I'm not trying to be difficult, it comes naturally....

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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    A fuel injector or timing chain wont sound like a diesel. A lifter will tick tick, but if it really sounds like a diesel thats a cracked piston or a rod knock (bad).


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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    I had this happen with my taurus just last week. Had a leak and was out of antifreeze from what I understood anyway. Caused quite a bit of damage and had some good smoke coming from under the hood. Called my mechanic and he said as long as it wasn't ticking or knocking it was safe to drive. 5 mins later and that started. I was only 3 miles from the shop, but elected to have it towed anyway.


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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Actuators are plugged. Common on the 2004 f150 with the 5.4l. It will drive fine for a long time then it will start to die on decel. 10 hour job but parts are cheap.



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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUCyclone06 View Post
    Actuators are plugged. Common on the 2004 f150 with the 5.4l. It will drive fine for a long time then it will start to die on decel. 10 hour job but parts are cheap.
    Parts are cheap but labor is not. 5.4s have all sorts of weird issues.


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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    No doubt about that. Minimum $1,500 fix if you take it somewhere. Plenty of websites with step by step instructions though. The cams have come out and getting the timing set back is more than I'd mess with for an amatuer side project.



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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilroy View Post
    Little more specific. Type of engine? Oil pressure still there? Oil still at a safe level on dipstick? If the engine is ready to blow up wont be unsafe to drive, it just might not make it to your destination. But at this point if it is hurt enough to blow, who cares, drive it home anyways.
    5.4 L V8 Engine. Oil pressure is good, oil level is in safe zone on dip stick. Started it up again earlier and it didn't tick this time, drove it around town and still no ticking.


    ďI told you, I donít care if youíre black or white. I donít care if youíre rich or poor. I donít care where you come from, whether itís Texas, Florida, California, or right here in the state of Iowa, I donít care about any of thatÖ But what I did care about is moving forward from that day on, that we were one team." -Paul Rhoads

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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUCyclone06 View Post
    No doubt about that. Minimum $1,500 fix if you take it somewhere. Plenty of websites with step by step instructions though. The cams have come out and getting the timing set back is more than I'd mess with for an amatuer side project.
    The cams were replaced summer 2011 so I have a hard time believing the cams are bad again but it's always possible. And yes the parts were cheap but it was a two day job by the mechanic so I really hope that the cams aren't the problem again.


    ďI told you, I donít care if youíre black or white. I donít care if youíre rich or poor. I donít care where you come from, whether itís Texas, Florida, California, or right here in the state of Iowa, I donít care about any of thatÖ But what I did care about is moving forward from that day on, that we were one team." -Paul Rhoads

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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Don't know if you don't try



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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by CysRage View Post
    The cams were replaced summer 2011 so I have a hard time believing the cams are bad again but it's always possible. And yes the parts were cheap but it was a two day job by the mechanic so I really hope that the cams aren't the problem again.
    The 5.4 just have noisy lifters they really do (ya I know there dual overhead cams) but they do and ford even has a factory issued statement on them. Dont know Cysrage, your call. I would drive it but thats me. Without hearing in person I given ya what I can.


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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilroy View Post
    The 5.4 just have noisy lifters they really do (ya I know there dual overhead cams) but they do and ford even has a factory issued statement on them. Dont know Cysrage, your call. I would drive it but thats me. Without hearing in person I given ya what I can.
    Everybody who I had listen to it says it should be fine to drive especially if it isn't doing the ticking at the time (today it didn't do it) but I will pay special attention to listen to my engine from now on. I appreciate your help!


    ďI told you, I donít care if youíre black or white. I donít care if youíre rich or poor. I donít care where you come from, whether itís Texas, Florida, California, or right here in the state of Iowa, I donít care about any of thatÖ But what I did care about is moving forward from that day on, that we were one team." -Paul Rhoads

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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by CysRage View Post
    5.4 L V8 Engine. Oil pressure is good, oil level is in safe zone on dip stick. Started it up again earlier and it didn't tick this time, drove it around town and still no ticking.
    Was the engine warm when it wasn't ticking? Could be an exhaust leak, most likely manifold gasket if it only ticks when it's cold. Once it gets hot the manifold expands and the noise goes away, just got this fixed last week on my 05 Sierra. $20 part, 4 hours labor due to two broken bolts.



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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    if you are in Ames, I would recommend Mark Hansen auto repair. I've always been pleased with their work anyways, free estimates.



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    Re: F150 engine ticking..is it safe to drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleClone View Post
    Was the engine warm when it wasn't ticking? Could be an exhaust leak, most likely manifold gasket if it only ticks when it's cold. Once it gets hot the manifold expands and the noise goes away, just got this fixed last week on my 05 Sierra. $20 part, 4 hours labor due to two broken bolts.
    Opposite actually. It ticked when the engine was warm and it didn't when I first started it this morning. I drove a little bit today and still no ticking but I don't think I drove it enough to get the engine too warm again.


    ďI told you, I donít care if youíre black or white. I donít care if youíre rich or poor. I donít care where you come from, whether itís Texas, Florida, California, or right here in the state of Iowa, I donít care about any of thatÖ But what I did care about is moving forward from that day on, that we were one team." -Paul Rhoads

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