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E150 Noises-Am I crazy?

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I have a 1998 E150 with just under 103K on it. The thing runs great and always starts right up. I am in an area now where it has been snowing a ton. On Wednesday, we got probably 2ft of snow while I was at work. After work I started it up, and started brushing the snow off it. As I did, I noticed a very faint ticking noise, but it went away when the engine revs. If I turn the music off, as well as the heater when I am stopped, I can barely hear it from the inside while my van is idling.

The other noise is a whirring sound on initial start up, then it goes right away.

Both these noises have only been noticeable since it started snowing, before that my van ran and sounded like new. I really would prefer to not put any money into this thing right now, one of the reasons I bought it (besides bike hauling) was the reliability.

It's the 4.6L Triton V8 by the way too. Thanks guys.

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Was it before the snow, or before the cold? I'm going to bet it's not the snow, but the cold (cold tends to bring out the weak points in any machine).

Whirring when starting on a cold day can be a sign that the starter is on it's way out, or the bendix is dying.

Ticking noise while idling....what oil weight are you running? I do believe that Ford reccomends 5w20 in those engines.

http://www.ints.com/support/documents/Ford5W-20motoroil.pdf

Also, what filter are you using? I have read numerous complaints regarding Fram filters on Ford engines causing 'ticks' at startup, something about the anti drainback valve.

The ticking could also be an exhaust leak, does it go away as the engine warms up (and the exhaust expands)?

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It did get a little colder when it snowed, but not anything drastic. If I remember right, the tick is still there when the engine is warm.

And I'm not sure what oil is in it. Being away at college, I had the local shop do it, and to be honest I'm not sure what they put in it. But if I had to guess it's 10w-30 most likely. And going along with that, I have no idea what kind of air filter is in it either.

I'll pay more attention to it when I leave for work in a bit, and I'll report back later.

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"Also, what filter are you using? I have read numerous complaints regarding Fram filters on Ford engines causing 'ticks' at startup, something about the anti drainback valve."

I noticed my extended has a rattle to it on fire up after sitting a day or two and it has a fram on it. I'm gonna try something else next week when I change the oil.

What should I run on it?

Thanks!

:thumbsup:

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Motorcraft, maybe? They got em at Wall-Mart. That's what I use on my Fords.

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"Also, what filter are you using? I have read numerous complaints regarding Fram filters on Ford engines causing 'ticks' at startup, something about the anti drainback valve."

I noticed my extended has a rattle to it on fire up after sitting a day or two and it has a fram on it. I'm gonna try something else next week when I change the oil.

What should I run on it?

Thanks!

:thumbsup:

Hard to go wrong with OEM Motorcraft.

Another good choice is a Napa Gold Line or the top shelf Carquest filters, which are mfg'ed by Wix.

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The ticking could also be an exhaust leak, does it go away as the engine warms up (and the exhaust expands)?

X2...exhaust manifolds on that vintage Ford Triton motor are notorious for cracking issues.

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On our '93 `e350 boxvan the 460ci(7.5 litre) it is normal when dead cold to hear the exhaust manifold on the left side leak until it warms up. I have checked all of the bolts and they are always tight. Just the way it is.

chickenhauler I will goto one of those filters to see if it solves the issue.

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A very light ticking noise is pretty common on Ford Triton motors and is not necessarily a sign that anything is wrong. I've heard this on almost new vans and have not heard on it vans with over 100K miles. You might want to check on the full-sized van board on Ford Truck Forums. Those guys know these vans inside and/out.

You might want to try to characterize the ticking a little better - is it injector ticking, valve-lifter-like ticking, exhaust leak ticking, etc? They all have very distinctive sounds and would make is easier for people to help you figure this out

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Well I believe I have diagnosed the whirring noise to the power steering pump with cold fluid. The last time I started it up and it started, I bumped the steering wheel and the noise went right away. Yesterday it was around 35 deg and I started it up after sitting all night and there was no noise. Is that normal for it to do it when it's cold though?

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Well I believe I have diagnosed the whirring noise to the power steering pump with cold fluid. The last time I started it up and it started, I bumped the steering wheel and the noise went right away. Yesterday it was around 35 deg and I started it up after sitting all night and there was no noise. Is that normal for it to do it when it's cold though?

My 5.4 E250 doesn't make any steering pump noises in cold weather (it was in the low 30s yesterday morning). Have you or the previous owner ever changed the PS fluid? Even though it's not a normal maintenance item, it's a good idea to replace it occasionally. If yours has never been changed (most people don't change PS fluid or brake fluid regularly, even though they really should), it's got 12 years of moisture and dirt in it. I use a vacuum device to suck out as much as I can every other engine oil change. It takes 5 minutes, costs almost nothing, and ensures that you always have relatively fresh fluid in the system.

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Well I believe I have diagnosed the whirring noise to the power steering pump with cold fluid. The last time I started it up and it started, I bumped the steering wheel and the noise went right away. Yesterday it was around 35 deg and I started it up after sitting all night and there was no noise. Is that normal for it to do it when it's cold though?

The previous body style with the 5.0 and 5.8 it was very common to have whiny pumps, but this era it's not a normal thing.

My 5.4 E250 doesn't make any steering pump noises in cold weather (it was in the low 30s yesterday morning). Have you or the previous owner ever changed the PS fluid? Even though it's not a normal maintenance item, it's a good idea to replace it occasionally. If yours has never been changed (most people don't change PS fluid or brake fluid regularly, even though they really should), it's got 12 years of moisture and dirt in it. I use a vacuum device to suck out as much as I can every other engine oil change. It takes 5 minutes, costs almost nothing, and ensures that you always have relatively fresh fluid in the system.

All you're getting is the fluid in the reservoir. You still have all the old fluid in the lines and the steering gear.

Next time, try removing the lowest of the PS lines at the steering gear and allowing it to drain for an hour. You'll get alot more than the two cups of so that's in the reservoir.

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All you're getting is the fluid in the reservoir. You still have all the old fluid in the lines and the steering gear.

Next time, try removing the lowest of the PS lines at the steering gear and allowing it to drain for an hour. You'll get alot more than the two cups of so that's in the reservoir.

You are of course, completely correct. However, since I'm doing this every 6,000 miles, the fluid really never gets a chance to get old or dirty. By shear repetition most of the fluid is getting replaced over time and it's much, much easier and quicker than disconnecting the lines (I'm getting about 1 quart each time). For the record, I do not use this method for brake fluid - I completely replace it every two years. In the end, I'm much more likely to change the PS fluid if it takes an extra minute or two during an oil change than if I have to start disconnecting lines. Also, disconnecting the pressure lines is a good way to get a leak.

I've had this particular debate more than a few times over the years and the bottom line is that either approach is much better than never doing anything.

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You are of course, completely correct. However, since I'm doing this every 6,000 miles, the fluid really never gets a chance to get old or dirty. By shear repetition most of the fluid is getting replaced over time and it's much, much easier and quicker than disconnecting the lines (I'm getting about 1 quart each time). For the record, I do not use this method for brake fluid - I completely replace it every two years. In the end, I'm much more likely to change the PS fluid if it takes an extra minute or two during an oil change than if I have to start disconnecting lines. Also, disconnecting the pressure lines is a good way to get a leak.

I've had this particular debate more than a few times over the years and the bottom line is that either approach is much better than never doing anything.

I think you're being a bit over cautious there, we run the same fluid in the power steering system's on the semi's (Mercon) and it's a 250k fluid change interval.

Pressure line should be a flared fitting, unless you damage the flare end, you won't get a leak.

But, I've never heard of anyone cite "over maintenance" as causation for component failure.

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The noise you are hearing when it is real cold out is your fuel injectors .

when it is cold the engine needs more fuel and the injector pulse width increse is what you are hearing

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