Mechanics

F150 STARTING PROBLEMS

1997 Ford F-150

Engine problem
1997 Ford F150 V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 350000 miles

1997 Ford F150 Pickup with 4.6L engine. Lots of miles. Engine was missing and backfiring, but not too badly. Put some additive in fuel, thinking maybe I had some water in fuel, or something. About 10 mi. Later it started loosing power on hills – badly --& wanting to die out. Pulled over to check. Added some higher octane gasoline. Seemed that it was running pretty smoothly at 5,000, or so rpm, but at low rpm it could barely stay running & often did die instead of idle. Tried to cripple home & w/I another couple of miles it died dead in the water – and the starter refused to engage! Wherrring sound only. Took home via wrecker service. Changed out fuel filter. Took starter to local parts store where they checked & double checked starter – checked good. Went back & reinstalled old starter – same thing. Went & bought a reconditioned starter & put it on, thinking surely that would solve problem. Same Wherrring sound anyway. It does, however, engage flywheel, as the cooling fan turns – not very fast – but turns. Battery is good. In fact, had a battery charger hooked up & to “start” position on part of the tests. Can jump across the relay on firewall & I get the same wherrring of starter. Any ideas? There surely could not be any connection between the rough engine problem & starter, could there?
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Michael Mayes
February 4, 2008.



So the new starter engages the flywheel and makes the same sound, but the engine isnt turning? Has the engine turned since it died? Just for laughs try to turn the engine by hand, get back to me

Tiny
Jack42
Feb 4, 2008.
He said the cooling fan spins when he cranks. &Quot; It does, however, engage flywheel, as the cooling fan turns – not very fast – but turns.&Quot; Sounds to me like your piston rings melted and you have no compression. Could be the motor was running so lean it got hot enough to melt em. Or it ran out of water and got hot enough.
Start with a compression check. Check valve timing too, could be you jumped time or lost the belt/chain altogether.

Tiny
Asandberg6
Feb 4, 2008.
More likely lost a bearing. If it lost compression it would turn very fast.

Tiny
Jack42
Feb 4, 2008.
Don't know if this is the way to get back to you, or not. I'm the writer of the 1997 Ford F150 that lost power, died, and starter started just " wherrring.&Quot; You wanted me to see if I could turn crank by hand. I did NOT relieve of belt pressure & crank will turn. Takes some pressure, but it will turn & I was only using an 8" ratchet to do it. Turned both directions. I believe that it was turning clockwise (from driver viewpoint) quite a ways & eventually did hit a hard spot that didn't want to let me turn any further (compression?). Turning the other direction, counter clock to driver view, seemed to just keep on a - turning. Thinking maybe teeth off the flywheel & movement might give clue -- I tried to start &, of course, just got the wherring sound. I appreciate the efforts to help! I live about 8 mi. From a shop & hate to pay a wrecker just to have someone tell me the old thing is shot. Has otherwise been a great truck!

Tiny
Michael Mayes
Feb 4, 2008.
I will save you the trip, time for another. Lol. Sounds like you got your moneys worth out of that truck. For future reference, overhead cam engines dont like to be turned backwards (c-clockwise looking from front of truck) messes with the valve timing

Tiny
Jack42
Feb 5, 2008.
I don't like your answer! Bet you have heard that before. I appreciate your time & professional opinion. This is a great service -- especially when one doesn't know who is straight & who is not when it comes to diagnostics.

Tiny
Michael Mayes
Feb 5, 2008.
Sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

Tiny
Jack42
Feb 5, 2008.
Its hydro locked you have an internal coolant leak into your intake that is filling up at least 1 cylinder and you cant compress water.
To verify take out your spark plugs and crank the engine and it should crank easily and shoot coolant out the spark plug hole.

Change out your intake gaskets and check your head gaskets also.

Just had the same thing on a 97 f150 xlt 4.6