I bought his truck, 1998 Ford F-150 4.2L Supercab, two years ago. We've only used it for short trips for the last year until yesterday. I drove it through mountains, a four hour round trip. I didn't have any problems for the first half of the trip, but when returning I started to feel a total loss of power climbing mountains or on long, fast straightaways (60 mph). The power would cut about every 5-10 minutes when I pushed it (going up mountains or fast straightaways). The engine would continue to idle but no power when I hit the accelerator. On the first occasion it stalled. When I restarted the truck, the power returned immediately and all was good for awhile, until we started climbing again. After the first loss of power and subsequent stall, I just turned off and restarted motor in neutral for subsequent power losses. The restart always restored power.
At first I thought maybe we were sucking wind, so tried to tap out the air filter. It's not uncommon to clog the filter because we live around a lot of dusty, dirt roads. I knocked some dust out, put it back in but same problem happened again. Not convinced I could rule out the clogged filter, I removed it for a stretch of paved road (no dust there). Problem still returned after doing some mountain climbing and hilly up/downs. At this point we were driving slower so I could hear some "popping" concurrent with the loss of power. I wondered it it was some kind of spark or something but worried after reading about a coolant leak problem through gasket from this year/model of F-150.
We still have no problem on short trips, but if it's the gasket problem, I've read we need to get it to a mechanic right away. Problem is in our country, Honduras, there's no end of untrained mechanics. I'm an American running an orphanage here, so hoping it's not the coolant/gasket problem, which could result in replacing engine.
Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 AT 11:07 PM