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Discussion Starter #1
Update on the 99 CVPI that I used to own: My co-worker heard a knocking from the engine compartment one day that started to get worse. It sounded like a rod to him. I still haven't heard it. He finally got a little concerned and when he got home, he checked the dipstick...dry. *sigh* My heart sank. Needless to say, he thinks he's messed up the motor. It kinda helps to change the oil now and then, don't you think? He added 3 quarts, I believe, and the knock began to decrease in intensity.

He parked the car until he could change the oil and filter. He's only driven it a few short distances but can still hear the knock. So, he's parked the car. He doesn't like it just sitting there going to waste, so he made me a deal to buy the car back that I almost can't refuse.

He's going to drive the car to work tomorrow so I can listen and examine it. I don't know enough about these 4.6L engines to really make a sound decision. Could he have really damaged the motor enough that it needs a rebuild or replacement? What kind of expense would I be looking at? What do I need to look and listen for when I see the car tomorrow?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. He hasn't taken it to the shop yet, so we don't know if there's anything seriously wrong with it or not. I could be looking at a steal to get my car (and namesake) back. Then again, I could be looking at an expensive paper weight.

Thanks, Greg.
 

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If there was no oil in there, it needs an engine. Most cars you'd be lucky to pull out of a parking space with no oil, and even though it survived that long doesn't mean that there wasn't horrendous damage to the bearings and journals. I'd say that if it isn't now, it'll become a paper weight shortly. Give him a good slap on the back of the head though.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
tocsboat24 said:
Give him a good slap on the back of the head though.:D
I was thinking a knee to the nether-region. :(

Well, he didn't run it completely dry, but having to add 3 qts of oil did make me wonder.

Bottom line, it broke my heart. When I sold him that car, it was in great shape, with a lot of new parts. I had hoped to be able to buy it back some day - just not like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
5 qts. So how low is too low? I've had cars get a quart low before, but never 3...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, my friend went out this morning, fired up the Crown Vic, heard the Flowmasters he installed and thought, "I can't get rid of this car." He's going to take it to a shop. Oh well, that allows me to continue my concentration on my '91 Vic restoration.

I would still like to know how much is too low on the oil. Was 3 qts low enough to seriously damage the motor/block.
 

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To me any thing below full is bad, but also just as bad is toooo full....

I seen a quart low, I and I seen 2 quarts low and no short term damage, but I bet that long term damage has already started.....

But just think about this 2 things are bad for oil, "Dirt and heat".... With 3 quarts low means that oil is going to get hotter and dirtier faster, plus I bet he hasn't changed the oil ether, so that probly means the oil is even more used up....

Also under hard cornering or jack rabbitt starts or stops, low oil quanity would mean even less oil in pan, for the pickup to suck up with short periods of oil stravtion, with increased bearing and other wear metal wear.....

So in my mind any low oil is BAD whether it is 1/2 to 4 quarts
 

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Hard to tell without doing an inspection. I've had a few that people neglected and got the fudgesicle look in the engine and restricted flow enough that the engine was starving for oil. One particular 4.6 had scored the cam journals from lack of oil when the pump pickup clogged. On another note, internally speaking the 4.6l was the most reliable engine I worked on when I was a tech. You would get an oil leak every now and then, or if they weren't good about changing the oil, there might be problems with the cam chain tensioners. Usually nothing serious. The most common internal problem was that carbon buildup would make the oil rings stick and the car would start to burn oil. I had quite a few come in with the oil level low by a quart or three. We would then do an oil change, mark the dipstick th start the oil consumption test, then soak the rings with Ford fuel injector cleaner (pretty similar to SeaFoam). After a good soak, we'd go out and drive the cars at mid to high rpm to free up the rings. Usually after that, the oil consumption problem would disappear.

I'm telling you all this, because that may be what happened to make to oil level so low. That is unless he actually admitted to you that he never changed it...
 

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if all you did was idle, one qt would be OK. The minute you drove the car and ran up the RPMS, you'd pump through that qt in no time without enough time for it to drain back into the pan....at which point the pump would be alternating in dry spurts.....in that condition your rod/main bearings would fry in little time, while your top end can survive surprisingly long time. The knock you're hearing is most likely rod.....but you can tell by the intensity based on engine load and rpm. If you only hear it under load, probably more a main bearing, which will be more of lower frequency thrum/knock....while a rod bearing would be more consistent with increasing rpm, and making more of a higher pitched knock as compared to the main.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alright, guys, this is the kind of information I was looking for. Many thanks.

For a little history on the car for those of you that don't know, it was a marked patrol car with a northern Sheriff's Department in Wisconsin. It reportedly had meticulous service while on duty and I definitely took great care of it. I bought the car with 104k miles and sold it around 132k. It now has around 150k+ miles on it. In the time since I sold this car, I think he admitted to only changing the oil one time. It wasn't using/burning very much oil between changes for me, but it was burning some. Basically, I think your theory above sounds plausible indeed, at least to me.

Again, thanks, guys. I'll pass on the information. My biggest problem is that I remain attached to my cars, even after I sell them.

Here's the car...

 

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99 CVPI said:
Again, thanks, guys. I'll pass on the information. My biggest problem is that I remain attached to my cars, even after I sell them.

Here's the car...

I'm the same way, trouble is most of my cars that I have sold, the people wound up trashing them, which makes it even worse when I do sell them. Wish I didn't even know what happened later.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I ran a Car Fax a couple years ago on the '95 Mustang GT that I traded in on the Bullitt and found it had been sold, stolen, wrecked with moderate damage, recovered and repaired, then sold again. :*(

I know for a fact that DHG 3618 is in good hands. She's got a lot of miles on her now, but that just shows that he's enjoying the car as much as I did, if not more.
 

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i met a bullitt owner here in my town that just recently had the exact same problem. only 14k miles, but very hard miles. knocking sound, but no signs of leak or burning. dealership found only 2 quarts in the motor and a busted rod and main bearings. new remanufactured shortblock installed.......$5500!!!!!!!!! i think he just f'd the oil change. and hitting the redline in every gear without enough oil = boom
 

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Wow guys,
That sounds like mechanical mayhem....3 Quarts low....Ouch
I bought my bullitt from my niece, who hated the car, and didn't take care of it. When I took the engine apart, I found that it indeed had been run low on oil, but most of the damage happened on the top end. Stuck valves, scored cam bearings, and it destroyed the chain tensioners. The stuck valve found it's way through the top of a piston.
My remedy was to go to a junk yard, and get a used engine ($1200) Then I installed all the Bullitt parts on it. For me, it was a piece of cake. few vacuum lines, and when I got the wiring harness in the right location, you couldn't goof up, everything plugs in at the right place due to the different sockets.
Enjoy that Bullitt Tom
 

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I'm gonna go check my oil. Just had an oil change 2 weeks ago at a local shop, but this makes me want to double check their work.
 

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I change my own so I don't have to worry about what they do. I've seen and heard too many horror stories about oil changes. There, my paranoia is showing again.
 

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I usually do on my trucks that I can fit under, but in the past have taken my cars to have them done. Now that I have some ramps I planned on doing it myself. Just got lazy and it needed to be done but it was cold and I didn't want to be on the cold concrete. I did make sure that they used motorcraft and watched them pour it from the bottle, not their hoses but I didn't keep track of how many quarts.
 

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I get to drunk changing my oil.... so to keep from spilling the oil I pay for it I just check behind the techs
 
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