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Discussion Starter #1
Today I met with Paul Berardi, the Southwest U.S. Regional Ford Field Service Engineer, and we addressed three main topics of concern...Death knock at 3-4k, Oil type, and the new Water pump housing/flanged pulley issue...
1) I drove him in the Bullit when cold and he heard the knock (of course). He's heard it before and confirmed that it's piston slap due to the 1997-present redesigned pistons with shorter skirts. The pistons will slap until the engine is fully warm and that's the nature of the beast. There is no fix and no planned fix.
Ford has no access to new engines anymore so a replacement would be a remanufactured engine (no thanks) and most likely would knock just the same. The only NEW engines available anymore are those sold by KarKraft (again, no thanks).
To make me feel better, he gave me (for free) the Premium extended warranty/service plan to 5 years/75,000 miles. Any of you with this knock should demand the same from your dealer.

2) I asked him about switching to Mobil One 5W-30 and he said that would be fine in Tucson, but he said not to switch to 10 weight, as there's no guarantee that the top of the engine will get properly lubricated.

3) At first my service advisor said Ford will not change your water pump housing or pulley unless you've experienced the "drive through puddle- loose engine belt" problem that is affecting Mustangs.
I reminded the Regional Engineer about the monsoon season here and he recommended doing the change now as a preventative measure so that's what I'm going to do...and the parts are on order.
 

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This death knock you are talking about what exactly is it. Also he gave you the warranty for free man I would love that if I have the same problem how can I get a hold of him for info on my car.

Thanks Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Knock...If you have it you'd know. It's also been thoroughly discussed here in other threads.
When your engine is cold (a few hours at least since running) it will knock loudly like a diesel truck with throttle on between 3,000-4,000 rpms at any throttle setting and in any gear. The noise mostly goes away once the temp guage reaches mid arc, after about 15 minutes warm-up time this time of year.
 

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Thanks for the info from Ford. I thought the death rattle was piston slap from the get-go and now you've confirmed it. My father bought a Town Car and with just 4000 miles on it blew a head gasket. He spotted a couple of drops of oil on his garage floor. Ford replaced his engine with a "re-manufactured" engine. I think a better description would be re-cycled engine. I changed to Mobil 1 at 6,000 miles, the dealer told me that 10-30 is what they use in the 4.6 engines, however, after reading your report, I'm concerned about lubricating the top end. I guess I'll go back to 5W20 fossil oil since I can't find any 5W synthetic.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I thought Mobil One made a 5W-30? That's what I was going to start using next change.
 

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Dennis, thanks for the update from Ford. I am still not convienced it's piston slap, but we shall see. I liked the extended warranty though. :wink:

Mobile 1 makes a 0-30w, 5-30w, and a 10-30w I use 5-30w.
 

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yes, i use Valvoline's full synthetic 5W-30
great info Dennis!!
 

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So, are we to understand that the piston slap problem will have no effect on the longitivity of our engines? Will they advise 4.6 owners to keep the rpms down till the engine is warmed, and if not, will damage ensue if the engines are driven in the ranges that make the noises? I know that we all know better but there are thousands of Mustang owners who aren't tuned into information sources like this and who aren't necessarily tuned into what's going on under their hoods, either. All I can infer is that it's OK to go ahead and let the engine rattle, or else they'd be letting people know not to. Not that I intend to, but you see what I'm getting at here.
This really doesn't give me a real warm and fuzzy feeling about the whole deal, as much as I appreciate your taking the time and trouble to run down a Ford guy and get some answers. As nasty as that noise is, I just have a hard time believing that it's not causing any damage in the process.
 

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Dennis, why didn't you ask about the protective overlay for the hologram? :lol:
Just kidding! That is great information, Dennis. Nice job! Did you track this guy down or bump into him?
 

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This is good news to hear.... I think.
But I hope they realize that this reflects poorly on Ford's Engineering department. If we were pulling these stunts at Cessna, I don't think we would be around for very long.
But not everyone can afford a plane, and the ones that do get heard when they complain.
Lesson: Money talks!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
On 2002-01-29 19:59, PY wrote:
Dennis, why didn't you ask about the protective overlay for the hologram? :lol:

:lol: Don't ya HATE it when you forget the most important thing!?!?! :lol:

Did you track this guy down or bump into him?

I had lodged a complaint at the local dealer about the knocking in October, then followed up on it two weeks ago, and the Service Advisor and I started planning a way to present this problem to the roving engineer.
I was on day shift today...but lucked out that the helicopter needed to be grounded all day for a one-time modification.
Between getting the helo to the airport, defueling it, getting it into the hangar, getting my car to the dealer, getting my wife to work, and coordinating the flight crews for this evening it was a logistical nightmare...but worth it (I think).
Thursday morning I go back for the new water pump housing and flanged pulley.
 

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Dennis, I'm planning to move down to your neck of the woods in the near future and have been interested in your posts since I signed on a few weeks ago. Your concerns about oil would affect me as well but now I'm confused. (again) What does this Ford engineer mean when he says Ford does not have access to any new engines anymore? Is he referring specifically to Bullitt engines or does he mean 4.6 engines in general? If not, why not? Do you know the answer to this? Does anyone? Have they decided to discontinue manufacturing the 4.6 and I'm the only one who doesn't know it? Thanks in advance. Tony
 

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Thanks for the post Dennis. This piston slap thing is interesting/disturbing. I wonder if anyone with a 97-2000 GT has heard this noise? Also if they have, have they had any serious engine problems? Hope some one reads this that has a GT in that range of years. You’d think they would have published this in the owner’s manual if it’s been around that long.
 

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Hey Dennis,

Way to go. 227 was given an extended warranty because of all the paint issues and one replacement motor ;-( What is your deductible on the warranty though?

Thanks.

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here's a follow-up email from Paul...
"Just wanted to drop you a note on your unit. The cold start-up noise is a normal noise from piston skirt design/clearance and will have no long lasting effect on your vehicle. I've processed your paperwork [extended warranty] and you should be getting confirmation in about 6 weeks. If you need anything don't hesitate to drop me a note. Safe flying.....in the air.....and on the ground."
Sorry Barely, no further information at this time. Look me up when you get out here.
 

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Call me cynical, but this doesn't relieve me. Why would Ford be giving free warranties, no questions asked, for a normal condition that will do "no damage"?

The real answer is that they know they'll be OK for 36,000 or even 75,000 miles.
After that, I think we know what to start looking for.
I guess I'll try to get my warranty. The short shifting's already instinctive.

Thanks Dennis.
 

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<TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD><font size=-1>Quote:</font><HR></TD></TR><TR><TD><FONT SIZE=-1><BLOCKQUOTE>
On 2002-01-29 23:09, hblattel wrote:
Thanks for the post Dennis. This piston slap thing is interesting/disturbing. I wonder if anyone with a 97-2000 GT has heard this noise? Also if they have, have they had any serious engine problems? Hope some one reads this that has a GT in that range of years. You’d think they would have published this in the owner’s manual if it’s been around that long.

</BLOCKQUOTE></FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE>

I had a 99 GT before I traded it in for my Bullitt. NO crazy death rattle AT ALL. I don't recall anyone ever mentioning this DEATH RATTLE until 2001.
 

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I already paid $1000 for the top-of-the-line extended warranty to get first-day rental car (just need to bring the car in ~30 times to break even (based on rentals cars at ~$33/day); only 20 to go after the first three months).

Dennis,

Will Ford refund the difference between the standard extended warranty and the premium (with first day rental car)?

What is Ford's position if the noise continues after engine warm up?
 
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