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Discussion Starter #1
The condensed and continuing story of my 1987 F-150.
Truck was manufactured 2/87, and sold to my grandfather 11/2/87. It is a 2 wheel drive, 5.0L EFI, with an AOD. It was very well cared for by my grandpa, until he passed away in 2000. Then it was only driven to take my grandmother to doctors and for groceries or to the hairdresser, about once a week. She passed in 2006.
The truck was backed in her barn, and left until spring 2009. At this time, I found myself in need of a commuter, as I had registered in a trade school about 50 miles from home. It was a good reason to spend some time getting it running again.

In loving memory of "Paw" and "Grammy". I miss them every day.


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NOTE- Not all pictures were taken at the time of repairs. Some are added as an aid for explanation.
@Dustybumpers feel free to chime in with your knowledge and experience or pictures whenever you want. Thanks for talking me into this.

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So it is 2009, starting to get warm outside, and my old f-250 at 9 mpg doesn't look like a great option for running to school. So the poor little 87 gets a new used battery, a quick fluid check, and driven 10 miles to the shop. A good wash job, interior and under hood included, and a thorough assessment of the sitting disease.

Damages- intake gaskets leaking coolant at rear of engine, thankfully no contamination in the oil.

Mice chewed on the injector wires.

A/C is lukewarm

Needs oil change

Odd sucking noise during acceleration

Wiper blades, one turn signal bulb, other minor incidentals.

Found receipts in the truck for dealer repairs and shop repairs of loose LF wheel bearing. Hmmmm.

Radiator is leaking around the tanks.

Gas is a little old but smells ok, and seems to run fine. Will burn it out and change the filters.


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Ok, time for repairs. Parts have been aquired, Fel Pro intake set, all filters, air, fuel, oil and breather, plugs, plug wires, cap and rotor, and we're off.
Replaced the intake gaskets as per instructions, little dab of RTV in the corners, and torqued to spec. (See later posts on this, spoiler alert, didn't work out)

Lower intake 3/8 bolts- 22-30 ft-lbs
5/16 bolts- 19-25 ft lbs
Upper intake to lower intake bolts- 15-22 ft-lbs

Was very careful and removed the A/C compressor and layed it aside without disconnecting the hoses.

Under the intake around the lifters and the oil tray was very sludged up from a lifetime of Grandfather's Penzoil. Cleaned thoroughly and refilled with Mystic.

Repaired injector wires, without removing the harness from the truck, by carefully removing the little rubber plug from the back of the connectors, and soldering in new wire as needed. Everything coated with dialectric grease on installation.


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Still doing this at night after work, working 7 days a week, trying to save dollars.

Removed radiator, and at the suggestion of my Father, decided to re-crimp the tanks. Using a set of vise-grips, set the jaws over the crimp, and tighten the screw. Release jaws, turn the screw almost 1 turn tighter, then clamp the jaws over the crimp. Work completely around the offending tank until done, taking care not to damage the header. ( Yes this works, that radiator is still in the truck 8/10/19)

Ok, re-assembly and tune up complete, fill with fresh oil and coolant, change air filter, and find my odd sucking noise. Pre filter air box and intake packed full of dog food. Thank you rodents.

Time to time.

Using the service manual as a guide, I removed the SPOUT connector, ( yeah, what's that? I'll include a picture) which is a little black stub, in a plug, in the distributor wiring harness near the distributor. Once removed, the computer cannot control the timing.

Removed SPOUT connector, installed timing light on cyl 1, set timing at 10* BTDC. Installed SPOUT connector and done.


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After a successful test drive, no leaks found, serviced the front wheel bearings, changed the brake pads, inspected rear brakes, topped off A/C with flea market Freeze 12, all is well. I'm happy to have it back on the road, and on to the next adventure.

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Fast forward a couple months. I'm heading home on the freeway early in the afternoon, and she sputters and dies. Like it's out of gas. Starts back up on the shoulder, and we're off again. Until it does it again. Repeat the process until I'm almost home. Then she's dead for good. Roadside diagnosis with my limited availability of tools, shows all three fuel pumps to be running, but no pressure at the fuel rail. Fuel filter is still clean. Walk home 3 miles. Get Dad's roll back, and retrieve myself.

By unhooking fuel lines and pressure testing, determined the problem to be in the tank selector valve, that I now know is called an FDM, fuel delivery module.

It's in the driver's side frame rail, just ahead of the front fuel tank. It looks like it should have a fuel filter in the bottom canister, but doesn't.

This is a pressure operated valve, using the in tank pump at roughly 6 lbs, to change the fuel flow. The switch on the dash only controls the gage and the in tank pumps.

They can stick and over fill one tank, or stick closed and kill the truck, as I now know.

Had to obtain a new unit from Ford,(in 2009) however I understand that they are now unavailable from the dealer, so I included a Doorman listing, which I have not tried to order.


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Another month goes by, no troubles until, it develops a random hard start condition. Completely random, but by letting the fuel pump run a bit before I turn the key to start, it usually starts. Drive it until it's a constant hard start problem, then put a fuel pressure tester on it.

Test- Connect pressure gauge to the Schrader valve on the fuel rail.

At the Data connector, ground the fuel pressure test terminal. This makes the pumps run constantly when the key is on, unless you have a wiring problem.

Turn key on and listen for constant pump operation, high pressure, and in tank, (switch tanks and check both). I'm reading about 30 lbs, and it drops instantly after shutting the pumps off. I know the in tank pumps are working at this point. Checked for kinked or broken fuel lines, checked filter, all good.

Preformed Fuel Regulator underpressure test- Same as a pressure test, but done with the fuel return line blocked downstream of the FPR. If pressure rises substantially, the FPR is bad.

Pressure does not rise. Which indicates a bad pump. But, more testing is needed, because it failed the Engine off Static Pressure test as well.

Knowing my high pressure pump is weak, I change it first, and re test.

With a new pump, pressure is within spec, which calls for 35-45 lbs. And as a bonus, it passes the static pressure test, which calls for pressure within 5lbs of spec, for 1 minute after shutting off the engine.

I should note here, I installed a Napa pump at first, but it was incredibly noisy. After 3 pumps, my Napa store returned my money, and I bought one at Auto Zone. This was in late 2009, product lines are surely different by now.


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All is well for a while, and then it develops a vacuum leak. I can hear it, so it's not difficult to track down. By spraying ether along the intake manifold I'm able to determine that my intake gaskets didn't hold. So, here we go again.

This time I'm very careful to make sure the intake manifold and heads are completely flat. Which they are. So, upon re assembly I change my approach a bit. Intake gaskets get glued solid to the heads with 3M Plastic and Emblem Adhesive. Then the aluminum intake gets the gasket surfaces painted with Permatex Aviation Form-A-Gasket Sealant. Little dab of RTV in the corners and torqued to spec. I also replaced the valve cover gaskets this time, cork gaskets get glued to the valve covers, and greased on the engine side. Mystic oil has cleaned the insides up considerably.

This is now my standard practice when installing an aluminum manifold on a V8. It works great on these Fords, and a couple 350 Chevy's I've done since.


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Discussion Starter #12
Truck runs flawlessly until school is over. It gets driven some, about every two weeks weather permitting, not in the snow. And makes the 300 mile trip every year to maintain the family burial plot. Something Grandpa asked me to do before he died.

Until April of 2017. I went to retrieve it the barn, and all the A/C oil has run out the compressor seal and condenser o rings. I can't in good conscience haul momma around in 90 degree weather with no A/C, so back in the barn it goes. Until last week.

I must note, momma is not a wuss. She don't need no A/C. But, I try to be nice.

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Got to feeling guilty, so I pulled her out of the barn. Cleaned battery cables, put in new bolts, load tested the battery, and drove it away. ( Same blem battery from 2009. Kinda amazed)

Ordered a Four Seasons kit from Auto Zone, some flush, a 134a fitting kit, and jumped in.

Removed old compressor, orifice tube, and lines that were easily removed. Had to remove the grill to get too a hidden fitting on the passenger side of the condenser. Since it was out, I straightened any bent fins on the condenser. Completely flushed the Condenser, Evaporator, and all lines. I cut the top off a Coke bottle, and stuffed a few paper towels in it, then placed it over the outlet of whatever component I was flushing. Saved a lot of trouble.

In with the new compressor, new o rings at ALL CONNECTIONS, new dryer, and a new red orifice tube. As well as 10 oz of PAG 46, 5 oz in the compressor, 2.5 in the evaporator, 2.5 in the condenser. After all lines were hooked, turned the compressor by hand to ensure no oil lock on start up.

NOTE- After some online reading, I decided to go with a red orifice tube. This truck could have had a blue or a red tube stock, but the red is .005" or so smaller, and supposed to work better with 134a, especially at idle. So I chose red. May explore other options if I ever have it apart again.

Vacuum system for 1 hour. The flush I used said it must be vacuumed for at least 30 minutes to remove any trace of flush, but I went one hour, just in case of moisture in the system. Let it sit with the gauges on it over night, with no vacuum loss. So, no leaks!!


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So it held a vacuum for 8 hours or more, so time to charge. Put a can on the gauges and let it suck most of the first can in. ( Be sure to purge air from the can tap hose each time you hook up a can) Unhook the pressure switch on the dryer, and start it up. Block the throttle to hold the rpm up a bit for air circulation.

Charge with 44 oz of R134a. ( More on that later)

Hook the pressure switch up, and the compressor starts rapidly kicking on and off, even though pressure is acceptable, 260 high side, 30 psi low side, @ 104*F ambient). So, I adjusted the pressure switch, 1/4 turn clockwise, and all went back to normal. ( Adjustment is made by turning the screw between the blades, under the plug, see pictures)

System capacity- from my findings this truck calls for 10oz of oil, and 52 oz of R12. Most sources agree that 85% of the R12 charge is the R134a charge. So, 44 oz. Which works.

End result is 40* air in my face. Which makes me happy

Completely detailed her, and here we go again.


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Nice write up. Thumbs up.
 

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Bet your glad that you have an Aod in there instead of an e4od.
Just keep up with the adjustment on the TV cable, and it will outlast you!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks! It's kinda hard getting everything in there from memory, much less 10 year ago memory. A little nervous about making it look professional.

I am glad it's an AOD. I think they were pretty tough, although it's not great in the mountains, with no way to hold 2nd on a downhill. As for adjusting the TV cable, I've never done it, nor seen it done. I've never had any shifting issues, other than it doesn't like to hold overdrive. It kicks down on anything but flat ground. Always assumed it was normal, never driven another. Any thoughts?

Added note, still burning the year old gas out, so on recommendation from a friend, I dumped a can of Sea Foam in the front tank. Wow. Really smoothed out at idle. Hopefully I didn't goof up.

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I'm not a fan of seafoam, but best of luck
 

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Hold the throttle wide open, click the tv cable, and its adjusted. There should be no play in it when the throttle cable is on the idle stop
 

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How has turd not put cat pics in here yet
 
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