The Triton V10 has offered great service and reliability with a life expectancy of 300,000+ miles. Unfortunately, the popular engine has seen certain issues within the cylinder head, which has led to costly repairs and replacements.
Let’s take a look at some of those issues as well as how to check for cylinder head damage in your Ford pickup.
What is a Cylinder Head?
The cylinder head is one of the most important parts of your Ford V10’s engine. Your truck’s cylinder head sits on top of the engine block, and it houses several vital elements. This includes the intake and exhaust valves, which keep the engine running.
Ford V10 performance cylinder heads play many roles. For example, they allow air and fuel to travel into the cylinder, allowing exhaust fumes to pass out.
The cylinder head also houses the spark plugs, which are responsible for delivering the spark that ignites the mixture of air and fuel in the combustion chamber. Yet again, the cylinder head also channels the coolant around the engine to absorb heat and keep the system from getting too hot.
The design of a cylinder head is meant to withstand extremely high temperatures. But this doesn’t mean Ford V10 cylinder heads are indestructible. At some point, you’ll need a Ford V10 head replacement.
Symptoms of a Failing Cylinder Head
After normal wear and tear, your ford V10 cylinder head may begin to crack. Unfortunately, a cracked cylinder head often exhibits the same symptoms as a blown head gasket, so it’s relatively easy to misdiagnose the problem.
This is why it’s so important to know the exact signs to look for, which include:
- White smoke (steam) coming from the exhaust pipe: Smoke coming from the exhaust is a telltale sign of a cracked cylinder head. This often happens when the crack is pretty severe.
- Low coolant level: A cracked cylinder head can allow coolant to enter the combustion chamber, which can cause the coolant levels to drop.
- Engine overheating: One of the most common symptoms of a damaged cylinder head is overheating. When coolant enters the combustion chamber due to a cracked cylinder head, the coolant stops circulating properly through the engine. This can cause the engine to overheat as a result.
- Combustion gases in the cooling system: A cracked cylinder head might allow combustion gases to enter the cooling system. If this happens, you might notice a lot of bubbles in the coolant before it begins to boil.
- Check engine light warning: The check engine light often flashes on if there’s something wrong, including a damaged or malfunctioning cylinder head.
- Coolant-oil intermix occurs when coolant and oil mix. You may notice that the oil is milky or brownish and thick, appearing more syrup-like.
- Poor engine performance: A broken or cracked cylinder head can result in the engine not being able to burn fuel efficiently, which can ultimately affect the engine performance. For example, you might have to restart your truck more frequently.
- Oil leaks: A cracked cylinder head can cause oil to leak from your vehicle.
How Urgent is a Cylinder Head Replacement?
A properly functioning cylinder head is vital to a well-running car. It’s one of the core components of the Ford V10 engine.
So, ignoring a cracked cylinder head can result in even more damage, which could be irreversible if you don’t see about the problem.
Common Ford V10 Cylinder Head Failures and Repairs
The Ford Excursion V10 is an iron-block, overhead-cam aluminum head with mounted spark plugs. For certain models, such as the ones from 1997 to 2008, the spark plug threads contained a major design flaw. For example, the aluminum design expands at a different rate than the steel spark plugs, which only allows 4 threads worth of spark plugin engagement.
The Triton engine is a naturally aspirated Ford V10 engine that powers heavy-duty trucks and cargo vans like the Ford E-Series. It has a strong reputation for durability and reliability. However, it also has several potential problems.
For example, in the 6.8-liter V10—common in Ford vehicles before 2002—the spark plugs would often eject out of the cylinder head. In other words, the plug would shoot out of the cylinder head.
The issue created a popping noise, which would cause a significant loss of engine power and reduced Ford V 10 performance. Another issue involved the spark plug potentially welding itself to the Ford V10 heads. These were serious issues that were expensive to fix. They were also damaging to the engine if the owner didn’t deal with them as soon as possible.
V10 Ford Excursion Cylinder Head Replacement
Looking to replace your Ford V10 cylinder head? The average Ford V10 engine replacement cost is $5,349. You might also consider a Ford 6.8 L V10 remanufactured engine. This engine features two valves per cylinder for increased power and efficiency.
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