Bronco II

Although this event happened YEARS ago, it still bothers me, so I thought I’d get other feedback. I had a valve job done on my 1980 (I think) Ford Bronco II at 40,000 miles. shortly after that the engine started jerking and making “thunking” noises and then it suddenly died. It turns out (what I call in girl-speak)the top of a “T” bold sheared off and threw a rod or blew a piston or something. Anyhow, the engine was ruined. I felt this should have been covered under warranty, or maybe it had something to do with the valve job that was done. Regardless, it went to arbitration, and Ford basically said I was S.O.L. because the warranty only went to 40,000 miles. Needless to say this experience has turned me off from Ford, but I was just wondering if anyone else had any thoughts or opinions on what REALLY could have happened.

Personally, I think you were had on the valve job and the problem is not related to Ford quality at all. No way in the world should that vehicle have needed a valve job at 40k miles.

A valve job would be unrelated to anything in the engine lower end. If the engine threw a rod due to a sheared rod cap bolt this this bolt would have sheared due to a fluke or because the engine was low or out of oil. The exact details behind the problem could clear this up but odds are you don’t rememeber those after this much time.

Exactly who diagnosed and performed this valve job; the dealer, independent shop, etc?
And what were the symptoms and reasons behind doing this valve job in the first place?

As I recall the valves were clicking, sticking or something. I don’t really remember for sure. It was a dealer who recommended and performed the valve job. It was also the same dealer who replaced the engine and we went through arbitration with.

Well, your description of the failure is vague at best, and I can only guess what “It turns out (what I call in girl-speak)the top of a “T” bold sheared off and threw a rod or blew a piston or something” means.

Having said that, If I remember correctly (and I could be very wrong here, that was a long time ago) right about that time Ford was having a little trouble with the heads of head bolts popping off. Not only did this leave the cylinder heads loose, but the broken bolt parts wandering around in the engine wreaked havoc, resulting in more than one destroyed engine.

A clicking sound in an engine, even at 40k miles, often points to a weak or sticking hydraulic valve lifter. Also, the vehicle was probably a later model if it was a Bronco II because these did not appear until about 1984 I think.

Some of the Bronco IIs had problems with the cylinder heads cracking around the valve stem boss if the engine ever overheated. This would allow coolant to mix with the oil which would in turn wash out crankshaft bearings. The end result here would be a prematurely worn out engine, loss of oil pressure, and eventually a catastrophic engine failure.

It’s possible this is what your engine suffered from but I still do not think for one minute this vehicle needed a valve job.

If the engine suffered the problem I mentioned or if the heads were removed so a valve job could be performed AND the engine oil was not changed at that time, then it’s possible that an incompetent tech could have allowed an excessive amount of coolant to enter the engine oil when the heads were removed.
It’s doubtful anyone will ever know for sure now.