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Will the old girl need to be put down??

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I have a '97 Ford Expedition with 120k on her that my daughter drives during the winter months. Last week she was at a stop light, and was rear ended by the following vehicle. Both drivers ok, but, the damage to the Expo: the rear bumper is down at about a 10 degree angle along with the trailer hitch bent down at the same angle. I also noticed the right rear panel skin is wrinkled as well, and there may also be a sagging leaf spring now. I'm hoping that the frame is not bent now.....

Another issue surfaced yesterday as she was driving home. As she started accelerating from a stop, the Expo started running very rough with an accompanying odor. She added fuel earlier, and I thought perhaps water in the fuel. My son looked at the truck when she arrived home, and found a spark plug had blown out of one cylinder. When he mentioned that I remembered that the Ford 5.4L engines are prone to plugs loosening, and working their way out of the head.

One big question that I have is, I need to get the truck over to a shop for a repair estimate. Will any damage occur if I drive it at low speeds to get it to a body shop? I realize it will run very rough, and spit fuel, and oil out the plug hole.

Has anyone out there had the same issue with plugs blowing out on the 5.4, and have you tried the threaded steel inserts that are available?

Thanks in advance for any advice on this. I don't really want to take the old girl out behind the barn and put her down, but.......

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Short of the engine issues the damage to the rear sounds pretty bad. If you have a quarter panel that is wrinkled, hitch bent down and suspension issues the frame is most likely bent up... Given the age of the truck, yeah... frown

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No clue whether the rig is toast or not, but, how comfortable do you feel about having your daughter drive it? Seems that if you are concerned enough to post the question it may be wise to go with something else for her. A break down can have some serious consequences for the person' stuck out in the toolies or in heavy traffic.

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given it's age, I'd sell the thing off (being honest with the issues) to someone looking for a "cabin truck". Someone who would fix the plug issue and leave it up at the cabin for something to haul wood and things without worry of scratching the paint.

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