2009 Ford F150 5.4l with 130k miles. Engine had a ticking sound that got progressively louder. Almost like lifter noise. While idling at a light, the engine died and upon restarting sounded awful. It barely ran. After trying to diagnose it a little more I started it one last time. It started up great and sounded perfect. The ticking was completely gone. On the way home it got perfect gas mileage. The next morning I was driving on the interstate and it started lurching.. It threw a P0303 code. When I started it once a bunch of black smoke billowed out of the exhaust pipe. I swapped #2 and #3 coil packs and reset the code, but when I started it back up, the problem remained on cylinder 3. I took out the #3 cylinder spark plug and it looked like it had been hit with something. The porcelain tip was broken and the metal tip was bent. I replaced it, but the problem remained. I put in a new fuel injector. Problem is still there. When I go up a steep hill, it will throw a p0150 code now. Idle is very rough and it doesn't have much power at all. Could a bad O2 sensor cause this problem even though the P0150 code refers to the sensor on the opposite side of the engine!? Could it be the cam phasers? The fact that it actually fixed itself for that little while while I drove it 30 miles home has me completely stumped... Thanks for your help! This problem really has me in a bind. Can't drive to work. Can't go camping. Life's no good when you don't have a truck!
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