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Front main seal require oil pan removal (Windstar 3.8L)


LTDzak
02-13-2011, 07:51 PM
1999 Ford Windstar 3.8L

In the midst of doing an emergency connecting rod bearing r&r. Have a new Ford front main seal on hand, and was wondering if there was any advantage to replacing the front main seal while the oil pan is off the car. Was hoping to wait and do it when I redo the engine front end (water pump, tensioner pulley, maybe power steering pump, alternator, belts) at a later date.

Any advice? The $2300 offer from Ford is looking better every day.

olopezm
02-14-2011, 12:07 AM
If the one installed is good and not leaking I wouldn't do it, as the old saying says " if it ain't broken don't fix it". Just my two cents...

Best regards,

Oscar.

parkerb
02-15-2011, 09:40 PM
the pan doesn't need to be off. on my '00 you drop the subframe about an inch or 2 to remove the crank pulley. so for me that requires an alignment when your done too.

kevink1955
02-15-2011, 10:19 PM
the pan doesn't need to be off. on my '00 you drop the subframe about an inch or 2 to remove the crank pulley. so for me that requires an alignment when your done too.

Or you can jack the engine off the mounts 2 inches

parkerb
02-16-2011, 10:42 AM
Or you can jack the engine off the mounts 2 inches

no, you need the crank pulley to come down into the wheel well opening for removal.

tempfixit
02-16-2011, 11:31 AM
1999 Ford Windstar 3.8L

In the midst of doing an emergency connecting rod bearing r&r. Have a new Ford front main seal on hand, and was wondering if there was any advantage to replacing the front main seal while the oil pan is off the car. Was hoping to wait and do it when I redo the engine front end (water pump, tensioner pulley, maybe power steering pump, alternator, belts) at a later date.

Any advice? The $2300 offer from Ford is looking better every day.


I would be more worried about the rod bearing replacement. Why are you replacing it?? Does it have a knock, if so make sure the piston rod is not bent or overheated (blueish looking) If that is the case your repair will not last long.

LTDzak
02-16-2011, 07:19 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone.

The pan is coming off because of a loud rap on cold start that goes away after about 3 minutes, just under 150 K mioles on the 3.8 liter, with recent high rpm operation due to getting stuck in the snow. Have new Ford rod bearings on hand and a one piece Ford pan gasket. Am hoping to catch a rod bearing or two at the "just started to spin" stage although not 100% certain that's what it is. Only 3 total warm up cycles thus far with the rap noise which does sound like engine bottom end. Apparently it could also be something loose in the upper intake, but the sound seems a lot lower in the engine.

I have bought the front main seal because it appeared to be weeping, at least significantly more than the rear seal. Still have yet to see if the pan gasket contacts the front main seal as the front pulley will hopefully remain on.

Anyone know what gods require a sacrifice to peel the pan from the block? All the bolts are out, starter and dust shield are out, Y pipe came off without much carnage other than the flex pipe attaching bolts. Trying to be gentle and not bend any of the pan flange.

Need to find my Ford service CD and get the torque spec. for the rod bolts. I know these are cracked rod big end caps and plan to mark the cap orientations, and do one at a time, so that they mate back together correctly, assuming I can pry the pan off.

Thanks very much for the responses. Any advice welcome - I have done only one other FWD rod bearing change before and that was a couple of years ago.

LTDzak

kevink1955
02-16-2011, 07:23 PM
no, you need the crank pulley to come down into the wheel well opening for removal.

Guess the 2000 is not the same as my 96, I did the timing cover gaskets and removed the crank balancer by jacking the engine off the craddle. It was tight under there but I got it done.

LTDzak
02-16-2011, 08:03 PM
Found these specs for the connecting rods for a 1995 3.8 (Nm in parenthesis) "


Connecting Rod Nut
Step 1 31-36 ft lbf (42-49)
Step 2 Back Off 2-3 Turns
Step 3 31-36 (42-49)

Oil Pan Bolt 80-106 inch pounds (9-12)

Connecting Rod Bearings
Journal Diameter 2.3103-2.3111 in (58.682-58.702 mm)
Journal Out-Of-Round .0003 (.008)
Journal Taper .0003 Per 1 (.008 Per 25.4)
Oil Clearance
Standard .0010-.0014 (.025-.036)
Service Limit .0027 (.069)

Source:
http://ford-windstar.ru/manual/mehanika.pdf

LTDzak
02-16-2011, 08:29 PM
Looks like the 1999 Connecting rod torque specs are different.

The 1999 service manual indicates two torque staqes, 18 ft lbs, then 33 ft lbs. then rotate additional 90 to 120 degrees.

Oil pan torque value is 89 inch pounds (middle of range posted for 1995 MY)

Rod journal specs for the crank are the same 1995 and 1999 (presumably in between as well)

Looks like the front main seal is in fact a completely separate operation from the pan.

LTDzak
02-25-2011, 02:37 PM
So, my "rod knock" appears not to have been a rod knock. At 144 k miles most of the rod bearings showed no wear to speak of. Cyl 4 showed minor wearing of the fine grooves in the bearing but no copper.

On restart the knocking is back. Pressing down on the intake manifold (upper) does not seem to change anything. The noise is going away once warmed up. Will try a breif run with no belt.

kevink1955
02-27-2011, 07:08 PM
My 96 has had a cold knock for the last 2 years, it now has 128,000 miles on it. I think it is a piston slap, it also goes away when it warms up. If the outside temp is over 60 degrees you have to strain to hear it but at 10 degrees you cannot miss it.

I am taking the do nothing approch as many GM vehicles have the same noise when almost new and go 150,000 miles without coming apart.

My thinking as far as rod bearing is a loose bearing may knock till the oil pressure comes up after a few seconds of running and should then be quiet with the oil cold and thick. The noise should start after it's warm and the oil thins.

Another poster found a cracked flywheel/flex plate that was making a knocking noise, may be a place to look.

tomj76
06-06-2011, 09:39 PM
I'm wondering what the resolution was... I have a low knock too, that fades after a few minutes of running. Stethoscope says it's in the block.

To me it sounds like it's timed with the cam, not the crank, which could be a piston slap instead. Did you look at the mains when you had it open?

LTDzak
06-09-2011, 03:53 PM
I would check the upper intake before changing rod bearings. If mine comes back with the cold weather next winter I'm pretty sure that's what the issue is.

If you search these forums, several have learned that what they thought was a rod knock was in fact the intake.

tomj76
06-11-2011, 01:59 PM
Thanks for the reply. I replaced the lower intake gaskets last month, and the tapping was there before (for > 2 yrs) and after. Although it had recently increased in intensity just before the intake gasket work, the tapping has been relatively consistent (not getting worse) since that was done. One of my concerns there was some damage due to the coolant leak.

I probably should take your approach, and remove the oil pan to check the bearings to see what I'm dealing with. With my mileage (292k), it wouldn't be any surprise that they would need some work.

I may need more than that as well, but I'd guess the place to start is a decent visual inspection.

tomj76
06-20-2011, 12:56 PM
FYI, removed the pan this weekend, checked one rod bearing and three main bearings. I didn't check more of the rods b/c the Ford service manual states that rod bolts should be replaced, which I did not have in hand before starting.

The spec limit for main bearings is 0.0024" rear main bearing clearance measured 0.002, but the inner bearings showed 0.003". The rod bearing clearance measured 0.002".

I did not find any metal flakes in the oil pan, although there were many smaller pieces of what appeared to be the lower intake gasket (which I replaced 2 months ago).

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