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Old 02-26-2008, 02:18 PM   #1
12Ounce
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Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

1999 Windstar SEL, 216kmiles. Tranny throwing codes indicating slipping converter clutch. Engine "OK", but has been overheated at 90k miles.

First the question(s) was ... " do I spend the money to replace the tranny ... and then do I rebuild the engine simultaneously or not?" A rather thin wallet suggested that doing both might be the wise course of action... hoping to end up not spending too much money, but ending up with a van with renewed life. An exchange Ford reman tranny was about $1600, and a thorough refreshing of the engine I fiqured about $1200 ... maybe about $3500 for everything I thought. $4000 would have been a better guess.

And, of course, I expected to make a thorough documentation with images for everyones' benefit ... but as the van was needed back in service as quickly as possible, less and less time was spent cleaning hands and taking photos.. But here are a few. Click on to enlarge:
.
.Using threaded rod to lower the subframe (in driveway), the reman tranny and reman rack were put into place:

.
.This view shows the overhauled engine-block and the tranny coming together. The flexplate is now just loose on the crank. This will be raised after bolting-up into the engine cavity where the pistons, rods, etc will be installed.:

.
.This view is of the front of the engine, showing the crankshaft position sensor .. the balancer/pulley is not yet installed. You can just make out the white stenographers fluid on the timing indicator point. ( ... to be used with pulley shown below):

.
.The crank pulley below has been "enhanced" to show the markings. The centermark is the one that indicates top-dead-center (TDC) of piston #1 ... and this mark is the one to be used for all mechanical timing, of the synchronizer, etc.:
.
.
.The engine now has the heads in place, and paper shop towels stuffed into any hole that might attract "stuff" to fall in:
.
.
. ... a bit further along, the lower intake and fuel rail are now in place. Towels still in use...:
.
.
.All the suspension rubber around the engine was replaced for a better "ride"; ... the subframe bushings, the engine mounts, etc. None showed a lot of wear except for the anti-sway bar bushings. Here is a new and old one side-by-side ...:
.
.
.
.Test Ride ... kinda. The overhaul became a bit frantic as my wife was simultaneously trip-planning. There was almost no try-out ... as soon as I was remounting the front bumper and wipers, she was loading the rear end with luggage. I did have about 1 day and 100 miles to finished eliminating some skips (mostly air leaks) at start-up. Barely made it!

Then we went for a 30-day, 9,500 mile, 20-state plus BC tour. Luckily the beast (the van!) performed well. No leaks. Though the old ps pump did kinda give up the ghost on the twisting roads on the Oregon coast. Will get to that soon now that we are back home.
.
.Oil changes on the fly!. By the time we travelled from Atlanta to Billings, Montana (-6 deg F), an oil change was well overdue. This is where I discovered the oil change service of Wal-mart. Very professional. Used a torque wrench on the drain plug! A second oil change was provided by a Wal-mart somewhere in southern California ... just as professional! BTW, can anyone beat the price of Mobil1 synthetic in the 5 qt jug at Wal-mart?
.
.Fuel mileage!. Quite pleased! Of course you'd expect a engine with newly surfaced valves, new seals, and new rings to do pretty well. But this thing was loaded down with weight! We picked up another couple in Vancouver with their luggage. I already had a set of tools, a floor jack, tire chains, shovel, etc in the back. Then the women started shopping ... and even beach rock collecting! (And I bought about 10 liters of low-tax booze myself). Using the on-board computer daily, we got two 26+ MPG days, one 25+ day, two 24's, several 23's, etc. The worst day was across Kansas driving into heavy winds ... 17+MPG.

Last edited by 12Ounce; 02-26-2008 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:21 PM   #2
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

Wow. I must applaud you for undertaking such a task. Not too many people do this sort of thing today. Most would just haul it to the salvage yard and be done with it. Hope you get many years out of your 'new' van .
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Old 02-26-2008, 04:12 PM   #3
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by road_rascal
Wow. I must applaud you for undertaking such a task. Not too many people do this sort of thing today. Most would just haul it to the salvage yard and be done with it. Hope you get many years out of your 'new' van .
Yeah I agree. I thought I was hot stuff for changing the water pump . Nice work.
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:54 PM   #4
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

Did your Ford reman trans come with new sensors and servos.?
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:35 PM   #5
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

Thanks for the kudo's and well-wishes. Don't belittle the task of changing out a water pump ... kept me busy one long weekend!

Good question, Gary. Yes, all sensors were in place on the tranny ... even the digital range sensor. I have removed no cover or even the pan. The big surprise .... it was full of fresh fluid!!!!! Have not removed even the torque converter.
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:37 PM   #6
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

Thanks for the reply.. Thats keeping me going just in case I ever have to replace mine to go with the Ford reman unit.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:44 AM   #7
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

Heck of a job 12ounce, a job of that magnitude would require consuming
a few 12 ouncers. While looking at your photos it appeared that the balancer end of the crank and the harmonic balancer didn't have a keyway,
was just wondering if that was the case, thanks.

Saw your reply, thanks.
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Last edited by CnlK; 02-29-2008 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:27 AM   #8
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

That's close looking, Cnlk! No, the balancer has a regular keyway ... but it is still filled with RTV from the original assembly so it's almost invisible. The crank just happens to be turned so that the Woodruff-type key and way doesn't show in the photo.

Yep ... several 12 ounce'rs ... of the good stuff!
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:24 PM   #9
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

A couple more photos that might help anyone doing a similar task: The photos are fuzzy (too much good stuff!) but the info may be good;
.
.This one shows several daubs of "white-out" used to mark/time the chain and all the shafts before the chain was removed:
.
These markings and the photo were quite valuable during reassembly.
.
.
The following shows one-of-four threaded rod elevator-jacks that were used, along with nuts and washers, to lower and raise the sub-frame with engine and tranny:
.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:51 AM   #10
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

12once

Did you replace the rod and main bearings? When I replaced the headgaskets on my 95 I also replaced the rod bearings. The majorty of them were showing copper on the top.

Dan
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A must read about problems Windstars have: http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbul...d.php?t=672854

95 Windstar 240,000+
98 Windstar 136,000+ 09-25-2008.
85 Dodge 1 Ton Snow mover gas hog
91 Mazda Protege free beater
SW MN
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:59 AM   #11
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

The rod and crank bearings were replaced ... but it was a close call, as the old bearings did not look bad at all. A couple had small hairline gooves, but nothing significant. (I think the machine shop just wanted to make the bearing sale.) The crank required no machining ... but it got the usual "polishing".

This crankcase has never had any water (except condensation) in it ... was very clean upon disassembly.
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:04 AM   #12
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

12ounce

What was the condition of the cylinders? Were they streight? I could see the factory crosshatching when I had my heads off and this was at 177,000 miles.

Dan
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A must read about problems Windstars have: http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbul...d.php?t=672854

95 Windstar 240,000+
98 Windstar 136,000+ 09-25-2008.
85 Dodge 1 Ton Snow mover gas hog
91 Mazda Protege free beater
SW MN
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:40 AM   #13
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

I could see cross-hatching also, but there was definitely ring wear at the top of stroke. The shop honed the cylinders ... not as much as I would have liked, as there was ring "shadow" left (1st and 2nd rings) at the top of each cylinder. I don't mind risking a bit of piston slap, so I would have pushed the cyl diameters more. But the engine runs well and is quiet, so all is OK now ... we'll just see how long it lasts. Probably longer than I will.

I was disappointed that with all the frequent (syn) oil and filter changes over the life of this vehicle... and gasoline cleaners/additives ... the oil rings were still gunked up and locked in place in the grooves. I think there is no way to avoid this condition ... its gonna happen! I just don't how long it takes ... 20k miles? ... 200k miles? The gunk wasn't heavy, but the oil rings were still locked.

The piston crowns and head chambers had a light carbon build up. Easily (as easily as I've ever seen) removed, but it was there.

And there is no way to avoid valve guide wear. All six exh guides were replaced.
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:42 PM   #14
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

12Ounce

Do you think the stuck oil rings may have been caused by the overheating?


Regards

Dan
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Wiswind's Windstar repair pics http://community.webshots.com/album/201931518cScpNK

Photos of my repairs: http://dansautopictures.shutterfly.com/
Check this out:http://threewheelmotorcyclemetro.shutterfly.co

A must read about problems Windstars have: http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbul...d.php?t=672854

95 Windstar 240,000+
98 Windstar 136,000+ 09-25-2008.
85 Dodge 1 Ton Snow mover gas hog
91 Mazda Protege free beater
SW MN
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:49 PM   #15
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Re: Reman tranny & Rebuilt Engine Replacement.

That could be the case. Dunno. I've taken just a few modern engines apart ... but they all seem to have this common malady. I suspect the old way of sending oil thru the rod to the wrist pin and spraying the cyl walls would have washed the piston skirts better and keep them cleaner ... just my theory. Of course, the new arrangement is more fuel efficient ... lighter parts.
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