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Old 02-24-2008, 06:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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So, I was due for my next oil change at the dealer (they gave me 4 free ones as part of the purchase) and asked them to look at my oil pan for a minor leak. I have noticed the bull leaves it's mark in my garage. Last time I was under there it looked like the pan might be leaking.

Well...the service manager finds me in the lounge and tells me they won't do the oil change until the leak is fixed..... by replacing the short block!!!! Seems the leak is coming from the gasket between the upper and lower block. I did not expect that answer and I'm actually very disappointed with the engine build quality. In this day and age all manufactures should be able to assemble a leak free engine!!

So in the next day or two they will call me for my appointment to replace the lower engine assembly. They need to OK it with Ford service and order the assembly. I'm nervous about them not doing the repair successfully. Not just removing the engine and replacing the short block but making sure everything goes back together with no issues. At least I only have to pay the $100 deductable, hate to think how much I'd be out if I didn't get the coverage as part of the sale. This sucks. I'm going to cross my fingers and hope they do a good job.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Upper and lower block? There's only one engine block. You mean it's leaking between the block and heads? Really I think it's more likely it's a bad oil pan gasket (pretty common on both engines). Mine's leaking minutely and it's not losing a whole lot of oil so I just live with it. A piece of cardboard under the car soaks up the mess.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Upper and lower block? There's only one engine block. You mean it's leaking between the block and heads? Really I think it's more likely it's a bad oil pan gasket (pretty common on both engines). Mine's leaking minutely and it's not losing a whole lot of oil so I just live with it. A piece of cardboard under the car soaks up the mess.
[/b]

I was confused as well. All the things that leak can be replaced. I'm thinking either he misunderstood the explanation or the shop is thinking "we got another one!"
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The Duratec has an upper and lower block. The lower block is the cradle for the crankshaft. V8 is the same way.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
The Duratec has an upper and lower block. The lower block is the cradle for the crankshaft. V8 is the same way.
[/b]

Understood. Heh, you learn something new every day. Is there really any benefit to being cast this way or is it a cost cutting thing?
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This gives a much stronger bottom end. I don't think it was done for cost reasons.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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+1 - it's like a main girdle for the crank. Much better than two or four bolt mains.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a hard time believing the leak is actually coming from the split between the upper and lower blocks. That is extremely unlikely. A gap like that would represent a manufacturing defect, and I don't think the engine would even run very long before failing. The crank shaft would not set correctly in the main bearings. The piston skirts would probably wear or bind in the cylinder.


I'm not buying it. I've never heard of a Duratec or SHO ever having this problem. I'm raising the flag.


Secondly, I would not trust a shop to replace ONLY the lower half of the block. If this is indeed the problem area, I think the entire engine should be replaced. If there is a problem with the lower half sealing, what makes them so sure the problem isn't with the upper half as well?
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
I'm raising the flag.
[/b]
You can stow the flag - I've seen it twice. There is NO gasket between the main block and the lower girdle - just a bead of RTV - No Kidding.
I've seen 2 V8's leak there because the bead of glue was too thin and it let oil through. Simply a sealant application flaw. Not a huge leak, just a "weeping seam" that you just CAN'T fix.
All the girdle bolts are TTY just to make matters worse. When you take it apart, everything is throw away anyhow, so why NOT just replace it?

I'd be pretty happy getting the zero mile shortblock for $100.00 upgrade.

+1 on not trusting the shop to pull apart the top of the original motor and get it all back together well.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The repair work will be completed by the dealer so I think they should know what they are doing
My thoughts are it is the bead of sealant isn't sufficient, damage to the flange faces or maybe the flanges are not to spec for flatness either. There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the motor otherwise. She has plently of power and no strange noises coming from it.

Unrelated to this, a buddy at work had his Lincoln LS's short block assembly swapped out due to another issue and he has been running fine since the change. He has the 3.0L Duratec in that one as well.

All I know is that I'm going to look over every square engine under hood and under body to make sure all fasteners are present and accounted for when it is all done.
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