Engine knock, rattle...any other possibilty? - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Engine knock, rattle...any other possibilty?

I am considering buying a 1997 GL Vulcan 135K. Recent new head gasket, water pump, starter, plugs, wires, coil pack, power steering pump, and high pressure line. I think all work was done simultaneously by a trained mechanic. Guy was fixing it up for his daughter.

However...

...has something leaking on the rear exhaust manifold or 'y' pipe at rear of engine (between engine and firewall)....not sure if it's oil or power steering fluid....but it is smoking (not sure if oil, coolant, or power steering fluid)....I suspect ps fluid because the reservoir is down.

Has steam coming from tailpipe. water condenses on my hand when holding behind...and then heard a little rattle from the engine....is it possible that the rattle is a component bearing or something other than a bottom engine problem. I didn't hear the engine rattle until after running for 15 minutes.

Ordinarily, I would walk away, but the engine runs good, and I can't believe a new head gasket would leak water into the combustion cylinders. I am hoping the liquid leak on the exhaust manifold (or 'y' pipe) is something simple....(does anyone know if the power steering fluid runs above the exhaust pipe?)

Anyway, I can see a factory replaced ax4n transmission that seems good, and a seemingly really good running engine. no overheating, just steam out of the tailpipe and a faint engine knock, or rattle.

Is it possible that all these seemingly terrible symptoms could have simple explanations? Or should I just walk away???

Last edited by wallacereid; 04-19-2013 at 06:34 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 08:34 PM
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any kinda knocking from the engine equals walk away or spend $$$$ sooner then later.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallacereid View Post
I am considering buying a 1997 GL Vulcan 135K. Recent new head gasket, water pump, starter, plugs, wires, coil pack, power steering pump, and high pressure line. I think all work was done simultaneously by a trained mechanic. Guy was fixing it up for his daughter.

However...

...has something leaking on the rear exhaust manifold or 'y' pipe at rear of engine (between engine and firewall)....not sure if it's oil or power steering fluid....but it is smoking (not sure if oil, coolant, or power steering fluid)....I suspect ps fluid because the reservoir is down.

Has steam coming from tailpipe. water condenses on my hand when holding behind...and then heard a little rattle from the engine....is it possible that the rattle is a component bearing or something other than a bottom engine problem. I didn't hear the engine rattle until after running for 15 minutes.

Ordinarily, I would walk away, but the engine runs good, and I can't believe a new head gasket would leak water into the combustion cylinders. I am hoping the liquid leak on the exhaust manifold (or 'y' pipe) is something simple....(does anyone know if the power steering fluid runs above the exhaust pipe?)

Anyway, I can see a factory replaced ax4n transmission that seems good, and a seemingly really good running engine. no overheating, just steam out of the tailpipe and a faint engine knock, or rattle.

Is it possible that all these seemingly terrible symptoms could have simple explanations? Or should I just walk away???
Cracked or warped head = possible water leaks
Do a leakdown and compression test on the cylinders and report back.

If you have major issues, a used Vulcan is probably your best bet.

bob

Bob Urz 1989 Vulcan wagon (wife crashed) 1990 Vulcan sedan (sold running) 1993 Vulcan sedan (wife crashed) 1993 Vulcan wagon (beat up like Battlestar Galactica, drove to junkyard on a sad day) 1997 Vulcan sedan (down with multiple coolant leaks), 1998 Vulcan sedan (rescued from being junked three time with broken brake lines and bad rack, hydrolocked engine replaced ) down for now
Note: wives and daughters are dangerous to your Taurus health!

If Spock drove a Taurus it would be a Vulcan
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 08:50 PM
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Walk away, IMO. Like Bob said, it could be a cracked head. Do they have proof they did the headgasket?

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 09:15 PM
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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OK, Thanks, I'm gone, and by the way, even though I could see all the repairs mentioned (ex head gasket), he could NOT provide receipts for the head gasket parts or labor.....I asked.

Just In case he would take $300.00 (the base metal value), if the head is warped, cracked, how long could it run?

Last edited by wallacereid; 04-19-2013 at 09:49 PM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 01:23 AM
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Okay, just to be clear here, was it steam or mist? Steam will burn your hand, mist will not. If it's below about 50F, you can expect to see some mist when the engine is cold. On any car you will feel water vapor when you hold your hand near the tailpipe since water is a natural product of combustion.

With bad heads it might last a few days or many months. But you should get a sense driving it. If you run it hard you should be able to see signs like clouds behind the car, coolant tank overflowing, or water in the oil (check the oil cap for signs).

I would have to hear the rattle, but that might be the worst part. It's possible it's just a heat shield or something that rattles once it gets warm and expands. If that's the case, the rattle will usually go away if you change the engine speed slightly. However if it's more like a bottom-end rattle I would run. Bearings might be toast if too much coolant got in the oil.

Either way, I would want some proof of work done before I would consider buying it. Did you drive it?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallacereid View Post
OK, Thanks, I'm gone, and by the way, even though I could see all the repairs mentioned (ex head gasket), he could NOT provide receipts for the head gasket parts or labor.....I asked.

Just In case he would take $300.00 (the base metal value), if the head is warped, cracked, how long could it run?
Unanswerable question.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 09:28 AM
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I would run, there are too many possibilities for that rattle/knock and its not like there is a shortage of Vulcan engined Taurii.


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 09:55 AM
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Well, $300 is good for a Taurus in good otherwise condition. If you
had the resources to put another engine in, it might be a good
project.

$300 for the car $300 for a Vulcan $400 to conservatively put it in

For a grand, you would have a nice car.

If the rattle you heard is more of a scrapping sound, it could be
a worn water pump. Common on a Vulcan.

Bob Urz 1989 Vulcan wagon (wife crashed) 1990 Vulcan sedan (sold running) 1993 Vulcan sedan (wife crashed) 1993 Vulcan wagon (beat up like Battlestar Galactica, drove to junkyard on a sad day) 1997 Vulcan sedan (down with multiple coolant leaks), 1998 Vulcan sedan (rescued from being junked three time with broken brake lines and bad rack, hydrolocked engine replaced ) down for now
Note: wives and daughters are dangerous to your Taurus health!

If Spock drove a Taurus it would be a Vulcan
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