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Discussion Starter #1
Bought a cheap care $250 with 143,000 miles clean nice car other than a few years senior. The add said it was leaking coolent from behind water pump and was over heating. I figured I would take this project on and do the TC as I have done them before and felt comfortable doing it and had tools required. I drove the car home only few miles and when I pulled up the coolent just came gushing out the back of the engine. I used a mirror to look to see were it was coming from and all sighns pointed to top left corner of TC but could not see fluid coming out but could tell gasket was shot (looked like a lot of heat from Cat). Pulled TC and it had been leaking, the gasket was shot and brittle. Cleaned and replaced with new WP and Felpro for both, torqued all bolts as required and only dab of black RTV in the TWO corners only and the key slot on the dampner. Did the oil change and started filling coolant only to have the coolant flow from the back of the engine, was not coming out as fast but needles to say it was coming out as fast I poured. Started after the first gallon of coolant that I poured in. Should have done that before oil change. My question is, can I just replace the back head with a re-manufactured head with new valves and springs and a set of Felpro gaskets and head bolts or do I need to replace or should I replace both heads and bolts, will already have gaskets. AZ has remanufacted heads with springs and valves for only $191 each and I get VA discount so Thank you AZ. Should I just get two sets of heads and two sets of head bolts and a set of Felpro and few days of patients, pictures and parts and a few touque speaks. What else would I need besides cleaner and wire brush and paper towels. I know some will say why but I feel I am up the the challenge and this type engine should be good starting point for a newb but ready for next challenge in engines. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and any tips would be thankful and a link to Toque specs and pattern for reassemble of bolts would be much appreciated. Maybe a little confidence booster that this job is possible to be succesfully done by a newb. Thanks all.
 

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Is the head cracked or the gasket blown. I would not "buy" heads without inspecting first. Which engine are you talking about?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Have not torn it down yet but I am waiting for weather to break and then start the process of pealing off and placing parts in the garage until I get to the block, don't really know what I have to loose at this point, can only gain knowledge and confidence. Just wish I could see the leak. The Timing cover was pretty easy other then all the cleaning. Figured this is ten times the cleaning just guessing. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for asking. I thought might be freeze plug and searched for a diagram of the location of the plugs but could not find one. I do believe this car ran hot and the possibility of head gasket or I guess you would say a upper top refurbish is got to happen with mileage and probable history. Just trying to be positive about this, in a strange way I am looking forward to the reward of doing it. But still don't know if this is the fix or fix all. I did text a mobile mechanic to come by a do a diagnostic for me and would pay cash but have not heard back from him, two calls and a text. Cash and a bear is no longer good barter. Got any ideas to see the leak for sure, really don't want to have to buy a scope to see in areas I cant see without pealing lairs off, the timing cover was a for sure leake but done now. Would appreciate any advice I get. Would be nice to get the head off and put a square on them and not see light. Clean and reassemble. If I see light will just head to AZ get refurbished. I think I will go ahead and order the bolts as RockAuto has best price that I can find.
 

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I would look for a corroded heater core manifold pipe. They corrode out at the welds and leak. Happened to me. I guess you can pull off and plug or crimp off the inlet and outlet to the manifold and fill with water to see if it doesn't leak.
 

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The engine block for that engine is iron, as well as the heads. That engine is damn bulletproof. I had driven it over 10 miles with barely any coolant, which caused a gasket to blow, but you know what the fix was? Replacing the headgaskets. That's it. No cracked head, or damaged engine block. Zilch. Nada. I was able to change the head gaskets with fordtechmakuloco's videos, they were an amazing help. And while your at it changing the headgaskets, you can check the heads when you take'em off, and if theyr'e/one's bad, get (a) new one(s).



P.S. my car is the exact same model as what's in the title.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would look for a corroded heater core manifold pipe. They corrode out at the welds and leak. Happened to me. I guess you can pull off and plug or crimp off the inlet and outlet to the manifold and fill with water to see if it doesn't leak.
Thanks for the tip will try that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The engine block for that engine is iron, as well as the heads. That engine is damn bulletproof. I had driven it over 10 miles with barely any coolant, which caused a gasket to blow, but you know what the fix was? Replacing the headgaskets. That's it. No cracked head, or damaged engine block. Zilch. Nada. I was able to change the head gaskets with fordtechmakuloco's videos, they were an amazing help. And while your at it changing the headgaskets, you can check the heads when you take'em off, and if theyr'e/one's bad, get (a) new one(s).



P.S. my car is the exact same model as what's in the title.
Thanks for the help. I have been watching him and watched his video for the timing cover, made it a very easy job. Also I appreciate the advice on the heads.
 

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Your enthusiasm and desire to learn are admirable, but it might be best to properly diagnose the problem before tearing the engine apart. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it, etc.)
There's also a vid out there on how to surface heads yourself at home, and you can make/buy a valve spring compressor so you can disassemble the heads, clean/lap the valves and make 'em ready to go again for just a few bucks.
Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Your enthusiasm and desire to learn are admirable, but it might be best to properly diagnose the problem before tearing the engine apart. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it, etc.)
There's also a vid out there on how to surface heads yourself at home, and you can make/buy a valve spring compressor so you can disassemble the heads, clean/lap the valves and make 'em ready to go again for just a few bucks.
Good luck and keep us posted!
Thank you for the feedback. I have not torn into yet as weather is holding me up for few more days. I want to find the inlet and outlet, that above commenter Automender12345 suggested and spend more time trying to locate exact leak but I am getting my mind right about the work ahead. I did see how rusted the area around the upper left of timing cover and its bolts so I am expecting to have to do it.
I have been watching videos on the valve job part specifically with a Lapper and compound. I have a concern about install of rockers and rods, I seen a video on reassembly of the rockers about getting TDC on cylinder two and then only installing four rockers and rods and then rotate 90 Degrees to do the other rockers and rods. Did not see others do that upon install. Also, been trying to find the repair steps for disassembly and reassemble online but not able to so far.
Anyone have advice on cleaning solvents.
 

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Didn’t see any comments of putting low pressure air (10 lbs) in cooling system and spray engine with soapy water to locate area of leak.

also, your right at this point you have nothing to lose, move forward by attempting to find source of leak and when disassembling to label, marking electrical end, begin disassembly. I use Ziploc bags label parts, location etc place in order of removal I use cardboard box and Punch holes to keep push rods in order as taken out, pictures, patients and videos.

I had similar event With happy ending. I wouldn’t mess with screwing with heads I took mine to a machine shop who had a good reputation I had one bad head that had to be replaced they rebuilt and I put it all back together got 130,000 miles later!

these 3.0 overhead valve Vulcan’s are extremely durable even when run without coolant as my wife allowed us to test that theory when plastic reservoir cracked and lost coolant.
Yet, everything does have a final breaking point.

Good luck, best wishes and enjoy the ride while it lasts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Didn’t see any comments of putting low pressure air (10 lbs) in cooling system and spray engine with soapy water to locate area of leak.

also, your right at this point you have nothing to lose, move forward by attempting to find source of leak and when disassembling to label, marking electrical end, begin disassembly. I use Ziploc bags label parts, location etc place in order of removal I use cardboard box and Punch holes to keep push rods in order as taken out, pictures, patients and videos.

I had similar event With happy ending. I wouldn’t mess with screwing with heads I took mine to a machine shop who had a good reputation I had one bad head that had to be replaced they rebuilt and I put it all back together got 130,000 miles later!

these 3.0 overhead valve Vulcan’s are extremely durable even when run without coolant as my wife allowed us to test that theory when plastic reservoir cracked and lost coolant.
Yet, everything does have a final breaking point.

Good luck, best wishes and enjoy the ride while it lasts.
Thank you for taking time to let me know. I don't have to pressurize the system just putting cooleant in preassuresizes it enough to fource out cooleant. It is coming from the back side (firewall side) closer to passage side as I was able to see the back on the driver side with air box out.
 

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I would use a standard cooling system pressure pump which you can borrow as a loaner tool from Autozone. Hook it up and get a length of rubber or plastic tubing with about a 1/4" internal diameter.
Place one end of the tube near, not in, your ear and when you pressurize the system you will hear the air flowing out of the leak and you can easily pin point the exact location.
 

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Run a compression test on each cylinder, get the tool loaned at parts store.
Watch youtube, easy to test.

Go to LKQ pick your parts, get a pair of cyl heads from same year $35 each plus core charge.
Clean them up, same cyl head works from and back side.

Wife lost serp belt tensioner, drove the car on interstate 'fast to cool the engine off', 17 miles before
battery was drained from a/c clutch, engine mgmt system, cooling fans and a/c cabin fan. 145K

Put two used LKQ heads, new gaskets and bolts. Runs like a top today with 248K on it.
That vulcan engine has some SPOCK live long and prosper built into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Found a leak. There is a missing freeze plug on back side just beneath the manifold shield. I took a picture as good as I could and will try to post. Just wondering if this is doable without removing engine.
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DSCI0001.JPG
 

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good luck.
access sucks. my 97 has a bad freeze plug leaking about the same location.
the easiest way for access is to remove the exhaust manifold. then you will have
reasonable access. the problem is you have a 50/50 chance of causing more issues
due to broken manifold bolts or studs.

if the freeze plug is completely gone, you might have a chance of playing feely meely
and getting a expandable plug in the hole. if you have to knock the old plug out, the access
is going to kill you without removing the exhaust manifold or pulling engine.

another thought: if your going to keep this car you might as well pull the engine up
and replace all the freeze plugs. chances are others are in a similar deterioration.
plus you can then get to the nasty one between the trannie and the back of the engine.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
good luck.
access sucks. my 97 has a bad freeze plug leaking about the same location.
the easiest way for access is to remove the exhaust manifold. then you will have
reasonable access. the problem is you have a 50/50 chance of causing more issues
due to broken manifold bolts or studs.

if the freeze plug is completely gone, you might have a chance of playing feely meely
and getting a expandable plug in the hole. if you have to knock the old plug out, the access
is going to kill you without removing the exhaust manifold or pulling engine.

another thought: if your going to keep this car you might as well pull the engine up
and replace all the freeze plugs. chances are others are in a similar deterioration.
plus you can then get to the nasty one between the trannie and the back of the engine.
Thanks for the feedback. I got the plug very easy and was able to feel the plug behind the manifold and it was fine. After replacing the plug feeling like I got lucky and and started filling only to have another leak this one is coming from under the rear of transmission. I am assumeing this is the dreaded pull the engine plug. I am at the point were I I just want the leaks fixed and move on. Any tips for making it easier to change out the rear plugs would be greatly appreciated.
 
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