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As many of you know, shortly after replacing my head gaskets, my car developed a slight rod knock. I had read that rod bearing failure was common to happen to 3.8L's after some head gasket failures. And so this weekend, with help from the man himself, Bob Gervais of Anonda Motorsports, I replaced all 6 sets of bearings, bad or not.

As it was said, when the coolant leaks down the cylinder, any that comes into contact with the rod bearings will cause them to disintegrate significantly. Well, it's true. All the other bearings were fine, showing little to no wear. The #1 bearing, however, didn't fare so well.

There was no damage to the journal, save for some extremely light scoring, but nothing that would be even remotely detrimental to the longevity of the engine. Which means that I caught this in time!!!

So in conclusion...

If you have a 3.8L that blows a head gasket, get it fixed right away!! If you can't, look into having your rod bearings serviced, because there's a very real chance that prolonged exposure to coolant will cause damage to the bearings.

And yes, there are pictures.
 

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Man, those bearings are ugly.
On the other hand, congrats on the fix.


Good advice about getting the headgaskets repaired ASAP if a leak is suspected. Some people will drive 'em until they can't go anymore, and that's when the low end damage is likely to occur. For a little more on the same subject, read here.
 

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hey x my bearing looked exactly the same that came out of my 3.8 when i tore it down....except the #1 cylinders bearings where just paper thin and where in like 15 pieces....but also the #2 and #3 cylinders where badly worn and 4-6 where worn down to the copper...i know that my hg's failed badly enough that i got new cylinder heads but now sure when they where put in....i can get you pics of the bearings and rod caps if you want x......but makes ya wonder which is worse on 3.8 taurus's the hg's or the axod
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If the bearings were paper thin, you had to have had some serious rod knock goin on there. And in pieces?
My God man!! How long did you wait to fix it??!!
And the rod caps were damaged? Mine were fine upon inspection.
 

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had oil pressure issues for awhile and i tried everything to fix till it developed a knock so i parked it and began to tear it down and that's how it sits in it's current state in pieces in my garage
 
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I know when I replaced the heads on the vulcan, I changed the oil a few times. I changed it as soon as the heads were on and then again after about 100 miles of driving. Oil is cheap and much easier to change than bearings are.

Good preventive medicine.

T-man other than bearings, if you find any of your other parts damaged and in need of replacement, I have a 3.8 disassembled right now and can probably get you the pieces you need.
 

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nah nothin was damaged other than the bearings but i am either gonna part the car out or junk it since it's taking up space i need pretty badly
 

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Nice work man. What time did you end up leaving there on sunday? I was dead tired by the time I left Bobs place, I barely stayed awake enought to get home.

Did you end up buying that SHO?

-Damon
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Originally posted by duratecchie@Jan 18 2004, 11:46 PM
Nice work man.  What time did you end up leaving there on sunday?  I was dead tired by the time I left Bobs place, I barely stayed awake enought to get home.

Did you end up buying that SHO?

-Damon
Man, I didn't leave until sometime after midnight!


Don (Bob's dad) came to the rescue, and helped us get the first rod cap off (which just happened to be the one that was toast). After that, it was smooth sailing, and Bob gave me a hand putting the oil pan and the Y-pipe back up. She never missed a beat the whole way back to CT.


So, how do you like sway bar?
Did you have fun "breakin it in" on the way back up to Baastan? (gotta love that accent
).

And yes, money is down on the SHO. It will be mine! [insert maniacal laughter here]
 

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Hmm maybe that is what was wrong with my Vulcan before it spit a rod out. Oh well a little late now. How much were a set of Rodbearings?
 
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A little over 20 bucks. Cheap insurance really. If I get my 93 3.8 going, I'm planning on doing them. I know the head gasket was done at least once on that car. I also plan on doing them in my 91 SHO, it has higher mileage and some owners have reported rod bearing wear. I figure I'll take care of that at the same time I do the clutch.
 

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Originally posted by Bob Gervais@Jan 19 2004, 07:45 AM
A little over 20 bucks.  Cheap insurance really.  If I get my 93 3.8 going, I'm planning on doing them.  I know the head gasket was done at least once on that car.  I also plan on doing them in my 91 SHO, it has higher mileage and some owners have reported rod bearing wear.  I figure I'll take care of that  at the same time I do the clutch.
I changed the rod bearings out on my SHO a few months ago ...I wasn't experiencing any problems at all, but like you say Bob, it's cheap insurance.
 

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