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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I have a 2002 ford Taurus ohv (not dual overhead) with 2205xx miles I just paid it off and then last night my wife noticed a knocking noise while I was driving, checked the dip stick wiped it off pulled it back out and it was bone dry so i immediately bought 5 quarts of 15w-40 let it run for a while then since the gas was low too when to gas station filled her half up with 93 and some fuel injector cleaner. Since I have drove about 60 mile and still knocking. have read other threads but not sure if it is bearings, or rods, or something? I do know that the knocking is the loudest at ~700rpm (idle or stopped) then almost unnoticeable at ~1000rpm and the not that bad but a little more high pitched at 2300rpm-2500rpm. I know some of the other threads mentioned checking oil pressure how do I check it, also almost positive my oil pan gasket is bad and a friend at work mentioned it may be o-rings since I have a little white smoke but it has done that for a while now (about a year) but no knocking, but could i check the o-rings by compression testing each cylinder. finally another thread mentioned knocking after coolant leaking in a cover and this might be possible as i neglected replacing my recovery tank for about 3 months but finally did. Im no mechanic but I do as much as possible by myself and always change my oil and other work like breaks and heater core and tire-rod ends so i know a little about cars but i dont know thats much if anyone has any advice that would be awesome.
 

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Cake monster
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Hi I have a 2002 ford Taurus ohv (not dual overhead) with 2205xx miles I just paid it off and then last night my wife noticed a knocking noise while I was driving, checked the dip stick wiped it off pulled it back out and it was bone dry so i immediately bought 5 quarts of 15w-40 let it run for a while then since the gas was low too when to gas station filled her half up with 93 and some fuel injector cleaner. Since I have drove about 60 mile and still knocking. have read other threads but not sure if it is bearings, or rods, or something? I do know that the knocking is the loudest at ~700rpm (idle or stopped) then almost unnoticeable at ~1000rpm and the not that bad but a little more high pitched at 2300rpm-2500rpm. I know some of the other threads mentioned checking oil pressure how do I check it, also almost positive my oil pan gasket is bad and a friend at work mentioned it may be o-rings since I have a little white smoke but it has done that for a while now (about a year) but no knocking, but could i check the o-rings by compression testing each cylinder. finally another thread mentioned knocking after coolant leaking in a cover and this might be possible as i neglected replacing my recovery tank for about 3 months but finally did. Im no mechanic but I do as much as possible by myself and always change my oil and other work like breaks and heater core and tire-rod ends so i know a little about cars but i dont know thats much if anyone has any advice that would be awesome.
Sounds like you ran the motor dry and cooked some bearings. Tough lock, she'll probably blow sooner or later. Price out a wrecker engine and installation. Check your oil more often too, unless it suddenly leaked out. Did you actually use 5 quarts of oil to get it to register on the dipstick again? That's pretty much what it'd take to fill it bone dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, i'm almost certain its the bearings, i've looked up on auto zone a new crank and all rod and top bearing kit is $200, which ill probably do this spring, I was also thinking about replacing the trans because it is beginning to slip and in the snow it sucks i can get into 3rd only going 25mph also thinking of a trans chip and a cooler
 

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Cake monster
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Thanks for the reply, i'm almost certain its the bearings, i've looked up on auto zone a new crank and all rod and top bearing kit is $200, which ill probably do this spring, I was also thinking about replacing the trans because it is beginning to slip and in the snow it sucks i can get into 3rd only going 25mph also thinking of a trans chip and a cooler
If you're good at building engines, you should be able to fix the damaged parts. One worry I have is that the valve-train might be more worn or damaged than you can get away with. If it were me, I'd be buying a $250 wrecker engine (maybe the transmission for shits n gigles so you have something when it fails, too). If it were a headgasket, I would say just redo the heads, but when you run an engine dry, there's a lot of things that happen to the block and heads that I wouldn't want to deal with potentially later on. The cylinder walls will start over heating, from the lack of oil as the piston moves, this causes scoring. All of the moving parts in the engine rotate really fast, without oil the bearings holding them in start melting. You might tear into it and realize the block won't be right without some machining and then you're going to be out way more than if you got the used engine. Sure, you'd have a rebuilt engine that will last longer, but these engines are pretty tough to start with, I don't think you would have issues with a used engine.

I would call the local junk yards and start asking what they want for a complete drive-train, subframe and all. You might as well start out new and get a lower mileage setup.

P.S: Start looking for a car the same age with a bad body or damage and swap the engine/transmission in, then sell the parts car to the wreckers. You can find cars from that era for as little as $500.
 

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Cake monster
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The knock could be a dry lifter as well. It isn't always the bearings that go first.
Good point, I just read over his post again and it never mentions oil lights or anything being on. It comes back to how much he actually had in the car, he says he added 5 quarts of oil, how did he manage to leak out that much oil fast enough to not ruin the engine? He basically added enough oil to fill it empty. If it got low enough to not register on the dipstick and cause a bunch of ticking, then theres a chance the motor isn't too badly damaged.

I asked initially in my first post, did it really take 5 quarts to bring it to level? I'm having trouble believing it was actually that empty. It should be sized up. You should take the tire and inner fender out to rotate the engine by hand, so you can feel for issues in the rotating assembly. I don't think the dipstick reaches all the way to the bottom of the oil pan, just because it doesn't register doesn't mean there isn't stuff in there.

I still say go for a used engine that hasn't had this sort of thing happen. If you need a transmission too, I would just buy both attached together from a junk yard and maybe the subframe if it's in bad shape if you want to keep the car. Then fix the transmission later on, it should last for awhile. There's tons of vulcans out there. Are you completely sure the transmission is slipping? It might be a cheap fix.

Also, does it knock when you rev it and let right off? Does it get louder as the RPMs decrease?
 
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