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I just finished changing the oil pan gasket on my 2002 Sable Duratec. There was only one real snag but it was a doozy. Given that the car is 8 years old and has been operated on salty roads in Michigan for all those winters, it should be no surprise that the nuts and bolts on the exhaust system were pretty rusty. As a result, two nuts and one bolt rounded off when I tried to remove them, despite being careful with tool selection (proper size, six-point sockets). A couple of trips to Sears got me a Grip-Tite socket set and a Gator grip socket that worked just fine on the rounded nuts at the y-pipe-to-tailpipe connection. No such luck with the bolt holding the y-pipe to the rear manifold.
I disconnected the tail pipe and lowered it and moved it to the side to improve access to the remaining bolt, but could not get it to budge even with a stud extractor and breaker bar. Finally, I used an air powered grinder to grind the head off. You might be able to do that with a Dremel tool but it would take a lot longer. That allowed me to drop the Y-pipe and get the gasket changed.
According to the shop manual, the proper assembly sequence is to hand tighten the bolts to the transaxle, then tighten the oil pan to engine bolts in the proper order (above) to 18 ft-lbs, then tighten the pan to transaxle bolts to 30 ft-lbs.
When placing the oil pan in position, have two (and only two) bolts sticking up through the new gasket ready to engage their proper holes in the engine. Hand tighten those two before inserting the remaining bolts.
At that point, I still had the issue of the stub of the bolt in the rear exhaust manifold to deal with. I ultimately got it out by grinding it to a square shape, 1/4 inch on each side. That allowed me to fit a 1/4 inch drive socket over it (I happened to have an 8 point socket which functioned as an effective "gender changer". This allowed me to connect it to a breaker bar which, with some wiggling and only a little effort, aided by some PB Blaster, enabled me to thread that bugger right out. If you don't have an 8 point socket, you can use a 12 point 11 mm socket as a gender changer. It will fit perfectly upside down over a 3/8 inch drive ratchet.
You'll want to chase the threads in the rear manifold with a tap of the correct size (m10x1.50). You get a fair amount of crap in there that should be cleaned out before attempting to insert a new bolt. Needless to say I reassembled the thing with all new nuts and bolts on the exhaust pipe and used plenty of anti-seize as the write-up recommends. It does help to have a second person available to get the y-pipe back into position. In my case, I asked the wife to position the connection to the front manifold from above and put one nut loosely on the stud there while I supported the pipe from below and got one bolt loosely into the rear manifold. That took only a couple of minutes and supported the weight of the thing which allowed me to finish wrestling it into position and connecting the rest of the nuts and bolts. Get all the nuts and bolts on before tightening any of them down.
I'm not sure it was necessary but I used a couple of dots of sealer to hold each gasket in place while reassembling the Y-pipe into the car. I figured I didn't want to risk having them slip out of place and get distorted and that the sealer would eventually burn off. Seemed to work.
But for that one bolt, this would have been a relatively easy and straightforward job, and saved about $350 vs the dealer quote. Thanks for the great write-up.
 

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Hmm... my mechanic has been saying that there is an oil pan leak on my car for a few years now...and I don't think I'm going to ask him to fix it after reading this. Looks like too big of a job, he will probably charge 5+ hours labor. I personally feel that the oil pans on these cars are deep enough that a leak is no big deal. Under normal conditions, no oil contacts the gasket, from what I understand. Did you guys experience massive leakages from oil pan gaskets? I personally think that plugging the leak with some silicone, or something better, would be more reasonable, though unprofessional, regardless, it would not lead to any failure. It seems like tauruses are some of the trickiest cars to work on out there, despite the parts being cheap. Their engine compartments seem so cramped. Cannot even get spark plugs or coils on the back of the engine without removal of intake manifold...not sure how many other cars have such wonderful "features." I sometimes feel that if ford designed these cars to be a bit easier to service, and spent just a wee bit more on the quality of major components (suspension, transmission, etc...) then the cars would be favored amongst all people, and would easily be 400,000 mile cars. Though ford engines, unlike transmissions, are tough.
 

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Most shops want about $200-300 for this task. All is labor except apprx. $30-50 for gasket, oil, and filter. One shop years ago on a 95 3.0 vulcan didnt even bother to r&r gasket or oil filter. Simply cleaned everything thoroughly, used orange rtv on the pan and mounting surface, dumped in some fresh oil and called it good. Not recommended, but no leaks for years after.
 

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My Sable did not exhibit a "massive" leak, but did constanly drip to the point that I didn't want to park it in the driveway and the street now has a pretty significant stain from all the drips. Also, it would drip on the exhaust manifold and you would notice a nasty burning oil smell fairly frequently when stopped at a traffic light.

The smells and the dripping are gone now. I consider the work to have been totally worth it. I wouldn't have wanted to pay a mechanic to to it but as a DIY project, it was a very satisfying thing to have accomplished.

As for the cramped engine compartment, it is a result of cramming so much engineering into a smaller and smaller package. Dual overhead cams, power steering, brakes, A/C, fuel injection, computers all over the place, antilock brakes, cruise control, etc. All these things take up room. Sure the engine compartment is crammed full compared to a '55 Chevy straight six, but there's a lot more going on under there nowadays.

As to removing the upper intake manifold to change the rear spark plugs, NOT necessary. I have changed mine without removing it. You take out the right side cowl and have enough room to pull the plugs.
 

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Hello Everyone,
My 2000 wagon is dripping oil and I have identified this issue listed here to be the cause. I see the oil pan is actually two parts with an upper and lower sections. My leak is at the upper seal/gasket. I see no mention of a
the upper oil pan section part repair here from Silver bullet. I am thinking there shouldn't be any additional difficult catches here. Can anyone confirm?
 

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Hello Everyone,
My 2000 wagon is dripping oil and I have identified this issue listed here to be the cause. I see the oil pan is actually two parts with an upper and lower sections. My leak is at the upper seal/gasket. I see no mention of a
the upper oil pan section part repair here from Silver bullet. I am thinking there shouldn't be any additional difficult catches here. Can anyone confirm?
Not exactly sure what you mean by upper and lower part of the oil pan.

http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/134-taurus-sable-project-log/174364-sousa632s-2001-duratec-sable-ls-premium-wagon-9.html#post2308713

Take a look there and see what the job entails. That's when I did mine. It's a pain in the ass to get the Y pipe out of the way if you are in the rust belt but that's the biggest hurdle, the rest is cake.
 

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Not exactly sure what you mean by upper and lower part of the oil pan.

http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/134-taurus-sable-project-log/174364-sousa632s-2001-duratec-sable-ls-premium-wagon-9.html#post2308713

Take a look there and see what the job entails. That's when I did mine. It's a pain in the ass to get the Y pipe out of the way if you are in the rust belt but that's the biggest hurdle, the rest is cake.
Hey, thanks for the reply. The wet spots on this engine are on the one corner just above the removable transmission to engine bracket. Possibly the leak is coming from the small plastic sending unit using a small screw & oil ring? WHAT IS THIS PART CALLED? I cannot locate it on Rock Auto's parts breakdown.

I went ahead & removed the oil pan figured I'd replace the gasket now that I have the exhaust pipes out of the way and my mileage is at 106K. Figured it will need it anyway. Wouldn't you know there is a Fel-Pro gasket there now!

Hard to tell for sure where this leak is coming from but I'd say the plastic switch I mention above. And I can't get it out without possibly breaking it. Just a few mm too long. I'll need a new one before I force it out. What is this part?
 

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Overall a very useful write-up. But make sure you get the right gaskets, since the part numbers given here are not for every model year. Also, too bad the pics are not located where they should be in the write-up.
 

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The part that is leaking is the Crankshaft Position Sensor (CPS), and yes it is hard to get out, but it should come out with a little bit of fiddling (at least no one has said differently and they are sold without any caveats as to not being able to remove the old one). I did NOT remove mine (05 Mercury Sable Duratec), but simply sprayed brake parts cleaner on it. Removed the 8mm bolt and moved it out to expose part of the O-ring. Then coated it with red high temp RTV and re-installed. Put back the engine to transmission bracket and let it dry overnight. So far so good, no oil leak.

After saying this I must admit that I previously did the Y-pipe removal thing and changed the oil pan gasket, which I now believe was a mistake on my part. At least it was a waste of time trying to remove rusted exhaust bolts (they did all come out after soaking with PB Blaster and then with a combination of Acetone and Marvel Mystery Oil. But, on the bright side, I did replace the bolts and nuts with stainless steel parts and high temp anti seize, just in case I had to repeat the process.

And, yes that bracket is tough to get out (remove the passenger side wheel and 4 or 5 plastic pieces holding the splash liner), but doing this and having a 4 post lift made it somewhat easier to accomplish.
 

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Never knew the ckp sensor could be the cause of a tec oil leak....
On the DOHC it O-rings into the oil area inside the engine. O-rings can fail of course, but that is likely rare. I switched crank pos on '03 with a JY one and it is a pain to get in and out. There is a iron bracket that bolts to the tranny and engine that is right in the way.

My crank pos was not the issue, just trial and error to trace spark advance erratic.

To make things really tough, the crank and cam sensors are the same in most respects, only the part number is different. Would be easy to get it wrong.

-chart-
 

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^+1. Just never heard of it being discussed as an oil leak source/suspect on a tec. Maybe I should investigate my fleet of gen3 tecs.
 

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last time when my 02DOHC gasket leak, i ended up find a muffler shop to work on it. much cheaper than regular shop. they seemed very experienced with stuck exhaust pipes and rusty bolts and nuts ;)
i think they torched mine a little before loose them out.
 

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I fought this stupid oil leak at the bottom front corner of the oil pan for a while. I noticed on used car lots that about 7 out of 10 older Duratec 30's have this leak to some degree. The first time around I changed the oil pan gasket and put a new O ring on the CPS. No go, it still leaked the same amount from the same area. Not much, but enough leave a constant film of oil on the bottom of the pan and the trans mount bracket was always wet with oil. I went in and dropped the Y pipe and the trans bracket again to have another look.

The leak was ultimately coming from the timing chain cover, just behind the bottom of the alternator. There is a stud and a 10mm nut for the timing cover at the area of the leak, it is just above the CPS. I was thinking the only way to fix it would be to remove the timing chain cover and replace the multi-piece gasket. Major, major pain that was not happening.

I decided to try something else that came to mind first. I re-torqued the 10mm nut. It moved about half a turn. It wasn't loose, but it did torque some. I then cleaned the area really good with CRC Brakekleen. I applied black Permatex RTV gasket maker to the seam between the block and timing cover in this area. I pushed the RTV in to the seam with my finger really good. (While wearing a rubber glove.) I let it dry for a couple of hours, and then put a second coat of RTV around the area. I put everything back together, and let it set overnight. This was 500 miles ago, and thus far the area has remained totally devoid of oil, so I think I got it. Not sure if it was re-torqueing the bolt or the RTV, or both that took care of this pain. Hope this helps someone.



-Mark-
 

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I drove the car another 200+ miles yesterday, and it's still completely oil leak free thankfully. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if the Duratec timing chain cover can be removed without lifting the engine? I'm thinking I might replace the gaskets some time down the road if I get ambitious enough.

-Mark-
 

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I pulled my 05 Sable duratec "Y" pipe last summer and did the oil pan gasket, but it still leaked oil from that lower left front cover area right above the oil pan. Then I pulled the crankshaft position sensor as far out as it would go, cleaned it with break cleaner a couple of times and applied the red high-temp RTV from the o-ring out and let it set over night.

This seemed to cure the problem for a month and then the oil reappeared at the same corner of the block. Next, I repeated the procedure using "Ultra Grey" RTV and let it cure for more than 36 hours before using the car. That was about a week ago so I do not know for sure if my leak is taken care of as of yet. But, if not this discussion has given me new hope and a new spot to try out the Ultra Grey RTV on.

And, yes I cannot completely remove my crankshaft position sensor without breaking it, as it comes up against part of the transmission case. Nice going Ford guys. Ordered a new one that looked like they are now made about a quarter inch shorter to facilitate replacement, but the old one will have to be broken out of its cage to do that. A lot of bother just to be able to go 5,000 miles without adding a quart before the next oil change. Just glad to know that there are others who also want an oil free engine that does not drip on the garage floor. Thanks for the write up.
 

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Oil Pan Gasket

I did it right by the directions given but when I got to the part where the pan "drops" it didn't. Beating it loose with a 4 lb hammer resulted in two
half moon shaped pieces of aluminum coming off the pan. Should have learned something from this but brain was not engaged at the time.
Of course the thing had not ever leaked stuck as it was. So I threw away the perfectly good OEM gasket and put in a Felpro. The "cheap" OEM exhaust gaskets and bolts cost me $37 at my friendly local dealer.
All in all a very unpleasant experience. Now if I can just find that darn oil leak. :huh:
 
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