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Hey Folks

I hadn't driven the bull in awhile and it didn't do well after a few months of rest. First symptom was a horrendous knocking. The sound was deafening as if stuff was going to shoot right through the valve covers at any minute. Drivability was OK, no SES lights, idle was suprisingly fine. (For the record, I parked it as soon as this happened. I understand the severity of no oil pressure and what I'm hearing..didn't want anyone thinking I was taking Sunday drives like this).

I changed the oil and what I had in there didn't look good. It was borderline sludge. Did an oil/filter change and basically I get the same thing, but just not as frequent. Also notice the oil light comes on and usually corresponds to all the knocking. That oil light may have been coming on when the knocking first started and maybe I just didn't notice.

I'm leaning towards a bad oil pump, but would appreciate it if some of you could weigh in. Should I hook up an oil pressure gauge? Or should I skip that step and assume I have little to no oil psi based on my symptoms?

fyi, I've never replaced the cam position sensor in this vehicle.
 

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Light on and knocking sounds like, maybe time to hit up Pull A Part for a DOHC. IIRC you are in Columbia, SC right? 97 Sable w/130K~ DOHC was added to the yard recently. Esp if motor was sludged up and not able to properly circulate oil, not sure how much effort I would put in to a new pump.
 

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Might not be a bad oil pump, but a blocked pickup screen that is starving the pump for oil. Careful about adding any sort of sludge remover though, because it will just make it all come off at once and block the screen up again.

Unfortunately the only answer for severe sludge is disassembly and cleaning as far as I know.
 

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Oil Pressure Gauge...

WILL tell you if you have ANY at all.
[I'm with you though,NASTY Knocking and Flashing O.P. Lights can't be Good!]
If it has an O.P. problem,and is Knocking as a result...Bearings,Rod.

I've run Mobil 1 5W30 in this Duratec since it had 5K miles on it.[Break-In] (126K, now)
Oil and Filter Changes every 5K Miles.
(When I take the Oil Fill Cap off and look inside the front V.C. ,
EVERYTHING is Shiny,Clean and New Looking inside.)

IF it's GOT ANY FLOW at all...
I'd try 1Qt of Mobil 1 Semi-Synthetic in the Total sump Fill and BABY it
(Maybe even Idle to 1000 RPM only,for 500 miles,for each dilution.)
'GRADUALLY increasing the ratio of the Semi-Synthetic to Dino Oil,until you're at 100% Semi-Syn.
Then start the Same process with Mobil 1 full synthetic.
You're trying to "De-Sludge" it gradually without Totally Clogging the Oil Passages or the Oil Filter(s).
You'll know by the Third Qt. of Semi-Syn if you're having any success.

I realize that's lots of oil and filters,you'll have to justify the costs.
 

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How bout some Auto-RX?
Auto RX is the best thing you can do for a sluged engine shy of a rebuild.

The next best option would be to run cycles of a good cleaning oil like Pennzoil Ultra or Pennzoil Platinum, but if the engines already damaged from the knocking it might be too late for these methods.

Auto RX works with cheap oils and i have seen it do some good work on taurus engines. If u do go with Auto RX be sure to keep up with changing the filter because they can get clogged before the cycle of cleaning/rinsing is over.
 

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Cake monster
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If you don't care much for the engine, you could try running a gallon or so of diesel fuel through it with a little oil for a few minutes. It might just ruin the engine, but it'll likely take all the sludge off the internals. It sounds like the engine is done for anyway, it doesn't sound good man. I would look down into the valve cover, is it heavily sludged? Even if the starvation was being caused by sludge, its probably already done the damage.

Some people replace a quart of their oil with ATF, if did work somewhat for me when I tried it once, but it takes time and a few changes of oil.
 

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Sounds to me like the engine is gone due to excessive sludging / lack of maintanance. IMO, throwing any $$ at the currect engine is a waste. Install a JY unit.
 

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I'm afraid I have to concur, sounds like the problem I had with the Vortec engine in my 98 POS Jimmy. Blew the UIM gasket in the Middle of Nowhere Wyoming, then the engine overheated, and shortly after that it started knocking quite badly. Solution: Re-manufactured crate engine at the tune of $3800 bucks, yikes [email protected]$%# Shoulda gone JY route.
 
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