Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
EDIT: after inspection... never mind the title! but it was interesting to see how dirty this thing was. Makes me wish there was a coolant filter on these things!

Well my new find (98 Taurus with 165k on the clock) was leaking coolant slowly near the water pump. I was probably loosing 1/8 cup when parked and who knows how much when running. Anyways, I finally tracked down the leak and it appears to be the lower intake manifold gasket on the water pump side of the engine.

When I removed the intake manifold (and the injectors and the wiring, and the valve covers, the throttle body and a few other things to get to the lower intake manifold) I found this! See pictures:


There's no way the coolant could have cycled through these heads because the passages in the intake manifold are completely plugged. I wonder if my heads are ok after this. I suppose some could have flowed in to the in side of the head and back out of the in side but not made a circle.

I'll be doing a compression check to see if my heads/gaskets are still ok after this. Hopefully all is well. If not I guess I'm this close anyways. It won't be too much harder to finish the job.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok... after I had some time with this thing I found a reason for what I see (hint... part of the design)... but I'll see what others say before I give the answer.

I was surprised since this is the first time I've had this engine apart to this point. But now I know something new about the 3.0 Vulcan.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,593 Posts
The "holes" on the thermostat end of the manifold is a cross over, they take the water from one side to the other and to the thermostat. The ones in the other of the manifold are dead holes, unused. Take a knife or scraper and clean them out you will see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok... after I had some time with this thing I found a reason for what I see (hint... part of the design)... but I'll see what others say before I give the answer.

I was surprised since this is the first time I've had this engine apart to this point. But now I know something new about the 3.0 Vulcan.
The "holes" on the thermostat end of the manifold is a cross over, they take the water from one side to the other and to the thermostat. The ones in the other of the manifold are dead holes, unused. Take a knife or scraper and clean them out you will see.
You're 100% correct. That's what I was saying in my quote above. You know this engine!

Could the leak of coolant on the water pump side of the engine have been from a bad intake manifold gasket? It seems like that's where the wet was but I'm not sure. I'm still trying to pin point things. It looked to be wet just behind and above the water pump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great Pics!
Thanks, I like to see the gut shots of engines I own so I figured someone else would too. Never know when pics will help on a job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Timing cover leak is relatively common on these engines.
With everything torn apart this is what it appears to be (timing cover or engine front cover as the Ford Service Manual calls it). The leak looks like it's coming from the top left side of the timing cover near the firewall side head. It's right behind the water pump.

So... I guess it's time to get the rental tools and tear into it. It's leaking around a quart of coolant per hour of running.

Quick diagnostic trick...

LEAK FINDER TOOL:
-1/4" air line threaded into a Tee with a pressure gauge and hose fitting going out to a hose (I used 3/8" fuel line).
-I put a ball valve on it so I could turn the air pressure on close the valve to hold the air pressure. This let me put a Tee fitting on the other end of the hose to Tee into the coolant expansion tank lines.


With this setup I put 15 psi into the cooling system (removed the thermostat to have an open system) and just sat back and watched. The pressure took quite a while to leak down (probably overnight to completely bleed off). It's a slow leak but it definitely left a good trail of coolant.

This tool also works good for pressure testing just about anything else I've needed to test. It's been a great diagnostic tool and only cost me a few plumbing fittings, a length of hose, a pressure gauge and a ball valve. I'd guess that's around $35 worth of stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
curious, was it running hotter than you thought it should before the leak?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Much of that corrosion and plugging is probably due to tap water being used with the coolant. I buy the premixed, largely because it has deionized water, and that goes a long way towards preventing corrosion and scale buildup. As a matter of fact, after doing regular changes, premixed can gradually remove some existing buildup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
curious, was it running hotter than you thought it should before the leak?
It actually ran just fine as far as temps go. It had a pin hole in the coolant tank though. I'll be fixing the timing cover this week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Thanks for the pics!!! I've never seen one taken down, so great to be able to see. I've been dealing with leak problems too. After replacing water pump (did need it, seeping out the weep hole), then finding that the major leak was in one of the 'heater core tube assembly' tubes that ruptured badly and suddenly, bypassed those with hose. Only to discover that when I'd let a shop put pressure on the system looking for that leak (unnecessary, it'd drip pretty noticeably if you just turned the engine on and back off), they'd popped the radiator. Replaced it. Ran for a few min, no leaks, WHEW! Drained a little water off, put in prestone coolant cleaner (run with it 3 to 6 hours) & let it idle for about 20 min.

Suddenly there was a NEW leak under the car but coming from the same area you note. Oily water. I turned the car off. Waited a few min, pulled oil dipstick and oil looked like coffee with a little creme in it. :-( NOT blowing any smoke out the tailpipe. Engine running fine. Temp higher than I'd like tho at about 3/4 of the way across the gauge towards hot (or about on the "l" in the word 'normal' that's across the middle of the gauge).

I figured, with helpful input from folks here and on another forum & a few friends that it had to be head gasket or intake manifold seal there on the passenger side. I had low back surgery about 7 weeks ago tho, and am limited on just how much I can crawl into engine and stay bent over, and never was able to pinpoint where the leak was originating. Water pump totally dry along entire sealing edge etc., but when under the car the leak was coming from or dripping down onto where the crankshaft pulley shaft goes into a housing, then down the bottom of that housing to again dissappear and drop off onto I guess part of the exhaust system, causing a good bit of steam/smoke to come up thru the engine compartment, and then of course running onto the ground.

I'm nowhere near up for trying a head gasket right now all things considered, and not worth the expense of dropping a used or rebuilt engine into it by the time you add typical mechanic's labor rates. So.... I decided to try one of those head gasket/block/freeze plug/cracked head sealers.

Put it in yesterday per instructions - first had to remove thermostat. I was floored, got the housing out ok, but the thermostat itself was about welded into the housing!!! Not to mention a fair amount of the same red colored crud/corrosion attached to the inside of the housing most of which came out easily enough with a wire toothbrush carefully applied. I could NOT get the thing out. Wound up with one of the guys at the nearby checkers autoparts finally managing to get it out using long handled channel locks.

Anyhow, I ran the sealant at idle as directed tho a bit longer than the 50 min on the bottle directions (sealant tech support guy said that was a good thing to do). With the one I used, you start with engine cold - so at roughly 40 min running, presto, suddenly no more smoke from engine compartment, and no more dripping onto the ground. Engine temp had been at about the 'a' in normal, and about that time it drifted down to more like the 'o' or even 'n.' Let it run about 70 or 80 min total, then took the car to have the oil changed, then drove it maybe 3 to 6 miles city roads for a short errand. It was running bottom end of normal temp, on the "n" in "normal."

Got home, coolant level hadn't changed, oil looked totally clean and normal. Took it onto the interstate today - approx 99 degrees out, drove about 25 min total, 20 mi roundtrip, mostly at 65 to 75 mph. Took it awhile to warm up (still just water & the sealer & no thermostat), then it ran the first half at speed mainly with temp on "o" or "r" of "normal." Last half more at 70 to 75, running mainly on the "m."

Once home, coolant level in overflow tank hadn't seemed to have changed at all, no dripping from under the car, oil still clean as a whistle...

I'm praying. Will run it a few more days with the sealer in, then drain enough out to put new thermostat in, & to add antifreeze. Probably will leave the sealer in, which bottle directions & tech support both say is fine.

Wish I could run the coolant cleaner to flush out the block etc., but won't because god knows how it might interact with the sealer, the sealed areas, etc.

If I had seen your photos first, I would have gotten distilled water and used it instead of tap before putting the sealant in however. Now that its already in, I'll leave it, but any more water I ever need to add will be distilled. We've got horribly hard water here and I wish I'd thought to use distilled from when I first moved here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
are there any other gaskets out there other then fel-pro... am on the third set and they always seem to rip as time goes on driving me nuts
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top