Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've decided to replace both head gaskets, and ordered the whole gasket kit by Felpro. I've also ordered a new water pump and thermostat. I have two questions:

1 - Cam Synchro, obviously this needs to come out right, so do I just mark it's position at TDC for #1 and put it back there when I'm buttoning up?

2 - RTV gasket maker stuff - where do I use it? Head gaskets are installed dry. What about intake manifold gaskets? Thermostat? Water pump?

Thanks in advance...
 

·
Cake monster
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
So I've decided to replace both head gaskets, and ordered the whole gasket kit by Felpro. I've also ordered a new water pump and thermostat. I have two questions:

1 - Cam Synchro, obviously this needs to come out right, so do I just mark it's position at TDC for #1 and put it back there when I'm buttoning up?

2 - RTV gasket maker stuff - where do I use it? Head gaskets are installed dry. What about intake manifold gaskets? Thermostat? Water pump?

Thanks in advance...
First of all, you're sure it needs it, right? This is a big job to undertake.

I don't believe you need to remove the Cam Syncro, but if you do, mark and take pictures.

I don't use Gasket maker for much unless it calls for it. I do use the brown stuff on the water pump/tstat gasket, as I always have. It depends on how you learn and who teaches you I guess. Some people don't use anything. I'm pretty sure you at least need the Gasket maker for the oil pan, and possibly the plastic intake manifold in new Taurus's maybe? No idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I'm 90% certain - it pushes coolant into the expansion tank as soon as I fire it up, and quicker if I rev it (engine cold).

I already replaced the cam synchro, but I had trouble getting it exactly right. I might be off by ~10 degrees max maybe? It runs fine, so I think I got it right but maybe I should invest in one of those alignment tools anyway...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Make sure you measure the heads to make sure they are flat, if not, have them both resurfaced. Install all new head bolts as well, the old ones are not reusable. You will need a torque wrench as well if you don't already have them.

As far as RTV, you use a little on the valve cover, but not on much else. Just use it where indicated.
 

·
Cake monster
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
Yeah, I'm 90% certain - it pushes coolant into the expansion tank as soon as I fire it up, and quicker if I rev it (engine cold).

I already replaced the cam synchro, but I had trouble getting it exactly right. I might be off by ~10 degrees max maybe? It runs fine, so I think I got it right but maybe I should invest in one of those alignment tools anyway...
I just PMed you with a diagram for the sealant.

Any other signs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
That diagram was awesome man, thanks for that!

As for other signs, my coolant is brown - lots of sediment. I did the Clinton flush last year and again this year. Heat is fine (or was before leak was getting worse). I could hear the heater core making weird noises like bubbles were passing through the system.

Took the hood off and figured I'd pull the air cabin filter - looks original!



One more question - I drained the coolant from the radiator, but I know I'm supposed to drain it from the block as well. Is this the block coolant plug (on the front side - don't think I can get to the one in back)?



Looks like it has red loc-tite on it. Guess I should clean it off and re-loc-tite it before reinstalling it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BTW - that picture is actually taken upside-down. Kind of hard to take a picture with my phone there...
 

·
Cake monster
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
That diagram was awesome man, thanks for that!

As for other signs, my coolant is brown - lots of sediment. I did the Clinton flush last year and again this year. Heat is fine (or was before leak was getting worse). I could hear the heater core making weird noises like bubbles were passing through the system.

Took the hood off and figured I'd pull the air cabin filter - looks original!



One more question - I drained the coolant from the radiator, but I know I'm supposed to drain it from the block as well. Is this the block coolant plug (on the front side - don't think I can get to the one in back)?

Looks like it has red loc-tite on it. Guess I should clean it off and re-loc-tite it before reinstalling it...
That's a block plug next to the oil filter I believe, yes. I don't think you need to drain the coolant from the block to remove the heads. If you do remove it, change buy a new plug to reinstall. When you have the heads removed, you might want to check the metal lines at the back and possibly replace them if they're rusty. The water pump impeller is probably rusted too, if it's old.
 

·
Cake monster
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
Here's some advice if you've never taken an engine apart:

  • Take dozens of pictures, of wiring locations, vacuum lines, bolt patterns, sensors and anything you might not remember.
  • Buy 100 resealable sandwich bags, put all the nuts, bolts and sensors into their own labeled bag (sharpies work good).
  • Get the heads done up at a machine shop, or at least change the valve stems seals yourself. It's a good idea to do it while the heads are off, it's cheap and you know you don't need to go back later for that.
  • Get a good straight edge
  • Air tools are a godsend
  • Be prepared for broken bolts, some can be taken out yourself, some require help from a machine shop or a talented mechanic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,365 Posts
Dust off the wet/dry shopvac. Be prepared for a lot of sludge sucking out of the block. Those things are bad once the coolant turns brown.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
Here's some advice if you've never taken an engine apart:

  • Take dozens of pictures, of wiring locations, vacuum lines, bolt patterns, sensors and anything you might not remember.
  • Buy 100 resealable sandwich bags, put all the nuts, bolts and sensors into their own labeled bag (sharpies work good).
  • Get the heads done up at a machine shop, or at least change the valve stems seals yourself. It's a good idea to do it while the heads are off, it's cheap and you know you don't need to go back later for that.
  • Get a good straight edge
  • Air tools are a godsend
  • Be prepared for broken bolts, some can be taken out yourself, some require help from a machine shop or a talented mechanic.
Amen to that brother. I learned the hard way. If you don't put all the hardware into labeled bags, you often put it together with parts left over, never a good thing. Or you use the long bolt in one place where it works good, but realize when you get the project almost done that the short bolt you have left doesn't reach. I don't recall that on a Taurus, but my Mazda had lots of bolts where you had to use the right ones in the right place.

To prevent broken bolts, use PB blaster liberally. I was able to change the heads on my brother's '97 Aerostar without breaking any bolts. He didn't have a blown gasket, but he had a low compression due to a valve that wouldn't seat or a crack in the head, never were able to find out which the problem was, only that replacing the heads with a new one that had new valves and all that was much easier than finding the problem with the old ones, and I was able to get his van up and running much faster that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Definitely taking lots of pics along the way, and already started the baggie thing.

I'm wondering if I should also replace the EGR valve now too while I have the intake off? I've got 96k miles on the car and it looks original...
 

·
Cake monster
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
Definitely taking lots of pics along the way, and already started the baggie thing.

I'm wondering if I should also replace the EGR valve now too while I have the intake off? I've got 96k miles on the car and it looks original...
I don't know if they fail commonly or not, but if there's no issue I wouldn't think it would be needed. I would consider replacing the Pressure Sensor thingy for it though, those seem to go out a lot, but it's not hard to fix at all if it does.

Remember to get a box and flip it upside down, so you can stick the push rods through the top in order. You need to number them so they all go back in the same spot. Same thing with the rockers, tag them if you remove them. If you re-use spark plugs, number them too. If you pull injectors, they get numbered and put back in the same spot too. It's a good idea to put everything back in order exactly as it was. It might work if you don't follow these rules but consistency is best.

Amen to that brother. I learned the hard way. If you don't put all the hardware into labeled bags, you often put it together with parts left over, never a good thing. Or you use the long bolt in one place where it works good, but realize when you get the project almost done that the short bolt you have left doesn't reach. I don't recall that on a Taurus, but my Mazda had lots of bolts where you had to use the right ones in the right place.
It can save you from hours of frustration and significantly reduce the time it takes to get it back together. I have made the mistake :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Definitely. I got the upper intake and most of the wiring harness off yesterday, but put it down for awhile (no hurry here).

I think I'll have the heads planed just to be thorough (the bump in compression would be nice too!) I think I'll even try my hand porting the heads a bit with my dremel just for shits and giggles. I'll probably paint the valve covers while I have them off too...
 

·
Cake monster
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
Definitely. I got the upper intake and most of the wiring harness off yesterday, but put it down for awhile (no hurry here).

I think I'll have the heads planed just to be thorough (the bump in compression would be nice too!) I think I'll even try my hand porting the heads a bit with my dremel just for shits and giggles. I'll probably paint the valve covers while I have them off too...
I always paint the heads before reinstalling. Ford blue or grey is nice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I just did a valve job on a Vulcan. RTV also goes in the corners before you put the lower intake manifold back in. New gaskets between manifold and heads. Then some weird little blue things that look like dried out RTV help seal up between lower intake manifold and block. A new gasket set will include new little blue rubber things that are squiggly like an S. One side has a rubber 'dowel rod' that goes in the dimples which are on one side only. RTV goes on the ends of hte blue S rubber gaskets, between heads and manifold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finally took the heads off and just took them to an engine shop to get vatted and milled (probably didn't need to be milled but I won't mind the bump in compression, plus it's only $20!)

I didn't see any obvious leaks on the head gaskets? How do the pistons look for the average 97k mile Vulcan?



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think one or two pistons looked a little oxidized. I'll get better pics once I clean it up. Coolant in the block looked green and clean, but I recently flushed/clinton'd it...
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top