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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A few weeks ago, I did a valve job. If you want details, that post is here on this forum. http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/82-...1494-valve-job-parts-list-other-do-items.html

Burned out exhaust valve on cyl #2. Now I have a pushrod problem.



After the valve job, the car ran great! Smooth idle, it purred like a kitten. Best it’s been in a while. Did a compression test and all was well again. It ran great for about 2 days, then it went back to crappy. Rough idle.



I checked everything, including pulling the pushrods to make sure they were straight. They were. I found bad spark plug wires were arcing, so replaced them. New spark plugs were put in as part of the valve job. But, it was still running like crap. Rough idle, almost stalls when I put it in gear.


I started over and did vacuum test, which indicated bad compression, do a compression test and look for blown head gasket or a dead cylinder. I didn’t think it could be a blown head gasket, I just replaced that when I did the valve job! Did not know what a dead cylinder was.


Now I know. Did the compression test today, and cyl #4 is 0. That is zero, big fat goose egg. Nothing. All other cylinders were 150. Cyl #4 zero.
Pulled off the valve cover and turned it over. Rocker arm for intake on cyl #4 was NOT MOVING at all. I removed the rocker arm, and the pushrod was stuck. That’s right, stuck.


I had to remove the lower intake manifold, and then the pushrod was free. Apparently, the pushrod was not centered in the lifter, and got wedged between the intake manifold and the lifter. There was some scratching on the side on the lower end. I filed it off (gently) to roll it on a glass table. It’s bent. Slightly, but bent. So, I can easily spend $2 on a new pushrod.
My question is, what happened, and is this the only damage?


I suspect that either I put it in incorrectly or it jumped off while the engine was running. It ran perfect for 2 days, then went crappy. It is possible that the original problem (after valve job) was spark plug wire arcing, but when I checked out pushrods then maybe I did not put that one back in right? And then when I fixed the spark plug wire arcing, the pushrod was off so the problem didn’t go away?


As for other damage, it is possible the lifter is bad or the camshaft is not true. I have no idea how to check for that. Should I, and how do I do that? Should I replace the lower intake manifold gaskets?



I suspect the pushrod was put in wrong (after valve job when replacing spark plug wires) and that it was wedged in between intake and lifter. The valve was always open, so that’s why compression was zero. Once I removed the rocker arm, I had some compression in cyl #4 again as I accidentally hit the starter remote switch (then I disconnected battery). Not a full compression test by any means. But I suspect the pushrod was keeping the valve open.


I am inclined to put a new pushrod in and start it up and see what happens. If it was just the pushrod, I’m done. Again.


If there is more damage, is there a way to check for that before I put it all together? Or should I just put the pushrod in, assemble, and start her up? New lower intake manifold gaskets? A way to prevent this from happening, other than make sure the pushrod is centered in the lifter? Yeah, I feel stupid if that was the problem, but hey, $4it happens, eh?

edit @ 5:00 PM...I guess it is hydraulic roller tappets and not hydraulic lifters. Same questions above though...
 

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I know you first posted a few weeks back. I am glad to hear you persisted and found the solution. I am not an expert and cannot give advice.
 

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Go ahead and replace the lifter, too. It's possible the lifter collapsed. They're cheap anyway.
 

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^^^^^ +1 That would be my guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any need to prime the lifter?

Some people suggest start the engine, let it run for 1 minute, turn off and let it sit for 15 minutes. Do this 2 or 3 times, and the lifter is properly filled with oil and air is bled out.

Is this necessary? Ideas?

Pushrod and lifter were special order parts, I'll have them this afternoon and put the car back together. Hopefully, the engine purrs like a kitten and my project will now be complete. We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK...I THINK that I may be finished. The pushrod and lifter did it. The rough idle is gone. I no longer have a dead cylinder.

I do say "I THINK" because I don't yet know. Because of the 'Whack-A-Mole" history with this car, I'm not convinced yet. Also, i want to take the car out for a drive at highway speeds. It's rush hour in Los Angeles, so I will take it for a drive tomorrow. If no codes appear and it drives as smooth as it did for the short neighborhood drive I did tonight, then it's fixed.

but tonight it idled so smooth, it purred like a kitten! It drove right for a short spin around the block. If it continues, I am done.
 
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