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Old 12-28-2010, 06:49 PM
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Timing Cover gasket

So I am replacing the timing cover gasket. It is my first time doing so and seen as I don't have an ALLDATAdiy subscription yet, I am following the directions in this video of someone doing it to a 351w in a 94 bronco which is the same year and motor as my F250 so I figured it would be the same. After getting the pulley for the crank off of the front of the harmonic balancer the video says you have to loosen this bolt on the crank shaft or something.

YouTube - Technical Repair Video Ford 302 5.0, 351W 5.8 Water Pump Timing Cover Removal Pt.2

He says its a 5/16 bolt, but it seems to be 15/16. I don't know what it's called. Anyways, he says you shouldn't pull the harmonic without loosening this bolt. I can't get mine to turn, even with my (weak 260 lbs) impact. I just doused the bolt with WD-40 and am letting it sit. I will hit it again with the impact shortly.

I guess my question is; do I really need to get this loose if i want to pull the harmonic? If so, how far do I need to get it? In the video, after it turns under the power of his impact he seems to just leave it alone.


Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:16 PM
xlt4wd90 xlt4wd90 is online now
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It is the bolt that holds the harmonic damper onto the crankshaft snout. You must remove it before the damper will budge. If you have a 1/2" ratchet, you can slip a long pipe over the handle to get more leverage. Slow but steady force works better than impact.

Once you've loosened it, you may need it to help pull the damper off the shaft. Get a puller with bolts, and thread them through the holes in the center piece of the damper. A lot of people make the mistake of using gear pullers, and placing the jaws around the outside ring, and ripping it off the damper body.

Anyway, the puller need to push against something at the center, an I usually turn the bolt out a few turns for this. If the fit is very tight, you end up pulling a little until the damper hits the bolt head, then you take off the puller, turn out the bolt a few more turns, and repeat. Hopefully, you will get to a point where you can pull the damper off by hand. If by the time you back the bolt out completely and still can't pull the damper off, you will have to improvise by putting something in the hole of the damper that the puller can push against. I actually went and bought a longer bolt for one of my engines.

Installing the damper will also require using that bolt (or a longer one) to draw the damper back onto the shaft. Make sure you line up the keyway first.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:48 PM
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Thanks, xlt4wd90!

I did get it to break free finally. I don't think I was getting the spray to go behind the head of the bolt at first, I thought it was a nut and this bolt has a wide flange or something.

Funny story though. I was trying to turn the bolt with my longest bar and it kept turning the engine over. So I was going slow and it kept turning, then as I was leaning against the truck turning the crank I could feel this strange vibration through the bumper. I kept doing it for probably a full turn of the crank or so. As I was wondering what the noise was I noticed that my drain bucket had disappeared. It turns out that I parked it in 1st gear and I was moving the vehicle. It must have moved 10 inches by the time I noticed it.

Anyways, now that I have the bolt loose; whats this keyway that you speak of? I took a few pics of the timing position on the dampener, or are you talking about something else?

Thanks!
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:14 AM
xlt4wd90 xlt4wd90 is online now
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Ha! That's pretty good. Should have set the parking brakes.

There is a slot on the inside diameter of the damper, and it is supposed to line up with a similar slot on the outside diameter of the crankshaft, and the two are matched together with a piece of steel inserted in them that positively locks the damper to the shaft. The piece of steel is called the key, and usually stays stuck on the crankshaft. So when you insert the damper back on, you want to make sure the slot on the damper is aligned, especially if the fit is tight.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:36 AM
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Ok thanks! I have seen those before on small gas engines, I guess I just forgot what they were called.

I am afarid to set the parking break, I fear that either the cable will break or the old breaks will seize up. This thing is really rusted underneath. So I just chucked one of the back wheels.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:12 PM
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Well I finally got that timing cover off, and boy was it giving me a hard time. The gasket seemed to have melded with the oil pan making it very difficult to remove. Even once I got it off it was still stuck in one corner.

I got a set of Fel-Pro gaskets to replace with, and a tube of RTV compound from the parts store. But I'm not sure what the best way to place the compound and the gaskets in order to ensure not messing something up would be. I am mostly worried about gaskets shifting while I'm setting the cover on. Should I use RTV like glue to hold the gasket in place while I assemble? Seems good, but is it better to secure it to the cover or the block I wonder. What do you guys recommend?

This is the gasket set I have. I got the seal off of the cover, how should I get the new seal into the cover? The manual says to use oil, no problem. Is it supposed to just press in by hand? If I need to use force should I consider trying to gently tap it in with a very light hammer, or do I need a rubber mallet in order to make sure I don't crack the cover? Maybe there is another way?

I'm thinking of putting the water pump together with its gaskets on the cover, and then installing the combined unit onto the block. Is it better to install the timing cover by itself before putting on the water pump and its gaskets on?

What do I do with the sleeve? It is a thin metal cylinder about the size of the crank I guess. It has a little tube of some compound with it. The gaskets came with no instructions, and the manual is pretty brief.

Last thing. On the front of the crank there looks like there was a rubber seal there, where the bolt that I had to use to pull the harmonic would have gone through, it is torn and about 1/2 of it is missing completely. Should I be worried about this do you think?

I guess there is another thing. What should I put on the bolts when I start putting things back together? It seems like they put RTV all over the heads or something because they didnt want to slide out after I got the 4 long ones loose. Is that what I should do too? I have been cleaning the bolts with a pipe thread cleaning brush and spraying the holes with WD40, but I wonder if I should be greasing them when I go to assemble.

Thanks!
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:09 AM
xlt4wd90 xlt4wd90 is online now
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The front engine seal can be installed on a large vice or press with a large socket or properly cut block of wood. Make sure it sits in squarely into the whole. The sleeve is for putting over a crank that is worn in that front seal area.

You can try to install the cover with the water pump on it, but it's much easier to handle without the extra weight hanging on it. I would install the cover by itself first. I started by putting a thin layer of RTV on the back side of the cover gasket so it can be tacked onto the block. Then apply some on the front to seal against the cover, especially around the water passages. Similarly, I tacked the corner pieces of the oil pan gaskets. My engine had dowels over the two lower bolt holes that forced the cover to go in straight from the front. However, because the front lip of the oil pan has a ridge that pushes into the rubber insert in the bottom of the cover, it's very hard to push it straight on. I used a lot of RTV over everything, particularly the corners between the block and pan, so the cover sort of slid into place with the proper amount of forcing. One of the corner gasket pieces did shift a little, but there was enough RTV around them to keep the seal.

When you get the cover on, you do need to either install the water pump as soon as possible, or install all the bolts around the cover, particularly the two around each of the water passages, even without the pump. This will set and seal the cover and the gasket onto the block. If this step has been done properly, there should be no coolant leakage into the bolt holes, so you should not have to seal the bolts.

I guess it wouldn't hurt to put some sealant between the crank and harmonic damper. I found out it is possible for oil to leak out from between the two.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:43 AM
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Just something to think about, since you have it pulled apart now you might check the
water pump. If it is old, high mileage etc. you might want to replace it at the same time.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:23 PM
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Another thing that should be checked out at while it is apart are the coolant channels that go through the timing cover. Water in some parts of the country will cause the coolant channels to rot out. The only evidence you will see, other than a slight water loss, is a white powder (oxidized aluminum, aka aluminum rust) on the outside of the cooant channels. If the coolant channels are corroded, it is time for a new timing cover. I have found Ford made timing covers are of higher quality than aftermarket. I had to return aftermarket timing coverss as the coolant channels did not line up as well as the stock Ford parts. A takeoff cover from a bone-yard is fine, as long as the coolant channels arn't corroded. I have wondered whether powder coating the channels inside might cure the problem.

As I find timing cover removal and re-installation to be a pain I alway replace both the water pump and the timing set at the same time.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:17 PM
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Well I did get it done, so I wont be able to consider those things for myself. But it might be good for the next guy who stumbles on this thread.

I found that the rubber seal that goes between under the timing cover and the oil pan seemed to have ridges that matched a ridge inside the bottom of the timing cover itself. I fitted the bottom seal to this and basically it stuck to the timing cover for me. The cork gaskets needed to be cut to fit my block and one of the holes was a little off, but it is cork and easily workable.

Mine also had the sleeves to make sure that you had to put it on straight, I didn't have a guide for torque sequence so I basically just tightened these two (there were two sleeves) bolts down very slowly while alternating between the two. I basically hand tightened the top two while doing this. Eventually it was flush and the bottom 4 bolts lined up perfectly with the pan and the cover.

I did put the water pump on after the timing cover. I thought that my gasket set had everything I needed, but it turns out the water pump to backing plate gasket was either not provided, or must be made with RTV. I made my with the RTV, no big deal I just spend a good few mins trying to make one the the gaskets line up with it.

It seems to be holding well, but I do thing that the bottom seal came a little out of place. I don't see any leaking but the oil pan *seems* to bulge a little on one side, where I think that I can see more of the black rubber gasket than I can on the other. Maybe its just my perception. I have run it quite a bit since finishing it and I am very sure that this spot isnt leaking, I just think that the gasket may have come out of the timing cover some and is pushed further forward of the ridge thats in the oil pan.

I wish I would have replaced the timing chain, I don't think its in bad shape but I did't measure the slack either. I just wont want to have to go back in there again if I don't have to, because it was a lot of work for someone who does not have a lot of time (oh and its flippin cold in my unheated garage).
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:17 PM
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