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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 07-27-2011, 11:27 PM
City Cruzer City Cruzer is offline
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Oil Leak in front of engine

Hello,

I'm new to the forum. Actually, i've been a visitor many time and finally decided to join.

I'm hoping that someone can help me with this problem. Today, i drove my 1996 Ford F350 and it started making a lot of noise that sounded like how water pipes sound when they have air in them, combined with a the sound of the serpentine belt squealing imtermittently.

I drove home because all the gauges were fine and the temp gauge was actually in the low range. When i got home, I popped the hood and noticed oil spray all over the left side of the engine bay upfront on the belt, radiator shroud, air filter housing etc. Also, I noticed the vacuum pump pully looked like it was spinning kind of loose.

any clue what the noise would be and where the oil is coming from? My guess is that the noise is the oil on the belt combined with the loose vacuum pump pulley. But where could the oil be coming from? No symptons of a faulty power steering pump.

Thanks for you help!
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:32 PM
Strumlute Strumlute is offline
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Either your vacuum pump died and it spewing oil out, or your a/c compressor just died and it spewed oil evrywhere. The compressor is right next to the vacuum pump. It may be the culprit. Is the oil red, clear, or brown/black?
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:40 PM
City Cruzer City Cruzer is offline
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Thanks for the quick reply Strumlute. The oil is black. I believe it's engine oil?? just don't see how engine oil could be up front in that area. Also, the oil doesn't seem to dirty my hands up and stay on them like engine oil. I wiped the oil off completely with a papertowel. Of course, I changed the oil about 2,000 miles ago too..
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:42 PM
City Cruzer City Cruzer is offline
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Come to think of it, when i started the truck this morning, the brake light stayed on a couple of seconds more than the other lights. I didn't think much of it, but aren't the brakes somehow tied to the power steering pump?
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:54 AM
City Cruzer City Cruzer is offline
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Well the problem revealed itself to me this morning in a big way. Went out with my morning coffee to look at it in the light, started it up. It ran for about 7 minutes before white smoke started pouring from the vacuum pump and the belt jumped off. No there is no power steering, power brakes, cooling, alternator, because the belt is not turning.

so my only question now? is it safe to assume that the vacuum pump is the culprit. or could it be that something else (power steering pump, A/C compressor) spewed oil on the vacuum pump pully causing it to slip and jump the belt. I doubt that is what happened because the white smoke looks like the pully seized and maybe the belt was burning on it.

What do you guys think?
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:51 PM
Lazy K Lazy K is offline
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You need to spin each pulley by hand, including the tensioner pulley, to check for roughness or a seized pulley.
The oil leak is a mystery though, check the engine and power steering dipsticks for any loss of fluids.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:59 PM
City Cruzer City Cruzer is offline
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got the vacuum pump off today. that thing was in bad shape. the rear bearing casing had completely exploded.

got a new pump for the local Ford dealer ($200.00), they swapped the pulley for me and 1 hour later, truck was up and running again. really think i will do what i've seen some people here recommend i.e. get a spare with the pulley and bolts already installed and keep it close by.

thanks for your help
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:39 AM
Lazy K Lazy K is offline
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Good man, glad you got it fixed.
Never heard of keeping a spare vac pump, they are pretty reliable (I know guys keep spare camshaft position sensors).
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:39 AM
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1997, 54, 97, ac, big, brown, compressor, engine, f150, f250, ford, front, leak, leaking, oil

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