I drove my 59 f100 with a 223 and 4 speed transmission the other day for the first time for more than 5 minutes. It drove fine, shifted ok, and sounded good overall. HOWEVER, i opened the hood to check for oil leaks... and needless to say i found a few. A few may be understating it quite a bit too. I know there arent any cracks in the block or anything, and a few of the easy seals to fix (valve cover, fuel pump, crankcase cover) are all still holding up ok. I have heard these engines tend to leak especially if they havent had any seals replaced in a long time, but what i know what i saw isnt normal leakage. Oil was even coming out of the flywheel cover. I am still pretty new at car restoration and have never rebuilt an engine before. I am almost certain my engine has never been rebuilt or at least hasnt been in a long time. Would buying a replacement set of seals from say dennis carpenter or mac's and tearing apart the engine be a good idea for someone with my knowledge or would it be better to take it in to a rebuilder to perform the work for me? sorry for the long post, but input would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance.
you need a torque wrench, some basic mech skills, an engine manual, and a buddy overseeeing your progress. Just don't tear it all apart and loose interest. Since you won't be digging into the internals, it is a pretty basic operation.
It depends on what you want to do, how many miles are on the engine and how much money you want to spend. Does the engine need rebuilt? How much oil pressure do you have? What kind of compression do you have? It would be a shame to disassemble much of the engine and not rebuild it if, it needed it. If it doesn't then changing some seals without a rebuild may be worth the effort.
It sounds like your rear main seal (around the crank shaft) is leaking pretty bad, that is a rope seal most likely, I am not that familiar with the 223. There may be a split lip seal replacement, I know there is one for the 272/292 engine. Changing the rear main seal in any engine is a big job, drop the trany, remove the clutch and flywheel. Drop the oil pan and HOPEFULLY you can fish out the top half of the seal and replace the top half with the crankshaft in place. This is not easy, but do able. The bottom half of the seal goes in the oil pan. Replacing this seal is obviously much easier during a rebuild with the crank removed. If you are going to do this, find out if there is a lip seal replacement for the rope.
If the from main is also leaking, it is usually easier to replace and usually involves removing the front engine cover and putting a new seal in the cover.
The rest of the stuff you mention is just replacing gaskets and those can be done pretty easily one at a time. The mains are the big issues.
In my humble opinion, to do it right, it would be easier to pull the engine out of there and clean things up while you are at it. There is plenty of room to work at getting it in and out. Of course you have to pull a bunch of stuff out first but well worth the effort.
Two things to remember though, make sure you remove the wiper motor first or you will end up hitting it on the valve cover. Also the engine has to be turned sideways to get it where it belongs when putting it back in.
Just take your time and keep things organized. Take plenty of pics and get on here and ask plenty of questions. This job will remove a lot of the mystery about your truck!
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