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  #1  
Old 02-12-2005, 07:38 PM
Kanute Kanute is offline
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3.0L Valve Covers

Hello all,

Just bought an '89 aerostar from a coworker who gave up on finding its oil leak. He's replaced front and rear seals and tightened valve covers. I'm planning on cleaning the engine as well as I can and then filling it with oil and just watching it hoping it will become apparent.

My question is...is it possible to remove the valve covers and replace the gaskets with the engine still in the van? I can smell oil cooking, not in the exhaust, so I'm assuming at this point that it may be leaking from the valve cover onto the exhaust manifold.

Ideas anyone?

Thanks!

Steven
'89 aerostar 160k
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Old 02-12-2005, 08:19 PM
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2005, 09:18 PM
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Hi Kanute:

The valve cover for the 3.0L can be removed quite easily. Even though you can do that with the upper intake manifold (a.k.a. Throttle Body) in place, I would remove it first. It doesn't take long, about 30 minutes at most, but it made the valcover removal so much easier with less wear and tear on your knuckles.

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Hint: If you get a tough problem, ask for Aerocolorado in person. But tell him that you saw the name on the bathroom wall somewhere, and you didn't hear it from me
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Old 02-12-2005, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copper_90680
Hint: If you get a tough problem, ask for Aerocolorado in person. But tell him that you saw the name on the bathroom wall somewhere, and you didn't hear it from me



I would say that the valve cover gaskets have seen better days. Tightening them will not fix a leak. The gaskets need replaced. Easy DIY, as Copper said, take the intake off first to save your knuckles.
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2010, 12:16 AM
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Hey guys, my 92 3.0 has an oil leak that I think is coming from the valve covers. I can post pics but the block and oil pan and bell housing always has a coat of oil on it. I never have a puddle in the driveway, its just after driving down the interstate it will start to drip. I originally thought the oil leak was the rear main, then the oil pan, now that I see oil on the block I think it all may be from valve cover gasket failure.

I would LOVE to take the van on road trips, but because of oil leaks when driving on the interstate for a long period of time, I'm afraid of catching fire.

Does my problem sound like a bad valve cover gasket?
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:10 AM
cgbier cgbier is offline
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Wow, the first thing I'd know something about. Yes, It can be your valve covers. Exchange the seals. Never tighten the screws. It will make things worse.
How much oil does it use over 1000 miles?

Burning? I've driven a lot of oil drippers in my life, but never had one burning. Just had to get used to the smell (if this feeble attempt of humor is allowed).
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:18 AM
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Make sure you get the Fel Pro Permadry gaskets. I would replace the intake gaskets, singe you will probably be removing them anyway. That way you get to fix any intake leaks you don't know you had or didn't know you were going to have.
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:09 AM
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Oil consumption is about 1qt every 2000 miles, but once I get on the road for a long time, which I haven't done in years, then the oil starts to drip and leave a smoke trail along the interstate.

I'm going to clean the whole area off so I can make sure its mainly coming from the valve covers. Could also be the oil pan gasket, but what kind of degreaser is safe to use that doesn't hurt other gaskets?
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2010, 04:04 PM
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I don't trust the hydrocarbon based engine cleaners after seeing a couple engine bay fires and several cases of wiring component damage.

I like and use Simple Green straight out of the jug at 1:1. made myself a long handled scrub brush with insulated wire through a drilled hole near end of section of broom stick and a piece of old towel as the mop head. won't scratch or hang up. i let it soak for an hour or so then rinse off with just running hose, no hard spray. may take several times to get off baked on oil and grease. leaves a real mess on the ground, i put down old cardboard then into the garbage.

use the heavy duty Gunk hydrocarbon naphta cleaners if you have to but I'd take out the battery and have the engine cold.

put some UV auto oil dye in the crankcase after you have the engine clean. a leak will stick out like a beacon with a UV light. at most auto parts stores. really helps with those leakers that run across the engine

make sure the valve cover seal surfaces are flat and not deformed around the holes. common on older rigs where mechanic or previous owner cranked them down into the gasket bending VC and tearing gasket.

put some Permatex Blue non permanent thread locker gel on each VC bolt, helps to keep them from loosening since they are not super tight but only held by the gasket tension.

my favorite gasket sealer
http://www.permatex.com/products/Aut...et_Sealant.htm
paint on the VC, let tack up, put gasket on VC, paint on gasket, let tack up, put VC on head.

this is also good.
http://www.permatex.com/products/Aut...sket_Maker.htm
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2010, 10:20 PM
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I cleaned off the block, but I'm getting crunched for time. I see no dripping except where the trans hooks up to the engine. Family is moving to Atlanta from Chicago so I will be driving back and forth a few times and I just want to be sure that I won't be pulling over every 100 miles to add a quart of oil.

I have a feeling the main leak that happens while driving down the interstate is the oil pan gasket in the rear where that curve is. I would like to just replace the oil pan gasket, but without lifting the engine, and pulling the trans off. Is this possible?
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  #11  
Old 11-05-2010, 10:19 AM
R-TypeEman R-TypeEman is offline
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yes, its possible to change the oil pan gasket on a 3.0 without pulling the tranny off or lifting the engine. you'll be able to get the oil pan off, but you wont be able to remove it from under the engine. but you have enough space to slip in a new gasket.
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  #12  
Old 11-06-2010, 06:27 AM
cgbier cgbier is offline
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Hold on. I'm planning on removing the oil pan from mine for cleaning - not been driven for five years, but the old has a honey color, so all the sludge is in the pan.
I have to take out the engine? Tranny is out already.
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  #13  
Old 11-06-2010, 06:29 AM
cgbier cgbier is offline
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Could it be the leak is coming from the rear crankshaft seal? 1qt/100miles sounds a lot for an oil pan gasket.
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  #14  
Old 11-06-2010, 08:31 AM
R-TypeEman R-TypeEman is offline
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to actually get the oil pan out from under the engine, you need to undo the passenger side engine mount and jack up that side of the engine.
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  #15  
Old 11-06-2010, 05:44 PM
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That sounds somewhat reasonable.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:44 PM
 
 
 
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1989, 1997, 30, 30l, aerostar, changing, cover, diy, ford, gasket, gaskets, leak, oil, pan, replace, valve

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