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  #1  
Old 04-30-2008, 10:17 PM
NightCrawler NightCrawler is offline
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1999 3.0 V6 Ranger Rear Main Seal Replacement

OK Nightcrawler SAGA fans, get ready for another trip down back yard mechanic lane. <GRIMACES little a>Not sure what all kind of trouble I will run into, but undoubtedly something unforeseen will happen.

I just recently bought a little 99 model Ranger 3.0 V6 manual transmission and the rear main is leaking pretty badly. I have been under it and over it and I am 98% sure it's the rear main. I am replacing the oil pan gasket too just because I'm already going to be down there, and I am contemplating replacing the clutch while I am in there as well.

It WAS running rough as well, but it's purring like a kitten after a tune-up and all I got left is to deal with the oil leak, throw some good tires on her, and I'll have a good truck for a helluva deal on my hands (Paid 1400 bucks cash!!!) So I am going to buy the Chilton manual tomorrow, get the truck up in the air in the garage (I would like some jacking tips for safety) and get the compressor primed to run. I got a 33 Gallon compressor now so I am ready to break out all my old tools and get this job done. Dad did it all by hand so I think I can manage with air. My brother will be in town to provide assistance and additional vehicular means of travel if/when we need to go the parts store.

I recently helped myself from my nightmare tune-up thread so I plan to contribute more back to this forum and post a full write up of a transmission pull for this specific model truck (which I think is the same for quite a few year models), and rear main seal replacement in a garage with basic shop and air tools.

So any prequel tips?

I have some questions to get us going.

What tools will I need other than metric wrenches, normal impact sockets, and air?

What are some good tips? I already know most of the basics. Got an egg carton to store bolts, and a magnet tray & creeper. Plenty of shop rags, gonna drain the engine oil and transmission fluid before I start. Got some oil dry too for any messes.

I don't know how high I need the truck in the air to be able to easily work around the transmission so if someone has done this on the ground before it would be useful to know how high you jacked the truck.

I think Ford calls for a special tool to remove the rear main seal. Is there something else I can use to get the seal out easily and safely? I know you are not allowed to scratch that surface or you’re screwed. Dad used a punch and a self tapping screw to drill into the metal ring and pulled it out with pliers. Seemed kind of archaic to me though so I am hoping someone will provide a better method.

I think Ford also calls for a special tool to install the rear main. My dad used a small coffee can and a small ball pine hammer on my old 90 model ranger when we installed the new clutch, but I want to know if there is some other known little household (or store-bought) something that I can use that will feel more conventional and provide an easier result? He had a hard time with it for a while...

I think I need a special socket for the drive train. I am also pretty sure I have to have a special socket for the flywheel as well. Does anyone remember which sockets these are so I can go grab them tomorrow before I get started? I think they are twelve point sockets. I have new flywheel bolts coming in from Ford that will be here tomorrow.

If anyone knows any special tools or techniques to help me get through this specific procedure smoothly, they will be accepted and used. Please do not provide information unless you know it to be tested and accurate.

Oh yeah, does anyone recommend replacing the clutch now even if there is nothing wrong with it? Or should I wait until I have a problem with it and go through all this again? Truck has 122,000 miles on it, and the OEM clutch (says the previous owner).

I guess that's it for now, so I will log in tomorrow after I have the book in my hands and see what everyone says. (I returned the one I bought before in the tune-up, I guess I will hang onto it this time)

NC
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2008, 08:28 AM
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Rockledge Rockledge is offline
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Your dad sounds like he knew what he was doing. Regarding the rear seal, I would first check to see if you could rent a seal-puller and an installer from someplace like Autozone. If you can't find the tools to rent, then go ahead and use your dad's methods. They are actually tried and true, and if you take your time you can get the job done just as well. FWIW, I used your dad's methods when I changed all the cam and crank seals (5 total) in my SHO's DOHC engine - except the coffee can.

Regarding the oil pan gasket, check out: 3.0L Vulcan Oil Pan Gasket TSB
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:00 AM
Pablo-UA Pablo-UA is offline
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Some mechanics pull out seal with 2 scres nut I use to drop oil pan, remove bearing cap and pull out seal
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:56 AM
NightCrawler NightCrawler is offline
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Thanks for the encouragement Rockledge. I was hoping to hear a few more tips on some of the things requested, but I think we will be ok. The garage is prepped, we launch tomorrow after work. Wish me luck.

NC
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:10 AM
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OK, just got back from waffle house :-/ Not the best meal after a small defeat. Was hoping we could make a late run at the truck and get it done tonight, but it's just not going to be so. We are having trouble with the top left housing bolt and can't get it to break loose. I busted a knuckle pretty bad trying to get it and am going to go backwards a bit in the morning until I figure it out.

Here is what we have done so far.

Removed the battery negative cable and secure it with no chance of it getting a ground.

Removed the shift boot, console, and shift **** assembly. Piece of cake. Just take the phillips head screws out and remove the 17 MM nut from the one side of the shift assembly and tighten on the other side of the nut to release the gear shifter from the transmission.

Drained the engine oil (15 MM bolt) because I am going to be changing the oil pan gasket and the transmission fluid to make the transmission lighter and easier to handle. Tons of metal on the transmission's magnetic plug so we cleaned it off and reinstalled. The plug is a large size wrench. The highest size I have is 22 MM and it wasn't big enough. I used an adjustable wrench and it came off fine. Finger tightened for now. I may go buy a wrench that will fit tomorrow, but I can probably get away with the adjustable so I will see if anyone says that I should not tighten it with that before I spend the money.

Removed the drive train with air and an impact gun after spraying PB Blaster on the bolts because they wouldn't break. The bolts are a 12 MM 12 point socket so you will need to make sure you have that socket to get those bolts off. Luckily, I already knew that so I had the socket. Had to hammer at the knuckle with a ball pine hammer as well to get it to let go. Make sure to have a drain bucket under the nose of the transmission when you pull the drive train because it leaks fluid when removed.

Removed the upper exhaust with air and an impact gun after spraying the 13 MM bolts with PB Blaster. The left side O2 sensor was pretty rough. I knew a trick to get it unplugged with a long screwdriver so that helped, and a 7/8" wrench was required to remove the sensor because the space would not allow the exhaust to be removed without taking out the sensor. The 3 bolts that connect the upper exhaust to the lower portion of the exhaust are 15 MM bolts. Chilton's manual did not mention to take off the exhaust, but it was very obvious it would have to come off to get the transmission out. The bolts were very difficult to get off, but we finally got it.

Remove the hydraulic clutch line from the housing. This was pretty difficult. Chilton's calls for a special tool. I didn't have that, but I was able to get my brother to be right there with me while I used two small screwdrivers to oh so carefully hold the white fitting down on both sides while he pulled the cable out. Removed clean with no trouble, but it could have just as easily gone the other way.

Unsnapped the electrical wiring harness by hand and unplugged the lower exhaust O2 sensor to get the harness to release from the exhaust. There is another small plug that has to be unplugged along the housing and the harness will release completely. I just tucked it along the frame and got it to stay put and out of the way.

Removed the (3) 13 MM starter bolts and tucked the starter back out of the way.

We realized the lower exhaust remained in the way and had to be removed. So we removed the lower exhaust with the catalytic converter and moved it out of the way. 2 more 15 MM bolts.

We placed a jack under the engine with two wood blocks on the jack to give it a little pressure. Placed another jack under the transmission. Removed the (2) 19 MM bolts from the transmission rack under the nose that holds the nose up in the air. I am sure now this is where we screwed up. We should have worked out getting the bolts out at that point, but I saw that by moving the engine it made the bolts more visible so I went for it.

We got 5 of the 6 15 MM transmission housing bolts out with various different extension and swivel rigs. I am using all impact sockets so fortunately everything has gone very smoothly with no stripped bolts or major problems so far. We have been hyper organized and I am very sure that we know exactly where everything goes back. The top left one is stuck. We tried for about 30 minutes hammering, PB blasting, pull bar rigging, jacking up and down, and finally we concluded that the engine must have pinched that bolt and we are going to have to reinstall the rack and a couple of bolts to get that top housing bolt out. At least that's our guess. We will find out in the morning or hopefully someone here will give a good tip on that last bolt.

That's pretty much it for now. I am pretty proud of us. Hate that one bolt stopped us, but we have come a long way and I am looking forward to the finish. I am going to finish the writeup and post as soon as I have verified the correct method to remove the housing bolts and still have to get through replacing the seal and getting her back together which I think will go MUCH faster than taking her apart.

Just a side note of interest. The truck is just about the nastiest vehicle I think I have ever worked on. The engine has been leaking oil for a long time and there was oil and grime basically everywhere. The oil from the transmission looks absolutely horrible. It's completely black and so was the engine oil. I am wondering if I need to try to empty the transmission and replace the oil while I have it out. Should I do that? How do I do that? I know there are about 10 quarts in there, so I would need another drain bucket no doubt, but I wouldn't know where to start on getting the rest of that nasty oil out of there.

Looking forward to a few replies and tips. More to come tomorrow.

NC
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:41 PM
NightCrawler NightCrawler is offline
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OK, we got the bolt out by putting the cross member back up to get the transmission level with the engine again. I went ahead and put the lower transmission bolt back in to put a little more pressure back toward the engine, and was able to put a pull bar up there and break the bolt.

Transmission is out, clutch and flywheel are out. Turns out the oil pan gasket is the main culprit in the oil leak, but I quickly realized that the oil pan is not coming out of there without the engine being raised up pretty high. We tried to jack the engine up with a piece of wood, but we couldn't get it to go further and the oil pan won't come out.

So I am stuck, and now I need some help. Does anyone know how to get that oil pan out of the truck? My searches are saying the engine has to be pulled, but surely there is a way to get the engine into a position with the transmission out well enough to replace the oil pan gasket. I think I can get it high enough up to maybe snake the pan gasket around the internal oil filter, but I won't be able to get any silicone in there to seal the gasket.

Do I have to put silicone around the rubber gasket? Is there any other way I can get this oil pan out so I can at least clean it to determine where a future leak may be if it leaks again?

Any help appreciated.

NC
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2008, 05:50 PM
Pablo-UA Pablo-UA is offline
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I did it from pit. Jacked up engine with hydravlic jack for 3" and drop oil pan. Not so freely, down and after that careffuly backward and down againe. be carefull, do not damage oil pump.

Use silicone!

But first try to put seal out drilling holes in it and using screws. be very carefull, do not scratch cranckshaft surface
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:57 PM
NightCrawler NightCrawler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo-UA View Post
I did it from pit. Jacked up engine with hydravlic jack for 3" and drop oil pan. Not so freely, down and after that careffuly backward and down againe. be carefull, do not damage oil pump.

Use silicone!

But first try to put seal out drilling holes in it and using screws. be very carefull, do not scratch cranckshaft surface
Pablo, thanks, but I don't really understand the instructions. I think I need to jack the engine up, but I don't know how to do that with the truck on the ground like it is. I don't have a cherry picker so I am stuck to using conventional tools.

Right now, the truck is jacked up about one and a half feet on jack stands. I have two floor jacks and plenty of wood to use with the jacks, but I can't seem to get it high enough to get the pan out. Do you have a procedure that you think might work in this situation?

NC
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:02 AM
Pablo-UA Pablo-UA is offline
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I jacked engine up throught wood bar. I screwd 2 bolts held tranny on engine to top of engine block and put one end of bar to them other to jack. It lets to have enought room to work on engine, but be carefull, do not let engine to fall. If oil pan was not taken away fully it may brake oil pump
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:32 PM
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bazzman1953 bazzman1953 is offline
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Nightcrawler, I wish I could help, but I can't.
I still want to thank you for an excelent post, though. The posting of something as simple as the size of a bolthead can help others.
I wish others did the same.
Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:15 PM
NightCrawler NightCrawler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazzman1953 View Post
Nightcrawler, I wish I could help, but I can't.
I still want to thank you for an excelent post, though. The posting of something as simple as the size of a bolthead can help others.
I wish others did the same.
Good luck.
No problem, I will be posting the full write up above when I am done with any tricks that helped me along the way.

I am still struggling though...

I decided to go the snake route with the gasket. I did jack the engine back up, but still not far enough to get the pan out. I got the gasket in, but I am unsure of the amount of dirt around the engine, and how that will affect the seal. However, for future reference for someone else, the snake method definitely will work well if you don't have a pile of grime and dirt buildup from it leaking forever like I do.

I definitely can't get any silicone in there. I am pissed at Ford right now. This was the stupidest design of an oil pan setup ever. Taking the engine out of the truck is frekin stupid to change a regular maintenance item like a pan gasket. As soon as I get the rear main seal in, I am going to tighten it up the best I can, and watch it for a few days. If it leaks, I will have to take it to a mechanic. I can't go through this job on the ground again. The transmission is larger in this model than it was in the 90 model. It has been a much more difficult job than I remember before.

Speaking of the rear main seal... I am stuck as hell. I can't find anything around my house other than a frekin plastic cup that will fit properly around that seal. I guess I am reduced to going to walmart tomorrow and buying a can of something that will fit the seal to empty and throw away just to get the seal in. Seams like parts stores would carry something to help you get through this, but they don't. I have been very careful, and have not damaged the crankshaft seal, but I think it would be very easy to do if you didn't have SOME experience with it before.

All in all, changing a rear main seal on a 99 model V6 Ranger = Dirty & tough Job

NC
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:44 AM
Rangerman Stan Rangerman Stan is offline
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NightCrawler, the only way the pan will come off that I know of is with the engine out or mostly out. I've heard a lot of others say the same thing. Sorry, there's just no easy way! All the Rangers are the same in that respect.
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:22 AM
Pablo-UA Pablo-UA is offline
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yeah! to drop oil pan on aerostar is much easier.

Sometimes it seems that aerostar with tiny doghouse is difficult to work on, but I realised thar Ranger is not better to work on changing spark plugs on my '01 4.0 SOHC. The problem is that ranger has no removable cover to access rear end of engine from cabine and I had to screw 2 upper bolts in to rise up rear end of engine with jack. The other way is to pull engine up, but I have pit only in fried's garage (unfortunantly I have no garage and cars and trucks live outdoors).
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:18 AM
NightCrawler NightCrawler is offline
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Thanks for your feedback guys. I realiize that the Ranger oil pan can just not be pulled without the engine out. However, I have great news... The snake method worked/will work for future reference especially if you don't have a pile of nastiness under there. For me, there was so must dirt and grime, I don't think I will escape the leak. Took a LONG time for me to deal with on the ground with a creeper, but the pan gasket is in straight and the pan bolts tightened ever so carefully starting with the front two and then the back two. After finger tightening all those 4, I went ahead and tightened a little more in a criss cross manner to evenly spread the compression of the gasket. Installed all of the other bolts finger tight. Some did not want to go all the way because they had gunk around the threads. I cleaned the bolts, but couldn't get it all. You want to MAKE sure you get at least 2 full turns on each one before ever putting a ratchet on ANY ONE bolt. I have stripped one of those out before and that is just a real nightmare.

So all of the bolts in finger tight, slowly torque the top two and then the back two making very sure the gasket around the crankshaft gets distributed evenly. The sheet that was provided by Rockledge says 12 lb/in. I probably got pretty close to that... Then proceed in a criss cross manner starting in the middle and tightening all of the bolts.

I personally started back over from the beginning and went through the process again. I went back to the two front and sure enough they needed a little more, then the back two, then back and forth across the pan. With as much trouble as I have had, I did a three peat. Probably unecessary, but I tightened a couple more ever sooo slightly and I think doing that I have the best chance at no leak given my situation.

Truthfully, my engine should probably come out so this frekin thing can be cleaned and properly sealed with silicone, but I am going this route first. If it leaks, someone else is going to get to deal with it. I had to go to Home Depot. Last night Wallmart didn't have anything that could be quickly located and I was exhausted so I grabbed the milk and rolled out.

Tonight, Home Depot had a piece of PVC that was the perfect size (4" Pipe) for the rear main seal. I got the thicker pipe. Was probably about 1/8" thick rather than the 1/16" thick size. We cut it there, and I spent the 5 bucks on the pipe. Got it home, and it worked like a charm. The edge didn't seam like the best edge, so as another precaution, I went ahead and used about 30 2" pieces of electrical tape over the edge and covered the edge so a little jaggy on the pipe didn't ruin my seal. The rear main seal is in and looking good. The pan is in and tightened up (hope it doesn't leak, but I won't be surprised if it does). I have a friend coming over tomorrow to help manhandle the transmission on the ground and it's going back together. I am hoping for a crank tomorrow night. I will post my progress.

NC
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:00 PM
NightCrawler NightCrawler is offline
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Flywheel, clutch, pressure plate, and transmission are back in. I lost two exhaust bolts though so I am stuck until I get some exhaust bolts. Never doing this job on the ground again. However, I would be very comortable doing it ithe air with the experience I gained from this time around.The transmission fought tooth and nail. I think we even got lucky when we finally got it in.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:00 PM
 
 
 
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