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Chris (aka- Moose)
Chris (aka- Moose), Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 43943
Experience:  16 years experience
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2001 Taurus 3.0 Vulcan. Aparently blew head gasket. My son

Customer Question

2001 Taurus 3.0 Vulcan. Aparently blew head gasket. My son (experienced truck diesel mechanic) replaced both cylinder heads. Pistons appeared ok, no cylinder scoring. But, then engine had no compression, as starter just ran free.We suspected engine was out of cam time from chain problem. Replaced timing chain and gears, aligned sprockets with crank mark at top, cam mark at bottom. Engine now has some compression but when cranked fires on one or two cylinders, wont start. We have checked and rechecked spark wire routing. All cylinders have spark according to tester. We are at wits end, what is wrong/what did we do wrong??
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 3 months ago.

Welcome, I'm Chris (aka Moose).

Can you tell me the compression reading you get on each cylinder?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Will have to do compression test tomorrow, car is outside. However, engine was fine until head gasket blew, how could that cause loss of compression since heads, valves, and pistons looked ok when heads were off (no scoring, minimal ridge, pistons did not appear damaged in any way). Note that engine has some compression now from sound of starter.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 3 months ago.

Compression can be off now after the repairs from

  • piston ring damage that can not be seen
  • bad replacement heads
  • incorrectly torqued heads
  • out of time
  • bad valve seats
  • incorrectly adjusted rockers

Once I know the compression I will be able to tell if the focus needs to still be on internal engine or if we can move to outside the engine checking other things.

If you're confused on what to do now. You have already been charged the full question value. It's now time to compensate the tech that helped you. The only way I can continue to work here and help customers is by getting rated. If you're not pleased yet or plan not to rate me. Let me know so I can help more, close the post, or opt out. Please let me know if you're pleased with my help.

Thanks Moose.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Did compression test today, results are surprising to me:
Cylinder 1, 40 Cylinder 2, 45 Cylinder 3,95
Cylinder 4,110 Cylinder 5,60 Cylinder 6,50
Hopefully from this pattern of pressures you can give me a idea, a best guess, of what is
wrong with the engine, or if we have done something wrong. Thanks.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 3 months ago.

Those pressures are BAD.

Net step add 1 teaspoon of engine oil to the cylinder and recheck the compression. If you get a significant difference meaning a higher reading then there is piston ring or cylinder wall damage. Bring any of the lowest cylinder to TDC compression. Apply 100psi compressed air to the cylinder with your compression tester hose while another holds the engine from spinning with a wrench on the crank pulley. Feel for air blowing out the throttle body or exhaust meaning out of time or valve issues. Air blowing out the oil fill cap would mean rings.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
We looked at the valves when we had the heads off. They looked ok. Does this pattern in any way suggest a cam/timing problem?? We will put the teaspoon of oil in each cylinder and do the compession test. If this shows that its rings, why would 2 out of 3 cylinders on each bank suddenly go bad?? Until the engine suddenly stopped it ran well with little oil consumption. Its looking now more and more like the engine is in bad shape, to the point that the the car may not be worth repairing.
Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 3 months ago.

It is not just 2 out 3 per bank bad. Minimum is 115 and average/good is 165 psi.

We will know more once these tests are done to see if the concern is in the block side or in the heads side.

Expert:  Chris (aka- Moose) replied 3 months ago.

Hello again Chris here,

  • I am contacting you because the post has not been closed out/completed.
  • It appears you were not pleased with my help.
  • If more assistance is needed, reply and let me know, also let me know what it is you're needing to be pleased.
  • This post is coming up on the 7 day mark where it times out. When a post times out, that means it's no longer on my active list (you reply and I never know it.)
  • You have already paid the fees to get this question answered, and I do not want you to leave having paid for something that did not meet your wants/needs and myself not receiving a feedback selection from yourself.

Thanks Chris