Worth repairing? '97 Windstar

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  #1  
Old 02-26-04, 01:29 AM
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Worth repairing? '97 Windstar

Hi.

I left my '97 Ford Windstar V6, 3.8 L unused for 4 weeks while on vacation. Just tried to start it. It ran for 2 seconds (with clatter!) and turns out one of the piston rods snapped and, somehow, punched a hole right thru the oil-pan, dumping all the engine oil on the ground! Is it worth repairing or should I buy another vehicle? How difficult is it to repair on scale of 1 - 10?

It has 103,000 miles. Cost me $3700 in FL a year ago and has driven great for the last year.

Does anyone know why or how this happened? Is it something to be wary of with Ford vans? No previous evidence of leaking head-gasket. Thought maybe that coolant had leaked into the cylinder-bore via head gasket and caused damge due to hydraulic pressure but only a guess...experts out there might know. It was running perfect before, no misfiring, oil in coolant, foaming, etc.

(BTW, the car's on an island where there are no real mechanics!)

Thanks
Pelicanpete

 
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  #2  
Old 02-26-04, 04:00 AM
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Very, very strange. Are you absolutely sure that no one used your car while you were gone. Connecting rods don't just fly out of engines without warning or usually a lot of abuse (or lack of oil). Yes, that is a very serious problem and you are looking at a new engine. Using a reman engine will easily be up in the area you paid for the truck. How is the rest of the van? It could be worth repairing, possibly with a used engine.
 
  #3  
Old 02-26-04, 11:36 AM
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Desi501,
Thanks for replying. No, no one has driven it in the four-five weeks. It seems that these 3.8L are prone to head gaskets blowing/seeping and I think that over the period water had accumulated in the cylinder bore and when I turned the engine (it fired) the connecting rod in that cylinder compressed and snapped under mechanical/hydraulic forces. I am assuming the build up of water happened over the 4-5 weeks it was standing. Prior to that it was still happening (I assume) but as I was driving it daily so only a small qty of H20 seeped in and was blown out un-noticed.
Pelicanpete
 
  #4  
Old 02-26-04, 02:02 PM
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I have a hard time with that scenerio. It takes a lot of force to bend or break a connecting rod and the starter doesn't have enough power. If that water was in that cylinder prior to cranking, it would hydrolocked during cranking without damage. That kind of damage occurs when the engine is revving at higher rpm's and ingests a large quantity of water. A head gasket will only leak while it is under pressure which is the short period after shutdown. Nothing further after that. In 35 year I have never seen a bad head gasket break a connecting rod, never mind send it through the pan. Something is missing from this story. Could the air filter have been full of water somehow?
 
  #5  
Old 02-26-04, 03:30 PM
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I would think dumping the van may be best option.What do you do 6 months down the road if the tranny goes out?On a scale of 1-10 if you have never done one on a van I would give it a 12.I also agree with Desi rods don't just break,if it hydrolocked it wouldn't crank over fast enough to snap a rod.
 
  #6  
Old 02-27-04, 11:24 AM
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'97 Windstar con-rod replacement?

I hope you can help, please.
I am in Abaco in the Bahamas and no one can
help me here.
I have a '97 Windstar 3.8L. One of the connecting rods snapped close to the
big-end; no damage (scoring) to cylinder bore but it punched a small hole
thru the oil pan. This happened on start up and motor was turned off
immediately the noise was heard, not while driving, so internal damage is
just the con. rod.
Question is: Do you know if the piston can be extracted from beneath with
the oil-pan off and replaced with the new con-rod fitted without removing
the crank-shaft or transmission? (or by just removing the main bearings and dropping it
slightly, if this is possible?). The affected con-rod is on the piston to
the far left as you look at the engine block.

I have been advised to replace the car but just feel this may work for the price of a con-rod ($54) , gaskets and some other minor parts.

Thanks.
 
  #7  
Old 02-27-04, 11:27 AM
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Thanks, guys for your comments.

I just think it might be possible to do the work from underneath and without removing engine, so have asked again in a new posting.

Thanks again!
 
  #8  
Old 02-27-04, 11:54 AM
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No..sorry not what you wanted to here.
 
  #9  
Old 02-27-04, 02:15 PM
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You can remove the intake,oil pan and one cylinder head to get the piston and rod out.I think something happened to cause the failure.If you replace 1 headgasket you should do the other as they are a set and think the headbolts are one time use on that engine.Please try to keep posts about the same car and problems together.I merged your threads for continuity.
 
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