V6 3.8 split port engine troubles [long thread]

jc179

New Member
Hi All,
I'm new to the form, and hoping I can pick your brains for some expertise with some troubles I've recently run into with my car.
I have a 99 v6 mustang with 481,000 k on it, and for the most part its been an awesome car. Without getting too far into its history, around 250,000k a valve spring broke on the #2 exhaust, and we replaced it, and life as I knew it went on. Had no issues changing the spring back then.

I recently needed to remove the valve springs again, so I removed both intake/exhaust on #2, and #3 (see below for whole long story why), but when I goto tighten down the bolt for that rocker arm, with the respective piston for that cylinder at TDC, the rocker arm Is *actually* opening the valve (I know because I have the leakdown tester still connected at a LOW psi). I thought perhaps there are hydraulic lifters, and they need to bleed down, so I left it over night, but unfortunately no change. I tried spinning the engine over, but also no change.

... I've verified with a straight edge ruler all valves are sitting at the same height with the springs installed...

I can't for the life of me figure out what I've screwed up...

any suggestions on what might be wrong? Is there anyway to shim things? I realize what I've done below isn't by any means a fix, but at the moment I'd like to just get it going again, and consider cleaning it up in the warmer weather...

thanks - Jonathan

Below this point is the whole long story leading to this point.

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This is the original detail that started the issue - also sorry to link to another form, but I don't have the video link handy to post directly here.

The problem now, many KM later, the car has developed a weird sound at idle, but seemed OK under WOT.
See video here (http://www.sn95source.com/topic/580...kazoo-now-suspect-broken-intake-valve-spring/ ); notice towards end of video I hold some paper towel upto the intake manifold, which actually is blowing air out.... not good.

... after a suggestion from some members on another form, I did a compression test and a leakdown test.
compression test looked OK;
190-180-190-185-190-185 (order front to back drivers side, then psgr side).

However I noticed an issue with the leakdown test, the back 2 cylinders on the passenger side showed issues, one leaked 50 psi, and the other leaked down about 20 psi.

At the time I had the intake manifold off, and could hear and feel the air escaping through the intake port. I had removed the rocker arms overtop and tried to wiggle and push on the valve to see if there was any difference or change but there was none.

Anyways, I can see the valve is leaking, I decide to try spinning the valve while its still in the cylinder head, after doing this I am able to eventually get the cylinder to hold 65 psi, while putting in about 71 psi, so the leakdown test shows good.

And now I am having difficulties reinstalling the rocker arms as they are opening the valves when I tighten them down with that cylinder at TDC.
 

6 Shooter

Well-Known Member
For starters, the cylinders are which you probably know.

Firewall
3 6
2 5
1 4
Radiator

You may need to pull the water pump and look at the timing chain and the alignment of the cam and crank gears at TDC on #1
 

jc179

New Member
thanks for the info... I was a bit unsure how they'd set the cyl# up to be honest, there are so many *3.8*/4.2 info online.

With that said, I am looking at #2 and #3. Timing is a good point, though even if it was off, at some point the lifter should let the valve close, but at this mileage, anything can go.... awry.

From what I read you *have* to drain the engine oil to yank the cover, nuts.

I suppose I'd better check that out if I want to get this thing operational again, will need to plan that inspection out.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Jonathan
 

6 Shooter

Well-Known Member
Don't think you have to drain the engine oil, but it would be a good idea to pull the radiator to gain more room. You will have to pull the surpentine belt, the water pump, and the water pump pulley. Use your camera phone and take a photo of the waterpump bolts and nuts for their location. Some are bolts, some are long studs, and some may have double threads with a nut.
 

jc179

New Member
Pulled apart the front of the engine today; whew that was a bit of a dig. Didn't have to drain the oil, was able to get away with just pulling the housing off. Your suggestion of pulling the radiator is totally worth it, as is the double nut business. Those long studs interfere with removing the cover.... *way* easier to double nut and remove the buggers, so thanks for that idea.

I checked the timing (see attached file) and all looks perfect? The guides are actually looking very healthy for 481,000 ! amazing, on the modern V8 audi's they maybe make it 100k...lol.

I may have screwed up the "cam synchronizer" when I pulled the housing off, I'll have to figure out how to set that again, the Haynes book I picked up simply mentions "need ford special tool" ... but they say that a lot in that book.

I sort of suspect the tab piece has to be at the hall sensor when #1 is TDC and you rotate the base of it to make that happen.

Anyhow, I seem to be stuck, if timing is OK, and the cylinders have compression after I spun the valves, could there really be something screwed more in there?

I am thinking of replacing the coil pack and all the injectors on a whim to see if that helps... other than that I'm getting into the lost region of things, and thinking a motor swap maybe the only options?

thanks,
Jonathan
 

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Phil II

Cone Destroyer
Is the primary issue the valves start lifting as you thread down the nut on the rocker arm studs?
 

jc179

New Member
Well, first issue is the sound the engine makes, I suspect it's now caused by the rocker arms not letting the valve close fully. It also idles rough at the moment ...
 
Dumb crap like this will not be tolerated in the tech sections.
You got ta decrease the hydrogen atoms in your gasoline for more horsepower. I got a 2000 v12 mustang she puts out 9,700 rwhp all stock. Runs on 91%eagle piss and 9% bull spearm. It's got over 1,200,000 miles on it and gets about 97 miles per gallon. If it works for me it will work for u!!!
 

jc179

New Member
You got ta decrease the hydrogen atoms in your gasoline for more horsepower. I got a 2000 v12 mustang she puts out 9,700 rwhp all stock. Runs on 91%eagle piss and 9% bull spearm. It's got over 1,200,000 miles on it and gets about 97 miles per gallon. If it works for me it will work for u!!!

... If only that was helpful.... I think you drank too much eagle sperm this mornin ...
 

Phil II

Cone Destroyer
Sorry, yes that's the issue...
I may be misunderstanding your problem but I think that is normal. The only time the rocker arm wouldn't be moving the valve is when that cam lobe is on the compression/power arc. Therefore you must attentively rotate the engine such that each rocker can come all the way down. This is very similar to setting valve lash on an engine with adjustable poly locks.

I cannot say definitively what effect your new valve springs may have if they are somehow the wrong compressed height, either too short or too tall. Where did you get the springs from?
 
Guys, I'm just trying to have a little fun calm down. I got reported cause I said eagle piss "really" I'm sorry some how that offended somebody but seriously u need to pull your damn panties out of you crack if u feel the need to report me for saying spermand piss. Hopefully this dosent get reported!!!!
 

jc179

New Member
I may be misunderstanding your problem but I think that is normal. The only time the rocker arm wouldn't be moving the valve is when that cam lobe is on the compression/power arc. Therefore you must attentively rotate the engine such that each rocker can come all the way down. This is very similar to setting valve lash on an engine with adjustable poly locks.

I cannot say definitively what effect your new valve springs may have if they are somehow the wrong compressed height, either too short or too tall. Where did you get the springs from?
Hey Phil,
Its a long post which I have undoubtedly made confusing with trying to add to much info.
So, the issue is : when I rotate the engine to allow the rocker arm to come fully down, it is actually still holding the valve open. If I back the bolt off on the top of the rocker arm , say 1-2 turns the valve closes (using leakdown tester to verify this is actually whats happening).

The way I can also tell if the valve is closed, is to wait until the arm comes down as you'd mentioned above, and then try and spin the pushrod. When the pushrod isn't pushing the arm up and holding the valve open, I am able to turn them easily.

So, this time I didn't change any springs, I simply removed the springs to spin the valves, with a drill to try and get them to seal (cyl 2,3 had a bad leak down reading, and I could feel the air coming out the intake port in the head , after spinning them... not so much.. ), they were "as far as I could tell" closing entirely before doing this as the pushrods on cyl#2, #3 could be spun when the arms were in the down position.

So in summary my final bit of the hurdle is to get cylinder #2, #3 to *seal* without having to back off the rocker arm. I was thinking of wiring the bolts on the top of the rocker arm, just enough so the valves can close and going for a drive to see if things 'settle' down... at this point things are looking like somewhere deep inside the engine things are toast... but I am having a hard time accepting that fact, if I can get these valves to close, things may just work.

I am sort of at the point yes, I can swap the engine , but will that solve the issue??, or is it something else entirely - and I just happened to find this problem... (i.e. did something screw up in the PCM / EEC -V?)

I was driving the car before, aside from the funny idle noise, it was *ok* to drive abeit the idle was "iffy" as in may stall. At WOT, things were good, I assume leakdown is less of a factor at WOT than IDLE when things are happening fast.

Let me know if I can clarify anything further above that would help...

Jonathan
 

6 Shooter

Well-Known Member
This may help. Pull all the spark plugs. Rotate the motor clockwise until the #1 piston is at the top of the #1 cylinder in the compression stroke (TDC #1). At this TDC #1 position, get a bottle of whiteout with felt tip. Both #1 valves should be closed. With the hydraulic roller lifter bled of its oil, you should be able to wiggle both roller rockers slightly with your fingers. Both #1 roller rockers should be equal/parallel. Draw a line of whiteout on the bottom of the crank pulley for further reference. Let dry. The firing order on your motor is 1-4-2-5-3-6.

There are 360 degrees in a circle. The motor crankshaft must rotate clockwise twice for one complete combustion cycle, a total of 720 degrees. So, from #1 TDC, rotate the crank clockwise 120 degrees and the motor will be TDC on the #4 piston (front cylinder closest to radiator, drivers side). A 120 degree rotation clockwise will place your white mark at the 10:00 o'clock position (hour hand). The #4 cylinder valves should now be closed. Both #4 roller rockers should be equal/parallel. You should be able to wiggle the roller rockers slightly with fingers. Now rotate the crank clockwise another 120 degrees and the white marker will be at the 2:00 o'clock position (hour hand). That will be TDC on the #2 cylinder (middle cylinder on passenger side). The #2 cylinder valves should now be closed. Both #2 roller rockers should be equal/parallel. Rotate the crank clockwise another 120 degrees and your white marker on the crank pulley will now be at the bottom again (6:00 o'clock, hour hand) and you will be at TDC at the #5 cylinder. Valves closed, and roller rockers parallel.

Continue this process till you complete with the #6 cylinder (drivers side closest to firewall). At each specific cylinders TDC, the valves should be closed, parallel, and the roller rockers should wiggle slightly with your fingers. If you find that the that the roller rockers are not parallel at each cylinder's specific TDC, report back. You may have a bent valve or worn out valve guide.

From your last post, sounds like some valves are not sealing could be you need a valve grinding job or something else.
 

jc179

New Member
This may help. Pull all the spark plugs. Rotate the motor clockwise until the #1 piston is at the top of the #1 cylinder in the compression stroke (TDC #1). At this TDC #1 position, get a bottle of whiteout with felt tip. Both #1 valves should be closed. With the hydraulic roller lifter bled of its oil, you should be able to wiggle both roller rockers slightly with your fingers. Both #1 roller rockers should be equal/parallel. Draw a line of whiteout on the bottom of the crank pulley for further reference. Let dry. The firing order on your motor is 1-4-2-5-3-6.

There are 360 degrees in a circle. The motor crankshaft must rotate clockwise twice for one complete combustion cycle, a total of 720 degrees. So, from #1 TDC, rotate the crank clockwise 120 degrees and the motor will be TDC on the #4 piston (front cylinder closest to radiator, drivers side). A 120 degree rotation clockwise will place your white mark at the 10:00 o'clock position (hour hand). The #4 cylinder valves should now be closed. Both #4 roller rockers should be equal/parallel. You should be able to wiggle the roller rockers slightly with fingers. Now rotate the crank clockwise another 120 degrees and the white marker will be at the 2:00 o'clock position (hour hand). That will be TDC on the #2 cylinder (middle cylinder on passenger side). The #2 cylinder valves should now be closed. Both #2 roller rockers should be equal/parallel. Rotate the crank clockwise another 120 degrees and your white marker on the crank pulley will now be at the bottom again (6:00 o'clock, hour hand) and you will be at TDC at the #5 cylinder. Valves closed, and roller rockers parallel.

Continue this process till you complete with the #6 cylinder (drivers side closest to firewall). At each specific cylinders TDC, the valves should be closed, parallel, and the roller rockers should wiggle slightly with your fingers. If you find that the that the roller rockers are not parallel at each cylinder's specific TDC, report back. You may have a bent valve or worn out valve guide.

From your last post, sounds like some valves are not sealing could be you need a valve grinding job or something else.

Thanks for the info, I will have a go at this first thing Wednesday morning! Hopefully will shed some light on the issue. So basically 3 marks on the crank pully will suffice; and I'll need to rotate the crank twice following the firing order and check the rocker arms are level... I don't think my engine has roller rockers, its not that fancy, but I'll post a pic to confirm.

Cheers
Jonathan
 

6 Shooter

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info. So basically 3 marks on the crank pully will suffice; and I'll need to rotate the crank twice following the firing order and check the rocker arms are level... I don't think my engine has roller rockers, its not that fancy, but I'll post a pic to confirm.
Cheers Jonathan

Place only one mark on the crank pulley when the #1 piston is at TDC. Your motor has hydraulic roller lifters, not rockers.
 

jc179

New Member
Hi All,

So, after some fiddling about, none of the push rods really wiggle... some can rotate them, and some I can't... none want to wiggle (side to side I mean, or even up and down).

Cylinder's 1,4,5,6 I can rotate OK with the crank at the correct position
Cylinder2 intake pushrod I can rotate about half way around, and then it binds, the exhaust one is tight (no wiggle/rotate). I tried moving the crank pully back and forth slightly to see if that would help to no avail.
Cylinder3 both intake and exhaust pushrods seem tight, and don't wiggle/rotate no matter what I try (including move crank pully slightly in either direction).

As far as I can tell with a metal straight edge, the rocker arms all seem to be "level" with the one beside it... however that is just based off a visual look.

After doing all this, I decided to put the engine together, and am going to try running the car for a while to see if things settle down. Upon doing that I realized, I did something very very stupid at the start of all this. I put the IDLE valve in BACKWARDS!!!! ARGH... that's what was causing that kazoo noise!

I suppose that's a lesson learned on paying attention more to simple things.

So the car back together no longer has the funny noise, and idles OK, but there is a slight miss, which I am going to guess is due to my valve problem in the #2, #3 cylinder areas? I can get another video if it would be helpful....

My plan is to try driving it for a while and re-check... and If the pushrods don't wiggle after some driving, would I go after the lifter or assume the valve seat/head has some issue, or perhaps something else?

Thanks for all the help,
Jonathan
 

6 Shooter

Well-Known Member
All rocker arms level at each cylinder's TDC is a good thing. IMHO, do a little driving and listen carefully for any motor noise. Always radio off. If you think you need to remove the valve covers again, that would be the time to pull the rocker arm shaft off and pull out each pushrod, roll it on a flat surface, and determine if one or more are bent. If straight, re-install. If bent, get another one with the EXACT same length. There should be a number on the edge somewhere indicating the length. When re-installing, make sure the end is in the roller lifter SOCKET before installing the roller rocker.
 

jc179

New Member
so far after about 2 weeks of driving, no changes.

Some interesting things I've noticed
- Idle is relatively smooth (800 rpm ish)
- the range of 1100 - 2500 rpm shakes the most, but only costing or very light throttle.
- range of 1100-2500 rpm shakes just as badly when car is stationary (only light application of throttle possible here).
- when the engine is shaking at the 1100-2500 rpm range, and I leave it in gear and kill the ignition, it "feels" like its still shaking. Pressing gas doesn't change the sound / feeling much.
- If I "lug" the motor, say put in 5th at 40, and hold it at WOT, it feels smooth, no bucking either
- 3000 rpm and beyond under heavy acceleration feels smooth.

Going to remove the rocker covers again and re-inspect all the rods, definitely confirmed the rod end is sitting in the socket correctly.

Other than that, not sure what else could be the issue? I understand these (99/00) are "externally" balanced motors, is it possible the weight fell off my flywheel? Id expect the vibration would get WAY worse as the rpm's climb up over 3000 rpm if that were the case?

again, I can drive the car ok, it just has this bad engine shake in that certain rpm range when coasting / off the gas. It's going to shake my car apart, heat shields rattle like crazy, interior bits buzz... sigh.

are there any "Essex 3.8" experts in the Toronto Canada area?

Jonathan
 
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