View Full Version : Coolant in my oil....advice please my babys sick

04-10-2003, 07:36 PM
i just broke out my baby (White 89 5 speed) for the summer and have driven her aboutr ten hours or so in the last couple weeks. I figured it was about time to change the oil today, and while i was changing it i noticed that a large coolant leak seems to have developed around the bottom of the timing chain cover somewhere; on the passenger side of the engine if that helps at all. Concerned i checked the dirty oil for colant, and sure as hell...... I went to ask my mechanic friend down the road what he thought. He said that ford 3800's usually need to have their head gaskets and timing cover gaskets replaced at around 170 to 210 thousand kilometers, my car has about 178 000 ks on it. He figures one of these is the problom especially since i told him about the external leak. Funny thing is i really cant see it being a head gasket cause i was out lastnight driving and she was her normal happy self. And if it's not a head gasket i dont understand how all that coolant is getting into the oil. I can't afford to rebuild the engine right now and its to early anyways, but i sure dont want to tear my entire engine apart just to find this problom. ADVICE PLEASE where is the coolant getting in...?

It just ocured to me also that while I have things apart is there anything else I should replace or inspect, im not looking to spend lots of money adding power right now but more is better ofcourse, and I remember reading something I think on super coupe performance about harmonic balancers......she's all stock under the hood, exausts done and has a 3.27 rear end, and i think a bigger fuel pump, not sure never heard how a stock fuel pump sounds.

Thankyou in advance

XR7 Dave
04-10-2003, 08:38 PM
Well, I don't see much alternative than blown headgaskets. I advise you not to drive the car until you know for sure. If there is water in the oil then there is a good possibility that bearings have sustained damage regardless of how it got in there.

You should test for leakage before doing anything. One way is to start the motor cold with the radiator cap off, hold your hand over the radiator opening, and see if pressure begins to build imediately. If you get even a little bit, then you have problems.

It is usually the passenger rear cylinder that does it. So another thing you can do it pull that plug and check for wetness or unusual cleanliness. You can also get an adapter that allows you to pressurize the cylinder (you have to have compressed air) and then you can watch for bubbles in the radiator.

There are several other tests you can do, but you need to make sure before you do anything else with the car.

Sorry about the bad luck.


04-10-2003, 08:59 PM
thanks ill try the radiator thing as soon as i get home tonight, do you really think the coolant has caused any serious damage sofar, i am quite certian this leak developed only two weeks ago when i started her for the first time in a few months. I imagine it would cost me a fair bit to start replacing engine components, i would hate to have to sell my 250f to fix my car....and the sad thing is I would too


04-10-2003, 09:00 PM
all 3 of mine blew at the drivers side front. Started from the cooant passage and worked its way to the fire ring. POOF

04-10-2003, 10:44 PM
hmm car runs fine..Water leaking and in oil..Timing chain cover crack...Maybe

04-10-2003, 10:53 PM
Another thing that is common with SC's but not as widely known is that the factory oil cooler has a habit of failing and allowing water and oil to mix. I really don't like the way that was designed. They should have used an external oil cooler from the factory instead of trying to sandwich one between the block and the oil filter. Just my opinion.


XR7 Dave
04-11-2003, 08:47 AM
Good point about the timing cover, guess I've never run into that. That is not such a big job if that is the problem.

If it is headgaskets, the reason I point out the possible bearing damage is that if you go to the effort and expense to replace the headgaskets only to find out a month later that the bearings are shot and the crank damaged, it would really suck. Hopefully it is a timing cover.


04-11-2003, 01:11 PM
well I looked at the oil i drained out from my oil change on tuesday. and the synthetic i drained out yesterday to make room for some more mineral oil (ironically because i was worried that too much synthetic in my mix would cause probloms) that was when i noticed the coolant all over the place. anyways it looks like it blew wedensday night so the engine has only been driven with coolant in the oil for about an hour and a half....so i think im just going to do the gaskets, and while im at it put a raised supercharger top on..youknow the spacer.


04-12-2003, 05:58 AM
If you can afford it, you should have the bottom end looked at. Bearings normally go out after the engine runs w/ coolant mixed oil, especially for more than a few seconds. An unfortunate side effect to headgaskets that many seem to encounter.

04-14-2003, 06:40 PM
If you have coolant leaking on the outside of the timing cover it may be that the thread sealant (felpro teflon is good) has deteriorated and the pressure in coolant system has pushed it's way by, could have also leaked into the crankcase via the cover gasket around the bolt. You're gonna need the sealant to seal some of the head bolts/studs when you do the gaskets. While you are doing the heads do the timing cover and water pump gaskets.
After I blew my HG's I kept losing coolant, saw it on the floor but couldn't find it until I was under the car, changing out my balancer and it leaked on my face and I saw a small drop on the head of a bolt.
Lots of luck

05-14-2003, 12:00 PM
I'm pretty sure (please correct me if i'm wrong) but on your timing chain cover, driver and passenger side, there are coolant passages, I've just fixed mine, but the coolant can leak into your oil through these passages from the inside, luckily for me mine was olny leaking on the outside. I would look here before anywhere else,it will olny cost you $20(canuck bucks) for timing cover gasket and $20 for the water pump gasket,+ fluids, but if my calculations are correct 1.21 gigawatz will send me right into the future!! I am pretty positive it's not a head gasket, but if your doing your timing cover gasket, you may as well go all the way, I did it to mine, it wasn't hard at all, just time consuming, i would suggest though if you do, be very careful and mark your camshaft syncronizer assembly, I missed that part and I had a really hard time tracking down the tool

So your in Sherwood Park!!! I'm in S. Edmonton, right off Gateway and Whitemud!!!!

WE MUST RACE!!!! I've got a 35th Beauty, just put on a cervini's aftermarket hood w/ram air scoops, looks solid!!!!

You may have already fixed your problem, but i would almost bet my TBIRD that your problem lies there?