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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi y'all.
Just watched Makuloco's video on the single fatal flaw of the duratec 3.0. He informs and demonstrates that the rearmost cam bearing caps seem to work their way loose on 2002-2007 3.0 duratecs.
He showed caps that were held(?) in place by bolts that were finger tight. He removed one cap and it was toast, the bearing surface destroyed and worn.
The noise a failing bolt(some actually snapped) or loose fastener caused made sounds as if the engine was about to lose a connecting rod through the block.
Has anyone had this problem? Supposedly it comes on with a slight misfire caused by the cam not pressing on the follower as much, leading to valves that do not open fully, causing a mixture ratio to be way off(no air for the fuel injected). If you ignore the misfire you run the risk of ruining the cylinder head permanently. The repair cost is prohibitive, and a used or re-man engine is the cure.
He also stated these engines with ~150k miles were 'just getting broken in', and as far as he was concerned, it was one of FoMoCo's best engines, and would likely last into the 300k mile range.
I agree, as far as the engine being one of the best, but wonder if this is a lurking problem.
He suggested two things: If you replace cam or front cover gasket, replace the bolts with new from the dealer. Do one cap at a time, and use Loctite.
My first thought was to replace the cover gaskets and R&R the bolts one at a time, and use Loctite. Torque to 90in/lb(IIRC). The bolts should be compared in length to one that is not in service to know if they are stretched(I assume). The difference being less than a few thousandths being OK(?). Not sure on that.
Just wanted to let those that are interested know about something that was just posted in the last few days. If any have the 'slight misfire', and investigate, please post your findings.
tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think it is heat related. The coolant flow or lube oil flow may be such that the farther 'out' bearings & caps get a higher delta T in each 'cycle', leading to expansion/contraction that is more excessive than the caps closer to the front of the engine.
If you watch the video, the bolts seem to be loosening(which means they had larger temp ranges and more 'creep' of the threads over time, or they had no Loctite applied on assembly, or they were not torqued as they should have been when assembled.
I know if I replace cam cover gaskets, I will either re-torque & Loctite the cap bolts, or replace them with the 'newer revised' bolts from Ford.
I remember as a HS kid working on my dad's T-bird 352 and he found all the rod cap bolts were being replaced by a revised version. He bought a full set of 16 new bolts(nuts? don't remember, it was 50 years ago) and they were installed. He also sprung for all new valves, which I thought unnecessary. He was an aircraft powerplant engineer, radials & jets, and I expect knew that radials ate their valves over time, and it was cheap insurance to replace them when inside the engine, AND on the ground... which lead to the decision.
I guess engineering revisions such as this implies are happening all the time and we just don't hear about it. Unless there is fire and flames and ... to make things get to the front page or top of the news.
FWIW, I expect the bolts that sheared were victims of things coming loose, and putting unusual torque or force on the fasteners, i.e., bending them in unusual ways. If one side got loose, the other tight, you'd have different force on the tight one than normal, straight-on clamping forces.
Now I have to think about doing the cam gaskets and re-torquing with 148k on the odo...
tom
 

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Ok tom , makes sense .

I should be doing the front cam cover gasket soon as 1 plug hole is leaking oil in to the spark plug(left one)

with this info it might pay to check the rear , it wouldn't hurt to replace that gasket anyway since i have the 2 , i was not going to as the rear is not leaking at all into the sp holes

tnks and cheers .

Paul
 

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tomw said:
Hi y'all.
Just watched Makuloco's video on the single fatal flaw of the duratec 3.0. He informs and demonstrates that the rearmost cam bearing caps seem to work their way loose on 2002-2007 3.0 duratecs.
He showed caps that were held(?) in place by bolts that were finger tight. He removed one cap and it was toast, the bearing surface destroyed and worn.
The noise a failing bolt(some actually snapped) or loose fastener caused made sounds as if the engine was about to lose a connecting rod through the block.
Has anyone had this problem? Supposedly it comes on with a slight misfire caused by the cam not pressing on the follower as much, leading to valves that do not open fully, causing a mixture ratio to be way off(no air for the fuel injected). If you ignore the misfire you run the risk of ruining the cylinder head permanently. The repair cost is prohibitive, and a used or re-man engine is the cure.
He also stated these engines with ~150k miles were 'just getting broken in', and as far as he was concerned, it was one of FoMoCo's best engines, and would likely last into the 300k mile range.
I agree, as far as the engine being one of the best, but wonder if this is a lurking problem.
He suggested two things: If you replace cam or front cover gasket, replace the bolts with new from the dealer. Do one cap at a time, and use Loctite.
My first thought was to replace the cover gaskets and R&R the bolts one at a time, and use Loctite. Torque to 90in/lb(IIRC). The bolts should be compared in length to one that is not in service to know if they are stretched(I assume). The difference being less than a few thousandths being OK(?). Not sure on that.
Just wanted to let those that are interested know about something that was just posted in the last few days. If any have the 'slight misfire', and investigate, please post your findings.
tom
Yeah, I watched that just two days ago, crazy!?

I've had the valve covers off a couple of times over the years. Once for leaky covers and once when I did the timing cover and guides/tensioners. I did a thorough visual and feel inspection of the valve train at 135,000-ish, when I did the cover and stuff. By feel i mean that ran my finger over each lobe contact area as well and any other contact points I could reach with my bare fingers then again with some light oil on my fingerto see if there were any spots that felt weird or had scratches as would've been evident by the oil creating a surface around the bad area.

not once did I think about backing off every cam cap and re-tightening it....car's been out of my hands for almost a year now (sold to a daughters friend) so, IDK. She doesn't take care of it all, I know that much....
 

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14theRoad said:
not once did I think about backing off every cam cap and re-tightening it....car's been out of my hands for almost a year now (sold to a daughters friend) so, IDK. She doesn't take care of it all, I know that much....
I wouldn't worry about it. With that many 3.0 Duratecs running around, even a small percentage of cam fastener issues would be enough for mechanics to see plenty of. It would still be a small percentage.

Check craigslist and see how many of these old buzzers are running around with 200 to 300K miles on them. The transmissions are what typically doom these to the pile.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I expect that most 02-07 vehicles have more than 150k on the clock. 18 years X 13.5k/annually, a lower end estimate, calcs out to 243k. 13 X 13.5 calcs out to 175.5k miles, so a high percentage would be past the 150k mark already. I got the impression that was the ballpark mileage where this problem surfaced.
Now I am a bit more hesitant to do anything. Front cover has some seepage, and if that gets repaired with new gasketry, the cam covers have to come off, so might as well check the torque when doing them. Decisions decisions.
tom
 

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This just happened to me while out of town. It was knocking for a while but because of my busy schedule and superbly honed procrastination skills, I never checked it out. It ran great until the knock suddenly turned jnto a horrific sounding rattle. I was able to drive it onto the trailer and get it backed down into the driveway, but I wouldn't go anymore than that.
I've been trying to figure out if it's fixable or not. I imagine there are cam bearings that can be replaced easier and less expensively than the entire engine, but haven't found anything just yet.
Has anybody else experienced this soul-breaking tragedy? How did you fix it? Are there bolts available that can be safety wired in place? Seem obvious to me but I know that takes a lot of time and is very costly.
Thank you,
Gator
 

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This just happened to me while out of town. It was knocking for a while but because of my busy schedule and superbly honed procrastination skills, I never checked it out. It ran great until the knock suddenly turned jnto a horrific sounding rattle. I was able to drive it onto the trailer and get it backed down into the driveway, but I wouldn't go anymore than that.
I've been trying to figure out if it's fixable or not. I imagine there are cam bearings that can be replaced easier and less expensively than the entire engine, but haven't found anything just yet.
Has anybody else experienced this soul-breaking tragedy? How did you fix it? Are there bolts available that can be safety wired in place? Seem obvious to me but I know that takes a lot of time and is very costly.
Thank you,
Gator
Did you dig into it to confirm this is the problem? There aren't removable camshaft bearings in this design that can be replaced, so if you're in a position where you'd normally have to replace bearings, you'll need to replace the cylinder head(s). I'm sure you can find the bolts online or at a dealer, but a full head or the camshafts/caps would probably require a trip to a pull yard (seems like the bay has some heads though depending on year).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Likely have some cam bearing problems if the caps worked loose. I would find the di-rections to set the cam position and the crank position to prevent interference, and follow the removal process(it is a two-step, I think, with the crank/cam/chain needing movement after one cam is removed.)
Then you can inspect the cam bearing surfaces of the caps and cylinder head.
Most likely the caps will have suffered more than the head as the spring pressure would tend to push against the caps 100% of the time...whenever a valve is opened. In theory, the head surface is there to provide a good way to form the lubricant 'wave' that keeps the cam from contacting the bearing surfaces. Along that line, you may be able to get away with just replacing the caps as they get 100% of the cam spring load. I have not done this, not even removed the cam covers so ignore at your leisure.
tom
 

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05 Escape XLT 3.0l 158k
A Ford mechanic buddy who said he's found as many loose cam cap screws on the front head as on the back head.
Any thoughts on the front head being effected by the direct drive water pump (05 doesn't have a tensioner pulley)? So as water pump bearings ware the cam is taking vibration it probably wasn't originally designed for. Seems this would transfer the vibration to the caps/screws.
Question
Do any years/model of the 1st gen 3.0 Escape, Mariner, Tribute use a tensioner pulley on the water pump drive system?
If so... Does anyone know if it's possible to add a tensioner pulley to a model without one?
Thank you
Solidwire
 

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Thank you....
I posted this question (Problems & Solutions) with a through explanation of my interest in the tensioner pulley on the water pump.
Yet, since we are here already...
Any idea if it's realistic to add a Tensioner Pulley to the water pump drive system?
 

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This just happened to me while out of town. It was knocking for a while but because of my busy schedule and superbly honed procrastination skills, I never checked it out. It ran great until the knock suddenly turned jnto a horrific sounding rattle. I was able to drive it onto the trailer and get it backed down into the driveway, but I wouldn't go anymore than that.
I've been trying to figure out if it's fixable or not. I imagine there are cam bearings that can be replaced easier and less expensively than the entire engine, but haven't found anything just yet.
Has anybody else experienced this soul-breaking tragedy? How did you fix it? Are there bolts available that can be safety wired in place? Seem obvious to me but I know that takes a lot of time and is very costly.
Thank you,
Gator
Hey! G'-man!
I think I may be walking in your shoes!
My '08 V6 has 195k mi, and just started acting a little fussy!
I am 4th owner, and only had it for ~13k mi...noone towed with it, but who knows if it ever got overheated...?

What is/was the verdict on yours, or is it still 'in committee'?
;)

You said it made bad noises, which does not bode well...but I would appreciate an update, anyway.

Mine did just a little uncharacteristic coughing when I started it in freezing cold on Sunday, and it didn't seem to want to accelerate (was just going down the block to Autozone; no highway...)...so maybe catastrophe can still be averted?
:rolleyes:

Best Wishes!
 
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