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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

This turned out to be a longer post, actual question(s) are in the last couple sentences. Everything before is background.

A couple years back, you helped me with some questions regarding oil leaks on my Escape. Well, I'm back with some new issues I'm hoping I can get some input on. Thanks in advance!

I have a 2005 Ford Escape 4WD 3.0L V6 with almost 285k miles on the clock. I haven't done any work on the engine besides a couple gaskets/seals that needed to be replaced. Somehow still original transmission as well.

Long story short, I recently performed a compression test to check the condition of the engine (I am not experiencing any misfires or anything that would cause me to think it is in poor condition; routine maintenance has always been conducted at specified intervals). The results are within spec for the most part, except for 2 cylinders - one of which has bad rings, and one of which most likely has bad valves. My next step is to scope the cylinders to inspect the condition of each cylinder. I tried to paste the results below for reference. Test 2 just indicates that I came back to those cylinders a second time to double check because the first reading was high or low. I performed a wet test on the two lowest compression cylinders.

Cylinder PSI (Test 1) PSI (Test 2) PSI (Wet Test)
1 185
2 90 100 110
3 200 200
4 170
5 140 150 175
6 180

So now that you have the background, this brings me to my actual question. I have a few options from doing nothing until the engine gets worse to having a shop do a full rebuild, but I am considering doing a "half *** rebuild" which would include removing the heads and replacing all the valves/seats and removing the oil pan and honing the cylinder/replacing the rings on at least #5, but possibly all of them since I'm down there anyway. I have not been able to find very much information online/on these forums about working on Duratecs (in the car at least) beyond valve cover gaskets. My question boils down to this: is it possible on the Escape to perform all of this work without removing the engine? Has anyone here tried this before? Additionally, if I go this route, am I safe going with aftermarket valves/rings (I'm looking at Melling valves and Mahle/Clevite rings on Rockauto), or is this not an area to scrimp?

Thanks so much, any advice is greatly appreciated.
Jimmy
 

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Given the cost of the gaskets and head bolts needed to R&R the cylinder heads, it does not make economic sense to do one or two cylinders, to me at least.
That said, what do you really want to do? It likely runs 'ok', not great, but gets you around without problem as-is. How long do you want it to last? That should help determine what you do.
Have you used a mechanical gauge to check your developed oil pressure, hot and cold? You may want to do that before taking anything apart and definitely before making your decision as to what to replace. If you have not had any oil related problems, your crankshaft bearing journals should be in reasonable shape, such that a set of standard bearings would improve a low oil pressure situation. If you have 300k on the clock, you are likely approaching the eol of the timing components - sprockets, chain, guides and tensioners. It would be pitiful to do all that work and then have the valves try to poke holes in the tops of the pistons. The tend to get funny looking when that happens.
I would suggest looking for a good used engine from an appropriate Taurus/Sable or other(forget which has what), but would want to be sure the source was someone who was reputable and didn't do 'spray can rebuilds'... Those engines are more in supply at lower prices than EMT versions. It takes a bit to do the swap, but can be done. See the youtube by pfun-something. He did one, and shows how. There is an 'engine builder' web site that has articles on the various versions of the 3.0 duratec, and good information on the different orientations of the electronic pickups mounted to the timing cover.
I am pretty sure the pan can be removed without pulling anything, and the 'girdle' that is bolted above it can also be removed the same way. I have not done it so no guarantee. To remove the heads, you likely will find removing the timing chains, etc after removing the front cover is the easiest and most accurate way to proceed. There is a video on youtube about doing the timing set, in car.
Not sure what else to add.
tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the input. I believe I would lean towards doing all 6 cylinders if I go this route. A new timing set also makes sense; that was a lingering unasked question I had as well. I tested the oil pressure a bit over a year ago, and it was good. The engine runs really well, and like I said, you would never know there is low compression in that cylinder.

In short, I'd like it to last as long as possible. I really like the car, and I like racking up the miles on the engine, seeing how far I can take it. It sounds silly, but my thought process is it doesn't count if it's not the original engine. So that pretty much relegates me to making do one way or another with what I've got now. To each their own :shrug:

I estimate it would cost around $600-700 to do everything I've discussed, depending on the parts used. I am also looking into costing out other options including sending to a machine shop and rebuilding myself or having a shop do all the work.

Jimmy
 

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Back 30 years, I had a '64 Comet with a 260. It was tired and had a lot of miles on the engine. I priced out all the repair parts and gasketry. Gave myself time to think about work vs dollars. I decided for the extra $100-200, I would be better off getting a re-man short block. I had been planning on a minimal fix, not new pistons/cam/lifters, and it came that close. I ordered the short block, and it came as a 289. I figured that would work for me, and I was very pleased with the results.
I have no idea about a 3.0 short block price, or if they are even sold, but would consider one if it worked out price-wise. Most are sold with gaskets/etc necessary, which are much more costly on this engine than on a 260-289-302.
tom
 

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Yes, the work you are thinking of can be done -in vehicle., unless you are doing anything with the crankshaft. As mentioned, if you're going that deep, do all the cylinders! Why go that deep then half-*** it?

The Duratec 3.0L design uses a short block that's split in two (upper and lower short block) To separate them you would need to remove the transmission and flywheel. At that point, i'd just yank it all out.

The timing chain rotation game for getting old chains on and new ones off is what I consider the hardest part. I've done the timing guides, tensioners and even the rod bearings in-vehicle but I took one look at the chains, which were in great condition (140K), and then one look at the removal/install process and decided to skip it. My primary objective with my teardown was the timing cover seal leak. I did the other stuff cos I was already in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey everyone,

Thanks for all the advice. A couple updates on my end:

I ran compressed air into the 90-100 psi cylinder, and it turns out there is a leak in the head gasket between cylinder #1 and #2, but somehow this has only resulted in loss in compression in #2. I noticed no other leaks in coolant, intake, or exhaust, so I decided to take everything apart to see what I find (no parts ordered yet until I know what I'm dealing with).

I think I'm about 10 hours into this already, with the majority of time being devoted to removing the alternator and power steering pump. All I have to do at this point is remove the rear catalytic converter, and the head is off. Trying to decide if the best route to go is to remove it from the head or bring it up with the head. From there, I am going to measure to determine what kind of resurfacing, if any, it will need - fingers crossed. A lot of work for a $25 part (if you're REALLY scrimping) - the engineers really did us no favors on these cars, with the possible exception of the location of the water pump.

So far, all of the engine internals look really good, so I'm hoping I can just replace all the gaskets and rings (and deglaze the cylinders) and throw it back together.

Jimmy
 

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I don't know if you have looked, but it is likely the bolts that hold the exhaust manifold/converter assembly(one piece) onto the head have corroded. Iron vs Aluminum and we have a battery... That makes it harder to disassemble while in the vehicle. If you can fish head & manifold out together, you have better access to the fasteners which may be somewhat reluctant to budge. FWIW
tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Tom, that is exactly what I did actually. Figured I would report back here with some pictures of my progress on the engine for your viewing pleasure. In my opinion, it looks pretty good for 285k miles. I have not removed the front head yet. I still have to clean the block and head surfaces, but my measurements with a straight edge so far show that both are within service spec. The head has some scoring where the dowel holes were. This was likely my fault and will probably need to be machined, but I'm curious as to your thoughts as well. I am trying to keep this low cost, but I also want to do what is best for the engine in order to keep it going for another 285k. The rest of the head (i.e. valves, cams, rockers, lifters) all look good too, but I don't have a picture right now.









Head scoring:

Left:


Right:
 

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I do not know if all th epictures posted. Were there to be any of the cylinder head surface? If you have concerns about scratches, you have a couple choices, I think. It depends on where they are, and how deep. They could be in spots that do not matter, where sealing is of no consequence. Or other locations. If not too deep, you can do your own minimal surfacing using a mirror or sheet of glass with some abrasive (AlOx) paper laid flat. Place the head on the abrasive and move in a figure 8 motion, allowing the weight of the head to provide friction. Slide around a few times and wipe the surface. You will see any low spots as being untouched by the abrasive. Slide around until those 'low' spots are no longer visible, or use a straightedge across the lows, and measure with a feeler gauge how 'off' they are.
Note the surface of the intake, where the lower intake manifold is bolted to the cylinder head. In the early pictures, you can see where there was sealing, and you may want to inspect closely to see if you think the O-ring gaskets were doing their job, or were tending toward leaking. For sure clean up before re-assembly.
Do the chain tensioners appear to have any extension left, or have they gone out as far as they will ever go? IOW, how long will you keep it, and do you think the chains have enough life left?
The engine is clean, but shows evidence of letting the oil go a bit long before changes. The brownish color is evidence of hot, older oil. Sort of. If changed with a shorter interval, the metal could(not always) look like it came from factory. I DO remember old engines that had so much sludge you couldn't see the rocker arms when the cover was removed. Fun(not) to clean with a putty knife et al.
tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the advice! There should be 6 pictures total with the last two being the ones indicating scoring on the head where the dowels/head bolts go. Please let me know if you do not see these, and I will try to post again.

As to the chains/tensioners, they appear in very good condition and everything was in time. I am still inclined to replace it all just because of the miles. As mentioned, I'd like to keep it on the road as long as possible, so $200 for a kit doesn't seem too terrible.

To my knowledge the oil has always been changed around 5000 miles. It might be possible that it went to 7000 once or twice but I'm not sure. I know I've been religious with it over the last few years, and it's also been running full synthetic for around 20-30,000 at this point.
 

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The last 2 pictures showed this time. I would not worry much about the imperfections. The left side, should it leak, would have to go around the ferrule or guide used to align the cylinder head, but I think it stops before it reaches the hole in the head. The right side looks fine and should have no problem. IMO.
It sure is easy for the $$ to add up when doing engine work. Somehow it seems that the 'pieces' are not expensive by them self, but when you add them up, it is not cheap.
One thought is to pay attention to the breather in the 'valley'. As I understand, older models had the PCV located there... meaning, since it could not be reached without removing a cylinder head, it was left in place. I do not know when it changed, but either way, replace the PCV valve when you put it back together. There have been reports of a failing PCV valve to somehow eat all the oil in a short while, leading to bearing failure. I guess people get used to not having to add oil, so they don't check, and then only when the light comes on... oops. Use a Motorcraft part vs a Fram or other.
tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks! I removed the front head today. To me, it looks like all 6 cylinders are in good condition. The oil pan gasket is leaking, so I am still thinking about taking the pan off and throwing new rings on the pistons while I am there. I am a bit nervous to hone the bores which I understand is pretty necessary, so I am not even entirely sold on this.

The PCV valve on this engine is on the driver's side of the rear valve cover. It is possible to do without removing anything, but it is tedious. I replaced it a year or so ago, but I'm planning on replacing it again anyway since it is only about $5. So far, I am also thinking about replacing the following:

Timing set (original)
Oil cooler (Original, the one on there seems to be a bit rusty...I could always sand and paint)
All coolant hoses
Radiator (Original)
Water pump/water pump housing (this is about 20k miles old, but I'm here so why not?)
Starter (Original)
Power steering pump and lines (Original; I've had no issues with this, but removing this pretty much requires removing the radiator/ac condenser and was the most difficult part of this job so far. It seems dumb to not do this and possibly run into a problem down the road)
All vacuum lines (Original)
Suspension...it's the original suspension and seriously shot, but there have been no issues with tire wear
Possibly the a/c compressor or condenser (All original; condenser is a bit beat up but so far not leaking)

The biggest wild card at this point is the transmission. It is the original transmission but so far has not shown signs of giving out. I am wondering if it might still be worth it to preemptively rebuild or replace it or just let it be until it fails.

Is there anything else I am overlooking here that should be done?
 

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The list:

Yes Timing set (original)
NO Oil cooler (Original, the one on there seems to be a bit rusty...I could always sand and paint)
Yes All coolant hoses
No Radiator (Original)
No Water pump/water pump housing (this is about 20k miles old, but I'm here so why not?)
No Starter (Original)
Partial Power steering pump and lines (Original; I've had no issues with this, but removing this pretty much requires removing the radiator/ac condenser and was the most difficult part of this job so far. It seems dumb to not do this and possibly run into a problem down the road)
Partial All vacuum lines (Original)
Partial Suspension...it's the original suspension and seriously shot, but there have been no issues with tire wear
No Possibly the a/c compressor or condenser (All original; condenser is a bit beat up but so far not leaking)

The Yes parts, for the most, are 'wear' or 'age' items. They will wear with use or will deteriorate with time.
If the oil cooler has surface rust, clean, apply rust converter, paint with anti-rust primer, keep. They don't wear out.
Hoses will deteriorate with age, get hard or get too soft, and then fail at the wrong moment.
Radiator will slowly fail if the end caps which are crimped on, slowly change over time. Re-crimping can work, but maybe they have gotten better since. Other than that, check for 'bloom' where the tubes extend into the tank. Crusty stuff at the ends of the tubes. If enough, will block flow. Visually inspect.
Water pump should have a 100k life, and you are at 20%. I have original at 150K.
Starter should last, especially if you keep it tuned so it is used sparingly and not used to make up for poor tune. The longer the crank time, the quicker it wears. They are simple, and have few wear parts: bushings and brushes.
Power steering pump will last forever, but the shaft seals may go, leading to loss of fluid, and then the 'slippers' and bore get scored leading to noise, Get a seal kit and replace seals. You know your pump history, a re-man? Who knows(same for starter & compressor & alternator)
Vacuum lines .. Inspect & feel, if hard or mushy, replace.
Suspension I expect the sway bar links and the ball joints could have wear, the struts should be replaced if leaking or if they are worn out. They are shock absorbers in addition to bearing the weight.
I would also look into the tie rod ends, inner and outer. If the rack is leaking, replace.
The transmission can fail whenever it wants. I have heard of them working perfectly, and then losing drive while cruising down the freeway. Most, I think, are failures of the pump spline, causing loss of pressure to keep the gizzards clamped to each other so power can be transferred. No pressure, and it slips to effective 'neutral'. I do not know of any way to check.
Go to youtube and watch 'automatic transmission' channel, formerly Hiram Gutierrez, I think. He does a CD4E from start to finish. If you have a mechanical bent, you too can become an automatic transmission repair tech. Same thing for the alternator & starter... take 'em apart, inspect, look for worn brushes, and failing bearing/bushing. Replace as needed. Just as good as the 'paint job' re-mans you can buy locally. And, you can replace the regulator if you desire.
This is just an opinion. Reflecting my experience. Nothing to do with the reality that everyone else encounters in their particular location. YMMV
tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
December Update:

Well it's been quite awhile. I really ended up doing a lot more work on the engine than I had initially set out to do. The only thing I didn't touch on it was the main bearings. In the end, I replaced all my rod bearings and piston rings. I cleaned up the pistons as best I could and took my heads to a shop for resurfacing. Then I removed all the valve springs and replaced the seals and lapped the valves where needed, which for me was every exhaust valve and one intake valve. I threw on new seals and put the heads back together. Cylinders were honed with a ball hone which worked really well - and fit with the drill in the engine bay with no problem.

I just started up the car yesterday and did a short break-in procedure prescribed by my manual. It seems to be working well, although I am having issues with the power steering at idle (hopefully just need to bleed the system). More concerning is a low oil pressure light at idle when the car is warmed up. I'm going to hook up my oil pressure gauge shortly to see if there is actually a problem.

Other work I did included replacing pretty much every hose - vacuum lines, coolant hoses, and oil cooler hoses. Because this information isn't readily available, I am hoping I can save at least one poor soul some time by providing part numbers and general info, since I was unable to find all of this aggregated in one place, and parts diagrams when they can be found are not always that helpful.

Coolant hoses (every coolant hose you'll need on the V6 plus the oil cooler hoses):

Hose between throttle/water pump (on the way to the heater core): KT162
Hose between throttle and heater core: KH349
Hose between heater core and thermostat housing: KH345
Thermostat to water pump: KH337
Thermostat to upper radiator passenger side: (Gates) 22805
Thermostat to crossover pipe between heads: YL8Z-8A520-AB
Hose from thermostat housing to lower radiator on driver side: (ACDelco) 89050644
Reservoir to lower radiator driver side: KM4861
Block to water pump: KM4940
Reservoir to upper radiator passenger side: 5L8Z-8075-AA
Upper driver side radiator to upper transmission oil cooler: YL8Z-7C410-BA
Transmission to lower driver side radiator: (Mazda) FW65199E0B

The hose running from the transmission to the oil cooler has been discontinued, at least by ford and Mazda from what I can tell, but the Mazda part number is: FW65199G0B. Ford sells a hose/line kit (7L8Z7K177A) for the transmission oil cooler, but it's over $300. I felt I couldn't justify the purchase without doing a full rebuild of the transmission (which is likely down the road, but hopefully it holds up for now - I'll probably pay someone to do this after my driveway rebuild took two months).

Other part numbers:

Connecting rod bolts (supposed to use new bolts on reassembly): F3LY-6214-A
For other nuts and bolts, I recommend just purchasing from a hardware store instead of overpriced OEM stuff. The two examples that come to mind for me are the exhaust manifold nuts (M8-1.25) and thermostat housing bolts (M6-1.0 x 30mm). I ended up having to just order a new thermostat housing because one of the bolts was rusted in, and I just could not get it out. Also here, beware: the aftermarket housing I bought was not an exact match, and I needed to buy the OEM housing in the end.

You might also find you'll need a new one of those crossover flow pipes (they transfer coolant between the heads). There are two o-rings on these, and I was not comfortable reusing my old ones. I could not find a part number for these o-rings, so I decided to just get the new pipe rather than chance it. KM4810

As to vacuum lines, one of the metric multi packs they sell online should do the job as long as you get around 5 feet. There are three different size lines on the E from what I can see: smaller vacuum lines, "release" lines from the lower engine and transmission, and a larger line from the power brake booster to the intake manifold. I cannot remember the exact measurements, but this is the kit I used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BQ ... UTF8&psc=1

Other things of note for people preparing to do a job like this: a typical valve spring tool that you rent at an auto parts store will not work. You need one of those C clamp tools sold for around $20. It's slow at first, but if all you're doing is replacing seals, it's around 5 minutes per spring once you get a handle on what you're doing. Tip I learned from a video - use bearing grease on the valve retainers to get them to stick to the valves while you are reinstalling the springs. It will not be possible to reinstall with a clamp without doing something like this.

One other thing that caused me a lot of grief was the power steering pump. On my model it was located at the front of the engine (as the car is oriented). I understand other models have the pump located directly above the middle of the timing cover; if this is the case, you are very fortunate. For those who are not so lucky, there is a lengthy description (link pasted below) of someone's process. His write up is good, but with my tools, I personally found it impossible to remove without first removing the radiator.

Putting a new timing chain on requires some geometrical gymnastics. When you put the cams back on, they'll be in a neutral position. You'll have an easier time if you arrange the cams in their correct position as you reinstall them: front bank intake at 9 o'clock, exhaust at 12 o'clock; rear bank intake at 3 o'clock, exhaust at 12 o'clock. There should be corresponding marks on the cams, crankshaft sprocket, and chains. Basically, starting at TDC (i.e. crankshaft at 11 o'clock), put the chain on, lining up the marks on the cams and the sprocket, then install the guides/tensioner. Move the crankshaft 120 degrees clockwise to the 3 o'clock position and install the chain on the rear cams. Turn the crank counter clockwise to 11 o'clock and double check the chain position. If you have installed the camshafts already, and they are in the wrong position, you should be able to just turn them one at a time - from what I can tell, they will always land in a neutral position at (and 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock mentioned above are all neutral), so arranging them in the proper position is not as difficult as it may sound.

When you reassemble, make absolutely sure that you fully assemble the rear intake manifold BEFORE you install the alternator. Once the alternator is in place, it is impossible to manipulate the position of the cat. I made this mistake and didn't realize that was the issue until after I had broken my EGR line (although, given the way it broke, and the lack of force it took, it was probably a blessing in disguise to be forced to replace it now).

After this, my next major project will be a completely new suspension. All the ball joints, bushings, and shocks are 15 years old and completely worn out. I also have my eye on some audio upgrades and sound deadening. But I don't think I'll have an appetite to do anything else for a few months or more.

Now I just hope this transmission holds up...

Power steering removal: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1325 ... 3-0-a.html

C clamp: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DC ... UTF8&psc=1

Ball hone: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007I ... UTF8&psc=1
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I should also note that I bought some new o rings for the fuel injectors. Aftermarket rings are bigger than OEM. If you are doing this too, be sure to lubricate them and put a piece of 2x4 on top of the fuel rail and whack it a couple times with a hammer. I also highly recommend pressurizing the system before reassembling to ensure there are no leaks. It took me a couple attempts to get this right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here are some photos from the process. I have some more pictures if there are any specific requests, but these are the highlights.

Block before disassembly:



Resurfaced head:



Pistons during the clean up process. This was perhaps the single most time intensive part of the entire process:





Cylinders honed, pistons reassembled:



Rear head on:



Front head on:



Cams in:



Timing chain and cover reinstalled:

 

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Do let us know what you find with respect to the oil pressure.

Wow, you dug deep into that motor! Deepest I went was the timing cover and related items to get that off, timing guides and tensioners, and rod bearings. I stopped with respect to the actual chain (this was at 140K miles and the chain was in very good condition). I didn't want to deal with the geometric gymnastics :)

Other stuff I did while we owned it for 140K. Entire cooling system including spiderweb of hoses on the drivers side. The PS system including the rack and pinion for which you have to lower the subframe a little. AC system (except evaporator), the Alternator (what a PITA that was!) , motor mounts, Front suspension struts, control arms, sway bar bushings and links, front bearings, and all engine/tranny mounts.

Lastly was the transmission solenoid pack and valve body upgrade (as in a shift kit) which required the disassembly and reassembly of the valve body and a new bushing for the drivers side CV shaft output. Replacing the seal was not stopping a leak that presented and it turned out, the bushing itself had worn so bad it was causing the leak, not the seal.
 

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Wow! Kudos for doing such an extensive job. I can not even imagine how much a garage shop would ask to do such work. That would be many times the value of the car.

Let us know how it goes when it is ready for a ride.
 

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Nice images. Looks as if no cylinder had any appreciable ridge. Most times it would be more visible after honing the cylinder walls.
Did you measure the cylinder heads to determine the need to have the surface ground? Was there any coolant leakage or other clue to suggest the need?
One picture shows the exhaust manifold studs still in the cylinder head. Was there any particular trick to get the manifolds off? I looked at mine a few years ago as it(to my ear) was making noise when cold that disappeared when warmed and I considered installing gaskets/flattening the manifold to eliminate the noise. The nuts looked as if they would not want to come off without a struggle, and other things, so I didn't do the work. So, I wonder if you had problems or used some technique that may be helpful.
How did the rod inserts look? Was there appreciable appearance of wear? Pics?
If you got things back together properly, the only pressure items would be the rod bearings and the cam chain tensioners. I think the tensioners use pressure to take up the slack, and then a 'ratchet' that holds them extended partially so 'droop' will occur to allow slack at cold start. They should not leak pressure, but who knows. Hopefully you have a sensor that got jiggled with all the work and is reporting improperly.
Please continue, and keep us informed. Your list of hoses etc is definitely of large value, and should save a lot of time for future fixers.
tom
 
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