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Replacing Seals


I have a motor with 75k miles on it on an engine stand waiting to go into my cam failure car. My 200k car leaks oil like a sieve. Although the motor on the stand didn't leak when it was pulled from the car, I don't want it to wind up leaking once installed. Seals are kind of expensive (as I'm sure you know) but I am wondering if there are any that I should definitely replace while the motor is out. Maybe front/rear mains, oil pan??? Anybody have any experience/input with this situation?

Kate Gubert
97 ES welded 200k
97 PG cam failure #754 91k
The only place besides the cam-cover seals that dry up and and crack that leak is the O-ring on the oil cooler above the oil filter. Mine has never leaked a drop from anywhere else other then the tranny.

Carter Fuji
Latitude 35.23948924537855, Longitude -94.30673988764765
'97 ES Whoosh CarDomain Site
Supercharger Video Link 
Greenwood, AR.

Three Rubber gaskets on the front cover and one lip seal for the
crankshaft/harmonic dampener hole in the front cover. They don't leak
all the time, but they are SUCH a bitch to change later if they do.
Valve cover gaskets are much easier to change at a later date, so you
might wait on those if they are nice and soft still.
Water pump cam lip seal - it's in the driver's side end of the front head.
Did you take off the water pump? If so, I'd change the "O" rings on the
head side faces.
How's the oil cooler look? All wet with oil? If so you might want to
change that "O" ring now.
I would think long and hard before I put a used TQ converter back into
service when changing it would be so easy right now.

That's a pretty good start :-)

Eric Lehmann
97 Ebony 42k Welded - With the Angels Now so that I don't have to be.
Long Live the Garage Queen !
96 Medium Willow Green Metallic 103k Resurrected, Welded
96 Rosemist 72k 2006 Best Of SHO, Popular Vote, Welded
96 Medium Graphite 120k - Resurrected, Welded
97 Pacific Green - Parting this one Out
Replacing seals is most always a good idea, since they can be hard to obtain.

In a pinch, I have found that a sea lion can sub for a seal, at least temporarily.

Al Primm
97 TR

Yeah, but you may have to grind off the "ears" to make them fit properly.

Jon Heese
On my 96 when I had the engine out for the cams, ball joints, wheel bearings, and ALT, I replaced the timing cover gaskets, and the cam seal. Didn't bother with the valve covers themselves cause they were still nice and soft/pliable, not like the v6 VC gaskets I see all the time that are hard and brittle.

The timing cover gaskets aren't all that pricey, I think $40-45 will do all 3, and another $10 for the front crank seal? Worth it to not have to even worry about leaks. The cam seal on just about every gen3 I have parted, or worked on was very dry and cracked, leaking nicely and making a mess.

I think for about $60 one can get all the major gaskets that are easy to replace while the engine is on a stand. Maybe another $15 for a rear main seal if you can find one? Worthwhile IMO if the engine is out, as someone said SOOOOO much easier to do it and not have to think about it again for next 10+ years.

Bruce J. Malachuk

03 Redfire Mazda 6s - 17k
94 Opal Frost Taurus SHO -126k
96 Toreador Red Taurus SHO - 68k
I would definitely do the rod bearings. Cheap enough.

I totally agree with that. I lost a v6 because of rod bearings and it would have been so simple to prevent. 20/20 hindsight. I didn't do rod bearings and seals when I did my 3.2 v6 swap. Now I have to do them in-car because the motor leaks. Granted I didn't know when performing the swap if it was actually going to start or not, but seems now that I screwed myself. You should have seen the guys in Valvoline freak out when I told them the car was about 6 years overdue for an oil change :)

Alan Ridge

Green 96 - Welded, 245/40 R18, LED Tails
Green 94 - Parts
Black 92 - Repeat Offender
Thanks! So now: any suggestions as to where to find the parts I need? I would rather not support the stealer. I've been told before that fastfordparts.com  is a good place.
The bearings are ~$50 and there is no gaskets to buy unless you want an new oil pump pickup tube gasket. I just reuse mine with a thin coat of silicone.

But out of the car it would be a piece of cake. Just do one cylinder at a time. You are suppose to only use the rod bolts once but some don't.

On the motor going into the '96 I am doing this. Don't really know how many miles are on it but what the heck. Did it to the '97 (with the '99 motor) at about 35k with some signs of wear.


www.rockauto.com   has the bearings. Be sure to get a discount code from somewhere to save an additional 5%.


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