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#4038528 - 12/02/19 02:18 PM There's one born every minute...
Joebob Offline
n00b

Registered: 12/01/19
Posts: 24
Loc: CA
Just purchased a 1995 Crown Vic. Paid what should have been a good price. Car is nice and straight, no rust, a little dirty from sitting for a couple years. Had a dead battery, put in a new one and car started right up with no evidence of dead cylinders or smoke. Oil looked good, no coolant contamination or other evidence of problems. Radiator was low on coolant. Guy said it ran warm climbing hills. I had had an '85 Lincoln Continental about 25 years ago that did the same thing...turned out to be just a plugged radiator. Got that car for about 1/5 the going rate...drove the hell out of it (after fixing the radiator) for several years.

Bought the Crown Vic. Drove it home, about 15 miles. No issues. Temp gauge ran about 1/2 way. Next morning started scrubbing out the interior. Checked coolant...reservoir was empty. Checked oil...looked like coffee with milk. Yuck...I like my coffee and motor oil black (in the case of oil, clear is fine). OK...so I was had. So...

First thought was head gaskets. However, there was no sound of dead cylinder(s) on cranking the engine. Although I'm sure there could be a path for coolant to reach the oil without necessarily entering the combustion chambers. I've also read that there could be an issue with the intake manifolds...could this be what I am experiencing?

My big questions are as follows:
1. I have a task for which I need this car. I need to drive about 15 miles. I'm going to change oil before driving this car again. I've been reading about various snake oil concoctions that are supposed to repair head gaskets. Would one of these be adequate to get the car through a 15 mile trip without damaging the engine more than it may already be damaged?
2. What is the likelihood that there might be some other problem other than the heads or intake manifold (e.g. damaged block) that I might be looking at?
3. After this short trip, should I replace the head gaskets, or cut to the chase and find a good used engine?
I realize it is difficult to give very specific answers without actually looking at an engine, but I'm hoping to draw on the general experience of those who are here.

The reason I purchased this car was because my wife is large and has severe mobility issues, and she remembered having to ride in this model car a couple times, and that it was much easier for her to get into and out of, and was more comfortable than other cars, including our Mercedes.

Thank you in advance for any advice.

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#4038540 - 12/02/19 03:10 PM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
RF_Overlord Offline

Poobah

Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 7613
Loc: MA
Is it a CVPI or a civilian model?
_________________________
'03 Mercury Marauder (The Blackbird)
Trilogy Motorsports supercharged #61
Too many mods to list / Driveway Queen

'04 Grand Marquis LS Limited Edition (Spruce Green)
Daily Driver (Thanks, Adam!)

'00 Grand Marquis GS (Silver)
Rotted frame and broken transmission crossmember
Being resurrected...slowly.

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#4038546 - 12/02/19 04:53 PM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
HDmech Offline
n00b

Registered: 06/15/18
Posts: 48
Loc: Saskatchewan
If it was my car I wouldn’t drive it, but if you absolutely had to....leave cap loose on surge tank and drive it like a 90yr old man.
_________________________
03 marauder 4.6 4v - restoration underway 188000km- lots of mods
04 marquis 4.6 2v - in storage 267000km
08 f-150 5.4 3v - hibernation till spring 68000km
13 GMC Sierra 5.3 daily driver 48000km
10 raptor 6.2 - 324000km - new project

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#4038550 - 12/02/19 06:36 PM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
BigMerc96 Offline

I know nothing
Posting Addict

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 19868
Loc: I can see Detroit from here!
Its pretty unusual for a 4.6 to pop a head gasket unless its been abused. There is one other place, that's slightly more common, that oil and antifreeze can mix is via the oil filter adapter and/or its gasket. This housing is both the inlet from the radiator, and the boss on which the oil filter is attached, and if the car has an oil cooler its lines would connect there too. It is not the most fun job to replace the gasket, but its certainly less work than a head gasket.
_________________________
-Steve

2006 Audi A6 ~132k miles, stock.
1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~100k miles, slowly acquiring modifications.
1997 Town Car Cartier ~145k miles, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust with Magnaflows, cats deleted, MSD Ignition, KYB Gas-A-Justs, P71 front bar, air ride reinstated, Projector retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel retrofit, holistic weight reduction as the parts fall off..
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12 frown

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#4038582 - 12/03/19 12:14 AM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
Joebob Offline
n00b

Registered: 12/01/19
Posts: 24
Loc: CA
Thank you for the responses. To answer the first question, it is a civilian model, so it evidently does not have the oil cooler which, so I have read, is a possible route for coolant to mix with oil.

I was thinking of leaving the cap loose myself...hopefully, without pressure in the cooling system, it won't push too much coolant into places it shouldn't be.

Thank you for the hint on the oil filter adapter. Seems like kind of a longshot to me, but certainly worth a look. Wish me luck!

Again, thank you for all your input.

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#4038586 - 12/03/19 12:39 AM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
fordoldfart Offline
Climber

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 759
Loc: kansas
If it’s a head gasket you will see it in the exhaust while driving have some one follow you. It’s a pretty good bet that oilfilter adapter has issues have seen it before.

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#4038588 - 12/03/19 12:44 AM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
RF_Overlord Offline

Poobah

Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 7613
Loc: MA
Did the HPP have an oil cooler, or only the CVPI?
_________________________
'03 Mercury Marauder (The Blackbird)
Trilogy Motorsports supercharged #61
Too many mods to list / Driveway Queen

'04 Grand Marquis LS Limited Edition (Spruce Green)
Daily Driver (Thanks, Adam!)

'00 Grand Marquis GS (Silver)
Rotted frame and broken transmission crossmember
Being resurrected...slowly.

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#4038598 - 12/03/19 06:48 AM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: RF_Overlord]
BigMerc96 Offline

I know nothing
Posting Addict

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 19868
Loc: I can see Detroit from here!
Originally Posted By RF_Overlord
Did the HPP have an oil cooler, or only the CVPI?
Only the CVPI and the Towing Package (and possibly limo package Townies) had oil coolers. However, HPPs and most Town Cars did get the CVPI style power steering cooler. At least on the Aeros.

Like I said earlier, the oil filter adapter and/or its gasket is a considerably more common problem than a head gasket for allowing oil and coolant to mix. At least on a Modular engine. These things just don't pop head gaskets very often. The heads and the block are both very solid castings that are well anchored to one another. Just like how its a deep-skirt block with cross-bolted main bearings and so you rarely see them have a rod knock unless allowed to run out of oil.
_________________________
-Steve

2006 Audi A6 ~132k miles, stock.
1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~100k miles, slowly acquiring modifications.
1997 Town Car Cartier ~145k miles, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust with Magnaflows, cats deleted, MSD Ignition, KYB Gas-A-Justs, P71 front bar, air ride reinstated, Projector retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel retrofit, holistic weight reduction as the parts fall off..
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12 frown

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#4038628 - 12/03/19 01:39 PM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: BigMerc96]
crjackson Offline
Member

Registered: 09/02/15
Posts: 111
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted By BigMerc96
Only the CVPI and the Towing Package (and possibly limo package Townies) had oil coolers. However, HPPs and most Town Cars did get the CVPI style power steering cooler. At least on the Aeros.

Like I said earlier, the oil filter adapter and/or its gasket is a considerably more common problem than a head gasket for allowing oil and coolant to mix. At least on a Modular engine. These things just don't pop head gaskets very often. The heads and the block are both very solid castings that are well anchored to one another. Just like how its a deep-skirt block with cross-bolted main bearings and so you rarely see them have a rod knock unless allowed to run out of oil.


This is really great information. I’ve never built a Ford Modular engine before, and I thank you for schooling me on this.

Is it also just as unlikely to see a cracked head or block?


Edited by crjackson (12/03/19 01:41 PM)
_________________________


1998 Crown Victoria LX, 4.6L V8, 158,000 mi., All original equipment
2014 Black GT Premium 401A / Track Pack / Kooks LTH / Roush Phase 3+ SC
2018 Black Nissan 370Z Nismo Tech, All Options, 10K mi., All original equipment



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#4038630 - 12/03/19 03:05 PM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
Rootintootin Online   content
Climber

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 668
Loc: North Carolina
Just in case there is anybody wondering about the title of this thread:

Click to reveal...

[url=https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=JhIY53m6&id=9770B530AB1FBAFBF1D7EABF4C90688237BBC424&thid=OIP.JhIY53m6NSNzHpeorCHnfgAAAA&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fthenypost.files.wordpress.com%2f2014%2f03%2fwcfields.jpg%3fquality%3d90%26strip%3dall%26w%3d371%26h%3d410%26crop%3d1&exph=410&expw=371&q=w.+c.+fields&simid=608019952237610394&selectedIndex=2][/url]


Edited by a_d_a_m (02/27/21 08:53 AM)
Edit Reason: placed link behind spoiler as it was F'ing with the display formatting bc it was so long
_________________________
97 CVPI, 144K miles

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#4038744 - 12/04/19 10:58 AM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
Joebob Offline
n00b

Registered: 12/01/19
Posts: 24
Loc: CA
Picked up a gasket for the oil filter adapter yesterday. Doesn't look like too bad a job. Raining today, so I can't move forward. Supposed to dry out by tomorrow, hoping against hope that this is the answer.

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#4038748 - 12/04/19 11:11 AM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
2011LX Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 1399
Loc: SE WI
FWIW, oil pressure is higher than cooling system pressure.

Usually an adapter leak results in oil being pushed into the coolant, not coolant in the oil. Especially in this volume.

I wouldn't be very confident about the failed adapter gasket idea.

Modular head gasket leaks aren't as rare as this particular forum makes it seem. Plenty of info on the topic from the F150 communities. I also had my own breach of some sort on my 5.4 F150. Junked the truck, so never diagnosed it. But it had a severe enough leak to hydrolock a cylinder after every shutdown!

I'd do some extra diagnostics before parts-swapping. But since you already have the adapter gasket... Good luck!
_________________________
2011 Crown Victoria LX - purchased @ 37k miles
currently @ 100k miles
Dark Toreador Red Metallic exterior
Medium Light Stone interior

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#4038752 - 12/04/19 11:54 AM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
Joebob Offline
n00b

Registered: 12/01/19
Posts: 24
Loc: CA
Good thought. Like I said, hoping against hope. I need to change the oil in any case, and it appears that the task isn't that daunting, so by doing this I can tick off this possibility. Also if some of the leakage is occurring when the engine is off, maybe this will take care of it. Worse case, I've spent $9 and an hour or two chasing a red herring. Won't be the first time, probably not the last.

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#4038850 - 12/05/19 11:03 AM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
KYF350 Offline
Climber

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 956
Originally Posted By Joebob
Just purchased a 1995 Crown Vic. Paid what should have been a good price. Car is nice and straight, no rust, a little dirty from sitting for a couple years. Had a dead battery, put in a new one and car started right up with no evidence of dead cylinders or smoke. Oil looked good, no coolant contamination or other evidence of problems. Radiator was low on coolant. Guy said it ran warm climbing hills. I had had an '85 Lincoln Continental about 25 years ago that did the same thing...turned out to be just a plugged radiator. Got that car for about 1/5 the going rate...drove the hell out of it (after fixing the radiator) for several years.

Bought the Crown Vic. Drove it home, about 15 miles. No issues. Temp gauge ran about 1/2 way. Next morning started scrubbing out the interior. Checked coolant...reservoir was empty. Checked oil...looked like coffee with milk. Yuck...I like my coffee and motor oil black (in the case of oil, clear is fine). OK...so I was had. So...

First thought was head gaskets. However, there was no sound of dead cylinder(s) on cranking the engine. Although I'm sure there could be a path for coolant to reach the oil without necessarily entering the combustion chambers. I've also read that there could be an issue with the intake manifolds...could this be what I am experiencing?

My big questions are as follows:
1. I have a task for which I need this car. I need to drive about 15 miles. I'm going to change oil before driving this car again. I've been reading about various snake oil concoctions that are supposed to repair head gaskets. Would one of these be adequate to get the car through a 15 mile trip without damaging the engine more than it may already be damaged?
2. What is the likelihood that there might be some other problem other than the heads or intake manifold (e.g. damaged block) that I might be looking at?
3. After this short trip, should I replace the head gaskets, or cut to the chase and find a good used engine?
I realize it is difficult to give very specific answers without actually looking at an engine, but I'm hoping to draw on the general experience of those who are here.

The reason I purchased this car was because my wife is large and has severe mobility issues, and she remembered having to ride in this model car a couple times, and that it was much easier for her to get into and out of, and was more comfortable than other cars, including our Mercedes.

Thank you in advance for any advice.


I am scanning the archives and IIRC that '95 doesn't have a plastic intake manifold; and if it did, I wouldn't see an occasion where oil and water would mix. Typically a plastic manifold leaks externally. That car has a metal intake and I don't see where it would leak. The MGM in my signature has an aux. transmission cooler that is part of the trailer tow III package.
_________________________
2005 Ford Excursion Eddie Bauer, 4X4, True Blue/Arizona Beige, 6.0 liter PSD, all bells and whistles, 30mm Ford rear anti-sway bar.
2005 Ford F-350 Superduty, 4X4, 6.0 liter PSD, Red, SC, SRW, Lariat, B&W Turnover hitch, all bells and whistles.
2004 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport, Dark shadow grey, SOLD.
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, Mocha, HPP, 173A package, traction assist. Mom's car.

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#4038934 - 12/06/19 02:42 AM Re: There's one born every minute... [Re: Joebob]
TheShadow Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 1770
Loc: SoCal High Desert
1995 was the last year for all-aluminum intake manifolds on the Crown Vics.

If you don't smell combustion gases in the coolant reservoir, you most likely don't have a cracked head. They generally only crack when overheated, mostly from continuous running with low coolant levels, and generally in the combustion chamber dome, which forces gases into the cooling jacket.

You could have a leaky intake manifold gasket, but the most likely result of that would be some coolant leaking through the intake valve(s) into the combustion chamber, which would mostly or completely get burned off, just like most head gasket failures. In that scenario, a small amount might find its way into the oil through the valve and around the piston after the engine is shut off and the cooling system is still pressurized, but not very much at all, I would think

There is an outside possibility of a crack in the cast iron engine block, allowing coolant to spray into the pan. But the only cracked blocks I've ever heard of (never seen one) has been the result of low or no oil causing rod and/or crank bearing failure, rod breakage, and a big hole in the side of the block. I think you would know if that were the case.

Otherwise, there are only a few places that I've ever seen where coolant, or even condensation, could get into the oil. The main culprit would be the oil filter adapter gasket. Out of the dozens I've changed over the years, I think only one had coolant mixing with the oil, though. Most were just leaking oil into the outside.

If you can, rent a coolant pressure tester, and see if that turns up any coolant in the oil. Don't forget that oil is lighter than coolant (and water), so a small amount of draining at the oil pan is necessary to see water. That will work when the engine is off and cold, so no real damage would be done.

Also if you can, pull the plugs and see what they look like. Rent a cylinder compression tester and compare readings between the eight, find out more about the general condition of the engine before you plunk down all the money and effort on a new engine.
_________________________
'95 P71, 5xx,xxx miles, Rebuilt tranny, 2.73. Lives as a cab, and will die as a cab. (Died-FrontEnder)
'96 P71, 640,xxx on original drivetrain. (Now parts car - T-bone & roll)(You should see the roof - A,B & C-pillars chopped on driver side)
New to list: '96 MGM (Nice! @ 35x,xxx), '97 CV P71, '98 CV P71, '00 CV P71, 01 P71 (2 of 'em) '03 CV P71 (Nice so far) (All Ford Zinc Yellow w/Black decals & trim) And the list is growing...........
Taxicab mechanic: I HATE DRIVERS!

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