Joined: 20th Mar 2016
Ride: Ford Fairlane NL
I found already frequently good advise here.
Now I want to write some helpful hints myself regarding things I learned on my
Ford Fairlane NL '97 6 Cylinder 4L to complement advise I found here and elsewere:
But since Australia inherited the liability-craze from the US, here my disclaimer:
I assume no liability for any harm to persons or material resulting from my advise given.
Engine oil leak:
First usual suspect was: sump oil pan.
Problem: Cannot be removed for gasket change without pulling engine or removing K frame underneath.
Instead I dropped the sump oil pan about 1cm after removing the 24 8mm-bolts (for some a socket extension with joints is required) applied, where possible, liquid gasket (Permatex). It would probably have been easier to simply tighten the 24 bolts without removal of sump oil pan...
I still lost a bit of oil.
I read about the timing chain tensioner bolt, which could be the source.
But in search of it, I found a definite and easy to fix oil-leak:
There is a tube between rocker cover (=valve lid) and air-intake.
Only visible after removing the hose from the rocker cover: The hose was torn where it sits on rocker cover.
Oil leak in that area. I cut a bit of hose of, forced a pair of pliers into the hose to widen it after applying a bit of dishwashing liquid to make it slippery and put the hose back on.
Obviously, you could also buy a generic bit of hose instead.
I just did this a moment ago - I hope this solves the oil leak - apart from restoring the function and purpose of the hose to feed positive pressure to the valves.
Automatic Transmission playing up:
While driving normally, suddenly the display was erratically changing from D to N to R to P, while still driving normally - at other times, D really disengaged into Neutral. Luckily the Car was still driveable in 3.
Found the problem: The white inhibitor switch under the car on the transmission fixed with 2 bolts (I think 8mm heads). Problem was my oil leak. Oil was blown while driving into the switch - oil in switch = funny connections and signals generated. Normally cleaning the switch should have sufficed, but the switch was corroded to the rod coming out of the transmission. I had to destroy it to force it off. New switch solved the problem.
No more spark / dizzy:
Suddenly after parking overnight, car could not be started up.
Found that there are no sparks.
Found cable-contacts from ignition coil to dizzy-lid (dizzy = distributor) to be utterly corroded.
Thought, I found problem, swapped for new cable. Still did not work.
Bought new dizzy-lid and dizzy-finger. Still did not work, while I checked: I do get sparks from the ignition coil...
Called in NRMA: Advise: Swap dizzy.
Found more advise: If you swap dizzy, also swap ignition coil.
Ordered both via ebay for a good price from Sydney.
It's a patience-testing piece of work:
Very difficult to access (still after removing airfilter box) and very hard to see.
Important: First, position engine in compression point on No. 1 cylinder: Somebody turns engine-key briefly, while your finger covering the hole (not in the hole!!!) of the removed spark plug (at Ford Fairlane NL it is the one at the very front of car) is being blown away. I did this with the dizzy-lid removed, so that I could see (at the position of the dizzy-finger) that the engine realy stopped at the moment when my finger was blown away from the hole.
Next - very important: Use a permanent marker to mark position of dizzy on motor-block.
use an extension (e.g. long screwdriver to extend the pointing direction of the dizzy-finger to the body of the car and mark the position of the finger(-extension) on the body.
Next - very important: After removing the bolt, which holds dizzy in position, using a lot of ratchet-extensions, pull out the dizzy (finger and cap removed already) very very carefully not to pull out and then drop the hex-oil-pump-drive-connector just under the dizzy. Remember that the oil sump pan cannot be remove to fish it out again. If it happens, I read, people leave it in there an buy a new hex-extension.
Now: Transfer your marking from the old to the new dizzy.
Re-insert dizzy - which will not work, most probably, because the rotated position of the hex-extension is just a little bit out... Murphy's law.
Solution: Carefully turn the hex-extension in the engine block a little bit by using a 8mm socket with an outer diameter of no more than 11.8mm, attached to a lot of thin ratchet-extensions and most importantly: secure the socket with duct-tape to the socket-extension, to be more than 100% sure not to loose the socket in the engine block!!! There are 8mm sockets with an OD of more than 11.8mm - they will not fit into the hole in the engine block. Realign dizzy with marking on engine block after you successfully inserted the dizzy in such a way that the dizzy-finger aligns with the marking on the body.
Next: Swapping the ignition coil:
Partly from underneath the car, partly from above.
Note that there is a earthing cable screwed to the body together with the lower fixing screw of the ignition coil. Do not forget to re-install it when putting the new ignition coil in place. Remove connector from underneath, and lower screw from underneath. Remove upper screw from above, twisting your arm in an impossible way, while not really seeing, what you are doing. It cost me a few hours extra because the bracket of the new ignition coil was slightly out and as I could not see what I am doing, it took long to find out. I instead reused the old bracket, but had to use additional spacers to do so (as new ignition coil was thinner). To reinstall I inserted the lower screw with earthing cable from underneath first, and then the torture from above for the second screw. Reconnect connector.
It worked. Car had spark and started.
If you are lucky, ignition timing is just right.
If you find your timing gun, if you have one, read up elsewhere how to do it.
I did trial and error. Car drove, but had very poor acceleration, as I did not trust my own marking on the dizzy. I had the ignition timing coming in too late. I then drove with a ratchet and extension on board to adjust, until I had my acceleration back, which was exactly where my marking was.
Bleeding brake-fluid:just a short remark:
Order: Left rear, right rear, left front, right front (longest to shortest), and all over again, while making sure to have reservoir always topped up.
I had a dust cap missing on a bleeding screw and had issues bleeding.
Reason: Mud-wasp stuffed it up!
Solution: Remove bleeding screw and clean with wire and air pressure.
Hope this helps someone.
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