Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coolant Leak at Timing Chain Cover?

My brother has a 2002 Ford Ranger. He's been having problems with it and took it to the dealer, and they said it has a coolant leak at the timing chain cover. The job would be $1500 because they want to replace everything around the timing chain cover as well. My friend who's a mechanic can change it for me for cheap. My question is, how much is a timing chain cover? I looked and found one website that said $180, another said $20 so im not sure. And about how many hours of labor would it take? If anyone could provide me with a link that would be great, thanks.Coolant Leak at Timing Chain Cover?
First tell your brother that he may have a cracked block inside the cover which could cause the coolant to leak out. There should not be anything but oil inside the cover. Have him check the oil sump for any sign of emulsification. Fifteen hundred clams is a little too stiff. The cover don't need replacing, the gasket does. Before getting the work done make sure you find out where the leak is coming from. A pressure test may help. If any section of the block inside the cover is cracked, you got yourself a serious problem there.Coolant Leak at Timing Chain Cover?
Unless the Cover is Cracked or Damaged it can be reused. To do it right you need Timing Cover Gasket, Water Pump, Timing Belt/Chain, Tension Pulley, Coolant, {Thermostat if it's been Running Hot}, Anti-Seize or Gasket Seal and about 6 to 8 Hours. Dealer told you $1,500 Sounds good, I have shops where you can get everything done for $1,100.Coolant Leak at Timing Chain Cover?
First you need to pinpoint the leak.

You do that by attaching a cooling system pressure testor, which is basically a pump that attached where the radiator cap goes.

You can keep pumping above normal until you find the leak (make sure you have it filled with water, because you won't see it it there is air at the leak.)

You can do this with the cam cover off, so should be able to see the chain and around the chain cover.

(What I fear is that it may be the head gasket, and not anything to do with chain cover at all.)

But a chain cover is not that hard to do.

The hardest part is you need to take the harmonic damper off, and it has a large nut on the end of the crank. (Check if yours is reverse thread as well.)

Finally, I had an odd case with a Mazda engine, where the very front of the head was not one piece with the head. And it had a gasket and cooling passages to it. It looked like the head gasket was bad, but taking the cam sprocket and front of head off, and replacing the gasket, fixed it perfectly.

But this was very odd. I only mention it because you have to be open to all possibilities these days.

The whole job should be less then $700, and don't take it to the dealer. They want to sell cars, not fix them.

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