98 Taurus: water in oil

1998 Ford Taurus 3.0 V6 OHV
Daughter ran the car hot for about 2 miles - 35MPH max, came home and shut off engine. Made no sounds other than steam - no bearing wash I
believe.
Radiator is empty and water is clearly in the oil - pulled dipstick. I'm thinking a blown head gasket. I drain the oil (about 3 gallons of oil/water mixture) - looks just like chocolate milk.
I take the intake(upper/lower) off and inspect the gaskets. They look fine.
Take both heads off and both head gaskets look fine. Now, I'm a bit concerned. Crack in the block? It looks fine around where the heads bolt up.
A friend, retired GM mechanic said he's seen a few cases where the front cover (covering timing chain/belt) can leak water into the engine. Other than an obvious crack, how would I determine if this is the source of my water into the engine?
Any other thoughts?
One other thing. The water pump impeller had a couple blades that looked like they were "peeling" away. And where the impeller and front cover meet, it looks like a groove has been ground (in a circle) in the front cover.
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I think you either need to take the engine out and have it professionally rebuilt or get a replacement engine. The fact of the matter is that you probably have damage to the main and rob bearings. Plus, the water may have been in the oil longer than you think. Unless there was a wide open crack that developed suddenly, there was probably water in the oil for a few hindered miles, at least.
Jeff
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Jeff wrote:

The car has been sitting for about 2 years. It just came out of the shop and received an oil change. Nothing was noted during this time, so I doubt this was a slow leak, rather, it just happened. I believe it has about 2 miles on it when the leak occurred. There's a deep gouge where the hole is like one of the separating blades (off the impeller) finally broke off and created the hole.
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Being a 3.0 instead of a 3.8 gives you a running chance. Put a new front cover and waterpump on it, put it back together and put a quart of MMO in with the first oil. Use cheap oil if you like - it will only be in long enough to get it good and warm. My recommendation is 10W40 or straight 30 with the MMO. Drive the car untill fully warmed up (gently) then let idle for about 10 minutes before draining the oil. Then put in 5w30 and Lucas oil stabilizer. Change after 1000 miles.

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TC wrote:

Well, I cleaned all the gunk out of those carved grooves in the front cover and found a sizeable hole - about the size of a ball-point pen tip. Ugh!!!
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Okay, that hole behind the water pump certainly explains the coolant in the oil source - you hope. Put the cooling system back together, pump it up with air and check for any other leaks.
If you are not sure how long the coolant had been in the oil, myself I'd drop the oil pan and take a look around in the bottom end, perhaps take off a few bearing caps and look for signs of oil starvation and scuffing wear. Special attention to the main bearings at the far end of the oil galleries - they will get the least oil.
If it all looks good - no scoring the cylinder walls, heads nice and flat, etc., button the engine back up and run it - but do a baseline cylinder leakdown test and compression check, pull the valve covers with the engine running and make sure you have oil to the far ends of the rocker galleries.
If the car doesn't have both dashboard water temperature and oil pressure gauges (only idiot lights) mount mechanical gauges where you can watch them while driving.
Watch it carefully for several weeks, monitor /all/ the fluids on /every/ startup and shutdown...
This would NOT be the time to let the wife or daughter drive the car around, because they are more likely to miss the signs and symptoms of more serious problems developing until it's too late.
I've always wondered why cars don't monitor coolant pressure as well as temperature - that can flag leaks like you had. If the pressure doesn't jive with the temperature, there's a leak somewhere. It would be trivial for the ECU to spot a temperature/pressure mis-match and flag a slow leak or a bad radiator cap.
--<< Bruce >>--
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Just providing an update:
Engine is back together. I put in oil and quart of engine cleaner, ran for 10 min and drained. I then added a new oil filter, 10w30 oil and 1/2 qt Lucas Oil treatment.
The vehicle has 300 miles since the fix and everything is doing well. The oil looks nice and clean. I'm going to change the oil again at 1000 miles.
About the only thing I need to do (again), is flush the cooling system which still has some oil residue.
Shop estimate: $1,200.00 Me (parts & tools I needed to buy): less than $500
One final note, this was a very labor intensive job.
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TC wrote:

they recommend these days, to make sure its nice and tight. This needs to be done so it will last longer and wont burn out earlier. It will then be a top job!
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wrote:

"stretch" bolts, which I believe are both standard on that engine??
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clare at snyder.on.ca wrote:

plus or minus 10 percent and this was advised for engines in the 60's. So is it a furphy whats being advised these days or am I being super suspicious of the engine manufacturers motives?
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