Aerostar Head Gasket Replacement

Any way to remove enough of the body so that the a head gasket can be replaced without pulling the engine out thru underneath? Probably not - just wondering....

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Fred,
Your local library will have various auto repair manuals that may help you. I'm sure there is a Hayne's manual for sale at the auto parts store. I doubt that removing the engine will be necessary. Have you looked under the front carpet at the engine access port?
Dave M.
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On Tue, 7 Apr 2015 12:55:58 -0700, "Fred James"

No way to remove body parts to make clearance.
It IS possible to replace the heads without removing the engine:
Remove right front seat
2.Remove anti-skid brake module from under dash, leave wires connected.
3.Remove interior engine cover
4.Remove battery
5.Drain coolant
6.Remove air intake tube off engine
1.Remove air flow sensor electrical connector
2.Remove air temp sensor electrical connector
3.Disconnect vent tube to oil filler base
4.Remove air filter cover, and air filter
5.Remove lower air box
7.Remove serpentine belt.
1.Note routing if your under hood sticker is gone.
8.Remove throttle body cover
1.Tape screws to cover.
9.Remove upper radiator hose
10.Remove alternator, three bolts, set on inner fender where air box was.
1.Put bolts back in alternator, secure them with tape.
2.Do not need to disconnect any electrical connections.
11.Remove vent tube from oil filler base
12.Remove oil filler hose
13.Remove belt tensioner.
14.Remove bracket that holds alternator, tensioner, Idler pulley.
1.Keep three bolts with bracket
15.Remove heater hose from manifold
16.Remove AC compressor
1.Do not disconnect refrigerant lines
2.Rear top bolt has stud for dipstick tube
3.Remove ty wrap from hoses
4.Set compressor in battery tray.
5.Keep four bolts with compressor
17.Remove thermostat housing.
1.Keep three bolts with housing, or in labeled bag
18.Remove hose from throttle body to evaporative cannister
1.hose plugs into nipple on bottom of throttle body, and aft end of cannister
2.square “u” end of hose is by throttle body
19.Disconnect two electrical plugs near center top of engine compartment
1.Release connector half from body sheet metal.
20.Remove Idle Air control motor from upper manifold.
1.Put in bag with bolts
2.Label electrical connector.
21.Remove DPFE sensor.
1.Two vacuum lines on bottom, go to pipe connecting exhaust manifold to EGR valve. You can remove this pipe, and keep it with DPFE sensor. A 1 1/16 wrench fits nuts on pipe
2.Label electrical connector.
22.Remove EGR vacuum valve screws, vacuum tube from top.
1.Label     vacuum hose.
23.Remove power steering pump bracket, with pump
1.done to get access to oil dipstick tube
Remove EGR pipe to manifold.
24. Remove left side spark plug wires. Note routing
25. Remove right side spark plug wires. Note routing.
26. Remove primary electrical connector on coil pack.
27. Remove transmission dipstick tube.
1.Held by nut on right valve cover stud. Stud located on rear of valve cover, toward center of engine.
2.Tube goes through throttle cables
28.Remove coil pack, out through the rear interior opening.
1.Four small Torx head screws, keep with coil pack, or label in bag.
29.Move throttle cables, and bracket to battery tray.
30.Remove two vacuum hoses from upper manifold.
1.One is PCV hose.
2.One goes to rubber mounted device on upper manifold
31.Unbolt “rubber mounted device” from upper manifold
32.Remove coil pack bracket.
1.Has one single wire electrical terminal.
2.Two bolts go into upper manifold.
3.One bolt goes into right cylinder head, above exhaust port.
33.Remove six nuts for upper manifold.
1.Two inner rear nuts also hold bracket for transmission dipstick tube.
34.Remove upper manifold.
1.After it is pulled out, partially, disconnect brake booster hose.
35.Remove fuel rail
1.Bleed fuel pressure off.
2.Disconnect supply, return fuel lines
3.Remove remove fuel rail/upper manifold bolts.
1.Need female torx E-7 socket to remove.
4.Leave injectors plugged into electrical
5.Work fuel injectors out of fuel rail
6.Work fuel rail off engine.
36.Work fuel injectors out of lower manifold
37.Disconnect wire harness from engine
1.remove two temp senders connectors from lower intake manifold
2.Remove oil pressure sender connector.
3.Remove crank position sensor connector.
1.CPS wire secured on right side of timing chain cover
4.Disconnect black, with white stripe vacuum hose from black/white disk.
5.Lay towel on floor inside van, carefully pull wire harness into passenger compartment.
38.Remove valve covers
1.Inner back hole on valve cover has stud instead of bolt.
39.Remove rocker arms.
1.Loosen three bolts together, one turn at a time.
40.Remove pushrods
1.Keep in order.
41.Remove lower intake manifold bolts
42.Remove lower intake manifold.
43.Remove exhaust manifold bolts
44.Remove head bolts
45.Remove ground wire from right cylinder head
46.Remove cylinder heads.
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

SNIP

You haven't by any chance done this before ?
--
Snag



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Terry Coombs wrote:

I'm thinking he lost a special bolt in an inaccessible place and never forgot it. I wish I was that organized.
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On Tue, 07 Apr 2015 21:03:20 -0500, Dean Hoffman

No, but when I lost a valve retainer working on a Hilux deisel in a dirt floored shop in Ouagadougu Burkina Faso, I was really reminded how important it is to be meticulously organized. After exhausting all possible sources of replacement parts I went back and after going through the whole shop with a fine toothe comb (almost litterally) I finally found it.
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wrote:

Not personally. I got the instructions off the internet. My brother had to do the heads on his and I knew he did it in the truck so I looked for the instructions.
My Aerostars were both 3 liter engines. I got changing plugs down to a 20 minute job on a cold engine. I changed the rear U'Joint on my back in a parking lot in Flint Michigan. I replaced the shift servo seals on the automatic on my back in my driveway.
All of the work I did on Aerostars was after I had left the automotive trade as my major source of income for the computer business.
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Any way to remove enough of the body so that the a head gasket can be replaced without pulling the engine out thru underneath? Probably not - just wondering....
After several replies, you could remove the grille and stuff in front of the engine, then take out through the front. One seldom drops the engine out the bottom, although it could happen.
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-

of the

out the

3 choices from the mechanic....
Complete used engine with 125K miles, 6 mo parts warranty - $2500 Complete used engine with 125K miles, 1 yr parts & labor warranty - $2650 Heads only $2400 Could not find a rebuilt engine
Talked with another mechanic known for many years.... I wanted him to check it and be sure it was a head gasket. Right away when he was milky coolant, he said it was a head gasket recommended getting rid of it. He knew there were other problems - PS, heater, control arm bushings for starters. Plus possibly trans down the road.
I'll look around and see what's out there. But with the choice of spending $3500 fixing this one or $10K+ on a newer van, I'll stay with the old one.
Cost after 5 years SWAG:
Fix old one -- $3500 repairs + $3K future repairs + $350 registration = $6850.
Cost for trading to later mode -- $10K - $1K old sold + $1500 future repairs + $810 sales tax + $1K registration. $14,310.
Rough estimate of the cost of $10K one..... $10K less $1000 sell to state or junk yard = $9K cost. Plus $810 sales tax, plus $200/year registration.\
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3 choices from the mechanic....
Complete used engine with 125K miles, 6 mo parts warranty - $2500 Complete used engine with 125K miles, 1 yr parts & labor warranty - $2650 Heads only $2400 Could not find a rebuilt engine
Talked with another mechanic known for many years.... I wanted him to check it and be sure it was a head gasket. Right away when he was milky coolant, he said it was a head gasket recommended getting rid of it. He knew there were other problems - PS, heater, control arm bushings for starters. Plus possibly trans down the road.
I'll look around and see what's out there. But with the choice of spending $3500 fixing this one or $10K+ on a newer van, I'll stay with the old one.
Cost after 5 years SWAG:
Fix old one -- $3500 repairs + $3K future repairs + $350 registration $6850.
Cost for trading to later mode -- $10K - $1K old sold + $1500 future repairs + $810 sales tax + $1K registration. $14,310.
Rough estimate of the cost of $10K one..... $10K less $1000 sell to state or junk yard = $9K cost. Plus $810 sales tax, plus $200/year registration.\
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I'm confused. You asked if the head gaskets can be replaced by removing body panels to gain access instead of by taking the engine out.through the bottom. My reply was that you remove the grille and take the engine out through the front. To that, you list up options that all are replacing the engine in one way or another, and this brings us back to taking it out through the front. My answer is the same, even if your options are different.
Quite frankly, you should scrap this car. Here's why, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has no aftermarket CATs that it certifies for this car. This means that when you need a new CAT, you must get them from Ford for a cost that is probably greater than the value of the car.
I do not know where you are, nor do I care. The point is that there are no replacement CATs that are good enough to make CARB happy, and (like a woman), if CARB aint happy, aint nobody happy. If you are outside of Calif., and you buy an aftermarket CAT, it will not last and it will not work -- two issues that CARB insists upon to certify for use.
Good luck.
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On Thu, 9 Apr 2015 16:22:53 -0700, "Jeff Strickland"

Why would you pull the engine out the front? Only if you have no hoist!! The engine comes out the bottom so much more easily - and so much faster. Goes in a lot easier too. But for heads alone, no need to pull it out.

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On Thu, 09 Apr 2015 20:24:09 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

In fact, I don't believe it is even possible to get a 4.0 liter out the front. A 3.0 is bad enough to wrangle out. Getting the pulley out over the front frame without putting the block through the dash/cowl is more than one trick.
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be

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coolant,

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one.

repairs

state or

registration.\

removing body

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-- two

http://www.rockauto.com/dbphp/x,carcode,1105175,parttype,5808,d,1996_FORD _AEROSTAR_3.0L_V6_Catalytic_Converter.html
EASTERN CATALYTIC Part # 830856 More Info Direct Fit. Center; Series 830800; E.O # D-665-16; Legal Note In Compliance with the state of CA & NY (vehicles with CA Emissions); Engine Family: TFM3.028G1GK; CARB FTB STD: TIER1. $292.79
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message

http://www.rockauto.com/dbphp/x,carcode,1105175,parttype,5808,d,1996_FORD_AEROSTAR_3.0L_V6_Catalytic_Converter.html
EASTERN CATALYTIC Part # 830856 More Info Direct Fit. Center; Series 830800; E.O # D-665-16; Legal Note In Compliance with the state of CA & NY (vehicles with CA Emissions); Engine Family: TFM3.028G1GK; CARB FTB STD: TIER1. $292.79
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
That's new, sorta. When my brother in law had an Aerostar, he could not get a CAT without going to the dealer.
There are specific engines listed, maybe his engine was not one of these. I do not know, and he does not have the car anymore.
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On Sat, 11 Apr 2015 09:42:15 -0700, "Jeff Strickland"

I believe there was a time early on where the only direct fit aftermarket cat for the 4.0 Aerostar had a faulty reduction catalyst (did not process NOx very well) but that was fixed over 10 years ago. Back then, most cats were still under warranty so there was no great incentive for the aftermarket to spend a lot of resources on it. I believe it was only for 1996 and 1997 OBD2 vehicles - the 1989-95 used a different cat with only 1 O2 sensor, while the 96-97 required 2 O2 sensor bungs. IIRC, the replacement '96-'97 cat was later supplied for the earlier models with a plug to fill the after-cat O2 bung.
Don't remember if the problem affected the 3.0 engines as well or not
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I am not sure which engine my brother in law had, but it was nowhere near ten years ago when I spoke to the BAR in Calif., about options for an Aerostar that did not pass smog. There are many non-approved aftermarket CATs out there, but the only one I could get that was approved was from the dealer channel.
The point is, before the OP embarks on an expensive service, he might consider future costs and availability of parts, such as the CAT. My brother in law scrapped his Aerostar because it was a pile of crap, and needed a very expensive part. If somebody has a nice specimen that is worth repairing today, but has exposure to future costs the might be encurred before the current repairs ammortize out, then maybe current repairs should be deferred. I'm just giving a data point to cover. If it covers, then fine. If it does not cover, then, you're welcome for the information.
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4-7-15 Any way to remove enough of the body so that the a head gasket can be replaced without pulling the engine out thru underneath? Probably not - just wondering....
8-26-15 Spent 4 months screwing around with checking this and that and going to the shade tree and chain garage places.... Finally took to a mechanic I got from a good referral. I asked the cost of head gasket and it was in the $700-800 range. "But first" he said... we should check compression, etc., etc... Gave some warnings about replacing it and the possibly of damaging the rings.
Long story short - head gasket was fine. A couple of bad spark plugs.
Moral of the story -- forget the home-brew stuff unless it's a hobby or you have experience, and take 3/4 of what you read on line as coming from people who know less about something than you do......
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