Troubleshooting lower engine

My 93 Aerostar blew a head gasket on the freeway, smoked like a house a fir, then coasted to a stop. When I turned the ignition on, I could hear the starter turning but not
turning over the engine. Solenoid, etc. were all OK.
Then, after opening it up, I saw that the timing chain was OK, but a couple of teeth were gone. I'm pretty sure that the valves, etc. are OK, but that's as far as I can get without going to a shop.
The question is.... what's the chance that the cylinders, etc. down below might be in bad shape? Seized, etc? Any way to tell without actually removing the head?
Thanks!
Fred
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PS - I can't check the compression as is because of a blown head gasket.

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Sorry Fred but I think your best bet is to take it to someone who knows more that you about Aerostars. The timing chain is OK but a couple of teeth were gone? WTF kind of logic is that? None of the engines used in 93 Aerostars were known for timing chain problems, but it wouldn't hurt if you mentioned the engine you have. Bob
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someone who knows more

couple of teeth were

in 93 Aerostars

if you mentioned

Howdy Bob. What I meant was... the chain itself was intact (not broken). The reason it was slipping was that the teeth on the shaft were broken off. That sounds odd to me - I've always seen the chain break. Engine is 3.0.
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Fred wrote:

Don't quite know why your asking this in this manner. Its obvious if you blew a head gasket the heads have to come off. As i see it, you pull the heads off first and check for valve and piston damage. If they look good, you take the heads to a machine shop and get them gone through. Then you change the timing chain and gears and see what you got.
You could put the timing chain and gears on first and do a compression test, but why? If the head gasket is gone your going to get bogus readings in those cylinders anyway.
Now, if your not doing this yourself and paying a mechanic to do it all, it comes down to how good of condition the truck is in and how much you like it. Talk to some independent shops and ask them for a ESTIMATE on how much to do the heads and the timing set. Keep in mind this is a guess, and that the actual damage will set the final price. If i were doing it and the truck was in good shape, i would have the valves ground and new guides put in.
Bob
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Thanks, Bob.
Update....
I just got back from the garage. Turns out the timing chain had loosened and worked itself off the sprockets. Chain and sprockets were OK, but in the process the head gasket had blown.
They installed a new timing chain instead of going the head-route first. If we had replaced the head gasket first, we still would have had to install the timing chain before we could check the compression. Turns out doing it this way saved me mucho denaros in the check-out stage.
After they put on the new chain, they said there was some noise coming from the lower engine but couldn't tell what it was. Said it probably wasn't worth the money to go any further. (These are decent, honest mechanics I have been using for 10 years. They could always be wrong, but I trust their honesty.)
Anyway, this is where I am....
I can't justify paying anyone else to work on the van. I'm a weekend shade tree mechanic and could pull the heads as long as I don't have to pull the engine out of the car.
QUESTION IS NOW..... How hard is it to pull the heads? This engine is way back there up under the dashboard. Would I need to pull the engine out of the van or could I remove the heads with it still bolted down?
Fred

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Fred wrote:

I have never pulled the heads on a anteater. It all comes down to access toward the firewall side. It will be tight. So, you have a good timing chain now, but still have a bad head gasket? did they do a compression check? Is it running?
Bob
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I had an Aerostar and still have a Chiltons manual for it. According to the book the lower suspension and the frame have to be removed to get the engine out in order for the heads to be removed. This is a major undertaking so I would think that a job of this size would warrant a new shortblock. Body and transmission condition would have to be considered given the work and cost required. As a byline, the transmission planetary gearsets on these were underbuilt till the '94 model year. They came apart and metal shavings would destroy the transmission. I caught the problem in my '89 before it actually came apart. Repair guy showed me the removed part and showed how loose it had become and how it would come break apart.
BOB URZ wrote:

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Thanks, folks. Appreciate the info. Sounds to me like its a good time for me to bail out.

According to the book the

the engine out in order for

would think that a job of

transmission condition would have

byline, the transmission

model year. They came apart

caught the problem in my '89

removed part and showed how

chain
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first,
before
this way

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been
trust
I'm

as
car.
heads?
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comes down

bad
running?
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chain
and
had
first,
before
way
some
what it

trust
I'm
as
Would
remove
THAT'S A GREAT HELP!! It all comes down

ASKING BOB. It will be tight. THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!

have a bad

BOB. Is it running? NO BOB. IT HAS A BAD HEAD GASKET, REMEMBER?
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