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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'69 Ford Mustang

Q: My son was driving my ‘69 Mustang with a Ford 302- V8 engine recently when the regular valve lifter noise suddenly became much louder. Shortly thereafter, tremendous volumes of thick white smoke began billowing out of the exhaust like a car from a James Bond movie. At this point the engine began to sound like a bucket of bolts, so we shut it off. After towing the car home I determined that the radiator was empty and the crankcase oil looked like gray mud and was mixed with the glycol from the cooling system. I suspect that an engine gasket has failed, but can this be verified without taking the engine apart piece by piece? Is there a can of something, which I can put in the engine that will fix this problem?

A: I hope your son’s not driving this fine collectable in the New Hampshire winter salt! As for a “mechanic in a can” that you can pour into the engine to correct the gasket failure you’re describing, it doesn’t exist. The real fix is to disassemble the engine and inspect it as you go. Unless the engine has been rebuilt in the past 2 decades, you may want to budget for a full disassembly. It is likely that there is a good amount of wear issues that will come back to haunt you if you don’t do the job completely. (Not to mention the possible bearing damage that may have occurred when the coolant entered the oil.) Anti-freeze does a great job of wrecking engine bearings. The not so sweet part of bearing damage due to anti-freeze is you have not a clue until you have performed the repairs, the engine has been started and the vehicle has about 200 miles on it. Then you get a bearing knock that is much louder than that worn lifter ever dreamed of being. If your son is going to be driving like James Bond you don’t want to hear the engine knocking before he gets to where he’s going. Bite the bullet, do the job right.

 
     
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