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Old 01-30-2003, 18:51   #1 (permalink)
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Question EA 3.9L motor rebuild

Hey guys,

I am sick of all the problems with my car at the moment, so i'm gunna get a heap of parts together then take a week off work and work on my car till it's all fixed.

Anyway, the problems i have are: Smoke (exhaust), Starter throwout not engaging, poor starting when warm outside, distributor 6 pin plug faulty, rocker gear tappy, motor and tranny oil leaks, rear shockers noisey, window seals jam windows, small whine noise from transmission or diff (not sure which, mainly in first, and starting in second now), evaporator box leaks from fan speed regulator (probably drain hole blocked), ambient temp sensor not working, and gutless!

WOW! I didn't realise there was that much wrong with my car till i listed them!

Anyway, I will be starting work on all these things when the weather cools down and was just wondering if anyone had any hints on doing any of these things, such as, what's the most common points for oil leaks in motor and tranny, is a small whine noise from tranny normal? Can the rings be done without removing the motor from the car but by just raising it a bit? Where can i get window seals from other than ford (they want to charge me about $60 a door!)? Can the evap box come out from under the dash without undoing air con pipes? What can cause the hard start? (I know this has been covered heaps lately, sorry!)

I think that's all I will ask for now! I will probably think of more later! My old man has been a mechanic for 30 years and he reckons that i can do the rings with the motor in the car. I dont think he'll change his mind cause he's one of those stubborn fathers :)

Anyway, thanks for any replies. I just wanna have my car off the road once and do everything at once, not have to keep pulling it apart and stuff. Especially since it is MPFI and the intake makes it a pain in the arse to get anything under it done!
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EA Fairmont Ghia : 3.9L MPFI, 2.5" cat back sports exhaust, K&N panel filter. Pioneer head unit, pioneer 4" three way fronts, Pioneer 6" 3 way rears, 2x 12" subs, blue interior light.
My main pride and joy : '76 XB Fairmont GS, 250CI, 140,000 Km and all stock.... for now! (Factory air-con on the way)
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Old 01-30-2003, 19:18   #2 (permalink)
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if the K-frame can be unbolted ( never bothered to look ) and the sump dropped off your engine you can do the rings from there...however to fix the leaks, lash adjusters, replace rings and bearings it would be so much easier with the engine out of the car. Will you be doing any performance mods while it is off the road?

they usually leak oil around the timing cover gasket, sump gasket, front and rear crank seals, basically anywhere there is a gasket the 3.9 finds a way to leak oil lol j/k

anyway good luck with it!
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Old 01-30-2003, 20:12   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for that. I was thinking that too, but i'll probably keep it in the car, or i'll just try and make it hard to get at and I will have to take it out :) Old man thinks he knows it all. lol.

I am picking up another 3.9L head tonight from the wreckers, Hope it's in better condition than the last, so I can get all that head ready to just bolt on once i pull the car apart.

I would like to do some mods, but I cant afford it at the moment. I would like to know if there was some things i could do that aren't too expensive that would improve performance. Everything I can think of costs too much (cam, chip etc.) I have a friend who reckons it's easy to match port it myself with a die grinder cause he used to build up cars to be like old GT's and stuff, but i'm not too sure anymore, and not too sure if it will make a noticable difference to performance and economy...
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My main pride and joy : '76 XB Fairmont GS, 250CI, 140,000 Km and all stock.... for now! (Factory air-con on the way)
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Old 01-30-2003, 20:22   #4 (permalink)
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I am picking up another 3.9L head tonight from the wreckers, Hope it's in better condition than the last, so I can get all that head ready to just bolt on once i pull the car apart.
Save yourself some dosh and take your old head to a engine reconditioner. For about $180-$200 they will change the valve seals, machine the head, pressure test, check clearances, acid dip, etc etc etc. Will be MUCH better then any crappy head a wrecker tries selling to you for $300.

Without prior knowledge of where to port and without a flow tester I wouldn't recommend you port the head yourself. Otherwise you could make the flow worse, or make the flow good on some of the ports and not all of them.
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Old 01-30-2003, 20:30   #5 (permalink)
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I thought that about porting. I am getting a head from the wreckers for $90 (only if it look decent tho) with rocker gear and cam, then getting it pressure tested and stuff for about $50 i think the place charges. My head at the moment ha corroded water jackets and stuff 2 years ago when I first put it on cause when i bought the car it had a cracked head. So I will be getting a head that's better than this one and replacing the seals etc. and dad has a valve and seat grinder at home...
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My main pride and joy : '76 XB Fairmont GS, 250CI, 140,000 Km and all stock.... for now! (Factory air-con on the way)
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Old 01-30-2003, 20:47   #6 (permalink)
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Oh, and by the way, i did price a reco head here and the price was $550! $90 + $50 doesnt sound too bad then!
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EA Fairmont Ghia : 3.9L MPFI, 2.5" cat back sports exhaust, K&N panel filter. Pioneer head unit, pioneer 4" three way fronts, Pioneer 6" 3 way rears, 2x 12" subs, blue interior light.
My main pride and joy : '76 XB Fairmont GS, 250CI, 140,000 Km and all stock.... for now! (Factory air-con on the way)
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Old 01-31-2003, 07:11   #7 (permalink)
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Oh, and by the way, i did price a reco head here and the price was $550! $90 + $50 doesnt sound too bad then!
Pfft... as they say on the castle "Tell 'im, he's dreamin"

I got mine done for $160 + $20 for valve seals. That included acid dip, clearances checked, valve seals replaced, head surfaced machined plus a whole load of other stuff i can't remember. When I got the head back it look as good as new, and compression was right up.

Another place quoted $220 for the same job. Shop around a bit more
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Old 02-02-2003, 15:15   #8 (permalink)
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I have decided to just get my head done, cause after seeing two at the wreckers that were stuffed, i thought it would be safer to do mine. I will have to shop around for a better price. thanks for that info...
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EA Fairmont Ghia : 3.9L MPFI, 2.5" cat back sports exhaust, K&N panel filter. Pioneer head unit, pioneer 4" three way fronts, Pioneer 6" 3 way rears, 2x 12" subs, blue interior light.
My main pride and joy : '76 XB Fairmont GS, 250CI, 140,000 Km and all stock.... for now! (Factory air-con on the way)
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