• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

2.3L ('83-'97) '97 2.3 Oil leak/burning issue


RangerboyJonah

New Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Indiana
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Transmission
Manual
Hey everyone! I've got a'97 Ranger with 2.3L I4, and it's been a solid first car for me. I've had lots of work to do to it, though. Recently, like the past couple of months, I've noticed that there's a bit of a problem with the oil in the engine. It started around November of last year, and it was blue smoke coming out of the exhaust on startup, and almost worsened in the cold weather. I found out it was valve seals, but now as it's getting warmer, it no longer puffs out blue smoke on startup. I have a sneaky suspicion it's still burning oil, though. I've now found out that both main seals are leaking, and when I had to replace my alternator, I also saw the valve cover gasket was leaking. Searching through Rockauto to find all the seals I need, but I don't have money for everything I need to replace. Any tips for what I need to do first?
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

Dirtman

Former Middleweight Moss Fighting Champion
Supporting Member
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
17,904
Reaction score
11,914
Points
113
Location
41N 75W
Vehicle Year
2009
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
It's up there.
Total Drop
It's down there.
Tire Size
Round.
Besides make a mess, things like a leaking valve cover, or leaking crank main seals really can't harm the engine (unless they leak so much you run out of oil!). Things like bad valve seals don't necessarily harm the engine but all that oil can lead to alot of carbon build-up on the pistons and valves. I'd be inclined to fix the valve seals first BUT its a fairly complicated process that will require you to replace other stuff anyway. (The valve cover, intake manifold, and camshaft seal need to be replaced) So if I were you I would just save until you can afford everything and the downtime required to take on the project. Until then just keep an eye on the oil level
 

RangerboyJonah

New Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Indiana
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Transmission
Manual
Besides make a mess, things like a leaking valve cover, or leaking crank main seals really can't harm the engine (unless they leak so much you run out of oil!). Things like bad valve seals don't necessarily harm the engine but all that oil can lead to alot of carbon build-up on the pistons and valves. I'd be inclined to fix the valve seals first BUT its a fairly complicated process that will require you to replace other stuff anyway. (The valve cover, intake manifold, and camshaft seal need to be replaced) So if I were you I would just save until you can afford everything and the downtime required to take on the project. Until then just keep an eye on the oil level
Thanks for your input! I've been in contact with a family member of mine, and we've been going back and forth over if I should wait to buy everything I need or fix the big things first. His advice was to go ahead and change the valve cover gasket, along with the main seals, and do clutch (cause why on earth not).
 

MikeG

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2020
Messages
1,358
Reaction score
744
Points
113
Location
central Texas
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
B4000
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
2"
Tire Size
235/75r15
Valve cover gasket MUCH easier than front/rear main seal, FYI.

You could replace that and then see how things are going.
 

Woogie

Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
51
Reaction score
10
Points
8
Location
Boise, ID
Vehicle Year
1995
Make / Model
Mazda
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
Replacing the rear main is a huge job, especially if your truck does not have 4WD. Requires pulling the engine or dropping the transmission as I recall. When you do that you might as well replace the clutch and the oil pan gasket at the same time. You want to look at the oil burning issue first because that's what is going to determine whether the rest is worth doing.
 

RangerboyJonah

New Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Indiana
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Transmission
Manual
Replacing the rear main is a huge job, especially if your truck does not have 4WD. Requires pulling the engine or dropping the transmission as I recall. When you do that you might as well replace the clutch and the oil pan gasket at the same time. You want to look at the oil burning issue first because that's what is going to determine whether the rest is worth doing.
I plan on changing the clutch when I change out the main seals. It's had an overheating issue since I bought it. Very first day I had the truck I was learning stick, and the clutch locked up because of how many times I stalled.
 


Top