Coolant leak and pooched front oil pan gasket


Cowboy Ranger

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2001 3.0 2wd auto, 120k mikes. I found antifreeze on my garage floor today. So I strolled under there on my creeper and I can’t tell where it originates from. Water pump / timing chain cover area. While under there I also noticed the oil pan gasket nearly pushed out in the front.

This is a new to me truck and I’ve only put about 300 miles on it since bringing it home. In quickly searching, it seems like the water pump / timing cover is a common problem. Not sure what to think about the pan gasket.

I want to do this right the first time, so any one with experience please advise.
 


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Rearanger

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This is a new to me truck and I’ve only put about 300 miles on it since bringing it home.
I wonder if this issue was "fixed" just before you bought the truck. Replacing the front cover and getting the front of the pan gasket in place was tricky when I had to fix a coolant leak like yours. I ended up with an ill fitting front pan gasket which leaked. I ended up pushing the pan gasket in to create a pocket and just cleaning the sealing surfaces and forcing in RTV, let it dry and it's never leaked again. There is no pressure at the pan gasket.

There are a number of front cover/WP through bolts into the water jacket that need to have sealant applied to their threads before installation, if the previous owner did not pay attention to that, those may be leaking now.

I would recommend doing this over. Pull the front cover and maybe see some more, but plan on new WP and resealing, paying attention to the through bolts. You'll probably need a manual to identify which bolts, but when I did this and had doubt as to the bolt position I just sealed it anyway. You may be able to reposition the pan gasket and not need sealant, but if it leaks you can fix like I did without pulling the front cover again.
 

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I wonder if this issue was "fixed" just before you bought the truck.

I would recommend doing this over. Pull the front cover and maybe see some more, but plan on new WP and resealing, paying attention to the through bolts. You'll probably need a manual to identify which bolts, but when I did this and had doubt as to the bolt position I just sealed it anyway. You may be able to reposition the pan gasket and not need sealant, but if it leaks you can fix like I did without pulling the front cover again.
I think it's a pretty honest truck. Two prior owners - one to 30k miles and the second to 119k miles. I have a lot of the service history and nothing seems sketchy. It was only driven about 3-5k miles / year for the past umpteen years, so I can believe either a bad wp or front cover leak. I drove it 200+ miles on the way home and that was probably the most consecutive miles driven in a day that the truck had seen in quite a while.

I may try loosening the oil pan and pushing the gasket back in, and possibly replace the PCV valve for good measure. I'll also plan on a new WP and reseal including bolts. I have the factory service manual so I'll wade off in it and see what's required.
 

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The bottom corners of the cover where they meet the pan gasket also require sealant.
 

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Ok the motor is coming out in a couple of weeks. Water pump, timing cover gasket, oil pan gasket, valve cover gaskets, intake gasket, front oil seal, hoses. What else while it’s handy??
 

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If you are taking the motor out... I'd check your freeze plugs as well. Spark plugs are nice to check as they can tell you how an engine is running. Depending on where the front O2 sensors are placed on an 01, might want to take a peek as those too. Should be easier to access with engine out.
 

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rear crank seal,, be sure to lube it to prevent dry start damage.
 

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Still on the schedule to do this - I'm hoping two or three more weekends to get after it. I'm not driving it until then. Not looking forward to it, but has to be done and I'm not going to half way do it.
 


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