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2.3L ('83-'97) Crank walk rod knock?

white92ranger

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My 92 2.3 ranger developed a weird sounding rod knock and had brass colored flecks in the oil, so i yanked the engine and pulled off all the main caps and rod caps to check the bearings. only thing i found was a score the 2nd main cap bearing which didn’t explain the rod knock or brass flakes…I figured id pull the thrust bearing to check it and this is what i found…

2D859E7E-5C55-4224-8A32-F70339D83B78.jpeg

A18591AD-6E7A-4B04-BCF2-37A2F8E84F45.jpeg


I assume this is the source of my rod knock and brass colored flakes, right? what would cause this to happen? all the other bearing looked great, including the 2nd half of this bearing.
 


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Uncle Gump

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Been dropping the clutch a bit?
 

pjtoledo

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facing the rear side? it's from the clutch pressure when the pedal is pressed.
 

white92ranger

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facing the rear side? it's from the clutch pressure when the pedal is pressed.
worse side was facing the front.

Been dropping the clutch a bit?
ive only had it for a few thousand miles, im pretty easy on it.

would this cause a consistent knocking at idle? or could this have ruined the wrist pins causing the knock?
 

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front eh? that blows my theory.

did you check front-rear crank end play before disassembling?
what does the crank thrust surface look like?
 

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On some engines the first thing to wear (since it's the last thing to get oil) is the cam bearings, it might be worth pulling the cam and looking at them...
 

white92ranger

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ill have to take a look at the crank thrust bearing surface after work. i didnt officially measure the crank endplay but i did try to move it with a pry bar and it barely moved.

i ended up ordering new pistons, rings, head gasket and head bolts. i really didnt want to pull the head and all the pistons but it seems like thats the only thing that makes sense right now with the engine out.

anyone have tips for installing pistons on the rods?
 

19Walt93

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Yes, have a machine shop install them. Usually they heat the rod gently before pressing the pin in place.
And if you have it out, go completely through it so you don't have to do it over.
 
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white92ranger

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Yes, have a machine shop install them. Usually they heat the rod gently before pressing the pin in place.
thats what i was thinking of doing, hopefully they dont want an arm and a leg. they wanted $2600+tax for a rebuild and that was with me pulling the engine…
 

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Doesnt look hard to do...

 

white92ranger

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for anyone finding this in the future, I put in new rod bearings, main bearings, pistons, and piston rings and it no longer knocks. Main issues I found:

Main thrust bearing was worn on the sides, one main bearing had a relatively deep scratch/groove in it, and what I think the main problem was, the first main bearing (top) had significant wear down to the bronze colored layer in one spot. I didnt bother getting the crank checked out (I actually left it in place). Any minor scratches were polished out with 1200 and 3000 grit sandpaper by hand. the pistons were probably not needed but I replaced them just in case since the engine would need to come back out to replace them.
 

19Walt93

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I worked on a new at the time 78 Pinto with a rod knock caused by too much clearance on the #1 main bearing. I had it apart 3 times, sent the pistons and rods to the machine shop, measured the rod bearing clearance multiple time, and it still knocked. Being new, nothing showed wear. I finally called the tech hotline- 10 digits on a rotary phone and interminable hold times.- and talked to an engineer at the Lima plant. After listening to my story, he told me to put a .003" undersize number 1 main bearing in it. That fixed it, apparently they mismachined some cranks. The piston slap noise wasn't from skirt wear/ side to side, it was from the piston rocking fore and aft in the bore. Bearings were available in standard red, standard blue(.001 tighter), .002 and ,003 undersized.
They don't build cars like they used to, and that's a good thing.
 

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