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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Timing Cover Problems

So, I did something you aren't supposed to do. I bought a car that had work started, but never finished.

I got a good price on a relatively low mile 97 Cougar. The owner had loaned it to his cousin who attempted to replace the water pump gasket. He pulled it apart and walked away.

Upon further inspection, I realized it was the timing cover gasket that was leaking. The bolts were seized to the cover so badly that I had to break it into pieces to get it off and the bolts out.

Long story short, I need new studs. I found a cover, but the two biggest studs are apparently made of unobtainium. I'm in a bind because I need this back together by Tuesday. Any ideas on where to find these things?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omahawg View Post
So, I did something you aren't supposed to do. I bought a car that had work started, but never finished.

I got a good price on a relatively low mile 97 Cougar. The owner had loaned it to his cousin who attempted to replace the water pump gasket. He pulled it apart and walked away.

Upon further inspection, I realized it was the timing cover gasket that was leaking. The bolts were seized to the cover so badly that I had to break it into pieces to get it off and the bolts out.

Long story short, I need new studs. I found a cover, but the two biggest studs are apparently made of unobtainium. I'm in a bind because I need this back together by Tuesday. Any ideas on where to find these things?
Me, personally, I'd start with the guy that sold you the front cover.

From 96, they're the same bolt thru 09, at least with the romeo block.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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I bought it online from an auto recycler in Iowa. I doubt he even remembers the order.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 07:51 AM
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post a pic of what your looking for .if I have it ,you can have it ... shipping not included lol

drive fast!
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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I'll snap some pics when I get home. It doesn't help I'm working all weekend and only have nights to work on the thing. I may have an idea, but I've got to do some double checking on the threads.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 10:54 AM
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You may have to remove the old studs; use a depth caliper to find out how far they go into the block; measure the thickness of the timing chain cover there; figure out how much to allow for washers and nuts; and buy generic studs to replace.

Do NOT buy stainless!

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2017, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Me, personally, I'd start with the guy that sold you the front cover.

From 96, they're the same bolt thru 09, at least with the romeo block.
We are talking 3.8 not 4.6

I am almost certain I have extra studs. I'll look. You can grab them from any RWD (maybe FWD?) 3.8/3.9/4.2 vehicle if you have a junkyard nearby.

Make sure to RTV the studs that go thru the water jacket.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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I went by a dealership earlier. They had to order them, but they'll be here tomorrow morning. For $16.xx a piece, they should be installing themselves, lol.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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I got everything back together, but I'm still leaking coolant like crazy. This is the first time running the car since I got it. The engine seems strong and sounds good. The trans shifts (think I'll change the filter and fluid anyway though).

New problem though:
After topping off the fluids and taking a test drive, the car won't start again.

It was flashing theft from the beginning. It restarted the first several times (gas station, car wash, and autozone), but is now stuck in a Walmart parking lot. The alarm is going off as well (I pulled the relay when I left it there to shut it off). It doesn't have keyless or a transponder key. I'm not sure where to go from here.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 05:38 PM
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Almost sounds like PATS but I don't think the 97's had PATS which is anti-theft that disables the engine. That would only be a concern if the ECU was different from what was originally in the car....but that's not the case so I think maybe there's an additional aftermarket alarm system on it that disables the ignition, I'd find it and remove it.

Where exactly are you leaking coolant? From the water pump area?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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I got the alarm thing sorted. I just unplugged the control box in the trunk. I can't really tell where the leak is, but it's really bad. I must have missed a bolt that needed rtv sealant or something. I did notice a crack in the water pump housing. It's not leaking close to that, but I'll be replacing it anyway. Hopefully that will do it.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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I got the new pump on and I think that fixed it. I noticed something unplugged toward the passenger side of the firewall. Any idea where it goes? I didn't see anywhere it could go.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 08:29 AM
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That's the temp sensor wire for a car with SATC (Semi Automatic Temp Control). If your car doesn't have it then it goes to nothing.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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That's the temp sensor wire for a car with SATC (Semi Automatic Temp Control). If your car doesn't have it then it goes to nothing.
Ok. I was thinking it might be the reason my temp gauge doesn't work.

Update:
While the leak from the front of the engine has been fixed, I found another one. It looks like a hole in a freeze plug. It's on the bottom of the block on the passenger side, close to the transmission. I'm not sure if it can be fixed without pulling the engine. ?
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