3.0 Ford Vulcan B3000 2wd Potassium/Silicon


Aug 8, 2014
Southeast MA
3.0 Ford Vulcan in a Mazda B3000. The last Blackstone report came back 164 ppm potassium, 47 ppm silicon. These numbers have had a steady increase over the past couple of years. Iron came back at 9, copper 0, lead 2.

Note from Blackstone: “unfortunately, potassium and sodium increased again. These levels still don’t show much coolant contamination, but they do show more that there was in previous samples. It still doesn’t look like the coolant is causing much (if any) trouble for the engine’s wearing parts. Suggest sticking with 2,500 mile oil changes to monitor the coolant situation.”

The truck has 96k, Oil Supertech 5w-30. Runs great, no signs of any other issues. Is this a sign of the timing cover case leaking coolant into the oil? Does this level of potassium and silicon warrant a taking apart the water pump/timing chain/timing cover to see what is going on? I am not a fan of any type of stop leak in the cooling system. And I do not have much experience with these Ford Vulcan engines. Google search seems to indicate that some of these have this type of issue.

Do I have someone take it apart for a look see?

Do I keep running 2.5/3k oil changes and monitor through analysis?

Do I just run it until it has an obvious issue?

A new truck is not an option, I would like to keep this for years as a winter vehicle, and work around the yard type truck. Not used for towing. A small pop us is not out of the question at some point. It does get loaded up with camping gear a few times a year, and taken on around New England.

Not sure to post this on Used Oil Analysis or Mechanical. Feel free to move it if not correct.


Site Donor 2021
Jun 1, 2009
The gasket on the coolant passages that go through the timing cover are known to leak. It's not a difficult job, just time consuming.
Oct 20, 2005
Scruffy City
Crawl up under it and look for signs of external leakage at the timing cover to block union. Everyone that I have seen leaking exhibited at least traces on the exterior surfaces... even if it was just a whitish trail.

Note the repair time guides will tell you the oil pan has to come off (the engine has to come out of the truck to get the oil pan off) but that is hogwash. Just be careful not to to damage the rubber oil pan gasket.

You'll need a harmonic balancer puller/installer and a fan clutch wrench, you can "rent" both (or all three depending) of them from the box auto parts stores.

My concern would be that coolant leaks do not generally improve, it is just going to get worse and perhaps fail completely at the most in opportune time.

This is a weekend project without air and a complete set of tools. There is a fair to middling chance the bolts will break. longer it leaks, higher the chance.

Probably be a good time for heater hoses too - they are "special" and not cheap.


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