Preventing imminent engine failure

Messages
124
Location
College Park, MD
I have a 2001 Mercury Sable LS Premium with the 3.0L Duratec (more like Failtec) engine. I have owned this car since new and have religiously changed the oil every 5000 miles with Mobil 1 5w-30 and the cams look as clean as ever from peeking inside the valve cover. No pitting and almost no scoring on the camshafts over the last 163,000 miles of this engine. The car is driven gently and carefully and it is in excellent condition except for one minor detail: the wrist pin on cylinder 3 is dead or dying. The engine burns a lot of oil (something that has significantly gone down since my mechanic added BG RF7 and Liqui Moly to the engine), especially at start up. It is not economical to rebuild this engine at this point unless somebody convinces me otherwise. I have a repair estimate of $6500 from two local repair shops. I am planning on running Castrol Syntec 5w-50 with Liqui Moly next oil change to prevent further wear due to the high viscosity nature of the oil in question. I would like to hear some of the oil experts here chime in on what they think is the most appropriate course of action from here. I appreciate your help.
 
Messages
2,804
Location
NJ
Fords love moly, if you use Motorcraft oil it has high concentrates(or higher) of Moly than other oils, especially Mobil 1. Your engine is clean and it shows with the use of M1 but give it some moly with MC and the additive for an oil change or two, then go strictly Motorcraft and see if the problem has gone away. I am sure others here will give you a lot more in terms of suggestions but I'm going with the simplest one I know of for you.
 
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4,433
Location
Massachusetts
I would run a high mileage 10W30 or possibly a 10W40 before going to a 5W50. I've had good luck with Supertech HM. PZ HM is on sale at WalMart for $13. Give that a try! FWIW, $6500 for an engine job on your car is excessive. A good used (<80K miles) 3.0L Duratec in New England goes for about $600-$750. Even at $2000 for labor, you're still less than half that quote. Good luck.
 
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14,776
Location
Illinois
Your engine is toast. If you have a bad cylinder because of wrist pin failure it's done for. No oil will fix that.
 

djlinux64

Thread starter
Messages
124
Location
College Park, MD
 Originally Posted By: tig1
Your engine is toast. If you have a bad cylinder because of wrist pin failure it's done for. No oil will fix that.
The engine still runs smoothly and there is no visible smoke (yet). It seems that the compression has gone down but is still within acceptable levels. Only a leak down test can tell.
 
Last edited:

djlinux64

Thread starter
Messages
124
Location
College Park, MD
 Originally Posted By: Zaedock
I would run a high mileage 10W30 or possibly a 10W40 before going to a 5W50. I've had good luck with Supertech HM. PZ HM is on sale at WalMart for $13. Give that a try! FWIW, $6500 for an engine job on your car is excessive. A good used (<80K miles) 3.0L Duratec in New England goes for about $600-$750. Even at $2000 for labor, you're still less than half that quote. Good luck.
Mercury service departments around Washington D.C. are trying to rob everyone they can these days for cash. Re-manufactured engines go for around $1300. I will consider one of those.
 

djlinux64

Thread starter
Messages
124
Location
College Park, MD
 Originally Posted By: Anies
Fords love moly, if you use Motorcraft oil it has high concentrates(or higher) of Moly than other oils, especially Mobil 1. Your engine is clean and it shows with the use of M1 but give it some moly with MC and the additive for an oil change or two, then go strictly Motorcraft and see if the problem has gone away. I am sure others here will give you a lot more in terms of suggestions but I'm going with the simplest one I know of for you.
Sounds good. I'll see where I can get some at a reasonable price here around Washington D.C.
 
Messages
691
Location
Aridzona
 Originally Posted By: djlinux64
 Originally Posted By: tig1
Your engine is toast. If you have a bad cylinder because of wrist pin failure it's done for. No oil will fix that.
The engine still runs smoothly and there is no visible smoke (yet). It seems that the compression has gone down but is still within acceptable levels. Only a leak down test can tell.
Fair enough. Perhaps another way of saying it is: "No oil on earth will stabilize the engine." Severe damage like this usually creeps along for a while before cascading rapidly to total failure. IMO, you may be able to slightly delay the crash, but it IS coming, soon. Good luck.
 
Messages
1,038
Location
midwest
Drive the car until the engine fails. You may be able to get it to 200k miles. When the engine fails recycle the car, and get yourself a new car. Don't spend $6500 on a car with that kind of mileage.
 

djlinux64

Thread starter
Messages
124
Location
College Park, MD
 Originally Posted By: Geonerd
 Originally Posted By: djlinux64
 Originally Posted By: tig1
Your engine is toast. If you have a bad cylinder because of wrist pin failure it's done for. No oil will fix that.
The engine still runs smoothly and there is no visible smoke (yet). It seems that the compression has gone down but is still within acceptable levels. Only a leak down test can tell.
Fair enough. Perhaps another way of saying it is: "No oil on earth will stabilize the engine." Severe damage like this usually creeps along for a while before cascading rapidly to total failure. IMO, you may be able to slightly delay the crash, but it IS coming, soon. Good luck.
I am aware of this impending doom. The question that remains is how can I delay it!
 
Messages
2,759
Location
CarMax
Is the engine failure imminent or not? If not, do whatever you have to do to keep it running. If it is, you need to decide if the rest of the car is worth keeping on the road. $6500 seems excessively over-the-top for a rebuild. You could buy a rebuilt 3.0L for about $2600, install it and save $3000 or so. I'd definitely pursue the used engine idea. Nice thing about the Duratec is they were still in production until recently, so there should be a good inventory of solid engines to buy. The car with a good engine is worth about $2000 wholesale. Some say if a repair costs more than 50% of the car's wholesale/trade in value, it's not worth fixing. It's your call if you feel the rest of the car is solid, but if it were me I'd look for the least expensive solution possible. Good luck, hope it all works out OK for you.
 
Messages
3,756
Location
CA
Keep a fire extinguisher with you. Once it puts a rod through the block any oil on the exhaust usually ignites. I would run the thickest straight weight you can safely run in your climate assuming the noise gets worse as the engine gets hot.
 

djlinux64

Thread starter
Messages
124
Location
College Park, MD
 Originally Posted By: BuickGN
Keep a fire extinguisher with you. Once it puts a rod through the block any oil on the exhaust usually ignites. I would run the thickest straight weight you can safely run in your climate assuming the noise gets worse as the engine gets hot.
Any recommendations for fire extinguisher type?
 
Messages
2,804
Location
NJ
Most oils are good, but if their additive of Moly helped the problem I'd run a moly rich oil and add some more for a short time. Give it more of the medicine that helps, not something doesn't(not saying its a bad oil, but their additive helped so why not).
 
Messages
4,830
Location
Kansas
 Originally Posted By: djlinux64
I would like to hear some of the oil experts here chime in on what they think is the most appropriate course of action from here. I appreciate your help.
I would not consider myself an oil expert, but..... Drive it until the tranny shells out. Then scrap the car.
 
Messages
528
Location
Kansas
Just drive it until it pukes. If the car is only worth $2k, its already considered salvaged if the repair costs are $6500. Save the money on a downpayment.
 
Messages
889
Location
El Oeste
$6500 is highway robbery. I'm angry just reading that. I would get out the yellow pages and call around to some salvage yards and look for a replacement. I bet a few hundred dollars would do it. $2000 to install it seems very high too. I would call around some independent shops and get some quotes. Say it all adds up to $1800. I look at that as 6 months of $300 payments on a new car. Would your car with the updated engine last that long? It sounds like you take care of it so it likely would. After 6 months, you'd be ahead on your investment.
 
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