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Oil cooler seal replacement

I have an early 85 NA 944. I have oil in the coolant resevior. "Hope its a bad seal in the oil cooler. Does anybody know how much "fun" it is to replace the oil coller seals.

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Lark
Ealrly na '85 944 - Manual Mahogany
'98 Lincoln MKVIII LSC
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:08 AM
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A whole lot of fun. You will need the alignment tool available here and you also have the option to upgrade the PRV to the new style (recommended).

Remove the exhaust manifolds (order new seals for same) Remove the cooler (order seal kit) Use a product like "purple power, etc.) to clean parts. Drain resevoir and radiator for cleaning later. Note: you will have to remove the sending unit to pull out cooler, mark the wires so you do not install in opposite positions.

Assemble the cooler w/new seals etc. and finger tighten the bolts. Put alignment tool into PRV access hole to align the cooler and then tighten to torque. assemble all parts and fill radiator with 50/50 water and a cleaning solution like super flush or applicable degrease (low foaming) and run engine to temperature to clean the sludge out of the system. Will probably have to be done several times. When the system is clean flush the cooling system and drain. Fill with a 50/50 mix of DISTILLED Water and whatever antifreeze you prefer.

Good Luck!
Rick
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:44 AM
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Exactly the way to do it as described, except there is no need to remove the exhaust manifold.
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Old 11-17-2005, 08:05 AM
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Agreed, there's no need to remove the exhaust manifold. I found that dropping the front end of the swaybar and moving the power steering pump from the bracket (no need to disconnect the hoses) gave me just enough room to get the cooler housing and cooler out.

You don't need the alignment tool. Barely finger tighten the cooler housing bolts then use the OPRV itself to align the housing, then tighten down. Make sure you check the OPRV clearance several times as you're doing so and you'll be fine.

One last one, I never upgraded to the one piece OPRV and it works great.
Old 11-17-2005, 08:48 AM
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Brit, you are correct not necessary to remove the manifolds but it does make the job easier especially cleaning all the gook.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:02 AM
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No, there's always a good chance of breaking the exhaust studs..leading to taking the cylinder head off to fix that. If the manifold is not leaking and the studs are not already broken, it just adds unecessary work.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:05 AM
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Again agreed, If the hardware looks messed up don't do it. I did mine all the hardware was good and it allowed me to degrease that whole side and gave me more room to work when I replaced the motor mounts.
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Old 11-17-2005, 09:14 AM
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The condition of what the hardware looks like aside, those exhaust manifold studs will strip quicker than a showgirl with rent due.
Old 11-17-2005, 01:01 PM
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i have had my seals done and a year later oil shows up in the resevior,,,it sat for 8 months,,,,i paid 60.00 to have them clean the tank and no oil since.... go the cheaper route,,, clean the tank and see if it comes back. won't really hurt anything,, better than water in the oil!!!
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Old 11-17-2005, 05:14 PM
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PB Blaster, anti-seize compound, decent tools, and PATIENCE, are your best friend. I always remove the exhaust manifold, myself, but, I have no fear of the "consequences" of lack of tools, touch, or the "unknown". BUT.....that can get me in trouble at times too.

I've changed at least 3 "early" car oil cooler gaskets, and haven't used an alignment tool yet. Lucky? Maybe. But, do clean up that OPRV, at the same time.

I've never had the oil in the coolant, but have had the coolant in the oil. Not that big a deal. And, yep, it was the oil cooler seals.

There is a "procedure" writeup on how to flush out the oil from the coolant system.....somewhere.
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:15 PM
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You all are very helpful. But one question: Do I need to work from below or can I do it all from above?
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:28 AM
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From Above
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:47 AM
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I did all mine from below (which is why I dropped the sway bar [4 bolts] and the power steering pump which took all of 10 minutes).

You'd be working blind trying to get it from above.
Old 11-18-2005, 09:16 AM
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Hi All,

I'm digging up this thread as I recently did my oil cooler seals and found forum posts like this hugely helpful - hopefully a few points might assist anyone else doing the same job:

- you don't need to remove the exhaust manifolds, but I can see how it would change an extremely awkward job into a mere slightly fiddly task. I decided not to as the exhaust manifolds don't look like they've ever been off my car ((1987 2.5 NA, UK spec) lots of flaky surface rust) and didn't fancy rounding off any of the studs or nuts. If I had a 2nd car and a workshop full of helicoils I might've been tempted.
- I didn't use the crowfoot adapter or 32mm spanner (that some people have talked about) - no idea which models these are recommended for but my oil pressure sender came off with a normal 24mm open-ended spanner...
- I purchased a 3/8" UJ to enable access the main oil cooler bolts. Frankly, without this I think this job would've been truly impossible (especially removal of the upper-front oil cooler housing bolt, where even with the UJ and several exension bars was still very difficult
- you have to remove the heatshield from the oil cooler to get to the upper mounting bolts. It's easy enough to remove the securing bolts from under the car with the right socket set, however I was unable to remove the heatshield itself from the car, due to lack of clearance with the exhaust manifolds, wheel-arch etc... you have to slide the heatshield forward to access the rear oil-cooler mounting bolt, and vice versa. When it's off might be a good time to wire brush off any loose rust / debris from the underside of the manifolds, so that as little as possible falls into the oil-cooler area when you're trying to reassemble it cleanly.
- I found it very difficult remove the oil cooler housing out the opening below in its 'normal' orientation - I had to almost twist it round 180 to get it free of the car in the end - even after removing the anti-roll bar and hanging the PAS pump out the way, I still had to remove the mounting bolts for the annoying PAS line that runs almost diagonally across the opening; the addional 5mm-6mm of play this provided was just enough to remove the cooler from the car.

Maybe this makes it sound worse than it was, but as long as you're prepared for one of those days where you feel you're performing a relatively difficult task, whilst your're working through a letterbox, it's definitely possible. 500 miles on and my oil leaks have disappeared. Fingers are still crossed....
Old 08-10-2015, 03:55 AM
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You will need 1/4 and 3/8 drive sockets with an extensive selection of extensions and u joints. You don't need to remove the exh manifold but you do need a lot of determination and patience. Some of the bolts are hard but not impossible to get to. You will work from above and below and you should remove the PS pump and the right wheel and put that side of the car up in the air a little.

Don't replace the OPRV or try to rebuild it unless you know it is defective. It's a senseless and ugly journey.

There's a lot written here and at Clark's. Take a minute and review.

Did I mention patience......

Good luck,
Jon
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JonA View Post
You will need 1/4 and 3/8 drive sockets with an extensive selection of extensions and u joints. You don't need to remove the exh manifold but you do need a lot of determination and patience. Some of the bolts are hard but not impossible to get to. You will work from above and below and you should remove the PS pump and the right wheel and put that side of the car up in the air a little.

Don't replace the OPRV or try to rebuild it unless you know it is defective. It's a senseless and ugly journey.

There's a lot written here and at Clark's. Take a minute and review.

Did I mention patience......

Good luck,
Jon
It can be done without removing the exhaust manifold. There are only 4 housing bolts plus the OPRV bolt. As stated a good set of 1/4" and 3/8" sockets including a 13mm 1/4" drive socket plus u-joints and different length extensions and you can get to those bolts without taking off the exhaust.

A flexi extension is real helpful once the bolts are loose...PROTO Flex Socket Extension,1/4 x 6-1/4 In - Socket Extensions - 1AF50|J4765 - Grainger Industrial Supply
Old 08-11-2015, 03:31 PM
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easy job from below if you move the swaybar bracket and power steering pump out of the way, leave the manifolds on, maybe a 2-3 hour job?

be sure to use the OPRV tool.

Old 08-11-2015, 05:18 PM
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