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Discussion Starter #1
So I just pulled the oil pan on my 400ci 79 Bronco to change the gasket and found a lot of metal in the bottom of the pan. The metal is like aluminum. It is thin and very soft. Anyone want to guess where it may have come from?

The only problem I have with the bronco is that the oil pressure is usually low at idle. Any help is appreciated.





Please don't say I need a rebuild....:cry
 

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Could be pieces of bearings. Low oil pressure would be another sign of bearing failure. To do something like that the bearing must have spun. The only other metal inside a motor that isnt magnetic would be the pistons. Piston problems wouldnt give you low oil pressure though and I dont think they would be shaved. There might be pieces of a broken skirt , but , not shavings.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think you may be right. One side of the metal pieces looks scored like it has been in touch with a rotating object.
 

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well you have the oilpan off. start ckecking bearings. i would think with that much of a bearing missing, you would have lower compression in a cylinder, some ticking from the loosness of the caps, and almost no oil pressure. but i may be wrong, if its thin and soft then it probably is a bearing. if it was a skirt, it would be hard
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have been reading up on replacing the main and rod bearing while the engine is still in the truck but I am getting mixed messages...most say it can be done but other say no. Anyone here actually done it?

I haven't pulled the caps to look at the damage to see if it is rods or mains but I am going to replace both sets.

Looks like my Sunday is spoken for!
 

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it can be done but if the journals on either side of things is scored then your fawked and you gotta pull the engine
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Impalaslayer...I will change them all and hope it buys me some time. It may be my chance to drop a 460 in her!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, so I pulled the main caps and a few rod caps. Other than needing new mains because of wear (solves my low oil pressure prob), I am now not so sure the metal I found was bearing material. It is too thin and too soft compared to the bearings I looked at. Plus all the bearing I looked are still there! I didn't get to about half of the rod bearings. The metal bits are more like tin than aluminum. Plus if it were bearing material I would have seen copper in it.

Anyone have any clue what it could be? One more thing...I did notice my timing belt was kind of loose. It had more play than I would have liked to see.

Thx!
 

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it is piston, the bearings are usually tri metal, steel, copper and lead.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If it is the piston then I have no idea what part of the piston it would be. I can't think of any part of a piston that has this thin metal on it. If it was a piston skirt it would be thinker correct? The metal isn't separated from a larger piece of metal. I can just tell by looking at it.

Are cam bearing try-metal too?
 

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you also have a timing chain, not belt.
 

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check the rest of the rod bearings first, most likely the last (closest to the trans) ive seen bearings flake off like that, its not good..... crank would be scored bad and new bearings would only be a VERY temporary bandaid.

before taking any rad caps loose were you able to shake any rods? pass to drivers side/wiggle or anything? they shouldnt harkly move at all....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The two rod caps closest to the tranny were two of the ones I pulled because they were on their down stroke. They were in great condition. I pulled on all the rod and didn't have any movement. That is what has me confused. Once I rotate the crank and check the others I will have a better picture of what the hell is going on. If it is a rod bearing when I find it it is going to be bad from the looks of all that metal.

check the rest of the rod bearings first, most likely the last (closest to the trans) ive seen bearings flake off like that, its not good..... crank would be scored bad and new bearings would only be a VERY temporary bandaid.

before taking any rad caps loose were you able to shake any rods? pass to drivers side/wiggle or anything? they shouldnt harkly move at all....
 

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If you had that much bearing material missing from a rod bearing, you would've known it, a couple thousandths clearance makes a lot of noise. Main bearings the same way, only bearing I can think of would be maybe the thrust bearing facing, is there a lot of end play in the crank? (you can check by trying to move it fore/aft with a screwdriver)
And piston skirts don't just fall off.

Any chance it is solder? See if it will melt with your soldering gun (or propane torch). Did someone try and fix a hole in the pan before you got it?
 

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if it would be a rod or main bearing i would imagine it would be obvious from a bad knock from the bottom end. cam bearing.. hhhmm maybe.

this thought may be out there but what about an oil filter that failed? mite not hurt to pull it off and check it out.

i just think a bearing would cause an obvious sound.
 

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@shokwave30 - I thought about the oil filter, but the oil galleries are all too small for those pieces to get through. The oil goes from the filter to the crank bearings and rod bearings, up to the cam bearings, but it (mostly) returns to the pan by "leaking" through the bearing clearances. (which is only a couple thousandths in most cases)
I've had a couple of these motors apart, and I can't think of anything that looks like those pieces. Maybe it was something thrown in by a disgruntled Ford worker 32 years ago! (if the motor has never been apart since then)
This is actually an interesting mystery.
 

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it may have been there for a loooong time and you just never knew it.

i would be more concerned about throwing bearings in it to make it last awhile longer than what you found in the pan.

there's no real way to figure out where exactly it's coming from. someone else mentioned the camshaft, is it really worth it to yank it all apart when you plan on going 460 anyway?
 
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