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3.0L Hybrid failure study....


BuckeyeSVT
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Has a 3L Hybrid you built failed within a short time?  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. When did it fail?

    • Within 100 miles
      0
    • Within 1,000 miles
      0
    • Within 5,000 miles
      1
    • Within 10,000 miles
      1
    • Over 10,000+ miles
      2


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I am looking for members to submit their failed engines with mileage and what year and model engine used. I am particularly interested in all 2001-2004 3.0L blocks used for a swap that were converted for hybrid use.

 

Please post the engine year, model out of (Escape, Sable/Taurus..etc) miles on the engine at time of install and how long the motor lasted before failure (time or miles). I have already identified a pattern and have done some preliminary teardowns of some failed engines. Hopefully out of this we will fully discover the issue and how to correct it before the engine is installed - Hopefully leading to a nice long engine life.

 

Thanks!

 

-Dom

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..HOLD ON NOW BRO!!!

 

...I 'assume' we all know that the late 3.0 blocks with 2.5 heads can give some major issue,if not modded,with oil feeds etc? Think VVT here on say Jag or LS blocks with VVT...How did they fail Dom?

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So far on the blocks I have received or pulled from member's cars are one small mistake.

 

On all 2001+ Escape, Sable and Taurus short blocks there is a small oil feed port on the right cylinder head mating area that MUST be capped off or you run certain risk of engine damage. Sometimes the symptoms are not readily apparent, however it is only a matter of time before symptoms or engine failure will occur.

 

Our how-to write up for a 3L hybrid was done on a 99 engine block. It does not have the extra VVT oil feed and does not fall under this advisory. That write-up should be taken as a primer and on any newer engine that you are converting to a hybrid you must check that everything is the same. Most DIY's are only plugging the 2 ports for oil returns... However there is one more port that must be plugged....

 

I will post pics of what I am talking about later...

 

-Dom

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...I'll check casting info and part #'s.I can look at some non VVT LS blocks I have.I'm sure that the blocks on the later engines,be they VVT or not are all M/C the same.so we must have oil feeds to the VVT on ALL of them...I know for sure the VVT Jag and LS oil pumps are a higher capacity for the VVT feeds....I'll call AERA.....

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...info pans out.When you use a late 3.0 block with 2.5 heads the oil....p****s out of that hole.When MATCHING 3.0 of the right year are used,be they Jag,LS,Taurus etc with or without VVT the 3.0 heads stop the leak and either direct the oil to the heads re VVT or the head blocks it off...I hate damm hybrids..won't build them...but I have to add that an 'average' DIY'er has no chance of seeing this as he won't now where the oil feeds should go anyway!.The only way you may find out is with a good oil gage and low idle oil pressure ,even with your 'new' build....Dump those damm 2.5 heads!!! :angry:

You were spot on Dom....pity the rest who are not as observant.... :rolleyes:

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So far the only real issues I've had with hybrids at the shop are bad blocks (discussed with you about the oil pump on the one) and another that has a #1 rod bearing loose (partially out of place but not spun and no damage) that I am working on. This other block I looked at was from a Contour out west that someone had built for this person and ended up grenading. So, he wanted me to take a quick look at it to see what went wrong. Sure enough - Left open the oil port wide open. Now I'm sending the block back as "proof".... fun fun.

 

I plug all mine off by tapping the hole with a 3/8"x16 tap and installing a 3/8" Set screw coated in liquid teflon. It works out pretty good and only takes a minute or two to install. I'll snap some shots as I have a new engine that I'm ready to mount the rear head on that I can catch before I install it all.

 

-Dom

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...could we drive in a 10mm ball in there to save tapping an oilway re debris etc?..Should be good and tight in ally...steel balls are used in most oilways where an 'over machine' situation needs blocking off...

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Problem is this isn't a big hole we're dealing with here - It's 5/16" in diameter. A 10MM ball is too big to fit the port...Not to mention it's not a solid hole, only the first 1/8" or so is actually usuable - The rest is cast and not round.

 

The nice thing is with the rear tensioner off, I use a little lithium grease - Coat the hole and then tap. It catches most of the material, and what it doesn't I use brake parts cleaner to flush down the feed hole which exits at the tensioner feed hole. Comes out clean every time.

 

-Dom

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The engine I built as a hybrid is a 98 SVT heads mated to 2002 Taurus 3L. I bought the engine used and I was told it only had 34K miles, but later(when totaling up the build cost)realized the receipt stated 24K miles. I did not rebuild the lower end(the first time)because while tearing the engine down everything looked so clean. I did fill the drain holes, with Quick Steel. When I mated the heads to the LE it was easy to see which holes to fill. Dom you said the right head mating area but each mating area on this LE had a drain that did not match up. Both drains where the very outside passages, I would have tapped them and added a bolt but I did not rebuild the LE that time and did not want to fill it with metal chips/flakes. The engine(E#2) lasted a total of 1200 miles..words cannot explain. E#2 spun bearings #1 and #6 but besides that we found no signs of any problems? The final engine(E#3) is a complete rebuild with a complete balancing(over 30 hours worth of machining). Specs and pics..very soon, I already added a mechanical oil pressure gauge!!

 

Dom/Terry would you guys recommend modding the oil pump release to give a slight increase in oil presssure?

Rikk

Edited by Rikk
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Rikk, no - Modding the oil pump would be pointless. They make plenty of pressure normally.

 

Here's a couple of pics to illustrate my point....

 

DSC00641.jpg

 

DSC00650.jpg

 

As you can see, this can present quite a problem. I'll snap a quick shot of the corrected hole and how it was done tomorrow and post it tomorrow night.

 

-Dom

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Dom are you saying all 2001-2003 Dura 3L don't match up to the 2.5 heads?Do the 2005 match up?

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Ok, so I'm clear - All 3.0L's after 2001 (2001-2007) are less compatible than 1996-2000 3L's. The compatibility is a minor issue, it's a cheap fix. But a very costly oversight.

 

-Dom

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...nobody reads anymore!..Dom,I checked the early 3.0 LS NON vvy blocks,they also have the oilway but with the correct 3.0 heads fitted the oilway is deadheaded.I see why you have used a plug etc as the block deck in that position is a bit uneven in thickness.On it's size...that is a fair size hole and not only will you loose oil pressure but a hell of a lot of oil volume.No wonder DIY's who miss this have a dead engine in a short time!!!..I be the hot oil pressure at idle is just enough to hold off the oil light at around 10psi...if you are lucky.

Onthe oil pump...leave it alone,it works well as is...why do you want more volume...turbo oil feed?...

 

 

 

...I'm just still so amazed people are missing this Dom...With a 2.5 head on it jumps out and smacks you in the head...'WTF is that hole I see for????...You would at least check before going on with the build..How dumb owners are...Most have no business building up an engine if they can't spot this...To me it's obvious that the cast 'bump' in the block is some sort of gallery,be it oil or coolant..but how do you just IGNORE the hole?....Example ,I had my wife,last night, look at a 2.5 head just sitting on a 3.0 block ...Understand she knows nothing of engineering but is a DPT in the medical field.

.....why is that hole there?....All I said was 'does that bit (head) look right sitting on the bottom bit(block)?...Why is the hole there,is there a bolt missing from it?...what does it do?...should it be like that?....doesn't 'look' right on there...etc etc.

Truly ,anyone who misses or ignores this oilway should not be building an engine.....PERIOD!!! :rolleyes:

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Terry don't hurt yourself smoothering me in your warm embrace :huh: I read before I even started this project, during the swap/build, and now I am still learning. I admit I don't know this platform but I am trying to learn as much about the car as possible. Is a turbo oil pump even possible <_< No!! But I have seen modded/aftermarket oil pumps before, though I already purchased a new OEM pump as you told me to do. The fact that leaving that passage open is reason/cause for low oil pressure and ending in engine failure is the BEST news I've heard since examining the engine(E#2)like I said before we did not see any cause for low oil pressure, but this explains it and I won't make the same mistake again.

Thanks Dom and Terry for all the help

Rikk

Terry by the way I am not building E#3 but thanks for the confidence boost!!

Edited by Rikk
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Actually I've found it's rather simple to overlook - We almost overlooked it 4 years ago, we did a dry fit mockup and who I was working with at the time assumed it was a drainback, not a pressure hole. Well, one quick removal of the oil pump, throw on an oil filter and then stick your blow gun attachment into the oil feed hole tells another story. I had plenty of volume and pressure at that hole (60PSI). I can't imagine how detrimental that is to engine life and performance. Your engine will not last that long with that kind of volume/pressure loss when warm.

 

However, this would cause a problem from the get-go. You would have low idle pressure and lower all around pressure (cold starts..etc). If there is another issue - Say pressure that is great and wears down over time - You need to be looking elsewhere - This problem is a big problem from the first turn of the key. On one engine I almost thought I left the plug out because the oil light would come on at idle - Here it was the oil pump relief valve stuck wide open in it's bore releasing pressure. The interior of the pump was scored and the engine had looked like it was run for a short time with zero oil. That problem came from the previos yard/owner of the engine before it came to me... That engine is now replaced.

 

The only other thing I could imagine as a side effect of leaving this port open is all that shooting oil hitting the chain and being whipped around. That could cause a foaming issue (which if anyone knows why air bubbles shouldn't be in motor oil) that could explain the failures even more.

 

-Dom

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..oil pumps.The oil pump for say the LS with VVT,the Jag 2.5 & 3.0 with VVT have an uprated oil pump for the VVT.You don't need it inless you have extra oil losses re turbo etc etc...It DOES take HP from the engine.

My point on the oil leak hole is..it does jump out and hit you with a 2.5 head on...the casting with a hole just sits there!..You must have thought ...'I wonder what.....?????? etc,must have!...Whatever,the blocks I have it on are 2000 3.0 castings SO it is on most ALL blocks during/after 2000....

Good find Dom,lets hope its saves a few owners future problems...But like I said before,a million times..I won't build bloody 'hybrids'...will never agree with the concept and the F'ed up combustion chamber on a 3.0 bore...The only reason it makes any HP is CR..the rest is junk.Give me a straight 3.0 oval port any day!!!

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Hopefully anyone who has built a 3L Hybrid themselves and wasn't aware of this (because I searched all the FAQ's and How-To's and never saw any info about this)... Will make them look before they do damage.

 

-Dom

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...I doubt it Dom!!!! :rolleyes: ...the nuber of times I've had 'do ya think' questions...'I know I should get a Quaife/Toresn when I do my 3.0 but no $$...Me; '...the stoc diff is glass,it will blow...' 2 weeks after the 3.0 is in....'....damm this lusy MTX75,now I have to pull it all out and have the trans done'..this equal 100% F' ing IDIOT..no excuses at all!..It happens all the time...'lost gears'..I knew about the bolt issue but I still 'got on it' nad 'power shifted' now I'm stuck in gear..should have had a modded tower like you said Terry'...again,IDIOT!...Owner ask for our advice based on our experience etc,we give it,they ignore it and moan like a b***h when it goes BOOM..THAT is 100% IGNORANCE and it gets old...!

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Here's some shots of how I do the blocking of the port. This is from a motor that was installed into an SVT last night...

 

New_pics_0707_014.JPG

 

Here you can see it's flush with the block,

New_pics_0707_015.JPG

 

Fits underneath the head gasket without even seeing it,

New_pics_0707_016.JPG

 

Picture of it all done with head installed and torqued down,

New_pics_0707_018.JPG

 

And a couple of nice shots of the motor all lubed and ready to put in the car,

New_pics_0707_022.JPG

New_pics_0707_024.JPG

New_pics_0707_028.JPG

 

-Dom

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Dom thanks for the pics, it will be plugged tomorrow!! You are right those pics and this topic would be nice in the 3.0 Conversion How-To or a seperate How-To for the hybrids?

Thanks Again Rikk

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i have some questions. first, why or what reasoning is there to pull a proven 2.5l engine and replace it with one that has some potential for failure 3.0l hybrid? second what makes better sense to make something better and pave a path for success (upgrade the known defects) or make lots of hp with a larger displacement engine that some variables are in question and are not completly investigated. i understand the pioneering aspect and all but at the end of the day is it not important to get from a to b then back?in one piece?

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I believe most of the problems stem from ineptitude and laziness. Alot of the hybrid builders cut corners to save costs. (Dom is not one of them)

 

The majority at CEG and NECO still want to build hybrids or oval to split port conversions.... and they continue to run into problems. Their engine put down good numbers, and 6 months later they are performing another swap. The best thing about a straight 3L is that you know it's proven... 200k miles in a Taurus, why shouldn't it work in a Contour? No drains to fill, no ports to hog out. Just drop it in.

 

I'm building a hybrid as a side project. Mainly because I so many spare parts filling my garage and '97 with rod knock.

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You know what I don't get - Is the oval to split port conversion. What a pointless modification.

 

Obviously these are people that have never driven a full 3L, one drive and they wouldn't even consider anything else. Unless they like a ball-less bottom end with an explosive top end. I prefer seamless power on demand from idle.

 

-Dom

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You know what I don't get - Is the oval to split port conversion. What a pointless modification.

 

and then filling the "bridge" with JB weld :rolleyes:

I wonder what Terry's wife would say about that :lol:

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You all should read some of the stuff on NECO. The "Uber knowledge about port type thread was interesting reading. It was brought up again in another thread.

Edited by Rikenbomb
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