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2000 Windstar High Compression

Discussion in 'Engine, Transmission/Axle & Driveline/Axle' started by Grandmas Van, May 26, 2020.

  1. Grandmas Van

    Grandmas Van New Member

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    My grandma’s Ford Windstar has been smoking at start up. Also a little rough idle on hot starts, but hard to re-create consistently. The van has about 160k mikes and is maintained very well. I checked the compression: 190, 215, 190, 190, 210, 190. The middle two cylinders have very high compression!!! Also, those two spark plugs had heavy/dark fouling, and oil on the threads. What is the most likely culprit? And what should I do??
  2. Dominick 1

    Dominick 1 Well-Known Member Respected Member

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    Welcome to the Forum
    Do you have water in the oil?
    The compression isn't that far off of each other going by the 10 percent rule
    although 215 and 210 is a little high
    What does the tail pipe look like
    oily or waster
    The are known for blown head gaskets cracked heads
    I've seen the lower row of head bolts break
    Are you loosing coolant
    Is the smoke white
    Action likes this.
  3. Grandmas Van

    Grandmas Van New Member

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    No water in the oil that I can tell. My grandma just got the oil changed, so might be hard for me to see signs on a fresh change. She just had her coolant overflow tank and hoses changed. I will have to monitor the level to make sure not loosing coolant. Smoke out of tailpipe seems more like oil than coolant, based on the smell. It’s hard for me to tell white vs blue, but I will try to look closer next time. It’s a big cloud for about 10 seconds and the gone. With oil on the spark plug threads, I am leaning towards and internal oil seal leak
  4. Grandmas Van

    Grandmas Van New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome!!!
  5. Dominick 1

    Dominick 1 Well-Known Member Respected Member

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    The big cloud for a short time on starting sounds like valve seal or valve related
    When you are driving and let off the throttle do you see a cloud of smoke
  6. Grandmas Van

    Grandmas Van New Member

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    That’s a good question. I’ll try to give it some gas at start up next time to see if anything changes. No smoke once driving, just at start up. Thanks for the tip!
  7. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    Welcome to the FFO!

    I would agree with Dominick. The compression numbers you posted are not that bad. Kudos for doing a compression test. I assume those numbers are dry and not wet?

    Again as stated by Dominick, smoke on start up, the typical issue is valve stem seals that have hardened. With 160,000 miles and regular oil changes I would not expect any internal issues.

    The other question would be is there noticeable oil usage between oil changes?
    Like a quart in less than 1000 miles.

    If the valve stem seals are getting hard and not sealing well, the time that oil usage would be the most is under high engine vacuum. The vacuum is no higher than decelerating from highway speeds. You could have some one follow and look at the exhaust when coming off of high speed (45mph or more) to a stop.

    Another indicator of that issue would be very small spots in the area around the exhaust pipe outlet. These would be unburned oil. Typically an advanced case.

    Action
  8. Grandmas Van

    Grandmas Van New Member

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    Thank you for the welcome! The rear spark plugs were a pain to get to, bud glad I was able to do the compression test. There is not noticable oil usage between oil changes. My grandma checks the dipstick regularly. We'll keep an eye on it.

    Good idea about what to look for with the deceleration and exhaust outlet.
    Action likes this.
  9. mongoman7071

    mongoman7071 Member

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    As I ponder,and I own a 99 windstar with 215K. oil on the spark plug threads MAY be from oil getting into the spark plug "well",because of poor sealing and expansion/contraction of the upper/lower intake manifold seals.When the plug is removed,the oil in the well comes along for the ride on the threads. As for the compression numbers,it's not too alarming. With 160K on the clock,it's still making good pressure. Another possibility is, baked -on- layers of oil(carbon) from the OHV stem sealing problem,that's been an issue for a while..The carbon has reduced the combustion chamber (squish)volume,at TDC, therefore increasing its compression so ever-so-slightly. The spark plugs are immensely easier to reach in the back row if the cover over the back of the engine is removed. It's not too difficult to remove, and the time saved is considerable. How does it accelerate -cold? too much carbon on the valve stems acts like a fuel-sponge.The A/F mixture runs lean for the first few minutes of operation,while the carbon on the stem gets saturated. A borescope would be helpful in answering those questions.The high vacuum on deceleration,is a simple easy way to determine the valve guide seal wear.Yea Man! Just pontificating my profundities. Mongoman7071
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  10. Grandmas Van

    Grandmas Van New Member

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    Wow, 215K is impressive. Did you ever consider seafoam to deal with the carbon build up?

    I am not sure how it accelerates since it is my grandma's van. Pretty good as far as I know.

    Thanks!
  11. Action

    Action Moderator Staff Member Respected Member

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    Over 200,000 mile and over 250,000 miles is rather common place.
    The benefit to OBDII engine controls, the modern oils and lubes is an engine that if maintained well may out last the rest of the vehicle.

    >>>>>Action

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