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Discussion Starter #1
I know the two topics (balance chain delete, timing cover removal in-car) have been beaten to death
I have the broken balance chain jammed stuck about 1/3 of the way through, probably stuck between the exhaust balancer and the adjacent sprocket. 馃憣
so I will just get to the meat of what I'm stuck on.

The car is currently on ramps with the subframe loosened down to it's two rear bolts.
I will need the passenger wheel removed out from underneath the ramp to gain clearance for removing the crank pulley w/impact gun.

What do you think about purchasing an engine support beam?
The current plan with what I have now is to raise the rear tires and get jack stands on their respective points. Then button the subframe back together and raise the subframe from the passenger side, remove ramp and replace with jack stand before lowering the subframe (this is what i perceive as potentially dangerous/dumb). Then take off the passenger motor mount and use the bottle jack to push the engine an inch or two over for my timing cover clearance.

But for now I am just going to very slowly and cautiously get to work with a whole bunch of jacks, concrete and tires underneath.
 

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Yikes looks like a lot of work you weren鈥檛 expecting!

I鈥檓 a little confused: are you asking if it is safe to remove the subframe on jack stands? I鈥檝e done it at least five times like this. Always with the wheel chalks and tires under the car (for what good that does, idk). But be very careful, it may be stupid and dangerous and I just don鈥檛 realize it. As for the engine support beam WORTH IT. I recently got mine from harbor freight for like $80 if you work on your engine/transmission it is super useful.
Sounds to me like you鈥檝e gotta remove almost all the s belt stuff (not looking at an engine, just from memory).

I would highly recommend going through a few of the tutorials here. They are very useful, and all of them are with limited equipment (no lift). Look through the engine removal, engine accessory, maybe a few more to get yourself familiar with the layout of everything. They also tell you exactly what sockets/torx bits etc you are going to need.

Good luck, hope we can help if you got any other questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I actually am going to be rolling the car off of the ramps and taking it up on 4 jack stands. I have worse news, my rear subframe bolt somehow fell out when I was putting it back together, and now the control arm is no longer in allignment. So, in addition, I will now have to relieve the weight on the control arm and slowly get that one back in allignment so the subframe bolts back in.

Here is an excellent post about that
 

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Wait.... you took the subframe off while the wheels were supporting the car? That... definitely not advised. Just jack it up and put those jack stands right under. I really wouldn't mess around with rolling it off the ramps if the subframe is off. No need for the rear jack stands.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Wait.... you took the subframe off while the wheels were supporting the car? That... definitely not advised. Just jack it up and put those jack stands right under. I really wouldn't mess around with rolling it off the ramps if the subframe is off. No need for the rear jack stands.
Thanks for the advice, luckily I have a neighbor who advised against it just like you. I tightened up part of the out-of-allign subframe and got it up on jacks. subframe is loose on 5 bolts now. Taking a quick lunch break.
272798

This is going to be an at-minimum 3 day job now that it's running into my workweek + rainy weather.
Does anyone have good advice on what to do with the exposed block when that happens. cover with rags? wd40?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Just a quick update that I got all the pulleys out and have 3 seperate containers of fluid now and am waiting on a Torx 40 key to remove the last 8 screws from the timing cover since there is not enough room to fit my socket wrench with t40 tip. Also get some gloves on and hold the torx socket straight because it really badly wants to go in at an angle and strip the screws if you are not careful.

You will definitely need a good torque gun to do this job for the subframe and pulley (I'm using an aircat 1150). Once you remove the motor mount the engine will drop down such that the oil adapter housing lands on the (bolted) subframe and then you can jack the engine slightly further to the right than normal.with a wood block angled against the engine. Be sure you have clearance on the driver-side for the engine to move over since I left my blowby tube in the middle and ended up almost crushing it. I will post photos and maybe write up a bit more when I get the cover off tomorrow or Thursday.
 

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Harbor freight sells an engine brace for $80, with the usual 20% off you're out the door for $60 something. That would simplify your life. If you don't want to own one, buy it and resell for $50 - consider the difference a long term rental fee.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The cover appears to be held onto the alternator bracket still. I got all the bolts out except two: on the rear left-hand side and the 8mm hex going diagonally into the alternator. any ideas?
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Update: calling it a day, I am going to soak the alternator hex bolts and get some sockets so that 1/2 can be pulled off with an impact wrench. the other one idk.

Update 2: I did not call it a day, and got everything apart and cleaned up.
272883

There is also some partial rubbing on the top of the cover. Noise strangely enough sounded as if it was on the top-end like the timing chain. It was not bad enough to be constant, instead the noise only appeared for the first few minutes of operation.

Update 3: Only thing left to do is put back on the oil pan and fill with fluid. Quick tip: I tied floss through the two bolt holes on the multilayered steel gasket layers in order to keep it snug up against the head while I placed the timing cover back on.

Update 4: And it's all back together. Thanks for playing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
More bad news: I did my first oil pan drop a few months earlier (different username because I'm bad at keeping passwords) and it looks like I was too late.
With the engine significantly quieted down, I very quickly discovered a light ticking noise on the bottom end near #3 #4 that was previously masked by chain rattle. It is only audible after warmed up at near 1000rpms but the stethoscope is pointing right in the center of the oil pan. There is a %5 chance it could be the flexplate but otherwise it's time to cross those fingers and hope the crankshaft is still usable.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Well, that sucks. Going back in?
To inspect the bearings, yes. Tomorrow. I work under 40 hours a week and have another car to drive so it shakes out that dropping the pan 3/4 times is still a better use of my time than purchasing parts immediately. Although I could have merged some tasks together.
The oil pan had black bits, rtv and tiny pieces of metal in it but nothing that screams bearings, and the metal there would be from timing cover cut.
It does not sound like what I heard in some sample videos for bearings but it's still got that traditional ball-peen hammer click. And the reluctance to make noise except at hot idle is also interesting.
Only other thing I could think from the top of my head is possibly the oil pan contacting the lower exhaust. Or the previously mentioned flexplate.
Oil pressure definitely seems like a good thing to check now. I might get a gauge/sandwich adapter and if worse comes to worse I can just reinstall it into the 900SE.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OK I checked quite a few things
flex plate: All bolts are tight and no visible cracks, likely not it unless the crack is tiny enough to have not noticed.
Top end: Camshafts are torqued correctly, gears are tight and teeth look ok. All lifters are solid and there is oil finding it's way to the top.
Belt pulleys: the AC compressor bearing is going out and making a sizzle noise but it does not correspond to the noise I was hearing.
Manifolds: nothing loose or broken, I found my tiny unrelated coolant leak under the top right corner of the cylinder head, could be either two thermostats or the gasket did not seat correctly in that corner (triangle-shaped coolant passage). If this is the case then I would say a retorque + a head gasket stop leak in the cooling system would probably be fine in this specific circumstance.

Rod-Crank bearings: look good, only 3 dirt scratches in total on the bearings. They have been cleaned, reinstalled with moly-lithium grease and 18ft/lb+100 degrees.

Tomorrow I am pulling the Block-Crank caps. If not these, then the only major item left would be piston rings and wrist pins, it could be them, since my blowby was previously a little high at about %7-8 per piston.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Alright all the bottom bearing caps have been pulled, you can take a look here Engine bearing photos - Google Drive

For reference, this is in a 190,000 mile engine which was likely rebuilt once early on before I purchased it (orange RTV!!!) and has had at least two cases of low oil across the years I owned back in college.

The connecting rod bearings are all in OK shape
The main bearings are in worse shape: #3 and #5 have visible copper and #4 has some fairly strange thin scratches on it.
The crankshaft is good all the way until you reach main bearing #5 where a small amount of scuffing has occurred. I can't quite catch a fingernail on it, not nearly an expert but I believe it is still usable.

The most interesting part however is that the outside cap for #5 has a couple of thin semi-circular scratches in it, as if it were rubbing up against something else.

At this point I would be ordering new bearings but I am skeptical that this is the cause of the noise or, at the very least, it would be a symptom of the cause.
My guess is that my crankshaft pulley/harmonic balancer, which I suspect was wobbling a small bit, is putting extra strain on the crankshaft. So I will be getting a different pulley as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Alright boys: all new bearings, new oil pressure gauge, same noise.
After hours of research I found a video of another vehicle making what appears to be the same noise and symptoms on youtube. It was not resolved but apparently "quieted down" after replacing the fuel filter. here (Knocking at idle - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums)
Oil pressure reads 22 at it's lowest point and goes up linear with RPM as one should expect.
Noise is in-between a ball-peen hammer and a rusty metal squeak and is audible between 700-1200RPM, louder temporarily after a drop in RPM and slowly gets quieter (and sometimes completely dissapears) after prolonged idle.
It also only began when warming up (oil pressure was around 40 when the noise began) Another quick cold start confirms that the noise consistantly does not appear cold.
I believe it's still bottom of the engine but I can't completely rule out transmission, top end, bad combustion/timing.
Nor can I rule out a bad crankshaft journal since I did not plastigauge prior to replacement.

I have a ton of theories but my previous posts have been too long listing them all.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
"Worn center main bearings and spun or seized balance shaft bearings seem to go hand in hand"
馃
Just a quick recap my #3 and #5 main bearings had a little bit of exposed copper, knock occurred after removing very loose balance shaft chain.
I'm resigned to having the car sit, and rebuild now but it's interesting nonetheless.
 

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Didn't recall seeing if you checked the crankshaft thrust bearings. Crankshaft axial movement can be checked using an indicator gauge on the harmonic balancer pulley and pushing/prying pulley. Spec is 0.002 to 0.012 inches. This is more of an issue with automatic transmissions when the ATF cooler gets blocked causing torque converter to force itself against the crankshaft.
 

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i鈥檝e been thru all the same things. the noise when warm turned out to be cracked #3 & 4 pistons, since they are the last to receive oil. maybe your oil cooling jets got clogged as well
 
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