Question about 1986 Ford Thunderbird

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86 T'bird with leaky main seal

I was recently told by a mechanic that my t'birds main seal is the reason for it's leaking. I had a different mechanic fix it before this one and he said it wasn't the main, but it's still leaking on the garage floor. I replace about a quart of oil every 2 or so months, so that's the rate of leakage. The car runs really great despite the leak, and I want to get it fixed but was told it was a design flaw in that years model and now no one will do that work as it can go again at any time, the car has 73K original miles on it. What are my options as I love the car and want to keep it if possible. I was also told I could get another 30K miles on it even with the leak as long as I always make sure I add oil, but it's messing up the garage where I rent the spot and it needs to be fixed in order for me to keep it. thanks  BirdLover

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On the 86' bird the engines are all mounted for rear wheel drive the problem is the seal is very touchy, you may have a grove on the crank . ford makes a seal kit with a new and improved seal. i know i own a 86' bird.

Posted on Jul 30, 2008

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Your engine is mounted transverse, which puts the "front" of the engine to the passenger side.
The front crank seal would be leaking around the shaft of the lowest, largest pulley. While the rear main would be leaking from either the transmission inspection cover(automatic trans) or the bellhousing where the trans meets the engine block(manual trans) Of course, since these are both seals on the crankshaft, it may be leaking from both! These problems are best addressed by the competent care of a professional Auto tech as the crank may be off balance, due to a larger internal problem.

try to diagnose your self by cleaning the lower half of the engine using a grease cutting solvent then spraying off at the local car wash, then by the time you have made it home it should be apparent where the leak actually is. Either way a mechanic should make the repair.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008

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