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Hi, sounds like your timing chain may have slipped a tooth. Unfortunately, with a pushrod engine, you have to take the front off the engine to check valve timing. Timing gear marks should align as shown below. If they don't, replace the chain.
Never open, service or drain the radiator or cooling system when hot; serious burns can occur from the steam and hot coolant. Also, when draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantities. Always drain coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or is several years old.
Disconnect the negative battery cable and drain the engine cooling system.
Remove the crankshaft pulley and damper.
The outer ring (weight) of the torsional damper is bonded to the hub with rubber. The damper must be removed with a puller which acts on the inner hub only. Pulling on the outer portion of the damper will break the rubber bond or destroy the tuning of the unit.
Remove the water pump assembly.
Loosen the oil pan.
If applicable, remove the crankshaft position sensor.
Remove the front cover bolts and, if equipped, the reinforcements, then remove the front cover from the engine.
Pry the seal out of the front cover using a small prytool. Be very careful not to distort the front cover or to score the end of the crankshaft.
To install: On 1995-99 models, anytime the front cover is removed, the cover must be replaced upon reassembly. If you reuse the old cover, oil leaks may develop.
Clean the gasket mating surfaces of the engine and cover of all remaining gasket or sealer material. Be careful not to score or damage the surfaces.
The manufacturer suggests you wait until the front cover is mounted to the engine before you install the replacement crankshaft oil seal. This assures the cover is properly supported.
Position a new front cover gasket to the engine or cover using gasket cement to hold it in position. Lubricate the front of the oil pan seal with engine oil to aid in reassembly.
Install the front cover to the engine. Take care while engaging the front of the oil pan seal with the bottom of the cover. On 1998-99 models, apply sealer 12346141, or an equivalent sealant to the oil pan rail where it contacts the timing cover-to-block joint (front) and the crankshaft rear seal retainer-to-block joint (rear). Continue the bead of sealant about 1 in. (25mm) in both directions from each of the four corners.
Install front cover retaining bolts and tighten to 124 inch lbs. (14 Nm) on 1994-95 models and 106 inch. lbs. (12 Nm) on 1996-99 models.
Lightly coat the lips of the replacement crankshaft seal with clean engine oil, then position the seal with the open end facing inward the engine. Use a suitable seal installation driver to position the seal in the front cover.
If removed, install a new crankshaft position sensor O-ring, then install the sensor.
Secure the oil pan.
Install the water pump.
Install the crankshaft damper and pulley.
Connect the negative battery cable, then properly refill the engine cooling system.
Run the engine until normal operating temperature has been reached, then check for leaks.
timing cover is leaking oil betwwen cover and block
Disconnect the negative battery cable.
Remove the drive belt(s), fan and fan shroud. If equipped, remove the accessory drive belt pulley.
Remove the vibration damper retaining bolt and washer. Remove the vibration damper using a suitable puller.
Remove the accessory drive brackets attached to the timing cover.
Remove the A/C compressor, if equipped, and alternator bracket from the cylinder head and move to one side.
Remove the oil pan-to-timing case cover bolts and the cover-to-cylinder block bolts.
Remove the timing case cover front seal and gasket from the engine.
Cut off the oil pan side gasket end tabs and oil pan front seal
tabs flush with the front face of the cylinder block. Remove the gasket
Clean the timing case cover, oil pan and cylinder block gasket surfaces.
Remove the crankshaft seal oil seal from the cover by prying it out with a suitable tool.
Install a new seal in the timing cover using a suitable seal installation tool.
Apply sealer to both sides of the replacement cover gasket and
position the gasket on the cylinder block. Cut the end tabs off the
replacement oil pan gasket corresponding to those cut off the original
gasket. Attach the end tabs to the oil pan with sealer.
Coat the front cover seal end tab recesses generously with sealer and position the seal on the timing cover.
Apply engine oil to the seal-oil pan contact surface, then position the cover on the cylinder block.
Insert timing case cover alignment tool J22248 or equivalent, in
the crankshaft opening. Install the cover-to-cylinder block bolts and
tighten them to 62 inch lbs. (7 Nm). Install and tighten the oil
pan-to-cover bolts to 11 ft. lbs. (13 Nm).
Remove the cover alignment tool and position a replacement oil
seal on the tool with the seal lip facing outward. Apply a light coat of
sealer to the seal and a light coat of oil to the crankshaft. Install
the seal on the timing cover.
Apply a light film of oil to the vibration damper hub seal
contact surface. Install the vibration damper using a suitable
Do not hammer the damper into place as damage may result to the damper or engine.
Install and tighten the crankshaft vibration damper bolt to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm).
If equipped, install the crankshaft pulley and tighten the bolts to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
Install the accessory brackets.
Install the fan and fan shroud.
Install the drive belt(s) and adjust to the proper tension.
yes, I just changed one of these recently. Had to take both front and bottom off engine. Very difficult repair, as there are no good jack points for the engine when you have all the motor mounts off.
Here is procedure I would recommend.
Remove starter and engine to transmission brackets front and back.
Remove transmission starter gear cover.
drain oil and remove oil pan.
put a block under the crankshaft and jack to release weight on motor mount.
remove front motor mount (by serpentine belt)
remove compressor and bracket.
remove crank pulley and vib damper.
remove timing cover. mark timing belt with direction of travel
loosen tensioner gear.
remove timing belt.
remove crankshaft timing gear and key.
remove seal and oil pump housing.
clean gasket surfaces.
replace seal and reverse procedure.
Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery. On vehicles equipped with an air bag, wait at least 90 seconds before proceeding.
Remove the front covers and the timing belt.
Remove the crankshaft timing belt sprocket.
WARNING When removing the front seal, be extremely careful not to damage the crankshaft.
Using a knife, cut off the oil seal lip.
Tape the end of a flat bladed tool to avoid damaging crankshaft. Pry out the oil seal using the taped end of the tool.
Inspect the oil seal riding surface on the crankshaft for signs of wear or damage.
Wipe the seal bore with a clean rag.
Apply multipurpose grease the lip of a new oil seal.
Drive the oil seal into place using tool SST 09309–37010 or an equivalent seal installer tool. Make sure the seal surface is flush with the oil pump case edge. Work from the front of the cover. Be extremely careful not to damage the seal.
Install the sprocket without disturbing the Woodruff key.
Install the timing belt and front covers.
Connect the negative battery cable to the battery.
if the front seal leak you can just replace the seal, if the timing cover is leaking then you will have to remove the cover. while you are in there, I suggest that you go ahead to replace the timing chain ( timing set ), seal and a new cover. parts cost less than 100 dollars.