'96 Taurus Waterpump Job

Has the 3.0 OHV (Vulcan) engine with 215,000 miles. When I removesd the 2 upper parge bolts I noticed the threads were covered with warm engine oil all the way to the end of the bolt (warm b/c I ran the car pulling it into the garage). I have done water pumps on the seral Taurus/Sables of this era I have owned, and have never seen oil on any of the waterpump bolts. I assume this is Not Good?

You know more than I do with this engine but the bolts should be dry. I’d assume a blown head gasket.

Unless it was blowing large amount of coolant out the exhaust pipe in the form of white steam that smelled like maple syrup, and you ASSUMED that it was a leaky water pump, I don’t think you have a bad head gasket. Since you have it apart, go ahead and reassemble it and see what happens. It may be nothing at all.

What are parge bolts ?

Sorry, should have read “Large bolts”.

Insert a long screw driver into the bolt holes and see if they are open all the way to the crankcase.

The oil you see on the bolts is normal. One of the steps of installing the new water pump on your engine is to apply oil to the threads of the bolts before they’re installed. The only bolt that doesn’t have oil applied to it is the very bottom bolt. That bolt has a thread sealant applied to it because it threads into a water jacket in the engine.


Tester, Thank you for your quality counsel as always. What I found on these bolts as I removed them was the oil on the top two bolts, white thead sealer on all bolts except the one that goes into the water jacket. That one had red thread sealer on it.

Not only that, but these bolts don’t go into the head gasket - they go water pump through the timing chain cover into the block.

IF your timing chain cover gasket is bad, you could get oil on these bolts that way… but it wouldn’t cause any harm unless your water pump gasket went bad, too…

These bolts don’t go through or even near the head gasket and there is no way a leaking head gasket could cause oil to get on these bolts, so I’d rule out this as a possible problem immediately…

Turned out not to be a problem. SOrry about the late feedback.