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Old 04-08-2013, 05:50 PM
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Default cracked front cover

I've got a 1996 leaking water. This is the second one and was wondering if anyone else had this problem or I'm just lucky. It's cracked right behind the top oil cooler mounting threaded hole.




the crack makes a "L" shape, runs along the water port then goes up to the thread.
Any Ideas? Just resealed the oil cooler, as it had been leaking oil. This winter had a water leak when it was cold, but dried up after it ran a while. Thought it might be the water pump, but after I cleaned the area, maybe it was this leaking? Sucks, cause I gotta pull the engine again!

Last edited by oldschool; 04-08-2013 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:06 PM
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Is something pressing down on the oil cooler?
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:15 PM
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:28 PM
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Is something pressing down on the oil cooler?
No, everything is free, and where it should be, not external pressure
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:40 PM
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I've never seen one crack like that... Not really sure what could cause it other then vibration.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CSIPSD View Post
I've never seen one crack like that... Not really sure what could cause it other then vibration.
Like I said, this is the second one i've had. Both in the same truck with different engines. Thought maybe a bad design, that's why I'd thought I'd ask if anyone else had problems. If not, I don't know. If it was bad motor mounts, would see it hitting somewhere, and it would torque the other way, oil cooler is on the left side. Got me stumpped. Funny it started to leak after the cooler re-seal? didn't impact bolts, all were hand tightened, didn't feel anything strange going together?
  #7  
Old 04-13-2013, 10:40 AM
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well, if it cracked after you did the cooler, I'd think that you probably Hydraulic'd it when you tightened
the bolts.....
wouldn't take much oil-water-crud in there to crack that little aluminum housing ....

sucks....
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old OutLaw View Post
well, if it cracked after you did the cooler, I'd think that you probably Hydraulic'd it when you tightened
the bolts.....
wouldn't take much oil-water-crud in there to crack that little aluminum housing ....

sucks....
dont think so, the top bolt hole goes all the way through. and everything was hand tightened. the new cover in that area is a lot heavier and the bolt hole is blind. I i think is was seeping before the cooler re-seal. there was some accumulation of coolant when it was cold, thought that it might be the cooler, but after looking how the cooler is sealed, coolant can't leak externaly from the seals. the water pump weep hole showed no sign of leaking.

Last edited by oldschool; 04-13-2013 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:42 PM
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OK, cool, I couldn't see the hole going clear thru....my bad.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:25 AM
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I had mine crack. I think it was a bad run of castings personally. I swapped to a 2001 cover,pan and pickup. It has a brace cast into it right there. From what I can tell it was late 95 early 96 models from the others I've seen of peoples cracking. I'm going to try and weld my 96 up whenever I get a tig for aluminum.
And when I had the leak I resealed the oil cooler first before finding the crack. Should have just pulled the motor first but oh well. To close to get a welder in without pulling as well.

Sent from my x2 chillin in the middle of no where
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Last edited by bad12jr; 04-14-2013 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad12jr View Post
I had mine crack. I think it was a bad run of castings personally. I swapped to a 2001 cover,pan and pickup. It has a brace cast into it right there. From what I can tell it was late 95 early 96 models from the others I've seen of peoples cracking. I'm going to try and weld my 96 up whenever I get a tig for aluminum.
And when I had the leak I resealed the oil cooler first before finding the crack. Should have just pulled the motor first but oh well. To close to get a welder in without pulling as well.

Sent from my x2 chillin in the middle of no where
that's what I'm lean towards is bad casting. The new one I got is a little beefier in that area and the thread is a blind hole. I'm thinking the crack started at the area on top where the threads come out. I didn't know about the two years having problems though. good to know. So any latter model front cover will work, just may have to change pickup tube? The only thing i'm woundering about for welding is do you think it coluld cause warp? I'm gonna try on the old cover since i've nothing to lose now. and maybe feef it up a little at the same time.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Old OutLaw View Post
OK, cool, I couldn't see the hole going clear thru....my bad.
no problem, was a good thought though, plus the hole runs down hill when the engine is installed.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:03 PM
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The 01 cover pickup was on the opposite side of the pan which requires the newer pan as well. It will interchange no problem to the 96.

Sent from my x2 chillin in the middle of no where
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Old 06-11-2020, 09:18 PM
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I know this is a super old thread, and not many guys frequent the forums anymore (honestly is a shame, I found these to be a HUGE help when I was learning) but did we ever figure out the cause of these in 96’s?
I have the exact same issue as the OP.
2 covers cracked in the exact same spot a year apart in the same truck.
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Old 06-14-2020, 09:18 PM
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Mine cracked in this exact spot



Right through the water passage into the mounting bolt, leaked between the cover and the block.

Mine was unfortunately because the engine builder who had it, dropped the my motor on the oil cooler and broke the front adapter that bolts the cooler to the cover. They didnt notice the cover cracked at the same time and tried to blame it on me. I ended up having to buy a new cover and replacing it on my own time.

This is the first I've heard of it happening to someone else though.
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Old 06-15-2020, 11:12 AM
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Unfortunately I think yours might have been A bad coincidence, being a 96 and seeing that’s where all these cracked covers are from, I’d almost bet it was cracking(ed) on its own and the drop only solidified it.
Not sure what it is about this short run cover but seams fairly common from the research I’ve done
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Old 06-15-2020, 07:21 PM
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I just wish I would've know I could've put there SD cover, pickup and pan on instead. I definitely would have gone that route
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:01 AM
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My 96 cracked in that exact spot. It was the reason I pulled the engine. The new engine has a new cover. I think it is the casting design combined with the fact we have a 3” hydraulic cylinder pushing on it with 50 psi.
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Old 06-18-2020, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garbage_Mechanic View Post
My 96 cracked in that exact spot. It was the reason I pulled the engine. The new engine has a new cover. I think it is the casting design combined with the fact we have a 3” hydraulic cylinder pushing on it with 50 psi.

This makes a lot of sense!
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Old 06-18-2020, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garbage_Mechanic View Post
My 96 cracked in that exact spot. It was the reason I pulled the engine. The new engine has a new cover. I think it is the casting design combined with the fact we have a 3” hydraulic cylinder pushing on it with 50 psi.
Mix that with Hot/cold cycles and vibrations is definitely a combination for a stress crack.

Going to SD swap this one & send her on it’s marry way
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Old 06-19-2020, 04:45 PM
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I paid like $300 extra to get a new cover on my rebuilt engine because I figured why start with something already stressed? Just that much shorter path to stress cracks again. Think about it..... besides thermal expansion and vibration we literally have the hydraulic force of the diameter of the core bundle x oil psi.
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:21 AM
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My 96 did the same thing, but it probably had something to do with the mechanic who serviced the oil cooler. Took truck in to dealer with an oil cooler leak, picked it up, took gooseneck to get a load of drywall for a house and it started leaking coolant, drove right back to dealership. Mechanic comes out to parking lot with two gallons of coolant and starts giving me a song and dance and tells me it has a crack, right at the same spot everyone in this thread has. Funny, service manager never mentioned it. Later found out...if you take the bolts out of the rear of the cooler before taking the front bolts out, the cooler will twist that front mount and crack it. I point this out in bold so people who have the factory stock cover on an OBS, and really any 7.3, may avoid this issue by removing the front bolts first, or at least loosen both and remove one of them so it can't torque the mount. I ended up building a new engine and put a new cover on it but I still have the old one in the shop. Used it to mock up lines for dual remote IPR setup I still havent installed That truck was wrecked and engine is in a buddies truck and hasn't had any issues. However, I also related to him how to avoid the problem if he has to replace the cooler or service it. Had I known a SD cover would fit and solves this issue, I would have used that at the time.
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Last edited by Big Bore; 10-25-2020 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Bore View Post
My 96 did the same thing, but it probably had something to do with the mechanic who serviced the oil cooler. Took truck in to dealer with an oil cooler leak, picked it up, took gooseneck to get a load of drywall for a house and it started leaking coolant, drove right back to dealership. Mechanic comes out to parking lot with two gallons of coolant and starts giving me a song and dance and tells me it has a crack, right at the same spot everyone in this thread has. Funny, service manager never mentioned it. Later found out...if you take the bolts out of the rear of the cooler before taking the front bolts out, the cooler will twist that front mount and crack it. I point this out in bold so people who have the factory stock cover on an OBS, and really any 7.3, may avoid this issue by removing the front bolts first, or at least loosen both and remove one of them so it can't torque the mount. I ended up building a new engine and put a new cover on it but I still have the old one in the shop. Used it to mock up lines for dual remote IPR setup I still havent installed That truck was wrecked and engine is in a buddies truck and hasn't had any issues. However, I also related to him how to avoid the problem if he has to replace the cooler or service it. Had I known a SD cover would fit and solves this issue, I would have used that at the time.

Also I believe if someone is changing years of front cover, depending on year, the oil pickup is on the other side of the front cover.
I have a 96 that I got a new front cover from ford at time of the build.
-Few years back I cracked the old one. I must have been drunk bc I went to install the hpop res gasket, I used the screen one and it cracked. Ran fine with a jb fix for years inside the res with no signs of it eroding or peeling, no I do not recommend this but for temporary purposes it will work-
When I went to put on the front cover I noticed that the pick up location for the pick up tube was on the other side of the front cover.
So at the time I opted to get the one that fits correctly instead of changing the pickup mount location
I’m not around the truck to see what month my truck was built in.
Maybe I just have the older style one
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
depending on year, the oil pickup is on the other side of the front cover.
Interesting and noted.
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