Mechanics

I HAVE A WITH A BAD OIL PRESSURE SWITCH. WHEN REPLACING THE SWITCH, THE ALUMINUM HOUSING BROKE WHERE THE THREADS ARE. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

1997 Ford Expedition • 164,000 miles

Do I have to replace the whole block, or is there a repair option?
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Idc2007
May 7, 2012.



How did that happen? Put up pic of damage.


Tiny
Fixitmr
May 7, 2012.
It seems as if it has been damaged since a previous owner. As u can c, half of it has broken off, and there is and additional crack there still now.


Tiny
Idc2007
May 7, 2012.
You might consider a product called "Belzona". Many people use an epoxy called "JB Weld", but Belzona is much stronger. It is mixed similarly to epoxy, applied to a clean surface, then you coat the threads of the pressure sending unit with mold-release agent and form the material around the threads of the sending unit. Once cured, the mold-release agent allows you unscrew the sending unit in the future. This product is rather expensive. It is used mainly in the paper mill industry to rebuild shafts that have been chewed up where the bearings ride, and a replacement shaft has to come from overseas. Downtime can cost millions of dollars per day in lost production.

Belzona comes in two forms. The main product is machined exactly like any other metal including cutting it on a lathe, and it wears better than metal. The newer product forms rubber and is used a lot for making engine and machinery mounts.


Caradiodoc
May 7, 2012.
Where would I find this, and what mechanical skill level is required?


Tiny
Idc2007
May 7, 2012.
Best stop by your local dealer parts dept and see what they offer. Probably just have to change oil filter adaptor?


Tiny
Fixitmr
May 7, 2012.
Its a female part that broke, for the oil pressure switch, the filter area is fine.


Tiny
Idc2007
May 7, 2012.
Pic is not close enough or lighted to give me clear idea of problem.


Tiny
Fixitmr
May 7, 2012.
Im sorry thats the best I can do with the position my vehicle is in. It is dead center of the picture tho. It is a half circle, that should be a whole circle, and has another crack on the piece that is left attached to the block.


Tiny
Idc2007
May 7, 2012.
Fixitmr is right about seeing the dealer. Belzona is mixed to a consistency similar to play dough, then applied to a clean, oil-free surface and is molded around threads. First of all, you have to find it and that might mean ordering it from a salesman. If you have to wait for it to show up, you might as well wait for this housing to show up at the dealership.

Second, this stuff is very expensive. As I recall, a large tub, about the size of a tub of butter, was over $400.00. There are smaller packets available but even those were over $100.00. A new housing won't cost that much.

No mechanic would feel comfortable using JB Weld to patch something so critical on a customer's engine, but Belzona is stronger than the metal it's replacing. It's real advantage is it allows you to perform permanent repairs right now when the alternative is to wait for replacement parts and suffer the cost of lost production.

Given the nature of the break in the housing, it wouldn't surprise me if the dealer has a new housing in stock. Years ago Ford had a common problem with cracking thermostat housings. Once they sold a new one, they had a sales history for that part which is what is needed for them to regularly keep a part in stock.

As another thought, your vehicle is old enough that there will be some in the "pick-your-own-parts" salvage yards. You might find a housing there for just a few bucks. If you're anywhere between Ohio and southern Georgia, there's a real nice, clean chain of yards called "Pull-A-Part". Stuff is REAL inexpensive and the employees and customers are very friendly and helpful. I've been to about 16 of their yards.

My reason for mentioning Belzona as a possible fix is I live near multiple paper mills so a lot of people here know what I'm referring to. It's only an advantage for you if you can find someone who will give you a small sample that you can take home and mix up there when you're ready to use it. Given the cost and availability, your first choice should be a new housing.


Caradiodoc
May 7, 2012.