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The oil pan has to come off the engine to remove the front cover. This is because the oil pick-up bolts to the front cover and cannot be removed without removing the pan.
Yes, there are four orings that seal the oiler cooler tube, two on each end. If these were broken you would have oil into coolant. This is becuase the oil sysyem runs at a much higher pressure than the coolant system. This would inturn force the oil into the cooling system. I don't think this is the root of your problem. This would not cause white smoke.
This would cause coolant to migrate into your oil. This is becuase there is little pressure behind the cover where the erosion takes place, it is just the crank case pressure. The easiest way to check for this is to remove the water pump and take a look. Also, you can drain the oil, put water in the cooling system and listen to see if you can hear the water dripping into the front of the oil pan. This would not cause white smoke.
Blown Head Gasket, Cracked Head:
This is where it gets interesting because they have the same symptoms. Becuase you stated that you have white smoke coming from the tail pipe my guess is that you are buring water/coolant. A BHG and a cracked head would fit this bill of symptoms nicly except for the fact that in most of the cases there is not coolant in the oil becuase the water is burned and pushed through the exhaust. It could happen that the head gasket failed between a coolant passage and an oil drain passage but it's rare.
I don't want to rain on your parade, but I think that this is your problem. The crack can run from the combustion chamber to the crankcase, and water can be found both above and below the piston. This would explain the white smoke (water being burned) and the water in your oil.
I appoligize for my last post saying that an oil cooler would cause coolant in your oil, I was working late and was under a bit of stress. The fact of the matter is that the oil system runs at a higher pressure than the cooling system, so the higher pressure would prevail.
99.5 F-250 4x4, 7.3 PS
State 1 injectors from Rosewood, GT38 (van) turbo, S&B intake, Comp Cam's 910 valve springs, Smith Brothers pushrods, AIH delete TS 6-position chip. Pyro.
2005 front end conversion, 2008 tailgate, taillights, and rear bumper.
Edge CTS monitor, and 4" Exhaust (Manufacturer to be determined).