88 taurus problems

hi all, I just acquired an 88 taurus 3.0 which was running good when I bought it. Now I am having some problems with it.
First off when i would drive it for a while the coolant tank would
bubble over and smoke. The car wouldnt overheat though. After a while it did start to overheat and i noticed that most of the cooling system was empty. I am not sure how much coolant was in it but the coolant seems to disappear. I flushed the radiator and also replaced the thermostat and the top hose and it stopped overheating but it still was losing coolant. A few days ago when i drove it a little while it wouldnt start and i havent gotten it started since. The engine will crank but it won't turn over.
Would these two problems be related? another thing it does is it doesnt have a lot of power in low gears and kind of sputters.
Thanks in advance for your help
Greg
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sounds like a blown head gasket. and yes, both events are most likely related

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how difficult of a repair is it? would i be able to do it myself? i've done other repairs myself and would be willing to try or i could just swap the engine out with another from a junkyard? the car only cost 300 bucks but i'd like to get it running again
thanks greg
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hi greg - i don't know what part of the country you're in, but i'm quitting the car business. health problems. i just took an 88 taurus w/ good 3.0 and tranny (bad fuel pump) to the u-pull lot.
it used to cost as high as 1100 - 1200 to get the heads done. one guy had them done on his 3.8 for 750 and thought he got a bargain. gaskets will run over 60 bucks and how good are you with your hands and do you have the tools.
around here, if you go to a u-pull - a- part yard, the price for a engine runs around 99 to 129 dollars.
as you can tell, there are a lot of variables and you're going to have to weigh everything and then take a course of action.
~ curtis
knowledge is power - growing old is mandatory - growing wise is optional "Many more men die with prostate cancer than of it. Growing old is invariably fatal. Prostate cancer is only sometimes so." http://community.webtv.net/PALMER_ENT/doc
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i'm in utah... I could probably get an engin for about $150. Would a head gasket repair or an engine swap be less expensive? I think i can do the head gasket myself but i dont have the tools to do an engine swap.
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i'm in utah... I could probably get an engin for about $150. Would a head gasket repair or an engine swap be less expensive? I think i can do the head gasket myself but i dont have the tools to do an engine swap. =======this is one of those things you have to weigh all the facts.
changing out the engine will involve at least a cherry picker. it is going to be a lot of nut and bolt operations.
tearing the heads down is only the tip of the ice burg. while they are off, you will need to see if they are true and haven't warped. then, you may have a valve problem. any kind of machine work will easily surpass the complete engine price.
i guess, as a suggestion, since you have nothing to lose, would be to tear down the heads, if they are in bad shape, could find other heads or do the engine swap from there. at least, it's a plan.....
~ curtis
knowledge is power - growing old is mandatory - growing wise is optional "Many more men die with prostate cancer than of it. Growing old is invariably fatal. Prostate cancer is only sometimes so." http://community.webtv.net/PALMER_ENT/doc
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

If your a moderately equipped DIY with no cherry picker or lift to drop the sub frame, i would opt to replace the head gaskets. The price of the engine is irrelevant if you don't have the proper tools or facilities to do it. call some local machine shops to see what it would cost to do your heads and face them. They may even have ready to go heads on the shelf with yours as a core. if you do this, put on a new water pump while your at it. If your real lucky, the exhaust manifold bolts will come off and not snap off......
Before you do anything, you better take a good look at all the systems and body on the car and think long and hard if its really worth it.
Bob
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I recently had to replace both heads on my V6 and the cost with exchange (reconditioned) heads and gasket set was around $700.00--and that was with me doing all the work myself. This was for a different engine than you're talking about but I don't think the costs could be that much different. I might add that the job is fairly involved and not something that you're going to hammer out in a few hours. You have to be careful and methodical, and there's a lot of things that can go wrong, break, etc. Depends on how proficient you are at this whether it's worth it.
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yeah i've started to take it apart.. I think if i take some time at i should be able to do it myself. I've repaired other parts on this and also on a few foreign cars. If the heads need replaced i'll try local junk yards and see how cheap i can do it.. If its not worth it i'll just junk it.. I'll just see.. is there any tips and tricks for a job like this i should know?
thanks greg
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i really just wanna learn how to do it..and i have this shitty car to do it on..so why not eh?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Yep, good learner at this point. It's not "hard" just a bit involved. Have fun, drink some beer, be meticulous and check back as you progress. The 88 3.0 was a strong engine but there were some occasional weak head bolt and infrequent head gasket concerns. You might want to invest in a set of head bolts just in case. Gasket and bolt kit for a later 3.8 is about $70 retail to give you an idea, 3.0 may be different.
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yeah im planning on replacing everything once i get it all opened..if the engine and heads are still good. but i have just started almost got the intake manifold off..so i'll see what happens
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I thought it was the 2.9's that were known to crack heads. Did the 3.0's use the same heads? Also, good point about head bolts--don't know if it uses torque-to-yield bolts or not, but it probably does. In which case they must be replaced.
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James Goforth wrote:

The replace the head bolts is a must. I think most 3.0 head gasket failures were the result of a snapped head bolt or such. It does not happen often.
If one were really a cheap skate, they would take the heads off and clean them up as good as possible and put the engine back together with a new gasket and headbolt set. This is rolling the dice some, but i have seen worse.
I still would call some machine shops. They may have a set of 3.0 heads someone abandon that they would like to at least get some of there money out of.
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would heads from a junkyard be better?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Until you get yours off and clean them up, who knows? Most junkyard heads are pulls and not decked or prepped.
Bob
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3.0's are a dime a dozen, they are a dependable engine for the most part.
if the engine has bought the farm that you have, you might want to consider a swap out instead of tearing the heads down.
~ curtis
knowledge is power - growing old is mandatory - growing wise is optional "Many more men die with prostate cancer than of it. Growing old is invariably fatal. Prostate cancer is only sometimes so." http://community.webtv.net/PALMER_ENT/doc
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