'97 Taurus 3.0 overheating bug

Hi all, 1997 Taurus 3.0 with only 58k miles. My sister had it 2 weeks after Dad died and put $1500 in it for a tranny. 2 weeks later it overheated big time, a independant shop told them a new engine needed. I just got
it to my place. The overflow tank is split, somewhat rusty residual antifreeze in it. Runs fair, missing a bit, no white smoke. Compression readings front bank 120 - 90 - 150, rear bank 80 - 70 - 130. Specs say minimum of 100psi. Plugs in front bank clean, rear bank damp. Interestingly enough a plug in the rear bank was welded closed, molten drops between electrode and side wall, never saw that before, explains the miss anyway. I'm thinking I "just" need a head gasket in the rear and the block is probably ok???? I know about the rusty freeze plug recall but can't prove Dad had it done, but he would have if he received the recall. The freeze plugs I can see look good, look newer than the block actually.
Thoughts??
Thanks a ton..
Mike
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readings? I wonder if those readings are even correct. Is it possible it overheated because of the leak and all is well (if the leak were fixed) I wonder what it would do if the leak was fixed and new plugs were put in it.......You know, theres only one way to find out and its alot cheaper than a new engine....
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Ye may be correct! The compression readings with a good screw-in type gauge with the engine slightly warm. Today I put the expansion tank and plugs in, flushed the cooling system and let it run, and run. Coolant level stayed fine, did not overheat, fans working as needed. Idles a bit rough and "service engine" light on but runs strong. Took compression readings again while hot and now have: rear bank 130 - 60 - 120 front 120 - 110 - 130, put some oil in the "60 inch" cylinder and it came up to 90, so I guess I have ring probs there but nothing to stop me from running it. I'll take it in to get the codes reset and see what happens.
Thanks troops!
Mike

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