Used 3.8 V6 engines

They used to be common as dirt and cheap. Are they still?

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wrote:

Yup - if you don't care what kind of shape they are in. #.8 front drive engines in good condition are not plentiful today - and not cheap (at least up here)
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Bret Ludwig wrote:

Yep, with blown head gaskets and trashed bottom ends they are real cheap and plentiful. They can be had for scrap weight. "Good" used ones are kinda hard to find though. The price is coming down as the vehicles needing them age. FWD engines (ie:Windstar) are still pricy. About $600-700 in northern Ohio. RWD are a bit less. The 3.8s newer sibling, the 4.2, is going at a premium also. This is due to intake manifold gasket failures causing hydro lock and piston destruction. A running, used 4.2 with less than 100K is about $1500 or better in my area.
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The sad part is, those engines were good engines. Prior to the government ban on asbestos 300K was common on the 3.8. in the fleet cars we serviced. Equally sad is the fact if owners had properly maintained their vehicle they would have discovered the gasket was starting to weep coolant and changed the gasket long before any damage occurred in the engine.
mike hunt

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On Sun, 21 May 2006 08:51:48 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

Except less than an ounce of glycol in the oil can scrub the bearings out of those engines. Ford apparently now has replacement bearings available that stand up to glycol better than the crappy factory installed bearings.

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Every 3.8 RWD I'm personally familiar with started running hot at around 75k miles, no head gasket issues This was on a Fairmont body Granada, LTD II, LTD II Wagon, 85 T-Bird. Good engines but they had their share of issues
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Mine never overheated, but a lifter got stuck and damaged the camshaft around 100K -- previous owner rarely changed oil, if at all. Put 66K more on it after replacing the timing set. Heavy oil consumption finally doomed it. I replaced it with a reman long block from ATK (in the Bay Area) several years ago. They sent me crappy manifold gaskets and the stud for the pickup tube was on the wrong side, requiring retorquing the main bearings after I moved it , but otherwise no complaints (it's at 30K now). See them listing it for $1655+ freight with a 3 year, unlimited mileage warranty . May not be such a bad deal.
The EGR valve on these engines gets clogged with carbon frequently - nothing that some good scraping can't fix. Otherwise no problems.

75k
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On Sun, 21 May 2006 19:36:54 -0700, "Happy Traveler"

My brotherinlaw had a 3.8 T-Bird. The original engine developed a knock under warranty - the block had warped, putting the main bearing bores out of line. The dealer put a new set of bearings in it, which lasted untill it was out of warranty, when both the mains and cam bearings went out. It was at this point they found out the block was warped, and HE ended up paying to put another engine in. It lasted another 40 some thousand miles, when it took out a crank. When the block was checked, it was bad too. Something about the castings being green when they were machined (1983, I think). Funny thing was, brother-in-law worked at the ford casting plant at the time.
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That may well be your experience but we all well aware of the fact not all owners proved the proper preventive maintenance required of their individual vehicle.
My experience servicing thousands of Ford fleet vehicles, with all four of the various 3.8 V6s, shows no such problem however, prior to and after the those that were equipped with the problematic non asbestos gaskets..
mike hunt

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What year did the gaskets change ?
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Obviously if the own did not properly maintain the cooling system, and the oil became contaminated, there would be damage to the engine from lack of proper lubrication not matter what the composition of the bearings.
mike hunt
<clare at snyder.on.ca> wrote in message

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My ;93 Cougar with almost 120k on it just needed head gaskets. This was susposedly the year just before the change in gasket material. It has been well maintained since new and we caught the problem right away. It runs like new, now. The car has required almost nothing in repairs until now except for routine maintenance stuff. I plan to keep it a long time yet and highly recommend them, V6 or V8.
PoD
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On Mon, 22 May 2006 09:28:40 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

Without ever being overheated, and on engines that have been METICULOUSLY MAINTAINED, this has been a problem. Not only head gaskets (actually quite rare, comparitively) but intake gaskets and timing cover gaskets allow minute amounts of glycol into the oil. Before the leakage is enough for you to realize you even have a leak (remember - as little as ONE OUNCE) the engine starts it's death rattle. Sometimes you get lucky and catch it before the damage is severe, and the engine lives for another couple years after replacing the bad gaskets and flushing the glycol out of the system - but I would NEVER count on it. Replacing rod and main bearings usually is not enough to fix them either. Cam bearings go as well. Overheat these engines, and you REALLY have problems.

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Ones observation of any coolant loss is pretty basic stuff. When an owner is properly maintaining their vehicle they will quickly become aware of any loss of coolant. At that point they should perform a pressure check to easily discover the cause of the coolant loss and repair it long before any further damaged can occur to the engine.
mike hunt
. <clare at snyder.on.ca> wrote in message wrote:

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On Mon, 22 May 2006 13:12:15 -0400, "Mike Hunter"

Mike, how much difference i fluid level in your overflow tank does ONE OUNCE make? You tell me YOU will notice it and be concerned???
I doubt it, man.

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Ford had a run of bad heater hoses on the 3.8 in the 1980's. They would developed pinhole leaks under pressure, which would bleed coolant onto the block. You would see miniscule traces of coolant on the block after a long run and never realize it was the heater hoses.
Ford also had a recall on catalytic converters on my 1985 3.8 T-Bird. Not sure if this was for heat shields or something else.
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What is your point? If one did the proper preventive maintenance the loss of coolant, no mater the cause, would be apparent. A proper test to fined the loss would have revealed a leaking hose
mike hunt

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My point , contrary to your observations, simply is that the 3.8 is less than perfect.
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Which one, there were four 3.8 V6s. We serviced them by the thousands, great engines, but not every engine is perfect.
mike hunt

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You can also get rebuilt engines pretty cheap. I was looking at them out of curiosity for the 2.5 L Contour engine. They were under $2k. I think some are rebuilt in Mexico and come with a warranty. They claim all the main parts (bearings, pistons, etc.) are new.
You should be able to find them on Google.
Jeff
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