I have a 1989 Mercury Cougar LS with 140k on the clock and I'm debating
wether or not I should have the engine rebuilt by 150k or 160k. The car
runs fine, no smoking, funny smells or odd noises from under the hood and
the rest of the car, including the paint is pretty close to perfect.
I am interested to find out how much other Thunderbird./Cougar owners have
paid to have their vehicles engines rebuilt and how many miles they had on
the odometer when the engine was rebuilt.
I know that the blue book on the car is around $2k and I'm guessing that the
cost of rebuilding the engine is around the same amount of money but since I
really love my Cougar and I don't want car payments a rebuild is the answer
Am I worrying over nothing or should I start finding a reputable shop to do
Thanks in advance for any advice.
On Thu, 22 Apr 2004 05:23:34 GMT, "Jeff Duarte - Robert
The weak point in your 3.8L is the head gaskets which tend
to fail suddenly. Otherwis, the 3.8L is a very reliable
long life engine which should be good for 200K easily unless
a head gasket turns loose. Keep in mind that the vast
majority of 3.8L's never had a head gasket failure. That
said, if it were mine, and, it had no known problems, I
would drive it until it fails or needs something. The
reason is that the repairs, or a rebuild, will be exactly
the same when it fails as it would be right now. The miles
you get between now and the time it fails are pretty much
free miles allowing you to keep your money longer. Who
knows? By the time it fails you may be tired of it and ready
for a new ride. BTW, you may want to have the cooling
system flushed regularly and refilled with a good quality
coolant of the proper mix. This won't guarantee prevention
of a head gasket failure but, it will help prevent the
corrosion aspect that many times contributes to the problem
and, help keep it cooler which may help. Never allow this
engine to run hot.
Ditto to the others
If you are doing the normal maintenance, you are worrying over nothing.
I dont do the best job of it, but I run Mobil1 oil and easily have reached
185k on two of them, despite my first 3.8 arriving at my driveway with worn
main bearings, then putting an additional 65k miles on it without rebuild.
All you have to do is keep a close eye on your engine fluids. The REAL
danger is coolant leaking into the oiling system,
3.8L long block prices run around $1600 and up........labor for installation
is extra and not a mega problem in rwd cars but my son had a 1991 T
bird...3.8L v-6 racked 170k on it blew head gasket...changed head gaskets,
heads...r&r our selves...he got another year out of the beast and finally
sold it cuz emmission sensor kept giving him fits....so that's part of a
Your a little high on how much the car is worth Blue book, at excellent shape is
about 1200. with a trade of about 500. The average cost of a long block is about
900 to 1000, that is with out labor. For a shop to "rebuild your engine, which
will most likely be just bearing and ring replacement with a gasket kit the over
all cost will be less, but not as good a job and not the warranty of a
replacement engine. If the car is really in excellent shape body clean, not
damaged and repaired the interior clean it's not a bad idea.
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