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Old 12-25-2003, 06:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My 91 Sable just rounded the 210K mile mark (acording to carfax) but cant verify it, car has been in SW Fla all its life (never left this town) seemed well maintained, only problem I'm having with it is that the Cruise is dead and the PS Pump is leaking and giving up slowly.

I was wondering what the average life expectancy is on the 3.8L engines. I have no idea if it has been rebuilt or is still original, just know that the last carfax reported Milage was when previouse owner bought the car in '97 with little over 160K miles on it.
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Old 12-25-2003, 07:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, beside the head gasket tearing itself apart, the ol' Essex seems to go 200K miles easily. With an engine THAT old, I would get scared of that head gasket for sure.
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Old 12-25-2003, 07:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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just keep the fluids changed regularly and keep up with maintence and you should be ok and the head gasket seems to happen out of the blue so i would be concerned about ti but not worried just make sure you keep the fluids clean and you should be ok...most problems show up right after coolant flushes and replacing the headgasket isn't that difficult if you have some tools and a free wekend it can be done pretty easy by most people....so just don't beat on it and you should be ok....remember there closely realated to the 5.0 so they such pretty much run forever....and as a side note i would be much more concerned about the tranny since the 3.8 puts out alot of torque and the axod's like to implode alot when coupled with the 3.8 so i would check the trany fluid and maybe even change it and add a tranny cooler just to be safe
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Old 12-25-2003, 07:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, tranny is already on its way out (take a corner give a little gas and the car jumps), smokes after less than 15 miles on the Interstate (first time I noticed that I thought another engine fire with all the smoke comeing from it), that and you can smell it burning the fluid slowly. atleast mechanic already has a spare Transmission at the shop waiting for me, and if needed he said he even has an extra engine for me (but I doubt its a 3.8L)

Thanks for all the info and help so far.
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Old 12-26-2003, 10:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Majisto@Dec 25 2003, 04:04 PM
Well, beside the head gasket tearing itself apart, the ol' Essex seems to go 200K miles easily. With an engine THAT old, I would get scared of that head gasket for sure.
It's probably already been replaced. Unless that 3.8 is a gift from god.
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Old 12-27-2003, 03:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Its really sad that the Essex 3.8 was so messed up. I had one in a 92 Taurus GL Wagon and it was fast. When these cars go south, they do it in a big way
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Old 12-28-2003, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by fordaspiregv@Dec 27 2003, 03:35 PM
Its really sad that the Essex 3.8 was so messed up. I had one in a 92 Taurus GL Wagon and it was fast. When these cars go south, they do it in a big way
My Buick went south in an ugly way too. A/C was dead, CV joint was about dead, water pump had died and over-heated the motor, and the trans-axle gave way...at only 100K miles.
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Old 12-28-2003, 09:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I plan on hitting 200K with my 3.8L I went up to about 132,000 miles before I needed to replace my headgaskets. PITA, but if you keep the coolant fresh each year you'll have happier headgaskets.
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Old 12-29-2003, 12:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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132k is awesome for any engine. If mine went at 132, i'd just be like "ah well, thats the way it is." My rod bearings went at 86.
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Old 12-29-2003, 03:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twilight@Dec 29 2003, 12:06 AM
132k is awesome for any engine. If mine went at 132, i'd just be like "ah well, thats the way it is." My rod bearings went at 86.
I've seen a lot of Rangers run 300+K miles on their original motors. Usually it's the 4-cylinder though which makes no power to begin with. Same thing in the old import cars. There are Vulcan Rangers with very high mileage as well.
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