3.0 OHV love it or hate it? - Page 5 - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
View Poll Results: What's your opinion of the Vulcan engine?
Like 190 84.82%
Don't like 34 15.18%
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post #41 of 195 (permalink) Old 10-28-2010, 06:13 AM
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When I think about Vulcan, I think about pushrod design, with two valves per cylinder. About 150hp. Mated to an average 4 speed automatic. Any car geek will start snoozing after these statements. Don't get me wrong. It's probably a reliable engine and adequate for pretty much any Taurus owner, and this is what should matter to most. And yet, the spec sheet is just boring, some kind of a throwback to the 80s... But it will get you reliably from point A to point B...
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post #42 of 195 (permalink) Old 10-28-2010, 06:27 AM
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Just because an engine is a 2 valve pushrod design does not mean it is a irrelevant dinosaur. The Corvette LS7 is a 2 valve pushrod design that puts out 505 HP and I doubt anyone would call that snooze worthy. Being a pushrod design does not automatically equal bad just like Overhead Cam does not automatically equal good.

1997 Taurus GL - 3.0 OHV - The Project Bull
1998 Taurus SE - 3.0 OHV - SOLD
1997 Taurus GL - 3.0 OHV - SOLD
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post #43 of 195 (permalink) Old 10-28-2010, 07:39 AM
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^^^^^ +1

The Vulcan was designed to move a mid sized, low to mid priced family car, and it does a decent (if not impressive) job of that. It, no doubt, is relatively cheap to build / assemble, and does have good low end torque, which has always been important to the american car buying public. The Vulcan is by far the easiest FWD V6 engine to work on of any FWD V6 I have worked on.

05 Taurus SEL Duratec - my daily driver
04 Taurus SES Duratec - wifes car - TOTALED
06 Taurus SE Vulcan - wifes new ride
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter car
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post #44 of 195 (permalink) Old 10-29-2010, 02:47 PM
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Thumbs up

My 95 Taurus GL has 247,000 mi. on the odometer. Got it in 2000 with 193,000 mi. so if anything went wrong beforehand it was fixed, like a tranny rebuild by Aamco @ 145,000 mi. It had plenty of "get up and go" to suit me and got real decent mileage: 22mpg city & 28mpg highway. On several occasions it got 32-35mpg where the terrain was hilly and I was using cruise control.
It has engine problems now that just popped up. Think it's vacuum or sensor related that hopefully can be pinpointed. The engine always ran great, used no oil and fires right up, tho the city mpg has steadily dropped over the years. If I can get it fixed at a reasonable cost then it could last me another 10 years!
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post #45 of 195 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 06:39 PM
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I have a 93 3.0 M/T Ranger and it is a gutless wonder. But, it has a bunch of miles on it and is reliable as hell. Also have a couple of 12v Sables, and these seem to have lots more power/acceleration than the Ranger. Having head gskt/eating coolant issues on one of them though, anyone else having the same troubles?
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post #46 of 195 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinsables View Post
I have a 93 3.0 M/T Ranger and it is a gutless wonder. But, it has a bunch of miles on it and is reliable as hell. Also have a couple of 12v Sables, and these seem to have lots more power/acceleration than the Ranger. Having head gskt/eating coolant issues on one of them though, anyone else having the same troubles?
The Ranger is a gutless wonder but it is also geared differently than the Taurus. The Ranger is setup for hauling stuff not hauling butt. I have been driving my father in laws 01 ranger with the 3.0 Vulcan and that thing is slow. The Taurus with the same engine is much quicker.

1997 Taurus GL - 3.0 OHV - The Project Bull
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post #47 of 195 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2knott View Post
^ your funny.

From going to Duratec to Vulcan I lost 50 hp and probably 10 mpg....


I get about 15-19 depending on driving maybe 23 highway with the Vulcan. It's slow gets ****ty mpg and sounds like garbage.

My Vulcan with no cat magnaflow resonator and straight pipe sounds like a ****ty broken ford ranger until it's warm and then its stil sounds like crap till 3k. My Tec with the same setup sounded like a g35 and got an average of 8 mpg more.

OK ,cool that it's bullet proof but there are plenty of other engine that make more power and have much better mpg that are way more reliable. If you guys never had a Vulcan you know that you wouldn't even know what it is or care about it
I have had 5 Taurus. all 3.0L 2V. all engines outlived the cars
(97 was bought with bad head gasket engine and swapped out).

You mileage mirrors my gen3 97/98's. On my old 93 wagon, i got 29MPG
once on the highway on a flat road. otherwise on a hilly interstate around
23 seems to be the magic figure.

Yea, its no head snapper. but most people with Taurus use them as commuter
vehicles. It does the job. there relatively cheap to fix and find parts for.
The vulcans are accessible to work on. Ford did try to upgrade the engine with
the dual plane, but i guess they never saw the need to upgrade the heads or put
in VVT or such. I guess there strategy is why make the base engine too good if
you have a upgrade option?

My only major beef with the Vulcan is WHY in the gen3's +, did they all of a sudden
have this brown coolant issue? was it a casting change issues, change of metals
used, or the addition of the degass bottle and system? I NEVER had this issue with
any of my gen1 or gen2's. My 97 which had searing heat after i initially got it, changed
the engine and flushed the heater core now has medium heat. So its time for my squirt
the heater core with the hose nossle tricks again. This should NOT have to be done.
The Gen3+ definitely suffer from hardening of the arteries. What i wonder
is if the heater core is plugging, whats accumulating inside the engine and
where? Anybody every tore down a brown sludged up Vulcan and see
whats plugged up or blocked internally?

Bob Urz 1989 Vulcan wagon (wife crashed) 1990 Vulcan sedan (sold running) 1993 Vulcan sedan (wife crashed) 1993 Vulcan wagon (beat up like Battlestar Galactica, drove to junkyard on a sad day) 1997 Vulcan sedan (down with multiple coolant leaks), 1998 Vulcan sedan (rescued from being junked three time with broken brake lines and bad rack, hydrolocked engine replaced ) down for now
Note: wives and daughters are dangerous to your Taurus health!

If Spock drove a Taurus it would be a Vulcan

Last edited by soundu; 11-14-2010 at 11:57 AM.
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post #48 of 195 (permalink) Old 11-19-2010, 05:06 AM
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It's all in your perspective. I always thought my Vulcan was slow, but then three weeks ago my son got his learner's permit. My opinion and my underwear changed the same day.
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post #49 of 195 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 04:51 AM
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I love the Vulcan. I much prefer getting my '06 to perform and work for it where my sister-in-law's Duratec is just lazily driving by. I've given plenty of people a ride in my car and they don't believe me that it's just the lowly OHV, they've all said it was one of the quickest non-SHO Taurii that they've road in. Moderately underpowered cars are much more fun to drive aggressively.
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post #50 of 195 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 10:10 AM
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I made this for another post, it pretty much sums up what I think about the engine.

I think they could have addressed much more than the cam issue. Like this:

3.8 Essex

200 HP
230 TQ

52.63 HP/L
60.52 TQ/L

3.0 Vulcan

145 HP
170 TQ

48.33 HP/L
58.00 TQ/L

The Vulcan makes 4 less HP per litre and 2 less lb.ft as well. If the Vulcan had comparable power in terms of displacement to the Essex, it would have made around 160 HP and 182 lb.ft. GM's 60 Degree made that (more actually) at 3.1, so why couldn't Ford? The engine should have received a decent redesign like the Essex got. It didn't though and they kept it at 4-banger output levels. The Buick 3.8 made comparable power levels to an Essex, too.

We should have a way better engine than we do. They should have made the heads a little thicker while they were at it. This engine was neglected. The Vulcan didn't even compete with domestic offerings:

Chrysler OHV 3.3 V6:

160 HP
203 lb.ft

GM 60 Degree 3.1:

160 HP
185 lb·ft

Ford Vulcan 3.0

144 HP
174 lb.ft

It gets even worse for the 4th gen. I'm still incredibly amazed as to why they even tried putting it in the windstar, the MPG rating was worse than an engine that displaced another .8 litres and made a ton more power too.

I have some ideas as to why they screwed up the engines in the 3rd gen so badly:

Ford SHO V8 engine

It made 235 hp and 230 lb·ft, just 35 more HP than the 3.8 would have made. It matches the lf.ft rating and does it at a lower RPM range. I think this is a big reason for them not continuing the Essex engine in the Taurus, it would have made the SHO seem worthless.

The head gasket issues probably didn't help with the situation.

The 3rd gen SHO should have never been. Not to offend anyone, but it really shouldn't. They should have just stuck one of their then current mustang engines, the 3.8 Essex or the 4.6 Modular. It would have been way more fun in my opinion to be able to go and buy add ons that are made for Mustang owners. If they did that then we could easily piggy back off the after market for the Mustang. A supercharged, 3.8 Taurus? Is it better than a SHO V8? I would guess that it is.

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Last edited by JW657; 01-17-2011 at 01:56 PM. Reason: corrected GM displacement
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