3.8 liter Essex experiences - Page 2 - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-19-2018, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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I heard somewhere from some guy on YouTube who was talking about his experiences with Taurus cars and he said that 1994 and 1995 are better years for a Taurus with the 3.8. He said those years had lower head gasket failures because they got most of the bugs out or something like that.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-19-2018, 04:47 PM
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I had a 89 High Optioned Taurus 3.8 Essex. The thermostat was a pain in the ass. Friend wrecked it, wrapped the front end around a tree. Replaced the core supports, and everything else. Drove out really nice, and good on power and the same as a Vulcan on fuel mileage. I would consider getting one again, but the newest years only due to revamp of gasket design.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-19-2018, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TaurusLX86 View Post
I heard somewhere from some guy on YouTube who was talking about his experiences with Taurus cars and he said that 1994 and 1995 are better years for a Taurus with the 3.8. He said those years had lower head gasket failures because they got most of the bugs out or something like that.

My '95 blew the head gasket at ~70K. Replaced under Ford letter of fixin before 75K.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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I guess that settles it. Only Vulcan for me. If I did get a 3.8 liter I would find Mustang 3.8 head gaskets and put it on there. But it looks I will go Vulcan only. I guess the year for the Taurus LX Wagon I'll go for restoring will be 1986 since there was no 3.8 engine for that year.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-04-2018, 05:53 PM
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just bought '93 Creampuff w/3.8 and 84K grandma miles.

I'm getting 20mpg with lots of bumper to bumper on HILLS.


Anything I should do to forestall Head Gasket failure? Change coolant often? Run that super Zombie Radiator Juice? Don't run the juice? More water/less coolant? Pray? Pro-active use of Mechanic in a Bottle gasket sealer? (had great luck with other cars)


When 3.8 blows a gasket is it amiable to use of Mechanic in a Bottle gasket sealer?

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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I'm getting 20mpg with lots of bumper to bumper on HILLS.


Anything I should do to forestall Head Gasket failure? Change coolant often? Run that super Zombie Radiator Juice? Don't run the juice? More water/less coolant? Pray? Pro-active use of Mechanic in a Bottle gasket sealer? (had great luck with other cars)


When 3.8 blows a gasket is it amiable to use of Mechanic in a Bottle gasket sealer?
I remember someone said to put the head gaskets from a later 3.8 car like a mustang to deal with those issues.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 01:36 PM
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The 3.8 had noticeably more torque than the Vulcan, and I got consistent 27-30mpg on the highway with it in my '92 Taurus. But it's notorious for a reason -- mine blew at 60K miles, exiting I-75 in Atlanta GA.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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The 3.8 had noticeably more torque than the Vulcan, and I got consistent 27-30mpg on the highway with it in my '92 Taurus. But it's notorious for a reason -- mine blew at 60K miles, exiting I-75 in Atlanta GA.
I really like the torque but it probably isn't worth the trouble. I asked and started this thread just in case I got and restored a G1 Taurus with this engine. Since I'm going for a 1986 LX Wagon that engine isn't an option that year so I'd be good.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 03:11 PM
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3.8 expert here, no 3.8 is immune from head gasket failure. Ford used cheap paper gaskets on all years taurus 88 to 95 with the 3.8. All taurus/sable 3.8 with the factory gasket will fail sooner or later. Is better just to replace it before it does, but just that job alone with cost more then the car is worth. Also you get any coolant into the oil, even after how ever many oil changes usually results in blown rod bearing. Happened to me, had to do a total rebuild. Have to use the superceded fel pro gasket and no more problems.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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3.8 expert here, no 3.8 is immune from head gasket failure. Ford used cheap paper gaskets on all years taurus 88 to 95 with the 3.8. All taurus/sable 3.8 with the factory gasket will fail sooner or later. Is better just to replace it before it does, but just that job alone with cost more then the car is worth. Also you get any coolant into the oil, even after how ever many oil changes usually results in blown rod bearing. Happened to me, had to do a total rebuild. Have to use the superceded fel pro gasket and no more problems.
My Aunt and later given to my cousin owned a 1991 Taurus GL wagon with that engine and it had a lot of problems with the 3.8 Essex. I'm kind of angry Ford made the 3.8 the only available engine in the LX Wagon after 1990.
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