Cylinder head problems on a vulcan are really rare.. I'm not saying they don't happen as a result of a coolant leak or neglect and then someone melts a motor.. sure that can happen on any motor, but its' not a problem with normal use like the early 3.8's FWD
I'm just saying that the Essex before they got the updated heads/gaskets when about 2001 or so not really sure, were really bad motors from MY EXPERIENCE and experiences of close family members.
My wife's family bought 3 Fords in 1994. A brand new windstar 3.8, a tauri for her sister 3.8 and her taurus 3.0 The windstar spun main bearing because of the gaskets, had the cylinder heads redone, pitted Main bearings. Dealer replaced motor at 38K miles.
Her sister's car shucked out 5 years ago..She drives camry now. The thing is, the original engine was totally destroyed (like the windstar) by the dealership in carroll when AFreeze pitted the main bearing and the dealer replaced the motor under warranty, bouncing temp guage you know the signs.. But that replacement motor only lasted 7 years! 5 years ago radiator heater core, radiator, waterpump.. you guessed it, head gaskets again putting pressure in all the wrong places, but that was pre 2000 replacement so they were replacing a flawed moter with flawed head gasket because that motor was dealer replaced in 1997
It's just a shame it took ford so long to come out with updated HG cuz these experiences soured lots of people..
My wife's taurus 3.0 is still going strong except for recent episodes of the radiator and HC
and now Timing chain cover, so I need to get the AF analyzed for gases, but I'm guessing it's old age.
Youknow these cheap radiators ford puts in with the crimp seals..LOL.. hope I'm right, it it's head gaskets I stand corrected on the vulcan time will tell, HG failure isn't a normal thing as it was a design flaw on the essex, that's all I meant to say..
My grandmother's 1992 sable 3.0 still going strong, but it only has 70K, around town car, doesn't count..
My brother works at the ford dealership used to work on cars, now works strictly on powerstrokes, but almost evertime I visited him he was doing head gaskets and had a 3.8 torn apart, but again what was in the late 90's early 2000 so those were left over bad designs..
I don't have a newer tauri so can't comment on the newer duratec's but I've been more than happy with the 3.0 1994 has given us years of reliable service.
I don't have a problem with the newer 3.8's.. The dealership had a pristine 2001 Windstar/Freestar whatever that blew a freeze plug and melted the heads..My brother bought it for $500 He put new set of head, they were warped 15 thousands if you can believe that, the block was ok..we know the block are good on those motors... Put in new clutches in the tranny, resealed everything and the van is like new, leather perfect condition, nice vehicle that will provide years of service... Nothing wrong with newer 3.8's as he says they are much improved.....
I just have a problem with the older ones, which was my point on why so many people who bought those vehicles in the 90's are soured on Ford.. like my wife's parents and her sister.. probably will never buy another ford because of the bad experiences from the EARLY 3.8 junkers...
I think they are all surprised my wife's High school car is still running so good, but it's the luck of the draw, when they bought those cars how were they to know at that time the 3.8's were blowing gaskets and cracking as a result of running low on fluid... gas was so cheap everybody was getting the most displacement.. people remember that stuff ....
Ford will have to just keep plugging way.. Much like the powerstrokes, the new 6.4 is a much better motor, hopefully the 6.0 people whos 40K trucks keep breaking down will be around to buy those..