2001 w/ Vulcan 3.0 engine swap info - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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2001 w/ Vulcan 3.0 engine swap info

I'm a new member here and have been doing a lot of research about swapping the motor out of my 2001 Taurus SES w/ 3.0 Vulcan motor. This may seem elementary to the vets on here but I wanted to post my findings for the novice's like me that may find themselves in the same situation.

The car has 310,000 miles and the dealership tells me it burned a valve. Quote is $2,200 to fix and they can about guarantee they will find more. That's more than the cars worth so that's not going to happen. What's the options:
1. part it out on craigslist myself.
2. take it to the junk yard and get about $400 and call it a day.
3. swap motors and keep driving it.

Being that the car is clean inside and out given the year and miles and that we've put most of those miles on it, and, recently we've put new front tires, rear struts, a heater core in it etc, (and I'm a stubborn SO, I want to keep driving it! LOL 500,000 is on my mind for some reason....

What I've learned.
1. There are several different engine's: 3.0 Vulcan (gasoline only), 3.0 Vulcan (Flex Fuel), DOHC 3.0 engine. etc.
2. If your replacing the Vulcan ENGINE ONLY (keeping your computer, all sensors and fuel injectors then ANY YEAR Vulcan engine will work. 2004 and newer need the newer intake put on the older engine.
3. My brother in law, in the car / parts business, I think gave me the best advise, "KISS" (Keep it simple stupid). He directed me to www.car-part.com. You put in the year, make and model. It then makes you look at the 8th digit in your VIN code. For me that is a "U", that means I have a gasoline Vulcan and not the flex fuel Vulcan engine. You put the state you live in and I recommend you put in your zip code. You get a list of matching engines from different places with mileage. For me a place popped up with an engine from another 2001 Taurus SES (U code) with 95,000 miles on it with an A grade for $500.00 (30 day guarantee). My brother in law stated they do business there all the time and felt they were reputable. So I've jumped into it and bought the engine.

I'm pretty excited for the challenge of swapping the engines. I worked on cars as a young man but have gotten away from it. I'm no mechanic, but an mechanically inclined. I'll keep you posted. I welcome any constructive comments if you think I've gone wrong or words of wisdom for doing the swap. Thanks!
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post #2 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 08:53 PM
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Steve, git 'er dun, lol!
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post #3 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 09:03 PM
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I think you're well on your way.

Are you planning on swapping the transmission at the same time? If the tranny has 310K miles on it as well, it's probably not too far from being gone as well.

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post #4 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Wasn't going to swap the tranny. Had it serviced a little while ago. It wasn't spitting out any codes and no metal shavings. Seems to be running good. I'm curious how far it will go before it pukes out. It's a challenge I guess, gonna run it till it dies of natural causes! LOL It's a third vehicle now, so if it goes down it's not a major malfunction.
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post #5 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 09:47 PM
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I like your spirit.

2006 Vulcan 64k GF daily driver
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1991 3.8 207k drove to junk yard, 1988 Vulcan lost in divorce
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post #6 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 09:50 PM
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I would try just fixing the valve. Less than $100 and a weekend. You never know if that grade A engine was overheated at one time.
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post #7 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 12:45 AM
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^-1

I'm of the opposite opinion. I think swapping the engine is indeed the best idea. Sure, you could repair the burnt valve for $100-200. You could put on a complete remanufactured cylinder head for a few hundred dollars. But you're putting these parts on a 300k mile engine. I have seen plenty of Vulcans make it over 400k, but you're already pushing the envelope with the mileage you're at now. Why put the time and money into fixing a 300k mile engine? I see the uncertainty of installing a used engine being much less than the uncertainty of replacing one valve or a head on a 300k engine.

-Jonathan
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post #8 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madscientist View Post
^-1

I'm of the opposite opinion. I think swapping the engine is indeed the best idea. Sure, you could repair the burnt valve for $100-200. You could put on a complete remanufactured cylinder head for a few hundred dollars. But you're putting these parts on a 300k mile engine. I have seen plenty of Vulcans make it over 400k, but you're already pushing the envelope with the mileage you're at now. Why put the time and money into fixing a 300k mile engine? I see the uncertainty of installing a used engine being much less than the uncertainty of replacing one valve or a head on a 300k engine.
Local pick a part gets $225 for used engine, lots to choose from, mileage posted. Give the old one back and get a core back, then less than $200.

If I did that, I would pull the pan, check the bearings, clean the oil screen, and check the timing chain. Replace the timing cover gasket while it is on the hook. Hook a battery up and crank it over to check compression.

Just my take.

One more thing: I would do the old piston engine airplane thing. Turn it over and feel the compression on each cylinder for equal resistance. I would use a paint marker and mark the pulley about in thirds, use a ratchet and turn it over feeling each cylinder pass compression. Pull the plugs and look for them being all the same condition. Pull the oil drain plug, stick a crew driver in and check for sludge.

-chart-

Last edited by chartmaker; 05-22-2014 at 07:48 AM.
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post #9 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madscientist View Post
^-1

I'm of the opposite opinion. I think swapping the engine is indeed the best idea. Sure, you could repair the burnt valve for $100-200. You could put on a complete remanufactured cylinder head for a few hundred dollars. But you're putting these parts on a 300k mile engine. I have seen plenty of Vulcans make it over 400k, but you're already pushing the envelope with the mileage you're at now. Why put the time and money into fixing a 300k mile engine? I see the uncertainty of installing a used engine being much less than the uncertainty of replacing one valve or a head on a 300k engine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chartmaker View Post
Local pick a part gets $225 for used engine, lots to choose from, mileage posted. Give the old one back and get a core back, then less than $200.

If I did that, I would pull the pan, check the bearings, clean the oil screen, and check the timing chain. Replace the timing cover gasket while it is on the hook. Hook a battery up and crank it over to check compression.

Just my take.

-chart-
This seems most logical to me.

2006 Vulcan 64k GF daily driver
2003 Vulcan 92k My daily driver
2000 Vulcan 115k saved from the scrap yard
1991 3.8 207k drove to junk yard, 1988 Vulcan lost in divorce
2009 Impala 3.0 18k my nice car
1996 F250 Powerstroke my toy-pristine lots of mods
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post #10 of 73 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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All great advise, much needed! thanks!
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