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What's your opinion of the Vulcan engine?


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I just made the jump from a 2.0L Zetec 133hp engine to the 3.0L 200hp Duratec. I'm in heaven. I have not driven a Vulcan Taurus, the two I test drove were Duratecs.
OK, my 2002 'Tec was totaled so I now have a 2004 Vulcan.

It has adequate power. I love the sound of it so that helps make up for missing the "throw us back in our seats" power of the 'Tec.

Best part was the trip home (about 60 miles), I got 27.8 MPG according to the fancy dash computer if that's accurrate and it was a mix of highway, town and "lost on a horribly winding 25MPH back road in the rain in the dark for 10 minutes" on the drive home. Very impressed with that!



I plan on getting a Mustang muffler someday. :lol2:
 

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I have to say that overall it sucks.

Pros:
-I love the sound it makes when I get on it.
-What little power it does have it delivers low in the power band
-It's apparently reliable

Cons:
-My first Taurus cost me a boatload to repair when the cps went and took something else with it, so I'm not about to praise it's reliability.
-It's adequate power-wise, nothing more. Even then, if i put the extra seats to use it gets annoyingly slow. Passing on a two-lane road can get nerve-wracking.
-For something this slow, it should deliver better fuel economy. The '04 Impala and Camry with the base engines both are rated 4mpg higher than the Taurus, and the Intrepid 2mpg higher.

I may try getting ethanol-free gas and seeing if that helps any. It's only available at a few stations and it's their "premium" grade though, so it would take a decent jump in mileage to offset the cost.

Still, this was a lousy choice for Ford to put into their family sedan. Not only was it confusing for the customers to have two 3.0L V6 engines (making it difficult to see what advantage there was for spending the extra cash for the Duratec), but a 4-cylinder could've done the job equally well while appealing to those looking for mileage (who may not have considered the Taurus due simply to it's not having a 4 cylinder option).
 

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I have to say that overall it sucks.

Still, this was a lousy choice for Ford to put into their family sedan. Not only was it confusing for the customers to have two 3.0L V6 engines (making it difficult to see what advantage there was for spending the extra cash for the Duratec), but a 4-cylinder could've done the job equally well while appealing to those looking for mileage (who may not have considered the Taurus due simply to it's not having a 4 cylinder option).
IF there was a modern duratec type high output 4 banger maybe. The original 4 offered was anemic at best. As far as confusing, how many different small block options were there in some Chevy cars? You pay for what you want.
 

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After 2 Vulcan's and now a tec, no more Vulcan's.
Not enough power, the tec is just adequate. Vulcans like a 4 banger with 2 extra cylinders, 160 hp is low for a 3.0. I've got a snowmobile with a 3 cyl. 1.2 at 130 hp.
Haven't test driven a new 3.5 yet but I'm guessing that's a major improvement.
My brothers 3.8 Impala would blow my doors off and it would match me in mpg. .
 

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After 2 Vulcan's and now a tec, no more Vulcan's.
Not enough power, the tec is just adequate. Vulcans like a 4 banger with 2 extra cylinders, 160 hp is low for a 3.0. I've got a snowmobile with a 3 cyl. 1.2 at 130 hp.
Haven't test driven a new 3.5 yet but I'm guessing that's a major improvement.
My brothers 3.8 Impala would blow my doors off and it would match me in mpg. .
Compare apples to apples. A Taurus with a Vulcan is basic transportation. Getting from point a to point b. Its not there to win drag races. If you wanted to do that you would have a SHO. I will not disagree that the motor is underpowered compared to others. Its NOT a performance engine. but if the car gets you to work cheaply who cares? Ill take a Taurus any day over some of the latter model impalas who burn rear tires off in 10K miles due to some strange suspension issues
 

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Compare apples to apples. A Taurus with a Vulcan is basic transportation. Getting from point a to point b. Its not there to win drag races. If you wanted to do that you would have a SHO. I will not disagree that the motor is underpowered compared to others. Its NOT a performance engine. but if the car gets you to work cheaply who cares? Ill take a Taurus any day over some of the latter model impalas who burn rear tires off in 10K miles due to some strange suspension issues
The Vulcan is a 25 year old engine which was one of Ford's better ideas. Well though out, simple, low risk at it start. Iron on iron, and conventional in everything except the 60 degree which was ideal for front wheel drive.

They used the same valvetrain as the V-8 small block which had been around over 25 years before. Compared to the V-8, they moved the distributer to the flywheel end and put the oil pump burried in the oil which was a weakness in the V-8 so they fixed it in their design. It was small, light weight for it's day, and the big technology advance was multiport fuel injection. It had really good low end torque which made for comfortable driving, family car.

The fact it stayed around this long with only modest changes speak well for it's solid design. I have had 3 and have no complaints.

I prefer the DOHC and now have 2, but that was not a real choice, just what was there in these used cars. Got 2 Sable SL Prem and that is what you get.

-chart-
 

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IF there was a modern duratec type high output 4 banger maybe. The original 4 offered was anemic at best. As far as confusing, how many different small block options were there in some Chevy cars? You pay for what you want.
I should mention that I'm talking about gen 4. It should have been offered with a different engine choice. I wonder if the I5 out of Volvo's S80 would've fit. Probably not, but that would've been an interesting choice (especially if they offered the turbo version).

Chevy is the best example of how NOT to make a car.
 

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I like it. Just not for the Taurus. It's not powerful enough. In my opinion it needs at least 175HP to pull the Taurus comfortably. I've actually had a hard time getting up to speed on an on ramp in my Taurus when I had a lot of stuff in the car.
 

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I like it. Just not for the Taurus. It's not powerful enough. In my opinion it needs at least 175HP to pull the Taurus comfortably. I've actually had a hard time getting up to speed on an on ramp in my Taurus when I had a lot of stuff in the car.
Simple solution there. Just leave the wife at home. Mysteriously, the ride is a lot quieter too! remember the Bond car with the passenger ejection seat? I'm working on that....
 

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Simple solution there. Just leave the wife at home. Mysteriously, the ride is a lot quieter too! remember the Bond car with the passenger ejection seat? I'm working on that....
I happened to have everything I owned in the car at the time and a driving instructor. But I'll keep that in mind for later in life.
 

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Not my favorite but still a solid choice: its nearly indestructible, its easy to maintain, and still puts up a fight
 

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Not my favorite but still a solid choice: its nearly indestructible, its easy to maintain, and still puts up a fight

This is why I like it. With small kids, I do not need to be racing around town so a car that will last forever and be cheap to maintain is what I want.

Besides, it has enough power for daily driving and sounds great.

After driving 4-bangers for most of my driving life, the Vulcan is a big upgrade. Yeah, I miss the power I had with the 'Tec I had for a short time, but it is good enough for me. My other car is a 4-cyl Pontiac that is downright scary to get up to speed on a busy highway.
 

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I have a Chrysler Sebring with a 4 cyl engine that has 25 more horsepower than my spock engine. My vulcan does not have to downshift every little incline I pull like the Sebring has to. Reliable torque, could use more power, but would I have 167,000 worry free miles on it otherwise? The 4 cylinder engine does beat gas milage race...but not by much. Besides the Taurus rides better!
 

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Everyone has mentioned power, torque, reliability, milage, and the sound. But no-one mentioned something I found out last month.

I thought my Taurus had a blown head gasket (did, but also had cracked head from overheating), so I called around to see who was willing to work on it.

Both of the shops I called asked if I had the Deltec "DOHC" engine or the Vulcan "SOHC" engine. Turns out neither of them wanted to work on the Deltec with it's duel overhead cams and balance shaft. But both shops were more than willing to work on the Vulcan.

So, if you do have to have your Deltec engine worked on, you may have trouble finding someone other than the dealer. But the Vulcan is not a problem at all for most shops to work on; no doubt due to it's conservative design. One more reason it is a good pick for a family/commuter car; if you want something with more pep; get a SHO.
 

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After having driven a Essex Taurus, and a Duratec Taurus (friend had a 2003 Duratec) , and a 1995 SHO ATX. I can say, the vulcan is not all that powerful, but it does pull nicely, It won't blow the doors off but, it will get you down the road nicely, and will give you a decent sound if you remove the intake resonator. It is simple, reliable, and fairly decent on gas. i get 28+ on the NJ turnpike doing 70 mph, with some spurts upto 75 to pass people.

One reason i feel ford kept it around though, it is a rather smooth engine, a 4 cyl would have been too rough in the taurus/sable, for the crowd they were going after. Remember, a I4 is not a balanced engine, neither is a V6, but a V6 has more power overlaping when comapred to a I4, and that translates to smoothness. A 2.3L 4 cyl also would not have sit properly in the engine bay, remember the taurus has a low hood line, a V6 is low enough to fit in it, but a i4 is taller, requiring a higher hood.

My only complains about the 3.0L OHV Vulcan, at least on my 2003

1: The placement of the oil filter behind the exhaust manifold, come on ford you can do better than that, place it somewhere that has less heat to burn my hands on.

2: Putting the coil pack on the valve cover...not sure why it got moved, but putting it ontop of something hot is not a very bright idea

3: The power levels are fairly low for a engine of the 2000s. a few revisions might have given it the 180HP range instead of the mid 150s.

4: This may not be a true 3.0 OHV problem, and just a general taurus problem for gen 4, Whoever thought a plastic pulley as a bright idea should be killed, after having mine EXPLODE violently under aceleration, and take out the radiator with it...i am not happy with that.

But at 167k mi and it was running strong until #4 happened, i enjoyed driving it. and i look forward to driving it again.
 
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