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This is to be informative, and is not to create a panic in anybody at all. I just want to pass on some information that I've discovered about my Vulcan, and it's willingness to do the 3.8 act and blow the rear head gasket.

First off, the car never had the recall done for the bypass hose. I had always thought it did, since no recalls ever showed up as needing to be done. I don't think that just the bypass kit will solve the brown coolant issue, but it does help with balancing the coolant flow between the front and rear banks of the engine. The chemical flush and coolant additive that Ford used when doing the recall supposedly takes care of the brown coolant. We'll find out, as I plan to do this to the replacement engine.

I've removed the rear head, which is the gasket that keeps blowing. The gasket was leaking again, only this time at the #1 and #2 cylinders. Previously, it only blew at the #1 cylinder. What I found was corrosion on the gasket surfaces, in the area of the water jackets and the combustion chamber. It was hardly noticable the first time, this time it is very pronounced, and it can be seen where the gasket could not seal the imperfections in the head. The block deck is also corroded slightly, enough so that it needs to be milled. The head could also be milled and reused. I have chosen not to go this route, since I have another engine available that is know to run well, and have good compression, etc.


I don't want to start a "sky is falling" way of thinking, but I would urge anyone that has not had the bypass/chemical flush recall done to have it done, or purchase the parts and do it yourself. Rockledge was kind enough to provide us with the information needed for this, which is available here: Brown Coolant PDF . In the long run, you may save yourselves the trouble I'm going through right now.

I would also advise to check the voltage in your cooling system, and correct if necessary. Any type of voltage will result in dissimilar metal corrosion.

I'll have images of everything that I'm disassembling, and also of the bypass kit, so you all can see if your vehicle has had it done. I always assumed mine was done, but had no idea what the kit looked like.

~Bob
 

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just spent good part of today flushing out the neverending rust thet was coming out of the cooling system. thanks for passing on this info. I will defantly do this

maybe balencing the flow between the front and back of the engine may stop my engine knock
 

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That pdf is very informative. I wish I had it 2 months ago! So far my coolant is staying green so hopefully I don't have to do this in the spring.

My 1 question is why do you need a new pump?
 

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Holy crap, great timing!! I just had an oil change at the local dealer and they found the brown coolant! The joker didn't mention this TSB! I should go back and b**** like a madman!!


He just wanted to do the chemical flush and replace the thermostat, didn't say anything about the bypass hose. Now I am really nervous, any ideas if a local parts supplier can get the garden hose adapters for the chemical flush? (Up here we got Napa, and PartSource).

Thank-you Thank-you Thank-you!!!!
 

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Bob, I think pictures and any sort of "how-to" accounts you can provide regarding installation would be VERY helpful...
 

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And to think, everyone thought I was just being a jerk about this when I brought it up.

I'm actually going to go through and replace all the freeze plugs with brass replacements since the lack-of bypass kit ate my originals.

Again, anyone who has any info on the placement of the freeze plugs before I start dropping stuff, please try and help a fellow out now (it'll be GREATLY appreciated...)


 
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Originally posted by jdaniels@Jan 4 2004, 05:21 AM
And to think, everyone thought I was just being a jerk about this when I brought it up.

I'm actually going to go through and replace all the freeze plugs with brass replacements since the lack-of bypass kit ate my originals.

Again, anyone who has any info on the placement of the freeze plugs before I start dropping stuff, please try and help a fellow out now (it'll be GREATLY appreciated...)


I should have the old motor pulled sometime today, I'll be getting pics of everything and I'll post them here. I'll make sure to pay attention to the freeze plugs.

On the pump, I think it's a redesign. The 96-98 cars are the only ones that need a new pump. 99 must have had a better pump.

I forgot to mention also, this seems to only be on the Gen 3 cars. I've personally worked on some older Vulcans, and they did not have brown coolant.
 

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I pulled off the front manifold today, and replaced the freeze plug behind it and oh man was it rotted. Temp still fluctuates...
Going to try something, I'm going to do a chemical flush, and a flush and back flush of the heater core... because DAMN was the block filled with slime with the consistancy of lake silt lol.


If that doesn't fix the prob, i'm curiously going to add a package of bars golden seal, just to see if it temp fixes it.. then I'll know its a leak doing it....


In the long run, when I pull the motor out to do the freeze plugs, I will replace them ALL with brass or rubber. Do you think I should do any other things while its pulled?


Also, any other ideas on the temp fluctuation, other than leaks?
 

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My car (1990 L 3.0V6) had this problem, I found the problem was caused by a few things. At first i thought it was the thermostat, which it wasn't. My car was low on coolant. Im sure you have already checked that though since you are changing freeze plugs, so what about the possibility of you having an air lock in your system?
 

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Originally posted by silverwolf@Jan 4 2004, 02:01 AM
Holy crap, great timing!!  I just had an oil change at the local dealer and they found the brown coolant!  The joker didn't mention this TSB!  I should go back and b**** like a madman!!


He just wanted to do the chemical flush and replace the thermostat, didn't say anything about the bypass hose.  Now I am really nervous, any ideas if a local parts supplier can get the garden hose adapters for the chemical flush?  (Up here we got Napa, and PartSource).
My own L/M dealer tried to tell me straight out I needed a new heater core when I complained of no heat. No mention what so ever of trying to flush, etc per the TSB. After flushing the heater core (using the TSB) I got heat. The garden hose adapters/fittings can be bought at Lowes/Home Depot. I bought brass. I am focusing more on the heater core (injecting at the heater core return line, draining where the hose connects to the t-stat) but I need to do the whole thing one time, just need the time.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Originally posted by jdaniels@Jan 5 2004, 02:26 AM
I pulled off the front manifold today, and replaced the freeze plug behind it and oh man was it rotted. Temp still fluctuates...
Going to try something, I'm going to do a chemical flush, and a flush and back flush of the heater core... because DAMN was the block filled with slime with the consistancy of lake silt lol.


If that doesn't fix the prob, i'm curiously going to add a package of bars golden seal, just to see if it temp fixes it.. then I'll know its a leak doing it....


In the long run, when I pull the motor out to do the freeze plugs, I will replace them ALL with brass or rubber. Do you think I should do any other things while its pulled?


Also, any other ideas on the temp fluctuation, other than leaks?
Get the chemical flush that's listed in rockledge's article. The store brands won't touch that crap. Bring the part number with you, every time I've asked for it I've gotten the dumb look from the parts guy.
 
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