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Discussion Starter #1
I have a nice 90 Taurus wagon with an almost new 3.8L (12k miles) and a dying AXOD (shudders in 1st). I've tried to sell it (no takers) and had decided to donate it to charity for a tax deduction. I've found a guy with what he describes as a "beautiful 94 Sable" with 80k miles and head gasket problems but he doesn't know which engine it has. I suspect it has a 3.8 due to the head gasket problem which was not common with the 3.0.

He's about an hour north of where I live, so my question is, are the 3.0 and 3.8 trannies interchangeable? I tried to find the answer to this by searching in this forum, but no topics came up that helped me.

Assuming it's a 3.8 equipped car, is the anything else I should plan for on an engine swap? I have an engine hoist, a garage, and plenty of tools. Don't know if there will be any specialty tools I'll run across though.

Thanks!
 

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I am pretty sure that the 3.0 trans is not compatible with the essex 3.8. The 3.0 uses a different torque converter (a high stall???) and the 3.8 uses a low stall. I looked into this back when my 3.8 spun a connecting rod bearing and grooved it's crankshaft. I think that the 3.8 uses only the axod....but i'm not for certain. Best of luck to you and your wagon
 

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pre '91 tauri all use AXOD's (non-electronic)

'92-95 tauri all use AXOD-E's (aka AX4S)

In 1995 some 3.0's started coming with the AX4N

A 3.0L and 3.8L transaxle of the same type should work fine. The Torque converter isn't part of the transmission, its bolted on the engine flexplate. So all you need to do is use the correct torque converter for your engine.

A 1991-1995 transaxle wil NOT work with an 86-90 car, and vice versa. You need a newer EEC to control the transaxle.

Both 3.0 and 3.8 use the same chain sprocket drive ratio and final drive ratios, as well as the same bolt pattern. The only exception being the police 3.8L and the SHO auto transaxles.

96+ taurus went to a different final drive ratio, to make up for the extra weight of the new bodystyle.

A 3.0L engine uses a converter that stalls about 200 rpm more than the 3.8L. This is because the 3.8L has a lot more torque down low in the rpm band.

The 86-90 transaxles are cheaper to re-build, and if the lube mod and shift correction kit is installed along with an auxillary trans cooler, it will live a long happy life.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What I want to know is can I use my 3.8 in a car equipped with the 3.0? In other words, will my 90 3.8 "bolt in" the 94 if it's equipped with a 3.0? Naturally, I'd have to hadnle any elctronics and sensor differences, but I'm mainly concerned with the physical possibility of this swap.

I'm not doing another tranny on my wagon, BTDT and it's not worth doing it again. If, however, I can pull the 3.8 from my wagon and transplant it in the 94, then that's what I want to do.

I need to know so I can make a decision on whether to buy the 94. The guy called back and said he thinks it has the 3.0, but isn't sure. :rolleyes:
 

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3.0L and 3.8L engines do not share the same final drive ratio's, save for the 3.0L Vulcan and the police 3.8L. The ratios are as follows...

3.0L Vulcan - 3.37:1
3.8L Essex - 3.19:1
3.8L Police - 3.37:1

This may not be an issue on the AXOD, but on the AXOD-E, the resulting mismatched final drive ratios will cause a No Torque Converter Lockup condition, that will accelerate wear on the pump shaft, pump, and front seal, resulting in transaxle failure over a prolonged period.

Just some food for thought...

*edit*
Additionally, the AXOD (1986 - 1990) and AXOD-E (AX4S 1991 - 1995) are not interchangable.
 

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Yes you can, but you'd need a complete engine harness and EEC from a 1995 3.8L Taurus. The '91+ uses a mass airflow system, and the pre '91 uses a speed density system. So the wireing is different. Also, 91+ was SEFI injection, so the distributer is different (determins camshaft position) where as the pre '91 uses MFI injection.

You'd need the exhaust from your '90, but that will work only if the '95 is also a wagon.

way too much trouble to be worth your time.

Now, if the '95 already has a 3.8L, it would be much easier and worth the time doing it.

Just be sure of the integrity of the transmission. The '95 is much better than the '90 trans, but still not perfect. It would suck to put a new engine in, and then have that trans go as well..

Jeramie
 

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3.0L and 3.8L engines do not share the same final drive ratio's, save for the 3.0L Vulcan and the police 3.8L. The ratios are as follows...
Where did you get that info? My Transtec AXOD-E manual says the opposite:

pre '96 3.0L Vulcan - 3.19:1
3.8L Essex - 3.19:1
3.8L Police - 3.37:1
3.8L Windstar - 3.37:1
3.0L Windstar - 3.98:1
3.2L SHO - 3.74:1
3.4L SHO - 3.77:1
96+ vulcan - 3.99:1
96+ duretec - 3.99:1

I assumed this was all correct unless its a mis-print?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Jeramie, that's exactly what I needed to know. I assume the 94 is a sedan, the ad didn't say it was a wagon, but if there's that much involved in doing a 3.0 to 3.8 swap then I probably won't do it.

I've decided to go look at it anyway since the guy doesn't seem to know much about the car and can't tell me for certain which engine the 94 has. The sun's shining here in Eastern WA, so it's a good day for a road trip. :D
 

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Awesome info! Thanks for sharing that..

These transaxles are difficult enough to rebuild without having manuals printed incorrectly.. That makes me mad.. I will be doing a rebuild here in the near future, and I'm starting to think about getting a different manual to go by.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well it was worth the trip! Turns out it's actually a 93 Sable GS, super clean inside and out with a toasted 3.8. Poor guy had the cooling system flushed, apparently that caused a head gasket to start leaking (had the exact same thing happen to my Taurus), and he overheated it. Runs real rough and smokes like a chimney.

The car has 90.7k on the clock, his grandma was the original owner, it was always serviced, has already had the tranny replaced (woo hoo!), and it has brand new tires on it.

So, I bought it, $500 cash and will pick it up tomorrow after work. Looks like I might be doing an engine change this coming weekend.

Thanks for the help guys! :D
 

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Should bolt right in!

Be sure to use the distributor off of the '93.. They look nearly identical but ARE different..

When you re-set the timing, advance it a couple degrees for a little extra power :)

Good luck to you!
 

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lztiger

pre '91 tauri all use AXOD's (non-electronic)

'92-95 tauri all use AXOD-E's (aka AX4S)

In 1995 some 3.0's started coming with the AX4N

A 3.0L and 3.8L transaxle of the same type should work fine. The Torque converter isn't part of the transmission, its bolted on the engine flexplate. So all you need to do is use the correct torque converter for your engine.

A 1991-1995 transaxle wil NOT work with an 86-90 car, and vice versa. You need a newer EEC to control the transaxle.

Both 3.0 and 3.8 use the same chain sprocket drive ratio and final drive ratios, as well as the same bolt pattern. The only exception being the police 3.8L and the SHO auto transaxles.

96+ taurus went to a different final drive ratio, to make up for the extra weight of the new bodystyle.

A 3.0L engine uses a converter that stalls about 200 rpm more than the 3.8L. This is because the 3.8L has a lot more torque down low in the rpm band.

The 86-90 transaxles are cheaper to re-build, and if the lube mod and shift correction kit is installed along with an auxillary trans cooler, it will live a long happy life.
I have 92 Taurus sedan. What happened to me was that my first Mech screwed around for a year. All that I wanted was for the front pump seal to be replaced and torque converter replaced if necessary. The old Tranny shifted good as long as it had fluid in it. He didn't believe me and traded off the tranny for a used one., but never got around to installing it. Now Auto Shop #2: The tranny is installed but no 2nd or drive. I suspect electrical contacks on the shifter head. Could I have been givin a XAOD instead of a XAOD-E?
Cheers, Tony the Tiger
 

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Aloha from the Hawaiian Islands. I'm new here. Got a 95 Windstar GL 3.8 and the tranny just went poof. So I got a 3.0 liter I think it's close to the 95 and the tranny's look identical, just the 3.0 doesn't have the cruise control.
I'll use the original torque converter in hopes of it's still good I'm taking it is.
Should I be okay ,I mean I just need it for a while longer ,don't mind the wrenching at all.
Thanx for any and all feedback !
Stay safe from the coronavirus, stay away from meats as it is very likely it's infected. Hawaii is soon to turn into a war zone. God help us all over here, and God Bless to THE WORLD AND THANK YOU ALL FOR ALL THE SUPPORT IN KEEPING THIS WORLD GOING ROUND............GOD JOB YOU ALL 👍
ALOHA FROM THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS 🤙🤙🤙✝✝✝
 
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