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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1997 Taurus, 3.0 Vulcan, 159,000 mi. regular dealer upkeep.

Bought the car from friends wife. She said she drove hot one time until it was losing power and pulled over. Husband came and added water and they drove it home Approx. 5 mi.

At their home we started car and let it warm up, of course there was water bubbling in over flow tank, about 50 degrees outside and steam from exhaust, no water in oil, but milkshake on oil filler cap. Drove the car to my home approx. 2 miles.

Following day I ran the car to operating temp. it idled fine, but on hard revs in park engine would rattle.

I removed heads and could tell easily no. 2 & 4 cylinder gaskets had issues, checked the heads for warping and got .003 on one and .005, mainly across center.

The piston walls are visually and by touch appear fine. The block appears fine.

Water pump is good, Heater core is clogged up, and small tube from overflow tank was clogged up with crap, appears to me they used water for along time.

I'm thinking replace heads and flush coolings system and I got a good car for $200.00 before I do the work and parts myself.

Long story I know, just trying to cover bases.

Mechanicly inclined, shadetree, poor no money says Thank You for any ideas
 

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I'm doing the head gasket myself right now. You might be fine with just milling the heads flat (maybe valve job if needed?)

While you have it all apart, I'd recommend replacing the oil pan gasket (need to take exhaust manifolds off to do that). I'm also replacing the water pump, thermostat and a new camshaft synchro would be easy to do at this point as well (they seem to last about 90k miles)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
reply to Chingon

All good ideas, the synchro replaced at 135,000 or so and the valves look good also.

I believe waterpump and thermostat are good ideas!!

I,m mainly concerned w/block, but I dont believe there should be any more damage, mostly because of my first post.

Sound about right? Going to spend the money on rebuilt heads, good friend race shop cutting deal $250.00 new everything!!

Will post back on good or bad outcome. Thanks for any further advice!!
 

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I've heard of the timing chain cover leaking too - maybe think about that? For some reason I haven't consider doing it but maybe I should...
 

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Great suggestions.....I replaced my head gaskets on a vulcan and a 3.8....defintiely take the oil pan off and clean it out as best you can and replace the oil pan gasket as suggested by Chingon. Also check all the hoses....check the insides of them for rust and scale....and replace if they have rusty scale inside them (hoses are pretty cheap too). I had to replace all the hoses on my Vulcan cause the previous owner only used water etc...all the hoses had dried rusty scale on the inside walls of them.

Clean as much as you can (inside of valve covers, PCV suystem etc) to get rid of the mositure and crummy oil residue. Also if you can afford it, replace as many gaskets as you can......if you get the complete engine FelPro gasket set and replace all those when your doing the heads....you'll be good.

The vulcan cast iron blocks are pretty tough....hard to crack them so seems doubtful yours would be cracked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I noticed alot of scale and crud in hoses and water passages also, getting the gasket set too.

Glad to hear someone else w/same ideas about block.

Thankyou for responses!!
 

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Cake monster
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At their home we started car and let it warm up, of course there was water bubbling in over flow tank, about 50 degrees outside and steam from exhaust, no water in oil, but milkshake on oil filler cap. Drove the car to my home approx. 2 miles.

Following day I ran the car to operating temp. it idled fine, but on hard revs in park engine would rattle.
You've made a big mistake if you've run it at all with water in the oil. You've probably screwed the bearings. You might end up with a rod knock shortly after putting it back together. I would strongly advise that you just replace the entire engine at this point. Water can't lubricate.

I could be wrong, it might run just fine after. I wouldn't trust it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To cake lover

Yes, I too was worried about driving it home, but still no water in the oil pan, did have the chocolate on the filler cap, though only a little.

hope it will be alright, any other way to check bearings, maybe take off oil pan and take alook?
 

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Cake monster
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Yes, I too was worried about driving it home, but still no water in the oil pan, did have the chocolate on the filler cap, though only a little.

hope it will be alright, any other way to check bearings, maybe take off oil pan and take alook?
Was there any sign of water being in the oil? It's somewhat normal to have a milky oil cap in the cold weather from condensation, usually from driving short distances all the time and not letting the engine get hot. That's my understanding, I've had it happen before.

If you took the oil pan off to inspect them, you might consider replacing them too, while you have it opened up. If there wasn't much water in the oil you might get lucky, but if it was all milky you probably did some damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To cake lover

I should't have said "oil pan", I did check the dip stick again after running to temp at home before taking heads off, of course it cooled down completely before removing heads.............there was only good looking oil on stick.

I assumed the oil wouldn't look so good if water was present?

No chocolate looking stuff when valve covers removed either.


Thanks again for time spent.
 

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I drove my 94 3.8 sable for 10 miles with a blown headgasket all the while overheating.

When I dropped the oil pan and looked at all the oil.....I couldnt see any moisture and the oil looked normal. So I just re-did the heads and all the engine gaskets and went with it. Been running great for 30K.

Its always a risk but if it looks good in the oil pan....(check you oil filter for moisture too) I would just do your heads and gaskets and go from there.

Once you got it all buttoned up.....put new oil and filter in it and run it at idle....no upper rpm stuff......and if you want to be super careful you could change the oil and filter after you run it at idle for 20 minutes (once you get it fully warmed up) or so that would ensure that new oil has entered the engines oil system and the rest of the moisture would be displaced back to the pan or filter. That might be overkill but if it puts you at ease might be worth the $18 for the extra cheap oil and filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm doin it

Once you got it all buttoned up.....put new oil and filter in it and run it at idle....no upper rpm stuff......and if you want to be super careful you could change the oil and filter after you run it at idle for 20 minutes (once you get it fully warmed up) or so that would ensure that new oil has entered the engines oil system and the rest of the moisture would be displaced back to the pan or filter. That might be overkill but if it puts you at ease might be worth the $18 for the extra cheap oil and filter.
Based on my experience and mostly....... monetary situation I'm going to try the above. Yeah I'm taking the cheap with luck option.

Thanks everybody and I'll post back in a week or so.
 

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Yes, I too was worried about driving it home, but still no water in the oil pan, did have the chocolate on the filler cap, though only a little.
Sounds like you and I are in the same boat except I had to replace the head gaskets on a duratec. My son overheated it due to a leaky bypass hose and it may have helped if I would have changed the bad sensor in the coolant bottle (low coolant light always stayed on). He ran it for awhile afterwards too and had the chocolate on the filler cap. When I drained the oil it did not look bad tho.

Do the vulcans have hydraulic lash adjusters? If so, did you happen to notice if they were stiff or loose?

Good luck
 

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Considering the mileage I would spend a few $ more to replace the tensioner and idler pulleys (and have a look at the serpentine belt). You have to pull the belt to get to the water pump anyway. The two pulleys are accessible then, and inexpensive, but if the bearing of either one goes you will be ford. Happened to me with a Windsuck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Back w/info

O.K. I got the heads surfaced at friends race shop, valves were good, no cracks w/magnaflux, just replaced valve seals, i think thats what you call them. Rick, @ shop, said, "just needed to brush up one exhaust valve seat". Took .008 off of heads.

The CEL light still on, but was on before work. Took to auto-zone and got the p1402 code, reset codes, checked egr valve and tube and for build up of carbon at bottom of tube, all good. sprayed brake cleaner all over the place with engine running, no changes in engine sounds.

Ruff idle only, a little worse w/ac comp. on, in gear, foot on brake @ stop sign.
Light came back on.

Plugs look good, wires look good, took battery out to use in truck for 1 day.

Put battery back in and light stayed off for 2 or 3 drives and ignition cycles, appeared to idle better but still ruff.

Now light is back on and ruffer idle again!! Thought it fixed itself, HAHA.

So any one got ideas??
P.S. Did all work myself Oh Yeah!! I Rock.:p
 

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FWIW, the wifes Sable has "bubbling" in the degas tank. I read somewhere it could be turbulence from the return line. I clamped off the small hose leading to the tank by the cap and it all stopped then resumed when unclamped.
Pressure test is good.

I will keep a eye out though.
 

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^ I don't understand this test. Your coolant was bubbling into your reservoir, so you clamped the inlet hose and it stopped (obviously it would - there's only one way in) and now you think you don't have a leaky head gasket?

Sorry, I just don't understand your logic. How did this prove "turbulence" in the return line? FWIW - a good test is to rev the car while it's cold. If it bubbles then, it's probably a head gasket since no coolant should be circulating there anyway...
 
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