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Discussion Starter #1
My wife had a 1995 Taurus and at 130K it started going through water pumps like crazy, that among tons of other issues with the cooling system in general. We just figured it was a "lemon" and got rid of it. Now I just bought a 1995 Taurus (same color and everything) with 183K from the auction 2 weeks ago and what do you know, today the cooling system went bye bye. Antifreeze everywhere. Same problems. I only paid $450. for the car so I don't plan on fixing it as this problem, with this many miles, will probably reoccur and nickle and dime me to death like the other one did. I'm just wondering if this is a common problem with the Taurus of this year?????? Just seems strange of it being an identical problem. I checked the VIN# to be sure I didn't actually have the exact same car, but it's not. So anyone know what's up with this?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just got this car so I have not done any changes on any fluids. I did check them all the first day i got it and everything looked good, clean, and full. It's so bad that when you pour coolant in it pours out of the bottom of the water pump, even if the car is not running. Before it died it was squealing and making alot of grinding noises. I was in a heap of traffic and had to drive it for a minute until I found a parking lot, then it died in that parking lot and I have not messed with it. Probably gonna start parting out so if anyone needs any 95 parts let me know. Thought about fixing it but it's a gamble really with 183K I don't see letting this car become a money pit. Is the water pump hard to change?
 

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Water pouring out the bottom of the pump sounds to me like water coming out of the weep hole. This isnt a big deal, its just the seal around the spindle shaft. I had to replace that on a friends chevy and now it works just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Water pouring out the bottom of the pump sounds to me like water coming out of the weep hole. This isnt a big deal, its just the seal around the spindle shaft. I had to replace that on a friends chevy and now it works just fine.
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Does this job require removing the water pump? What do you use to seal it? Also, would this cause the car to completly shut down?
I'm thinking the rubber burning smell could be from the coolant soaking the drive belt and making it slip, maybe thats why the car quit going?
 

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Depends if you have the piece of junk 3.8 esses with chronic head cracking problems where compression gasses are always being introduced and blowing things out,
or
the great 3.0 which is very reliable and doesn't really have any issues..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Depends if you have the piece of junk 3.8 esses with chronic head cracking problems where compression gasses are always being introduced and blowing things out,
or
the great 3.0 which is very reliable and doesn't really have any issues..
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It's the 3.0

And to the guy with 270K on his Taurus, LUCKY YOU!!! :D


My 95 has over 270,000 miles and has never over-heated. I am also the original owner.
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You car is spoiled in that SoCal weather. Try putting that '95 through 14 long cold winters with potholes the size of a Kia. :rofl2:
 

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Depends if you have the piece of junk 3.8 esses with chronic head cracking problems where compression gasses are always being introduced and blowing things out,
or
the great 3.0 which is very reliable and doesn't really have any issues..
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Another clueless Vulcan owner. This'll be fun.

Yeah, the Vulcan's notorious penchant for turning its coolant brown... that's not an issue :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My 99 with the Vulcan made the coolant brown.'

So, can anyone please tell me if I need any special tools to change the water pump on my 95?
 

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Jake
No you don't need any special tools.. No special pullers or anything.. Just remember to loosed the Water pump pulley bolts before you take off the serpentine belt. And you just keep taking stuff off, and know your torque specs and clean the threads up real nice on the water pump bolts. To keep your torque specs in check, I sometime if they're really dirty run a nut down them a few times to clean them...

Sorry.. Essex motor not Esses.

Not a fan.. THey can crack heads at 40K or 120 K.. Between that you have all the other issues on all the older ones.. THe newer ones. like what 2001 or so with the revised heads are good.. Hard to bleed the air out of, but not bad motors...

I'm just sayin' walk around your local Wrench 'n go and count all the 3.8's in the yard... Ford lost a lot of customers because of that 3.8 in the FWD configuration in the popular Taurus/Windstar. Everybody I know that had one they cracked HG.. All vulcan owners I know cars are running strong...If I offended any 3.8 owners, sorry, you must have a cougar or T-bird, they weren't so much a problem in RWD when the heat is allowed to escape, but in Front wheel drive with the transaxle they cracked heads all the time.. Then the customer spends $1800 getting new heads, because you have to buy new because none at a jyard, then 6 months later the car comes back with pitted main bearing from the antifreeze in the oil..

WHich is why most dealers just go ahead and quote new engine's with older 3.8's..

Imagine the $ FOrd would have stocked up right now it it wasn't for the 3.8 warranty claims and the 6.0 Powerstroke Navistar heads with the Torque to Yield Cylinder head bolts and injector problems... How many EGR coolers would they have saved by now... Mind boggling the money wasted on these bad designs...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't have any torque wrenches or understand any of that. Can't I just tighten them until they are tight? Or is it crucial the bolts be at a certain tightness?
Also I took a look at the AutoZone repair guide and it says to leave the belt tight until you unbolt the pump. Well, I think I now have all the info I need on this. Thanks everyone. Once the temps get above 35 and I can feel my fingers I'll start tearing it apart.
 

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Jake,
They mean leave the belt on until you loosed the water pump pulley bolts, 4 of them 13 mm I believe.. You want the belt off and you need the belt off to get the Water pump pulley off. THere's not room to take the WP off with the pulley attached I don't believe, besides that unless you had a torque strap wrench no way to loosed bolts..

Yeah, torque are very important, because you are dealing w an aluminum wp housing and gasket and you could easily warp the aluminum or hurt the gasket if it's too tight..
.. I'll bet Autozone you local parts store would do a loan a tool for one, I don't know...
But I guess you could be real careful and put it on about the same tightness if you were real careful, but I would try to get a torque wrench from somewhere..
 

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3.8 heads don't have a cracking problem. Ford used weak gaskets that wouldn't stand up to the stresses of the iron block and aluminum head and the coolant passage that was too close to the fire ring. By and large they don't fail again if the repair was done with high-end gaskets and new bolts. From what I read back when this was a common occurrence the vast majority of repeat failures were caused by the use of OEM gaskets and/or the mechanic re-using the head bolts.

It's about half-and-half Vulcan and Essex in junkyards now, and the majority of the Essex cars are trans failures.
 

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3.8 heads don't have a cracking problem. Ford used weak gaskets that wouldn't stand up to the stresses of the iron block and aluminum head and the coolant passage that was too close to the fire ring. By and large they don't fail again if the repair was done with high-end gaskets and new bolts. From what I read back when this was a common occurrence the vast majority of repeat failures were caused by the use of OEM gaskets and/or the mechanic re-using the head bolts.

It's about half-and-half Vulcan and Essex in junkyards now, and the majority of the Essex cars are trans failures.
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:werd: Exactly - it's a design flaw in the original gaskets. The ones in my old '93 3.8 were replaced once (with Fel-Pro gaskets and new bolts) while it was still my dad's sales rep-mobile and it still ran fine when I got rid of the car at about 150k.

The junkyard here has a pretty even split of Vulcans, Essex, and SHOs in the G1/2 department. Most are marked that they have good motors - most are there because they're rusted out, have blown transmissions, or have 98765892746 miles on them.

I've actually heard of a lot more cracked heads on Vulcans than Essex motors. I actually want another G2 Essex just to see what I can do if I make it breathe properly. In a wagon, just...because :lol2:
 

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Cylinder head problems on a vulcan are really rare.. I'm not saying they don't happen as a result of a coolant leak or neglect and then someone melts a motor.. sure that can happen on any motor, but its' not a problem with normal use like the early 3.8's FWD.

I'm just saying that the Essex before they got the updated heads/gaskets when about 2001 or so not really sure, were really bad motors from MY EXPERIENCE and experiences of close family members.

My wife's family bought 3 Fords in 1994. A brand new windstar 3.8, a tauri for her sister 3.8 and her taurus 3.0 The windstar spun main bearing because of the gaskets, had the cylinder heads redone, pitted Main bearings. Dealer replaced motor at 38K miles.
Her sister's car shucked out 5 years ago..She drives camry now. The thing is, the original engine was totally destroyed (like the windstar) by the dealership in carroll when AFreeze pitted the main bearing and the dealer replaced the motor under warranty, bouncing temp guage you know the signs.. But that replacement motor only lasted 7 years! 5 years ago radiator heater core, radiator, waterpump.. you guessed it, head gaskets again putting pressure in all the wrong places, but that was pre 2000 replacement so they were replacing a flawed moter with flawed head gasket because that motor was dealer replaced in 1997
It's just a shame it took ford so long to come out with updated HG cuz these experiences soured lots of people..
My wife's taurus 3.0 is still going strong except for recent episodes of the radiator and HC and now Timing chain cover, so I need to get the AF analyzed for gases, but I'm guessing it's old age.
Youknow these cheap radiators ford puts in with the crimp seals..LOL.. hope I'm right, it it's head gaskets I stand corrected on the vulcan time will tell, HG failure isn't a normal thing as it was a design flaw on the essex, that's all I meant to say..

My grandmother's 1992 sable 3.0 still going strong, but it only has 70K, around town car, doesn't count..

My brother works at the ford dealership used to work on cars, now works strictly on powerstrokes, but almost evertime I visited him he was doing head gaskets and had a 3.8 torn apart, but again what was in the late 90's early 2000 so those were left over bad designs..

I don't have a newer tauri so can't comment on the newer duratec's but I've been more than happy with the 3.0 1994 has given us years of reliable service.

I don't have a problem with the newer 3.8's.. The dealership had a pristine 2001 Windstar/Freestar whatever that blew a freeze plug and melted the heads..My brother bought it for $500 He put new set of head, they were warped 15 thousands if you can believe that, the block was ok..we know the block are good on those motors... Put in new clutches in the tranny, resealed everything and the van is like new, leather perfect condition, nice vehicle that will provide years of service... Nothing wrong with newer 3.8's as he says they are much improved.....

I just have a problem with the older ones, which was my point on why so many people who bought those vehicles in the 90's are soured on Ford.. like my wife's parents and her sister.. probably will never buy another ford because of the bad experiences from the EARLY 3.8 junkers...

I think they are all surprised my wife's High school car is still running so good, but it's the luck of the draw, when they bought those cars how were they to know at that time the 3.8's were blowing gaskets and cracking as a result of running low on fluid... gas was so cheap everybody was getting the most displacement.. people remember that stuff ....

Ford will have to just keep plugging way.. Much like the powerstrokes, the new 6.4 is a much better motor, hopefully the 6.0 people whos 40K trucks keep breaking down will be around to buy those..
 

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You know it’s safe to say not much maintenance is needed on the 3.0 vulcan. Only because mine had the original spark plugs and wires from 1995 and probably more than likely the coolant had never been changed. When I changed the coolant it was black. It had 130,000 on the car when i got it home. I had really had no idea I was buying such a reliable car.
 

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I only had to replace the water pump once on my '93 Vulcan (I only use Motorcraft), no other cooling system problems (I flushed and filled every 2-3 years), I sold it @206k, orig heater core, too. Junk a car becouse it needs a $60 water pump? Its a 14 year old car, not a new one, and you paid under $500 for it, it runs/moves under its own power (well, it did)-seems like a good deal. The coolant was black becouse somone added stop leak to it, :glare: and it may have gummed everything up. :angryfire: When or if you replace the water pump, go Motorcraft and make sure you really flush out everything, esp the heater core (reverse flush), the Vulcans like to barf up crap into their heater cores. Don't use chemical flushes-they can cause more leaks! You don't want to replace a heater core on a Gen 2 unless you have all day to take apart the dash. Just remember, all used cars can and do have problems, even newer ones. I loved my '93 Vulcan, and so did it's next owner-sold to a co-worker, who sold it when it had 281k on it, still running good. FYI I finally found one local auto parts store that has Zerex X05 coolant in stock (same as Motorcraft Gold) -it was Napa. Zerex X05 is kinda hard to find, I wonder if it can be used in pre-'02 Taurus'?
 
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