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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am considering buying a 1997 GL Vulcan 135K. Recent new head gasket, water pump, starter, plugs, wires, coil pack, power steering pump, and high pressure line. I think all work was done simultaneously by a trained mechanic. Guy was fixing it up for his daughter.

However...

...has something leaking on the rear exhaust manifold or 'y' pipe at rear of engine (between engine and firewall)....not sure if it's oil or power steering fluid....but it is smoking (not sure if oil, coolant, or power steering fluid)....I suspect ps fluid because the reservoir is down.

Has steam coming from tailpipe. water condenses on my hand when holding behind...and then heard a little rattle from the engine....is it possible that the rattle is a component bearing or something other than a bottom engine problem. I didn't hear the engine rattle until after running for 15 minutes.

Ordinarily, I would walk away, but the engine runs good, and I can't believe a new head gasket would leak water into the combustion cylinders. I am hoping the liquid leak on the exhaust manifold (or 'y' pipe) is something simple....(does anyone know if the power steering fluid runs above the exhaust pipe?)

Anyway, I can see a factory replaced ax4n transmission that seems good, and a seemingly really good running engine. no overheating, just steam out of the tailpipe and a faint engine knock, or rattle.

Is it possible that all these seemingly terrible symptoms could have simple explanations? Or should I just walk away???
 

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I am considering buying a 1997 GL Vulcan 135K. Recent new head gasket, water pump, starter, plugs, wires, coil pack, power steering pump, and high pressure line. I think all work was done simultaneously by a trained mechanic. Guy was fixing it up for his daughter.

However...

...has something leaking on the rear exhaust manifold or 'y' pipe at rear of engine (between engine and firewall)....not sure if it's oil or power steering fluid....but it is smoking (not sure if oil, coolant, or power steering fluid)....I suspect ps fluid because the reservoir is down.

Has steam coming from tailpipe. water condenses on my hand when holding behind...and then heard a little rattle from the engine....is it possible that the rattle is a component bearing or something other than a bottom engine problem. I didn't hear the engine rattle until after running for 15 minutes.

Ordinarily, I would walk away, but the engine runs good, and I can't believe a new head gasket would leak water into the combustion cylinders. I am hoping the liquid leak on the exhaust manifold (or 'y' pipe) is something simple....(does anyone know if the power steering fluid runs above the exhaust pipe?)

Anyway, I can see a factory replaced ax4n transmission that seems good, and a seemingly really good running engine. no overheating, just steam out of the tailpipe and a faint engine knock, or rattle.

Is it possible that all these seemingly terrible symptoms could have simple explanations? Or should I just walk away???
Cracked or warped head = possible water leaks
Do a leakdown and compression test on the cylinders and report back.

If you have major issues, a used Vulcan is probably your best bet.

bob
 

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Walk away, IMO. Like Bob said, it could be a cracked head. Do they have proof they did the headgasket?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
OK, Thanks, I'm gone, and by the way, even though I could see all the repairs mentioned (ex head gasket), he could NOT provide receipts for the head gasket parts or labor.....I asked.

Just In case he would take $300.00 (the base metal value), if the head is warped, cracked, how long could it run?
 

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Okay, just to be clear here, was it steam or mist? Steam will burn your hand, mist will not. If it's below about 50ºF, you can expect to see some mist when the engine is cold. On any car you will feel water vapor when you hold your hand near the tailpipe since water is a natural product of combustion.

With bad heads it might last a few days or many months. But you should get a sense driving it. If you run it hard you should be able to see signs like clouds behind the car, coolant tank overflowing, or water in the oil (check the oil cap for signs).

I would have to hear the rattle, but that might be the worst part. It's possible it's just a heat shield or something that rattles once it gets warm and expands. If that's the case, the rattle will usually go away if you change the engine speed slightly. However if it's more like a bottom-end rattle I would run. Bearings might be toast if too much coolant got in the oil.

Either way, I would want some proof of work done before I would consider buying it. Did you drive it?
 

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OK, Thanks, I'm gone, and by the way, even though I could see all the repairs mentioned (ex head gasket), he could NOT provide receipts for the head gasket parts or labor.....I asked.

Just In case he would take $300.00 (the base metal value), if the head is warped, cracked, how long could it run?
Unanswerable question.
 

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I would run, there are too many possibilities for that rattle/knock and its not like there is a shortage of Vulcan engined Taurii.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Well, $300 is good for a Taurus in good otherwise condition. If you
had the resources to put another engine in, it might be a good
project.

$300 for the car $300 for a Vulcan $400 to conservatively put it in

For a grand, you would have a nice car.

If the rattle you heard is more of a scrapping sound, it could be
a worn water pump. Common on a Vulcan.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The temperature was 80, and the tailpipe gasses were not hot to my hand, but there was visible white emissions coming from the pipe even after 10 minutes of running, although it seemed to disappear after 30 minutes .

I did drive it, and did a walk around the car with engine running for 30 minutes. The engine runs perfectly, and sounds good. I verified the new water pump, power steering pump, and high pressure hose, starter, plug wires, and saw the ford factory replacement sticker on the transmission (ax4n).

I didn't even notice the rattle until about 20 minutes into the engine idle. I could not hear it on the driver side, only on the passenger side. I tried to listen for the exact location, but I could not. I would rule out alternator an power steering pulleys, but could be a timing chain, or something. It was faint, but sounded like an occassional "KNOCK", to me.

When I asked the owner why he did the head gasket, he said, it was because there was water in the oil. I have no idea how long, but it sounded like it was full chocolate milkshake stuff on the dipstick. The oil cap has been replaced.

His stated reason for selling the car is the leak on the exhaust pipe which is smoking upon boiling on the pipe after the pipe gets hot....by the way, I think it's power steering fluid, simply because the reservoir is almost empty and he recently refilled with the pump replacement, but the power steering lines must run above the exhaust pipe in order for that to be valid, and without putting it in the air, I can't tell. It could be oil, or coolant. I could just see that it was dripping from directly above the tail pipe between the engine and firewall.
 

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Chocolate milkshake = bearing wear. The car would be a good candidate for an oil analysis before purchase. Blackstone labs sells kits.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Never done this, but went to their website, and this would surely be a great thing to know. If your concern is that the bottom end had rusted before the repairs, will it still show up now?....or am I just looking for current oil coolant transfer?
 

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The concern is that the bearings are worn out due to lack of lubrication (not really rust). The oil analysis will detect any abnormal wear metals in the oil that will signal abnormal bearing wear. Taking a sample after the oil was just changed is not ideal (you want the oil to run several thousand miles or more), but it's better than nothing.
 

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Where is the rattle coming from? I had a rattle with mine, and it was the round thing on the front of the catalytic converter, it rotted the flange and became unattached so I cut it off because it wasn't doing anything but rattling. Also, something to check on it might be the heater core and the metal line that runs along the backside of the engine and firewall area there. Mine had some pin holes in it and caused it to smoke a bit from the coolant mist that was hitting about where yours is wet. And, mine also rattled. Fuel rail pressure sensors needing to be replaced can cause a tiny rattle if the computer leans it out too much, it's low level spark knock. Coil pack rattled too before it went. Just sharing a few things I've experienced with my Vulcan Flex Fuel 2000.
 
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