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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought this Amazon/Tropic green 2000 for extremely cheap. Has only 80,000 miles. It's also weirdly optioned in a good way. Black cloth, flex fuel vulcan, keyless entry and alarm, adjustable pedals, but column shift. I seem to find all the column shift ones, lol. It also has an AX4N. Previous owner claimed an oil change place told them the head gasket needed to be replaced, but other than the coolant being dark I haven't seen any other symptoms yet. Doesn't overheat, drove 60 miles home no problem. No smoke either. But I'm obviously going to investigate because she said she got a second opinion and they told her the same thing. Obviously if it needs it I'm not worried, I've done this before, lmao.
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Looks good ! Don't understand the gasket issues on these cars because I had five of these and never had an issue. Must be tied to keeping coolant topped off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks good ! Don't understand the gasket issues on these cars because I had five of these and never had an issue. Must be tied to keeping coolant topped off.
So far I think its a misdiagnosis. It does none of the things my 98 did. So unless I see water come out when I crack the drain plug to change the oil, im going to flush the cooling system good and see what I can find. The coolant basically looks black, but I don't see obvious signs of contamination. It may have just never been changed...or someone mixed coolant types.

Heat and AC work great also.
 

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1999 Taurus SE Wagon (dohc, ax4n)
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Bought this Amazon/Tropic green 2000 for extremely cheap. Has only 80,000 miles. It's also weirdly optioned in a good way. Black cloth, flex fuel vulcan, keyless entry and alarm, adjustable pedals, but column shift. I seem to find all the column shift ones, lol. It also has an AX4N. Previous owner claimed an oil change place told them the head gasket needed to be replaced, but other than the coolant being dark I haven't seen any other symptoms yet. Doesn't overheat, drove 60 miles home no problem. No smoke either. But I'm obviously going to investigate because she said she got a second opinion and they told her the same thing. Obviously if it needs it I'm not worried, I've done this before, lmao.
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The cloth, adjustable pedals, and column shifter sounds like a former rental.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The cloth, adjustable pedals, and column shifter sounds like a former rental.


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Definitely possible, although she claimed her parents bought it new in 2000 so I wouldn't know without trying to see what Carfax has to say. With that said, has anyone seen this type of two tone cloth before? I certainly haven't. It's kinda like the sport seats but with a different center pattern.
 

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Fuel flex will be an interesting experience. Special expensive fuel pump and the fuel gauge module. My 2006 has about six months before it will take a trip to the scrape yard. Then I will be done with the Taurus models after approx. thirty years of ownership. Really didn't mind working on them when they were rust free but my 2006 is getting bad and takes special attention to jack it up without damaging it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Fuel flex will be an interesting experience. Special expensive fuel pump and the fuel gauge module. My 2006 has about six months before it will take a trip to the scrape yard. Then I will be done with the Taurus models after approx. thirty years of ownership. Really didn't mind working on them when they were rust free but my 2006 is getting bad and takes special attention to jack it up without damaging it.
Yeah, I already had to order the flex fuel module that goes behind the radio. Gas gauge is intermittent and there's a p0460, although oddly that code doesn't trip the check engine light. In theory the flex fuel pump may last a long time only running regular fuel, since it's designed to flow a lot more for the ethanol.
Sad you're just about done. I think this will be my last one. It's nice enough to put time and money into, and I can say I've owned all varieties at this point. So there's nowhere to go from here. Ill very likely never find one nicer than this.
 

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Yeah, I already had to order the flex fuel module that goes behind the radio. Gas gauge is intermittent and there's a p0460, although oddly that code doesn't trip the check engine light. In theory the flex fuel pump may last a long time only running regular fuel, since it's designed to flow a lot more for the ethanol.
Sad you're just about done. I think this will be my last one. It's nice enough to put time and money into, and I can say I've owned all varieties at this point. So there's nowhere to go from here. Ill very likely never find one nicer than this.
I bought a Rav4 Hybrid two years ago and enjoy it. Summer mileage is 45 mpg and winter 35 mpg. Of course it's new so no maintenance and my 2015 Lexus ES350 is also low on maintenance. I finally put new rotors and pads on my 2008 Xterra after 13 years and other than a preventative radiator replacement, had no issues. Those radiators had issues with OEM trans cooler that failed and flooded the trans with coolant. I don't miss the unexpected problems with my Taurus especially having three of them at once driven daily by four drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I bought a Rav4 Hybrid two years ago and enjoy it. Summer mileage is 45 mpg and winter 35 mpg. Of course it's new so no maintenance and my 2015 Lexus ES350 is also low on maintenance. I finally put new rotors and pads on my 2008 Xterra after 13 years and other than a preventative radiator replacement, had no issues. Those radiators had issues with OEM trans cooler that failed and flooded the trans with coolant. I don't miss the unexpected problems with my Taurus especially having three of them at once driven daily by four drivers.
The Taurus is very needy for sure. Lots of silly problems, like all the timing cover gaskets you did, lol. Newer cars have come a long ways. My 2020 Mustang has been great.
 

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Wow another one! Congrats. One of my favorite colors too!
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, found out some very surprising news with a closer inspection. Both head gaskets have been done at some point in the past, probably as a warranty job judging by the rust on the heads and bolts. Angle torque marks on both front and rear head bolts, and obvious deformation of the edges of the exhaust manifold bolts indicating they had been removed before. Also noticed a blue gasket in the valley under the intake manifold poking out. Very interesting. Previous owner had no knowledge of this. I pulled spark plugs for #4 and #5 (since the middle cylinders are usually the first to have gasket failure) and both of them looked fine. What do you guys think? Oh, and it definitely has a timing cover leak starting, just a little seepage. I'm going to use a gas tester on it tomorrow to confirm, but it seems rather unlikely at this point unless the person who did it last messed something up.
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Doesn't that sparkplug look a little too clean? Maybe steam cleaned? Not sure how old the plugs are. I guess you can check the PCV valve to make sure it is venting moisture out of the oil. Maybe that is what the oil change place saw and it was from short cold trips.
 

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Definitely possible, although she claimed her parents bought it new in 2000 so I wouldn't know without trying to see what Carfax has to say. With that said, has anyone seen this type of two tone cloth before? I certainly haven't. It's kinda like the sport seats but with a different center pattern.
I have the same color seat fabric in my 'Sky Blue" 2000 Taurus SE. It is the most comfortable car I have ever owned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Doesn't that sparkplug look a little too clean? Maybe steam cleaned? Not sure how old the plugs are. I guess you can check the PCV valve to make sure it is venting moisture out of the oil. Maybe that is what the oil change place saw and it was from short cold trips.
Idk, the plugs don't seem that old. Gap measured at .050, so they can't have been in there that long. The one adjacent had the same relative cleanliness but the ceramic still has some carbon on it on both of them, same with ground strap. Hard to say really. On the 98, the electrode was stained a rust color from coolant. Let's see what the gas test shows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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Well it failed I guess, although it's weird nothing happens until the coolant starts steaming, and i can see tiny particles coming out with it. Weird. It also never turns yellow like it should from carbonic acid. I wonder if I should change the coolant and retest. I sucked some out and it's actually not terrible. No obvious junk or slime, or any chunks in the container. This is a head scratcher for sure. Part of me just wants to take it apart and see what's going on. But I may find a shop with a hydrocarbon sniffer to see if there's actually combustion in the tank.
 
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