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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to purchase a '03 SE Wagon with Vulcan engine.

Does anyone know how the EPA mileage compared? And how about in actuallity.

Any bad things I should be aware of?

How long should I expect these to go before major work is required, sounds like the tranny is the weakest link in these auto's?

What would be a fair price for an 03 Vulcan wagon with 27K on the ticker? One online site is giving dealer retail of 12,700, sounds about right though would like it lower.

Are service requirements similiar, I just paid $400 for the 30K service on the '02 Duratec Bull.

C'mon talk me into trading off my '98 ranger 4.0L supercab and $8000 with 84K on the ticker for this '03 Vulcan Bull with 27K on its ticker. Or should I not?


Thanks this is a great forum.
 

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The vulcan engine is a very strong and reliable engine. but i do regret that your are correct about the transmission being the weakest link but it being an 03, some of the kinks may have been worked out that have plagued previous versions. as for the service you paid $400 for i'm assuming thats new spark plugs, wires, etc.... if so thats a large sum of money. the vulcan engine has plenty of room to work around so labor isn't all that hard. took me like 30 min to change my spark plugs and wires, change my oil, replace air filter and other such nonsense. I've had my vulcan for a while, and have had no major or even minor problems with the engine itself. its very reliable and is an oldschool design in the fact of it being OHV pushrod V6. Power is a little lacking but its more than engough to adaquetly move the vehicle. basically it all comes dwon to price. what are they asking?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dealer is asking 13,100. I'm not sure at this time if it has ABS or not.

Service work mainly limited to oil and filter, air filter, fuel filter, transmission flush and fille, cooling system flush and fill. Yeah kind of high, though I didn;t have time, inclination or tools to do the flush of tranny and cooling system.
 

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I love my Vulcan 3.0. It hasn't given me any real trouble since I got it in 2001 with 56,000 miles on it. Now I have 82,000 and have not spent too much to keep it going.

My plan is to keep the car a very long time, at least until 150K. The Vulcan is a PROVEN engine with a PROVEN track record. The Duratec is a very powerful engine but it hasn't been around as long as the Vulcan.

The price doesn't seem that bad for a 2003 model. Of course, you can knock the price down a little.

Good Luck,
 

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I have the vulcan engine in my 96 taurus and it has over 133K miles on it and the only engine related parts i've changed on it are spark plugs, spark plug wires and regular oil changes and that was just regular maintenance. It's been a very reliable engine despite my enthusiastic driving style. :D
 
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I've put over 25k miles on my vulcan in about 8 months, I'm up to about 45k and it's been rock solid! :notworthy:
 

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As long as you aren't planning on going drag-strip storming with it, :grin2: you'll be very pleased. Small apes with dull sticks can maintain the 'ol pushrod, should be nothing for a "Dura-man" like yourself!

BTW, Welcome to the :tcca:! Glad you enjoy the company!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wouldn't think I would take the Taurus to the drag strip. The "L"in my my userid is for taking to the drag strip. Nothing like a stock 13 second pickup truck.
 

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The new trannsmissions are NOT an issue. The sagging rear end is the only issue that I am aware of. If it's a wagon, you have many more options, moog cargo springs, or airbag assist type things ($67). If the car is going to be loaded down a lot then I'd keep the truck, if it's for towing anything then I'd keep the truck.

And no matter what you WILL have buyers remorse, it's inevitable, but you'll get over it when you actually start working on your car and appreciate all the detail of the car.

Good luck in your decision.
 

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The Vulcan is used in the Ranger if that means anything. It's a VERY strong motor. I have seen Rangers with 400K miles on stock Vulcans, no joke.

Can I buy your Ranger? :D (Ford truck fanatic here)

I own the Ranger's chassis-mate, and I love the thing to death (133K miles) but the Taurus is getting driven more often because 24 versus 18 MPG is quite a big difference in city miles. Also, my Explorer couldn't dream of 33 MPG on the highway. My Taurus does it all the time. ;)

You will get considerably better mileage with the Vulcan. I know your pain with the 4.0 Liter motor. It gets to be quite the gas hog when you rev it up. You have the 4.0 OHV right?

Of course, I say why not get both? You would have to pry the keys to my Explorer from my cold dead hands before you would ever own it. I don't feel that attachment to the Taurus, but I can't argue with the mileage and the ride comfort.
 

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hey, I just got my 01 Taurus SE Vulcan 3 weeks ago. The car has 30,000 miles on it (27,000 when I picked it up), and it is built like a tank (MAJOR upgrade from my 95 Neon Highline/150,000 miles).

I did look at a Duratec motor, and was not impressed (no offense). The idea, in my opinion, is that it is less restrictive so you can hit a higher rpm easier, and you get a touch more horsepower and torque, but your gas mileage will suffer. For the normal, everyday driving I do, I will pick a Vulcan every time.

One of my friends has an 02 Ranger/3.0 and I will agree that they are built like tanks. I almost bought his 99 Ranger/3.0 from him, but he lost the truck in a major accident 2 days before I said yes (no injuries). He offered me a 92 Topaz with 120,000 on it but I said no.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Majisto,

Still have'nt pulled the trigger yet on the '03 taurus. Yes the ranger has the OHV and I really like it, but as you said the MPG thing is a big difference. My Ranger is in great shape, so that makes the decision even tougher, I really like the truck, though my wife thinks it is squirrely. Heck it isn't squirrely, the Lightning is squirrely, and she has only drive it twice in three years. Last time she did I talked her into "try to do a burnout" oh qawd I laghed so hard as she was trying to hold it straight and stop it at the same time :). And about the lightning it is not the daily driver, bought it new in october 01 and it now has 5700 miles, but it sure can make you grin :)

I will let you know if I decide I am parting with the Ranger, I would drive it anywhere, as long as it was paved, it's not 4 wheel drive.

Thanks
 

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The vulcan gets about the same mileage as the Duratec (1 mpg difference). The vulcan is rock solid, but the Duratec is a very good engine as well. It has more HP and can pull much stronger than the vulcan.

<---- Oh and see member title ;) :lol:
 

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Get the Duratec, hands down.

Heres the thing:

The Vulcan is actually BIGGER than the Duratec with LESS power. (181 cubic inches on the Duratec vs. 182 on the Vulcan.)

You will probably get WORSE milage in a Vulcan because you have to push it so hard to get it going from a stop. A Duratec can rev to about 3k and you get plenty of power from a light, but for the same type of response you'd have to rev a Vulcan to like 4k to get the same amount of acceleration. That equals worse gas milage. I have had both a Duratec and a Vulcan and always got worse milage in the Vulcan than the Duratec...even with new plugs, etc. I got 34MPG on the highway once with a Duratec, I can only get about 28MPG in a Vulcan. The BEST in the city for a Vulcan was 24. The best with a Duratec was 25.

The reason you usually aren't as impressed with a Duratec on a test drive is you have nothing to compare it to. Drive a Duratec for a month, then drive a Vulcan. You will cry wishing you had a Duratec. It's a HUGE HUGE HUGE difference. There is absolutly NO comparison, no matter what anyone tells you.

Other things about the Vulcan. It's not as smooth. The Dura is quiet, revs smooth (all the way to redline) and it idles so quiet you can barely tell it's running. After awhile, the Vulcan idles rough, doesn't rev smooth (doesn't really even want to rev...), etc.

One more thing. I've read numerous reviews about this, even. Sometimes Ford put the same tranny used on the duratec with the Vulcan. Reviewers noted that the same transmission used on the Duratec with the Vulcan was rough shifting, hesitated to downshift more often, and just overall had jerky operation. I had a Duratec with the same transmission used in MY Vulcan and it's the truth. The transmission when mated with the Duratec is smooth, crisp shifts. Downshifts a lot easier, etc. With the Vulcan it's rough, slowwwwwwwwww shifts. Even after a rebuild.

Get the Duratec. You'll be glad you did.

201HP vs. 153.

207ft.lb/torque vs. 180.

-Kyle
 

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I would personally choose the 99 'tec if based on engine alone. That is unless, you really like the Gen4 body better than the Gen3. IIRC, the 2000 also had the same brakes as the Gen3 SLO's...2001 and above Tauruses got the 11.6" front brakes that was standard on the Gen3 SHO.

Our van has a mazda version of the Duratec, and I like the extra shove you get when the tach goes above 3-4k :D . The '99 Duratecs also marked the last year of Duratec's with secondaries as well, I think.
 

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Want another idea of how slow the vulcan is? I can beat them with my Mystique, and it's a 4 cylinder..... :uhoh2:
 

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Originally posted by n2_space@May 23 2004, 12:39 PM
Want another idea of how slow the vulcan is? I can beat them with my Mystique, and it's a 4 cylinder..... :uhoh2:
LOL. yeah, and it's funny, some people on the forum say their Vulcan is only a hair slower than a Duratec. Riiiiiiiiiight. And Pamela Anderson has had no plastic surgury. :lol:
 
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