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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 3.0 V6 in a 92 Tempo. I know the Taurus 3.0 is the same in most respects, so you people should have experience with it. Recently I got a check engine light and the code pulled was 159 for a possible MAF sensor failure. I'd like some performance improvement if there's a better MAF sensor. I see 2 main aftermarket replacements (found at Advance, Checker and Auto Zone) as direct replacement and they are same ## for Taurus 3.0 V6.

The Cardone descrip seems to say it's more sophisticated (and costs more) but has only 1 yr warranty. The BWD doesn't say much... just better than OEM, but has life warranty. Would be nice to pickup a few HP or MPG with the right one.B)

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Cardone Air Flow Meter/Mass Air Sensor
Part No. 74-9505 $79.99 Advance Auto
1 yr warranty

"Product Features:
This unit uses a "Hot Film"-style MAF sensor that contains an extremely delicate sensing element that is easily contaminated
Careful re-manufacturing process restores unit to OE specifications for OE performance
Tests 20 different points—85% more than O.E. (based on the output voltage or frequency of unit)
Identifies anomalies between the 3 points tested by O.E. and helps ensure that the unit will not cause hesitation or stalling."
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BWD Mass Air Flow Sensor
Part No. 29080 $58.99 Advance Auto
Lifetime warranty

"BWD uses upgraded components to improve circuit reliability and performance. All sensors have been 100% computer-tested using advanced test equipment. Common component failures are 100% replaced. "
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I also see the Taurus 3.8 V6 lists a MAF as BWD part # 29083 (looks identical externally to 29080) and the MAF for Cardone part # 75-9502 (ditto size of 75-9505). Anyone have any experience with swapping them, yea or nay? Is it just a different calibration of same unit? :huh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
In the interests of science and sundry hotrodding, here's a comparison of the Ford '92 V6 3.0 and 3.8 FWD MAF sensors side by side. The pics at parts sites made them look very similar and their part numbers are close. However, the critters are not quite so in person. Tempo, Topaz & Taurus 3.0 lists BWD #29080 and Cardone #74-9505. Taurus 3.8 gets BWD # 29083 and Cardone # 74-9502. All of these reman pieces did appear to have same electrical connector. The 3.8 part weighs noticeably more. The 3.0 flange mounts to the air cleaner box while the 3.8 has 3 mounting holes on the underside for support attachment and hoses fit on each end.

The air passage dimensions for the MAF's by using good tape measure:
(convert to metric at your option)

3.0 Intake rim: ID = 3-1/16, OD = 3-3/8 (width of square flange)
3.8 Intake rim: ID = 3-5/16, OD = 3-7/8

3.0 Outflow rim: ID = 2-3/16, OD = 2-3/8
3.8 Outflow rim: ID = 2-3/4, OD = 3-1/8

3.0 Minimum Throat ID = about 1-5/8
3.8 Minimum Throat ID = about 2.0

I also wish to mention the fine assistance given me to sleuth this info during a slack minute by my local Advance Auto Parts #5243 (3801 S. College, Ft. Collins, CO). The crew of Assistant Manager Kieth King and salesmen Eddie and Jimmy pulled the parts and offered some possible ideas on getting the 3.8 to sync with the 3.0 computer without hysterics.

Their best pointer I hadn't heard before was to soldier a 15-30 ohm resistor inline after the air temp sensor in the airbox to fool the computer into believing colder, denser air was being delivered. (The exact resistor value would need some experimentation.) The computer will obviously compensate with more fuel. Happily, MPG shouldn't suffer much because the increased air and fuel delivery is directly related to more go and THAT is controlled very simply by not pushing down your foot as much! Either that or you can dig deep into the computer coding. I think I'd try the resistor 1st. B)
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The 4 pictures below should enlarge pretty well (tested OK).

1992 Ford Tempo, Topaz, Taurus MAF Sensors compared. Other years likely similar.

3.8 (left) vs. 3.0 (right) V6 part views in each photo:

1. Intake > 2. Outflow >
3. Right Side > 4. Throat
 

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Um... you want LESS fuel. My old vulcan ran extremely rich normally, and I was always on top of maintenance. In my SHO, the stock fuel tables put it as rich as 11:1, which is turbo WOT ground. And turbos go rich to control charge temperature, not because it makes more power. You don't want to fool your PCM at ALL, find somebody near you that sells SCT X3 flash tuners and you can get a whole lot more than playing with resistors.

As for swapping MAFS, that's the least of your problems right now. You can get a pretty large MAF off a 'tec if you grab the airbox as well, I'm assuming the intake system is similar under your hood. If so, you can go as high as an 80mm MAF from an SHO, if you grab the whole air box. The problem is your fuel tables are calibrated to the diameter of your MAF. Bigger diameter means more flow at the same airflow reading, so you'll go lean. You'll need to tune for it. But like I said, it isn't the main restriction in the intake, so going bigger won't do you any good.

Keep modding.
 

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Getting a bigger MAF is not a bad idea...but consider a few things, #1 Intake and air cleaner throughput, #2 throttle body and intake manifold throughput, #3 your pcm is calibrated for a 3.0 ltr Mass airflow sensor... so... port and polish your manifold, connect a duratec throttlebody and match your intake porting to the opening on the throttlebody... either A: modify your airbox or B: Install a cold air intake...


PS: try cleaning your Mass Airflow sensor before replacing it...
 

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I agree with Matt. The MAF will not give you much of a gain in power. Upgrading to an 80mm MAF along with a tune only gave 6hp and 2ft-lbs of torque in a SHO. Adding the resistor to make your engine run rich will only cause the cats to overheat, crumble and eventually the crumbs get sucked back into the engine scoring the cylinder walls and damaging the piston rings. What ever MAF you use has to have the proper curve (output) for the PCM to add the proper amount of fuel to the engine.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Vulcan V6 was rated at 130 HP on 3 liters (in '92), pretty dismal many of us agree, and a 10-20% real improvement would be fat great. Considering a Tempo weighs in well south of 3000 lbs., you would definitely feel it. Everyone here knows that common rodder tricks like installing a hot cam, cutting bigger valves, widening the intake passages, etc. on the 3.0 can be hard and/or expensive work (and some have done it well). But we can't just slide any Vulcan cam out the front like a 60's car. Many await a melt down of some kind to decide it's worth dropping a bundle on a hot rebuild. About the only cheaper options in the upstream areas NOT involving all that are rocker arm ratios (see below) and the pre-throttle plate intake plumbing restrictions.

I'd like to hear about exhaust side work that will fit in the tighter Tempo engine compartment.

I do notice the 3.0 Throttle Plate area cross section is somewhere about 2" to 2-1/2" inside diameter and not easily changeable in the Gen3 Tempo, to say the least. (There is no "throttle body", per se. It's integral to the upper half of the intake manifold, ya know, and pretty difficult to chuck on the lathe to cut wider). As measured, the OEM 3.0 MAF is about 1-5/8" and an obvious bottle neck to performance. The 3.8 MAF is about 2", sooooo it seems a nice volume match to the 3.0 throttle plate. Almost ALL other narrow places in the COMPLETE intake track of my '92 appear to me capable of more flow than the 3.0 MAF. Hence the MAF seems a pretty natural place to start improvements on the intake side.

I recently thought of another option to consider... it would be logical to use the 3.8 air charge temp (ACT) sensor with the 3.8 MAF. However, I see that it's the same part for 3.0 and 3.8 equipped cars. Hmmmm..... another hint that things are not so far apart as would appear? Maybe someone knowledgeable could help us with a read on the 3.8 computer settings for the ACT. The result could be the correct computer calibration we want OR the right resistor compensation combo on the ACT harness.
 

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Putting a different ACT sensor wont do anything for power. The CPU needs to know the correct air temp. its not a good trick to do.

Swapping MAF's only works if you have the correct MAF curves.
 

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All FWD vulcan lower intake manifolds are of similar design. Look up the '01-'03 taurus composite upper intake manifold swap. This will allow you to mount a better intake manifold with the ability to change TB's with just 4 screws. It'll also let you upgrade to a 60mm TB a la FFVulcanPowah and myself. THAT will give you a power increase that you can feel. You can then do whatever you want with the intake, but I don't know how easy it will be to tune a '92.
 
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