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2005 Ford Taurus SEL
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well it didn’t take me long to acquire another one. I can’t seem to stay away from these cars. The Tuesday after I sold my sable, I flew down to Orlando to pick up my new to me 2005 Taurus SEL. It is a two owner vehicle with every option conceivable with 82k miles. Second owner had it since 2005 so I am pretty sure it was a dealer demo. The only option it’s lacking is Mach and I have an amp and tweeters ready to go into it. It now sits at 83k from my trip back to NY. It drove great! I have a laundry list of things to do including a gasket refresh on the motor, tires, and a suspension replacement. Lots of maintenance to catch up on. Lots of cleaning to do. Needs a paint correction which I will take care of. It will be a great car and best of all… there is 0 rust on the car. This will serve me for many years to come and I look forward to restoring it to my standards. And it will never see road salt. I’ve been looking for a specific color (grey, silver or spruce green/ grey or black interior) high series car with a duratec for months and this finally showed up. Found way too much tan on beige, or rusted or tired cars. I’m glad I found this one and I’m excited to work on it! Been talking with the seller on it since July.

It saw its first snow before it got pulled into the garage for its picture!
More updates and photos to follow.

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What a beauty! Even has the wood grain steering wheel. Welcome back to the club, I think you'll enjoy your stay ;)

Its interesting how these low mile ones are still showing up from time to time despite how old these cars are getting. I definitely look forward to seeing the build log for this one.
 

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NICE! my daughter lives in Daytona Beach and we visit frequently. I look around and don't see Taurus that frequently and definitely not that clean. Buying a car and driving it a thousand miles back home is maybe a little more risk than I am willing to take.
 

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Add to the nice. Looks like it has TCS/ABS.
I got SEL '05 for my grandson for college. Bit rough $1600 car. But did not have ABS, manual climate and no tether on gas cap. Very strange to me, leather, top glass, 6 CD changer, wood grain wheel, and no ABS.
I got a tether gas cap at the JY and put it on. Of course college kid in engineering does not use CD's. Car works great for him. Slightly rusty for NJ car.
You done good.
-chart-
 

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What a beauty! Even has the wood grain steering wheel. Welcome back to the club, I think you'll enjoy your stay ;)

Its interesting how these low mile ones are still showing up from time to time despite how old these cars are getting. I definitely look forward to seeing the build log for this one.
They are out there but do not last long on the lot. This one especially a wagon. I was interested but it lasted a few days.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I saw several cars that would have fit the bill including wagons like that, but it HAD to have a moonroof. I was okay with adding something like Mach or even a spoiler, but a moonroof is a one time thing. I’m never adding that again like I did in my old 2006.
It was a perfect ride home except for one tire issue, but I topped off all fluids and monitored on the way home. Everything is excellent. It just has the typical old car stuff where the TC/oil pan are seeping, steering line seeping a touch, the strut mount in the FR is squeaking, and it just needs a good cleaning. But aside from that, it was a great ride and I’m excited. Nothing is unmanageable. Transmission shifts like butter.
Yes this car also has the Traction control/ Abs/ side airbag safe and secure package. Like I said, everything but Mach. Even the power passenger seat. It’s such a great find and I had been looking for ages to find it. Seller finally was willing to let it go.
 

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Not sure if this is irony or synchronicity, but I just bought a '05 SEL Duratec for $100 from my landlord's wife. She was frustrated at the cost of replacing the AC compressor with a frozen clutch. I finished installing a rebuild yesterday. Here's a pic... the red car is my '99 SE Vulcan which I am selling.
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Runs great, well taken car of and clean. 70K mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice! I spent considerably more than $100 and just spent $2000 on parts to refresh it over the winter. Good find. Duratec 05s seem hard to find.

and thanks for the input on RustKote, but it will not be driven in winter and never see road salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So tear down has begun of the Taurus. It’s a fantastic winter project and it will hopefully be like new once I’m done with it. I spent about 3 nights at about 3-4 hours each to get where I am at this point.
I am doing a full suspension refresh and upgrade. The struts are tired and the bearing was shot in the right front, so I removed those. Knuckles are removed to do new ball joints (all motorcraft stuff is going in). Inner and outer tie rod ends are being replaced. Both sides are torn down to the control arm. That’s the only part that’s still good enough to not need replacing.
As are all duratecs, it’s an oily mess underneath due to the leaky oil pan and timing cover. I have removed the Y pipe and dropped the oil pan. Intake is off and so are the valve covers. The gaskets are super hard from 17 years of use - they are almost plastic now it seems.
Also seem to have the dreaded upper rad hose failure. My sable never had this problem. Looks like I have coolant on transmission case and starter… slow leak that’s not easy to see… but it appears that the T is the issue. For those of you who have had coolant issues on these Duratecs, let me know if you agree or if you had other failures within this abomination of a radiator hose setup.

Next will be more tear down to get accessories removed and timing cover removed.

More to come

Still a ton of work to get this car up to my standards - and tons of cleaning and detailing! It’s going to be almost new when I’m done. I always wanted to have one of these since it was my first car and I am thrilled to have the one I’ll be hanging onto for years. Especially one with no rust!
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Nope wheel bearings are one of the only things not getting replaced. They were done recently per the Carfax. They look and felt decent when I shook down the front end. The knuckles are out for ball joints… And it’s easier to work on everything else when more stuff is out of the way. New struts going in as well. Inner and outer tie rods. Lots of stuff.
I’m at the end of engine tear down now. All parts are off. Intake manifold (upper and lower), valve covers, oil pan, timing cover. Replacing all those seals. They’re ready to go on. I also checked and tightened the camshaft cap retaining bolts too. Two were a touch loose.

Before I reinstall, I’ll have to replace that power steering pressure hose since having everything out of the way gives me access. That’s next. Steady going. It’s been a good project so far.

I’ll keep documenting progress here.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not a hard job especially since I have done this job before. The biggest thing is getting the compressor out of the way so you can release the motor from the front mount so it can be lifted up and off the pegs in the timing cover. Once you have it up, there’s plenty of room. And because I’m doing suspension, I had no sway bar, no struts, no knuckle or bearing in the way. Removal of alternator was simple. The balancer came off without issue. The pulley fought just a touch but came off with a bit of encouragement (impact). I locked the flywheel with a 5.5mm Allen key.
The upper hose was definitely the problem since I pressure tested it and air came flying out. Slow leak that’s been happening for a while based on the coolant and dirt on that side of the motor/trans and starter.
Replaced the power steering pressure hose and that is about the only part of the whole job I’ve been frustrated with so far. The retaining bolts came out easy but there’s just so little room to get the flare nut out. I was able to figure it out with a combination of an adjustable wrench and vice grips. Crows foot wrench or stubby 18mm would have probably helped.
So reassembly is starting now. Gotta clean all the burnt on dried out rubber from the old gaskets.
I’ll keep posting updates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Work is steadily continuing. Motor is about 90% back together. Taking my time to make sure everything is perfect. I want this repair to hold up for years. Also replaced the 4 connectors that broke due to age and brittleness. These were the ones that are in spots with little circulation so the heat just baked them away for 17 years. I’m not sparing any detail! Every fastener going back in is thoroughly cleaned and I’ve made sure wherever it came from it went back to.
Once the engine is fully back together, I’ll finish up the suspension in the front. SHO sway bars going in next after I remove the old tie rod ends. (Been too busy and lazy to get the rental tool haha)

happy with the progress!
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Work is steadily continuing. Motor is about 90% back together. Taking my time to make sure everything is perfect. I want this repair to hold up for years. Also replaced the 4 connectors that broke due to age and brittleness. These were the ones that are in spots with little circulation so the heat just baked them away for 17 years. I’m not sparing any detail! Every fastener going back in is thoroughly cleaned and I’ve made sure wherever it came from it went back to.
Once the engine is fully back together, I’ll finish up the suspension in the front. SHO sway bars going in next after I remove the old tie rod ends. (Been too busy and lazy to get the rental tool haha)

happy with the progress!
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Looking good! Surprised those connectors broke on you, I've never seen that. But I've owned more Vulcans, which don't take up as much room. What tool did you use to depin them? Did you solder the wires back together or use butt connectors?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I didn’t need to solder. I just depinned and repinned. Popping the pins into the new connectors was a clean install and I know it’ll be to factory spec and secure. This was from Florida so the heat baked it I guess. Just depressing the connector on the DPFE broke it off. Power steering pressure switch just crumbled. And the oxygen sensor ones just did not want to cooperate. I’m gentle too!!!
 
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