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STORY (Skip if wanted): My wife and I only have our 1 car, which is a 2000 SEL Duratec. We both like the car a lot, but we obviously want another car. She likes the Mini, I don't. I like the VW Jetta, she hates it. She likes the Focus, me not so much. I like the Honda Fit, she doesn't. She like the Nissan Sentra.....you get the picture. After a few months (literally) of trying to find a second car and arguing, the only thing that we can agree on is in fact, another Gen 4 Taurus. So, I have been looking all over the place for the last week for another Duratec Taurus, and there's only one for sale (2000-2003), but they want $6K for it, and it has 120K miles. I think that's ridiculous since my car is only worth $2,300. Anyway, I am thinking of breaking down and getting a Vulcan. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind it, but I wanted another Duratec for the ease of diagnosing problems and swapping parts over.




I'll try and rephrase, I am wondering about the little differences between the Duratec and the Vulcan. Things like:

Real World Mileage. My Duratec has never topped 30 mpg, only 29 highway (95%, 60 mph), and gets around 18.5 in the city (only city). I would hope that the Vulcan could do something like 34 mpg freeway if cruising at 60 mph like my old 92 did.

Noise: My Duratec is a LOT more noisy than the 92 GL was. I can feel a lot of NVH in the cabin compared to the other car. Again though, Gen II.

Transmission: I've been trying like mad to find a column shift Duratec, but haven't ever seen one. Do they exist? Or is that only a "feature" with the Vulcan? I am strange, I like bench seats!

Parts compatibility. Are the Vulcans Identical in terms of interior, trim, light bulbs and wheels?


That's about it now. Again, I wanted a Duratec, but they are nowhere to be found here. Just 1 for sale, and it's way over priced, and beat. Thanks guys!
 

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Vulcans get about the same or even worse fuel mileage than your Duratec. Trannies are the same I believe (not sure on shifter). Interior trim is the same (depend on options).

I'd go Duratec if I had to do it over, but Vulcans are a lot cheaper.
 

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Check out cars.com for your area. Six thousand dollars is way too much to pay for a 10 year old car with 120,000 miles.

I get 22-23mpg city, 32-34mpg highway with my Duratec. It is not noisy, shaky and does not vibrate. It runs like a Swiss watch. I have 161,000 miles on mine...everything on the engine is factory original...except the serpentine belt and pcv valve.

I would say that 60-70% of all Tauruses are column shift, so there are plenty of Duratecs with column shifts.

There is no difference in the cars with either the Vulcan or Duratec. The interior difference (thought subtle) is in the trim levels...SE, SES, SEL, etc.

The big difference is that the Vulcan is about 165HP vs. the Duratec's 200HP. The same with torque. Plus, the Duratec, being an aluminum block, doesn't have the water pump and heater core issues that the Vulcan has.

I've had both, and in my opinion the Duratec is the better engine...but, with proper care, either engine is good.

If you can get pure gas (no ethanol) in your area, that will increase your gas mileage up to 25%.

http://pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=SC


Using a Top Tier gas will help....cheap off brands will affect your mpg.
http://www.toptiergas.com/retailers.html


Also, the engine(s) are made to run on 87 octane. Putting a higher octane in won't increase your gas mileage. It just makes big oil richer.
 

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There are lots of little things that affect gas mileage....are your tires properly inflated? Clean air filter? Being easy on the throttle...windows up when traveling at high speed gives the car better aerodynamics which equals better mpg...things like that add up.
 

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Vulcans are 155 hp, duratec's are 200 with the same gas milage.

Once you drive a tec, you don't want to go back to a vulcan. :)
 

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Column shift Duratecs exist. I have one and Bull Geek has one.

Personally, the NHV in my '03 is far better than my '95. The only thing worse is the steering feel.

As far as gas mileage goes, it's kind of subjective. I have gotten 34 MPG in my Duratec, but it was probably a one-time thing as I was driving across AZ and NM on ethanol-free gas. I've only gotten less than 20 MPG if I let it warm up in the winter. I average around 22 MPG with 70% city.
 

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Seems TCCA has plenty of Vulcan fans thus support and advice. I have all Duratecs but in-laws had great success with their Vulcans. A well maintained Vulcan with the options you want vs. a beat up Duratec leaves a clearer choice as well. I see new looking vulcans all over the place in this area but few Duratecs. Personally, if I'm passing a slow driving coffee sipper on a two lane highway I want to pass NOW if not sooner. Duratecs deliver up a nasty snarl:angry: and feel that I like for situations like that. I'd be to impatient with less power and you may be to. Theres a good Taurus out there somewhere just waiting for you.:)
 

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Transmission: I've been trying like mad to find a column shift Duratec, but haven't ever seen one. Do they exist? Or is that only a "feature" with the Vulcan? I am strange, I like bench seats!
I know for a fact that column-shift Duratecs exist, because the Duratec Sable we just got for my brother was column shift.

Once you drive a tec, you don't want to go back to a vulcan. :)
I agree with durasel 100% on that fact. My first Taurus was a Vulcan, and everything since has been a Duratec. I won't buy a Vulcan again. Don't get me wrong, it's not because of any mechanical issues at all. It just couldn't get up and move when I needed it to.
 

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Ive owned both a vulcan ('92 wagon & '99 sedan) and a duratech ('03 wagon) and wouldnt mind either, though the 'tech is a much better ride on the highway. Yes, the vulcan is a lower HP motor, but its still good. I like the 'tech becasue to me its a smoother running motor and has much better performance and power. The '92 wagon was a slow boat with the vulcan very under powered for the size, the '99 sedan was a better runner. The right car, I would take either motor, but I would much rather have a duratech in the end. Around here, its rare to find either with a floor shifter, I would say less than 10% of the cars I have seen here are floorshift.
 

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I will have a well taken care of SEL (see: top of the line) Duratec for sale shortly. it has 108K miles on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I'll listen to the majority and I think I am going to wait it out for the right Duratec to come along then. I had a 92 Vulcan like I said, but, that was a 92 and it was a long time ago. It's difficult to compare the two. For some reason, I have no idea why, I'd say the Vulcan to Duratec ratio is about 25 to 1 here. I've been searching the classifieds, and for the last week, there have been 3 tecs and 70 something Vulcans. Oh well, patience will pay off.

Also, I am encouraged by the column shift availability. I for some reason have never seen a column shift Duratec before. I looked at an 05', a 00' and 03' before I bought mine (the 2000), and all floor shifters. Not that I mind too much, but I just love that bench seat. I know, I'm an old man or something.

Also, looking at my mileage and considering the noise, I'd say something is amiss with my car. I am probably going to run a few injector cleans on it and see if that helps. If anything, I suspect it's a bit gunked up inside, since it's considerably noisier than the rental Suzuki Forenza I had just recently.


Thank you guys so far
 

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A few things to watch for...
If you want a sedan w/a DOHC engine and are in the US, looking at US market cars, look for a 2000-2003 SEL (P56S vin), as all of those will have DOHC, and all had the option for column shift. I agree, as well, I do like the column shift. Only the 2000-1 SES (P55S vin) models could be had with a DOHC engine and a column shift. 02s and 03 DOHC came with floor shift only.

When I was searching for cars, I learned that not everyone will list what they really have (marking the car as an SEL when it's an SES, etc) so keep your search parameters low to not potentially weed out a typo someone made. Where are you located?
 

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The wifes 04 SES Dutatec has a column shift, so they are out there as others have said.

Some read world fuel mileage numbers.... I keep track of gas mileage in an Excel spreadsheet that does running averages, total averages, etc for all my cars. Over the last 35,000 miles, my 05 Duratec has averaged 23.8 MPG in city / often crowded interstate commuting / surburban driving. and 26.5 MPG on long trips (car usually heavily loaded, driving well above the legal limit). My "relatively new to me" 95 Vulcan has averaged 23.8 MPG over the last 3000 mles under identical driving conditions quoted above for the 05 Duratec. The 95 hasnt been on any long distance highway trips, so no clue on long distance fuel interstate fuel mileage.

To sum up, as others have said, Tec and Vulcan get the same MPG in typical day to day driving.
 

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"I like the VW Jetta, she hates it."
How about a Passat or even a CC, a really nice Taurus size VW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I think she hates VW's in general. I actually have an old GTi right now, but it's falling apart and she hates it with a passion. It's also so unreliable that I may as well not count it as a car.

I am in Northern Utah..
 

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Seen a nice 2001 Gold SEL for sale with about 80K, column shift, Duratec for $5500. Looks nice. They are out there.
 

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The only people I know that hate them have never driven one...
Really? I had one and compared to my Sable is not comfortable at all. You can feel it especially at long drives.

For OP: I have a Duratec with colum shifter and AX4N transmission. Supposelly is better than AX4S...
 

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Really? I had one and compared to my Sable is not comfortable at all. You can feel it especially at long drives.

For OP: I have a Duratec with colum shifter and AX4N transmission. Supposelly is better than AX4S...
I drove a 4 door Passat 8 hours to Boston and it was very nice. Lotsa room, quiet, powerful and all that German. CC is even a little bigger, I'm dying to check one out. Jetta? yeah, too small for a haul, but fun to drive to work/grocery store.
 

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Really? I had one and compared to my Sable is not comfortable at all. You can feel it especially at long drives.

For OP: I have a Duratec with colum shifter and AX4N transmission. Supposelly is better than AX4S...
All Duratecs are coupled to the AX4N.
 
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