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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Any suggestions would be appreciated. My 89' 3.8 LX Taurus emits a howling sound for a second or so after the engine is shut off(can sometimes hear it as car is running). The car also idles somewhat fast, but otherwise appears to run fine. The only obvious vacuum problem is the hose to the air filter box from the engine(not the air intake hose). I believe it is part of the pcv system. It is disconnected at the box, and inside(air filter box) is a small air filter which once snapped into this hose somehow. I sealed and plugged them respectively and it made no difference.

The car does have, errr...ah.., one other known problem. A leaky radiator which because of procrastination has helped the car overheat(not badly) one time, but occasionally it runs a little hotter than normal(I know, I know...and wonder if I'll ever learn, but the radiators coming next week - anybody have any opinions on radiatorbarn?). Bottom line, the car runs great except for the howling and idling.

Rob
 

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I had similar problem on my '99 Vulcan. I had a "whirring' noise after turning of the engine. My A/C compressor/condensor whatever you call it when to [email protected]* on me, and since I've disconnected it (about a week now) it doesn't happen anymore. By the way, the reason I disconnected the A/C was 'cause I didn't want to pay $1500 to fix something I've rarely ever used. So anyway, you may want to chech your A/C.
 

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I'd hate to say it, but if you've overheated the engine and it runs hotter, the head gaskets might go. Yes, the 3.8L is know for eating head gaskets, but I believe all you have to do is get them fixed once and it should fix it for as long as you own the car.

Check your oil. If it looks like chocolate milk, the head gaskets just went.

Don't know about the howling. It might be the radiator fan. It does sound like a jet engine winding down when you shut down the car after the fan kicks on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. Here's an update. The noise is definitely a resonance in the large rubber hose connecting the air filter box to the throttle/engine(never sure if I'm using the correct terminology). When you lift the top off of the air filter box with the car running you can clearly hear that the sound is coming from the hose. I theorize that a gate of some sort(choke?) is not open wide enough, causing turbulence leading to the resonance?? Again, the car runs, and accelerates just fine, just this noise and the somewhat high idle. If I clamp the air intake hose almost closed with my hand, with the air filter box closed(never tried it open) and the car is running with the noise, the noise(resonance) stops(for arbitrary time periods). Somebody told me to replace the MAF sensor, but seemingly more knowledgeble types told me this wouldn't do any good. One suggested the Idle Air Control Motor. Anybody???
 
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When my 99 Vulcan was very low on coolant, it would make a howl coming from the water pump not having any coolant in it after I first shut off the car. :unsure:

I wonder if your cooling system might be clogged or something preventing flow to the water pump? Just a thought. :) A new radiator is definitely a good idea. ;) I would get the cooling system flushed after you put the new radiator in, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Jason,

Could you hear the noise coming from the water pump area?(also, no loose bearings on my pully). I'm sure it's possible, but in my case, the only apparent source of the noise is the large rubber air intake hose, and of course it could be anything beyond the hose in the engine that could be transmited to the hose via sound waves(water pump???). I've had the radiator problem for some time, but the howl and high idle happened simultaneously(coincidental?). Any, and all ideas appreciated.

Rob
 
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Honestly, I never had the hood opened when the howling was present. The source was determined by the dealership. If the howl and high idle happened at the same time it could very well be possible that there is some kind of flow issue with coolant or something causing the problems. I would guess maybe a vacuum is getting screwed up somehow, although I'm not sure how (if at all) the cooling system affects vacuums. How soon before you get the new radiator installed? Once you get it in, I would probably get a coolant flush and see if it helps. Sorry I don't know anymore details. Hope this helps. :)

-Jason
 

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Update - Problem solved. It was the idle air control motor(or whatever it's called), the thing that sits on top of the throttle. Now to the radiator and another problem, leaking power steering fluid that appears to be leaking towards the back of the engine. Any known failure points around the steering gear box? That thing looks nightmarish as far as access is concerned.
 

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It could be leaking from one of the lines at the steering rack, or the rack itself. It's best to do on a hoist, as you need to undo the two rear subrame bolts and lower the rear of the subfame enough to get the rack out. You also have to undo the steering shaft from the stub shaft on the top of the rack, from inside under the dash, beforehand. And i can't remember for sure, but you may also have to drop the convertor assemblies down to get at the rack mounting bolts/nuts. And of course an alignment is needed if you have to change the rack. Overall, it won't be pretty. This is the kind of job you likely wanna pay someone to do for you (and he'll probably curse too).
 
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