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Ford Taurus | Mercury Sable | Ford Taurus SHO | 1986-2007 Forum for discussion of the Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable and Ford Taurus SHO. Covers vehicle years: 1986-2007

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Old 08-27-2006, 22:22   #1 (permalink)
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96 3.0 liter ohv coolant issues

Okay, I will give the history of the car to start. The car was bought from the original owner in 98 with 12k miles on it and now it is at 151k. Since then it has never had any overheating except for the water pump going out about 3 years ago. The other day I was on the interstate on a 180 mile trip and had the cruise control set. I just happened to notice it jerking a little on decel and I looked down at the i/p and noticed the tach was reading almost 4k rpms. I stopped and checked the codes in it and it had a code set for the #3 shift solenoid stuck off ( I think it was a p0761 ). Anyhow I made a few calls and was told it was ok to drive but I just needed to slow down a little as I basically had no overdrive. So I jumped back on the highway and was cruising a bit slower when I came up on some traffic and so I did a relatively short burst of higher speed to get by them. Shortly after I came to an exit ramp and got off to get some gas and as soon as I pulled off the car overheated. I let it cool down and I filled it up with coolant and I was on my way. The rest of the trip was uneventful except that I noticed the coolant gauge flickered a little at times. The next day I hopped in the car to go somewhere and when I got there I noticed the coolant was boiling over but the gauge hadnt went higher than normal. Again I filled it and I went on my way and when I got where I was going it boiled over again. So I took it home to flush the coolant as it had the "mississippi mud syndrome" that fords had in the '90s. I drained the coolant and filled it with some prestone coolant flush and as soon as it began to warm up it started boiling over. I tried everything I could think of to burp the system but it wont stop boiling over. I seem to remember some time ago I worked on a nearly identical taurus and it had the same problem and it ended up being a bad head gasket. My question is if it is common for the vulcan engines to blow head gaskets after overheating and is there a special procedure to burp the cooling system. At this time I am thinking I need to replace the head gaskets but I woul like a little input first. Sorry this was so long winded but I wanted to explain in detail the scenario because it is a relatively complicated one. Thanks,
Phil
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Old 09-04-2006, 23:17   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 96 3.0 liter ohv coolant issues

well I wish I would have gotten at least 1 reply to the post but oh well. I did some searching on my own and found a bulletin that covered my issue. It seems to have been a major issue with a LOT of taurus and sables with the 3 liter vulcan engine and there is a bulletin that covers 96-99 models. I know in my experience I had seen it before but didnt know the cause. Anyhow a VERY thorough flush procedure and a new water pump, heater hose, and thermostat is the solution. So far no problems of any sort so I may have squeezed by without having to replace the head gaskets this time.
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