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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-11, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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99 Taurus --- need Vulcan engine advice

About a month ago or so, I purchased a 99 Taurus with 78K miles for $1100. Car looks fine, in general things are fine except for......

There is a LOUD lifter noise in the engine and yes, I knew the problem when I purchased the car. But the funny thing is that doing an oil change quietes the engine for about 700 or so miles. By that I mean when I start the engine in the mornings, it is not noisy until I get some miles on the oil. After getting some miles on teh oil, it takes a few minutes for the engine to sound normal.

The when the engine is started in the morning it gets loud after the 500+ miles on the oil change but after a minute or so it quiets down. I even had a check engine fault for misfire. That fault occurred twice and each time it cleared.

I took the car to my favorite shop. I wanted info on replacing the lifter but what I got instead was an additive, something named 50+ for high mileage engines if I remember right. His advice was the lifter was draining because of carbon and this magic potent would help clear away anything that allowed the lifter to drain. Heck, I even purchased another bottle of the stuff from him. Anyway, after about 500+ miles or so, the engine started rattling and shaking when started in the mornings. After a couple of minutes, things get back to normal.

So I drained the oil and filled it with Napa straigt 40 and his bottle of magic CACA. Sure enough, started the car and it ran GREAT.............FOR ANOTHER 500+ miles. Then back the the loud lifter noise after the car sat overnight.

Today I drained the Napa 40 with less than 1000 miles on it and put in big bucks BRAD PENN 20-50 racing oil, the green stuff along with a new filter. Started the car and after the oil circulated, the engine sounded fine although there was a very slight tappet noise.

WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON??? Oil should last longer than 500-1000 miles. The only thing I can think of is the could be a lot of sludge in the engine. If I have to I will pay to have the lifter replaced and hope the cam is not damaged.

If the lifter is draining overnight, why does it only drain when the oil has some miles on it?

Anyway, thats my latest problem.


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-11, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 99 Taurus --- need Vulcan engine advice


Since I posted last, the Brad Penn 20-50 racing oil seems to be holding up. When the engine is first started, its a little noisy but not for long and it does seem to run quieter.

I am hoping that I don't need to get the lifters changed. There are two things that I see different than the NAPA straigth 40. First, the Penn is a detergent oil. Second, the oil is fortified with ZDDP that is/was removed from most of the popular brands by Big Brother.

It is possible that the engine is loaded with sludge from prior abuse (lack of oil changes) and that could be why I had trouble with the other oils going to poop after very few miles on them.

Time will tell, so more later--

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-11, 09:22 AM
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Re: 99 Taurus --- need Vulcan engine advice

Two things come to mind. 1 - you are using the wrong oil in that engine. Calls for 5 -30.
Some engines call for 5 -20. 2 - That engine has a roller cam and does not need Zinc in the oil. How fast does the oil turn black after an oil change ? Are you sure the rattle isn't
coming from under the car ? The heat shield on the cat. rots off and falls onto it. Makes a
hell of a noise until the engine warms and runs smooth.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-11, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 99 Taurus --- need Vulcan engine advice

Chip-- yes, I understand that Ford calls for a very light weight oil which I have not used in any of my cars. And--- I purchased the car with nearly 80K miles on it so my driving/care is not the cause for the problem..........BUT I BELIEVE I KNOW THE PROBLEM!!!

Racing oil acted the same way the other oils acted, engine sounded like it was going to come apart when started in the morning yesterday. In fact, it was noisy even when I shut it off.

Last night before I put the car to bed, well garage anyway, I drove over to Wally World and purchased a couple of NEW FILTERS. This morning I checked the engine's oil, it looked just fine. Next, I swapped the old oil filter with a new one, left the oil alone because it had only 500 miles on it, started the engine............AND IT WAS ALMOST QUITE!!! Oh-- the noise is definitely inside the engine. when loud, sounds like there is no oil getting to the valve lifters.

My belief is the engine is loaded with crud that plugs up the filter, resulting in poor oil circulation. I could be wrong but I am right when I say, a new oil filter reduced the engine tapping noise to almost nothing.

I am going to change the oil when I get 1000 miles on it which won't take long. While at Wally World I also purchased 5 quarts of Penn 5-20 oil that claims to clean crud out of the engine. If the engine holds together, my plan is to change the oil every 1000 miles or so with hope of getting all the old crap out.

Got my hopes up!

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-11, 07:51 PM
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Re: 99 Taurus --- need Vulcan engine advice

How the Heck you been Foggy?

If that Lifter is loose, and going bad, the Thinner Oil Grade will only be a temp fix.

Forgive me for saying so...but until you pull that cover, and fix that Lifter it's just going to get Noiser...LOL...

If the Oil is working, and you not going to keep the car long...go for it.

Good Luck and good repairing Sterling_6
"You know, just like in that Book, When Jesus beats up Moses to get Religion!!"
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-11, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 99 Taurus --- need Vulcan engine advice

Hi Sterling!

I have been spending much spare time designing and building a reverse osmosis water maker for my boat. Its been a winter project that I believe I can quickly finish except I got carried away with the controls. I am getting into microcontrollers and with that, enough said until I have something working.

The car!!! Yes, I think your right! But repairing that lifter (I believe) is a big job. Need to pull the intake manifold, exhaust manifold pipes and I really lack your skills. Think I might get a price on the job. OH, the reason for lighter oil is that I hope it will help break up the crud and I will change it after maybe 500 miles or so.

But the thing that captivated my attention is the way the oil behaves. Engine fine for the first 500 miles or so after a change and then things get noisy when the engine is started in the mornings. Change hte oil, things are no where near as noisy in the morning start up. I still think the engine is loaded with crud but.... Yea, I agree, the lifter needs to get changed. I worry about what else could be damaged in there.

The car only cost $1100 or so and now has 81K on it, it does have some signs of salt damage on the body. But if I can keep the thing going for a couple of years.... maybe another 50K at least, then it might be worth the repair. And when this one finally goes belly up, look for another. All my life I have treated cars as if they were trucks and I do own a truck. I have a 2001 Econoline 2500 with a little over 50K on it that I purchased new.

Sterling--- take care of yourself. For your sake, I hope your not putting up with all the snow we suffer with here in Massachusetts!

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-13-11, 07:13 PM
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Re: 99 Taurus --- need Vulcan engine advice

Foggy, have you thought about dropping the oil pan and/or removing the valve covers to check for any sludge? If there is any around the valve areas you can suck it up with a shop vac. It'll save buying filters.

If it means anything (I don't know; do I ever? - don't answer that), I've been running Amsoil 5W30 for the last few years in my '99 Taurus with the 2V engine good for one oil change a year. Before I ran Amsoil XL 5W20 (two oil changes a year) but changing oil outside in the winter isn't very appealing. I put on about 15,000miles a year. I add half a quart every 4-5 months, so one quart added per oil change each year.

I've done it with my '00 Durango R/T 5.9L as well, and plan to remove the valve covers and install new gaskets this spring as one has started a slow leak. Generally I'll add 2 quarts a year to the Durango. I put on about 15K as well, with a lot of heavy towing during the summer months!

I know the Vulcan engine specifies 5W20 oil but mine runs just fine on 5W30 full synthetic.

I haven't heard of any sludge problems with these engines. I do however know that Chrysler, at the time, had a problem with their 2.7L V6 having sludge issues when they first came to market. Same goes for the 2000-2001 4.7L V8.

I'm not sure of your location, but if you park outside and it's well below freezing then perhaps the block heater can help alleviate some of the harshness when you start the vehicle as it'll warm the oil? Just a thought.

'11 Ram Quad Cab 4x4 SXT 5.7L HEMI (stock); 48,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 64,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 28,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!
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