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Old 11-09-2010, 19:40   #1 (permalink)
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blown head gasket

Hey all,


Been awhile since i posted. My head gasket blew on sunday. I have a 93 bird with the 3.8 naturally asperated engine. My mechanic wants to put in a used engine with 59000 miles. My car has only 57678. not a big deal. he says to tear the engine down and machine heads could be expensive acquistion. upwards 1800. going with used 3.8 plus labor 1,587.53 otd. what do you guys think. I want to keep the bird cause she's a great looking car, not to mention its a florida car with an impecable body. what would i need to change to go with a 5.0 engine. tell me your thoughts, oh and the wallet is really thin. this 1500 is going to hurt. i paid 1650 for car and put in new shocks new struts converted a/c to r 134 and new shoes allready. when is the car not worth it anymore. i dont want a car payment. 1car with payment is enough.
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Old 11-09-2010, 19:50   #2 (permalink)
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Re: blown head gasket

Hi, this engine is prone to have blown head gaskets, especially in the mini-vans. I would fix your engine for the simple fact that the other used engine could also blow the head gaskets and you will be right back where you started from, but with a lot more money spent. You might consider doing the job yourself and saving on the labor. Or if working on engines isn't your thing, do some horse trading with someone who can do it. Paint a mechanics house or something.
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:53   #3 (permalink)
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Re: blown head gasket

yeah i hear you on this. i'm concerned because i know these engines are prone to blown heads. the fact is the block is steel and the heads are aluminun. thus the two metals contract and expand with heat at different rates.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:36   #4 (permalink)
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Re: blown head gasket

The difference in metals wasn't actually the problem. There was a very small clearance between the combustion chamber and the water jacket. Just make sure to use new headbolts an updated gasket and torque very carefully. Once done with the updated gaskets, they should be alright.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:33   #5 (permalink)
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Re: blown head gasket

Yeah thats the problem. Engine is used. They are not updating gaskets. This is a real problem as my bank hates me as I keep spending money. I had read online that this wad the problem. I now stand corrected. This whole thing is bothering me
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Old 11-10-2010, 14:20   #6 (permalink)
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Re: blown head gasket

Here is the real problem. Ford outsourced the head gaskets to save money. The head gaskets they got were junk. after 93 the 3.8's were fixed. Some of the early production
3.8's of 94 still had bad gaskets. They got the ones that were left over. I have one. After 93 ford used their own gaskets in the 94's. No more problems providing there wasn't a 93 gasket in the 94. the 3.8 ford is a good engine. If kept clean with proper oil and filter changes and it had better be at least 4 a year the motor will last longer than the body. My wifes 94 3.8 has 687,932 kms on it. Same trans. Same motor. I change the oil every 3 months whether it needs it or not and with a $3000.00 transmission it also gets an oil change and filter every 3 years. When the dealer tells you you can get
away with an oil and filter change once a year remember they sell engines too and if you are stupid enough to believe that. Never mind. Don't get me started. When an engine is burned to a crisp i can remove the valve cover and tell you how many oil changes the motor DIDN'T get. After getting the history on the car from the owner, guess what. the motor " might have had an oil change last year, I think ". Anyone remember your schooling ? " About 95 pecent of all engine failures is related to dirt and contaminated oil ". I'm done.
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:07   #7 (permalink)
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Re: blown head gasket

Yeah chipset,
I have stayed up on all maint. I always do and feel the same as you do. The motot im getting will have a 6 month warrenty. In that 6 months ill save money for the next big repair. Problem I see is the engine I get could be shit. My mechanic is good. He will check the replacment engine for defects, but yoj cant see a head problem. Am I right or wrong. Im pretty good with cars, but not a jedi master lol. I love this forum.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:25   #8 (permalink)
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Re: blown head gasket

if you get a 6 month warrenty you have some protection. It's very hard to tell if the gaskets have been replaced. I can tell sometime. Look for clean bolt heads. New bolts on the exhaust flangs of the manifold. Very clean valve covers and intake manifold. you
know, the obvious. There is also a special procedure to prepare the head before the new gaskets are put on. If not done there is an 80 persent chance of another blown
gasket. If your new motor lasts 6 months it should last 6 years or more. One thing i like
about those motors is that you never have to worry about the timing chain. It's under
constant pressure from a very strong spring loaded tentioner on one side and a preloaded
chain guide on the other side.
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Old 11-11-2010, 20:22   #9 (permalink)
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Re: blown head gasket

Wow very good info om the timing chain. I did not know that. If the engine last 6 months though, it could go bad at any time. Right. Or your saying if a gasket was going to fail on a used engine, it would fail sooner than later.....
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Old 11-11-2010, 21:58   #10 (permalink)
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Re: blown head gasket

Hi, the only way that I would buy a used or junk yard engine would be if mine was not repairable. Like if it threw a rod out of the side of the block, or ran out of oil and seized up. If your engine had well over 100,000 miles on it and you were buying one that only had about 20,000 miles on it, I would feel better about it, but in your case, it's a huge gamble. Also read the terms of the warranty on this engine; Some will state that the entire cooling system will have to be replaced, or if it overheats, and blows the head gaskets, your on your own. [no warranty]
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