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Old 09-04-2012, 14:56   #1 (permalink)
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2000 windstar bucking

Hi,

I am new to the forum so hello to everyone. Here is my problem. I have a 2000 windstar 3.8 with 130000 miles. It will buck on me anytime I am driving. When I am on the highway it bucks. Feels like it loses power but comes back. Sometimes I can give gas and push through it. When I am at a stop light it runs rough and I can see the rpms drop down and then back up. If I let off the brake slowly it will buck. When it sits in park the engine runs real rough. I thought it was a misfire but plugs and wires are new. I am not getting an check engine light. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2012, 15:00   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2000 windstar bucking

There still could be a code. Autozone will check for free. Also, cleaning the MAF with MAF cleaner may help if there aren't any codes.
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Old 09-04-2012, 16:49   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2000 windstar bucking

I meant to put in my original post that I did check for codes and did not have any.

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2012, 16:58   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2000 windstar bucking

As Bert said, try cleaning the MAF, might want to clean the throttle body as well.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:48   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 2000 windstar bucking

Well i took out the MAF and cleaned it. It did seem to improve some but I still had bucking issues. Took it and cleaned it again but did more than the first time. This time it seem to make it worse. Something I have notice before is that it idles rough in park. When I rev the engine to about 1500 rpms you can feel it running rough. I can rev it higher i it feels like it is not as bad. Any advice? Thanks.
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Old 09-25-2012, 19:08   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2000 windstar bucking

When's the last time the plugs and wires were changed? Could be due.
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Old 09-25-2012, 22:38   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 2000 windstar bucking

Any white smoke from the tailpipe? Does the exhaust smell "sweet"?

You might have one or both head gaskets failing. This was/is a super common problem for the 3.8l around that model year. Ford eventually initiated a recall and extended the warranty to 7/70k. The "bad" gaskets were silver and the "good" gaskets were black. The compression ring on the gaskets would fail and get sucked into the cylinder.

It is best to eliminate base engine concerns when you can. Remove the plugs and check the compression. It is best to check compression on all cylinders. Test specifically on cylinders three and four. (Same gasket on both heads, just flipped 180°). Bank one cylinder three is closest to the firewall and at the rear of the engine. Bank two cylinder four is closest to the radiator and at the front of the engine.

It will not cost you anything if you already have a compression gauge. If you do not have one, borrow one. If you cannot borrow one you can find a cheap one that will work just this once. Side note- In the past, I would have killed to have a tool for just one time/job.

Do this first. Let us know what you find. Based on the results we can help you explore other options if necessary.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:32   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 2000 windstar bucking

Plugs and wires are brand new. It does use oil but it doesn't go down the road smoking. As a note my air filter is a reusable K+N filter which does require to be oiled. I saw that as a possible reason for a dirty maf. My 95 windstar had the issue with the crappy head caskets. I thought that was fixed by the 2000 model. Also something else I think is note worthy. When this started with the bucking it was something you could barely feel. Then it slowly got worse over time.

Last edited by dstinson; 09-26-2012 at 08:35. Reason: Clarification
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Old 09-27-2012, 18:26   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 2000 windstar bucking

Check your radiator overflow tank and the radiator for signs of oil.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:25   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 2000 windstar bucking

Could be a bad idle air controller. These can be cleaned (spray the tip with carb cleaner until the carbon is removed). Cleaning the throttle assembly should also be done.
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