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Old 12-15-2005, 06:01   #1 (permalink)
joseph paolillo
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Reliability of Vulcan vs. Duratech?

I've had a 96 LX wagon with the Duratech for seven years now and it has
been quite reliable. We're in need of a second car, and I'm going to
look for an 02-04 Taurus/Sable. While I like the performance of the
Duratech, I might be willing to sacrifice that for the probable lower
cost of a Vulcan-equipped car.

Any comments on the reliability/maintenance costs of the Vulcan as
compared to the Duratech?

Thanks,

Joe
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:01   #2 (permalink)
CJB
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Re: Reliability of Vulcan vs. Duratech?

The only caveat I'd mention is that the Vulcan often comes with the weaker
AX4S transmission, and the Duratec is mated to the AX4N. Some Vulcans, for
whatever reason also get the AX4N. Either transmission could give trouble,
but I'd really look for an AX4N.

At this point, both the Vulcan and Duratec are considered to be very
reliable, so that's not an issue. The only important difference between the
two, is that you're used to the power of the Duratec. I'm inclined to
believe you'd be dissatisfied with the weaker Vulcan.

CJB


"joseph paolillo" <joseph.paolillo@yale.edu> wrote in message
news:dnro3f$o57$1@news.wss.yale.edu...
> I've had a 96 LX wagon with the Duratech for seven years now and it has
> been quite reliable. We're in need of a second car, and I'm going to
> look for an 02-04 Taurus/Sable. While I like the performance of the
> Duratech, I might be willing to sacrifice that for the probable lower
> cost of a Vulcan-equipped car.
>
> Any comments on the reliability/maintenance costs of the Vulcan as
> compared to the Duratech?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Joe



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Old 12-15-2005, 13:01   #3 (permalink)
trainfan1
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Posts: n/a
Re: Reliability of Vulcan vs. Duratech?

CJB wrote:
> The only caveat I'd mention is that the Vulcan often comes with the weaker
> AX4S transmission, and the Duratec is mated to the AX4N. Some Vulcans, for
> whatever reason also get the AX4N. Either transmission could give trouble,
> but I'd really look for an AX4N.


I was going to mention this until I remembered the 99 Taurus(~73K mi) I
saw a couple of weeks ago.

I was diagnosing a steering rack leak and saw the AX4N from the
underside, after noting that the Vulcan was under the bonnet... and I
thought WOW I wish my 97(~145K mi) was set up this way... until... I
checked the service history... and this tranny was just overhauled to
the tune of ~$1500.00 in October! The advisor said it was due to a
sticking valve...

Rob

>
> At this point, both the Vulcan and Duratec are considered to be very
> reliable, so that's not an issue. The only important difference between the
> two, is that you're used to the power of the Duratec. I'm inclined to
> believe you'd be dissatisfied with the weaker Vulcan.
>
> CJB

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Old 12-15-2005, 15:01   #4 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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Posts: n/a
Re: Reliability of Vulcan vs. Duratech?

trainfan1 <lmsearing@usdatanet.net> wrote:

> CJB wrote:
>> The only caveat I'd mention is that the Vulcan often comes with the
>> weaker AX4S transmission, and the Duratec is mated to the AX4N. Some
>> Vulcans, for whatever reason also get the AX4N. Either transmission
>> could give trouble, but I'd really look for an AX4N.

>
> I was going to mention this until I remembered the 99 Taurus(~73K mi)
> I saw a couple of weeks ago.
>
> I was diagnosing a steering rack leak and saw the AX4N from the
> underside, after noting that the Vulcan was under the bonnet... and I
> thought WOW I wish my 97(~145K mi) was set up this way... until... I
> checked the service history... and this tranny was just overhauled to
> the tune of ~$1500.00 in October! The advisor said it was due to a
> sticking valve...
>
> Rob
>


That's ONE, Rob.

Is ONE a good indicator?

Suppose we were talking 94/95 years? What would you say, then?

Havent you done a head gasket on a Vulcan?

--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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Old 12-15-2005, 18:01   #5 (permalink)
trainfan1
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Re: Reliability of Vulcan vs. Duratech?

Backyard Mechanic wrote:
> trainfan1 <lmsearing@usdatanet.net> wrote:
>
>
>>CJB wrote:
>>
>>>The only caveat I'd mention is that the Vulcan often comes with the
>>>weaker AX4S transmission, and the Duratec is mated to the AX4N. Some
>>>Vulcans, for whatever reason also get the AX4N. Either transmission
>>>could give trouble, but I'd really look for an AX4N.

>>
>>I was going to mention this until I remembered the 99 Taurus(~73K mi)
>>I saw a couple of weeks ago.
>>
>>I was diagnosing a steering rack leak and saw the AX4N from the
>>underside, after noting that the Vulcan was under the bonnet... and I
>>thought WOW I wish my 97(~145K mi) was set up this way... until... I
>>checked the service history... and this tranny was just overhauled to
>>the tune of ~$1500.00 in October! The advisor said it was due to a
>>sticking valve...
>>
>>Rob
>>

>
>
> That's ONE, Rob.


Yup, just glad it wasn't mine. Mine doesn't get treated tenderly, either.

>
> Is ONE a good indicator?


NO WAY - I'm just being anecdotal...

>
> Suppose we were talking 94/95 years? What would you say, then?


Stay away from the 3.8... get the trans updates done...

>
> Havent you done a head gasket on a Vulcan?


Never. Probably never will. Never a timing chain either.


Rob
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:01   #6 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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Posts: n/a
Re: Reliability of Vulcan vs. Duratech?

trainfan1 <lmsearing@usdatanet.net> wrote:

> Backyard Mechanic wrote:
>> trainfan1 <lmsearing@usdatanet.net> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>CJB wrote:
>>>
>>>>The only caveat I'd mention is that the Vulcan often comes with the
>>>>weaker AX4S transmission, and the Duratec is mated to the AX4N.
>>>>Some Vulcans, for whatever reason also get the AX4N. Either
>>>>transmission could give trouble, but I'd really look for an AX4N.
>>>
>>>I was going to mention this until I remembered the 99 Taurus(~73K mi)
>>>I saw a couple of weeks ago.
>>>
>>>I was diagnosing a steering rack leak and saw the AX4N from the
>>>underside, after noting that the Vulcan was under the bonnet... and I
>>>thought WOW I wish my 97(~145K mi) was set up this way... until...
>>>I checked the service history... and this tranny was just overhauled
>>>to the tune of ~$1500.00 in October! The advisor said it was due to
>>>a sticking valve...
>>>
>>>Rob
>>>

>>
>>
>> That's ONE, Rob.

>
> Yup, just glad it wasn't mine. Mine doesn't get treated tenderly,
> either.
>
>>
>> Is ONE a good indicator?

>
> NO WAY - I'm just being anecdotal...
>
>>
>> Suppose we were talking 94/95 years? What would you say, then?

>
> Stay away from the 3.8... get the trans updates done...
>
>>
>> Havent you done a head gasket on a Vulcan?

>
> Never. Probably never will. Never a timing chain either.


Exactly... Which is why i am forever grateful that, when I bought my 95
GL, on the spur of the moment, it just HAPPENED to be a Vulcan AX4N

I DID know about AT (4S) probs but only vaguely.

--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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Old 12-16-2005, 13:01   #7 (permalink)
CJB
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Posts: n/a
Re: Reliability of Vulcan vs. Duratech?

Now that you've proven to yourselves that the 4N is indeed more reliable
than the 4S, let me throw out some other anecdotal info to the contrary...

I had a 2000 Taurus Duratec w/ AX4N. Ford had to replace the tranny at 30k
miles...

:-)

CJB

"Backyard Mechanic" <pettyfog@yaywho.com> wrote in message
news:Xns972E92B747958pettyfogery@207.115.17.102...
> trainfan1 <lmsearing@usdatanet.net> wrote:
>
>> Backyard Mechanic wrote:
>>> trainfan1 <lmsearing@usdatanet.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>CJB wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>The only caveat I'd mention is that the Vulcan often comes with the
>>>>>weaker AX4S transmission, and the Duratec is mated to the AX4N.
>>>>>Some Vulcans, for whatever reason also get the AX4N. Either
>>>>>transmission could give trouble, but I'd really look for an AX4N.
>>>>
>>>>I was going to mention this until I remembered the 99 Taurus(~73K mi)
>>>>I saw a couple of weeks ago.
>>>>
>>>>I was diagnosing a steering rack leak and saw the AX4N from the
>>>>underside, after noting that the Vulcan was under the bonnet... and I
>>>>thought WOW I wish my 97(~145K mi) was set up this way... until...
>>>>I checked the service history... and this tranny was just overhauled
>>>>to the tune of ~$1500.00 in October! The advisor said it was due to
>>>>a sticking valve...
>>>>
>>>>Rob
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> That's ONE, Rob.

>>
>> Yup, just glad it wasn't mine. Mine doesn't get treated tenderly,
>> either.
>>
>>>
>>> Is ONE a good indicator?

>>
>> NO WAY - I'm just being anecdotal...
>>
>>>
>>> Suppose we were talking 94/95 years? What would you say, then?

>>
>> Stay away from the 3.8... get the trans updates done...
>>
>>>
>>> Havent you done a head gasket on a Vulcan?

>>
>> Never. Probably never will. Never a timing chain either.

>
> Exactly... Which is why i am forever grateful that, when I bought my 95
> GL, on the spur of the moment, it just HAPPENED to be a Vulcan AX4N
>
> I DID know about AT (4S) probs but only vaguely.
>
> --
> Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
> you pay..DEAL with it!



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Old 12-16-2005, 14:01   #8 (permalink)
trainfan1
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Posts: n/a
Re: Reliability of Vulcan vs. Duratech?

CJB wrote:
> Now that you've proven to yourselves that the 4N is indeed more reliable
> than the 4S, let me throw out some other anecdotal info to the contrary...
>
> I had a 2000 Taurus Duratec w/ AX4N. Ford had to replace the tranny at 30k
> miles...
>
> :-)
>
> CJB


I still wish I had the AX4N. I do some class II towing and often heavy
loads in the car. I'm on borrowed time with 144K on the odo.

Rob
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Old 12-16-2005, 17:01   #9 (permalink)
Backyard Mechanic
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Posts: n/a
Re: Reliability of Vulcan vs. Duratech?

"CJB" <colonyparkwagon@excite.nospam> wrote:

>
> Now that you've proven to yourselves that the 4N is indeed more
> reliable than the 4S, let me throw out some other anecdotal info to
> the contrary...
>
> I had a 2000 Taurus Duratec w/ AX4N. Ford had to replace the tranny
> at 30k miles...
>

aint gonna let you hex me!

Perhaps, even if I'd had a 4S I might'a been lucky.



--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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Old 12-17-2005, 10:01   #10 (permalink)
CJB
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Re: Reliability of Vulcan vs. Duratech?

I do think the AX4N is more durable than the AX4S, and so must Ford. The
odd thing to me is the wide range of durability you seem to see with these.
There are numerous people with short lived transmissions, and then there are
people like you who've worked your trans more than average and still get
better than average longevity out of it.

I've yet to figure out why there's such a disparity from one AX4N/S to the
next.

CJB



"trainfan1" <lmsearing@usdatanet.net> wrote in message
news:V-CdnQoQKPUNsj7eRVn-ug@usadatanet.net...
> CJB wrote:
> > Now that you've proven to yourselves that the 4N is indeed more reliable
> > than the 4S, let me throw out some other anecdotal info to the

contrary...
> >
> > I had a 2000 Taurus Duratec w/ AX4N. Ford had to replace the tranny at

30k
> > miles...
> >
> > :-)
> >
> > CJB

>
> I still wish I had the AX4N. I do some class II towing and often heavy
> loads in the car. I'm on borrowed time with 144K on the odo.
>
> Rob



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