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Found a very nice 1993 Thunderbird SVO at a local used car delear. It has a 3.8L V6 engine (not sure if it is SC or not). I reseached this engine and found out this engine had a history of blowing head gaskets. Is this engine dependable or a nightmare? Any information/advice would be very helpful in my decision makeing.

Thanks Ken
 

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Before I even read your message I was going to mention the head gasket thing, other than that I have not heard of any real problems with the 3.8L.
 

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Although I've certainly heard of the head gasket problems with the 3.8L OHV V6s, I myself have never encountered any problems in my '94 Thunderbird and I have over 124,000. I don't do anything really special; I try to keep the RPMs under 3,000 (not difficult at all unless I'm in a hurry) and I change the oil every 3,000 miles even though I could use longer intervals if I had to (I use Mobil 1 10W-30 synthetic; works great as far as I can tell). I do take good care of my engine in addition to the rest of my car but I have pushed it hard before just to see if it could handle it by driving as fast as it would allow (111MPH limited by speed governor - if you can actually believe it needs a governor to limit its top speed). Beyond that, I've driven near and above 100MPH several times before with no problems, which isn't bad for an engine with only 140HP in a car that weighs almost two tons. Usually though, to show some observance of speed laws, I drive between 75 and 80MPH on the highway, through which the Thunderbird offers a very smooth ride. On top of all of this I went and got the car smogged not long ago and it passed with flying colors with emissions way ahead of the State averages in all categories.

Still though, the head gasket situation can be troubling. Two of my cousins have Mustangs with this engine, a '94 and a '97, and both of them have blown their head gaskets, in fact, the '94 blew it a second time shortly after my cousin picked it up from the place where it was "repaired." I've heard that the Mustangs, at least compared to '89-'97 T-Birds, have their engines tuned for slightly more HP than the norm but not enough to cause a problem like that I would think. It could have been some kind of factory flaw, their driving habits, or both but I don't think it's cause to dismiss the whole design. For the most part, the head gasket thing is probably much rarer than people have been lead to believe and is a bum rap for an otherwise good engine.

In the end however, I still would've preferred to have had a V8 :doh: .
 

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Two SC 61's = trouble
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Crappy tty head bolts ????
 
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