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Old 04-14-2007, 12:30 AM   #1
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Default Ok, its not a Miata, but help me out here!

Ok, so since i have a baby on the way, and you cant fit a car seat, wife, and the other kid all in the miata at one time... I have gotten a daily driver so the miata can now become my play time toy, and i can do all the mods to it that i have always wanted, without worrying about it being driveable comming monday. I baught a 1994 Ford Taurus. This car belonged to my wifes boss, and needless to say she didnt know anything about cars, neither did her husband.. She took it to the shop for some reason or another, they replaced the distributor cap (cant believe a 94 has a distributor) and then told her that it needed a head gasket. They told her it would be 1000 bucks, and she was gonna let them have the car.. I baught it from her for 300$.

The car is in good shape outside, inside its a lil dirty, but nothing is broken. It looks like it has fairly new struts in the front (they are real clean compaired to everything else) The tires have a lot of life left as well. All i have done with this car so far is drive it about 10 miles. It did seem to be missing a bit when i first started it up.. And i could smell a lil coolant. She claimed it was smoking pretty bad out of the exhause (my guess is steam not smoke) But i didnt not see any. It did have a tendancy to get hot when i was sitting at stop lights, but never got to the red part of the guage, and as soon as i was moving again it was back on the left end of the guage. Im guessing it was low on coolant.

Now for the helping part.. I really dont know how to go about varifying that it does have a leaking head gasket. I am very confident that if it is i can replace it, but id like to be sure this is the problem before i start tearing it apart. Plus it will important to know what head is leaking It has the 3.8 v6 (not sure if they used any other engine in this car around that time)

So any help would be apreciated.


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Old 04-14-2007, 12:37 AM   #2
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When my Escort blew up it had tan oil. Check the dipstick for the tan oil, it's caused by the coolant mixing with the oil. A compression check should tell you which head it is on. There is also a way to check in your radiator for bubbles or something that will indicate a blown gasket, but I'm not sure how you do that test.
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:39 AM   #3
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i did check the oil, and it didnt look like any coolant had gotten in there.. i should prolly drain it and take a look...
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:51 AM   #4
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do a compression test
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Old 04-14-2007, 07:34 AM   #5
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Every head gasket I've blown has been nice enough to do the obvious stuff, like mess up the oil and coolant. On one, my buddy who's a long-time tech showed me how coolant leaves a sweet-tasting residue on the spark-plug electrodes. Sounds nasty, but it worked, and there really isn't much toxic **** left on the plugs after combustion on a modern car.

On the bright side, I think a 94 Taurus is a pushrod V6. As long as you have a machine shop lined up to mill the head, you can probably do the gasket in a few hours.
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Old 04-14-2007, 08:43 AM   #6
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+1 compression check adam. then you know where you stand. also if the compression is rigth flush and fill the coolant and maybe change the oil, a radiator cap can also cause some leaking. At least with fresh oil and coolant you know where you stand and can further evaluate any future problems, or re-ocurring ones. also check the plugs while you are at it as well. 300 is a good deal man way to go.
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Old 04-14-2007, 06:29 PM   #7
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ford 3.8s are well know for blowing head gaskets. usually the coolant leaks. get a kit to pressureize the coolant system, pump it up to 15psi and see if it holds pressure. if it won't hold pressure look for a leak around the heads,and or in the sparkplug holes. good luck
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