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Help! '96 windstar oil in coolant


tmoke
03-29-2004, 09:17 PM
My windstar with the 3.8 liter has oil in the radiator coolant. No sign of coolant in the crankcase oil. Help me diagnose this please. Where in this engine are the oil (under pressure) and coolant in close proximity to each other? Thanks. Tom

madmax40965
03-30-2004, 03:47 AM
Tom,
Hate to say it but, blown head gasket.The 3.8 has
a history of this. Sorry.

JMJEREMIAH3239
03-30-2004, 12:05 PM
Tom, How many miles on the van ???? Just wondering.

jim

ModMech
03-30-2004, 12:15 PM
That issue is exactly why we have a '98 WS with the 3.0L, and NOT the POS 3.8L.

I'm sorry to agree with the others, but it sounds like the head gasket is toast. The REALLY bad news is that the repair is typically $1500 and up!

lewisnc100
03-30-2004, 02:33 PM
Could also be the lower intake manifold gasket, which if it is would be less expensive to replace.

ModMech
03-30-2004, 02:42 PM
No, he said he has no coolant in the oil. If the intake gasket goes, you get coolant in the oil, NOT oil in the coolant.

tmoke
03-30-2004, 10:21 PM
The van has 93,000 miles on it. If i'm reading you all correctly, this would be a leak between a coolant passage and an oil passage within the head gasket, right? Do you think that this situation will lead to more internal engine damage? I'm planning on having it repaired, but as long as it is torn down should I look at anything else? I assume that since there is no coolant in the motor oil the bearings etc should be OK.

tmoke
03-30-2004, 10:28 PM
By the way mcdrunky, what IS a good van these days?

rodeo02
03-31-2004, 01:49 AM
...Do you think that this situation will lead to more internal engine damage? I'm planning on having it repaired, but as long as it is torn down should I look at anything else? I assume that since there is no coolant in the motor oil the bearings etc should be OK.

This could eventually lead to coolant in the combustion chamber and crankcase which will trash an engine in short order, as well as kill your emissions sytem. You will have to replace all the top end gaskets. This will give you a chance to do a good lower intake cleaning (EGR ports). If you have any seepage at the timing chain cover, you may as well get that done as well, as that is another "problem" area of the ford 3.8L. Like previously said, this will be a time consuming & fairly costly repair, but that takes care of all the major things with these engines.
G/luck
Joel

ModMech
03-31-2004, 02:03 PM
"What is a good van..?"

IMO, a Toyota Cienna, or *maybe* a Freestar. Ford WORRIES ME. They do not look after customer satisfaction well, and many of their dealers are worse (from personal expierences).

lewisnc100
03-31-2004, 02:33 PM
No, he said he has no coolant in the oil. If the intake gasket goes, you get coolant in the oil, NOT oil in the coolant.

Didn't read the post carefully enough. One question for the forum, since Ford has a history of head gasket failures on the 3.8L in many models as well as lower intake manifold gasket failures in several engine types, does anyone get their oil analyzed frequently? If you have a gasket blowout or a quick loss of coolant you definitely know that it happened, but frequently people just see a gradual loss of coolant before there is really much visible evidence in the oil. These tests check for coolant prescence and would pinpoint even traces of coolant in the oil before it was visible. Anyone try these? Here's a link to an example report:

http://www.blackstone-labs.com/auto_report_3.html

tmoke
03-31-2004, 08:51 PM
I had the cooling system pressure tested today and it was not too bad--1.4 lbs lost in a 2 hour period. No external leaks detected. No coolant in the oil. I'm thinking that I'm going to flush the cooling system and put a can of Mendtite in with the new coolant and keep a close eye on it for the next couple of weeks to see what happens. Sound OK?

rodeo02
03-31-2004, 10:41 PM
...I'm thinking that I'm going to flush the cooling system and put a can of Mendtite in with the new coolant and keep a close eye on it for the next couple of weeks to see what happens. Sound OK?

If you can't put money into this van, given the symptoms, this might be the way to go for you. Of course these type of "additives" are not the best way to go. If you have any type of plugging in your radiator, heater core, engine cooling passages, etc.. you run the risk of plugging those things worse. Who knows. It may work!
G/luck
Joel

derffred
05-24-2004, 11:22 PM
The van has 93,000 miles on it. If i'm reading you all correctly, this would be a leak between a coolant passage and an oil passage within the head gasket, right? Do you think that this situation will lead to more internal engine damage? I'm planning on having it repaired, but as long as it is torn down should I look at anything else? I assume that since there is no coolant in the motor oil the bearings etc should be OK.


I have a 95 3.8 and the head gaskets went so I spent $1400 on the top end and then 7 months later the bottom end went, they are known for have main bearings destroyed by anti-freeze, ended up getting whole rebuilt motor $3200.00 (wish I would of done that in the first place)

nissandro
01-18-2005, 01:00 PM
This is happening to my 97 Windstar now. What diagnosis did you come with after all? It will help me to find out what to do.

derffred
01-18-2005, 01:34 PM
I have a 95 3.8 and the head gaskets went so I spent $1400 on the top end and then 7 months later the bottom end went, they are known for have main bearings destroyed by anti-freeze, ended up getting whole rebuilt motor $3200.00 (wish I would of done that in the first place)

The 3.8 ly motor is known to get this problem, the head gaskests go very easily if the motor over heats!

Never run these motors hot, but your past that now and you need a solution. As I said earlier If you want just a quick fix so you can sell the van just do the head gaskets, Do not go through Ford as they will charge an arm and a leg (unless ofcourse it is covered by a warranty which I think is 120,000 km)

but if you are planning on keeping the vehical get a rebuilt engine instead since the main bearings will go because of antifreeze contamination after a few months to a year. So it would be cheaper to do a complete rebuild now (short time pain for long term gain!)

If money is an issue try getting a used motor from a wrecker but who knows how good the heads are on that?

ModMech
01-18-2005, 01:57 PM
This is really only a problem on PRE '98 3.8L engines, I have yet to see headgasket issues on any '98 or newer engines. They still have timing cover leakage problems.

If you cannot afford to fix the headgaskets, I respectfully suggest you trade it in on a different vehicle. Nothing will stop the leak once it has started.

tmoke
01-18-2005, 10:11 PM
This is happening to my 97 Windstar now. What diagnosis did you come with after all? It will help me to find out what to do.

The problem wound up being a leak in the intake manifold gasket. Had it fixed and the problem went away. 10,000 miles later it's still OK.

floridatgp
01-19-2005, 01:35 PM
why not use the link below this thread, and the thermogasket stuff.

floridatgp
01-19-2005, 01:36 PM
http://www.rxauto.net/

wiswind
01-20-2005, 05:52 PM
One very off the wall suggestion.....that could be easily overlooked.....and much cheaper than a head gasket or lower intake manifold gasket repair.

If you have the "towing package" from the factory, you may have the factory engine oil cooler. They way that FORD did the engine oil cooler on the Windstar is that they cool the oil with the antifreeze...... The way to tell if you have this cooler....is to look very closely at the base of the oil filter. If you have the factory oil cooler....It will be what the engine oil filter screws into......and it will have 2 hoses going from it. The hoses (or pipes) are the in and out path for the antifreeze. This oil cooler CAN fail.....the fix is to replace it. I had to do a bit of digging on alldata to find this information. I do not have the cooler.....so I do not know much about it.....I just know that it screws into the oil filter spot....and then the oil filter screws into the oil cooler...which is only about an inch or so thick. The oil IS UNDER PRESSURE at this point....as it is pumped INTO the oil filter. As such....is is more likely to go into the antifreeze.

The other place that a leak "could" happen....is a leake from the tranny cooler that is in the radiator. Not as likely.. and it is not under as much pressure.....but another place to check.

Tmoke, I am very happy to hear that your problem is solved.....for less than a head gasket or rebuilt engine.

beuthling
01-22-2005, 07:13 PM
GMC vans are the way to go! Im am into gmcs- I own the winstar - but if you want a good dependable van get a savana.

ldare_2000
08-20-2006, 03:55 PM
I tried this stuff. I had a good look on the net and there where loads of idiots posting I am about to buy this..... and no follow ups.
I found it DID work, and can also confirm a successful compression test.
I don't expect it to last a life time. But Its worked so far so good.
Only down side said $45 for postage to UK and box has $22 postage on it. Bit naughty to make 100% on postage.
Other downside - Website says fully money back etc. In order to get money back instructions say you need to fax them an engineers report completed before and after using thermogasket. - I fear this might cost as much as the product and would put off most unsuccessful purchased.
Like I said it worked for me. I didn't even follow the instructions very well, didn't remove the thermostat and didn't change the oil despite it being milky.
Ask me a question if you want - ldare_2000@yahoo.co.uk

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