Thermostat replacement with lower temp opening setting


searcherrr
10-22-2007, 09:57 PM
Since I'm going to be towing sometimes (seldom, but some) do ya'll think it would be good/better to install a 180 degree thermostat (IE: it opens up to allow coolant flow at 180 degrees)? or should I just get one of the 190 ones?

I have a tranny cooler on the radiator and the cooling system is in good health. If I put in a 180 degree thermostat does this mean the water pump life will be shorter or is it spinning all the time regardless?

phil-l
10-23-2007, 06:08 AM
searcherrr: LATER UPDATE - I wrote this before seeing your thread detailing the overheating issues you've seen - so some of this probably doesn't really apply anymore...


The water pumps spins whenever the engine is running (it's run by the serpentine belt). The thermostat merely controls whether the engine coolant flow includes the radiator or not. When the thermostat is open, the coolant flow path includes the radiator - and so cools the engine. When the thermostat is closed, the coolant flow bypasses the radiator - and doesn't cool the engine. The constant opening and closing of the thermostat is designed to keep the engine at a consistent temperature.

I regularly tow trailers with my 2000 Windstar 3.8 - both a utility trailer that maxes out at a little over 1000 pounds, and a 2500 pound GVWR popup camper. My Windstar did *not* come with the OEM tow package. I've added an auxiliary transmission cooler, a number of towing-specific electrical upgrades, a full-size spare and AirLift 1000 spring airbags to firm up the rear of the van.

I've never run into a situation where the van showed any indications of overheating. The temperature gauge has always been rock-steady. So, based on my experiences, I can't offer any reasons to change the thermostat.

However, I know that early Windstars - including the '95 - were noted for head gasket problems that were exacerbated by some engine cooling issues. If I recall correctly, engine block cooling passages in the 3.8 were redesigned somewhere in the '97-'98 era to help address this problem. So I'm pleased you've ensured that your cooling system is in tip-top shape before towing.

You might also think this would be an endorsement for a lower-temperature thermostat: It isn't. Recall that the thermostat's job is to keep the engine at a consistent temperature. When the engine is heavily stressed, the only thing a thermostat can do is stay open all the time - which means the cooling capacity of the entire system is then limited by design fundamentals, such as the size of the radiator and the flow rate of the water pump. In such situations, a thermostat with a lower temperature setting won't make any difference; it's already fully open and the radiator and water pump are doing all they can. However, it will allow the engine to run cooler during normal operating conditions. This can cause problems, particularly for emissions systems which can't work correctly unless the engine is at the right temperature.

That said, I have occasionally seen problems that were solved by changing a thermostat temperature range. But I've also seen disappointed people who didn't realize that changing the thermostat *will not* change the thermal capacity of the engine's cooling system. I'm particularly wary when people try to use a thermostat to mask a cooling system problem they'd rather not fix.



Update: You can read about the steps Ford took to address 3.8 head gasket issues - which includes cooling system changes - in an article that's now only available in archived form here:

http://web.archive.org/web/20030720010813/http://www3.edmunds.com/ownership/driving/articles/42970/article.html

searcherrr
10-23-2007, 12:36 PM
Thank you Phil. Very good information. I asked the Ford service manager about the 180 F thermostat and he said it would be fine, but I don't know now what to do. The have the van at the dealership right now and are working on it and again the service manager says it'll be fine. The reason i know the cooling system is in good health is caused I've had it machine pump flushed for twice in the past 2 years and once was just 4 months ago. Also, I know its in good health cause Ford is replacing the water pump, radiator, and thermostat as I type this. I don't want to have emissions or "running rich" problems though cause of keeping the van from getting hot enough. Should I trust the service manager or just see or go with what you said? I really can't see though how the 180 thermostat is going to keep the van from reaching 190 or 195 F though. 190-195 should be hot enough for things to function right CORRECT? Do you think a 180 thermostat will keep it under 190?

I'm gonna go read the article you linked me to. Thanks for that. I wanted to know more about the cooling system redesign as I already knew it was done and yielded 45 more HP than the 95. The redesign took place in 96.

phil-l
10-23-2007, 01:03 PM
searcherrr -

I hope things work out well at the dealership.

I don't think the thermostat would make a big difference either way. 10 degrees isn't that big of a difference. And, once again, if the thermostat is completely open - and the engine still wants to overheat - you're at or above the ability of the entire cooling system to get rid of heat. However, if service people you trust recommend the change, I'd go for it. They do this every day and are more familiar with the details.

It sounds like you've done the rights things to keep your cooling system in good shape. Since they're replacing most everything that could cause a problem, I'll be very curious to hear if they discover a problem (a blockage? corrosion? a thermostat that isn't opening *all* the way?) that may have gone unnoticed until now. Please be sure to come back and update us!

searcherrr
10-23-2007, 03:37 PM
searcherrr -

I hope things work out well at the dealership.

I don't think the thermostat would make a big difference either way. 10 degrees isn't that big of a difference. And, once again, if the thermostat is completely open - and the engine still wants to overheat - you're at or above the ability of the entire cooling system to get rid of heat. However, if service people you trust recommend the change, I'd go for it. They do this every day and are more familiar with the details.

It sounds like you've done the rights things to keep your cooling system in good shape. Since they're replacing most everything that could cause a problem, I'll be very curious to hear if they discover a problem (a blockage? corrosion? a thermostat that isn't opening *all* the way?) that may have gone unnoticed until now. Please be sure to come back and update us!
Well, they don't recommend the change cause dealer's are strict OEM bible beaters and never recommend changing a single component from factory spec which we all know is complete BS just to cover their asses. He just said it should be fine. If during the winter months up North in IL I notice it being an issue I'll swap in a higher temp tstat.

The thermostat (old one) that they are removing is simply being removed cause they said its good practice to remove it after an overheating incident. I had that old one put in just a lil over a year ago. I feel like its probably still good, but its moot at this point due to its cost and ease of labor to replace.

The culprit that drove all this stuff to hell is the water pump. Apparently 157k is about the life of a Motorcraft pump in the 3.8L engine of a Windstar and I'm pretty confident the old pump was aggravated by previous maintenance when I replaced the idler pulley, belt, and belt tensioner. The new tensioner probably put the final strain on the water pump. In the future I'll probably replace all of those items at the same time IF I REMEMBER.

The overheating as a result of the pump failure caused the radiator to crack and in turn leak. I'm still skeptical that the radiator was busted and thought it was coming from a hose seal, but I didn't actually get down there to see and I sure as hell haven't felt like it. I saved over $400 easy not going with Ford OEM parts too and lifetime warranties on the parts cept the thermostat of course though I really don't know what a lifetime warranty is good for these days.

3 days in a dump ass hotel, paying for that hotel, out to eat, and a huge chunk of change on the van repairs. I'm just happy I was hauling EVERYTHING I OWN in the trailer cause that includes my PS2 to keep me from dying of boredom.

EDIT: Also, I got a tstat with a failsafe mechanism. Its supposed to remain open in the event it fails which by this experience shows me is a good thing cause after I finally pulled over after it initially overheated the radiator was completely empty.

phil-l
10-23-2007, 04:10 PM
searcherrr -

Wow! You've had a tough day. Trust me, you have my sympathies. Problems like this are bad enough - without trying to fix them while on the road.

So... What actually failed on the water pump to cause the overheating? Is this an impeller issue (my '95 Contour's water pump has a plastic impeller - an item noted for premature failure), or did the seal fail?

Yeah, if it's apart, I'd replace the thermostat. Though I'd avoid going cheap: A good one isn't that expensive, and the failsafe mechanism might save you someday.

If overcooling is a problem in the winter, I'd just go with the old standby solution: A piece of cardboard in front of the radiator to partially block airflow.

tomj76
10-24-2007, 11:22 AM
>So... What actually failed on the water pump to cause the overheating? Is this an impeller issue (my '95 Contour's water pump has a plastic impeller - an item noted for premature failure), or did the seal fail?

That's my question too. Where did all the coolant go? Did you notice a lot of steam coming from the engine compartment, or did it pour out from a leak?

For what it's worth, I feel your pain. Earlier this year our '96 punched a hole in the side of the transmission at the differential in the middle of West Virginia. We fortunately managed to get the vehicle to a repair shop and found a rental car to get home while the repairs were done (it took 2 weeks). We should have taken it to a dealership though or towed it to a franchise transmission shop because the replacement transmission (used) needed rebuilt after 6 months.

wiswind
10-24-2007, 07:39 PM
I would stick with the factory temp for the thermostat.
Also, even though you had just replaced it.....it is best to play it safe....and it is a cheap item.
I have a ScanGauge unit that I can leave connected to the OBDII port and see some of what is going on.
My temp stays very stable at about 190 to 192 degrees.
As they have told you, this is much more critical on modern engines for fuel efficiency and emissions.

I have also noticed that the engine goes from OPEN loop to CLOSED loop operations very quickly.....long before the engine is warmed up.....so the 180 degree thermostat would not keep you in open loop operation.
(Closed loop is using the Oxygen sensors for fuel trim, whereas open loop is using preset values from the PCM until the engine reaches operating temperature).
A critical factor in switching from open loop to closed loop is the OXYGEN SENSORS warming up to the optimum temperature......but they have a heater circuit that does just that.

The PCM uses a different temperature sensor than the dashboard gauge does....however the 2 sensors are located right next to each other.
One of the reasons that I got the ScanGauge was to be able to monitor the engine temperature as the PCM sees it.

For your towing situations......I would not worry at all about the thermostat value as the factory recommended, but I would make sure that the cooling system is operating correctly.
I have mentioned a few times....to verify that the low speed radiator cooling fan operation is taking place.
Turn the A/C on, and the cooling fans should be on and STAY on as long as the vehicle is not moving some minimum speed.
The low speed dropping resistor can fail (as mine did) and cause you to only have High speed radiator fan operation.
Now, when in stop and go traffic, I have the A/C on, which keeps the radiator fans running, which keeps the engine....and VERY IMPORTANT, the transmission cooler.
Your auxillary transmission cooler is only effective when there is air moving over it.

searcherrr
10-24-2007, 11:11 PM
searcherrr -

Wow! You've had a tough day. Trust me, you have my sympathies. Problems like this are bad enough - without trying to fix them while on the road.

So... What actually failed on the water pump to cause the overheating? Is this an impeller issue (my '95 Contour's water pump has a plastic impeller - an item noted for premature failure), or did the seal fail?

Yeah, if it's apart, I'd replace the thermostat. Though I'd avoid going cheap: A good one isn't that expensive, and the failsafe mechanism might save you someday.

If overcooling is a problem in the winter, I'd just go with the old standby solution: A piece of cardboard in front of the radiator to partially block airflow.
GREAT NEWS !!! VAN IS FIXED!! LEAVING HOTEL AFTER 4 DAYS TOMORROW MORNING!

Total damage at Ford dealership: $708 + $294 new 3rd party parts = $1002 (using Ford parts would've pushed it past 1200) They said the whole thing took 8.5 hours and they ran into some bolts that needed drilling out.

Phil and tomj76 - The van squeaked like mad for several months and always was at cold start and would go away after it warmed up. After I replaced the idler pulley, the tensioner, ps pump, and the belt, the squeaking got better or different each time as I tried to figure out the cause. I would've never thought it was the water pump cause I didn't know it spun with the crankshaft/belt system of pullies etc... due to my lack of ever having removed/installed a water pump before on any vehicle. So it was the seal that blew and it was leaking and steaming all over but it was also leaking from the front at the radiator which made me think it was a hose seal where it met the radiator, but it was the radiator itself. Also, MOST of the COOLANT went into the coolant reservoir on the initial overheating and again the radiator was nearly empty.

tomj76 - ouch on a HOLE in the tranny and 2 weeks + rental car etc.. OUCH OUCH.

I swear the van seems to have more POWER now. Maybe its my imagination, but it really does seem that way. I think the old water pump was causing engine drag. I really do. Here is one reason why... whenever I'd rev it in PARK and let it go to 3 or 4 RPMs the engine would seem to cycle up/down/up/down in RPMs between 3 and 4 never going beyond 4ish. Now when I do this procedure in park it just revs straight to 4ish and there is a slight bit of that old up/down/up/down in RPMs between 3 and 4, but is is WAAAAAAAAYYYY better.... almost gone. The squeaking experienced on startup is COMPLETELY gone and I would advise anyone with this problem especially on cold starts and goes away when warm to replace their water pump if they never have because at this point ALL 95 - 98 Windstars probably need it replaced anyway. I never did it cause I was actually talked out of it by one of the shops I had it in a while back, but I shouldn't have listened.

OPERATING TEMPERATURE - Someone help me out here. The van used to set its temp in the "A" on the word NORMAL on the temp gauge and sometimes it would graze the "M" or even go in the middle of it under towing in situations that provoke heat buildup. Now I am LUCKY if the temp touches the "A" at all and it stays at the bottom of the "L" and may GRAZE the "A" at times, but very seldom. I wish I knew what the temps were, but the fact that it is still in the range that says "NORMAL" is my only assurance aside from Ford stating to me again for a 3rd and 4th time that the 180 Thermostat is fine. I was just worried about that emissions stuff and running rich etc... and the CAT needing to be a certain temp to work right.. but again they state it's fine. If I have problem in the cold I've already looked up the procedure for replacing the thermostat and I'll probably do that if necessary and swap in a 190 F product. STILL I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE TEMPERATURE IN F STRAIGHT UP... ANY OF YOU KNOW A WAY I COULD FIND OUT WITHOUT ACTUALLY TEMP MEASURING THE HOT COOLANT? DATALOGGER? ANYTHING BESIDES A DATALOGGER? ARE THERE STICK ON OR PRESS ON TEMP GAUGES I COULD USE AGAINST THE BLOCK?

The cardboard thing is a good idea, but I'd probably rather a piece of sheet metal with 4 holes so I can security tie it through the radiator.

searcherrr
10-25-2007, 12:05 AM
I'll check the fans tomorrow myself, but Ford said they were working cause I asked them to check them.

So by what you say I'll be in closed loop with the 180 tstat? Everything should be ok then right?

I would stick with the factory temp for the thermostat.
Also, even though you had just replaced it.....it is best to play it safe....and it is a cheap item.
I have a ScanGauge unit that I can leave connected to the OBDII port and see some of what is going on.
My temp stays very stable at about 190 to 192 degrees.
As they have told you, this is much more critical on modern engines for fuel efficiency and emissions.

I have also noticed that the engine goes from OPEN loop to CLOSED loop operations very quickly.....long before the engine is warmed up.....so the 180 degree thermostat would not keep you in open loop operation.
(Closed loop is using the Oxygen sensors for fuel trim, whereas open loop is using preset values from the PCM until the engine reaches operating temperature).
A critical factor in switching from open loop to closed loop is the OXYGEN SENSORS warming up to the optimum temperature......but they have a heater circuit that does just that.

The PCM uses a different temperature sensor than the dashboard gauge does....however the 2 sensors are located right next to each other.
One of the reasons that I got the ScanGauge was to be able to monitor the engine temperature as the PCM sees it.

For your towing situations......I would not worry at all about the thermostat value as the factory recommended, but I would make sure that the cooling system is operating correctly.
I have mentioned a few times....to verify that the low speed radiator cooling fan operation is taking place.
Turn the A/C on, and the cooling fans should be on and STAY on as long as the vehicle is not moving some minimum speed.
The low speed dropping resistor can fail (as mine did) and cause you to only have High speed radiator fan operation.
Now, when in stop and go traffic, I have the A/C on, which keeps the radiator fans running, which keeps the engine....and VERY IMPORTANT, the transmission cooler.
Your auxillary transmission cooler is only effective when there is air moving over it.

phil-l
10-25-2007, 06:37 AM
searcherrr -

I'm pleased you're finally back on the road, after a very tough week.

I've seen water pumps fail like you describe. When they go, it's all over in a very short time.

I have run into situations where a squeaky water pump was just a noisy seal; the bearings were fine. A small amount of quality non-detergent oil dripped into the water pump's weep hole (you'll see this hole in the water pump casting, near the shaft) was enough to quiet it in some cases. While I'm hesitant to recommend this to everyone, I must admit I'm now in the habit of doing this on my own vehicles, just to make sure. It may or may not have made a difference for you back when the original squeak appeared.

The change in the temperature gauge reading tells me that there was some problem in the cooling system internals that was addressed by the work that was done. I won't speculate what it was, but the new gauge reading seems to confirm it. Of course, this is also a reminder to take seriously any new behavior in an engine, even if it isn't yet a problem. Addressing a minor issue today can avert a large problem in the future.

Sorry, I don't know of a quick, easy, cheap temperature gauge solution that reads in degrees. If you can find someone with a ScanGauge unit similar to what wiswind uses, you might borrow it, just to see how well the PCM temperature correlates with your gauge reading.

searcherrr
10-25-2007, 07:49 AM
searcherrr -

I'm pleased you're finally back on the road, after a very tough week.

I've seen water pumps fail like you describe. When they go, it's all over in a very short time.

I have run into situations where a squeaky water pump was just a noisy seal; the bearings were fine. A small amount of quality non-detergent oil dripped into the water pump's weep hole (you'll see this hole in the water pump casting, near the shaft) was enough to quiet it in some cases. While I'm hesitant to recommend this to everyone, I must admit I'm now in the habit of doing this on my own vehicles, just to make sure. It may or may not have made a difference for you back when the original squeak appeared.

The change in the temperature gauge reading tells me that there was some problem in the cooling system internals that was addressed by the work that was done. I won't speculate what it was, but the new gauge reading seems to confirm it. Of course, this is also a reminder to take seriously any new behavior in an engine, even if it isn't yet a problem. Addressing a minor issue today can avert a large problem in the future.

Sorry, I don't know of a quick, easy, cheap temperature gauge solution that reads in degrees. If you can find someone with a ScanGauge unit similar to what wiswind uses, you might borrow it, just to see how well the PCM temperature correlates with your gauge reading.

Thanks PHIL !

Where does your temp run on your 2000 Windstar? Is the NORMAL word on your gauge too in that year/model? You mean to say that now that my temp gauge is running on the "L" and grazing the "A" that this is a more nominal temperature range?

phil-l
10-25-2007, 08:07 AM
searcherrr -

Truth be told: I can't recall at the moment. The van is normally my wife's daily driver, so I need to verify.

And most of my recent Windstar work has been ABS related. I'll be posting on what I've learned soon...

searcherrr
10-25-2007, 12:56 PM
Hello. I am stuck on the road again 14 miles from where I was. Coincidentally I did not pull over for coolant related issues. The van was oversteering like a boat in water. I found that all my tires were inflated to 36 psi. I'd put them all at 34psi before I left on my trip so Ford must've done this or the cold weather? In any case it was dangerously noticeable. I dropped them all down to 33psi. I just originally had wanted a lil more pressure due to towing, but maybe thats a wrong thought?

Anyway, as soon as I was checking the tire pressure and in PARK I immediately heard the cooling fans spin up to HIGH and knew something was wrong. Went in and checked the van temp gauge and it was nearly at H again. I immediately shut it off. No leaks. No hissing. But the coolant IS/WAS at the TOP of the coolant reservoir. I had thought about the coolant sensor or switch, but the physical coolant being that high makes me suspect REAL overheating yet again. Valves? Cylinders? Coolant leaking into oil? Blockage in the engine coolant passages themselves? Wouldn't a blockage have come out during pressure testing?

OMG I'm so fed up. I cannot keep spending money at a hotel etc..

wiswind - both fans work when A/C = ON.

HEEEELLLLLLP ! lol - i am at a Hampton where I had to beg to use internet access letting the van cool off and then heading back to Ford. If it is something that will take beyond today I'm heading back home and will have to postpone my move to the North with m gf.

EDIT: Could the CAT be clogging due to use of the lower F tstat? Seems not though... doesn't seem like it would clog that fast... but who knows and also I know symptoms of a clogged cat are that the temps raise at high speeds and not during idle in park or low 1st or 2nd gear driving.

phil-l
10-25-2007, 03:01 PM
searcherrr -

Oh no! Sorry to hear the problem has apparently returned.

I must admit, I'm not quite sure where to head right now - but I'll share what I know about the issues you mentioned.

- Cold weather usually causes a drop in tire pressure. I don't have an explanation for the pressure change. It wouldn't seem the shop would have a reason to touch the tires. That said, I prefer a slightly high tire pressure in my Windstar, even when towing. I usually run about 35 psi, and have noticed no handling problems. Overly-inflated tires can reduced the size of the tire's contact patch, which can cause a "floaty" feeling.

- A cooling system pressure test does *not* check for blockages. It can only verify that there are no leaks in the system. Think about it: If there's something impeding coolant flow in the passage, it doesn't affect the static pressure of the system. Sadly, it can affect the system's ability to cool the engine.

However, I'd like to think that any evidence of a blockage would be noticed when the water pump, radiator and thermostat were being changed. Did the shop mention anything they discovered?

Any leak between a combustion chamber and the cooling system should have bee noticed during the pressure test. A leak between the oil system and cooling system will result in either oil in your coolant, or coolant in your oil. Is there evidence of either? Check your engine oil dipstick - do you see foam or rust on the stick?

A few questions:

- Has the van's interior heating system seemed to work fine during all of this? Obviously, cranking up the heat in the van helps to get rid of engine heat, and is an old trick to help in an engine overheat situation. Does it always blow hot as soon as the engine is warm? Does your van have a rear heater? Does it blow hot, too?

I just had a thought: The last time I changed the engine coolant in my Windstar, I had a lot of problems getting rid of air bubbles that formed in the heating system (my van has the rear heater, so there are coolant lines heading to the back). I noticed that the heater would blow cold, even though the engine was warm. I found a nearby hill, and drove up and down it several times. The coolant level in the reservoir would drop, and I had to add fluid several times until it stabilized. Air bubbles in your system could prevent it from cooling the engine properly.

Since the shop just did a lot of work on it, I'd get back with them and see if this latest experience can help them understand - and finally solve! - the true underlying problem.

tomj76
10-25-2007, 03:38 PM
I feel your pain searcherr. It could be something minor, such as air, which has already been mentioned. Wait for the system to cool down. Check the coolant reservoir again after it cools. It should be down noticeably. If not, then it might have been too full to begin with.

Once it's cold, remove the pressure cap and check the coolant level in the radiator. It should be very close to the top. If not, then there was either air in the system, or the coolant boiled.

Did you hear any noises from the engine indicating the coolant was boiling? If you have a severe over heat and coolant is in the system, then it has to boil. In normal situations, the engine can't get any hotter than the coolant. Therefore, for the engine to go hotter than ~280F, any coolant in that part of the engine must boil.

Did you notice the temperature gauge before you stopped? How long were you stopped? If you idled for very long, it's normal for the coolant temperature to rise 20-40 F before the fan relay is turned on. Once the fan is on it will run until the temperature drops back down, unless as mentioned, the AC is also on. I'm not totally sure of this, but I think the fan on my '96 cycles even with the A/C on, but it's related to both requirements, engine temperature and need for cooling in the A/C condenser.

Let's hope that it's something simple.

uzzo2
10-25-2007, 04:02 PM
i would let the engine cool completely (overnight) and then crank it up and take the cap off the radiator and let it idle to watch for flow through the radiator. if it's not flowing you either have defective water pump or thermostat the latter being the most common. also something to check is the tranny fluid you say you have a cooler but is it interlinked with the radiator, if the fluid is getting hot from the towing you're doing that could drive the coolant temp up. check the tranny fluid and make sure it isn't burnt.

searcherrr
10-25-2007, 08:46 PM
Before continuuing know that I've now driven back home. My trip is cancelled till further notice. Read on.

Answering questions:

There was no mention of debris found in the cooling system.

Oil looked fine, but I will check again in the morning after its sat.

Coolant is new as of a couple days ago and was not boiling as I'd cut it off as soon as it was nearing H. There were slow small bubbles in 1 stream of bubbles going up through the reservoir though. No boiling noises, no hissing, no sounds.

Heater has always worked every time in every warm condition. Dunno about a rear heater. I used the heater every time on this trip when it was overheating.

Coolant IS interlinked with the tranny cooler. I have not checked the tranny oil in a few weeks, but when I did it was topped off. What would I be checking it for though? Debris and level?

I watched temperature gauge the entire time after 10/24/07 service and it acted as described below.

After service finished on 10/24/07 (pressure tests, water pump replace, radiator replace, 180 F thermostat replace thats 10 F lower than OEM tstat) the odd issue was only apparent after driving in excess of 5 to 10 miles. A quick drive of 1 to 2 miles around town and a quick 1 mile stretch from exit to exit on the interstate wasn't enough to reproduce the issue. The issue is that the temperature was staying at the "L" or grazing the "A" on the gauge the entire time AND THEN after traveling 20 miles on the interstate with the 3000lb payload I stopped to check the tire pressure - IMMEDIATELY following me putting the van in PARK I got out to check the tires and IMMEDIATELY within a minute the radiator cooling fans both kicked on HIGH. Knowing this was not usual and i'd just had it serviced I checked temperature gauge and it was at H or very close to it. I immediately shut off the van. Coolant temp sensor(s) ruled out because the coolant itself was at the TOP of the reservoir nearing the cap. Very disturbed now after spending $1002 to get all this crap fixed and after having spent $700 a couple weeks prior chasing engine computer, mass air flow sensor, IAC motor, and throttle body issues. After I let it cool I got back on the road and immediately it STAYED cool... but even COOLER than the "L" - IT DID NOT REACH THE RANGE OF "NORMAL" TEMP DEFINED BY THE BRACKETS ON THE GAUGE UNTIL ABOUT 15 MILES DOWN THE ROAD BACK TO FORD and even then it was at the bottom bracket and not even touching the "L" - HAVE I FUCKING SCREWED MYSELF PUTTING IN THE 180 F THERMOSTAT???? IT JUST DOES NOT SEEM LIKE IT... BUT MAYBE I F'D MYSELF OVER WITH THAT

IE: IF THE ENGINE NEVER REACHES OPERATING TEMP IT WILL ALWAYS RUN RICH, BUT BY THE TIME THE NEW THERMOSTAT WAS IN THE VAN HAD ONLY BEEN RUN 25 MILES AT MOST.... COULD RUNNING 25 MILES RICH CLOG AND MELT A CONVERTER?????? I will say why I am asking that further down.

What I want to note: The shop said when I left on 10/24/07 the day before that they'd never seen such a smooth running Windstar and that it seemed like their repairs were going to resolve the issue and that the engine was going to be ok. ---- I brought it back to them in the same smooth running manner as there were no odd sounds, no weird shifting, no knocking, no loss of power (in fact felt stronger), no squeaking of the pulley, .. just sounded like a new engine as i started back on my trip and also back to Ford........ THEN Ford's tech revs the sh!T out of it in the garage and in excess of RPMs which you'd experience in normal driving even on the interstate from 60 - 70mph. They were racing it from 3 to 4 rpms for LONG periods to reproduce the overheating. It was running fine until after they messed with it. They could not find anything wrong with it and then several minutes later after excessively revving it constantly they came and told me now that it was missing on Cylinder 3 and when I got in it to leave from Ford again later on it was running like absolute CRAP. The CEL came on as I pulled out of the parking lot of Ford. IF YOU ASK ME THEY BROKE MY ENGINE IN THEIR TESTS.

The Service Manager who I seemingly got to know well while there and possibly developed a friendship with as it seemed (discussed life, family, girlfriend, the trip, gave me relationship advice and he even met my family when they came up to save me) offered to follow me home part of the way cause they felt like it would make it home as long as I was not towing my trailer. This was above and beyond any courtesy service I've ever experienced at any auto shop and was consistent with how they treated me from even before they'd started their initial repairs as they bussed me around to get parts to and from my hotel and even dropped me off places to eat breakfast/lunch. They have my trailer locked up in a secure gated area at their dealership. I drove the van HOME 88 miles in the CRAPPY missing CONDITION I mentioned with the CEL on. The engine sounds horrible now (as if the pistons are gonna burst out and whenever it made that noise I'd back off the accel), but it was not doing ANY of this until AFTER I came out of Ford's garage for the 2nd time on today. In my opinion the tech should've went and drove the van to reproduce the problem not revved it in the garage.

Thinking out of the box like the ASE certified Techs are supposed to do when looking at an odd problems such as this one I thought to check underneath my van as soon as I got home for a CLOGGED CAT which you see by noticing it GLOWING RED. GUESS WHAT I SAW??? A GLOWING RED CATALYTIC CONVERTER - BY NOW I'D DRIVEN THE VAN THE 25 MILES STATED EARLIER from service on 10/24/07 + 88 MILES TO GET IT HOME today 10/25/07.

Now SOMEONE HELP ME ...... ARM me with INFORMATION before I call Ford tomorrow. Would the CAT CLOG after just 113 miles running RICH from a 180 F thermostat???? OR IS IT MORE LIKELY THE CAT WAS CLOGGED FOR QUITE SOME TIME CAUSING ROUGH STARTS AND ROUGH IDLE AND EVENTUALLY WEARING DOWN THE COOLING SYSTEM????

ALSO - IF THE CAT IS GLOWING RED AT ALL AT ANY TIME DOESN'T THIS MEAN ITS CLOGGED?

wiswind
10-25-2007, 09:22 PM
I am praying that your vehicle is just "burping" air that is trapped in the cooling system.
I have had this happen with several vehicles.....including my windstar.
It can take a bit of time for this to happen.
You are wise to return to the shop that did the work to have them check it out.

I do not think that the 180 degree thermostat will cause your cat's to become blocked......and certainly not in that amount of time.
I read where the lower temperature can cause higher Nitrous Oxide emission, but I do not know this for certain.

If you decide to change the thermostat later.....I have pictures posted from when I did mine, and yours should be just like it.

The heater check that phil mentions is a great thing......as you have to have coolant flow to get heat.

OK.....I missed page 2 of the thread.....so I shall add this edit.
I wonder if the glowing cat is from fuel from the misfire.
You mention "A glowing cat...", Do you have 2 catalytic converters like the 96 and newer?.
Now.....cylinder #3 is on the back bank of cylinders.......so if that catalytic converter was glowing, and not the converter for the front bank of cylinders, then the misfire may be caused by a ignition problem.....like no spark to cylinder #3.
Causes for this could be spark plug, spark plug wire, or coil pack.

Raw gasoline going into a catalytic converter will cause what you saw....and sadly, can ruin a catalytic converter.


I am still going to stick with the 180 degree thermostat not causing this problem.

phil-l
10-25-2007, 09:29 PM
searcherrr -

Wow - You take the prize for "toughest week".

I doubt a cooler thermostat would cause problems like this so quickly. C'mon: The engine is running cold (i.e., open loop mode) for a short period each time it's started it in the morning.

After some quick googling... I wonder if an underlying culprit might be a leaking fuel injector. Overly rich running would explain the catalytic converter. I'm not sure how well this theory ties into the engine overheating; I simply don't have much experience on this particular topic.

I agree a tech should have ridden with you for more than a few miles. Revving a stationary engine doesn't replicate everything the van sees when running on the road under load. Plus I just *hate* revving an engine that's not under load; it doesn't sound right and no engine seems to like it.

tomj76
10-25-2007, 10:11 PM
A vacuum guage test should show if the exhaust is clogged.

The catalytic converter "burns" the car's NOx emissions. I'm with wiswind, that you've probably got a rich condition. If a lot of fuel gets in it (i.e. running rich), it can ruin it, as the fuel will burn in the converter. A scan tool should identify that one for you. As he mentioned, check to see if the converter that is hot is the 'rear' one.

If all that's making sense, make sure the plug wires are properly connected, both on the plug and on the coil. Each coil runs two plugs in series, one on each bank of the engine, so if the circuit is not continuous through both plugs, or a coil is bad, then neither plug 'should' fire. However, high voltage has nasty habit of finding a path to complete the circuit, so the other cylinder could still be getting spark even if a wire is completely disconnected.

Also, that rev test was really dumb. A engine that's not doing any work has hardly any heat load on it. If you want an engine to get hot fast, then make it pull something. Since you have a cooling problem, they needed to make the engine do some work to make it hot. Spinning the crankshaft real fast, while sounding like the engine is working, is not going to push a car's cooling system at all.

searcherrr
10-25-2007, 11:25 PM
I am praying that your vehicle is just "burping" air that is trapped in the cooling system.
I have had this happen with several vehicles.....including my windstar.
It can take a bit of time for this to happen.
You are wise to return to the shop that did the work to have them check it out.

I do not think that the 180 degree thermostat will cause your cat's to become blocked......and certainly not in that amount of time.
I read where the lower temperature can cause higher Nitrous Oxide emission, but I do not know this for certain.

If you decide to change the thermostat later.....I have pictures posted from when I did mine, and yours should be just like it.

The heater check that phil mentions is a great thing......as you have to have coolant flow to get heat.

OK.....I missed page 2 of the thread.....so I shall add this edit.
I wonder if the glowing cat is from fuel from the misfire.
You mention "A glowing cat...", Do you have 2 catalytic converters like the 96 and newer?.
Now.....cylinder #3 is on the back bank of cylinders.......so if that catalytic converter was glowing, and not the converter for the front bank of cylinders, then the misfire may be caused by a ignition problem.....like no spark to cylinder #3.
Causes for this could be spark plug, spark plug wire, or coil pack.

Raw gasoline going into a catalytic converter will cause what you saw....and sadly, can ruin a catalytic converter.


I am still going to stick with the 180 degree thermostat not causing this problem.

Jeeeeeezus...... this just gets more and more complicated. I thought I only had 1 main cat. From what I recall from tonight it was just at the position that would be right behind the engine.... just behind the front wheels if looking from the rear of the front wheels inward towards the center.

The Plugs and Wires in my van have been replaced within the past 2 years though the coil pack is still probably the original. The guys at the Ford place are telling me they thought it was a head gasket issue though there are no LEAKS outside the engine and from what I can tell no coolant in the oil or vice versa though I will look again and should mention the coolant did not look clean in the coolant reservoir..... but at the same damn time it could be that the damn reservoir is just FUNKY !!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hhhhh!!!!!!

searcherrr
10-26-2007, 12:22 AM
A vacuum guage test should show if the exhaust is clogged.

The catalytic converter "burns" the car's NOx emissions. I'm with wiswind, that you've probably got a rich condition. If a lot of fuel gets in it (i.e. running rich), it can ruin it, as the fuel will burn in the converter. A scan tool should identify that one for you. As he mentioned, check to see if the converter that is hot is the 'rear' one.

If all that's making sense, make sure the plug wires are properly connected, both on the plug and on the coil. Each coil runs two plugs in series, one on each bank of the engine, so if the circuit is not continuous through both plugs, or a coil is bad, then neither plug 'should' fire. However, high voltage has nasty habit of finding a path to complete the circuit, so the other cylinder could still be getting spark even if a wire is completely disconnected.

Also, that rev test was really dumb. A engine that's not doing any work has hardly any heat load on it. If you want an engine to get hot fast, then make it pull something. Since you have a cooling problem, they needed to make the engine do some work to make it hot. Spinning the crankshaft real fast, while sounding like the engine is working, is not going to push a car's cooling system at all.

I'm glad you and Phil agree the rev test was dumb. I've read about pressure testing the cat.... drill a hole in it, insert tube, attach gauge.... if 4 psi or above then its a clogged cat (thats what I read anyway).

I am so spent/tired tonight. I am "breathing" this problem wanting tomorrow to be here so I can finally get this over with. This is an absolute nightmare and I am usually not one to let even heavy stuff get to me. It has been too much a combination of mental and physical effort to meet with failure is just killing me. I need to talk to the Ford place (now 90 miles away from me) before the end of the week/tomorrow..... though I have to be careful cause they are holding my trailer for me.... but I am quite certain if the engine does need to be replaced that their tech most certainly screwed it up when I brought it back today during his high rev long duration tests. I am sorry now I even brought it over there the 2nd time. I should've went somewhere else and gotten a completely new opinion from scratch..... but HOW WOULD I HAVE KNOWN to... UGGGGGGGHhh... I just hope it is as simple as a coil, a plug, or a wire.... I did notice that when all that stuff spewed everywhere that the water pump and tstat are very close to the coils.... maybe something got on something it shouldn't have.... or if I am running rich maybe the plugs are foul even though I replaced them in the past few years. There was really NO cause for them as I saw it to say there was a bad head gasket or warped head(s) cause again it was running as smooth as NEW. To me it was a guess because they did not know what else to say it was and said the only way i was gonna know would be to take apart the engine. I want to wish the engine is still ok, but it really was shaking badly and making bad bad sounds on the way home again as if it cylinders were gonna pop out of the manifold. When you have 1 cylinder missing can it be THAT bad?

searcherrr
10-26-2007, 12:32 AM
I don't suppose anyone knows anyone in Southern Louisiana that is a big gear head (or a group of people) that would enjoy helping someone else install an engine huh? I know on the 3S platform there's a lot of those guys that help each other, but for a Windstar I'm not sure who would want to deal with it. If I can get an engine shipped I would need to save on the labor or else I'm gonna be flat broke. This has really screwed up my life right now and not in the usual way that people say cause its a financial burden, but because it is keeping me from moving to live with my gf and start my new life. The problem is I need someone who has engine lifting equipment and perhaps has done 1 or 2 engine swaps before. Though again I am just not wanting it to be the engine and I'm still leaning towards Ford GUESSING and if it is the engine they definitely screwed it up. I don't just want to blame them for the sake of it.... I just can't stress enough how well it was running before that Tech revved the hell outta it.

uzzo2
10-26-2007, 01:35 AM
since the cel light is on you need to deal with that issue. either buy yourself a code scanner or bring it to autozone and they will check it for you for free. you need to see why the cel is on

BlueCaprice
10-26-2007, 01:56 AM
Sorry to hear about all your rotten luck. I'm having some pretty bad luck with my Windstar also.

Lemme share with you a thought I had. You said you ruled out the Coolant Temperature Sensor earlier because you knew the van was really overheating and not just misreporting the temp, but, I thought there were two cts's, one for the gauge, and one for engine management. You also said when you stopped on the side of the road to check the tires, you heard the fans speed up, immediately went into the van, and the temp was at the H. Now I would think those fans would speed up way before the vehicle was that hot. What if the CTS for engine management was going bad, and just not reporting the temp right? For example, lets say your fans turn on when your engine reaches 210 degrees. Now if your CTS isn't reporting the right temperature, lets say its reporting 60 degrees too low, then when your computer thinks the engine is at 210 and it's time to run the cooling fans, the engine would really be running at 270 degree's, already overheating. Since the other CTS that operates the dash gauge is probably good, the gauge itself would be reading the correct temperature.

Now as far as the cats glowing red, if your themostat is opening at 180 degrees, and the computer thinks the engine is still at 120, I'd think that would cause you to be running rich, possibly explaining the glowing cats.

Anyway, good luck, and be carefull with that tire pressure also. I once accidently filled up the tires in my Windstar to 38 psi due to a faulty pressure gauge and didn't discover it till I got on the highway and started approaching 75mph. Boy was that scary!

searcherrr
10-26-2007, 05:32 AM
Sorry to hear about all your rotten luck. I'm having some pretty bad luck with my Windstar also.

Lemme share with you a thought I had. You said you ruled out the Coolant Temperature Sensor earlier because you knew the van was really overheating and not just misreporting the temp, but, I thought there were two cts's, one for the gauge, and one for engine management. You also said when you stopped on the side of the road to check the tires, you heard the fans speed up, immediately went into the van, and the temp was at the H. Now I would think those fans would speed up way before the vehicle was that hot. What if the CTS for engine management was going bad, and just not reporting the temp right? For example, lets say your fans turn on when your engine reaches 210 degrees. Now if your CTS isn't reporting the right temperature, lets say its reporting 60 degrees too low, then when your computer thinks the engine is at 210 and it's time to run the cooling fans, the engine would really be running at 270 degree's, already overheating. Since the other CTS that operates the dash gauge is probably good, the gauge itself would be reading the correct temperature.

Now as far as the cats glowing red, if your themostat is opening at 180 degrees, and the computer thinks the engine is still at 120, I'd think that would cause you to be running rich, possibly explaining the glowing cats.

Anyway, good luck, and be carefull with that tire pressure also. I once accidently filled up the tires in my Windstar to 38 psi due to a faulty pressure gauge and didn't discover it till I got on the highway and started approaching 75mph. Boy was that scary!
You WOULD THINK UNDER TYPICAL OVERHEATING CONDITIONS THAT THE FANS WOULD SPIN UP A LONG TIME BACK.... BUT WHAT YA'LL MIGHT BE MISSING HERE IS THAT THE TEMP GAUGE JUMPS UP LIKE A KID SPRINGING OUTTA BED FOR SOME CHOCOLATE "AS SOON AS I STOP". IE: DRIVING THE TEMP IS FINE AND POSSIBLY EVEN TOO COOL THEN AS SOON AS I STOP WITHIN A MATTER OF SECONDS THE GAUGE JUMPS UP (WITHIN JUST 1 TO 3 OR 4 SECONDS) TO ABOVE MID TO "H" RANGE. This is DIRECTLY consistent with the cat being clogged and I don't need a pressure test to tell me this cause I've had the whole coolant system replaced and nothing else makes sense except when I saw the glowing cat. IE: As soon as I'd stop the van WIND would stop flowing through and around the system thus IMMEDIATELY allowing EXTREME temperature from the CAT to BUILD UPWARD to the rest of the engine and its so HOT that it does so in RECORD TIME. I agree a rich condition would bring that on, but the van also has 157,000 miles on it..... perhaps it was just the CAT'S TIME TO GO !!??!!? NOW as far as the GAUGE CTS goes when I drove it ALL THE WAY BACK HOME the 88 miles the temperature gauge REMAINED ON "COLD" in the BLUE the entire time I drove back and the very 1st moment it climbed upward was as soon as I got off the interstate. Otherwise running on the interstate I was either using the heater the whole time or the vent and it was about 50F cold outside the entire trip back too. Now if the gauge CTS was actually bad you would THINK it wouldn't work right in any predictable/stable fashion...... yet as soon as I come to 1st stop after over a 10 mile drive the gauge immediately reports mid to H range temps and the coolant rises to the top of the reservoir and the CAT glows red. FROM VISUAL inspection this seems to me to be a CTS operating properly YET it probably wouldn't hurt to have BOTH CTS' tested anyway.

I'm sorry BlueCaprice to hear you are having trouble with yours too. I really love this van and what its done for me and how it drives the majority of the time and like I always say it is usually a human that ends up screwing up a machine. I try to live by the rule of thumb to never let any shops TOUCH my vehicles due to this very same kind of bullshit where the guy is revving the engine to 4000 RPMs which eventually killed it. I mean I can attain 70mph without even being in 3000 RPMs and the occassional lurch forward going up a hill MIGHT put me at 3200 - 3500 RPMs and then it immeidately drops back down after gear shift..... not SUSTAINED 3500 - 4000 RPMs like that Tech did in the Ford shop.

EDIT: I am assuming the CEL will report Cylinder 3 misfire as Ford told me though I would like to see the codes myself. I will find out today as soon as some places open up. My current plan is to bring it to my trusted shop here in my hometown for some thoughts/advice after explaining to them the situation and learning the codes being thrown and then calling Ford back and pretty much explaining IN A CALM NICE WAY that I paid them $708 to KNOW THESE THINGS and that on 2nd visit to their shop I brought them a smooth running non-misfiring vehicle and when I left that wasn't the case. As far as I'm concerned they owe me a resolution as their wonder tech ruined it.

searcherrr
10-26-2007, 07:20 AM
Ok. I just went and did my own little inspection this morning before i'm about to bring it over to Autzone for reading codes and then to my trusted shop.

1. I let the van run idle for maybe 1 minute (didn't take the cap off while running cause I forgot thats uzzo2 said to do; I'll go do that in a minute or later when I'm at autozone.. I just don't want coolant to explode onto me) and then popped the cap off and the fluid is NOT at the top of the radiator fill hole nor is it above the uppermost radiator coolant coils or passages from what I could see with a flashlight down in the fill hole cause I could see the innards of the radiator without fluid covering it through that fill hole. The coolant reservoir (after being stone cold overnight) is still FULL (before and after start, but again I only ran it for 1 minute) about 5 or 6 inches ABOVE the FULL COLD LINE. TOO MUCH FLUID or is the FLOW not happening as uzzo2 said??? I only handed the Ford shop 2 gallons of Prestone antifreeze.... could this have been too much?

2. The cat I saw glowing was the REAR bank cat. Lets get something straight here..... the cats coming right off the front and rear banks..... ARE those effectively PRE-CATS??? Is the MAIN CAT that huge rectangular box looking thing at the center of the van???? At the time I saw the rear bank cat glowing keep in mind I did not know it was a REAR bank cat as I thought it was the 1 and only MAIN CAT so I did not look for other areas of glowing.... however if they were glowing you would think I would've noticed it as it was dark outside when I got home and I wasn't surrounded by any other ambient light.

3. I cannot reach the rear bank plug wires without jacking the van up and trying to snake in there. I'm too fed up and too fat and too unsure of the jacks to try it. I did however pull the plug wires at the coils for the rear bank only and inspected the plugs and the inner coils with a mirror and the coils looked shiney n new and clean free of marks or debris. I am unsure though about the plug wire I saw as I am not sure if I saw a crack in the metal tip of the plug or if that was a scratch on it. At first glance it appeared as though it were a crack though I don't even know if this would harm anything as there is enough surrounding metal to conduct electricity and all plugs snapped in snug and secure.

4. At this point I think it best to return the vehicle to as much OEM state as I can. I think I'm going to purchase Motorcraft thermostat for my van specifically at Ford in my hometown, swap it in, and see what happens.

Any help you guys may be able to give me this morning before I go out to pursue this problem is greatly appreciated. You guys are great.

phil-l
10-26-2007, 08:55 AM
Regarding the rear spark plugs: I did the snake-from-underneath thing once. Just once.

But not again: I removed the cowl (the plastic assembly between the hood and the bottom of the windshield) to replace my struts - and was surprised at just how easy it is. Yes, you need to remove the windshield wipers and some other miscellaneous hardware. And the underlying assembly is kind of big and bulky - but it makes getting to the rear spark plugs far easier than any other approach.

The entirety of this problem is reaching the limits of my expertise. I get the nagging feeling there's some underlying issue that's been missed, or hasn't been addressed properly yet. But I can't quite see what it is.

I'd spend some time with your trusted shop, documenting exactly what happened each step of the way. Yes, being CALM will help everyone do a better job and get to the core of the issue. Hopefully, they'll be able to get a clear picture of what's really happening.

Let us know what you learn!

searcherrr
10-26-2007, 08:57 AM
I have found a great overheating guide here:

http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/overheating/index.html

Though its for Honda's I'm pretty sure all coolant systems on consumer vehicles work the same. According to that guide what I experienced on the road coming back home and before I brought it to Ford the 2nd time are symptoms of 1 of the following (bold red what I've seen on my van; bold blue questionable):

Bad Radiator Cap - (pasted from that link):

The main seal is the one that seals the cap against the top of the filler neck. Just a rubber gasket that operates just like one on the lid of a pickle jar. Simple and reliable.
A failed pressure seal will allow the coolant to boil at a lower temperature, and coolant will be able to travel freely and foamily to the expansion reservoir. This will cause localized hot-spots inside the engine, which can lead to premature head warpage, and may hasten head gasket failure. It will also cause the rad coolant level to be low, just like a failed head gasket (http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/overheating/index.html#badgasket).
A failed return seal will prevent the coolant from returning to the radiator as the rad cools off, causing a vacuum that can collapse the radiator's hoses. This will prevent the coolant from circulating if the hoses don't re-expand as the engine warms up.
Bad Head Gasket (which shares symptoms of bad Radiator Cap) -

When the gasket goes, typically the first thing that happens is that combustion chamber gases are pumped into the water jacket. You will see this as bubbles in the expansion reservoir. This will quickly lead to low coolant level in the engine, and overheating at idle, even if the fan comes on, since the water pump can't move the coolant around properly any more.

If the engine starts to overheat at idle, or in heavy traffic, and the gauge goes down when you rev it, the coolant is low.

The symptoms are similar to a failed rad cap. If you top up the rad, replace the rad cap and the problem persists, the head gasket is definitely questionable. To confirm this, a garage can apply a pressure test (NOT a "compression test"), where air is blown into each cylinder in turn until the technician sees bubbles in the radiator. If no bubbles are seen, the problem is elsewhere, such as an external leak.

This can be accompanied by an expansion reservoir level that is much higher than normal, and which does not go down once the engine cools off.

If you choose to simply add fluid and ignore the issue, eventually oil and coolant will begin mixing together, and coolant will get sucked into the combustion chamber. Ignoring this is a good way to toast a perfectly good engine. Get it fixed early and there will be no further issues.


Bad Thermostat - remaining cool or at COLD during high speed (50 - 60mph) and IMMEDIATELY after getting off highway goes hot. His site also says that many aftermarket thermostats cause many problems. From that overheating guide link again: "Thermostats can stick shut or open, get lazy, or fail to open at the correct temperature. Depending on how and when they fail, they will cause either overheating or underheating. Overheating usually happens when the thermostat fails to open, or fails to open enough. If it fails to close, the engine will run too cool (http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/overheating/underheat.html), causing all sorts of other problems."


After reviewing the break down of all possible symptoms I've realized that I should've never put in the 3rd part thermostat in comparison to the rest of what I paid for all the work and parts I should've forked over up to $20 for an OEM Ford tstat HOWEVER the 1st time I pulled over which was the 1st time it overheated since I had it serviced the coolant expansion reservoir was FULL nearly at top and there were SLOW BUBBLES coming up the side of it. ALSO, the engine to me is/was running TOO COOL during interstate travel and continuued to get COOLER as I drove it more so back to the Ford dealership for the 2nd visit recheck. I am now leaning more towards what Ford said unfortunately about the head gasket and possible warped heads because for 1 the head gasket issue does seem likely from what I experienced BEFORE my 2nd visit to them..... thus maybe the tech's excessive revving of the engine just didn't matter but just pushed it to a breakdown point I would've reached later on anyway.

Something else I noticed... my oil level is too high. It is almost 3/4 of the "dot to dot" length past the top dot indicating to me a possible 3/4 to 1 quart overfilled. I cannot recall checking the oil level after I had the shop change the oil before I left for the trip, but if they did top it off at the correct level then maybe this higher oil level is radiator fluid leaked into the crankcase..... however I surely cannot tell cause it looks like OIL..... though it is CONSIDERABLY DARKER than it was just 100 miles ago. Is this from the initial overheating incident or is this cause the coolant is mixing in? BOTH? I looked in the coolant reservoir and there is debris all over the place in there, but it was probably dirty before I had the system flushed way back before even messing with this water pump issue. Still to me the coolant does look darker than it should be for NEW coolant inside the expansion reservoir. I was going to go out and get a new OEM tstat and rad cap, but at this point I don't know if thats going to make any difference at all cause from inspection the rad cap looks just fine and is free of debris, cracking, or scaling.... almost looks new in fact.

I cannot see where the thermostat is to replace it if I wanted to. If I can't see it that means I'd have to remove something..... like the coilpack. I heard it was near there in this thread I think, but I have no clue how to access it.... front the front? from the wheel well?

phil-l
10-26-2007, 10:00 AM
The high oil level bothers me.

Note that water is heavier than oil. So if there's engine coolant in your crankcase, the oil will be on top - which is where the dipstick is. You might try loosening the oil drain plug, and then quickly allow a small amount of fluid out of the bottom. If what comes out looks like antifreeze, you likely have a head gasket problem.

Regarding thermostat location: Basically, it's under the throttle body.

Look at this picture, from wiswind's album:

http://rides.webshots.com/photo/1345053698011220610vMUSlZ

You can't see the thermostat in the picture - but the aluminum pipe end that's at the very top center of the picture is part of the thermostat housing. You'll need to remove the flexible rubber pipe that connects the air filter housing to the throttle body - but it's not a very big deal to get to.


BTW, thanks for the Honda overheating link. A very comprehensive review, nicely organized by specific symptom. What I saw in that document will apply to most gas vehicles.

tomj76
10-26-2007, 10:00 AM
Thermostat will be found on the front cylinder head, at the driver side. There will be a large hose going from the top of the radiator to the thermostat housing.

http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/1d/32/d8/0900823d801d32d8/repairInfoPages.htm

You probably need to remove the intake air hose to access it.

While your problem could be your head gasket/head, make sure you eliminate ALL other possiblities first. A head gasket is a real painful and expensive repair.

Also, these engines don't come out "from the top". You have to lower it out of the vehicle, on the subframe.

searcherrr
10-26-2007, 12:14 PM
Thermostat will be found on the front cylinder head, at the driver side. There will be a large hose going from the top of the radiator to the thermostat housing.

http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/1d/32/d8/0900823d801d32d8/repairInfoPages.htm

You probably need to remove the intake air hose to access it.

While your problem could be your head gasket/head, make sure you eliminate ALL other possiblities first. A head gasket is a real painful and expensive repair.

Also, these engines don't come out "from the top". You have to lower it out of the vehicle, on the subframe.
Yeah after my own inspection this is exactly what I was thinking. I followed the big hose from the radiator to the driver side head and what I saw sure looked like a thermostat housing to me. I don't even have to remove the air intake though. F the damn autozone online repair guides.... it just does not cut it for my 95. The 95 3.8L setup is too different to even say its like any other year windstar. Tell ya the truth its as if it was in a class of its own... 1st gen 95; 2nd gen 96 - 98; 3rd gen 2000 till whenever and I think there was a 4th gen too.

I took it to Autozone this morning and confirmed the computer code for a misfire on Cylinder 3.

Brought it to my trusted shop and left it there. I explained the entire situation to them in detail. They believe its the head gasket as well. I am currently in "search for engine" mode and they are looking for a used one with a 6 month to 1 year warranty for me as well. The thing that bothers me about this search for a used one though is that they are all CHANCES and not cause of the normal thing people say that they are USED.... but because specifically the 95's had bad head gasket problems and mine had always avoided that till this damn overheat problem. So if I get another used engine with a warranty it still doesn't mean I won't have head gasket issues later on...... it seems like the way to go would be a newly remanned engine from someone professional....... SHORT OF CONVERTING EVERYTHING in the engine bay to accomodate a 97 - 98 engine. I say those years cause some of the 96's had the head gasket problem too, but far fewer than the 95's.

I feel like going to replace that thermostat and radiator cap to see if it makes any damn difference, but then I still have cylinder 3 misfire to troubleshoot and it could very well be cause of the head gasket issue. IDEAS? SUGGESTIONS? My trusted shop though does really think its the head gasket, but they didn't officially look at it. They just took from the details I gave them and I was as explicit with them vocally as I was/am here.

searcherrr
10-26-2007, 12:21 PM
I don't know why i didn't think to ask them to do this sooner, but my trusted shop can test oil/coolant for mixture. I just called them and I'm gonna have them do it. Its worth the $75 to know for sure before we go with educated guesses that the head gasket is blown. Cause if it isn't and the oil and coolant show up ok then now I'm just chasing a cylinder 3 misfire, plug, wire, or coil and replacing the radiator cap and thermostat with OEM which would obviously be way cheaper than a new engine install. Although .......... could I have a NOT BLOWN HEAD GASKET and have WARPED HEADS/CYLINDERS though?

phil-l
10-26-2007, 03:30 PM
As I understand it, a warped head means the head gasket won't be able to seal properly. Once a head is warped, it needs to be machined to be straight again.

But I only have a little head gasket experience, so I'm waiting to see what the shop has to say...

garync1
10-26-2007, 04:39 PM
Just wanted to chime in with a note from the past.As i notice this thread started with a water pump and over heating issue. Yes it true heads can warp and need to be milled back to spec. However in the past with cars with non overhead cams like this one I always pulled the valve cover off and torqued the head bolts back to spec before going to the trouble of removing replacing head gasket and milling the heads down to level. I 75% of the time was able to save this from happening . Luck! not sure but yes over time from heating and cooling back down head bolts loose their torque. But if someone came to me with a thermostat or water pump issue and the car over heated I did this and never had to replace head gasket. Luck maybe.. Now I have had to replace the head gasket before but they had failed and broke in an area and the overheating was based on that problem. So My point is if its not too hard try to re torque head bolts to proper spec and see if it reseals the area that may be loosing compression causing the misfire issue. Not sure if the misfire is based on this with out a compression test.Hope this helps.

uzzo2
10-26-2007, 06:10 PM
if coolant is mixing with the oil you would know it, the oil will look like chocolate milk. the first thing i would do is get your cel problem dealt with. if it's the misfire on #3 it could have something to do with the thermostat and the glowing cats, i guess it's all just speculation at this point, i just tend to think that maybe the cat is stopped up. let your mechanic check it out especially the cel and take it from there, that's what i would do. good luck

searcherrr
10-26-2007, 06:59 PM
garynyc1 - This is gonna sound stupid.... but are the head bolts you speak of tightening right on the top of the engine accessible OUTSIDE of it? or do I need to remove something to do that tightening procedure? What is the procedure? What torque and pattern? Do you have a 95 windstar as well?

I just cannot stand knowing now that I bought the absolute worst year Windstar I could've bought. It infuriates me cause I actually did do research on this before buying it and I found out about the head gasket stuff and checked with Ford and they said it was fine and no recalls.... though I didn't know at the time the DEALER WORDING was that it was a PROGRAM and EXTENDED WARRANTY that was given out to the Windstars with bad head gaskets.... not a RECALL.

uzzo2 - I still want to replace the radiator cap and/or at least compare the two before I put the new one on. I do not think mine is bad..... but I do think there is a chance the thermostat is causing hell but neither the Ford or my trusted shop thought so even for a second which is odd to me seeing as its a non OEM tstat and 10 - 15 F cooler opening than OEM. I don't know what to trust for the standard OEM temp the tstat sould be though... cause when I look up the Motorcraft Tstat on Advance Auto's web site it shows a 190F Motorcraft tstat with a crap load of other aftermarket F degree options... but only the 1 Motorcraft one at 190. But then there are the Stant tstat's with temps of 192 and 195 F..... Can anyone confirm which opening temp is OEM for me? I can always go over to Ford, but they were a real pain in the ass today in my local town. I don't even like calling over there cause they are mindless nitwits who can't even answer the phone. I called there for 40 minutes and 1 line just kept going to a hangup or busy signal and the other parts line kept going to a modem..... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH I'm gonna F'IN BREAK SOMETHING !!!!!!

I checked the engine Oil and it looked like ENGINE OIL to me, but that was this morning after it sat all night too so I don't know if that makes any difference at all. Also again the coolant in the reservoir looks darker than it probably should for being new, but again I know the reservoir was already dirty too. Those schmucks at Ford in MS should've cleaned it out good so we'd know for sure. I dunno... maybe they aren't schmucks, but I sure bit it with them. I called over there earlier today and they said they could see where they'd think the guy's revving in the garage would cause it to break like it did thereafter.... but honestly the coolant was already OUT of the radiator before I'd gone back for the 2nd checkup so something was already wrong and again: Either head gasket, tstat, or rad cap.

BlueCaprice
10-27-2007, 01:02 AM
That sudden overheating you're describing was also happening to my 96 Windstar when the LIM gasket started to go. When I changed it I also used a 180 degree aftermarket T-stat. I've had no problems with it.

According to my Haynes manual there are 4 head bolts under the valve cover and 4 outside of the valve cover on each head.

If that shop thinks you're going to have them fix the heads, I would be leary about believing the results of the oil test they're doing unless you really REALLY trust them. I've NEVER had a mechanic that didn't try to screw me over and in my experience, usually if a mechanic sees you expecting the possibility of an expensive engine repair, they tell you it needs to be done no matter what's really wrong with the car.

I was just wondering, why are you looking for a whole motor for a bad head gasket and possibly warped heads? Heads can usually be resurfaced smooth unless they're cracked. I read over the posts but maybe I missed something. Does the engine knock or anything? Have the crankcase bearings been inspected for wear?

searcherrr
10-27-2007, 07:30 AM
That sudden overheating you're describing was also happening to my 96 Windstar when the LIM gasket started to go. When I changed it I also used a 180 degree aftermarket T-stat. I've had no problems with it.

According to my Haynes manual there are 4 head bolts under the valve cover and 4 outside of the valve cover on each head.

If that shop thinks you're going to have them fix the heads, I would be leary about believing the results of the oil test they're doing unless you really REALLY trust them. I've NEVER had a mechanic that didn't try to screw me over and in my experience, usually if a mechanic sees you expecting the possibility of an expensive engine repair, they tell you it needs to be done no matter what's really wrong with the car.

I was just wondering, why are you looking for a whole motor for a bad head gasket and possibly warped heads? Heads can usually be resurfaced smooth unless they're cracked. I read over the posts but maybe I missed something. Does the engine knock or anything? Have the crankcase bearings been inspected for wear?
Yeah, I had thought of what you are saying..... I do REALLY REALLY trust them... and prior to leaving to make this story worse I spent $700 at my trusted shop to get other things in working order before even beginning to tow North. Though they are still there to make money... I've spent a pretty penny in their shop on more than just this past $700 occassion and you'd think they'd be decent and not money grubbin. I plan to let them know too that this will break the bank if I do it; GUILT; lol - but its true. I know I'd gotten them on the path of "new engine", but I discussed it all with them in detail and while I don't have the experience of a 10 or 20 year vehicle technician they do know I know what I'm talking about and that I know a lot more than the average customer. All I know is that aside from a little darkness in the coolant reservoir which I attest to a dirty reservoir container and the engine oil being darker too than it was 100 miles ago neither of them look milkly, foamy, etc... they both just look normal to me.

Thanks for the info on the Head bolts. Whats a LIM gasket? head gasket synonymous? Was that Haynes manual specifically talking about the 95 Windstar?

On the way back home 88 miles in the cylinder 3 misfiring condition (without towing) the engine "mostly" sounded "acceptable" for its condition, but there were plenty of times (especially going up grades and humps in bridges) where it sounded awful - KNOCKING... I guess you could say thats what it was. It sounded bad and to me like metal was hitting metal for sure and I don't know what the deal is but as I would continue down the road the van seemed to pull harder and harder to the LEFT. It was very odd... the engine would make the metal hitting metal sounds and at times shake really bad (up the grades), but I kept it within feathering gas pedal condition and only applied just enough force on the gas pedal to keep me at speed..... no big accels.... all smooth and slow. Crankcase bearings have never been inspected though I've heard a spun bearing on another vehicle and I do not hear anything like that sound on my van.... sounds almost like a helicopter when idling.... I don't have that sound.

Resurfacing heads....... IS IT WORTH IT TO DO SO ON A 157,000 MILE KNOWN TO HAVE TROUBLE WITH HEAD GASKETS ENGINE? The only reason i was going to get a whole newly remanned or good shape used engine was cause I figured fixing the heads and head gasket issue would be so costly that I might as well invest that large amount of money into another engine. I mean i know the head gasket is a matter of proper torquing procedure, but its alluded to by many that the bolts come loose after so much driving too. Wouldn't this engine be in need of a rebuild/reman anyway? I have only owned it for about 30 - 40k miles and I'm sure the original owner did not take care of it nearly as well as I did.

I hate to say this..... but you guys..... please try to confirm when ya'll let me know stuff that it is the same for the 95 Windstar. So far I've come across lots of differences in that engine vs the rest of the 96 - 98 years.

Comments and opinions definitely welcome..... especially on the resurface heads and fix head gasket VS new engine issue. Am I right about the cost?

searcherrr
10-27-2007, 07:40 AM
And now there is this too:

"http://www.2carpros.com/topics/headgask1.htm";

"Question: 2003 Ford Taurus mileage: 75,000. Do blown head gaskets, causing some coolant to leak into the oil, always result in the need to replace the crankshaft bearings? My gaskets blew suddenly - there is a very thin film on the oil filler cap and oil at the bottom of the dipstick shows no sign of water (oil is dark and not foamy).
Answer: Blown head gaskets usually do not result in coolant getting in the oil. Because no coolant is showing up on the oil dipstick and the oil fill cap, you probably do not have coolant in the oil. Replacing the head gasket should fix your problem. With the head off, check to make sure the gasket surface of the head is flat – it may need resurfacing."

So can I really have a blown head gasket and NOT have fluid intermixing?

wiswind
10-27-2007, 10:31 AM
Head gaskets can "blow" in more than 1 way, so you can get coolant into the oil....or not, depending upon where the defect happens.
The misfire on cylinder #3 could be related to a coolant leak, or not be.
If the defect is at cylinder #3, and it is to a coolant passage, then coolant could be entering the cylinder.
A look at the spark plug might tell you if coolant is getting there or not.

Lower intake manifold gaskets, I don't know if they are high fail on the '95 or not.
However, you have a upper and lower intake manifold.
On your '95, the upper intake manifold is aluminum, and much smaller than the nylon one on the '96.
On both the '95 and the newer windstars, the lower intake manifold is also aluminum.
Coolant passes through the lower intake manifold....but NOT the upper intake manifold.

My rear lower intake manifold failed by cylinder #3, and I had a slight coolant leak INTO the air passage, and the coolant was drawn on into the cylinder.
This failure is easy to mis-diagnose as a head gasket failure, because coolant is getting into the cylinder.

If coolant is getting into the cylinder, and they suspect the head gasket, they could do a cylinder "leak down" test on that cylinder.
But they would know more about this than I would.


When the head gasket job is done, the lower intake manifold must be removed in order to remove the heads, and the lower intake manifold gaskets are NOT reusable, so you get new lower intake manifold gaskets as part of the head gasket repair.

Is it possible to have both defective head gaskets and lower intake manifold gaskets, yes, it could happen.

I have pictures posted that show what is involved in a lower intake manifold gasket repair.
You can see the black buildup in some of the pictures by cylinder #3 that was caused by the coolant seapage.
True, my intake is bigger, and has more passeges, but the concept is the same as far as the gaskets are concerned.

When you change the thermostat, I have a couple of pictures that show how to put the new thermostat in.
There is a small hole that must be oriented to be at the top.

If you wer looking for a used engine, before looking at other years, I would wonder if the 3.0L engine was used in 1995.
I know that it was available in '96.
If they had the 3.0L in the 1995 model year....that might be an option to look into, as the 3.0L engine did not seem to have the problems that the 3.8L did.
I do not know if one can put the other size in or not......or what all is involved, as it is well out of my skill set.
But it might be worth looking into, if in the worst case, you end up looking for another engine.
I would look first, if the head gasket is indeed defective, to having the heads re-conditioned (planed smooth, etc) and having that repair done.

garync1
10-27-2007, 10:21 PM
Some of the post have been long so i was only able to scan a few. Thats good for you though. Lots of info.. Now as for darker than normal coolant if its a 95 you are going to have some junk in the system. Mine is a 2001 and its a little dirty. Yes they were problems with the head gaskets on these and other years. With over a hundred thousand miles, yours may have been changed already or you got a good one. The head bolts should be easy to access by removing the valve cover and some are on the side like above mentioned .I can see the rear may be a little harder to reach and some things may have to be moved not sure what on your year. But if you cant get to some you will know then.THIS is just a little thing you can try. I would not waste money on having a shop to do this just in case it did not work. I just done it as a safety method and they were easy to get to on the cars that I have done this on. But the Windstar does not seem to bad to do this on so it may be worth a try. Torque order would be in book. Just seems to me if you have not had a total failure of the head gasket yet it may be worth a shot.

searcherrr
10-29-2007, 06:12 AM
I've been exploring options all weekend and learning a great deal about the Windstar platform. LOL - Makes it sound like its a sports car platform. ha!

wiswind - Any less power than the 3.8L puts out is unacceptable. I don't know what HP the 3.0L is, but I'm sure its less (not for me) and there were none in 1995. 3.8L was all that was made in 95 for all models Windstar. 3.0L offered in 96 and up and was in the GL's, but I've learned 3.8L's were in the GL's too in this year. Had thought GL's were only 3.0L in 96 - 98, but not so. Been doing a lot of reading (what reading there is for these things).

gary - I seriously doubt the at least 2 people that owned the van before me replaced the head gaskets. I live in Louisiana and no one does anything down here unless it stops them in their tracks. I finally got my trailer towed back over the weekend and the friend that came to get me had an old Ford truck with what I would call a bad oil leak, bad brakes, and a busted up transmission that had major torque converter lock problems and still all he does is continually pour oil in it.

I have made a parts compatibility/interchangeability matrix for the 95-98 years Windstar and even cross referenced with the 2003 to see what was still the same. I will post my findings in a new thread in an easy to read format a lil later on. For now though here's my options:

1. Get a new engine: $2600 - $3400 installed
2. Get a used engine: $2000 - $2200 installed
3. Migrate $9000 worth of repairs/improvements over past 3.5 years from 1995 Windstar to 1998 Windstar; would include migrating transmission and tow package and all other things I see that would move to the 98. Not sure about the AX4S transmission working in the 98, but was going to call Ford unless someone can tell me. I have FWD too.
4. Repair my current engine and hopefully it'll just need: Thermostat, Rad cap, precat, & Plugs and I'll be back in business.

Wiswind - What do you think it would cost to do the head gasket job and to recondition the heads? and in a separate total how about adding fixing warped heads too? Estimate if you will.

The reason I suggest #3 should be obvious while it also sounds NUTS cause of all the work it would require (I would do most of the work myself), but it would thereby preserve what I've $$$graciously$$$ put into the 95 and move newer parts over to the 98 if I could find one I really like. Not only would this resolve the engine issue, but I'd be upgraded to the 200 hp engine and Windstar features and MOST importantly I'd be out of the "head gasket prone to failure" engines.

Can't I remove the precats and still be within the law? I have noticed that there seems to be two metal mesh looking deals right off each bank like someone in this thread was telling me and further down is the BIG square or rectangular thing towards the middle underside of the van. Aren't the things by the exhaust headers just down from the downpipe PRECATS? I just want to make sure I'm talking about the right parts here and if I tell the shop to remove them that it'll be ok to. I don't have to pass emissions either.... that doesn't happen here.

And I have something else to say about the thermostat I picked in the next post.

For now here is the parts compatibility list I've made in case of option #3 (if I can find a good 98 cheap enough) which I'll put into a new thread by itself later on. All parts were checked for exact same part numbers using Autozone's web site. If the part numbers varied then I noted "different". Anywhere multi years are not listed I was comparing 95 to 98. As I went along and was looking around at Windstars online I listed some of the 2003 model parts too:

95-97 headlight lens' the same; 98 different

No on the hydraulic unit till i check with Ford

Check AX4S Transmission and torque converter for 1998 fitting
Transmission:
1995 - P86B09 performance automatic, P86B21
1996 - P86B10 performance automatic
1997 - P86B25 performance automatic
1998 - P86B28, P86B25
Different for every year except 97 and 98 - confirm this with Ford

2003 - p86c46
Note: 17 bottom pan bolts, One 9-pin electrical connector on top, calibration code R11. *** Call 1-888-381-8324 for application verification and delivery time before ordering ***

Torque Converter - FM71 for AX4S transmission
FM71c for AXOD transmission
50403 high stall expensive; not sure it fits ax4s
same on both years

IAC and Throttle body
iac 1998 - TV240
iac 1995 - TV205
different

Struts/Shocks
Gabriel G55685 front - 1998
Gabriel 81882, 61625, G63676, 49233, 43173 Rear
same on both years and on 2003

Front/Rear Brake Calipers
Fenco Reman C398, C399, 079-0787, 079-0788 1995 front brake caliper
C401, C400, rear brake caliper
rotors front 54010, 54010B, 54010-020
rotors back 54037
same on both years
2003 - not same

Water pump
CWP-9098, M58-529, 55-23135, P1624 - for 1998
BWP-9177, M57-1349, 55-33412, 131-2161 - for 1995
different on both years

DPFE Sensor
if DPFE sensor is same as EGR valve pressure sensor they are same on both years
same

Thermostat
Thermostats are different; 7244-180 in 1995 - 7265-180 in 1998 for failsafe thermostat 180
temp which i'll never use again; this just confirms the tstats are different
different

Radiator - 432373 ready rad radiator from Advance in 1998; same in 1995; different - 2003

Belt Tensioner - 305217 dayco, 49247 goodyear for 1998; same in 1995;
different - 2003

Belt - 1005K6 duralast & 4061005 gatorback for 1995; 1037K6 duralast & 4061037 gatorback for; 1998 different
different

Idler Pulley
1995 - 835979 torqflo, 231107 dayco
1996 - 835969 torqflo, 231110 dayco - same
1997 - 835969 torqflo, 231110 dayco - same
1998 - 835975 torqflo, 231081 dayco

Power steering pump - atsco 6258, atsco lower qual 6383, beck arnley 108-5245 in 1998; same in 1995; different in 2003

Spark plug - 0526, P526S both performance accel plugs for 1995 and bosch 4509 regular plug

for 1995
regular plugs list the different - performance plugs list same for 1996 & 1997 model and 1995

Wireset: same on all years except minor discrepency
1995 - 09755 bosch, 4941 duralast, 1941 valucraft
1996 - 09755 bosch, 4661 duralast, 1941 valucraft
1997 - 09400 bosch, 4661 duralast, 1941 valucraft
1998 - 09400 bosch, 4661 duralast, 1941 valucraft

Starter:
1995 - DLG580S duralast gold, DL3204S duralast, 3204 valucraft
1996 - DLG580S duralast gold, DL3240S duralast, 3240S valucraft
1997 - DLG580S duralast gold, DL3240S duralast, 3240S valucraft
1998 - DLG580S duralast gold, DL3240S duralast, 3240S valucraft
2001 - DLG580S duralast gold, DL3240S duralast, 3240S valucraft
weird: duralast gold part #'s all same; duralast & valucraft part# varies from 95 to other years

Proportioning valve:
NOT SOLD AT AUTOZONE OR ADVANCE AUTO

Headlight bulbs - same on all years; headlight lens' different

*Alternator -
haven't replaced, but good to know
1995 - Built to 03/01/1994 DLG7740-6-7 duralast gold, Built from 03/02/1994 DLG7752-6-7

Duralast gold, DL7752-6-7 duralast Built to 03/01/1994, DL7740-6-7 duralast Built from

03/02/1994, Built to 03/01/1994 valucraft 7752-6-7
1996 - DL3402-16-4 pulley change required duralast, DL3402-26-4 duralast, 3402-16-4 valucraft
1997 - DL3402-16-4 pulley change required duralast, DL3402-26-4 duralast, 3402-16-4 valucraft
1998 - DL3402-16-4 pulley change required duralast, DL3402-26-4 duralast
different

Mass air flow sensor:
1995 - Cardone 74-9517, 86-9517
1996 - Cardone 74-9555, 86-9555, 74-9538, 86-9538
1997 - Cardone 74-9555, 86-9555
1998 - Cardone 74-9555, 86-9555
different

Trailer hitch tow packages are same on all years
same
1998 - 06967, 44097, 33012 reese hitches
2003 - 06967, 44097, 33012, 88001, 37042 reese hitches
same on all years

searcherrr
10-29-2007, 06:19 AM
Engine Searching:
I just realized today that the same exact engine in the 95 Windstar is in the following vehicles too so this will help me find a used engine should I go with option #2:

1995 Ford Windstar
1994 Lincoln Continental
1994/95 Ford Taurus (police car too)/Mercury Sable
1994/95 Ford Mustang and Thunderbird
1994/95 Mercury Cougar

This policy adjustment also applies to the 1994 and '95 Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable and Lincoln Continental equipped with the same 3.8 litre engine.

searcherrr
10-29-2007, 06:30 AM
THERMOSTAT

I realize whats been said about the thermostats earlier in this thread, but here me out because in my situation that I've been going through for the past 7 days the following symptoms discussed on the Jeep forum are exactly that which I experienced after I had Ford install my 180 F thermostat, water pump, and radiator.


From the Jeep Forum:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=468627#post4276436

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ORJ
Registered User
1990 XJ Cherokee

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: oregon
Posts: 439
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If you use a 180, you will sending raw fuel out your tailpipe and washing down your cylinder walls.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ChuckeryOffroad
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Clinton, NY
Posts: 631
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The engine was designed to operate at or about 210* F. A 195* thermostat allows that temp to be reached relatively quickly and to be reasonably maintainable. Lower temp thermostats cause the 'puter to signal for a richer mixture because the lower temp indicates that it has not yet reached warm-up temps. Since it keeps running cooler, the mixture stays rich. This is for "normal" driving conditions...

At the same time, don't think that you can run a lower temp thermostat in the summer or high ambient temperatures in the hopes that you'll be helping your engine to run cooler; when things get very hot outside, a lower temp thermostat doesn't allow the coolant to remain in the radiator as long as necessary to dissipate heat, and can actually result in more overheating, not less.

All around, 195* is best; 180 will work, but given that 195* works best, well... you answer that one. And please stay away from the 165* thermostats. It's your vehicle, it's your money, it's what you want to do, but that's the way it is.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
I hate to say it, but what they described there is EXACTLY what I experienced after running just 20 miles down the road on the 180 F thermostat. I am now contimplating whether or not this entire ordeal was worsened by me picking the 180 F thermostat cause afterwards my gauge was not in the middle where it normally is and later on stayed so cool that it didn't even get off the BLUE mark on the temp gauge. This thereby causing me to run RICH heated up the precat and led to Cylinder 3 misfire probably due to a FOULED plug. If I haven't done any serious engine damage I think there is a good chance that this whole thing could be rectified by putting in the OEM thermostat, rad cap, plugs, and maybe wires. I am still getting the coolant tested for oil and vice versa to see if there is any evidence of a mixture though. I just don't think the lower than OEM tstat's are worth it for daily drivers and I'm really in belief now of what happened after reading that description of it on the Jeep Forums. The good news is though that if this is the case my repairs won't kill my wallet further like I thought they would.

phil-l
10-29-2007, 06:38 AM
searcherrr -

Wow! You've been hitting the books.

Personally, my gut leads me toward option #3. Of course, I already have an '00 Windstar, so that's what I'm familiar with.

I don't know what your area is like, but I just took a look at Craigslist in my area. I'm seeing '99+ Windstars priced anywhere from $3K-$6K. I'm presuming that something toward the bottom of that price range probably needs a few things done do it - but the pictures and descriptions I'm seeing indicate these are still vehicles with significant life left in them. I'm also guessing the price is negotiable.

Quite bluntly, if my Windstar blew up tomorrow, budget realities mean I'd likely first shop Craigslist to see what I could find. I'd love to get the updated tranny in an 02+, or luck into a well-priced Freestar.

searcherrr
10-29-2007, 09:21 AM
searcherrr -

Wow! You've been hitting the books.

Personally, my gut leads me toward option #3. Of course, I already have an '00 Windstar, so that's what I'm familiar with.

I don't know what your area is like, but I just took a look at Craigslist in my area. I'm seeing '99+ Windstars priced anywhere from $3K-$6K. I'm presuming that something toward the bottom of that price range probably needs a few things done do it - but the pictures and descriptions I'm seeing indicate these are still vehicles with significant life left in them. I'm also guessing the price is negotiable.

Quite bluntly, if my Windstar blew up tomorrow, budget realities mean I'd likely first shop Craigslist to see what I could find. I'd love to get the updated tranny in an 02+, or luck into a well-priced Freestar.

LOL - BOOKS INDEED!!! I had a typo on Option #3 up there... fixed it now...meant to say go from a 95 to 98 as I've figured out in the compatibility list.

Now why didn't I think to look on Craigslist!!! Usually though Louisiana is too dumb to use the internet for most things that they should, but I'll go look anyway.

Yeah, I looked at the newer Windstars and Freestars all night (haven't slept yet) and ideally I'd like a 2001 - 2003 Windstar (didn't know about their tranny upgrade; do tell) or any year Freestar. The only thing that bites if I do option #3 is if I go to a newer version Windstar then most of my improvement will NOT move over to it.... and of course NONE of them will go over to a Freestar.

searcherrr
10-29-2007, 10:26 PM
Well this morning I went over to the shop where my van is and they hadn't called me yet. I'd bought an OEM spec thermostat, OEM spec radiator cap, and OEM spec iridium plugs before I went over hoping I could try this and it would solve my woes. Again they had not called me yet and I get there and they tell me they cylinder pressure tested it this morning and confirmed that its leaking and they think either head gasket or cracked/warped head/cylinder. It is my "trusted shop", but what bothers me is that they didn't call me and I stumbled in onto the news. Though I do have a lax relationship with them and know them pretty well so maybe I'm just paranoid like everyone else is about tech shops wanting big money jobs.... after all YOU guys, another forum, and the Ford place in MS that initially got me back on the road all said the same thing.... HEAD GASKET. So I will rest.

I've been reseaching more compatibility of the Windstar years for the past entire 2 days. I'm more and more liking the idea of a newer Windstar if I can find one at the right price and condition. I have learned that I could transplant my newly rebuilt AX4S tranny into up to the 2000 model year Windstar.... so this gives me options for finding a 99 or 00 model that is new style, upgrades, and just nicer all around. My tow package and struts/shocks will also fit if I haven't said that already. A 96 Windstar sold today for $2700 .... I just missed it out here. It would've been perfect for me to transplant my parts to and would've given me a working engine.

lol - I haven't slept so I'm getting off here now! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHhhh.....

tomj76
10-30-2007, 12:52 AM
There is no "pre-cat". There are two catalytic converters, one for each bank, built into the "y-pipe". Following the y-pipe, there is an isolation section. (This is the part with the meshed pipe). Behind that is the muffler (a large rectangular suitcase shape).

searcherrr
10-30-2007, 10:10 PM
There is no "pre-cat". There are two catalytic converters, one for each bank, built into the "y-pipe". Following the y-pipe, there is an isolation section. (This is the part with the meshed pipe). Behind that is the muffler (a large rectangular suitcase shape).


Yeah a Ford parts guy explained that to me today. I had never seen a muffler so large and square like that. I am just interested in getting more HP out of the 1995 engine if I am going to be stuck with it. I just wish one of the 3.8L supercharged or other 3.8L engines (say the one with DOHC) could fit in the Windstar. Whenever I do an big repair like this I like to really UPGRADE it to as good a performance as I can. Since this is the step child engine there are just NO mods for it anywhere...... even though its shared in these cars:

1994 Lincoln Continental
1994/95 Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
1995 Ford Windstar

... the engine was only used in 1994-1995 as I'm finding out although the 3.8L 232 engine is listed for previous years for those other cars too. I wonder if there are any performance mods that were made for the Ford Taurus or Sable or Continental of those 1994-95 years.

Does anyone know for sure if the AX4S transmission can be used interchangeably throughout the 1995 - 2000 years? I know I said it could, but the slight variation in secondary numbering for that transmission has me wondering this and how big a change there was in the AX4S over the years. I have emailed someone who's written about AX4S, but no response yet.

wiswind
10-31-2007, 12:55 AM
To be honest with you.....if you are looking at another vehicle......moneywise......it would be best to get a good running one.
Of course, a real deal on one with a toasted tranny......and a bunch of work....but if you are paying to have the work done for you (which I would be) it can get pricey moving the tranny from your vehicle to another vehicle.

Yes, it is nice to feel the boost when I press the accellerator.......and then another boost when the IMRC opens up.......but, remember.....that is all more stress on the transmission.....

Also, the low end Chrysler product comes with a 4 cylinder......which makes the 3.0L windstar look like a hot rod.

My 1996 GL has a 3.8L engine....but I think that it was an option.
By FAR the vast majority of the windstars are 3.8L engines.

As you have already found out......you have 2 catalytic converters.
1 for each bank of cylinders......then the "Y" pipe (which includes both converters) comes together into 1 pipe......into the flex piple, then into the big rectangular muffler......then the pipe goes back to a "resonator" that is near the back wheels.
The part from the flex pipe back is all welded together.
You can buy those parts from Rock Auto.....and if you click on the information link under any of the Walker brand exhaust parts.....you will see the parts broken down as you can buy them.

I know that for 1996, the "Y" pipe with the 2 catalyitc converters lists for about $1600, and the cheapest that I found the OEM online was $1200 plus shipping.
I got the Walker "direct fit" for about $321.

If you are thinking of moving motor/tranny between years......you will need to get together with someone who really knows their stuff about that.
I would really not want to see you do that, and end up with headaces chasing you into the future.
This is the reason that I am telling you that you are asking questions that are WAY over my head.

Of course...one "could" put a lot of things together.....but it takes know how....time....and money.

Having the top end reconditioned.....might be the cheapest thing for that '95, if you are feeling very good about your tranny (as you are talking about moving it to another vehicle) and the rest of the vehicle.

You should get new lower intake manifold gaskets along with the head gasket job......so that will be in good shape as well.

searcherrr
11-01-2007, 05:56 AM
I appreciate you and everyone else hanging with me after all this. Its been quite the past week and a half. I hear you on all points. I'm just having some reality checks here and having trouble accepting I bought the worst year Windstar. I have been HOPING through my transmission questions that when the shop rebuilt my tranny 20k ago that they brought it up to the latest OE specs for improvements..... but knowing if those improvements are implemented in the latest compatible year Windstar vs just retroactive 1995 AX4S updates is knowledge that is hard to come by and even if you find the right person they are reluctant to talk to you. Sometimes I wish it were 20 or 30 years ago when people weren't as afraid to open their mouth and would just talk "shop" without worrying.

I am really between a new vehicle and the new motor. Again doing the heads and head gaskets just would seem to get too pricey and for all that money it would be worth it with warranty etc.. to get a new engine. I am considering however that if I do buy a new (or very nearly new) vehicle that I may have to put a replacement "working" engine in my 95 Windstar. I would sell much easier along with all my other improvements if the main part of the van was working.... although I may be able to find someone else that can recognize 9 GRAND worth of repairs over 3.5 years and may want to plop an engine in himself/herself for the price of say $4000 - $5000 sold.

I'm going to post in the transmission thread I started now.

tomj76
11-01-2007, 10:36 AM
You might be interested in this link to an engine rebuilder company. The prices seem fairly reasonable. http://www.ae-engines.com/ford38engine.html

searcherrr
11-01-2007, 03:05 PM
1. What do ya'll think I could get for my 95 in PRIVATE SALE if it just needs a new engine based on the following service record proveable by receipts?

2. What do ya'll think I could get for my 95 in PRIVATE SALE if I put a new/used engine in it based on the following service record proveable by receipts?

Of course I realize ya'll would be answering with pure opinion, but with all the work I've put into it I'd be hoping for $4000 minimum without a working engine and $6000 minimum with a working engine that comes with a 20k tranny with warranty and brand new engine with a warranty. I'm asking about private sales ONLY cause I really think that is the best chance I have getting any decent amount for it since the dealerships don't seem to value receipts and maintenance put into a vehicle.

Vehicle History
*Includes as much as known from most recent to oldest:

Total Service/Repairs up till 10/22/2007: $8929.84
Total with cost of van purchase: $11,179.84

Date Mileage Service Price
Previous Owner History
3/21/1995 0 Vehicle put into service. Sold to Schwartz Forwarding Co, Inc
12/16/1998 65,128 Brake job at Meineke Discount Mufflers on Elmwood; 2 new front Rotors put on; Front Shims ; Front Disc Pads and shims; cleaning of back brakes $340.33
4/18/2000 85,806 Machine front rotors, replaced front caliper slide/guiding pins; sliding bolt dust boot and shims; new pads; Raybestos WC37857 PG Plus Professional Grade Wheel Cylinders for both REARS; Brake job on front; bleeding and cleaning of rear brakes $303.45

9/8/2003 126,186 2 new tires, balance, road hazard; brake job; all wheel alignment; tie rod ends replaced in front; rear brakes (drums) replaced & shoes $540.03

History since I’ve owned it
4/14/2004 131,125 Vehicle PURCHASE $2250.00
4/14/2004 131,130 Rolland’s Parking lot garage DIY job; New starter installed; Dealer who sold van to me threw in a new starter on purchase 0.00
5/20/2004 131, 279 Veterans Ford – Tranny Valve body cover and pan gaskets leaking; supposed to have been repaired; still leaking after drive off. Tranny oil change, engine oil change; rear brake cylinders fixed; replaced air and fuel filters; trim repair on hood separation recall; inspected front coil springs for recall – Springs OK – ABS light will remain on but brakes are functioning fine; ABS light remains on due to faulty ABS computer which I have chosen not to replace at this time. $977.40
9/13/2004 132,492 EFI Services - Scan Test ABS System; Trouble Brake System Fluid Loss; Proportioning Valve Leaking; Right Rear Sensor Failure; Replaced Right Rear Speed Sensor; Replaced Brake Proportioning Valve; Transmission Oil Change again due to leakage caused by folded over gasket that was put on by Veterans Ford 667.61 + $42.50 for HCU from junkyard
5/4/2005 134,813 EFI Services, Inc – Replace driver window motor; Replace ABS EHCU customer supplied (had fault codes stored in it – cleared codes and checked parameters); Tranny would have to be removed for leak repair –declined work at time; install transmission oil cooler $883.31
8/10/2005 135,845 Wal-Mart Auto – Oil Change $22.28
9/20/2005 137,138 Rebuilt entire Transmission at place in Harahan; 36 months (3 years) 75,000 mile warranty; New right front and right rear motor mounts installed; MUST HAVE TRANNY OIL, TRANN FILTER AND INLINE MAGNEFINE IN-LINE FILTER REPLACED EVERY 12,000 MILES TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR WARRANTY; WARRANTY# W-14539; INVOICE RI14539 $1762.51
3/2/2006 145,668 Firestone ; Right Rear tire replacement; balance; no road hazard; $75.23
4/28/2006 Oil Change, New shocks/struts all around, power steering pump; alignment; right front hub bearing replaced; new front pads; machine rotors; $742.77
6/1/2006 150,160 Computer scan; replace DPFE sensor and heater hoses $356.00
6/6/2006 -
6/14/2006 Within 12,000 miles later Transmission jerking and leaking. Warranty service. $0.00
6/19/2006 Rear gate hydraulic mount repair; weld job; install new hydraulics $163.13
7/11/2006 150,876 Tune up – Plugs/Wires; Fuel Filter; Flush injectors w 3 Part Flush Kit; Replace front brake calipers and machine rotors; replace fan belt; coolant system flush; replace thermostat and seal; drain some p/s fluid and insert cleaning additive; replace exhaust hangers $823.56
End 2006 152,000ish Rolland’s Garage DIY job; Idler pulley, serpentine belt, belt tensioner, battery, alternator ground wire, positive battery terminal lead, headlight lens replacement, all replaced and Oil change; K&N filter installed (listed for 3.0L but fits 3.8L for 95) $100.00
5/2007 154,600 Towing package installed; Class III 2 inch hitch setup $330.00
5/25/2007 154,695 Oil Change and Radiator power and chemical flush $88.47
9/27/2007 157,184 IAC motor and gasket, ECM, replacement ECM revealed air flow meter fault code – replaced air flow meter at Rolland’s Garage DIY job with $35 ebay Ford OEM replacement after Diagnostic’s service $713.58 + $35
10/25/2007 HOTEL Stuck in McComb, MS due to engine overheating $242.00
10/22/2007 157,577 Legacy Ford Lincoln Mercury in McComb, MS – Labor for water pump, thermostat, and radiator replacement. Saved $300 getting my own parts. $708.88 + $293 parts

tomj76
11-01-2007, 04:36 PM
It really doesn't matter much how much you've put into it for maintance and repairs. It's worth is based on the supply of other similar vehicles and the demand for them.

Here's a tool I've used:
http://www.edmunds.com/used/1995/ford/windstar/index.html

searcherrr
11-02-2007, 12:13 AM
It really doesn't matter much how much you've put into it for maintance and repairs. It's worth is based on the supply of other similar vehicles and the demand for them.

Here's a tool I've used:
http://www.edmunds.com/used/1995/ford/windstar/index.html

Yeah, but you know man thats how the DEALERS operate and it isn't really realistic to common people. A vehicle can be worth a lot more to a given person than some dealer thinks its worth..... supply and demand for similar type vehicles I realize its there, but still fixed is fixed... like new is like new and just because of some blemishes people shouldn't be so quick to judge to negative... but I know.... thats not usually how people think and most of the time they do not have patience 1 to go over the details such as I.

Thanks for the links btw. I added that engine link to my chart of possible new engines and they rank pretty good. The only thing that concerns me is the rate of full core refund...I think the dude said something like it was freakin 30% got FULL core back and like 50% got $200 back and the rest whatever other combination of factors determined their refund or no refund at all of the core. In talking to my trusted shop they've told me many horror stories of engine reman factories LYING about the CORE upon receiving it.

tomj76
11-02-2007, 01:40 PM
I don't know if you have considered replacing the head yourself. It can be done without pulling the engine. Just remove the cowl first. It's not ideal to access, (I think it's your 1-2-3 bank) but it's very doable. I pulled the rocker arm cover on mine to address worn push rods, and did not have any problems. RockAuto offers a reconditioned head for $200, and the gaskets and bolts will run you under $100.

You'd have to remove the y-pipe first (from underneath) but that's not too bad either, provided the nuts and bolts can be turned. I had to remove mine at another time, and ran into problems. I had to heat the flange bolts with a propane torch to get them to come off.

I once purchased a complete head from a junk yard for $100 (4-cyl Escort) to repair a cracked head. For this and the extra cost of the head gasket kit ($40) I was able to repair the engine and drove it 3 more years before the rest of it fell apart.

It's a fairly big undertaking, although it could be done in one weekend if you had everything ready to go when you started, and didn't run into any problems. (BIG IFs) Just make sure that you either know what you're doing, or get a good DIY manual to help you along. As always, it helps if you can get some help from someone with experience.

If you go this route, make certain that you resolve the cooling problem ASAP.

searcherrr
11-02-2007, 07:38 PM
I don't know if you have considered replacing the head yourself. It can be done without pulling the engine. Just remove the cowl first. It's not ideal to access, (I think it's your 1-2-3 bank) but it's very doable. I pulled the rocker arm cover on mine to address worn push rods, and did not have any problems. RockAuto offers a reconditioned head for $200, and the gaskets and bolts will run you under $100.

You'd have to remove the y-pipe first (from underneath) but that's not too bad either, provided the nuts and bolts can be turned. I had to remove mine at another time, and ran into problems. I had to heat the flange bolts with a propane torch to get them to come off.

I once purchased a complete head from a junk yard for $100 (4-cyl Escort) to repair a cracked head. For this and the extra cost of the head gasket kit ($40) I was able to repair the engine and drove it 3 more years before the rest of it fell apart.

It's a fairly big undertaking, although it could be done in one weekend if you had everything ready to go when you started, and didn't run into any problems. (BIG IFs) Just make sure that you either know what you're doing, or get a good DIY manual to help you along. As always, it helps if you can get some help from someone with experience.

If you go this route, make certain that you resolve the cooling problem ASAP.

The cooling problem = Ford bad design.... but I know what you mean. LOL - I've lost too much patience to undertake such a thing myself. I realize and have full confidence that I could do it all on my own .... but I also know I'd be taking a chance that would be ALL that is wrong with the old engine. I realize you are trying to help and I appreciate it... and I actually HAD NOT considered doing it all myself.... though now that you mention it I know I could. There's no way I'd finish it in a weekend though... not with me.... whenever I do something like that the first time you can safe bet it'll take 3x as long if I'm doing it cause I double check to make sure everything I'm doing is right. I end up with a job well done in the end, but again this is a hit n miss issue. What if there are worn rods or cylinders themselves or some other weird ass thing..... and I didn't mention that I KNOW FOR A FACT I have an oil leak coming from the engine.... and I think its the crank.... it looks like a round gear with triangular teeth sticking out underneath.... thats where the oil is seeping out of.

I drove 2 newer Windstars today. 1 was a 57k miles 2003 LX w/ VCR and wonderful interior and exterior. The other was 48k 2000 SE and I drove with my Dad 80 miles to go see it. The 2003 LX drove noticeably smoother than the 2000 even though the 2000 was less miles. I tell you what .... the 2000 SE I saw was absolutely immaculate.... it was as if it rolled off the showroom floor!!!!!! BUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTT..... it had the erratic shifting motion in downshift especially that my 95 Windstar started having before the tranny was on its way out. I checked the tranny fluid on it after we took it down the road and it was slightly below the tip top level that it should be at..... but what i noticed was that the fluid was absolutely CLEAR and brand new. What I found odd was that the radiator coolant was as dirty as swamp water..... but the TRANNY fluid is brand new. AMAZING COINCIDENCE? I EVEN ASKED THEM TO CHECK FOR LEAKS BEFORE I WENT OVER THERE AND THEY OF COURSE SAID IT WAS FINE NOT THINKING THAT I'D GO LOOKING UNDERNEATH IT.... AND SURE ENOUGH THERE WAS FLUID (THIN FILM OF IT; SLOW LEAK) ALL OVER THE TRANNY PAN BOTTOM. Without getting under there and lighting around there's no way to be sure where its coming from... but in my 95 the thing that went out was the torque converter and the rest of the tranny too. I was so upset about this as I had really high hopes for this SE model cause it was soooooo well taken care of as it seemed... I mean it was gorgeous. I am however not so happy with how the SE or the LX got off the line. I swear to you guys I can peel out with my 1995 GL..... but why is that??????? The GL has less HP and less torque (slightly less torque) .... so I don't get it. The weird bobbing back and forth when you rev it in park to 4000rpms where it bobs back and forth from 3500 - 4000 rpms happens on ALL Windstars apparently cause I tried that on the LX and SE I drove and it used to do it too on my 95 GL till they replaced the water pump..... which is odd..... maybe a defect in the water pump for Windstars??? who knows......

The drive in the LX was great and smooth..... but it like the SE didn't get off the line as well as my 95 GL..... though I couldn't really SPORTS CAR drive it with the damn car saleswoman in the vehicle too. Though it seemed smooth and ran great to accel...it has power...... just didn't seem to accel AS FAST as my 95 GL... I don't know what this means or if its just an illusion or what. I really wanted the SE to be good to go...... we could purchase a Ford warranty.... but then I am starting all over again with repair work. I don't want to have to go through that again. The only thing that I can find wrong with the 2003 LX was the color.... WHITE..... BLAAAAAAAAAAaa...... Don't like White on a van.... too mommy for me.... but I can ignore it cause it was a great vehicle.

Both SE and LX will cost 8800 - 9000 in the end of it all.

New engine in my current van would be approximately $2400 - $3000 total.

Hmmmmmmmmmm...... Comments?!?!?

searcherrr
11-03-2007, 12:34 AM
Does anyone know if you'd lose the feeling of an additional 45 HP (in the 2nd gen Windstars 96-98 and 3rd gen 99-03) due to an added 304lbs (looked it up) of curb weight? It seems like this 304lbs would be noticeable , but that I should still notice a significant increase in power with an additional 45hp from my test drives today of the 2000 SE and 2003 LX models. I know this thread is all over the place, but I'd be interested to hear ya'lls opinions. This thread is coming to an end soon. :)

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