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Ford Windstar Blown head gasket

03-02-2008, 01:33 PM
Here's the deal. I woke up to go to work today and started my 97 Windstar. At first it jerked like I may have locked up the engine. It didn't start. I waited a minute and then started it fine. It ran rough like it always does in, in town traffic, on the highway it runs fine. the engine light was blinking. anyway, i got about 2 miles up the road and seen it was smoking real bad. i took it home and got my wife's car. im catching h#@@ for that one now but thats a different story. anyway here is the symptoms:

smoking through the tailpipe
a loose watery substance (looks like a mixture of oil and antifreeze) coming from the tailpipe.

i put alot of water in it to fill the radiator (its kinda warm today)
and its running rough.

also inside the oil fill cap is a gunking green kinda substance.

also this morning when i drove it home it was going past the halfway point on the temp gauge.

help, please. any suggestions?

03-02-2008, 05:14 PM
I am not a mechanic, and there is no way that I can diagnose this over the take this for what it is opinion based upon a lot of internet reading....and my experience with my 1996 3.8L windstar.

The head gaskets were a major issue with the 1995 3.8L windstar.
They were greatly improved after that.
Not that they cannot fail, but a MUCH more common failure is the lower intake manifold gaskets.
This is easy to mis-diagnose as a head gasket failure, as the coolant leaks into the intake manifold....and is drawn into the cylinders.
A head gasket job includes new lower intake manifold gaskets.

FORD has improved the lower intake manifold gaskets, and the new FORD gaskets will be the improved ones.
I have pictures posted in the pictures that the link in my signature takes you to, that show what is involved in replacing the lower intake manifold gaskets.
The UPPER intake manifold gaskets are re-usable....and are pretty good.
The upper intake manifold is the black nylon part of the intake.

The LOWER intake manifold gaskets are NOT re-usable...and MUST be replaced when the lower intake manifold is removed from the head.
The lower intake manifold is alluminum, and contains the IMRC butterflies, has the thermostat, EGR valve, and has the fuel rail bolted to it.

To have the job done should be about $450 to $550, including the parts, about $50.

When this job is done you MUST change the oil and oil filter as there is no way to do this without getting a lot of coolant into the crankcase.

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