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Old 04-26-2010, 06:00 PM   #1
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Question Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

As title states, if someone could provide me that OEM part number for a 95 3.8L Windstar GL you'd be saving me a lot of time and trouble. Speed sensor went out on a very long trip and if you've been following my other very long thread about fixing my van you know what I've been through. Thanks. I have to go and can't find it right now. Hope someone can help me later.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:23 PM   #2
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Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

Mine went while I was on a mission trip in Tennessee.......103 degrees, 7 of us in the windstar, pulling utility trailer up that LONG steep hill out of Dunlop TN.....and the O/D light starts flashing.
"You picked a fine time to leave me now...................."

Fast forward to the next day......at Lane's Transmission shop outside Tracy City TN.......very nice and helpful folks.
They bought the part from the local auto part store.
He told me that he has gotten a few of them that are not correct for the Windstars.
He physically measured the new one vs the old one.
If you are in that area......that is the place to go for tranny help.

The dealership SHOULD be able to drill down to the CORRECT part using your VIN.

Take note......Vehicle Speed Sensor is located about the middle of the vehicle....above one of the catalytic converters......has a heat shield.
The guy that replaced mine (and he has done a few).....said that it is a job done by feel.......you remove the speedometer cable.......remove 1 bolt that holds it in place.....unplug 1 electrical connector, and remove.
Reverse process to install new one........nylon gear and maybe bracket needs to be moved from old one to new one.
Sounds easy......but location makes it not so easy.

For what it is worth......the OBDII code indicated defective Vehicle Speed Sensor.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:50 PM   #3
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Question Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

Are you sure its above one of the cats for my 95? A guy from a local sonic, who works on cars, helped me locate it and he said he thought it was on top of the tranny just under the air intake pipe. It looked like it had the cruise control cable attached to it... unless that was the speedo cable and I didn't realize it.

Do you think they go bad from having low transmission fluid? Even though I was within the 2 dots on the stick, it was about 1/5 - 1/4 low. I filled it first chance I could remember, but I guess I wasn't soon enough. Up and down hills without 100% fluid fill.... thats what I was thinking was the cause, because this was the first time I've driven it in mountainous areas since its been "mostly" fixed. I also heard a high pitched sound when I'd rev the engine only after it was driven many 100's of miles and that was making me wonder about my idle problem in the other thread (hairline vac leak in intake plenum(s)).... unless this was the sound of the vehicle speed sensor burnt out..... but I was at idle. I don't think the speed sensor would move at idle in park huh?
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:06 AM   #4
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Question Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

I am remote from my cd-rom manual, but tonight I gained remote access to it. Unfortunately (and as always) you are correct about the position of the vehicle speed sensor. I'm bummed, because I have none of my tools or lift stuff with me. I'm at my girlfriend's house and I have a 330 mile drive to get home (moving here in a few months). I drove it back to her house over 200 miles babying the throttle the whole time and as long as I was in gear above 50 mph on the road/interstate everything was fine (even gas mileage).

Do you think I could drive it home 330 miles in this condition and be ok or you think its possible it'll ruin the transmission or something? I ask cause of course at home i have the tools and lift capability that I don't have here and money is a concern (as always) at the moment.

EDIT: I remember you had a sensor go out on your mission trip with 7 people. I didn't realize it was a speed sensor. I wonder if there is some issue with Windstar's speed sensors and going up/down mountainous areas. Now that I realize the sensor is on the bottom of the tranny my thought about the fluid being low when I thought it was on top the tranny doesn't seem to fit.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:56 PM   #5
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Question Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

One thing I meant to ask - when you were stuck in TN, did the guy replace the sensor without removing the exhaust?

The OFFICIAL instructions say to remove the exhaust Ypipe to replace the VSS. I'm of course hoping that doesn't have to happen. Anybody?
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:27 PM   #6
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Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

I just remembered that somebody once did a write-up on replacing the VSS - it was glennet404, and you'll find it here. Doesn't really seem like the kind of job you'd want to be tackling when away from home though.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:48 PM   #7
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Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

It was replaced with the "Y" pipe in place.......we had to wait for the catalytic converter to cool down.......and you are hugging it.

The mechanic removed the big flex hose that goes from the throttle body to the air cleaner.....below that is a joint in the speedometer cable.......and he disconnected that.
You should be able to do the job with the front wheels up on ramps......but.....like I mentioned....he told me that he was going "by feel" as he could not see the bolt that he was working with.

He did mention that some vehicles requre the "Y" pipe to be removed.....then went under mine, and felt around and told me that we were lucky.

He had his lifts occupied with other vehicles......so he just jacked up the front.....laid on his back on the floor and did the repair.

In a pinch, you could have a local shop do the job also.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:21 PM   #8
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Talking Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

Thanks Guys.

Well, I'm going to take the instructions over to the shop I've decided on and state that I don't want the exhaust removed and that I need to know they are comfortable doing the job by feel only. They'll have a rack to lift it on etc...

Selectron - I took a look at that other guy's method, and frankly you end up with the same end result... doing it by feel. Since I'm far away from home away from a shop I somewhat trust I don't think I like the idea of them dismounting the engine to replace the VSS. It is a viable 2nd method though, but not for me.

Relating to my other "Attempts..." extremely long thread - I still think I have an electrical problem in the van. Either the culprit gas MPG bad ground caused the VSS to go bad, or it being less than 20k miles old from Autozone... it just went bad, or maybe it was poor quality from day 1 and is contributing to my rough idle problems. Still, when I get home I plan to do the voltage drop tests etc.. and if I find irregularities I'm gonna replace a few cables and add a "ground cable network" that I've come up with to hopefully solve this once and for all.
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:28 PM   #9
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Question Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

Wiswind - and anyone else - Why do you think the picture of the speed sensor is so dramatically mismatched (from Delphi to the others) on RockAuto's web site?

Is the Delphi an alternative? I don't even see how it would fit right at all though.

Is that a magnetic speed sensor vs a motorized one? Wouldn't a magnetic be better?

The same variance is listed for the 96's and up too. Since I can't directly link to RockAuto's here are the 2 different ones I'm talking about on Orielly's:

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...e+speed+sensor

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...e+speed+sensor

What is the difference in "INPUT SIDE" vs "OUTPUT SIDE" ? Are their 2 vehicle speed sensor components? What am I missing?
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:25 PM   #10
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Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

Pictures shown on online parts stores are often "stock" photos to show a representative part......the one you get may look different.

The VSS drives the speedometer cable........and has an electrical output.
I do not know if there is a different part for electronic speedometer vs mechanical.

When mine failed, I think it was intermittent.....sometimes worked....and sometimes did not...
Although....it seemed to be getting more toward the not.
It came up on a Thursday afternoon when we were on the way back from a worksite.......then it started acting up the next morning.
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Links to my pictures, intended as an aid, not a replacement for, a good repair manual.
1996 3.8L Windstar
http://www.flickr.com/photos/4157486...092975/detail/
2003 Toyota Sienna pictures (not much there yet)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/4157486...781661/detail/
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:55 PM   #11
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Lightbulb Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

I know what the difference is. One pictured is the TSS and the other longer one is the VSS. I just saw pictures of the 2 in the cd-rom manual, so that must be what it is. They just don't differentiate between the 2 in the listing on RockAuto or anywhere else (IE: Orielly's) other than to say "INPUT" or "OUTPUT".
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:04 PM   #12
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Question Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

Any of you think the TCS (overdrive button) could cause the VSS to go out? I never use it and I started using it during this trip in Arkansas hills in and around Hot Springs and shortly thereafter is when the VSS went out.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:51 PM   #13
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Question Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

Last question - Do any of ya'll think that the 3rd party VSS' are better than buying Motorcraft/FORD brand? I'm just thinking that if the FORD ones were never updated to be better that maybe the 3rd party ones were. Usually I opt for FORD since all the problems I've had, but just was wondering if ya'll have an opinion there.

IE: Anyone got a 3rd party VSS in theirs that hasn't gone out yet? If so what brand?

My choices are Motorcraft/Ford, BWD, SMP, Airtex, Master Pro Ignition, Pioneer & Wells.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:54 PM   #14
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Question Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

I went with BWD - Didn't realize it was Borg Warner till the guy on the phone said so and he was like, "Are you sure you want Motorcraft?" - LOL - Maybe that was a sales tactic, but I went for it along with a lifetime warranty, which the Motorcraft one doesn't have.
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Old 04-29-2010, 07:54 PM   #15
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Re: Need your help: What is part number for Vehicle Speed Sensor 95 3.8L Windstar GL

I know that the one that was put in mine was aftermarket....but I don't remember what brand it was.
I was a bit stressed out......as I was to drive from 2 hours south of Nashville to Milwaukee the next day with my youth group....pulling a trailer.....and it was shifting strange and giving me a blinking O/D light.
So....I was thinking......gotta check it out....fix or find a van to rent.
I got off easy with it just being the VSS.
As for the life of the VSS.....I don't know if I ended up with a new one when the tranny was replaced with a FORD Remanufactured one in 2001, at about 100K miles on the vehicle.
That would have been the only time that it might have been changed......vehicle is over 220K miles now.
I don't know that using the O/D light would do anything to the VSS......

What you mention about the length makes me think that this is why the mechanic compared the length of the replacement VSS with the one that he took off of my vehicle.
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1996 3.8L Windstar
http://www.flickr.com/photos/4157486...092975/detail/
2003 Toyota Sienna pictures (not much there yet)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/4157486...781661/detail/
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