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Ford Windstar 3.8L


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04-11-03, 07:39 PM   #1  
Mojo700
Ford Windstar 3.8L

I have a 1995 Ford Windstar with a 3.8 Liter V6. The engine is bad, and I am looking to buy a used motor out of a salvage vehicle. The 1995-1997 Windstar are the same, but I have been told that the 1998 Windstar 3.8L is a different engine. Does anyone know for certain, that the motor from a 1998 cannot be installed into a '95-97 model? There are lots more of the 1998 engines available with less miles too, but if it's impossible to swap, I'll have to find a '95-97. I'm a first-timer here at the site, nice place, really a ton of useful information, I can tell that I will be spending way to much time here. Thanks for any help, Mojo.

 
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04-11-03, 11:51 PM   #2  
With a salvage motor you never know what you are getting, it a good place to start if you plan on rebuilding the motor before you drop it in, but they cant be relied on. With a little more money up front you can get a new or remanufactured motor that you know will last and that comes with some time of guarantee. In the long run you would be money ahead to not buy a ď?Ē mark. The company that supplies the new or re-man motor should be able to tell you what exactly that particular motor will fit.

 
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04-12-03, 09:50 AM   #3  
Joe_F
I agree with Weld. The Windstar is a lackluster van, now is the time to cut your losses and step up to something better before putting money into a money pit in my belief.

Have you tried to get Ford to eat part of the repair? Ford might bite since the 3.8 had a lot of head gasket problems.

 
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04-12-03, 06:43 PM   #4  
Mojo700
Yeah, no doubt the Windstar is a lackluster van, but I got it for $1000 a year and a half ago with 120K on it. It now has 153K so I don't think Ford is gonna help, and since crank bearing was problem, not really related to head gasket, it'd be hard to show a relationship between the two. My wife likes having a van, and for what I've got into this one, I'm still ahead even with putting a motor in it now. I just would like to put as little as possible into it so that it doesn't become a money pit. I'm finding engines with 70 or 80K from total wrecks for $800, and I think that's quite a bit less than a rebuilt motor. Jasper wants $2300 for a remanufactured 3.8L with a 3/36 warranty. Other local rebuilt motors are around $1800 with a 6 month warranty. I think an 80K motor from a wreck with a 60 day warranty is a pretty fair deal after saving $1000 over rebuilt. I just thought if I can get a '98 motor I can get one with 40K for closer to $700, but not sure if I can make it fit. Thanks for the replies guys.

 
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04-12-03, 08:58 PM   #5  
Joe_F
You're not saving anything with those used motors. Remember, the 3.8 is crap FIXED, it's surely worse and a gamble in a used motor, being that it likely has the same head gasket problems as most 3.8's do.

Buying a new or rebuilt motor means that you get the enhancements made and improvements (if you call them that) over the original problems the 3.8L had in original configuration.

If the van is worth fixing, it's worth a new/rebuilt motor. A used motor is a gamble which will net you double labor when (not if) it goes bad.

 
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04-14-03, 05:04 PM   #6  
I aggree with all the above-speaking from experience.

The 3.8L truly was Fords worst engine (coming froma ford guy)

all 3.8L's up until the model year 1999 blow head gaskets. This is a documented certified problem, and has had recalls ---good luck getting ford to do it though.

Any motor you pick up from the junkyards will come with a head gasket waiting to go, and it usually happens between 80 and 120k.

If the van is truly worth fixing, get a remanufactured or nothing

 
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04-14-03, 06:54 PM   #7  
I wish I knew if this 98' engine would fit or not cause i'd tell you. It's nice to know the downside of buying a used engine but that's not what he's asking if he wants to put the junkyard engine in his van it's his choice. Would be nice if someone would just answer the question for him now that you've given your warnings and useful opinions.

 
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04-15-03, 02:47 AM   #8  
Really the only way to tell is to go down and buy a tape measure and measure the motorís. Look at the transmission bolt patterns, and count splines, fly wheel size, and compare. Then you have to research to find out if the computers are the same or if you will need a swap. All of the 3.8ís have ICMís built in the PCM. So if it dose not work your whole PCM will have to be replaced. $$$$$

 
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04-15-03, 05:41 AM   #9  
Joe_F
Mattison:

Part of answering the question is giving advice. The advice given here is solid. Putting a used engine in this vehicle is a waste of time and a time bomb.

The used 3.8 WILL blow the head gasket again causing double labor. You might get a year out of it, you might get a day.

As for swapping the engines and what is compatible, you have OBDII issues to deal with so the answer is likely no. Calibrations of emissions differ year to year, as do some pieces of the basic engine. A Hollander Interchange manual at a salvage yard will answer this poster's question. A 3.8 of any vintage is crap, no matter what the year, so you're not gaining by using a 1998 over a 1995, over a 1996. You're in the same boat.

As noted by myself and others, the only way to go is rebuilt here.

 
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04-15-03, 06:44 AM   #10  
Joe, I have alot of respect for your knowledge and no doubt this is not a wise choice. But apparently after hearing the warnings he still wanted to do the swap and just wanted to know if it would fit or not.

 
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04-15-03, 07:55 AM   #11  
Joe_F
Which was provided by me . Seek the information found in the Hollander Interchange manual, that says what is compatible with what on the salvage level.

 
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04-15-03, 09:33 PM   #12  
Mojo,if it were me i'd visit or call your local ford dealer and see if there is a difference.The block and heads might be the same while your intake system,wiring ,etc,. would probably be different due to the newer computer systems on the 98.The dealer can tell you for sure.Price there engines to get them to do the leg work if you know what i mean.Another idea too would be an engine from a Ford taurus.The Windstar is basically just a van body on a Taurus subframe.engine,transmission,and all.

 
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04-16-03, 05:28 PM   #13  
Mojo700
I really do appreciate the info guys. I guess I didn't think that the 3.8 was as bad as you guys are making it out to be since I got 153K on mine before it died, but I guess if I am going to keep the van for a while, I should fix it so it'll last. Well what are your thoughts on swapping a 3.0 in it? It would just be a LOT easier for me to put 1000-1200 dollars into the pit than $2500 right now. I also find it strange that most rebuilt engines only have a 6 month warranty, and Jasper is the only one I've found with a 36 month warranty (or 36K miles - which is about 18 months for my wife) but Jasper is about $500 more, so are you just paying for the odds that it won't break in that time, or does Jasper actually make a better engine? How about buying a used motor from a wreck and having the head gasket replaced before installing it? Is there an improved head gasket available that could be installed? Are there other major issues with the 3.8? Well you guys have got me thinkin' anyway. Thanks again, Mojo.

 
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04-17-03, 03:43 AM   #14  
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Mojo:

I believe the forum has answered all of these in prior posts.

1) Any used engine is a gamble. Anything from a taillight guarantee to 30 days. Your risk. Knowing the 3.8's history, you are taking a LARGE gamble. There are reasons why the junkyards are piled with 3.8's.

2) If the van is worth keeping, it's worth a rebuilt engine with all of the improvements. If it's really worth keeping, a Ford FQR engine is the worthy choice---most updated and probably best warranty.

3) Bear in mind that doing this job twice means double labor if you get a bad used engine.

4) If the rest of the van is so-so, putting a new engine into it, or even a used one is a waste of money. The tranny is iffy on these early Windstars.

5) Yes, a 3.0 swap is possible, but is an electronics nightmare and not recommended.

If it were my own vehicle, I would put a rebuilt.

 
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04-17-03, 11:40 PM   #15  
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Swapping a 3.0 would be more hassle and more money than simply buying a reman 3.8L and installing it or having it installed by a pro.

Your local AC-Delco dealer can provide you with a reman engine with a 3/36 or 3/50 parts and labor warranty.

gmpartsdirect.com sells the Windstar 3.8L for $1790.15 + a $288 refundable core charge.

Ford FQR engines are available from your local Ford dealer with a similar warranty at comparable prices.

 
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