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Ford 3.8L 6 cyl question...Desperate!!


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07-01-02, 12:27 PM   #1  
Ford 3.8L 6 cyl question...Desperate!!

Hello. I am brand new to this Forum. I really like it so far. I have just bought a new home, and am looking forward to fixing it up

Anyway, as many of you might be aware, the famed 3.8L 6 from Ford is famous for blowing out the head gasket. Mine did so in my 94 T Bird.

I finished replacing the head gasket on my 94 3.8 liter.

There is a small heater pipe that snaps into the top of the water pump, this pipe is aluminum where it goes into the water pump, after that it snakes under the upper intake to the back of the engine. No matter what I do, this will NOT seat flush with the water pump. I shoved a screw driver through it trying to seat it, then had that welded, and brought it back, but messed it up again with the other tools I was using to seat it.

What am I doing wrong, how do you get this stupid pipe seated? Would it be easier to block off the whole on the top of the water pump? what would do that easily. I can forgo the heater here in Cali if I have to. Any experts here who have delt with this directly? Thanks for the help, I am quite desperate here.

 
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07-01-02, 06:10 PM   #2  
Joe_F
Poor guy doesn't learn with three FoMoCo products . Lol...

J/k

Is it a hose you're trying to reseat or a rigid pipe? Have you checked with the Ford dealer's parts dept for an exploded view to make sure you are not missing/damaged something?

Have you tried to tap it into place with a socket? Try hitting it with WD40 and tapping it into place. Be careful, it's likely aluminum and might break easy.

Another fine idea from the Ford Motor Company . Lol.

 
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07-01-02, 07:22 PM   #3  
This is a solid rigid aluminum pipe that snaps directly into a hole on the top of the water pump. The pipe immediately branches off into a y, one end snaking under the upper intake, and the other end going to an inlet at the front of the engine. This leaves no room to tap it with a with a socket, or anything else. I experemented with my whole toolbox. End result was crushing the pipe. I wish I had a digital camera, but I don't.

I am going to have to agree with you, Joe about the Fomoco cars(modern ones that is) My mustang has 172k miles on it, and still pulls a 14 second stock quarter mile time, and never breaks down. I bought this tbird in a crunch, and said to myself that Ford cannot build anything less than a v8, boy was I right. With less than 100k on it I went through 2 liquid filled motor mounts, transmission, alternator, alignment probs, Head gasket...etc.

I got off the subject. If I can find a pic I will post it, unfortunetly this is one of those things that is meant to bring you back to the Ford Dealership.

 
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07-02-02, 12:10 AM   #4  
knuckles
Here's an exploded view. What part are you talking about?


 
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07-02-02, 09:04 AM   #5  
That is not entirely correct. My water pump has a hole in the top where those 2 small pipes are in that picture. The tube snaps into that hole into the water pump. I have found a 3.8 liter site with a message board. I have posted there as well, if anyone has a picture, I will post to show you how messed up ford is.

 
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07-02-02, 09:35 AM   #6  
Joe_F
Eek, a 3.8 liter message site. Must be a ton of griping there. Lol. 3.8 Fords are heaps .

Question: How did this piece get removed?

 
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07-02-02, 09:44 AM   #7  
I blew a head gasket on the 3.8. In fact, ford has a recall on all those motors for bad head gaskets, but I "missed" their cutoff by a few days(I had the Tuesday motor).

Since this piece snakes over the upper intake, it is one of the almost hundreds of pieces I had to remove to complete my head gasket job. I saved myself 2500$, the car runs great now(nevermind that that cats and o2 sensors got messed up from coolant in the pipe) but that piece keeps me from going anywhere.

BTW, these people are serious at that 3.8 site!! I almost posted a message asking if they were all on crack or something, but I was afraid I might not get a response to my post.

 
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07-02-02, 09:50 AM   #8  
Joe_F
Well I suppose for each his/her own. If I owned a 3.8 Ford, I wouldn't be bragging about it. It's nothing to write home about. In fact, it's one of Ford's worst motor. The smaller 3.0 in the Taurus is better than this "upgraded" 3.8 in the same platform...but the trannies on 3.0 Taurus engines puke out.

Never liked Ford. Junk from the beginning, still the same now. Lackluster quality, poorly screwed together, servicing them is a pain, they are complex for no reason but for the sake of complexity and in my opinion, their styling is terrible.

My .02, but anyway, back to your problem.

Are you sure this piece isn't part of a new water pump? Perhaps it's cracked off on yours? Does it look like it presses on? Again, how did you remove it from the block/pump? Pull it out? Was it a tight fit? That would be a clue as to how it goes. I suggest for a giggle, you look at a new Ford 3.8 water pump in the parts store and make sure it's not part of the pump! .

 
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07-02-02, 10:43 AM   #9  
The piece is not cracked or broken, and in fact has a flange with a bolt on it, it is supposed to bolt down as soon as it is seated properly, It was a real Bear to get out.

That is a wonderful idea about looking at a new one. I am going to go to a part store and take a look at a new water pump, and examine a new pump. I am going to get additional help this weekend on it. I am going to borrow a digital camera and take pics for you as I complete it, to show you this thing.

I have had nothing but good luck with all ford v8 products. I would buy any ford with a v8 without giving a second thought. However, based on the track record of my Bro's escort and this t bird, I would not curse my worst enemy with having to drive a non-v8 ford product.

 
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07-02-02, 10:48 AM   #10  
Joe_F
Ok.

If I I've got what you are talking about right, I BELIEVE it is part of the new water pump and in such case yours might be broken .

As for Ford V8/non V8, all of them are second rate to me compared to any GM, and GM has always been the world's #1 car maker for a reason. I'd put any GM six against any Ford six and put any GM 4 cylinder against a comparable four of Fords.

While the 8's are GM's strength, Ford has been lackluster throughout the whole line. The 4.6 that replaced the 5.0 is a notorious oil burner. Another thing Ford should have left alone. The 5.0 was fine as is but was criticized as being "low technology".

At least it didn't burn oil. Quality Job 1 on the 4.6? Not .

My .02

 
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07-02-02, 10:52 AM   #11  
jthompson

You mentioned a recall. Where did you get the information on that. I have checked the NHTSA web site and found nothing on it or ALLDATA.

And yes, Joe, I still haven't done anything about mine yet.

 
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07-02-02, 10:56 AM   #12  
I believe the tube is part of the pump, it has been pressed in at the factory. You may be able to clean the debris out of the hole and get a new nipple and drive it in using a piece of wood (2 x 4). You have to get seated in the hole pretty good as you are dealing with water pressure, heat (expansion/contraction) and vibration of the engine.
Depending on what all you have to take off, it may be better to just replace the water pump. However, being a Ford owner myself, I know in order to make a simple repair requires hours of planning and removal of misc. components to get to the required area. Not the best design, but hey, I'm not walking! On the other hand, if it wasn't for the wife's Tempo, I wouldn't know as much about cars as I do....everyday is a learning experance!!

 
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07-02-02, 11:00 AM   #13  
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I don't think there IS one on the rear drive 3.8's.

The last article I read some time ago stated that Ford felt the rear drive 3.8s had different cooling paths and were not affected by the recall. Bull buscuits I say (Hello Smokey ), same vin code 4, 3.8 engine. Not worth a darn conventionally or transversely mounted.

Not a bad looking car, but lackluster. I think if I had one, I would bury it in the bottom of the Atlantic. Probably not from the car, but the frustration of dealing with Ford and the attitude they seem to take. Might be the reason they are #2 and not #1 . Lol.

I believe if you search high and low you will find indication that all the 3.8's like this are affected, but FoMoCo is only extending the warranty on the front drivers. Knuckles might drop by again later with his .02.

As I said, my sister had one of these Thunderbombs, I mean Thunderbirds, and I didn't shed a single tear when it left her driveway some two years ago.

When the seller asked my sister if she had any bills and paperwork to go with the car, my sister smiled, handed the lady an organized folder of everything and said, "My brother has serviced this car from day 1. If it's not in there, it wasn't done". My sister floored the lady who tried to get one over on her by asking for the window sticker.

My sister promptly pulled it out, preserved from 1990 in plastic along with the original dealer invoice and told the woman if she was going to tire kick that there were five other people behind her that wanted the car. The price was the price . Lol.

 
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07-02-02, 06:28 PM   #14  
It takes a lot of dedication to be that immaculate with a car, and save everything. I'd be lucky if i could find the receipt the same day I bought something.

Although I can't tell you a specific web site to go to for recall info, just type in ford 3.8 in a search engine, and watch all the stuff that comes up!! Rear wheel drives were covered-my sis had one done by the factory in her 95 mustang 3.8 liter. I called the dealer, and they verified that t-birds count too. Call up any service dept at a ford dealership and give them your vin, and they will tell you if your car applies. If you have over 100k on the odometer, forget it.

I received an answer on the 3.8 liter mustang forum. They told me to tap it in with a screwdriver...hmmm, that is what got me into the mess this first time. I will keep people updated when I fix it, and should be able to come up with a pic

 
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07-02-02, 06:39 PM   #15  
Joe_F
Another bright idea from the Ford Motor Company...ahem .

Try using the hex end of a deep socket, WD40'ing the piece and tapping it in place. That way it will be even and likely go in flush. What a gazorch of a thing! Lol.

 
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07-03-02, 09:31 AM   #16  
I have got my father in on this one now, he is scouring the junkyards as we speak for another piece. If we have to, we are going to do this the way it should have been--we will tap it and drill threads into the water pump, and fit it with a custom piece, then attach hoses to that. However, I think another junkyard doner will do the trick--he seems to have much more patience than me. I will update. Thanks again

 
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07-03-02, 07:37 PM   #17  
knuckles
I have got my father in on this one now...--he seems to have much more patience than me.
LOL

Parenthood will do that to ya. Or it'll drive you insane.

 
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07-05-02, 06:00 AM   #18  
Joe_F
Lol. I agree. Any update on the situation or what the part is/how it goes in?

Again, if it is actually part of the pump itself, it either comes with the new pump or it should go in rather easily. Did you go to a parts store and ask to see what a pump for your car looks like to compare it?

If it turns out to be part of the pump, bite the bullet and change it. After that amount of work, don't skimp on a 35 dollar part that may cause you to do all the work over again.

Or cause you to hack the thing to pieces with a pickaxe out of frustration

 
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07-05-02, 10:42 AM   #19  
It is not part of the pump, it is an entirely seperate tube designed(supposedly) to come up and out, and go back in. the whole tube is probably a foot and a half long.

We went to all ford wrecking and coughed up the extra $$$ for a new/used one. Considering they only put this style tube on from 94-97 3.8 liters, from what we found out. Tube cost us 50$!! We have talked to multiple people now, and it should just slip in. Ok...no prob

My father and I are going to do it on Sun. I feel funny saying my father and I(considering I am 28) but what the hell, he builds f-18's for Northrup, and is fully ase certified on the side. Man, he can do anything-is good to have someone like that to fall back on..I will update this on Sun. I will take pics to show everyone I am not crazy...But no dig. Camera...till then
Jeremy

 
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07-05-02, 10:46 AM   #20  
Joe_F
I'm sure your dad is more than happy to help. Wish I still had mine, he passed in 1988 .

He was great help and very handy. So, this is a good father/son bonding project .

 
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07-06-02, 02:01 PM   #21  
I know exactly about the tube your talking about and have had to replace a few myself in the shop.I usually put a little trans gel,or any slick stuff on the end to help it start into the pump.
But as you've already found out some of them just won't go back in.I believe you won't have any problem with the new one though!!

 
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07-07-02, 10:20 PM   #22  
ok......

The funny part was how amazed the ford guy was at the salvage yard how hard that tube was to get out. He just could not believe it.

The upside: I have a very nice kenwood mp3 stereo in that tbird(which I miss very very much) I put in a cd, and was listening to hours of nonstop blues and pink floyd. ( It took the whole sunday)

This Heater tube WILL NOT come out or go in without removing the following items: The entire upper intake manifold, egr, fuel rails with injectors, and all related vaccuum hoses. Ok fine, be that way. We took all that stuff off.

In order to get the new tube in, it has to be positioned in exactly the right angle(perfectly engineered fit of course), so we actually had to bend the egr pipe out of the way because it was too tight to remove on the bottom end. (It took us an hour and a half to get that damn egr tube at the right angle to thread back in!!)

That tube is stubborn. Once again we beat on it with everything in the tool chest that had a blunt end. We took careful measures to not bang it up anywhere that might hurt it. After an hour and change, and much much hammering we got the tube fully seated into the water pump. WHEW!!

we buttoned everything back up. My father brought his radiator pressure checker with him. We pumped that system up and....there goes ol' faithful again!!!! This time we punctured a nice hole into the back of the tube. DAMN.

resolution:
Tomorrow I am going to the parts store to check out the pre-94 water pumps. They look like the diagram posted above with the 2 water outlets which makes a lot more sense. IF and a big IF everything else is the same, we will just change out the water pump and design the car to work with that water pump.

My father is going to look into what is used in the field to seat this professionally, and scour all-data which he has access to.

finally, we might tap and thread the water pump and make a custom nipple and insert for this application and make it work our own damn way.

Of all the hundreds of cars he has worked on, I asked him if this was the worst. He said, no my 72 courier was. That car was a factory lemon, which makes my tbird bad!

Was this a bonding project? who the hell knows, The 2 of us spent the last 6 months fixing the head gasket on this car. (at a leisurly pace, only a few hours a week.

I am so fed up.. I just don't know what to do. I thank God that my ol trustly 5.0 mustang has not departed this earth after 172k of hard driven miles.

My suggestion to everyone is to NEVER EVER pick up any Ford with this engine, even if the car is given to you free.

 
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07-08-02, 03:30 AM   #23  
Joe_F
Oh man! I tuned up my cousin's 1993 Taurus yesterday. He asked, "How long will it take, a few hours?". I told him "Allot the whole day for this one". He looked at me puzzled, but said, "OK"

It went without a hitch, but my cousin even said, "I"m convinced if there's a way to screw it up, Ford will find it".

I laughed so hard, I couldn't turn the rachet handle. Lol. It wasn't even me that said it! Lol.

With that being said, make sure there is not an updated tube from Ford or some bulletin on this problem from Alldata.

I agree with you. The one Ford that someone gave me for free back in 1989 when I was in HS was promptly sold the next day for 300 bucks. I had no intention of keeping it ever. It was a POS and not worth a nickel when my friend bought it, which he quickly realized. Lol.

My .02

 
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09-22-02, 10:47 AM   #24  
FIXED:

As I kind of noted in another Forum we fixed this problem. I am writing this for anyone who ever might come across a similar event.

I was able to fix that stupid tube problem essentially by sort of redesigning it all. Grab a pump from a 93 or older tbird (3.8 L). The 93 and older water pumps have two male outlets for the heater hoses instead of a single hole for that retarted tube. The pump is an exact fit. The original small heater hose that came off the tube and went into the intake, will just slide onto the male end of the water pump. Grab a section of heater hose, and run it from the other tube coming off the water pump and run it to its home near the back of the intake. I had to loop it around the big upper radiator hose to keep it from kinking. Mickey mouse? Yes, does it work? Yes. Eventually, I will go to the junk yards, and pick up the official parts off a donar car to complete this conversion.

Unfortunetly you will need to rip apart half the front end to get the water pump on and off, and the upper intake manifold needs to come off.

My father fixed the holes in the upper intake egr area that we stripped out with a thread chaser.

For the first time in 7 months I am finally driving a car I owe $6 g on in payments. It is wonderful. The car rides like a 50,000 lexus, and is smoooooooth. ( alright I got used to the suspension from my mustang gt) You know, set aside from the head gasket problem, those 3.8 L 's are alright. They run great, burn no oil, are reliable, and get great fuel economy.

 
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