To you 3.8L guru's - TCCoA Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2006, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 91
To you 3.8L guru's

To you 3.8L guru's

Way back in the day my friend bought an 88 Bird with the 3.8 in her. Sure she had 150,000 apx. But overall my friend and i were never really happy with the motor or transmission. Long story short, and 3 Birds later, we both own 4.6's and one 5.0 ..

now, I found an 89-93 bird with a 3.8 in her with aroudn the same miles, as of today I havnt heard her fire or run, i plan on doing that tommorow. Bodys in good shape so it has thaqt going for her, but im wary of miles. the intertiors shot, smeels liek somethign died twice in there.

So i ask you , would you reccommend this engine to your grandma? perhaps your pregger sick sister? Or is my assumption correct by saying this engine is crap?.. I thank you for letting me rant.

97LTDBIRD is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2006, 06:27 AM
MA Chapter Director

Rodeo Joe's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Franklin, MA
Age: 63
Posts: 7,970
Originally Posted by 97LTDBIRD
Or is my assumption correct by saying this engine is crap?
The older ones had issues with the head gaskets and at only 140 hp, you won't be going anywhere in a hurry.


It's not a 97 Sport, it just looks like one!

Mass. TCCoAers, Send me your info!

I buy all my Ford parts from 93 lx.

Member of the TCCoA Damage Control Team.

R.I.P. Johnny Langton 1975 - 2011
Rodeo Joe is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2006, 12:04 PM
Iowa Chapter Director
Uber Luber
TCCoAAC Member
Thomas's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ames, Iowa
Age: 35
Posts: 8,978
it would probably be fine if you make sure the cooling system is always in good shape, and all the hoses and belt are in good shape also. It's usually only when the engine overheats that it blows the HG, but if it does overheat, it WILL blow the HG. Broken hose, belt, waterpump, stuck thermostat, etc.

1988 Notch Mustang: - 438W, direct port n2o, t56
2003 SVT Focus: - SCT X3 tuner
Thomas is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-02-2006, 09:51 PM
Seasoned PostWhore
The Stevinator's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Houston
Age: 35
Posts: 2,659
Send a message via AIM to The Stevinator
i would say at that mileage, unless your grandmother is an avid mechanic, it's not for her. these are gear head cars i've come to learn.
The Stevinator is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2006, 01:58 AM
Seasoned PostWhore
bowez's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NEAR
Posts: 2,472
The only way I'd recomend a Pre 96 3.8 with high mileage to a non-gearhead is if it had 96+/SC heads on it.

But honestly your talking a AOD and 93 3.8 with 150k miles on it. Not the kind of vehicle for your average American (they just want to get in and drive, and not worry about tranny life, coolant age or how much gas is in the tank).

If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

93 SC Tbird
MPII w/ Plenum,90mm MAF, 85mm TB, 40# Injectors, 255 lph FP, Double IC w/fan, SCT Chip (Tuned by Jerry),3/4" Raised Top, F52-TT TC, SilverFox AOD 550, SPT-R VB
96 1/2 XR7 Sold and Salvaged
93 5.0 Tbird
bowez is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2006, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,921
tyhe 3.8L is pretty much a pullet proof engine 200K+ miles except for the headgaskets.
rancherlee is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2006, 01:39 PM
Seasoned PostWhore
The Stevinator's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Houston
Age: 35
Posts: 2,659
Send a message via AIM to The Stevinator
yeah, i've had mine for 5 years, and the guy before me rebuilt the motor. new years eve i hit 200,000 miles. though the engine probably has more on it. because he had to replace the odometer at the time of the rebuild which was ~100k. but like thomas said, gotta keep that cooling system in check. if you don't you'll regret it big time.
The Stevinator is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-2006, 01:51 PM
Seasoned PostWhore
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tucson AZ
Age: 49
Posts: 3,726
Like everyone else said, I only have 160k miles on mine, it starts up immediately, doesn't smoke or use oil, had to replace the head gaskets, but don't know if that was cause or effect (the hose to the overflow maybe came off, so it is possible it was dumping coolant out that and eventually ran low, causing it to overheat, or from the design and aluminum heads on cast iron block the gaskets wore out), and the AOD, but that also went out in a spectacular fashion (emergency stopping from 85 MPH with an Explorer cart wheeling towards me on the interstate, guy behind me doesn't start slowing, I have to go off the side of the road, decelerating and braking on the serious rumble strips, then no more OD).

I have no problem with my wife and two kids getting in and driving it, it doesn't do long trips but that is because we have a 2000 Grand Marquis for that, but I wouldn't hesitate to take it on a 2k mile trip in the heat of the summer or anytime or weather. I wouldn't likely buy it for her to drive though, but since I have had it for 11 years, I know everything about it, no real suprises. I would probably buy some econobox craptacular car like a 3 year old Taurus or Corolla if I was buying for someone like that.

Since I took the time to do the head gaskets, and took it in the shorts with the AOD, I am keeping it around and on the street for as long as I can. I am even going to put money in it, and I put the 16 inch 7 spoke Cougar Sport wheels (early XR7 wheels) on it from my 97. I still drive it as much as I do as the 97, it is a dream to drive compared to even 2 year old economy cars.

97 Mark VIII LSC/Silver/Gray leather
97 Cougar 4.6 Sport/White Opalescent Tricoat Metallic /Gray leather down but not out?
89 Cougar LS 3.8/Oxford White/Gray velour/HG need replaced AGAIN
00 Grand Marquis LS/Vibrant White/Gray velour
63 Falcon 302/black and rust/shed isn't moving
82 F-150/Oxford White/dumb VV carb doesn't pass emissions
Bangster is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the TCCoA Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome