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Discussion Starter #1
Well yesterday, I was about 100 miles from home at a paintball field. Well being a 17 year old, and a show off, I decide to push my car. Its a 97 3.8 w/ a chip...About the time i hit 120 on the interstate my lower radiator hose blows, and I somehow dont notice the steam and smoke comming from my car, about 5-7 miles I get off on the exit we are going to get food at and I notice the temp gauge creeping fast past 190*. I hurryed up and got to a large empty parking lot and it pegged out my autometer temp gauge. Steam and smoke was pouring out all over the car, and alot of nice green coolant is all over the car, and engine and coolant is comming outta the passenger side of the engine from the HG's. Well I ride home w/ a friend and I come back this morning to pick the car up in my dad's truck/trailor. It keeps dieing(lots of knocking too), but I have to make it get up teh ramps on the tralor. I get home and it wont even crank.


Some things I realize
-White smoke from exhaust when it was running
-oil is now a rich/creamy tan color
-knocking
-overheated


the Hg's are gone I know. And i'm not worried about changing them. But Where can I get a upper engine gasket kit w/ MLS Hg's and ARP studs at? ive never seen ARP studs for a 3.8L ford, but somehow people here have them. Where can i get the gasket kit/studs at?

I'm hoping I didnt run it long enough to warp the heads, but I have no clue to tell since i ahvent had the chance to tear it off yet. How much will it cost for the heads to get machined? and can jsut any old machine shop do this? Do I jsut tell them to machine the heads and they will know what I'm talking about?


Any type of matinence that I should do while i have 1/2 the engine stripped?
 

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More than likely, the heads are warped. They warp very easily on the 3.8s. That's no big deal though, just get them resurfaced, and you'll get a little extra compression at the same time. What I would be more worried about is the bearings in the bottom end. Coolant doesn't have the same type of lubricating properties as oil, so if it was run too long like that, you could have ruined a few bearings. The knocking noise isn't a good sign as far as that is concerned. I'd reccomend pulling the motor and at least checking the bearings. That will make it much easier to do the head gaskets, and the last thing you would want is to do the head gaskets then find out your bottom end is toast and have to take it all apart again.

Mike
 

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i would say they went because he cooked the motor , i would check the rods too, you might of bent one. either way engine has to come out at this point
 

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At those temps the aluminum head will be warped. No matter how good the gasket is, you overheat an engine like that its gonna do damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
NiteFire said:
so, did the gaskets blow because the radiator hose burst? how many miles on the car? and I was told ford had fixed the gasket problem in 96+ engines

they did fix the HG's on the 96+ birds. It was my partly my fault that they blew like they did. It has 120k.


I just started it up and let it idle for about 30 seconds and it didnt knock, so I hurryed up and shut it off. This weekend I'm going to pull the heads, and get them resurfaced. And hopefully the uppergasket kit w/ ARP studs i got from RPM will be here by then.I dont think I completely ruined the engine, but the Hg's are gone, and pretty sure the heads are warped, but I found a guy that will machine them for 25.00 per head(50.00 total) If the thing knocks once I get the HG's replaced, I'll be pulling the motor and just do a 4.2L swap.
 

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The Parts Guy
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If it was knocking, chances are that your bearings are toast. Also, running the engine with blown headgaskets is a real easy way to do this:





Coolant doesn't compress quite like air does. ;)


A 4.2L will fit under the stock hood if you use the Mustang intake manifold. You just need to get a little creative with a few brackets.



-Rod
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Does anyone know if I can use Supercoupe Rods/pistons/rings/rod berings in my 97 block? Since they are forged, and relatively cheap. I know there is a difference in Compression but thats not a huge issue and can be worked around...but Will they work w/ the 97 crank?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I somehow lost track of my paper that had all the listings of each bolt and where it goes(I wrote it all down to avoid this) and I cant seem to figure out where each bolt goes, and where each stud screws into the lower intake manifold... can someone show me a pic of jsut the lower intake bolted down so i know which bolt/stud goes where?
 

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Horsepowerfreaks.com sells the arp head bolts for the 3.8L. I checked on some the other day. They are good people there I buy alot of my Supra parts from them.
 

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NiteFire said:
so, did the gaskets blow because the radiator hose burst? how many miles on the car? and I was told ford had fixed the gasket problem in 96+ engines
Here's a little hit he said he didnt Notice That the lower rad hose Broke..... Nuff Said Buddie
 

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187bird said:
I somehow lost track of my paper that had all the listings of each bolt and where it goes(I wrote it all down to avoid this) and I cant seem to figure out where each bolt goes, and where each stud screws into the lower intake manifold... can someone show me a pic of jsut the lower intake bolted down so i know which bolt/stud goes where?
lemme see. theres a stud that screws into the driver side of the lower and a bracket slides onto it followed by a nut and the other end of this bracket is attached to the upper intake. lay the fuel rail and injectors down onto the lower and see where the tabs line up to the holes on the lower. i think that studs screw into these tabs on the lower intake, followed by nuts. i could be wrong.
 

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jk89cat said:
i would say they went because he cooked the motor , i would check the rods too, you might of bent one. either way engine has to come out at this point
I think he cooked the motor because the head gaskets went.

rod knock means your bearings are now worthless. You would be better off finding a used 96+ engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thomas said:
I think he cooked the motor because the head gaskets went.

rod knock means your bearings are now worthless. You would be better off finding a used 96+ engine.

I talked to one of the guys I know who works at the local ford dealership, and he said more than likely, it was just doing that because it way trying to burn the coolant, and right before I tore it down and put in new HG's it started fine and i let it idle for about 30 seconds and it didnt knock once. So i doubt the main bearings/rod bearings were toasted. All i have left to do now is just bolt on the valve covers,and the upper intake, and bolt up the front acessories, so I hope I didnt do all of this for no reason and next i gotta pull it all apart to do the rod/main's....


then again...if it knocks when i get it back together...i'll jsut put in a newer 4.2 or a splitmort mustang engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
And yes, the lower radiator hose blew, and i was "hot rodding" it down the interstate and by the time i got off at the next exit it was smoking and temp gauge was pegged and i killed it on teh closest parking lot. So me blowing the rad hose and driving it 100+ killed it...if I wouldnt ahve been going so fast i'm sure i would have noticed the hose blew and pulled over before i did any damage.
 
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