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Discussion Starter #1
Well after giving it much thought needing a van for the family, I decided to dig into the Windstar again to see where the hell it was leaking coolant from this time. I parked the van a couple weeks ago after getting really frustrated with it.

Little back story....... in my 98 Windstar I had a coolant and oil leak that I traced down to the lower intake manifold gasket. I went out and bought the Felpro kit with uppers and lowers, but due to tight money, I got the plastic kit not the metal set. I always heard that you should get the metal ones cause the plastic are garbage. I thought that "hell, even if I get a year out of them it's better than pissing coolant out".

I tore it down yesterday, which took about 30 minutes compared to the 2 hours the first time, just to find that the damn gaskets didnt seal and were leaking again! . The Felpro ones didnt seem like they fit very well. There are 'guides' that sit in the head so the gasket didnt move that seemed like it made the gasket sit like 1/8" lower than it should have sat. I took my time putting it back together, following proper sequence and using a torque wrench to make sure I got it all right.

Which brings me to today. I still had the OEM set I took out that cracked and leaked to compare them and there is no comparison. The felpro ones look so damn cheaply made. I'm aggrivated that I spent $60 on these(and likely am out that money), just to have to tear it back down, buy the more expensive metal ones, and do it all again. I have a complaint with Felpro, and I highly doubt they will do anything about it but I feel a little better that at least I complained about it.

Anyway..... here's pics of the Ford OEM gasket and the felpro gasket. You can see that Felpro cheaped out on their quality.........




On top of each other matched by bolt holes, Ford one on the bottom to show how much more material there is......











:zbash::zpuke:
 

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I was'nt really impressed with my felpro headset but none of looked quite that bad
 

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I was unimpressed with the felpro valve cover kit and timing cover gaskets I got for my headswap. The Valve cover kit required you to reuse the stock rusty metal sleeves for the grommets which I feel should come with the $30 "kit" considering how simple the grommets themselves are. The middle timing cover gasket was way too long and required trimming.
 

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I think Victor-Reinz makes Ford's gaskets; I'm not positive. But I have to admit how shocked I am to hear about the problems ya'll are having with Fel-Pro gaskets! I always had good luck with them! You might try spraying the surfaces with that copper gasket sealant before mating the gasket/surfaces.
 

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I was unimpressed with the felpro valve cover kit and timing cover gaskets I got for my headswap. The Valve cover kit required you to reuse the stock rusty metal sleeves for the grommets which I feel should come with the $30 "kit" considering how simple the grommets themselves are. The middle timing cover gasket was way too long and required trimming.


My head set came with those rubber grommets and they start to squish and spin before it even gets to torque specs....I wish I would have left my old ones in even tho I payed for the new ones. In my newbie post I talked about how my valve covers leaked as soon as I started my car. Not sure if that was the reason or because I didn't rtv it right (which is almost to simple).
 

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Not sure why that post didn't show up in blue. Sorry ill figure it out
 

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Got news for you guys felpro makes ford I've taken brand new ford gaskets out of the pack that say felpro and I've taken felpro gaskets out, that the ford part number was shaved, there was nothing wrong with the gasket above u should have just bought the metal ones, ford had alot of trouble with those lower gaskets leaking antifreeze
 

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I was unimpressed with the felpro valve cover kit and timing cover gaskets I got for my headswap. The Valve cover kit required you to reuse the stock rusty metal sleeves for the grommets which I feel should come with the $30 "kit" considering how simple the grommets themselves are. The middle timing cover gasket was way too long and required trimming.


My head set came with those rubber grommets and they start to squish and spin before it even gets to torque specs....I wish I would have left my old ones in even tho I payed for the new ones. In my newbie post I talked about how my valve covers leaked as soon as I started my car. Not sure if that was the reason or because I didn't rtv it right (which is almost to simple).
I had that issue too but that was because I didn't have all the sleeves I needed(I swapped to 02+ style valve covers which use different sleeves than the pre 01s) so that wasn't really the fault of them. I was just pissed about the kit not coming with the sleeves, which is 90% of the reason I even bought it
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So this is what I sent to them.....(I was limited to the characters I could put in, so I didnt get everything in I wanted to say but it was enough)

Hello. Recently I purchased a set of Intake Manifold Gaskets for my 3.8L 1998 Windstar(part #MS95932). Compairing them to the OEM gaskets used by Ford, I was very disappointed with the build quality. The gasket did not sit flush, and the tabs that held it on the head seemed like they were not in the correct position letting the gasket sit lower than it should. I matched them with another set and it looks like they were manufactured the same way. I installed them correctly with a calibrated torque wrench, in proper sequence, and they did not seal, leaking antifreeze into the engine and down the intake ports. I've used your products with success every time except for this and I feel it's really because of a poor build quality. I now am looking at the metal gasket kit for the same vehicle as they look a lot better, however that leaves me out the $60 I paid for the initial set. Is there anything the company would do in this situation? I'm sure the part store wont allow me to return them.

And this is what they replied with.........


Good Afternoon John,

I'm sorry to hear about your disappointment with the Fel-Pro gasket you purchased. The first step when you have a defective part is to return the part to the store you purchased it from. Let me know if they refuse to warranty the gasket. I will then see what I can do for you.

I dont want a replacement, I want an upgrade to a metal one. So I went to the Auto Zone that I bought the original parts from and wanted to see what they would do. The manager knows me cause I'm CONSTANTLY in there getting stuff for the cars. So basically they said that I can purchase the metal gaskets, and they will refund me the money I paid for the originals and send them back as defective to felpro. So it will cost me another $60 but the part will be a lot better. I just have to break the UIM down to get the gaskets out and bring it over to them. Tomorrow that's my job cause I want to get this put together this weekend as it's supposed to be nice out, for NJ in late Jan. :rolleyes:
 

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Wow, I didnt even know fel pro had made metal ones for the 3.8. Let us know how it works out. I know the 3.1/3.4 chevy ones come in metal. I feel so much better putting metal ones on. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Yep they make the metal ones for the 3.8 as well. They are double the price though. I sent another email back with my utter disgust for the quality of the gaskets I bought. Who knows maybe the company will do something to offset the additional cost of the gaskets, and the 'me cost'(my time of doing this damn job twice. I'm not the one to go and complain, but I figure everyone else complains and gets things, why not try?
 

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Wow, interesting. I've never really had a major problem with felpro gaskets except for the timing cover gasket set that they made for the 4v's that is missing one of the 3 gaskets and instead has a valve cover grommet. Apparently that issue has been corrected though.

When I thought my felpro rear main seal was defective I asked the autozone manager what I could do and was given these two options. 1: remove the seal from the car for a full refund. or 2: buy another one of the exact same seals, remove the defective part, install the new part, bring back the defective part for refund. I chose option 2, as it turned out my seal wasn't defective, there was a groove in the crankshaft to rear main seal sealing surface, a felpro repair sleeve and another felpro rear main seal fixed the problem I was having.

Good luck with the new parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Now this is MUCH more like it!




And on the head.....



On the crappy plastic ones the casting had the 2 center oval intake ports slightly angled, and it sat too low on the head for it to seal. I'm confident that this should seal properly. Now to get outside and do the job.
 

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Now this is MUCH more like it!

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g311/sousa632/2012-01-28_12-58-09_763.jpg


And on the head.....

[IMG]http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g311/sousa632/2012-01-28_13-06-26_351.jpg

On the crappy plastic ones the casting had the 2 center oval intake ports slightly angled, and it sat too low on the head for it to seal. I'm confident that this should seal properly. Now to get outside and do the job.[/QUOTE]

Very nice! Congrats and it looks great!


[QUOTE="ThunderChecken, post: 1412980, member: 10994"]Cool, Nice day on the east coast :cool:[/QUOTE]

Yes it is! 74* here right now!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I finished it all up today, and ran the van for about 30 minutes. Not a leak. I'm happy it's not leaking but I'm pissed at Felpro, cause I shouldnt have to buy a $120 set of gaskets to make them seal up. There is an obvious difference in the way these gaskets are designed for the same motor. The ports should be the same size and shape on BOTH which they are not.
 

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It's called stock replacment and upgraded, I always buy upgraded for the shop
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes but wether it was stock replacement, or upgraded they should share the SAME openings and dimensions. Neither of which were the case with this.
 

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Out of curiosity, did you take pics of the two sitting beside each other to show the difference that you could have maybe sent to FelPro???
 
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