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Over six months ago I bought my second Cougar a 90' with a V-6 and over 200,000 miles on the OD. My question is what can I do to prolong the life of this car? Obviously this car was well taken care of, probably was highway driven and must have been blessed w/ no head gasket issues as so many 3.8's are. The car lacks the power I'm used to experiencing from my 5.0, but it drives nice and gets consistently around 19-25 mpg. For the price I payed (about twice the cost of a new set of tires) I really couldn't be happier with it so if I could drive it to 300,000 I'd like to try:) ! Other than staying off the throttle and keeping the cooling system running well, what else can I do?
 

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keep driving it :D

I seriously think that if it was not for headgasket problems these engines would last FOREVER. I've swapped headgaskets on one with 171,000 miles and it STILL had the crosshatch marks in the cylinder.

Just keep up on the maintanice
 

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Just like Rancher said - keep up the maintenance and you should be OK. The 3.8L was in my 'Bird had about 160k on it, and other than the regular maintenance (plugs, fluid change, etc) the headgaskets needed a little attention and maybe the transmission (not sure if just a fluid change would have been ok).

Any idea who has the highest mileage 3.8L? Some have crossed over 200k, but has anyone reached 250k or 300k?

-Andy "Melon"
 

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just snatched one of my 3.8 SCs apart, had 160k, looked as good if not
better than this 75k 5.0 that was having a set of Trick Flow heads put on....
same blocks, right??just different internals??
 

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kinda. same block as the 96-97 3.8 NA. different than 89-95
 

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I seriously believe that with the proper maintainence, the 3.8 will last well beyond 500k. My 3.8 lasted me from 120k through 140,001 k (still have the speedo/odo), and I beat the absolute crap out of it. Even with the rod bearings gone, it would still run (sad day). The 3.8 n/a when properly cared for, will last forever and a half, even with the headgasket issue.

While my current car is faster ('96 Dodge Neon SOHC), I really really really really miss my Thunderbird (aka: Pheonix), not so much the power (which wasn't awesome), but the style and ride the car gave me. I will never forget that car and I will buy another when I get the oppurtunity. In my 3.8 n/a tbird, I got awesome gas mileage. So goodluck with yours.


Just take it easy, and no prolonged donuts in the snow.... that is what spun the bearing in my 3.8 n/a... damn i feel dumb about that. also, keep an eye on the main bearing seal, it might e worth the replacement if you get your hands ona better torque converter..
 

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To the question at hand. I'd check the timing chain, if it hasn't been changed it needs it bad. You could ad engine restore to try and boost compression. maybe a fuel additive, not for the octane boost.
180,000 on mine and no head gaskets yet. oil every three G's. Timing chain at 150,000.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Drnaline said:
To the question at hand. I'd check the timing chain, if it hasn't been changed it needs it bad. You could ad engine restore to try and boost compression. maybe a fuel additive, not for the octane boost.
180,000 on mine and no head gaskets yet. oil every three G's. Timing chain at 150,000.
I have 215,000 on my OD I guess I should replace my timing chain! How much would that cost?
 

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Not a whole lot. You'll need a power steering pulley puller and a harmonic balancer puller. A new timing chain, water pump and timing cover gasket. I think everything will be included if you get a timing cover gasket set.
 

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My engine last all the way until 262,000 miles. No problems with the headgaskets. My transmission now @ 310,000 miles still in good working condition, and this is the original transmission!.

I really believe that with proper maintenance your engine can run for a long time.
(and the use of Castrol oil)
 

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Guess I'm the youngin 108k, droped a piston and burned some bearings.
 
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