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Discussion Starter #1
Well slowly over the week or two, my car has been slowly getting warmer, the remote resivore for the radiator has emptied it self twice. And reciently started blowing white smoke from the exhaust. I changed the oil around 1500 miles ago. didnt notice anything out of the ordinary in the color. I looked at the rockers through the valve cover didnt notice any milkshake colored oil, also I checked the dip stick, normal colored oil, no wear, no muddy color, looked fine. also no water from dripping from exhaust. I'm hoping its not the head gaskets again...(They were replaced earlier this year right before i got it)

the temp gauge has went up to almost hot, but usually stays between normal and hot..a little higher than when i got it.


While my Thunderbird usually stays in the garage, during the winter-weather times...its been relatively warm here(50-60 degrees) so ive been driving it, and the truck threw a rod(What i was driving) So if I did blow a hg, I'd have to get it replaced in a weekend. Or else I have no car to drive...I doubt thatwouyld happen.....grrr :bawling:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well I jsut stepped outside again to look at the car, the resivore tank is empty and the radiator is lower than last time I checked...

HG replacement I come...Time to drain teh oil and check it...

May jsut take and trade it in the way it is for another car locally, who knows...And I love this car....lol Owell, I guess you know it will happen once you get a 3.8L thunderbird.
 

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I would have the heads checked and they will probably have to be milled. A common mistake on these motors especially is not having the heads checked for uneveness which makes a head gasket job not last long at all and makes it a pain in the --- cause ya gotta do it again. Check the heads and block for cracks also.
 

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you'll get 500 dollars tops for that car if you trade it in as-is. You can fix it for 300 with getting heads checked and all gaskets required doing it yourself, If you do that it will bring the trade-in value way back up if you still want to get rid of it after that.
-Thomas
 

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Thomas speaks truth. I mean, if you got down on your knees and "begged*" the salesman to give you a better deal, you might get 525. 300 bux and you can fix it... its a weekend job, really. Provided you keep track of the bolts and stuff... ziploc bags are a god send**. Oh, as for the pushrods, get a shoebox and stab them through the top in the order they come out. Label the box, and voila. You have a nice way to keep your pushrods in order, and they wont get ****ed up from someone stepping on them.

*sucked his cack
**this is how I really ended up ****ing myself in the ***
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well, ive been thinking for the last few hours and trying to figure everything out. I cant really afford the 05 mustang I'd want if I had to get rid of this...:) well I guess I'll attempt to do this. Ive never done this on a EFI car, jsut to a old 351modified f150 and a old nova...So the Vacume and electronic parts scare me I guess.

So correct me if I'm wrong, but i'll need the following
drivers/passenger side Felpro HG's
Drivers/passenger side Valve cover Gaskets
New studs/bolts
all new Coolant(of course)
Oil Change(add in 1 quart of merconv or similar tranny fluid to clean out the car for around 50 miles(prolly less) then change the oil again(is this really needed?)

I'll get a new thermostat, and probably water pump, new hoses, and new belt While I'm down there just for added comfort/peace of mind

Anything else you guys would recremend? Where can I send my heads to make sure they arent warped, or need to be pressure checked/resurfaced(cant think of name..make sure there flat)?
 

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the tranny fluid in the oil is not needed, its just a way of cleaning out the oil passages. After 50 miles of that in your oil it will come out pitch black. You'll want to put in new oil regardless by the way. There's probably coolant in it.

You'll also need the EGR gasket, lifter valley gaskets, lower and upper intake gaskets, water pump gasket obviously, thermostat gasket (Get the fel-pro gasket with the sticky side to keep the thermo in place while installing), thread sealer, RTV.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thomas said:
You'll also need the EGR gasket, lifter valley gaskets, lower and upper intake gaskets, water pump gasket obviously, thermostat gasket (Get the fel-pro gasket with the sticky side to keep the thermo in place while installing), thread sealer, RTV.
Totally forgot about those(minus water pump/thermostat gaskets), thanks man.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
On Rpmmustangs, under the gasket combos, I saw this

Topend kit with head bolts for 96-98 3.8 Motors: $215

would this be everything i'd need? Sorry for sounding like a newb, but I jsut want to do this right and make sure I have all the nessicary parts.
 

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Im not sure what all that includes, you'd have to call Mik and ask him.

But if you want, Ive got all the part numbers from my head and cam swap, I could give you all the necessary numbers and descriptions.
 

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did the headgaskets in my girls sc and it took me 15 hours thats it
but i was up all night

and to make the head gaskets stronger go with solid copper gaskets you cant go wrong
 

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Destructor90 said:
did the headgaskets in my girls sc and it took me 15 hours thats it
but i was up all night

and to make the head gaskets stronger go with solid copper gaskets you cant go wrong
For the price, running on a motor thats may not be modified, you can most certainly go wrong. Overbuilding is stupid.

Birdman, go to Autozone and ask about the price for a top-end fel-pro gasket kit. Should be less than 130, and you can get bolts for about 30. I *think* you can get the studs there, too.

The best part? No shipping, no waiting, and if you are military or know someone who is military, they should have a discount. With the discount, total, the parts cost me... 130 or so. Thats not counting the parts I left in KC, and had to buy from a J-yard.

Or, just hit up their website.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
well today I changed the oil, No coolant was in it. it was plenty dirty(needed changed anyways) I noticed a small coolant leak while I had it in the garage today, and it was comming from the lower radiator hose(cant believe i over looked that) and I replaced it and the upper hose. Btw, the lower radiator hose come close to the belt near the crank pully...didnt notice it before, but it has about the width of a pen between the hose and belt. This is normal right? I then I flushed out all the coolant in radiator/block and put in all new Peak 50/50. The Temp gauge is still a little above than I'd like it too(but not as high) and the white smoke has decreassed a little, but still noticibal. I also checked the plugs, all of them show age, but none are white or oddly colored. A buddy of mine did a compression test when I ran out to grab some lunch for us, he said the pressures were almost the same and the correct pressure. So I doubt the HG's are blown afterall.


Is there anything that could be causing the car to have white smoke? I now believe 85% that the hg's arent blown. So water in the cylinders isnt causing the white smoke, and it isnt burning oil(blueish smoke, and black sparkplugs correct?)

I took the exhaust pipe off from the resonator back and ran it like that for a cuple days and left the pipe/muffler under our carport, so could there be moisture in the muffler causing the white smoke? but i'd think I would have blown all the water, or moisture out by now...So now i'm clueless..any suggestions?
 

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How long do you run it for in the mornings, or when its cold?

Moisture can build up from a car just sitting there for a couple of hours, and that will take maybe 30 minutes to burn off. Its entirely possible that the smoke coming from your car is just excess build up, but I doubt it. Maybe its an intake gasket leak?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
jeffQ said:
I thought the '97 V6 was supposed to have the head gasket deal taken care of by then :eek: :mad:
yes, they were, but some still blow the hg's.

zero-point said:
Do a pressure test of the cooling system or a compression test on the engine. They will tell you if the head gaskets are blown.
a compression test was done...A buddy of mine did it while i left to get lunch for us that day. He said it was fine. the Pressure test of coolant system, havent done that yet, going to take it to the shop down teh road and let fritz do it. I'm really doubtful its the hg's now, the hot temp and white smoke does bother me tho
 

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Discussion Starter #18
brokenmachines_e2 said:
How long do you run it for in the mornings, or when its cold?

Moisture can build up from a car just sitting there for a couple of hours, and that will take maybe 30 minutes to burn off. Its entirely possible that the smoke coming from your car is just excess build up, but I doubt it. Maybe its an intake gasket leak?


I let it warm up around 10 mins before i leave the house, 15 min drive to school. thats the amount of driving in the mornings. I'd say it was condensation, but it jsut started doing this all of a sudden...so...its more that likely not that
 

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i have had white smoke come out of my tail pipe before. it turns out i blew my head gasket. which then in turn trashed my catalytic converters. get it checked quick so repair costs will be minimal.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
95T-BirdInAz said:
i have had white smoke come out of my tail pipe before. it turns out i blew my head gasket. which then in turn trashed my catalytic converters. get it checked quick so repair costs will be minimal.
I had the car checked a few days ago, they did a compression check and a coolant pressure test...both checked out fine, they also checked the plugs, ran a scanner on it for codes, everything checked out fine, no blown HG, they did notice my IAC is shot, but ive known that for alont time. May get a new IAC, or jsut not worry about it, I dunno. They were stumped about the white smoke, They told me to not worry unless it gets worse.
 
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