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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Would You Do a Preventative Headgasket Change on a 3.8L '96 with 60k mi. ?

'96 3.8L engine owners who have replaced their headgaskets, knowing what you know now, would you wished you changed the headgaskets to the improved Fel Pro ones ahead of time or waited until they go?

Mine has 60,0000 miles on it and am considering changing the headgaskets with the newer Fel Pro ones, and better bolts.

When did your's go, and do you feel that 60k mi. is too early to worry about them?

Coolant has been changed at proper interval, along with radiator, before it overheated so as to avoid any headgasket issue.

Read all the threads with headgasket and the 3.8 and not certain what percentage have a problem for the '96 3.8L's and at what mileage they have a problem.

Any insight from those with experience('96-'97's) would be appreciated.
 

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Would I do it as a preventative? NO!

From what I understand FORD did improve the problem by using a better gasket in 96 and 97. Not eliminated, but improved.
I blew mine at 145,000 but I had a bad radiator for a while which contributed. And I believe nmine started with the intake gasket which caused the head gasket to blow.

Anyway, I wouldn't rip into it unless I was swapping out to split port, or if it was already blown. But then again I am a procrastinator so my opinion is biased by that.
 

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knock on wood but I have owned 2 3.8 NAs one a 92 and one (the one I have now and still drive) my 91. both have about 200,000 KMs on them and neither ever had a problem with the HGs. Preventive NO! keep the oil changed, good coolant and keep your fingers crossed! I'm not saying it wont happen. but its not THAT bad like a Supercharged model or anything!
 

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If you keep your cooling system in tip-top shape and keep pinging down to a minimum you will be at less risk of a blown hg. Unfortunately the previous owner of my car failed to replace the cracked radiator. *sigh*
 

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Well i know you have a 96, and i have a 95 but i'm just going to toss it out there that mine blew right around 59k miles, hydrolocked and completely toasted the the drivers side of the engine. thanks to mom for driving it down the highway noticing a problem, but not stopping, then poof! its okay nothing a new $1500 engine cant fix lol
 

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I wouldn't do it as preventative on any 3.8 unless you have the motor out/torn down for another reason.
 

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i would start saving your money now so your ready if/when it does happen. throw $25 bucks a week aside. maybe it wont go till 200,000 miles and you have about 5 grand saved up by then and you can do whatever you want with the money, lol.
 

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I think it's unanamous.
I knew I was going to be swapping mine out even after I fixed the head gasket problem, so I just didn't do anything to the old motor. Probably went 15k to 17k w/o even changing the oil. I'm not saying not to take care of your motor, I just didn't bother with that one after I replaced the hg's because I knew it was on its way out.
Please take care of your motor, especially if its only got 60K on it.
Put the money somewhere else you may need it. Like suspension, tires, exhaust.
I wish I would have redone my exhaust before I did the motor swap. It was real drag having the splitport 3.9L in and still using the old factory exhaust for 2 months.
 

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No,
 

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not so early... just replace your temop sensors at around 100k, make sure your radiator is still good. and open up your exhaust. dont drive it too hard and she should last ya.
 

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Nobody should have to replace temp sensors at 100k. They aren't a wearing part. Granted they can get off calibration after a long time but it's not at a certain mileage interval. And a 96 exhaust doesn't really need to be opened up either. They have tubular headers and a revised y-pipe assembly which eliminates the major pinch point there used to be. The remaining exhaust flows fine for a stock 3.8.
 

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puh..... i would just to be sure... mine went bad ina flash.. caused my fan to stop coming on.... overheated and blew teh hg's... in THREE cylinders.... at two bucks each... i would jsut do them and get it over with.
 

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eh, i wouldnt worry. My 96 HG's didnt blow till right around 107K. Best damn piece of learning I've ever had. Total blast to do, I could go out there and have the heads off in a few hours now. Done in a weekend, instead of 3 months (work and school). But I agree, just start savin and when it comes time you'll be ok. Mine decided to come when my tax return came, so I was in good luck :D
 
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