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V6 (1994-2004) Mustangs Technical discussions on the 3.8L and 3.9L V6 torque monsters
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:32 AM   #1
blue stang
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Default Blown head gasket?

Just hit about 30,000 miles on my motor. Replaced the thermostat because the housing was leaking. now it seems I cant fill it up with coolant. It just keeps burping air and emptying the radiator. I cant even get heat through the heater because theres little fluid in the heater core.

other symptoms include running very hot, dripping watter from the tailpipe (about one drop per second), overflow tank filling by itself. coolant level jumps almost rhythmically with the radiator cap off, there is no external leaking or signs of coolant in the oil.

Anyone know how much it should cost to have a shop replace them?
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:43 AM   #2
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just hit 30,000 or 300,000? Do you have compression in all cylinders? if not then its most likely a head gasket. But those symptons kinda steer me away from a gasket and more to a radiator issue. Possibly a hose leak or something. Not really my cup of tea with radiators and such. I can rebuild a engine and the internals, but i can't do crap with the exterior of an engine. My strong point lies within the pony
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:56 AM   #3
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Did you put the thermostat back in correctly? I have heard of people putting it in backwards and seeing some weird stuff...
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:17 PM   #4
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30,000 miles. Original owner over reved and bent a connecting rod.

radiator was replaced last year. thermostat is opening and closing properly so theres no problem their. their is no leaking on the outside of the motor. I checked the weep hole on the watter pump and its dry. engine doesn't seem to lose too much compression because it runs fine, but a compression test is being done right now.
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:54 PM   #5
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does the water pump actually work ?
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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Being that you have a 95, which had faulty head gaskets from the factory that Ford later recalled and fixed mid way through the 96 production year, a head gasket failure doesn't surprise me.

The repair of the head gaskets will vary quite a bit as it depends if the failure has caused your stock heads to warp. Unlike aluminum heads which are easy to remill, when iron heads warp they're harder to remill and in general you have to buy new heads.

This happened in my old 2000 V6 years ago and the repair was $2200 from Ford. The car was still under warranty so it was all covered, but in short you could expect between $1000-2000 for the repair depending on if the heads themselves failed.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:26 PM   #7
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+1
The head gaskets on my 95 were done in 2008 by an independent shop and it ran just over $1000 without needing new heads. Not a cheap date.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:57 PM   #8
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I had those same crappy heads on my Windstar. Replaced by ford under warranty. When they went the engine showed a spike in temp on the gauge then no heat. Repaired by Ford under warranty.

but if I'm reading the OP correctly, this is a recent rebuild, hopefully using good gaskets. I'm partial to felpro perma-torques.

Head gaskets typically create steam if they are passing water. Filling the overflow tank, could be a bad radiator cap or wrong pressure radiator cap.

Could be The new thermostat is stuck closed for some reason. Could have an air pocket behind it. Water pump cavitation, or low flow.

I use the thermostats that fail open. Cheap insurance.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:34 PM   #9
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Head gaskets aren't hard to change ...
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:35 PM   #10
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No, they're not, but if you have no experience then they are
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:35 PM
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