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Car? Truck? Who Cares
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After being cooped up in a plane or an airport today, I finally got home about 7pm. As I am walking onto the porch, I hear the phone ring, my son answers,
(now stepping into the house) I hear my daughter screaming on the phone in a panic.

Seems my 94 bird made a noise, started "smoking" , rattled and died.
This car has 200,000 on it, but the engine was replaced about 80,000 ago.
(would not have been replaced if I would have took it in when it was recalled)

So without even sitting down I am off to check on my daughter, she is only about 13 miles away.

I get to the car and am looking for obvious signs of FOMOCO discontent, and see nothing. But it is dark out, so I go to the bar where the car was pushed
(daughter is kinda cute so some guys pushed the car quite a ways to a nearby parking lot), and borrowed a flashlight. In the pass-front wheelwell,
I saw where all the water had gone. I did not see where a hose had ruptured or anything simple like that. The girl 'claims' no temp or Alt lights came on prior to the car becoming suicidal. My neighbor's trailer was out of service, so he was not able to get it home tonight (my trailer full of crap), and it was too late to call a wrecker, too many of em jack up rates after 5pm.

I told her it did not look promising (she is devastated) and I am not going to get her another car to kill. I have not been especially pleased with how she has been taking care of this one. 3 separate incidents of body damage that she knows nothing about :rolleyes: .

I hope it is nothing major, for her sake. but am not gonna lose much sleep over it if it needs major surgery.

Anyway---94 bird with a 3.8 v6-----Are these things prone to coolant issues
the first engine died with no warning whatsoever. The car got hot for no apparent reason, not a drop of coolant on the ground, was shut off--never to start again--did not even turn over.

This one is reluctant to crank as well..

enough ranting


Bryan
 

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Troll Hunter
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I don't know if '94 was affected, but they did have a problem with shortlived head gaskets. I've replaced several sets, in Fords,Lincolns and Mercs. But that usually starts burning antifreeze out the exhaust with a corresponding "sweet" odor. If it has water in the footwell that's most likely a leaking heater core, the hoses should be under the hood. That could have come from a blown head gasket pressurizing the system I guess. Pulling the plugs will tell you if it's the head gasket or the heater core, also an overfull reading on the dipstick might mean some coolant has contaminated it. Those are a couple things to look at. From the brief descritpion, it would seem to be the heater core, but all the smoke and stuff you describe......
 

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Car? Truck? Who Cares
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Gonna get it towed home this afternoon.
Yes--this was affected by the head gasket issue--I never had a problem so I never took it in when it was recalled. That motor hydrolocked after it was shut off.

The new engine (installed in 2002) should have lasted much longer.

Once the car is home, and I can look in the light--and crawl under I should have a better idea.

I bought this car new and my daughter started driving it 6mo ago. I am pretty sure this is not of her doing, but seeing her destroy the car has been making me sick---therefore---losing all sympathy for her. Have frontend damage in 2 spots--rear damage in one--all from stationary objects other than another car.

Maybe in the next few days the proper "daddy will fix the little girls's problems" will return to me :drunk: ----but not today :pain:

Will keep you all posted

Bryan
 

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Car? Truck? Who Cares
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Took the radiator out----when I got the car home I filled the rad. and water was pouring out the tank on the passenger side.

Stopped at autozombie and checked if I had bought a radiator from them for the 'Bird since I moved to Texas----did not

Called Advance, they had no history of a radiator but had a price of it in my history, seems they sweep their history occaisionally. He told me he would honor the warranty, so tomorrow I am gonna go swap radiators.

When I took the part out, some black 'snot' was in the bottom of the driver side tank--rad not plugged--kinda broken down silicone lookin' crap. I have never seen this before. The glue or sealant is real gooie(sp) near the top on the passenger side----also looks like someone had taken a tiny torch and blew a hole in the side of the plastic tank :confused: :confused: . On a good note, the car did start when I got back to it this afternoon, before the wrecker arrived, and seemed to run smooth. I won't know until I get the rad replaced and bring it up to temp.---Be a good time to see if the fan actually cycles.

Anybody have any idea what the black snot is????
Hope a head did not warp---or worse.

Bryan

???could a freon leak damage a plastic tank like this--AC connections are right where the tank developed a hole.
 

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Don't know what the gooie black stuff is...probably broken down RTV from..God knows where....could have clogged the Rad passages.
As for the "torched" effect, I had one car come into the dealership with an overheating issue that seemed quite the mystery as the top plastic tank of the radiator was all melted as if 'someone took a torch to it'. After much head scratching as to the cause & effect we all came to the conclusion that when the engine overheated & created steam the higher temps of steam conspired to surpass the max temperature the plastic can handle.
In that case a small hole in the radiator created a bubble in the system...stopped coolant movement, created the steam that then melted the plastic.
You might want to consider doing a leak-down test on your bird to make sure the headgasket and/or the head are OK.
__________________________________________________Rick........
 

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Car? Truck? Who Cares
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, here is the rundown so far.

Replaced the radiator--a gent at Advance honored my lifetime warranty even tho I could not locate a 5-yr old receipt. Cudos to Jonathan at the Store on Bandera.----(my wife located the receipt AFTER I got the new radiator.

Put in 3qt oil--still not quite full, 1qt ATF--still not full--silly teen daughters:drunk:

Replaced both brake lights AND third brake light bulbs (accident waiting to happen)

Filled engine with coolant---started it up. After about 30 min of running,
RADIATOR IS STILL COLD-------Stuck thermostat!!! :mad:

Replaced the t-stat, put more gas in the car---dead empty--damn teenage girls :drunk:, and had my wife take it for a spin with cell phone in hand.
She went to Home Depot to get our third gas weedeater since October.

Car seems be running okay, however there are some bubbles running thru the radiator when I have the cap off. Not yet sure if it just air pockets bleeding thru or if a head gasket is leaking. I guess I will be checking the water and oil on a weekly basis since now I know that the women in the house are not capable.

The I was informed that my mother had emergency surgery on Friday night.
That just ruined my day. She is in ICU now and will be for a couple of days and will remain icarcerated in Health Care Hell for at least 7 days.
I understand that a full recovery will be expected.

On a good note------My 57" hi def Television is gonna be delivered today---YAY

Also got a call on another 66 Elky---factory 396/4-spd w/ buckets, console, knee knocker tach- completely restored in 93
This is a car I have driven before, with any luck it could be in my garage with the 59 before too long.

Bryan
 

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Bryan:
Thats' great that they honored your radiator replacement.....I guess you'll be a returning customer huh?
Watch out for the bubbling at the radiator, could very well have damaged the engine....a bad H/gasket can easily put an air bubble into the cooling system & stop the flow of coolant....be watchfull of erratic temps, that will point out the bubble going to & fro thruout the system.
A confirmation of a bad H/G can be accomplished by putting a smog sniffer probe at the rad cap....& sniffing the bubbles for hydrocarbons......just an idea for ya.
I do hope your Mom gets outta the ICU in due time...thats' a big strain on the family....worries and all.
I do so love the lines of the 59/60 Impalas & somewhat less so the El Caminos.
I vividly recall me running my hands down the fins of my folks brand new blue 60 Impala 2DR....stovebolt six & three-on-the-tree...It was the first new car my parents bought, I was only four years old at the time,...but funny how some things stick in your mind.
____________________________________________Rick...........
 

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Save a horse, Ride a Cowboy.
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Best wishes for the recovery.

Best wishes for the new ElCo.

********************************************************
Your thread, so I will tell this recent story.

Friend in pain.
Into hospital for tests 7am. Tests all day, Stay over night, tests next day, stay over night, released at 7am....... = 48 hrs. exactly.

Total bill $ 67,000.

Tests = inconclusive
Treatment = none
Pain = still there
Doctors = probably in Bahamas by now.

diagnosis = patient needed money transplant

conclusion = priceless
 

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On the learning curve.
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I realise this thread is slightly dated but id like to throw in my part. Recently and old man in my village passed away, he owned a 94 mercury sable with a 3.8 V6. The car was babied and not a ding or a rip in the interior etc. His wife claims it had never been over 80km/h. It has 167000km's. The problem was it had a blown head gasket {later found out bother were blown}. So she gave it to my uncle. My uncle wanted it for his summer home on a nearby island. The problem was he didnt want to spend the money to get it fixed so he tryed 5 bottles of "mechanic in a can" {i get a headache thinking about it :nono: }. So when that didnt work the problems got dumped on me. So since i dont play with fuel injection {i hate it too many headaches} I got a backyard mechanic/friend to pull the heads off for me. He then tells me that both gaskets blew, he thinks the heads are warped {didnt sit flat on table}, needed new belts, needed a new water pump, needed 2 pulleys. So i sent the heads out and it cost $200 even to get them planed and pressure treated and cleaned. Then it was $40 for a water pump. Then $40 for head gaskets. Then $50 for the two pulleys. Then $30 for the belts. So i got him to put it all back together labour cost was $300 {25 hours of work}. Then i notice i needed tires so i hit the classifieds and found some all season goodyears for $140. Now theres a pin hole in the oil pan and it leaks oil onto the exhaust which causes it to smoke a little, luckily it doesnt leak out unless its at temperature. A new oil pan installed would be $300. Then I just sold my tires to my sister for $140 and took hers cause mine were better. Then i bought a 85 z28 camaro that had rotten floors and rotten frame rails. So i stripped EVERYTHING off it and sent the completely empty shell to the junkyard and put everything on a 83 z28 and now it looks like a 85 z28 {different ground effects}. Now im already making plans to build a new 350 for it. My engine right now is a 350 from a stock car with about 400hp but im building a new one with 550hp. The moral of my retardedly long story is, I hate 3.8 V6's, I hate fuel injection and i hate rust lol.

Steve
PS: Hope your mother is better! Wish her well for me!
 

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I have three T-birds. The '89 will be put out in the pasture soon - rot rust underneath and a tranny going south. The engine (3.6) though is in perfect condition with over 120k miles. Only thing engine ever had was a new water pump. My '97 with same 3.6 also has zero problems with over 125k miles. My other '97 is a 4.6 v-8 with 44k miles and zero problems. On all my cars I change the oil and filter every 1,000 miles. Yeah I know I don't have to change it that often, but I have a lift in the barn and have had zero engine problems
 

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Start those projects someday
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There is a bleed screw at the front and center of the intake manifold that sits directly in front of the upper plenum. The by pass hose is connected to it and there may be a temp sensor on the tube. With the engine cold remove the bolt and fill the radiator till coolant comes out the bleed tube. It originally came with a white plastic collar on it that shows which way to tighten and loosen it.
 

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94 T birds and thier 3.8's

I too have a 94 Bird with the 3.8 (low perf. version). 85,000 miles back the harmonic balancer crystalized and shifted on the crank snout, throwing off the timing so it wouldnt run. I purchased a new balancer and replaced it. Apparently the balancer must have been slightly out of alignment anyway, as 3000 miles later, I wound up intsalling an entire short block, as the engine decided to puke the lower end. I have no idea how long that balancer had been out of alignment, but apparently it was long enough to have destroyed the bottom end and it was on the verge of letting go when the balancer actually fell off the crank snout. Just some food for thought.
 

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Air Force Guy
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If you have an air pocket in coolant system, when the "air bubble" hits your thermostat you're temp gague will spike (the air heats up faster than water) to max for 2-3 minutes while the bubble passes. This can and will blow your radiator/headgasket/hoses. To make sure you get rid of the air pockets, you are going to need to buy a radiator flush kit, one of those kits that puts a hose nossle in-line with your radiator hose (Actually the heater hose). Then Drain your radiator completly.

When that's done, fill your radiator with at least one gallon of coolant and seal the top. Then connect a water hose to the nossle that you just installed on your heater hose and filler'up. Water will come out of the nossle pressure release when it's full. This will not only ensure you have water in your radiator but also in your heater.

Run your car with the heater on high for 15 min or until the temp gauge reaches operating temp. This will ensure that the coolant cycles through heater-core. If you have any leaks, you'll find out now. :)

Once the car gets to operating temp, you should be good to go. Once everything cools off, check your coolant level. If it's low, fill the radiator over-flow and run it again. Also, don't forget to check your coolant to make sure it's the right mixture.

Another way that some people say to try is to leave the pressure seal on the radiator cap loose and run the motor. This way, if there are any air bubbles in the system, they'll be forced to the top of the radiator and out the seal rather than remain in a sealed system. Either way works, but leaving the rad cap loose makes a huge mess when the engines running.
 
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