3.8 ohv


Denisefwd93

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Most commonly found in mustangs I realize this is not a ranger engine,. sorry if this in the wrong spot,

just wondering about this engine, I've always wanted a mustang I don't know that I'll get one, but I like to do my research,. every now and then I see 5 speed 3.8 for sale in my area.

Thanks in advance!
 


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19Walt93

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The 3.8 was used in downsized LTD's, Mustang's, T Bird's, and even a very few F100's(not 150's) for years starting in 82 and the only problems we had with them were oil leaks the first couple of years. They originally had only head gaskets and everything else was sealed with silicone and leaked. When they changed the coolant flow to convert the engine for use in front wheel drive vehicles- Taurus's and Windstar's- they started dropping like flies with blown head gaskets which often leaked into the oil and killed the bearings. The 3.8 worked great in Mustangs because it's only about 6 lbs heavier than a 2.3 4 cylinder so it din't make the car front heavy.
 

Denisefwd93

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The one that caught my attention on Facebook is a 2002 you think they fixed the leaks by then I don't know if Ford makes anything that doesn't leak oil lol
 

19Walt93

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It was only 82-83 that leaked, after that they used actual gaskets. My Ford's don't leak, if they did I'd fix them.
 

Denisefwd93

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So the newer ones are more reliable why are they so much lighter than the 4.0? All my Ford's leaked! The one I have now is not too bad, mostly it's just the power steering,
 

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The 3.8 is a garbage engine. It is a bad knock-off of a poorly designed GM engine, and it is prone to warping heads, particularly in Mustangs.
 

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Hate to disagree Walt, but siding with adsm08 on this one.

From my understanding they were a SAE engine that was converted to metric, and never were quite stout enough to begin with. Constantly seeing piles of them in the JY on rust free southern vehicles.

I am a fan of the supercharged ones - the superchargers bring good money on ebay, and that's where my fandom ends. ??
 

19Walt93

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We had great luck with 3.8's in all the rear wheel drive stuff, same with the few 4.2's we sold in F150's. 3.8's were prone to head gaskets in Taurus's and much worse in Windstars. I went to the tech new model class when the 3.8 was introduced for the 82 model year in the F100, we sold very few of them because the 300 was available at the time. The F100 had Crown Vic front rotors, 5 on 4 1/2 wheel bolt circles, light suspension, and only came in 2 wheel drive. The 3.8 looks to me like a Buick V6, right down to the tipped distributor and shape of the valve covers but we really had few problems with them. If you drove an 83 LTD with a 200 six and then drove another one with a 3.8, you'd take the 3.8 home. Most of the 83-88 T birds we sold were 3.8's.
 

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We had great luck with 3.8's in all the rear wheel drive stuff, same with the few 4.2's we sold in F150's. 3.8's were prone to head gaskets in Taurus's and much worse in Windstars. I went to the tech new model class when the 3.8 was introduced for the 82 model year in the F100, we sold very few of them because the 300 was available at the time. The F100 had Crown Vic front rotors, 5 on 4 1/2 wheel bolt circles, light suspension, and only came in 2 wheel drive. The 3.8 looks to me like a Buick V6, right down to the tipped distributor and shape of the valve covers but we really had few problems with them. If you drove an 83 LTD with a 200 six and then drove another one with a 3.8, you'd take the 3.8 home. Most of the 83-88 T birds we sold were 3.8's.
Short of overheating I've actually never seen a FWD 3.8 with a head gasket problem. But when I first started at the dealer we were throwing head gaskets at the Mustangs left and right.
 

Denisefwd93

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It's a 5 speed 161 on the od, I may or may not go see it,
 

19Walt93

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Through the mid 90's and early 2000's we did a steady stream of 3.8's on Taurus's and Windstar's, I've never seen a head gasket fail on a rear wheel drive 3.8 and we sold a pile of them in LTD's and T bird's and a few in Mustangs. We even sold a handful of 3.8 F100's but 2 wheel drive trucks are poor sellers in NH. One of the first 3.8 LTD's we sold went to a woman who lived a couple of miles from the dealership. She was coming down Mendon Mountain on her way back from Rutland,Vt when the car was practically new and the alternator light came on. She also noticed it was steering hard. She got mad and drove it back to the dealership(about 20 miles) and pulled right up to the showroom door, went in and told her salesman it was no good and he could have it back. I was in the shop and it sounded like she was sitting there and leaning on the horn so I went outside. No one was in the car, it was overheated so bad that the radiator cap was venting and sounding like a horn. We replaced the missing serpentine belt and failed idler pulley, refilled the coolant, and road tested it. By then the salesman had calmed her down and she drove the car home. She continued to drive it until it started to rust out with no engine trouble. The 3.8 was never my favorite engine but the rwd ones weren't a problem for us. In my opinion V6's should be 60 degree engines, not 90 degree like the 3.8 and most all V8's.
 

Denisefwd93

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I'm going to pass on it I just talked to the guy that works in my truck he actually has a mustang first thing he said "3.8? don't get it"
 

Denisefwd93

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thank you gentlemen!
Needless to say
I didn't go for it, still searching for a 5-speed 4.0, 2wd.

Found another ranger near me going to try and see it this week, but it's 1999, 200,000 miles, he wants $1700 too much imo, good news is I have an 98 4.0 engine storage with only 62,000 on it!

What I don't want this truck will have, airbags, four-wheel abs and I guess electronic dashboard?
 

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Denisefwd93

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stock, may get leveling springs in front "somday"
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I really hate starting new threads just to have questions and answers so if I don't hear on this one I'll make a new one
 


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