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Help with 2000 Mustang

New User
Posts: 4
Joined: 03/14
Posted: 03/15/14 11:10 AM

I have a 2000 Mustang Convertible that overheated and quit in North Fl on my way up to Tennessee (moving there)... this was about six months ago, I left it at one of my daughters friends parents house and continued my move... I was hoping that it was just a blown head gasket because just prior to that I had spent 1800 on a transmission rebuild, fully warranted at a well known shop..
My Daughters friends husband who is not a certified mechanic , but very inclined, pulled the engine and told me that it is "water logged" I AM NOT mechanically inclined... his recommendation is to put an new engine in it. (or used)

I am assuming this will be about 2k.. with labor included. I have had friends and other mechanics tell me that the water log issued could still be just the gaskets as the engine only had 127,000 miles on it before it overheated and quit.....
So, I am looking for advice here? What would you do?, the tranny only has about 150 miles on it.. I had just had it done before this mess..... I have listed the car on Craigslist as a "mechanics special" without a price and have had not one hit... This is a 3.8 lter V-6 not a GT.. or Would def fix it.... also it has an after market hood and bumper on it.... due to the fact that it had a collision with Bambi..  , I only had liability on it. and the repair at a shop was over 2k.. so I went cheap and had someone I know do it .... the hood and bumper are still black... also missing the mustang grill..... not bad looking otherwise.... just not "perfect" So.... any advice , comments would be appreciated..... Thanks!!!  

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Posts: 127
Joined: 10/13
Posted: 03/15/14 01:32 PM

leaving the engine with coolant in it.. and blown head gaskets did ruin it..

the coolant/water combo filled the cylinders with leaking gaskets and caused rust.. sorry..

its always better to drain the coolant completely.. when  a blown head gasket is suspected..  start the engine it can run for about a minute without coolant from a cold start..  once its close to the minute.. so any moisture is blown out of the cylinders spraying some WD40 into the intake for a few seconds just as a friend shuts it off will usually protect the engine for storage..

3.8 motors are known for head gasket failure just over 100,000 miles.. the timing cover gaskets should also be changed..

coolant will destroy the oxygen sensors also.. and may clog the cats..

hint. and this is a pain to do.. if after the first start.. the engine looses power.. and perhaps blows the hoses off the EGR pressure transducer..

pull the primary oxygen sensors.  the ones between the manifolds and the cats.. and use a shop vacuum on blow or a leaf blower duct taped to the tail pipe..  ash out of the freshly started motor will block the front of the cat monolith..

this may save you if it has not gotten hot enough to melt it.. the price of a new set of cats..

some years of 3.8L motors also have a bleeder screw/bolt on a stand where some heater hoses come off of..   there is a white disc that says.. bleeder screw..

you will find that disc cracks..  its the seal for the bleeder bolt.. it allows a trickle of coolant out when the engine is operating.. usually not enough to puddle.. but when the engine shuts off. it allows air to be pulled back into the engine.. this causes the engine to over heat and eventually blow the head gaskets..

worst.. is after you have the heads replaced.. but fail to realize that the white disc is leaking.. or fail to clean out the bleeder passages..  you end up with coolant loss again and will overheat the engine again...  a 14mm nylon oil drain plug gasket works great..

my condolences on your mustang.. but without an infusion on a different motor..  and i would not put a used 3.8 in without installing new headgaskets on it with a coating of hylomar on the head gaskets. and a light surfacing of the heads.. they really warp a lot.. new head bolts and 2 torque wrenches in 3/8 " drive.. and a breaker bar in 1/2 inch drive thats 18 to 24" long.. long and short bolts use different torques and its a pain to reset the torque wrench so many times so quickly.. it takes me about 15 minutes per head to torque these properly.. and i turn off my phone.. put a note on my back do not disturb.. so i don't miss a step..  and only do one head at a time.. taking at least a half hour between heads.. sorry.. i am a perfectionist when it comes to torquing heads..

if you are ever at an NHRA national event. and walk past the ARP fasteners trailer.. you may notice a racer or two that uses arp fasteners handing them their torque wrench.. i wrote them an email about torque wrench calibration.. so they will test torque wrenches for racers to verify the exact torque settings for ARP fastners on the wrench against their tester..  sears home centers will send almost any torque wrench to the torque wrench test and calibration center.. so don't take your torque wrench with you to the races unless you are a racer with a car racing..  

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