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Old 12-21-2007, 03:25 PM   #1
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wrecked My engine??


I got stupid. I was building a garage/apt and hauled a few HUGE lumber loads about 40 miles with my V6 Ford Windstar (3.8 2000 yr w/97K Miles). I was obsessed with the building project and it turned out the engine was very low on oil... up to 3 quarts anyway.

Now I changed the oil numerous times and the filter....but boy does it ever burn oil between changes now. maybe 2 quarts / 1,000 miles?

What did I likely damage?
Is the life of the engine likely greatly shortened?

Crap!

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Old 12-21-2007, 03:46 PM   #2
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Usually, overheating the tranny is the result of overloading. My guess is that it is normal wear for a Ford engine that maybe had not been well maintained.
Question, does the engine knock when you accelerate? That's what did my Ford in with ring damage.

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Old 12-21-2007, 04:07 PM   #3
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I'm guessing rings too if you've got a lot of oil useage. A compression test should tell you quite a bit. Driving low on oil certainly shortens engine lfe. How long will it go - who knows.

Rebuilding an engine is a great DIY project!
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Rebuilding an engine is a great DIY project!
That would be fun for maybe a 440 Hemi from a Dodge Challenger restoration project... Ford Windstar, not so much.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:23 PM   #5
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I suppose listening to that 440 fire up after rebuilding it would be a lot more exciting than the Windstar. Yeah, definitely.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:24 PM   #6
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I would investigate a warranty issue with Ford... In the late 1990s Ford extended the warranty on the 3.8L engine to 100,000 miles because of a head gasket problem. But, if the head gasket were the problem you should be able to find/smell oil that has leaked out.
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:16 PM   #7
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Time for a leakdown test. Relatively simple test that blows compressed air into each cylinder via the spark plug holes. Run a google search for the exact procedure, but if you have an air compressor and a 2nd set of eyes/ears, it's a fairly easy job. You'll also need to access the crank pulley bolt, usually, to allow you to get each cylinder you're working on to TDC (top dead centre). The use of a long thin wooden dowel is good here to help you see exactly where the piston is traveling, via the spark plug hole. btw, each piston has 2 TDC's, but only one where the valves are all closed.
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I would investigate a warranty issue with Ford... In the late 1990s Ford extended the warranty on the 3.8L engine to 100,000 miles because of a head gasket problem.
True, but the head gasket problem was well under control by the time this '00 came out
This vehicle would not be covered under the head gasket problem years
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But, if the head gasket were the problem you should be able to find/smell oil that has leaked out.
Also true
Unless there's globs of oil in the coolant, that's probably not the issue anyway

It certainly is time for a compression test (simple) or leakdown test (more complex)
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
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...blows compressed air into each cylinder via the spark plug holes...The use of a long thin wooden dowel is good here to help you see exactly where the piston is traveling, via the spark plug hole....
Heads up-
The right side, or back (firewall) spark plug holes are an issue on this engine
Spark plug replacement is through the exhaust chunnel from underneath the vehicle (underneath the cabin)

I haven't done these tests myself on one of these, but I can't think of a good way to get a reading on the back ones for the tests off hand
It may be tricky....very tricky.....
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:31 AM   #10
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I would do the diagnostics to see what the actual cause is but you have to remember that the vehicle in question is a 17 yr old Windstar. Unless the OP is planning on doing internal engine repair himself or someone owes him a huge favor, a '90 Windstar is not worth repairing. Once you start talking any internal engine repair, you are into thousands to repair a vehicle that's only worth a few hundred bucks. Drive it until it dies, donate it, then buy something else.
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:46 AM   #11
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it's not a 1990, it's a 2000. Great vehicle other wise. over 30K this year and a lot of it our recreating by our northern lakes and hunting. It's hauled well too, till I abused it. Yeh, the resale is for ************ on these, the stupid ************s who won't look at american cars again....especialy the asses on the east and west coast.
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:15 PM   #12
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Oh... yes... 2000... that makes a difference. I see where I got the 1990 from. Good Luck and let us know what you end up doing.
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:21 PM   #13
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FUNNY THING IS THAT IN THE 40 MI DRIVES WITH BIG LOAD THE ENGINE NEVER HEATED UP THOUGH LOW ON OIL. ??

I'd have thought the engine would heat up if it was so low the rings would be torching the cylindars.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:10 AM   #14
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The motor is Cooled by the Cooling System,.....
And,....
The Motor is Lubed by the Oil,.......

While it probably Was running slightly Hotter with No Oil in it,....
That doesn't mean you'd See it at the Heat Gauge.........

Running a motor That low on Oil,....... Probably means it's Junk now.....
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:03 PM   #15
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The low oil light did not come on at the dashboard?

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