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View Full Version : 3.8 essex hg reliability



caleb_chambers
07-08-2006, 09:34 AM
i just found out today that the 3.8 is supposed to have a head gasket reliability problem? Is this true? If so, how true?

Thanx

fturner
07-08-2006, 10:02 AM
I don't think its suppose to have the problem ;).... but yes they sure do. Alot of us around here has been there done it got the t shirt.

Frit

Mike8675309
07-08-2006, 10:11 AM
The HG reliability issue is the same issue that most early Aluminum head, steel block engines had. Early OEM head gaskets as well as deck surfaces were not ideal for keeping things in tact.

Ideally the stock head would have had more bolts. Baring that, a current generation oem or felpro headgasket is a better gasket and should give good service life for a stock motor.

For a modified motor putting out significantly more power, a mult-layer-steel gasket, like those adopted for the 4.0 truck motors or the later model Mustangs is going to be required.

Sweet90SC
07-08-2006, 11:57 AM
Personally I don't feel the headgasket issue is that big a deal if you run the car stock. There are alot of these out there that are well over 100 grand in milage and still on the original HG's. Mine included. as long as you don't constantly beat the b@lls of the car and maintain it properly the eingine will last. and considering the bottom end is darn near bullet proof I think overall performance is pretty good.

68COUGAR
07-08-2006, 03:23 PM
Never heard of a 3.8 Essex before. Is that an assembly plant? Engine plant? Foundry? :confused:

Confused 68COUGAR

Mike8675309
07-08-2006, 09:36 PM
Our heads have essex stamped on them, and the block was manufactured in the essex foundry.

It's a term for a 3.8 that keeps it seperate from the Cologne V6 motors that Ford also built. (2.6, 2.9, 4.0)

4cefed
07-08-2006, 11:31 PM
Mine had made it to 13X,XXX miles with the original head gaskets. I bought the car from the original motor, but then again it was an older lady. So there is some truth that these headgaskets aren't always doomed from the start. I upgraded to some FelPro gaskets and ARP studs last summer due to my driving habbits.

68COUGAR
07-09-2006, 02:17 AM
Our heads have essex stamped on them, and the block was manufactured in the essex foundry.

It's a term for a 3.8 that keeps it seperate from the Cologne V6 motors that Ford also built. (2.6, 2.9, 4.0)
Cologne V6? Cologne, USA? or Cologne, Germany? I know that Ford USA borrowed heavily from Ford Germany. Is there an american Cologne foundry or assemply plant?

68COUGAR

Jimmy 2Coupes
07-09-2006, 04:32 PM
There's a sticker on the driver side valve cover in my 4.0 Ranger that says made in Cologne Germany.

Mike8675309
07-09-2006, 09:57 PM
Wiki can be your friend too:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Cologne_V6_engine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Essex_V6_engine

Joisey Jim
07-11-2006, 01:11 PM
The Ford Essex plant is in Dagenham, Essex county, just outside London, UK. It's been Ford's main plant in England for years.