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Thread: Rebuilding a 3.8?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    257

    Rebuilding a 3.8?

    So I talked to someone the other day about my radiator having black gunk in it and was told it's probablt oil. This would mean a bad headgasket. So if I was to get my engine fixed up would it be worth just rebuilding with higher end parts? I imagine my car won't go above 350hp, since it will be my daily driver but if I'm pulling the engine I fogured I might as well get the whole thing redone if I'm going to be pulling anything apart.

    Thoughts? Oh the engine has about 150 to 165 on it

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    724
    It is about that time. It could be that the person that replaced the head gaskets didn't flush the coolant and radiator when done. what does the engine oil look like? Milkshake, mud? If not you might be alright. If oil pressure and temp are ok, you should be alright.
    1994 Mk VIII in RCOH
    1990 Cougar XR7 - ALIVE! 325RWHP at current tune
    1981 Rabbit 1.6D + K03 50-60mpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    My temp gauge doesn't work lol. Oils pressure is fine. Drives normal

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    825
    Not nessisarily head gaskets. Could be an oil cooler, or as stated just needs flushed. If you want to be sure get the kit that detects exhaust gas in the coolant.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    I pulled my throttle body the other day and noticed a fair amount of oil behind it. Could that be a signal for worn cylinder walls?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    kansas
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    That's normal with the way the PVC system is set up for the drivers side. My fresh rebuild has some oil in the Tb even.
    1990 Thunderbird SC 35th Anniversary: built 3.8, stock gen 2 blower with 10% od, built aod with silver fox valve body

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalcorpse View Post
    I pulled my throttle body the other day and noticed a fair amount of oil behind it. Could that be a signal for worn cylinder walls?
    If you notice there is a tube that comes off the front of the drivers side valve cover and travels under the supercharger snout and back into the intake...this is where the oil comes from and its normal and doesn't indicate anything bad.

    -Tim
    Current Collection
    1994 Thunderbird SC - Auto converted to 5spd

    1995 Thunderbird SC - Auto

    1994 Thunderbird SC - 5spd
    1989 Thunderbird SC - 5spd - Daily Driver
    1990 Thunder/Cougar XR7 - 5spd
    1994 Thunderbird SC - 3v Project

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    257
    Yea it doesn't seem too bad. I'm just curious if I should rebuild it since I'll be adding so any things to it. I'd hate to drop a few grand on it and it just breaks down. On top of that I was told the best build engines on sccoa are rebuild with better internals, the crank in particular

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    138
    Quote Originally Posted by Metalcorpse View Post
    Yea it doesn't seem too bad. I'm just curious if I should rebuild it since I'll be adding so any things to it. I'd hate to drop a few grand on it and it just breaks down. On top of that I was told the best build engines on sccoa are rebuild with better internals, the crank in particular
    Unless you have a cast crank the crank will just be re-ground. Have you considered contacting David at SCUI? Let him know what you want and he can advise how to get there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    840
    As pointed out, the PCV system on these cars routes through to before the throttle body (from the driver's side valve cover), and also from the passenger's valve cover (where the PCV valve is), to the intake plenum. There is some oil/ blowby gunk that gets in there, and that's normal.

    Also, it could be the lower manifold gaskets failing, if you're getting a light brown coloured almost foam like substance at the top of the rad or overflow tank. This was happening on my Mustang, and the lower intake manifold gaskets were starting to not seal in between the coolant passages and the surrounding passages.

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