3.8 Blowing head gaskets?

Discussion in 'SN95 V6 Mustang Tech' started by tchesney, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. My daughter has a 94 3.8 V6, and this will be the third time since we've owned the car to replace the head gaskets. It's the same one blowing, passenger side, rear hole, backside. Anyways, the last time she blew, I had the heads milled, radiator replaced, etc, etc. Lasted about 8,000 miles, now she's overheating again. Bubbles forming in coolant, and very high pressure building up in radiator. No oil in coolant, or coolant in oil, but still pretty sure a blown head gasket again. Read somewhere that 3.8's were notorius for blowing head gaskets.......anyone agree? and what is the permanant fix? Later model engine? and/or was it a desing flaw from ford on the 94 model?

    Please help, as I'm debating on whether or not to even fix this again, or replace engine, or heads, or what?

    Thanks in advance for replys.
  2. Was the block's deck checked for flatness? It sounds like whatever the problem, it's originating with the block. Maybe a coolant passage is blocked.

    If you decide to fix the engine again, I'd go with one of the high-quality metal head gaskets that are supposed to be blow-proof. They're usually used in racing, so hopefully there's one available for the 3.8!

    I've heard of other people getting blown head gaskets with early 3.8s, but I don't know if it's considered a common problem, or if there's a typical solution.
  3. 93-96 and some 97's all had head gasket problems until ford redesigned the engines. If you wanna, retrofit a 1999 - onward engine in, you'll gain 50 hp, and get a good engine, only thing you'll have to do is wire it up, and hook up the other little things.
  4. 94-95 mustang 3.8 had the problem, it was fixed in 96. i am not sure of any pre 94's but it came with the addition of the aluminum heads, the head expanded at a different rate than the block. i was told if you put later model head gaskets from a 96-98 that it would fix it
  5. all 3.8 fords made had aluminum heads and head gaskets were a common problem throughout it's life from 1982-1996

    www.rpm-mustangs.com has the parts you need

    you have to replace the heads bolts everytime you take off the heads. if you didn't then that is the reason you have a reoccuring problem.
  6. I also have a 94 v6. The headgasket blew (surprise surprise). Turns out it wasnt the radiator causing it to overheat, it was the block of the engine being clogged. Just my 2 cents...

  7. not true, the problem is with the 94 and 95 heads since they have too many steam holes as opposed to the 96 and up.
  8. block change was made about may of 1996. and they are not steam holes they are liquid coolant passages

    even old carb'd 3.8's had head gasket problems and plagued the 3.8 till mid 1996. if you don't believe me just do a yahoo search on ford 3.8L and see what comes up. about 99% of the URL's are dedicated to the head gasket problems in older taurus and LTD cars

    here is a link with a ford tsb including 1998 mustangs 3.8 with coolant in oil.

    the problem was minimized with the coolant passage change but not eliminated even with split port 4.2's

    i have been working on these engines for a long time and have replaced a huge amount of head gaskets on various models with the 3.8 regardless of year except after 1996 1/2 engines except my procharged 1998 which blew the gasket but it was my fault for a bad tune

    please do not try to explain to me the in and outs of the 3.8 when you think the head gasket problem was because of the addition of aluminum heads when in reality all 3.8 fords had aluminum heads. you would know that if you knew what you were talking about