Last post on Jan 21, 2011 at 11:46 AM
You are in the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
What is this discussion about?
Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Sedan
Jan 17, 2003 (4:46 am)
realize that the Vulcan has only been used in the Taurus.The debut of the Taurus was 1985 as an 86 model.
If Ford is going to keep the current edition around until 2005 that means this style will be in production since the 1996 model year. That is a long time for any model and it doesn't help the Taurus.
I believe the 3.8 GM motor was developed in the early 60's with a major revision in the late 80's. So the Vulcan isn't that old.
Jan 17, 2003 (6:14 am)
is also used in the Ranger (or was) along with the 4.0 V6s, and also it was at one time the base engine in the Windstar (might still be). It was the base engine in the old RWD Aerostar van, too. However, the majority of production did/does go into the Taurus and Sable.
It indeed was new in 1985 for the new Taurus and Sable.
The Vulcan may be lower in HP than some engines, but it has decent low-end torque, something four cylinders (especially multi-valve 4s) do not usually have. The Vulcan has around 170-180 pound-feet, which is decent and comparable to many competitors. Car ads always trumpet HP, but they never mention torque. I'd much rather know what the torque output is, and at what RPM it's delivered. HP is needed to maintain speed/overcome wind resistance. Torque's what gets the car moving. If I get torque when I mash the gas (i.e., at fairly low engine speeds), I'm much happier than if I have to rev the spit out of an engine to get power. The rush of acceleration (and the haze of tire smoke... you get out of a big block V8 is from its torque.
(Note that the Vulcan and 4.0 are not related--the 4.0 is a German design that is actually older than the Vulcan. Remember the Capri--not the Mustang-based car, the one from '70-'76. That car's 2.8 L V6 is the basis for the later 2.9 and 4.0 OHV Ranger/Bronco II/Explorer engines, and also the 4.0 SOHC).
As for the GM 3.8, it's ancient. I think it's the oldest engine design still out there still using the same displacement and basic layout (pushrod, etc.). This assumes that Chrysler has finally ended production on the 318 V8, which dates to 1963 as a 273 V8 and itself began in '66--though a 318 with a thicker block casting and different heads existed back as far as 1959).
The GM 231/3.8 was an odd-fire V6 from its start in the early 1960s (Buick Special and Skylark), and they used it for a few years.
By 1966 or so, design and tooling was sold to Jeep when Jeep was part of Kaiser (prior to AMC). When AMC bought Jeep in 1970, they began switching to AMC straight-sixes. GM wanted the V6 back during the fuel crisis, and AMC needed the money. So, when GM's new intermediate cars came out in 1976, the 231/3.8 was back as an even-fire engine. Then it was re-done in the late 1980s, as stated above, with the switch to modern fuel injection. They've kept tweaking it. Proves it is a basically sound design. It too has decent torque at lower RPMs.
Anyway, that ends today's lesson. Thank you for attending...
Jan 17, 2003 (6:47 am)
When is the engine test scheduled??? Canb I bring you an apple??
#2009 of 3389 Price on Sable/Taurus
Jan 17, 2003 (7:11 am)
If I am looking for a Duratec with leather, ABS, side air bags (is that an SES?) can I get that for under $17K with 0 percent for 5 ??
#2010 of 3389 We can speculate
Jan 17, 2003 (7:57 am)
All we want about what Ford's future plans are. In the mean time I will just keep on enjoying my Duratec Taurus. By the time I am looking for a replacement in about seven years assuming it doesn't get totalled, I will just reevaluate at that point. In the meantime, I think Ford could make a lot of marketing inroads if they published comparitive advertisements that emphasized the value you are getting for the price.
Yes, Accord and Camry are good cars, though Camry has slipped lately in the CR ratings, and the jury is still out as to whether the newest generation Accord is up to their historical quality levels. But to get their V-6 versions, they will tend to push you up to at about $23K or more (negotiated price, not list). A Taurus with Duratec will run you an actual negotiated price of about $17-$18K. That is a very significant difference. If you look at the overall package of price vs features, for a family sedan Taurus is hard to beat, and I believe the quality is nearly a wash these days.
#2011 of 3389 reply ehenness
Jan 17, 2003 (8:08 am)
GM 3.8 is much preferable to Vulcan IM0 having driven both. As far as being ancient, I guess you could say that Boeing 737 is ancient but Southwest Airlines runs their entire business based on an ancient aircraft and is one of the most successful! Ford needs to redesign the entire Taurus/Sable line IMO but I wouldn't hold my breath given their current finances.
Jan 17, 2003 (8:08 am)
The $17K-18K price range are including the current $3000 rebate incentives. Usually your choice is rebate or low interest rates, not both. If you page back in this discussion, you will see people having paid about 18K for a Loaded Taurus or Sable with Duratec, ABS and even with leather.
You can check the Ford web site, and if I remember right, they have a section listing factory incentives once you get into the Taurus area. The Edmunds area for rebates, I have found does not usually keep up with what is really available, as things change too often.
Jan 17, 2003 (9:13 am)
Thanks for the history lesson. I forgot that the Vulcan was used in the Windstar. Thought most of the Windstars came thru with the 3.8. Never would have thought of the Aerostar and didn't know about use in the Ranager.
If history is any indicator I'm going to bet that the majority of Tauruses will be sold with the Vulcan. Ford is still using the 3.8 and look at the head gasket problems with that engine.
Jan 17, 2003 (9:21 am)
If you are buying a new Taurus these days, you cannot get the 3.8 engine anyway, as it was replaced by the Duratec as the optional engine in Taurus/Sable when the '96 redesign came out. So no worry about headgaskets. I would bet any 3.8 engines they are putting in Windstar these days probably have a redesign to fix the headgasket problem anyway.
Jan 17, 2003 (10:42 am)
I know that the 3.8 was discontinued in the Taurus (replaced by Duratec) in 96 and on models.
My point is they continue to put the 3.8 in the Windstar and the Mustang. So don't bet on the Vulcan going away. I also wouldn't bet that the 3.8 head gasket problem has been addressed.
As far as putting a four in the Taurus; maybe a reasonable stratergy if energy gets tight and the fours make a 20% or so improvement in fuel economy over the current v-6s.Also gas would have to increase by 50 cents to a buck a gallon fior most folks to consider a four. Right now fuel economy is not an issue with most new car buyers. Why should it be when gas is as cheap as it has ever been!