Last post on Oct 27, 2006 at 8:51 PM
You are in the Ford Windstar
What is this discussion about?
Ford Windstar, Van
Apr 15, 2003 (1:07 pm)
I completely agree on dealer experiences being key to the satisfaction of vehicle ownership. That is a major reason I have Fords myself. My dealer on a number of occasions has bent over backwards to help me out with this or that problem over the past 25 years.
On another note I think what you said about your Windstar holding up well after the warranty can be very true. My good friend has a 1999 GMC Yukon that was complete trash when he hit about 70,000 Miles. I mean all kinds of things went wrong (It was not in warranty). However, he was patient and got the things repaired. Now he is at about 120,000-125,000K and hasn't had any problems for about 45,000 miles now. It's just hard to know where to draw the line and scrap a car when it comes to repairs at higher mileage. Are you thinking of getting a 2004 Freestar or a good deal on a 2003 Windstar? Personally I think they did a fine job with the Freestar. It's nice that they will also have two engines, the 3.9L V6 and the 4.2L V6. All I can hope is that they execute it well when it comes out. That way it will be a sure winner. Have a good one.
Apr 15, 2003 (1:44 pm)
You are right, you never know when to draw the line. I might wait on the Freestar. I am retiring next year and want to see what the finances are. The third seat is a major issue for us since we never use it. The seat is in the garage covered by a tarp. It would be nice not to have to store it. Actually, I had hoped the windows would go down ala the MPV. With Ford owning part of Mazda I would have thought that would be the next step. This way the dogs could stick there heads out the window.
Actually the perfect configuration would be: third seat fold away, roll down windows and a rear window like the 4runner. Just have to see. The 2000 has only 27k on it and with the extended warranty there are three years and 73K to go. As we both know resale is the pits on these so it will be a no trade if I get one. You take care.
#1186 of 2608 4.2-jrc346
Apr 15, 2003 (7:43 pm)
<It's nice that they will also have two engines, the 3.9L V6 and the 4.2L V6. All I can hope is that they execute it well when it comes out.>
Is this the same 4.2 that has been featured as the base engine in the F-series since 96? According to the corp press release for the Windstar 4.2, the engine is either "new" or "newly available," depending on what point in the article you read the phrase. I'm guessing it's the same with a few modifications to shoehorn it in the minivan, and if it is, it's nothing to be excited about. That 4.2 is a drawn-up 3.8 that hasn't had a good track record in the F-series. It's had a lot of the same gasket retention problems as the old 3.8, according to a few people I know who have owned them and a pal who works in the parts business. (Different motor, but ask him about the 5.4 in his 98 Expedition. Uggh. Good thing he manages a parts store.)
Apr 15, 2003 (8:54 pm)
What happened to your pal's Expedition with the 5.4L. I have a 1999 with the same engine. I know that in 1999 it is common for head gasket oil leaks because of a machining problem at the Canadian (Windsor) engine plant. However, I have been fortunate enough to not have a problem...yet. I just keep my fingers crossed. If you would share your friends story though, I would be interested. Just in case there is something that I should look out for:-)
Do you think that the 3.9L V6 is just a bigger 3.8? I wish more details about these engines would be available.
Apr 15, 2003 (10:08 pm)
'Zactly! Failed right front (front driver's pointofview) HG. Started with oil seepage, then major coolant explosion/implosion on a cold December morning ("head gasket weather"). He did the job himself, replacing all motor gaskets. Mileage was around 80,000. Ford service tech he talked to said that was not uncommon, and he had done way too many HG jobs on that motor himself. My pal replaced his original HGs with the Multi-Layered-Steel factory updates (which the originals were not). The cost of all (head, intake, etc) gaskets and bolts was sickening-I think he said around $400. Of course, no aftermarket companies are making them yet, so he got his from the dealership. What I can't remember, though, was whether or not the MLS gasket was a standard update that Ford began replacing the older gaskets with in production models, or something he upgraded to voluntarily. I wonder what year Ford went to MLS gaskets on all their aluminum-on-iron engines. I see from the Edmund's article that the 3.8 went MLS in '97.
Apr 15, 2003 (10:46 pm)
That's very interesting. I am very close to 80,000 miles. I have heard that Ford is fixing these gaskets free of charge (that's just what I heard, so I don't know if its 100% true). I can only hope, as that is somewhat reassuring just in case my motor does start to have this problem. Which side does it leak on? The Passenger side bank or the drivers side bank? I wonder if my 1999 5.4 has MLS gaskets? Looks like I have some research to do. Oh well keeps me busy. Thanks again for the response!
#1190 of 2608 3.8/3.9/4.2
Apr 15, 2003 (11:19 pm)
For a depressing look at Ford's minivan future:
It depresses me, at least. I know Ford doesn't have much money for product development right now, but, geez, the best they can do is boring out a 15-year old engine and passing it off as two "new" engines? The 3.9's outputs are the same as the 3.8! What really bewilders me is why Ford goes through the trouble of producing two separate engines, with the "significant" difference being a 10% increase in peak torque a difference of 100 RPM. At usable RPM range the torque gain won't even be noticeable. Look at Ford's specs on the Freestar and look at those of the Odyssey: it's scary how fast they are losing ground. Why in the world doen't Ford develop the wonderful Duratec to fit a number of different platforms? The Sienna gets by just fine with a similar all-aluminum DOHC 3.0 V6. It seems almost like Ford did the 4.2 just to put it in the commercials: "Class-leading available torque" or something.
#1191 of 2608 HP ratings
Apr 16, 2003 (5:29 am)
Kind of funny...How the 3.9L will have probably around 200HP and so will the 4.2L. The reason I was curious about these engines, is mainly because I was hoping that they were not these existing engines and instead were some new SOHC/DOHC engines. The only reason that I don't care a whole lot for them is because they are crude sounding. They defiantly have good power, but just don't sound as buttery smooth as many OHC engines do. Oh well maybe with enough sound deadening material we wont notice. To bad we couldn't have used the Mazda modified 3.0L Duratec. A great motor with 225HP.
Apr 16, 2003 (10:35 am)
As to DOHC/SOHC vs OHV I will take the OHV. Sound funny I know but the one big problem with the OHCs is the builders always use belts, not chains and you are looking at $400 to $600 every 3 or 4 years just to keep the engine running. If they used chains (as in my Suzuki XL-7) then the OHC would be a good bet. Yes, OHVs are not as smooth but this is a van, not a Lexus. A friend of mine just bought a Chrysler LXi with the big 6 (which is a OHV I believe) in it and it is much soother than the Ford. Face it, Ford is behind the power curve (could not resist the pun) in the engine department. However, till I drive one it is all conjecture. The proof is in the final product and we will just have to see.
#1193 of 2608 5greyhounds
Apr 16, 2003 (10:54 am)
Fair enough friend. I'll save my judgments until after I drive one:-) You are correct when you say that OHV engines can be smooth, but the rough engine seems to be one of the Windstars demerits when I read comparison tests, thats all. I guess poor ol' Ford had to save money somewhere. I am sure that the 3.9L and 4.2L will be fine. I just hope that Ford will take care of the 4.2L problems (I have heard of these as well), and I think if Ford really wants to repair its image, it will. I also hope that the transmition will be strong enough to handle all of the extra torque from the 4.2L. Maybe the Freestar will get the new 6-Speed Auto in 2006?