'02 3.8 life span - Mustang Evolution

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Old 05-30-2016, 04:43 PM   #1
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'02 3.8 life span

Haven't found an answer. I know they can last long if you take care of them but the problem is right now my mustang is the only thing running and it has 198,XXX miles on it with original head gaskets. I'm bout to take a trip and want to make sure my head gaskets are ok and don't blow. Currently I have had no overheating issue except when I put antifreeze in it a while back and didn't bleed it, but it only heated up 3/4 way and I let it cool down. But other than that it runs great, no problems.

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Old 05-30-2016, 08:15 PM   #2
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My question was what is the life span for stock head gaskets

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Old 05-30-2016, 08:21 PM   #3
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My question was what is the life span for stock head gaskets

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I don't think that's a question anyone can answer. It really is going to depend how your car was operated and maintained.


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Old 05-30-2016, 10:26 PM   #4
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I don't think that's a question anyone can answer. It really is going to depend how your car was operated and maintained.


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Well it was owned by a lady and her husband said they changed the oil every 3k miles and it actually runs really good. The downside is that she wrecked it and I bout it but it was sitting for over a year while I was fixing it. I haven't been too light on the gas but I do for the most part I try to.

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Old 05-31-2016, 02:34 PM   #5
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The life span should be good. I got a 2000 V6 with 189k on it and hardly anything has broken on it throughout its lifetime. My mom bought it new in 1999 and gave it to me in 2014 so I know how it was maintained, and let me tell you, my mom didn't take good care of it. Sometimes it went 6000 miles without an oil change. I remember changing the alternator and the passenger side header cracked about 5-6 years ago. Those were the only real mechanical problems we've had with it in 16 years. Oh yeah she sent it to some mechanic who changed the water pump not too long before I got it. Other than that it's been bulletproof. Only other minor things like spark pugs/wires and batteries have been changed. My entire suspension was shot so I recently replaced all of it. The LCAs and tie rod ends were destroyed. The ball joint was shot and I'm lucky the wheel didn't fly off. I got a deal on some KONI STR.Ts so I put those on. The suspension is to be expected though. I live in Louisiana and 16 years of driving on horrible roads filled with potholes will destroy your suspension.

My head gaskets have never been changed. The motor's never even been taken apart. I don't know how much longer it will last but it seems strong. The gas mileage is awesome. It's just lost a ton of HP due to age. I'm modding the hell out of it to change that though. LOL
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:32 PM   #6
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Dude that sounds awesome. I had to replace the whole K member cuz it was shot in the wreck and new ball joints. Just put new spark plugs in and the coil pack was replaced by the previous owner cuz it's not stock. I'm changing out the exhaust for dual exhaust with mac prochamber and I gutted the cats so it's just straight through. I got sparkplug anti Fowler adapter and drilled out the middle and put the O2 sensor in which keeps the engine light from tripping. But it runs just a great, cept needs a power steering pump.

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Old 05-31-2016, 03:48 PM   #7
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Keep in mind I also delivered pizza in it for a while and put a lot of hard stop and go miles on it. I also run the hell out of it. The motor still hasn't blown. LOL
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:43 AM   #8
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The car will last you a long time as long as you take care of it, just like most mechanical things. The 3.8 is one of the best motors that FORD has ever made and is tough as nails. I have over 168,000 on mine and it has been a daily driver for the past 10 years, while I was in college for four years and then I drove it to Virginia for military training and daily driver there for 6 months. I even put a tow package on it to pull my motorcycle from VA to TX when I was stationed at Fort Hood. My car was more of a truck in TX than others that actually had trucks. I don't drive it hard but I do enjoy playing around from time to time. With a 5 spd and 8.8" 3.27L I have done my share of burnouts, even with 10.5" wide tires. I just replaced the brake master cylinder, tie rod ends, ball joints, shocks and struts. Louisiana roads do take a toll on a car. In the process of doing more mods and upgrades to improve drivability.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:43 PM   #9
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I have 248,000 miles on my 2000 v6 and it still runs great.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:02 PM   #10
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If worried, and you are traveling far, rent a car thru Enterprise. Not all that expensive and if troubles, they take care of it, not you or your pocketbook. I am not rich by any means but to keep from -paying high dollars to get repairs done on the road or possibly a very large tow bill to get the car home, I rent. Save the stang for cruising around town.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:29 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. As far as renting a car, I'm not 25 yet. Also I took the trip and made it back and the ODO just hit 200k. Still running good and strong. I'm now in the middle of converting the lights to LED. Got most of them but it sure pit a dent in my wallet. I can't seem to find any LEDs for the headlights though. They are all turn signals or fog lights.

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