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Discussion Starter #1
first time owner. Bought a 3.8L off a marine (not knowing what i was getting myself into) It's been a roller coaster of emotions between the fun of finding Ford's hidden power, and running into hideous "band-aid" type repairs all over this poor pony.

first thing i did was redo the entire ignition system(coil pack, plugs, wires) and sensors

come to find out like most cars in this SOCAL desert, The thermo is shotout. Im told the 180 is better to run out here because of the instant heat the 3.8 has to deal with when i start it up on a 100degree morning.

So i flush the system, not much rust comes out or anything, fill her back up, slap the new thermo in. not even 30 miles later, top end hose bursts at the block housing, meanwhile the gauge is showing everything under the hood as just fine and dandy??

Replace the hose, replace the ECT sensor, reflush the system. TRIPLE CHECK my procedure so no air pockets are left behind (known cause for gauge to read incorrectly)

now the gauge is just kinda all over the place. Real quick to heat up past half way at a 30-45 second stoplight idle. But only about half of the time has it gone right back down when i get back up into third gear.

SO NOW, what i have feared the most may be upon me soon. I pop the hood tonight after watching the gauge dance through the 15 minute city drive, and i have very small amounts of coolant resting just about the valve covers, a tad bit is either pressuring itself out of the thermo housing or its running down from the manifold above? im not sure but just small amounts in random places. as well as at almost every injector point.

head gasket getting ready to fully blow right???

i have no problem and plenty of skill to pull the top end apart and redo the gaskets.What im trying to learn before i start serious wrenching are major points in this paticular task that i need to look out for, and what are some causes of this problem? im assuming this may be common, sseeing as how ive read alout about surprise over heats with gagues not reading right etc. are there any tricks to the rebuilding process of the cooling systems on these 3.8's?

i seriously appreciate anybodies time and apologize if this is a long drawn out subject already covered in threads elsewhere on the site. If so, shoot the link becaaaaaaause i havent found it lol :crying:

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May be an intake gasket.I suggest to do a pressure test.
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