1998 Ford Windstar - Knocks

car knocks when engine gets hot

is it coming from the top of the engine or the bottom?
is it a ticking sound or a deep knocking sound?

Have you checked the oil? “When it gets hot”, is it overheating?

Many friends have had head gasket problems on this model.

The 1995 and 1995.5 model Windstars (or any early-mid 90’s Ford with the N/A single port 3.8L ) were indeed notorious for blowing head gaskets. The models with the split-port heads (96+ Windstar, 99+ Mustang) were significantly better about that. It’s still a possibility of course, but it’s not as common on the 96+ models.

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Depends on the type of knock. A hydraulic lifter bleeding down will have a more tinny sound.
A rod bearing will have a sharper, rap sound and a main bearing often comes across a a subtle thump.

Wild guessing without hearing it and based on the complaint I tend to think rod bearing.
Might be a good idea to check the oil pressure with an external gauge. Ignored rod bearing problems due to wear and clearance issues can often become catastrophic if a bearing decides to swap sides.

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