Blown head gasket!

I have a 1993 ford taurus 3.8L V6 automatic GL. I have a blown head gasket and don’t know if I should get it fixed or get a new engine. First can you tell why it costs over $1,000 dollars to fix it and what is the procedure? Also, if I decide to get another engine, should I get a new, rebuilt, or used one?

Before we delve into an answer, let me ask you: how do you know you need a head gasket?

Did a qualified tech do tests and confirm the diagnosis or just guess? OR, are you assuming it needs one? (I hate that word ‘assuming’)

Is it obvious the gasket has been breached?

If it is the head gasket, I would not be hesitant to replace it if the engine is in otherwise good shape. If you had good compression, and not burning oil, you most likely do not need a new engine. However, if it was marginal to begin with, I’d consider replacing the engine instead of ‘band-aid’ cures. I’ve replaced head gaskets in 5 cars, 1 V-6, 1 V-8, 2 inline 4 cyls, and an inline 6. All the engines were strong and in good shape before the gaskets blew.

To get to the head gasket, you basically need to tear down the engine very deep. I believe this V6 is a push-rod V6. This makes it easier than an overhead valve version. Basically, the accessories on the front of the engine will need to be removed. Then, the valve cover for the side your working on, and the entire intake manifold. Plus, the exhaust manifold for the side that is to be worked on. Then, th valve train needs to be removed, and placed in order so they can be replaced in the same locations (VERY IMPORTANT). Now, the cylinder head can be removed. Once out, it needs to be inspected for cracks, damage, and flatness. With this age, getting the valves ground would be a good idea. The exhaust valves are most likely pitted. The head will probably need to be milled to restore flatness. The block needs to be checked for flatness as well, but they generally hold up well.

Then, the block surface and head need to be cleaned very well for the new head gasket. Th head will need to be replaced carefully to prevent damaging the new gasket. Then the head will need to be torqued down in the pattern and method recommended by the manufacturer. This info is in most manuals. then, the valve train will need to be replaced, yada, yada, yada.

This is sometimes a multi-day project. Last time I did this for my Toyota Supra, I spent a week-and-a-half on it so I had time to have the machine shop grind the valves and cut the head flat. During this time, I cleaned the parts I removed and double-checked the fit of gaskets to make sure they would fit right. It’s been running like a top for the last couple of years since.

I wouldn’t bother fixing a 15 year old Taurus. Usually somemechanic will end up with it and do it in his spare time and make a nice profit on the car. You have to take off the entire top of the engine. That’s two heads and the intake manifold. You have to disconnect the exhaust pipes and the electrical junk. You do want the engine to work when it goes back together. Sometimes it doesn’t run when really fast people do the job. I suggested on the other post that a 93 Taurus is highly replaceable. Even if you buyanother Taurus. It won’t have the 3.8 gasketblower in it. If it does, I don’t recommend buying it.

It costs money because it’s labor intensive, pure and simple. If you want the details on the procedure so you can DIY then you should purchase a 20 dollar Haynes manual.

JMHO, but I would invest the expense of a new/rebuilt engine into an older Taurus. It’s just not worth it.
The best option is to find a comparatively low miles used engine and install that. Preferably one from a wreck and you can hear it run first or one from a reputable salvage yard. Many yards will even install them for a nominal fee and guarantee them.

This is all assumig you have a blown head gasket of course. A head gasket is something that is frequently misdiagnosed and you did not state the reasons why you think the head gasket(s) is/are blown.