Which do you think is better and why?
The 3.0 Vulcan is, in my opinion, the most reliable, durable, bulletproof, indestructable V6 engine ever seen on the American road. They never break, save for instances of severe neglect or abuse, and are easy and cheap to maintain. Nothing ever goes wrong with them.
My wife drives a Mercury Sable, with the Duratec. It’s got dual overhead camshafts driven by ridiculously long timing chains and a myriad of coolant hoses. Personally I’d always take a Duratec over a Vulcan because they’re so much peppier and therefore fun to drive.
Most reliable, indestructible…thems are some pretty strong words. Not being a Ford man, I would not have a clue. But that does leap frog some other really deserving motors. The old 4.3 L GM is still found in Marine use where the environment is about as bad as you can get. The 4.0 L 6 by Toyota is arguably one of the best 6 cylinder truck motors. Unfortunately, in this day and age, economy in operation often sacrifices a little longevity. And just about any old straight six from GM gets my nod. They just couldn’t fit in place in fwd and the inherrant advantages took a back seat. But, I agree that old push rods tend to be fairly reliable and a big reason they are still used in industrial applications. Still, the older we are the better we were and life expectancies of 130 k for a push rod pails o a 200k Honda which is just getting broken in. They may have seemed reliable in a old Taurus as they were the last thing to break. And lest I forget my bros old diesel MB with more then a quarter million miles of trouble free motor operation. So the most reliale motor being a Ford Vulcan ? Hmmm. Just have to buy an old Taurus for my next car then.
Well, my dad had a Taurus with a Vulcan. The engine was not the cause of death. The transmission failed.
Good point. If the motor still runs while the rest of the car falls apart, is it an illusion that the motor is really that good simply because it’s the last component standing at only 150 k ? IMHO, the sign of a decent motor is how many times it keeps showing up in other uses. The 4.3 from GM, spent a lot of time in vans, trucks , busses and boats. So, is it more reliable then a Vulcan. If you try to use it in a truck it certainly is. In that respect, best motors are really misleading. That 3.0 six may have been a decent motor in a Taurus, but it would be gutless in many other situations. The 4.3 has shown itself to be much more versatile than that Ford motor and deserves higher praise.
The Vulcan is very reliable, if unexciting, chances are it will outlast the car. The Duratec is more modern, it’s more complex, and his has more power, it doesn’t have any chronic issues that I’m aware of.
@Dagosa. The 3.0L Vulcan also saw duty in the Ranger, and has had an industrial use variant since 1995. The GM 4.3L is a great engine, but some versions like the 1992-1995 CPI version had a weird poor-man’s pseudo multi-port fuel injection setup, that wasn’t as reliable as the earlier TBI or later MPFI variants. The Vulcan was pretty much bulletproof throughout it’s production run,
Of course the Ford motor was a very good motor …and this Ford motor like many push rod motors found their way into the industrial world. My point is, many motors used within their capabilities were quite good. The Vulcan was and probably is, a decent motor when used in lower demand applications. But, I can cite a gazillion motors with equal to or greater number of backers, not only with greater power output for the same size, but greater life expectancy. Most of these motors in car use had their own backers. If you’re a Ford man, you will be impressed by this motor, if you are a Honda man, you might be impressed by some of their v6 or the superb Yamaha found in the Ford SHO of 3 l as well. The Vulcan would never survive the turbo charging which would be needed if used in this application.
But saying it’s the “most reliable, indestructible etc. V6 motor ever seen on the American road,” is like using superlative phrases like …"he gives 110%"and all of these highly exagerated expressions need perspective as it’s just one segments opinion. When used in a bus, or towing a boat with the 4.3, I doubt it… I have my own Opinion, and it’s just a valid and the Vulcan isn’t the greatest v6 motor ever to grace the roads of America, and neither is the GM 4.3. They are impressive to owners of them. The best motors are yet to be built. And as impressive as the pedigree is, there are many more with equal or greater performance histories with as vehement supporters. Bet you can name a few your self…
Btw, in the Ranger, it had poor motor performance compared to it’s competition. That it was used, does not mean it was used successfully. They were cheaper to build too…a hallmark of the Ranger…and the Taurus. And to put things in perspective, the Vulcan can easily outlast the rest of a Taurus, inluding the transmission which is easier then outlasting the rest of an Accord or even an earlier Crown Vic. I doubt it could outlast the transmission and body of a lot of other cars whose motors routinely outlasted the Vulcan motors in miles driven. Bottom line, it is rare for a Taurus to get 200k miles without major repairs. It is not for an Accord, Camry, and other makes of cars, both foreign and domestic.
That redicul… long timing chain is no problem - weak xmiss and coils which are hard to do but the Vulcan is better
just bust out 2000 for a new x miss - if you spend as much to maintain it as you did ON IT you will be
My uncle had a 3.0 Vulcan that has been in 3 different Taurus’s. Transmissions died in the first two. The engine still runs like new.
The last Vulcan I owned had 420k miles on it when sold and still ran well while carrying a 160 PSI of compression.
Oil consumption was a quart per 600 miles mosly due to a leaky rear main seal which I had no desire to mess with due to it being so labor intensive.
The Vulcan is known for leaking coolant from the timing cover. At least it leaks externally, and not into the oil pan. I did the oil pan gasket too. Easy to drop the y-pipe if you follow the proper steps.
I have 5 ford tauruses, from 96 to 05. All have the vulan OHV engine. It is truly industructable. My 05 has 130k, and my 96 has 385k…the rest in the mid 200’sd. I have run them 2 quarts low on oil, and without any coolant - (by accident, of course), and NO problem. 96 still has 150-160 compression. The original poster is correct . Save for the Chrysler 225 slant 6, this is THE most indestructible engine I have ever encountered.