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  #1  
Old 04-26-2007, 11:51 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: S.C.
Posts: 18
Default 1998 Tarus feeze plugs at tranny

New member to this forum. I have a 1998 Tarus 3.0 (125000 miles)with leaking rear freeze plugs,yup the ones behind the transmission. Any advicereplacig these? Mechanictold me today I could take tranny lose and slide it away from motor enough to replace plugs, anyone done this? It looks awfull tight in there. I am determined to do this myself. Everyone else has told me to go ahead and pull both motor and tranny.Any advice would be appreciated. I removed most everything in the way today, air cleaner, battery and tray, several connectors , several wiring harnesses, starter, housing plate, so on. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2007, 04:33 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: S.C.
Posts: 18
Default RE: 1998 Tarus feeze plugs at tranny

It worked. Took the motor loose from transmission, all bolts holding in the transmission as well as engine mounting bolts, took mount to frame for transmission off at driver wheel well, unbolted two engine main mounts , and raised engine and transmission up, each with its own jack. Then carefully seperated motor and tranny, slide motor towards passenger side and transmission toward drivers side, each as far as they would go. Had just enough room (barely) to change freeze plug. However now I decided to change the other one back there so I wont do it till tommorrow. It was very corroded inside the motor behind the plugs, so that is what rotted them out. Now I have to put it all back together. The $800.00 to $1100.00 job ( that was the prices I got ) I will do myself for about $10.00. Just thought Id let someone know it worked for me.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2007, 11:28 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Default RE: 1998 Tarus feeze plugs at tranny

SamF,
My daughter has a 1997 Tarus with the same problem, so I need your advice.When you separated the engine & tranny, how much room did you get between the two? Did you have to remove the flywheel or anything on the front of the engine? What type core plugs did you put back in, conventional or the rubber expandable type? Did you have to remove or disconnected exhaust, front end parts, air condition compressor, power steering pump or any thing like that?

I have read a lot about this problem on the internet, thus far, you are the only one I know who has repaired the core plug in this way, and so any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated. As it turns out, this problem is fairly widespread and is symptoms of a greater problem Ford had with these cars. It is call Brown Coolant, and there is a technical bulletin out on it. Either the block was not treated properly at the factory, or there were problems with the coolant that allowed it to turn acidic rusting out the internal engine parts.

Typically, the first indication of this problem is rust in the coolant overflow container. As the rust builds in the engine, the particles break loose and seem to collect in the heater core. After several months, the heater core plugs up and no heat in the vehicle. You probably already noticed several threads on this. Next, core plugs start rusting out. These are a real problem to replace, especially the ones between the engine and transmission? Apparently, the best preventionis to remove two lower core plugs, one from each side of the engine, then flush all the rust particles out. Replacement of the water pump is recommended. The core plugs are replaced, and the rest of the system flushed out. A special stabilizer is added to the coolant system to prevent further rusting. This is all explained in the bulletin. However, since my core plugs are rusting, I believe it is now best to replace them all, including these behind the transmission, which are leaking badly.
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2007, 07:42 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: S.C.
Posts: 18
Default RE: 1998 Tarus feeze plugs at tranny

Hello. I had to take the air cleaner box, and several other things off to have room to do this.There was nothing that I thought was that major of a problem.( Keep in mind I am not a liscensed mechanic)I did not take the CV joints loose, nor the AC compressor or power steering pump.I had to disconnect several wiring harnesses and labeled them in case I forgot how they went, however most would only plug in only in there specific place because of the conector patterns, but I labeled them anyway.I simply looked at what I had to move to get the clearance and either removed or slid it over, like wiing, etc..I did not lossen or remove the exhausts. I removed engine mounting and tranny mounting bolts, and removed engine to tansmission bolts. Be sure you get all of thesesome on the back side are very hard to see and get to. Then I raised the tranny and engine up enough to clear the mounts. I placed a jack under motor wit a piece of wood,and I placed a large floor jack with a piece of wood between tranny and jack to make it a little more stable, then pried them apart with a large screwdriver to start, then a crowbar when it gotto far apart for the screwdriver.I had the motor pushed all the way over to the passenger side and tranny all the way over to the drivers side. I then lowered the tranny a little to make it easier to reach back there. I did have to line the converter back up when I was ready to put back together. These 3 plugs were above the flywheel so I did not remove it. The clearance between the motor and trannyI would say was about 5 -6 inches.( couldnt remove flywheel in that space anyway.I reached in with a small scredriver andtapped it with a hammer, poking it into the plug then pulled it out. My old plugs were very rotten and could see the small holes in them.When I removed all 3 I washed it out with my hosepipe and got all kind of crud out.
I used 3 plugs I purchased at Advance, the rubberones that you put in and tighten with a bolt, I also put some thread lock on them so they wont work loose. Then I reversed my plan and put it back. The only thing Ihad a problem with was I did not see the speed sensor and its wires, and I did not unplug it so when I pulled the motor and tranny apart it pulled the wires out and broke the top of sensor, so I replaced it when I realized my speedometer did not work.On this car it is on the back side toward the passenger side of car hidden very well by a heat sield. I got the idea by talking to a independant mechanic at a parts store that told me he had done several that way. Oh yea, I had to use the rubber type plugs because ther is not enough room th be able to press the regular type in doing it this way..Best of luck with it, and I hope I was of some help..
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2007, 05:51 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Default RE: 1998 Tarus feeze plugs at tranny

Samf,
Thanks for all the info. I am not a mechanic by trade but have pulled and rebuilt several engines myself. However, I have never pulled an engine out of a front wheel drive car before. If this were a rear wheel drive, I could have pulled the tranny and bellhousing, and had this thing on the road in 8 or so hours.

Well,I put the car on jacks, removed the coolant fill tank, air cleaner, battery tray, front wheels, forward inter-fenders, and took all the bolts from the motor and transmission mounts. The transmission mount on the driver’s side was a royal pain; I had to move the engine all the way towards the passenger’s side just to get itoff the mounting studs. I looks like Ford didn’t want this to come off easy, and putting it back together will be a real treat! I took the bolts out of the engine/transmission rear mount on the passenger’s side since it appears it ties the engine and transmission together. Tonight I plan on removing the transmission pan, and unbolting the torque converter. Hopefully, I will be able to separate the engine and transmission tomorrow.

Thanks for telling me about the speedometer connector, I will be sure to disconnect it. Also, thanks for letting me know that you used the rubber plugs. I was trying to figure out how to press the metal ones in. I though maybe I could lower the transmission, then raise the back end of the engine to gain access. Not sure how that will work out, but if the plugs are above the flywheel, there could be a chance.

Since I am going through all this trouble, I hope to replace all the core plugs especially those on the back side of the engine. I will let you know how this works out. After you replaced your plugs, did you have any other problems with rust in the coolant? The car runs great, is extremely quite inside and out, and gets decent gas milage. Actually, aside from this problem, it isa nice safe car for my daughter to drive. Since brakes and other wearable items are fairly easy to maintain, I had a high opinion of the vehicle.

Well, time to get dirty! I will write back soon and share my story. Thanks for all your help.
I pray you and your family will have a great Thanksgiving.
God Bless,
John24255
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2007, 07:57 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: S.C.
Posts: 18
Default RE: 1998 Tarus feeze plugs at tranny

Hello again, just wanted to let you know I did not remove the oil pan from the transmission. I removed the bolts through an acess hole on the bell housing(Torque converter acces plate). You also need to take the starter off the car. The motor would not raise enough for me to press the regular plugs in..it would hit at the firewall, thats why I used the rubber ones and didnt want to remove radiatior and all that..I also remember the tranny mount being a problem. I am sure the car will build crude up again in the future because it seems to be a problem in design. I have had several people here tell me ford had a bypass kit available for some Taruses to help this problem, and it seems I read about it on this website also. Unfortunatly we are geeting a 2005 Freestar next week or the first week of Dec. not becausewe no longer like it or having trouble with it, but the wife has had 2 Tarus in a row, the first we had for 9 years,and the second for 3 years, and she wants a change (you know the scoop, the sister in law got one a couple years back, boy what a shame not to keep up with the realatives!)I feel that the tarus is a very good car,all vehicles have their perks, this car went 136000 miles before the plugs started leaking, I also feel flusing it or having it flushed every couple years would have helped this problem, I dont feel this car got very much preventative maintanance until we got it. Our first car didnt develope this problem even after 9 years, I did change the fluid every 2 years., and the people who bought it from us 3 years ago still say it is the best used car the ever bought.I also dohope you have good luck..
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:57 PM
 
 
 
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1998, ac, conector, engine, expandable, festiva, ford, freeze, leaking, location, lower, oil, pan, plugs, remove, tarus, taurus, transmission, water

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