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Taurus/Sable Maintenance & Repair



  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Cylinder Head
    Ford Taurus/Sable 1986-1995 Repair Information

    To install:

    14.Lightly oil all bolt threads before installation.
    15. Clean cylinder head, intake manifold, valve rocker arm cover and cylinder head gasket contact surfaces. If cylinder head was removed for a cylinder head gasket replacement, check flatness of cylinder head and block gasket surfaces.
    16. Position the new head gasket(s) onto cylinder block using dowels for alignment. Position cylinder head(s) onto block.
    17. Apply a thin coating of pipe sealant with Teflon® to the threads of the short cylinder head bolts, nearest to the exhaust manifold. Do not apply sealant to the long bolts. Install the cylinder head bolts.
    18. For vehicles through 1994, tighten the cylinder head attaching bolts, in sequence, to the following specifications:
    * Step 1:37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm)
    * Step 2:45 ft. lbs. (60 Nm)
    * Step 3:52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm)
    * Step 4:59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm)
    21. For 1993-95 vehicles, retighten the cylinder head bolts, in sequence, one at a time in the following manner:
    1. Long cylinder head bolts: Loosen the bolts and back them out 2-3 turns. Retighten to 11-18 ft. lbs. (15-25 Nm). Then tighten the bolt an additional 85-95° and go to the next bolt in sequence.
    2. Short cylinder head bolts: Loosen the bolt and back them out 2-3 turns. Retighten to 7-15 ft. lbs. (10-20 Nm). Then tighten the bolt an additional 85-95°.
  • II'll be watching for any responses to this myself; that's another problem with my 96 Sable sedan, this hot summer the A/C just started blowing hot air instead of cold. Can't tell if the compressor is on or not and have not had the freon level checked yet...Ithere are so many other things wrong with the car I figured I'd leave this one to next summer. :lemon:
  • Good for you. I dont believe in shooting horses just because they're lame either.
    My only problem, in Maryland, would be to pay insurance on a backup car AND a main car; insurance premium nearly doubles in my state for two cars and then of course there is the extra tag renewal fee...
  • Hmmm. makes me scratch my head too. Guess I just got lucky with my air filter fix; maybe the evil gremlins just coincidentally decided to go live in someone else's car...but they still left some family behind in other parts of my 96 Sable; it has multiple problems. :confuse:
  • Hi,

    1995 taurus SHO is making slight clicking or ticking noise just behind the climate control unit or maybe behind the center vents. This noise is present at all times while driving, parked and can be heard with climate control showing OFF. Don't know or can't tell is this noise is present when running heater or A/c but I am sure it is there.

    Also, recently noticed that a/c is not working as well as it should be. Heater works damn good and maybe this is a hint????

    ONly way to make this noise go away is to turn off the ignition. Previous owner mentioned it being some "heater door"

    Could this be something I can fix by removing the entire dashboard??

  • I would like to change the antifreeze in my 1999 Sable. I can't seem to find the drain plug. Sorry if this seems like a no-brainer. I have never had trouble finding the drain plug on any of my other vehicles. Detailed instructions would be appreciated. As you probably can tell, I am far from being a mechanic!
  • Many thanks for the reply! Since no bolts are exposed to coolant (all dead-end bolt holes), I would have though no sealant necessary. Was the source of your description the same as the link for the image (Autozone?).
  • podpod Posts: 176
    In my 2000 Sable LS Premium I can still turn on the headlamps by turning the console switch clockwise manually but the automatic sensing function has stopped after four years of faithful service. I suspect a sensor or fusing failure but don't know where to look. Is the sensor the black nickel sized thing on the center top of the dashboard right up against the windshield? Any ideas about how to diagnose this problem and restore the automatic function?
  • Recently my cars ABS has been kicking on at low speeds. The ABS light isn't always on but will come on once its been running for bit. I cleaned up the ABS sensors (one was full of metal shavings the other was clean.) but I did not attempt to clean up the wheel that spins behind it, didnt seem too dirty. After cleaning the sensors up I drove it home, roughly 5 miles without any problems, the light stayed on but brakes did not pulse. The next time I drove the car the ABS immediately started pulsing almost worse than they did before, is it possible they could have gotten dirty again so soon or am I looking at a bigger problem?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Remove the splash shield from the front of the front sub frame and body.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    To repair it properly you'll need an ABS capable scanner to retrieve any stored trouble codes, then monitor wheel speed sensor inputs to the ECU.
  • Just recently got a 92 Taurus, a few problems. 1st off, as I shift into reverse and step on the gas it makes a little thud, my hunch is motor mounts. Also my oil light comes on as I am at a stop light and as i go, it turns off. There is also little "clunks" at the tires as I am going over bumps or divets on the street. Thats it for now... Please help me out...
  • I had a Mitsubishi Eclipse with a similar problem, and it turned out to be the ECU. Who knows about the SHO though. I had a 93 SHO atx for two years and had no such problem.

  • I would say the "clunk" at the tires points at a problem in the strut assemblies. I have an 89 Camry that does the same thing--sure enough, had it checked out, struts were bad.

    Have you checked your oil level?? Sounds like it may be low. If not, you either have a low oil pressure situation or the oil pressure sensor itself may be bad.

  • I just purchase a 2005 Taurus that is really clean. The front end thumps alot. I took it to a local mechanic and he said that it was normal. What's that mean? :(
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    Clunks at front end could be sway bar links need replacing. Not particularly costly to fix.
  • hey rabodzey,
    I saw that you had a post about your taurus. Right now mine is over heating it was only here and there with the a/c on and now its like anytime i drive. I thougth it was the thermostat and so i canged it. Still overheats and now it seems like its the water pump. I was told its a pain in the butt to change it out ones self. So i was wondering what it would take to get it changed like any special tools or any if i have to raise or lower the engin (Had to put an alternator in and it was a pain). My taurus is a 1996 3.0L with the dohc. Just looking for suggestions.
    Cole :cry:
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Simple job with the DOHC engine:

    Ford Taurus/Sable 1996-1999 Repair Guide
    Water Pump, 3.0L DOHC Engine

    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Drain the engine cooling system.
    2. Remove the water pump drive belt.
    3. Disconnect the radiator and heater hoses from the water pump.
    4. If equipped, remove the A/C compressor-to-water pump brace.
    5. Unfasten the four nuts securing the water pump to the engine and remove the water pump.

    To install:

    6. Clean the water pump to engine gasket sealing surfaces.
    7. Install the water pump using a new gasket and install the four retaining nuts. Tighten the retaining nuts to 15-22 ft. lbs. (20-30 Nm).
    8. Connect the radiator and heater hoses to the water pump. Make sure the clamps are securely tightened.
    9. If equipped, install the A/C compressor-to-water pump brace. Tighten the brace bolts to 15-22 ft. lbs. (20-30 Nm).
    10. Remove the water pump drive belt.
    11. Fill the engine cooling system, then connect the negative battery cable.
    12. Start the engine and allow it to reach normal operating temperature, then check for coolant leaks and proper engine operation.
  • I have a question regarding replacing the power motor and quides on a 1997 Ford Taurus.

    The arm that is connected to the motor has a knuckle that snaps into a plastic guide that slides in a track on the window. I was able to pry the two apart when I disassembled it but can not get the knuckle to snap back into the guide. Is there a trick to this? There was no other way of removing the motor and arm assembly from the window without prying the two apart.

    Thanks in advance.
  • jrejre Posts: 6
    My daughter let someone jump start another car with the 96 Taurus and she said they got the jumper cables crossed. She says there was a loud pop from under the fuse box at the front of the car.
    The battery light is on in the dash but the alternator checks good and the car has a new battery installed.
    Now the speedometer does not work, the air does not work and there is no amps getting to the battery from the alternator.
    Everything else appears to work and the car starts and runs good.
    All the fuses in the power distribution box appear to be good.
    Is there a relay in the box or another fuse that I should check?
    Thanks for any help. jre
  • jrejre Posts: 6
    I left out one other problem and that was that the radio does not work. Thanks for any help, jre
  • I'm looking at buying a 1995 Taurus LX from a private owner. The car has 80,000 miles, and is in excellent condition. The only problem I have is it has the 3.8 engine, with which I have heard and read, is notorious for blowing head gaskets. Since 1995 was the last year for this engine in Taurus', I was curious if Ford ever remedied this problem before the engine was discontinued. Is there a TSB, or other procedure that was addressed to make the engine more reliable. The owner of the vehicle states he has never had a problem with head gaskets going bad. I just hate to purchase this car, and then have to invest in costly engine repairs. And would anyone know what head gasket repairs usually cost on this engine?
  • This solution will cost you, but you have a couple freeze plugs within the bell houseing. when you are looking at the engine it will be to the right of your engine and about your starter. right next to the trans, these will all be connected. Her comes the fun, each freeze plug cost $.93, but you have to have your engine pulled to get to the freeze plugs in the bell housing. Sorry. While your at it, you may wish to replace your oil pan, I would say it's rusted out.

    Here is my thought on what happened here. The Water Pump (original) is the fault, Ford in there wonderful saving money and giving themselves those great bounas. The Pump RUSTS out and now you have rust fragments running through engine. This is why you probably had orange looking Anti Freeze. So, it gets to the freeze plugs and they begin to fails, little by little and then something happends. something like a thermostat fails and then you have some pressure and bingo your screwed.

    Your are looking at 8 Hours of labor to pull everything and then the cost of your parts. As I stated replace your oil pan and gaskit, etc.

    Hope this information helps.
  • It is throwing a misfire in cylinder 1-3-5 codes. I am replacing all the plugs and wires, and egr valvue. Is there any thing else I shoudl do while I am at it?
    What had me check the codes is the motor wont shift out of second, could this be the problem or is there something else also.
  • jrejre Posts: 6
    You were 100% correct on the fuse link by the power distribution box. The alt. and air now work and the only two things not working are 1. speedometer and 2. the radio. The 5 amp fuse under the dash for the radio was blown and a replacement did not make it work. I can live without the radio but must have the speedometer working with those Alabama troopers sitting along the roadway with radar guns pointing both directions.
    Now I believe every fuse in the system is good. Are there any relays involved in these two items?
    Thank you, I really appreciate your help.
  • Luckily, I only have 2 other problems (both minor annoyances), so I can live with them.

    I'm just sorry that I got rid of my '90 Taurus. It only had 187k when I replaced it with this Sable. I had never had ONE problem with the car. In fact, it was still getting ~30mpg, and I had almost 80k on the last set of tires. Wifey was afraid of me breaking down in the fast lane of NJ Turnpike, so issued sex ultimatum about replacing it!!!
  • Just purchased a 2001 Taurus SES with 69000 miles on it.While test driving prior to purchase heard a clunking noise coming from the suspension.Had a mechanic put the car on a lift and check it. He noted that the sway bar (stabilizer bar?) ends had been replaced,still had the tags hanging on the parts,probably in an attempt to fix the noise.
    He was not positive what was causing the noise but felt it was probably the front struts and quoted a price of appox. $400 to replace the struts and something else attached to or near them,I forget what the name of the part is.He said he wouldn't know for sure until he "got it apart".
    My question is,after doing a search here I have seen this noise mentioned with varying degrees of sucess in fixing it.Just looking for others experience with this problem,I'm willing to part with the money if it will fix the problem but don't want to spend $400 if it is still going to make noise afterwards.
    Also felt a vibration in the steering wheel when applying the brakes at high speed,mechanic said pads looked alright,he said it was probably rotors,which seems to make sense.Was just wondering if this vibration was related to the clunking noise or not.
  • My car is
    1999 Ford Taurus Station Wagon
    24 ohv 3.0 liter engine, 72,000 miles floor mounted automatic transmission shift
    Problem: on an intermittent basis, after driving the car, making a stop or two doing errands before getting home for the day, I get in the car and the starter motor turns the engine over but the engine will not start. This has always happened in warm to hot weather. After sitting for about 30 to ninety minutes the engine starts. I know that it is not the barometric module because the gas mileage is normal (almost 20 miles/gal) . I have had the barometric module fail twice prior to the failure of the barometric module the gas mileage falls to 10 miles/gal or less. I checked the emergency fuel switch no problem, Any ideas?
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