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Head Gasket?


NAXJA Forum User
Colorado Springs
I'm looking at a 95 Ford Windstar Van That needs a head gasket. The shop said it would cost $1400-$1500 to fix. Is this all for labor? The parts house said 23 forthe gasket. Is there something I'm missing here or what. It seems like a fairly straight forward job just take off the intake etc then remove the head and install new gasket.
Yes? NO?
it's a lot of labor with a lot that can go wrong. also the head might need to be machined or they might discover a crack in something. if nothing goes wrong its pretty cheap parts wise, gaskets and some fasteners.
So might wind up needing a new motor all together? I know a guy that has a machine shop so that is not a problem. But sounds like it's not a job for a guy that has never done engine work. I've done most other things just never torn into an engine.
Ford + Windstar = run away and don't look back!

Money pit with zero re-sale value.
OH shit it's a windstar??? I didn't even notice. RUn away screaming.
That's a transverse mounted V6 which means the one side of the engine wouldn't be bad to get to....... but the side under the windshield cowl and firewall would be a bitch. There's 2 head gaskets on that engine and it'd be stupid to do just one. If you've never torn into an engine before - this isn't really the kind of repair you wanna tackle as a first experience kinda thing..... but I guess ya gotta learn some time, some how. It's gonna involve the valvetrain (rocker arms and lifters, lifter rods and adjusting them once the heads have been put back on) and using proper torque specs.

For your consideration:

:scared: Watch me run like Forest Gump (RUN FOREST RUN) thanks for the advise. I thought for $200 nmight be worth it but sounds two complicated and expensive for me thanks anyway.

Thanks for the advise:clap:
If you can get it for $200........ buy it and drag it to the scrapper - probably double your investment.......
Ya know those old Windbiscuits weren't really all that bad once you get past the hg issues, that's what sunk them. It's a straightforward wrench job- I can do 'em in about 6 hours with air tools. Access to a large automatic parts washer helps immensely.

The kicker might be how long it was driven when the gaskets popped. Some people keep driving short trips with coolant in the oil, and those engines do not like that at all.

It's only worth about $400 as is.
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I thought you had to drop the engine to get to the aft head?
Not at all. Once you pull the cowl it's pretty wide open. Depending on how I feel that day I've been known to drop the whole cradle out from under- suspension, engine/ trans and all just to make it a little less bending over. It takes a very large table jack to do that though.
Ford Windstar = Disposable car :rolleyes:

You are suppose to drive it until it blows up and then get something else. Don't blow your own head gasket thinking if you should buy it and fix it............ just say; "time to move on now........" :cheers: