1994 Ford Taurus SHO engine problems

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Hello folks,

I've been away from this forum for a while as I have been very busy in my personal life with work and many other things.....so hello to all and I wish that everyone is well in 2005.

Here is the current issue that has my brain working:

My father owns a 1994 Ford Taurus SHO with the 3.2L v-6 (I "believe" made by Yamaha) and the automatic transmission with overdrive. Some months ago, he began hearing a rattle underneath and solicited my help to determine what it was. I got underneath and it was apparently obvious that the catalytic converter was breaking up. I could hear the pieces rattleing in the exhaust pipe and also the exhaust was as nasty smelling as my 1976 Buick Electra with no cat. I advised that he have a new one installed not only for emissions but should it block off the engines ability to breath out the exhaust causing too much backpressure and resulting in engine damage. All this time, there has never been any engine performance loss, stumbling or anything to indicate the engine is not breathing correctly.

Well, he calls me yesterday and says that the Check Engine Light is coming on fairly often now and then going off while he is out driving the car around town. He says that the transmission does not work correctly when that light is on and then returns to normal when it goes off. (I figure that is normal dues to some limp home mode the car might go in when that light is on). So, I have him bring it over and I hook it up to the computer and run a FORD KOER(Key on engine running) and KOEO (Key on engine off) test to pull some codes. What I find is a FORD KOER code 336 and what that means from what I remember is something like "exhaust pressure transducer sensor circuit higher than expected." I then pulled the KOEO codes and got something very similar of "Exhaust pressure higher than expected."

Now that I have the codes (pointing to exhaust backpressure which clues me in to thinking this might be related to the cat converter breaking up months ago and him not doing anything about still because the car is running fine).....I decided just to pull a spark plug wire to make sure it was seated correctly. Well, what I found scared me. The plugs are down in the head in this engine probably 4-5 inches. The wires go down in the head to connect to the plug and EACH spark plug on this V-6 was submerged in motor oil. I suddenly started thinking that something is not allowing this engine to breath and now she's starting to blow oil out where she can to vent itself, possibly from the valve covers/head or where-ever there is a weak link. It is not leaking oil on the floor.

I do not know much about the build on that specific engine and how it is put together. I do know they cost 12K a piece. Does anyone know if the SHO 3.2L's have a PCV system or do they vent themselves in another fashion? Has anyone seen this before? Why is oil filling up the plug holes so deep that you cannot see the spark plug, you only see a hole full of motor oil? The engine is running as smooth as the day it was new with this being the case. Is the pcv system inop? Could slightly elevated exhaust pressure be doing this? I ran the engine and there has never seemed to be any exhaust backpressure from the cat decomposing. Any ideas would be great......thanks again! :thumbs:

posted by  cmeseadoin

1. Welcome back.

2. Yes you have a PCV valve. Yes that may be part of the oil problem.

3. The engines have a tendency to leak oil past the spark plug tube seals. I bet it's near or over 100k miles.

4. I seriously doubt the two problems are related.

Have you hooked up an exhaust backpressure tester or at least a vacuum guage to check for backpressure? This could be related to the shifting concern due to unexpected vacuum readings etc while driving. More testing is in order.

posted by  vwhobo

VW...thanks for the response. Actually, the car only has about 62K on it. It is only really driven around town and back and forth on errands, no long trips.

I will check the pcv valve on the car once I find it. Looking into the exhaust backpressure is also a good idea. I dont have the car in my possession right now, but when I do...I will let everyone know what I find out.

You said that they can leak past the spark plug tube seals......what exactly is that? Is this part of the plug hole itself with the threads or is there a separate part of the head that makes this up? I have had the plugs out to put news ones in there about a year ago, and it was dry as a bone down in there....thanks for the assistance. :wink2:

posted by  cmeseadoin

Hi guy. New here, after reading your post, even though it was old, I HAD to update.
SHO's are finiky machines. They require A LOT of maintaince. Anyway, if the car is over 60k, it's overdue for it's 60k maintaince. If you don't know much about cars or don't want to do it yourself, I'd sugguest getting rid of the SHO right away! a 60k done at a shop can cost over $1000.
Anyway, I can't provide too much information as I'm still a SHO n00b, but check out http://www.shoforum.com
http://www.shotimes.com
You'll get all the help you need there
:thumbs:

posted by  Smoof

I was driving my 94 Ford Taurus sho. My overdrive light came on and said that I had my overdrive off will this mess my car up?

denise   06 Feb 2012 21:21

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