Piston Slap: Mad Vulcan Powah? (Part II)

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap mad vulcan powah part ii

TTAC commentator Felix Hoenikker writes:


Thanks for the post. At the end of March, I bit the bullet and replaced the right cylinder head with a rebuilt one from Advance Auto. With my on line discount and a new head gasket, the total parts cost was under $200 plus a day’s labor.

The rebuilt head solved the coolant leak problem. I have over 2500 miles on the Taurus with the new head, and the CEL light has not come on once. Also, the #1 spark plug no longer has a brownish deposit as before. I examined the old head with a light and magnifying glass but could not find the source of the coolant leak into the cylinder. My older soon said he found info on one of the internet forums that Ford had a problem with porous head casting around the time the car was made. So, I’m assuming that was the problem with the cylinder head. The odd thing was how slowly the problem developed. It took over 60K for it to get bad enough for me to get a handle on it.

My next and final repair will be to replace the leaking heater core and AC evaporator before I hand the car over to #2 son.

Sajeev answers:

Wow, that’s pretty cheap for a reconditioned head! Good for you!

Your query definitely made me scratch my head. (Get it?) Vulcan’s aren’t known for casting problems because of that Neanderthal choice of material (cast iron) but shit happens over the course of production. Especially from the beancounted era of Jac Nasser’s reign in Dearborn. Guess I’m not surprised.

Another non-surprise: since this IS a Vulcan, it took 60,000 miles out of over 200,000 TOTAL miles for this to happen. Which says a lot about the Vulcan’s bulletproof nature, casting mistakes and Jac Nasser be damned. Most Vulcan owners wouldn’t own the car long enough to see this!

Thanks for sharing, it’s nice to hear that someone with such mechanical acumen still exists in today’s throwaway society.

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2 of 32 comments
  • Noxioux Noxioux on Dec 28, 2012

    Cool. Getting them fixed just plain feels good, doesn't it?

  • Andy D Andy D on Jan 13, 2013

    You Ford guys are just as scary as the guys on the Ranger Station with all this talk of cracking heads. and intake troubles. I have a 94 Ranger with a 4.0 V6. It is my first Ford in 30 yrs. What have I gotten myself into?

  • Analoggrotto lol
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