My '95 Taurus "Barn Find"



One car that I have always loved is the GenII Taurus.  A lot of this comes from my time at an auto repair shop in Mesa, Aridzona where I worked for close to 10 years.  They had a contract with the city to maintain the police car fleet.  The fleet was a mix of early 2000's Crown Vic's, some '96 Chevrolet Caprice and a whole bunch of '95 Ford Taurii.  They were the Police Package 3.8L models.  Surprisingly they held up well in the desert heat and abuse of driving by law enforcement.

About a year ago I came across a '95 3.0L Taurus GL and took possession of it in early February of 2023.  The car had a modest 51,800 miles on it and was garaged its entire life.  The engine is the (to me) more desirable 3.0L Vulcan V6.  Tires were nearly new, Body had no damage, the paint was great and the interior was perfect with the exception of the front seat side trim being broken which in my experience is how they were delivered from the factory.  LOL

It came from Earnhardt's Ford in Tempe where I had worked in the late 80's.  I knew of the salesman who sold it and I was the second owner.  The car was complete, clean and a bargain.  Hell, the demo cassette tape was in the glove box and still had the cellophane wrapper on it.  The owner's manual was complete and even had the salesman's business card in the little pocket.  The ONLY thing missing was the window sheet.  I'm not complaining....

The car had two dash indicators on, MIL and the SIR warning.    Fortunately for me I still had my 60 Pin EECIV breakout box and my trusty Snap-On Red Brick scanner.

The issue with the MIL was a lack of signal to the PCM from the front O2 Sensor.  When I went to Ford School they always taught us that when running the diagnostic trouble trees and you got "out to the end of the limb" and it instructed you to "replace PCM" you were well advised to go back over everything and see where you screwed up...  Diagnostics said I had a signal right to the PCM pin and the connection had the right feel when I did a pin drag test.  I pulled the plug.  After sourcing a "new" PCM ($30 shipped) the MIL stayed out and the car did a spectacular job of passing our dyno emissions test. 

The SIR blink code was for the crash sensor or circuit for the sensor at the base of the windshield.  I found a NOS (new olde stock) sensor on eBay for $20 shipped and decided to go that route with having a sensor on hand in case that was in fact the issue.  The wiring tested fine and the diagnostics pointed to a bad IDM.  $45 plus shipping got me a salvage yard part from a place in Eastern Arizona and that ultimately turned off the SIR light.

At this point it was time to clean it up and get it ready to be my daily driver.  First step was to get the glass tinted as it is Arizona.  I went with 20% on all side and rear glass and the guy did a beautiful job. 

One thing I have always hated about the Gen II Taurus is the lame looking aluminum wheels.  I spent a couple of days looking for some stock sized wheels (15x6) as I did not want to replace tires at the same time.  If the tires were garbage I likely would have moved up to 16 or 17 inch wheels.