Identifying Ford Duratec 3.0L Cylinder Blocks - Engine Builder Magazine

Identifying Ford Duratec 3.0L Cylinder Blocks

The Duratec 30 is an aluminum block
with cast iron liners, aluminum DOHC cylinder head with four valves per
cylinder, fracture-split (cracked) forged powder metal connecting rods,
and a forged steel crankshaft. There are two versions of the Duratec 30:

DAMB – Lincoln LS, Jaguar, Mazda 6 and MPV, which use direct-acting
mechanical bucket (DAMB) tappets. Here the camshaft sits directly above
the valves with different thickness pucks for adjustment. Output is 232
hp.

RFF-Taurus/Sable/Escape/Tribute use roller finger followers (RFF) with
the camshaft offset acting on the roller, which pivot on a hydraulic
lash compensator. Output is 208 hp.

Knowing the look of the two different
styles of heads helps distinguish between Taurus/Sable – Escape/Tribute
or Lincoln LS /Jaguar.

Production numbers of the 3.0L Duratec started out slowly in 1996
through 1999 but increased significantly once it became the
Taurus/Sable base engine and then for the Escape and Tribute in 2001. One half a million of these engines have been produced per year,
putting total production at about 3.5 million 3.0L Duratec
engines manufactured. With that fleet now approaching 14 years old, they will start showing up
for reman/build in respectable numbers soon, if not already.

As always, the Ford Broadcast Code sticker is the most valuable tool in
determining the exact configuration and application identification.
Unfortunately, it is still a paper sticker usually located on the
cam/rocker cover and, in some cases, the front cover. These stickers
are often damaged, unreadable or gone, which makes it nearly impossible
to purchase an engine core when you cannot properly identify that
engine. Our intent is for you to be able to avoid that problem with the
information provided in this Comprehensive Progression (ComPro) of the
3.0L Duratec engine.

Blocks

1996-’98 Taurus/Sable

F5DE is the casting number for the first generation of the 3.0L
Duratec, which, in reality, is not much more than an overgrown 2.5L.
There have been reports of an F7DE block, however I have never been
able to locate one. In any case, it would be identical so we won’t fuss
over it.

This is an all aluminum block with cast iron liners. Boring this engine
oversize is not a problem, and oversize pistons are readily available.

Let’s start at the top (Figure 1) and work our way around to the front
and rear. There is a single water outlet tube at the back with an "Indy
Track" shape opening for the early style PCV oil separator about in the
center of the block. Note that there is not another coolant flange
toward the front.

If the PCV oil separator is not
installed on the block prior to the installation of the cylinder heads,
it cannot be installed without one head being removed. If you find
yourself in this situation the right side head easiest to remove. It
can also be installed backwards, so always install with the hose outlet
to the rear of the engine. There are also two types with different PCV
flow and hose sizes.

In the trans-mount area at the back of the block the F5 block has only
one bolthole (Figure 2) just above the dowel on the right side. Moving
to the front of the block (Figure 3) the F5DE has two dowel pins
mounted in the front, both of which are eliminated in all subsequent
blocks. This block has a 12mm thread detonation sensor boss.

1999 Taurus/Sable

XW4E – AE, AG is the casting number for 1999 only because it’s the only
XW block with a 12mm det sensor boss. It has a provision for the oil
feed to the right side cylinder head (Figure 4) to use with variable
valve timing (VVT) although it’s not being used. There are also coolant
port changes that occurred on the right side that required a new design
head gasket. A coolant port flange with two boltholes can be found on
the top of the block used in the Lincoln LS and Mazda MPV. This flange
is plugged for all other applications. This block now has two boltholes
in the trans mount flange area on the right side above the dowel
(Figure 2). Typically you will find the casting number for this block
in the lower area just above the bedplate.

2000-’05 Taurus/Sable, Escape/Tribute, Lincoln LS, Jaguar S & X, Mazda MPV and 6

XW4E- BA is the casting number for 2000-’02 and you will find the
casting number high on the block just under the cylinder head deck or
along the top of the trans mount flange on the right side. In 2003-’05
casting number 3W4E came on the scene. I have seen Broadcast Code
engines that were 2003 and 2004 and had XW4E blocks. If you’re a purist
I leave it to your own heart; otherwise I consider the blocks to be
fully interchangeable.

In fact, the blocks are identical to the 1999 block except the det
sensor now has 8mm threads. Since this is nearly identical to the det
sensor situation with the 4.6L Ford, I would assume that the same
companies that provide those adaptors and tooling should be able to do
the same for the 3.0L Duratec.
figure 1figure 2figure 3Figure 4

You May Also Like

Going the Extra Mile with Cylinder Head Porting

It’s not just the port work alone that creates spectacular cylinder head performance. The most critical areas of a cylinder head are those which pass the most air at the highest speed and for the longest duration. Your bowl area, the valve job, the throat diameter, and combustion chamber are all crucial parts. 

Every engine builder is after the ultimate in performance gains. When it comes to cylinder head performance, we’re all trying to maximize airflow to create more power. In order to accomplish that, builders have to know what to manipulate in order to make improvements. Those improvements to airflow quality and quantity come from porting and removing areas of restriction.

Tight Tolerances and Building Power

As you ascend Mt. Everest, you reach an area called the death zone. Once you climb high enough, the margin of error becomes perilously thin. That death zone also applies to engines. As the horsepower per cubic inch and rpm increase, the margin of error decreases. 

CNC Update: Features and Automation

Precision is key when it comes to automotive parts; the complex designs of connecting rods, pistons and rings, blocks, cylinder heads, and other parts require super tight tolerances that are getting more and more difficult to be met by hand or with other machining processes outside of CNC.

All Things Media Blasting

Engine building is a segment of the automotive industry that has always been ahead of the curve in media blasting, and no matter the engine shop, cleaning equipment is a common bond.

Engine & Hub Dynos: Necessary Tools and Additional Revenue

Being able to see the horsepower and the direct correlation to what is lost in the driveline is invaluable – dynos offer a myriad of benefits for the modern engine shop.

Other Posts

November 2022 Shop Solutions

November tricks and tips for the shop!

Shop Solutions October 2022

When machining on the CNC mill, it’s necessary to blow the flood coolant and chips off the parts for inspection. I tried a tool holder mounted fan, but it wouldn’t get all the chips and coolant out of the deeper areas.

Could Engine Oil Soon Contain No Oil?

The trend towards ever thinner engine oils is an effort to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. How far can it go?

Building Big Block Marine Engines

Find out what it takes to build a formidable marine engine.

Marine Engines