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3.0L Vulcan History & Specifications

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By the early 90's, the Tempo and Topaz were being criticized for being underpowered. Almost all of the direct competitors were offering optional V6 engines; including the Cavalier, Camry, Shadow/Sundance, Grand Am/Achieva/Skylark, Corsica/Berreta, and Acclaim/Spirit. Those that didn't, namely the new Saturns and the Nissan Stanza, offered higher powered overhead cam 4-cylinders. Combining this with the revoking of the nation wide 55 MPH speed limit, the Tempo and Topaz were in need of some power.

Reaching into the parts bin, Ford pulled out the 3.0L Vulcan V6. This engine first saw FWD duty in the 1986 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. Since then, it has also been available the FWD Probe, and the RWD Ranger and Aerostar. The engine had the cylinders arranged in a 60 degree formation, 3 cylinders per bank. Like the HSC, the engine was an overhead valve engine. The engine featured roller tappets for reduced internal friction and a chain driven camshaft. Fuel injection was the SPFI system controlled by the EEC-IV computer. To help isolate engine vibrations, the engine and transaxle were mounted on four-point dropmount engine mounts. Many of the accessories had to be redesigned to adapt the engine for Tempo / Topaz configuration.

The aluminum water pump was all new, as was the revised pulley system. The intake manifold had tuned intake runners that were designed to balance high-end power and low-end torque. The exhaust manifolds were the same ones that appeared in other FWD applications of the Vulcan. Power output on the Tempo and Topaz was reduced 10 HP compared to the Taurus and the Probe. This power loss is a direct result of Ford's decision to use a lower performance cam in this engine when installed in the Tempo / Topaz.

1992 - 1993 3.0L Vulcan V6 : SPFI
Horsepower130 HP @ 4800 rpm
Torque150lb-ft @ 3250 rpm
Compression ratio9.3:1


1994 3.0L Vulcan V6 : SPFI
Horsepower135 HP @ 4800 rpm
Torque150lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
Compression ratio9.3:1

For 1992, the Vulcan V6 engine was the centerpiece of the Tempo GLS, Topaz XR5 and Topaz LTS models, where it was the standard engine. When the GLS, XR5, and LTS models were canceled for the 1993 model year, this made 1992 the only time that the engine was standard equipment on one of these cars. The Vulcan V6 was optional on all other Tempo and Topaz models, with the exception of those equipped with the SRS Air Bag. All V6 models featured a V6 badge located on both of the front fenders between the wheel well and the front door.

3.0L Vulcan V6
3.0L Vulcan V6

1992 Topaz XR5
1992 Topaz XR5

V6 Badge
V6 Badge


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