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Ford Windstar

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  • You should be able to get the same color since they are all made of fabric and thus should not have any glare. I know mine are always fabric.
  • As I'm just starting to fish through the 600+ posts on the Windstar, I notice some definite digust with the 1995 Windstar, but I haven't come across any specifics as to the problems. Could someone let me know what they know of? (Don't worry, I continue to drill through the postings, I'd just like to see it all in one post.)

    I was just given one by a relative, who had no problems at all, but also had never driven much if any highway miles. I'm in a metro area, so I'm driving a good number of highway mile and also some decently curvy roads. I notice that on curves, even though I'm holding the steering perfectly still, the wheels feel as though they're moving slightly. It feels extremely unsafe. I read through all the TSB headlines and nothing jumped out at me. Is this one of the big problems with the 95 Windstar? Any help is appreciated.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    The 1995 were the most problematic of the Windstars. All Windstars seem to have a list of common problems, especially electrical problems. A lot of them are not major but can be real irritants. The 1995 model added problems with the head gasket and transmission. This was not unique to the Windstar but any Ford with the pushrod 3.8L engine and AX4S tranmission. A lot of the problem with the head gaskets arose from the transverse placement, the engine had been designed for longitudinal placement. The rear bank was generally the one that had the gasket fail. Edmunds used to have an excellent article on the problem with the 3.8L engine, unfortunately it disappeared into the ether a couple of years ago.

    The AX4s transmission has also been problematic, the 1995 one had an aluminum forward clutch piston that would fracture and fail over time. In 1996, the forward clutch piston was made out of stainless steel which made the transmission more reliable.

    Add to the mix an ongoing problem with the speedometer heads that make the needle go wonky, Ford wants 500+ dollars to replace it.
  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    A lot of Fords seem to have problems with the tie rod ends. You might have yours checked. I had a 1996 Windstar and I don't remember the wheels feeling that way, but with my Escort, the wheels started feeling a bit vague and clunky and it turned out to be the tie rod end.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,137
    There's a separate Ford Windstar problems discussion for your browsing enjoyment too.


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  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    And as his post stated, there are lots of posts to sift through. He was asking for the Reader's Digest version.

    BTW, it's a real shame that Edmunds had to remove the article on the Ford 3.8L engine. It was the first and only substantive discussion I have seen on the problematic engine.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,137
    Can't say as I remember the article myself, but I searched the site for it (and googled) and didn't see it. Now you have me curious.


    Hey, I think I found it!

    Ford's 3.8-Liter V-6 Head Gasket Problem - Straight Talk


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  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    I think You've Got it.

    Is it archived, I had the article bookmarked a couple of years ago and it dropped off the screen.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,137
    Good question - I suspect the url got changed during one of the site overhauls. I don't think it's archived so much as just off the radar - not on any of the "lists." I finally found it by searching for Windstar in the search engine on the Review page and scrolling down 30+ articles.

    That was fun -- next challange?

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  • I had a 95 GL that was totaled at 135K. The head gasket was replaced but there is a recall on it so if it goes bad it should be covered. The transmission is another story, but mine never was a problem. I never had the tie rod problem but did have to have the spedo replaced. The only electrical problem was with the contacts on the sliding door and that was fixed with a pencil eraser (cleaned them off). This is something that needs to be done on an annual basis anyway. They get dirty. It only let me down once and that was when the ground wire broke at 100k. I was lucky there, it broke in my garage. I replaced it with a 99 SE and so far (35k) all is well.
  • can get a 02 windstar lx with 30k power seat cd player quad seating front rear air for 15k does that sound good?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,137
    2004 Ford Windstar


    Talk about it in the Ford Windstar - 2004 Redesign discussion.


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  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    So you say!!!???
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,137
    Davids1, he's just a troll spamming all the vans discussions. Ignore him :-)

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  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    I know. I've gotta have some fun.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,137
    lol, I just wish it was more fun cleaning up the messes....

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  • 1999 REVERSE SENSOR STOPS WORKING WHEN SHIFTED INTO REVERSE.

    THIS PROBLEM HAS BEEN FIXED BY FORD SEVERAL TIMES. THE CAR IS NOW OUT OF WARRANTY. I need help.

    Please advise.
  • I just purchased a 1998 Windstar GL for my wife and it has a piece of (enter choice word)radio. The van originally had AM/FM/CD with rear audio controls. I am looking for a replacement. Does ANYONE have a working OE unit laying around?
    Thanks for the help.
    By the way... it has over 107,000 miles and is great shape! Got it for WAY less than wholesale due to mileage. But it is perfect for her and the rugrats.
  • greg32greg32 Posts: 48
    Has anybody had to replace the side view mirror on a 1996 Windstar? The mirror is broken but the black frame that held the mirror is still attached to the housing. The part from the dealer has the black frame with the mirror so we need to remove the old frame. Is there a trick to removing the frame?

    Thanks
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,137
    "Ford's Windstar minivan gets a serious revamp -- and a new name -- for the 2004 model year. To be shown this week at the Chicago Auto Show, the '04 Ford Freestar will now follow a new Ford policy of naming most of its vehicles with the letter "F"; heritage cars like the Thunderbird and Mustang won't be affected. For 2004, the Windstar/Freestar gets a reskin outside and a more thorough reworking inside with a richer interior, a flat-folding third-row seat and a more powerful engine."

    Source: Edmunds.com Vans newsletter (link)

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,137
    More details on the '04 Freestar are coming out from the Chicago Auto Show:

    2004 Ford Freestar


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  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    I posted this question over in the "Ford Windstar Problems" thread, but I saw this one and thought I'd give it a try. Does anyone know of a rear swaybar offered for an '00 Windstar?
  • haulthault Posts: 124
    FORD stated they installed a "new" transmission in the Windstar in 2001 called "4F50N". Is this just a modified version of the transmission used in 2000 and earlier or a "new" design ? Have the problems decreased ?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,137
    It's probably a variation on the existing tranny but I suppose it could have come from the parts bin. Hard to believe that it's too new though, since the Freestar and the 2004 Mercury Monterey are coming out soon.

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  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    The 4F50N is apparently a development of the AX4N transmission.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    BUT, the 265 Foot Pounds of Torque will compensate for less HP than Odyssey, Sienna or Grand Caravan/Town & Country that all have more HP than the New Ford minivans.
        When will Ford, GM, and DC use 5 speed Automatic Transmissions? The Odyssey, MPV, Sedona, and 2004 Sienna now have 5 speed for better acceleration and fuel economy.
  • jasdmwjasdmw Posts: 118
    Was in the area of the Ford plant today and saw 2 Freestars on the road, both white and both with dealer plates. One was a Sport model, the other a basic, but with no "LX" or anything like it on the tailgate. For those of you expecting big visual changes, I'm sad to report you are out of luck. They looked pretty much the same as their predecessor. The headlights have changed, are farther up the fender but not as much as the Sienna (a good thing). The grill on the Sport was painted black. The door handles on the Sport matched the body colour, those on the other van were black. This is about all I could get in the minute or 2 that I saw them.

    Have a realtive that works there. Reports they have increased the sheet metal thickness and have an entire new line to assemble the body panels. Results should be better; stiffer structure as a result of the increased steel and many many more welds. Maybe explains why the engine is larger; more weight to drag around.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    The Freestar will have about 300 Lbs. more than Windstar. So the extra hp from the 4.2L engine is necessary. The 3.9 will lose some hp, 193 down from 200 (in the 3.8), but both will have much more Lb-ft of torque, to beat the competition. And these horsepower and torque will be available at a lower RPM than the current Windstar.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,137

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  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    The Windstar's wipers doesn't cover a big enough part of the windshield, as the Honda Odyssey, etc. So I changed their sizes.

    It comes by default: for drivers side 24", for passenger side a 20" wiper blade.

    I put size 28" for drivers side, and 21" for passenger side. It now covers a much bigger part.

    Is it something wrong if I change it from the factory defaults?
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