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Ford Mustang (2004 and earlier)

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  • I purchased a slightly used (4k miles) '02 GT 5-speed convertible earlier this year and I love it. My son also has a '01 5-speed GT hardtop.

    Besides the kick out of modding it (so far - Pro 5.0 shifter, Bilstein shocks/struts and lowering springs, subframes, etc.) it gets 20 mpg on regular gas, the insurance premium isn't bad if you're past 30 (and I'm waaaaay past!) - and it's a blast to drive.

    On the downside, the backseat is good for a briefcase or a few grocery bags but not humans, the quality of some parts is rather suspect, the fit and finish is Ford Job What?, etc.

    As for your question about the top holding up...if that's a major concern, you might not be the perfect candidate for a convertible...after all, steel & paint hold up better than vinyl fabric just about every time. It would be nice if you can garage it; if not, try a high-quality custom car cover (CoverCraft makes an excellent one for GT convertibles).

    And did I say it's a blast to drive?

    Don't let anybody talk you out of it. And, when the weather is perfect for that drive with the top down...remember to NOT take them along!

    You list a Honda sedan as your driver now...so the Mustang will be a VERY different experience for you. If you buy a used one at a good price - and there's lots of convertibles to choose from in So. CA...you can sell it down the road without a lot of depreciation. That's a good way to get into a different type of automobile - low risk.

    Good luck!
  • pda97pda97 Posts: 88
    I'm looking for a nose mask for my 03 Stang. What do you folks recommend ? Colgan, Ford, whatever ? What brand is the easiest to install and remove ? Thanx for all comments.
  • 3trigs3trigs Posts: 2
    They were giving away Machs the end of last month in central Fla..$3000 rebate plus beat the dealer down to invoice..

    One dealer now has 2000 rebates on 04 GT's..

    Almost sprang for the 03 Mach, 5spd, 29330 sticker..

    a dealer in Venice,Fla had a 5000 doc fee on Machs several weeks ago, must be smoking something new???
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I live in the Hurricane Isabel path, and as it was approaching, I thought to myself that if my '02 GT were to get wrecked or whathave you, I'd replace it with a Mach 1.

    Interesting how the Bullitts were pretty hard to come by, whereas the Machs can be had fairly reasonably...
  • hhh387hhh387 Posts: 8
    The 98 Mustang V6 is listed at 150 horsepower. The 99 Mustang V6 is listed at 190 horsepower. Anybody have any idea what the actually real wheel horsepower on both of those cars is? Also does anybody know why the 99 Mustang supposedly has 40 more horsepower than the 98?
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I think actual rwhp for the 1998 V6 is somewhere around 125-130. 99+ jumps to 150s.

    And yes, the 99+ do have 40 more hp. New heads, split-port injection, and other changes to the 3.8 did it.

    The 99+ V6s are the ones to get if you're going V6.

    -John
  • hhh387hhh387 Posts: 8
    I am looking to buy a used mustang this Christmas. I want to get a 99+ V6 because of the horsepower gain and I like the style of them better as well. I got a few questions.

    #1 How reliable are the 99+ Mustang V6's? Because when I am searching on auto trader I usually put the mileage limit to under 60,000 miles any suggestions on wether I should lower or higher that limit?

    #2 Will I run better times on the 1/4 mile with a manual than with an automatic? If so how much time difference do you think there would be between the two?

    #3 One of the first things I would like to do when I get it is a different exhaust. I will have to be making monthly payments so I would need a cheap one. Any ideas on what is a cheap one that will give me a good sound and some more horsepower?
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    I bought my 2001 manual V6 coupe brand new and since then have put 36,000 miles on it. I have not had one single problem. A used one should be really cheap.

    If you want to have any fun driving this car do NOT get an automatic. The automatic transmission feels like it robs all the power from the engine and pauses and jerks on downshifts.

    If you are going to get a different exhaust then go ahead and get a dual system with an H pipe. There are plenty of brands out there, but I have not done this (yet!) so I can't tell you which to buy.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    The 99+ ones are pretty reliable. There was an earlier-year issue with the 3.8 involving head gasket failure, but I think that's been resolved for some time now. Given how many of them are made, you should be able to find a low-mileage one fairly easily.

    As for the 1/4, a 5spd is worth maybe a half-second difference over the auto. The auto also eats up more rwhp.

    But more importantly, I agree that a 5 spd is much more fun all around, esp. on a V6 Mustang. You won't regret getting one, and besides, part of the fun of a pony car is being able to easily light up the wheels in 1st and chirp the tires into 2nd!

    Re the exhaust, Ford Racing makes a direct-fit "quasi-dual" for the 3.8 that's supposed to be nice, inexpensive and well-made...

    The V6 Mustangs are great bang-for-the-buck cars I think; you get decent performance, rwd, and good looks for not a lot of money.

    What color are you considering? : )
  • hhh387hhh387 Posts: 8
    Thanks for your guys responses. I think I will definitely go for the 5 speed. The color to me really doesn't matter I'm just trying to find the best deal right now since I dont have that much money. When I get more money I will get a paint job. If I had to choose I would hope to get a blue or yellow one. John do you know a web site where I could look up information on that ford racing "quasi-dual" exhaust? The bang for the buck is the main reason I am getting this car. I have looked at other cars and none have beat the power for the price of a mustang. If anybody knows any cars that I would be able to find for under $10,000 used that have a better bang for the buck please tell me and I will be sure to look into it. Also John how did you figure out the real wheel horsepower of the mustangs do you know a site where I could look that up, or did you just figure it out by seeing a dyno of it?
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    For all things mustang, check out www.stangnet.com. They have different forums, inc. a V6 one that might be useful to you, inc. dyno plots, etc. It can be pretty addictive though... ; )

    Re color, you should be able to find 'em in all colors no problem...there are a ton of them around.

    Re the exhaust, it's a Ford Racing product, so check out their website or get a catalog at your dealership... Also, GEFracing.com used to carry them, and is a good place for Mustang parts online (I bought my Ford Racing GT exhaust from them).
  • The v8 is more reliable than the v6 if you care.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Yeah, I thought the 3.8 is pretty much bulletproof these days...like the GM 3800 V6.
  • hhh387hhh387 Posts: 8
    Mileage wise how long do you think the average 99+ V6 mustang lasts?
  • i just bought a 03 mustang gt and on the passenger side the carpet is not intact and it looked like the air bag was deployed bc the facing had a gap in it. I didn't see it when i was in the car until the next day. i took it back and the dealership said let us fix it. I demanded a another mustang bc i don't want a new car that they have to fix. The service department was closed already they told me to bring it back tomorrow what should i do. I chked the vin number to see if it had been wrecked or bumped it hadn't been. How can i handle this to get another mustang.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    This is a new Mustang, right? New Mustangs shouldn't have such problems...
  • I have a 2000 Rag Top and some Jack A.. decided to cut a small (2 inch) hole in it for some unknown reason.
    I've found a few placed on line that sell replacement tops at reasonable prices. I've also found conflicting advise about trying to replace it myself.
    Does anyone have experience doing this, and would you recommend trying it myself?
    Are there any places where I can get some instructions?
  • I have a 2003 Centennial Edition convertible stang. I plan to add a Steeda GT cat-back exhaust kit and a Steeda GT high-flow air kit. Does anyone know if adding these mods will void any warranties? Steeda says no but I figured I'd check with other owners who may have looked into this before. Any other recommended mods?
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    After owning a Mustang for little over a year now, I'm still amazed at the interest, emotion and nostalgia this car generates in people.

    Complete strangers will approach me in parking lots to tell me about a Mustang they once owned, little children have shouted "nice car!" at me, and older gentlemen have watched intently as I've cruised by. I've never driven a car that seems to have such near-universal appeal in this country.

    So it hasn't been too surprising that everybody seems to have a Mustang story of some sort; from double-dating in a friend's first-year model to drag racing in a '70s Mach 1 to owning a rare SVO turbo, I've heard some interesting recollections and stories (often from people I least imagined would be into Mustangs).

    So let's hear *your* interesting/cool/nostaligic Mustang stories! I'm sure people on these boards have some great ones.
  • i never used to be into cars until a friend of mine showed up at practice one day a couple years ago with a 2000 mustang in bright red. i dont know if it was a gt or not since i didnt know anything about cars/mustangs at that point. but i remember all of us talking about how he was getting a new car...then seeing him pull up in the mustang. right away i knew that was a car i wanted.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I really, really hope that's not the new Mustang. With the roofline that low, front, side and rear visibility will be awful, and that will massacre Mustang sales the same way '96 Taurus's ovals did. I have high hopes for the new Mustang to bring something special to market; if this is it, then IMO Ford's in big sales trouble no matter how cool it is or how great the engine or chassis is.

    First rule of design for a high volume production vehicle: utility matters most. That's the reason the Mustang sells so well: it's affordable and roomy without sacrificing fun. Save the low roofline and slanted windows for the $45k Cobra model that competes with Corvettes.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    Oh I dunno, the roofline looks close to the shape of my 2001. The visibility is not great, but it's good enough. If people just learned to adjust there mirrors the proper way they wouldn't [non-permissible content removed] so much about this.

    The fact that this part of the car is still covered up during the time the photos were taken shows that the roof and side design might not be completely finalized yet. Although I wouldn't expect major changes in the basic shape.

    Looks sharp to me. Some of the interior plastics look a little hard and cheap, but it is still a major improvement over the current mustang. At least the design is clean and the metal bits look like they are going to be real metal. I like the old school font on the gauges a lot.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I disagree, and I believe a great many others will too. I know how to adjust mirrors, thank you very much. Visibility still will suck. Open air driving will suck, and with the door sills so high and the roof so low, leaving very little side window, the car will feel claustrophobic. Sure, that's all fine and dandy for a $200k exotic, or even a genuine $50k sports car, but that's dangerous territory for a $20k "affordable" coupe from a company that has to give away cars as it is. The best thing about the current Mustang is not its power but its overall accessibility; I hope Ford realizes that's not a bad thing.

    Oh well.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    I just don't think the roof looks that low. If anything it looks like the sides are extra high. Check out where they are in relation to the seat on the interior pic. Looks like it might be hard to rest your arm on the door with the window open. Not such a great thing either, but it does look like the armrests on the door might actually be good for resting you arm on them. (On the current model they are pointless)
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I'll give you that, the interior looks great!
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