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Ford Mustang (2004 and earlier)

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  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,506
    “Also, for your average joe who buys a mid-life crisis Mustang, he's really just interesting in cruising around...the dynamics of his rear end really don't matter much in his grand scheme of things.”

    Perhaps I am not quite an average Joe – and actually (at 55) I am likely a bit past the exact, statistical ‘mid-life’. But there are really now only 2 things that would keep me from seriously considering a 2005 Mustang GT. One is the fact that Ford has not yet decided to add the Man-U-Matic shift (SST) capability to the 5 speed automatic.

    And the other is that IRS is not available as an option. I grant that many people drag race the Mustang (duh) and that they may very well prefer the solid rear axle. And I also grant that IRS would be more expensive than the solid axle.

    What annoys me is that it appears likely that the IRS will ONLY be available on whatever Ford ends up calling the new Cobra. (As was the case in the past.) I would really prefer to see IRS, when available, as a ‘stand alone’ option on the GT.

    On the real world roads I often travel, IRS makes a substantial improvement in both ride and handling. I don’t drive exclusively on drag strips or perfectly paved corners, and I prefer the pros (and cons) of IRS over solid rear axle in everyday driving.

    Just my $.02 worth (????)
    - Ray
    Spitting into the wind, I expect . . .
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I totally understand what you're saying...I know some Cobra drivers wish for an option to get the live axle (recently this is somewhat mitigated by the availability of the Mach 1 though).

    I think it all comes down to production economics unfortunately. Given your age, you recall when you could get your car optioned out exactly as you wanted it; these days, you're usually restricted to a couple of packages and a few minor add-ons. Anything more would slow the production, and increase the costs. One of the Mustang's big strengths is its low-buck performance. There are better-performing and nicer cars out there, but none as cheap as a Mustang.

    A higher-priced Mustang might well suffer the same fate as the new T-bird: a cool car you'd think, but for the money, there's a lot of other, and better options out there.

    But a manu-matic on a Mustang?! Ack...get outta here with that! ; )
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,506
    “But a manu-matic on a Mustang?! Ack...get outta here with that! ; )”

    All due respect – I owned and drove nothing but manual trans. cars for many years. 3 on the column, 4-or-5-on the floor – even 4 on the tree (a Peugeot) and 4 speed with separate O/D (Volvo).

    But I (and many others) have either physical reasons to require an automatic – and / or simply the desire not to have to deal with a clutch all the time. The current crop of man-u-matics offers an opportunity to significantly enhance the gear change aspect of driving a car when desired - with the option of simply popping it in full automatic mode when Hotlanta area traffic becomes more stop than go.

    Just my $.01.5 worth = with a penny and a half mail in rebate = FREE!

    - Ray
    Old enough to remember the days when choices included:

    (From the Car and Driver 1965 Annual issue)

    Pontiac Tempest / GTO

    With 215ci 6 140 HP (!) - 3 speed manual, 4 speed manual, 2 speed automatic(!)
    Final drive ratios: 2.56 / 2.93 / 3.08

    With 326ci 8 250 HP – same 3 trans. options
    Final drive ratios: 2.56 / 2.93 / 3.08 / 3.23

    With 389ci 8 335 HP – same 3 trans. options
    Final drive ratios: 3.23 / 3.36 / 3.55 / 3.90

    With 389ci 8 360 HP – same 3 trans. options
    Final drive ratios: 3.55 / 3.90

    Note: Not all final drive ratios are available with all trans. options.

    So – looking ONLY at powertrain combinations, I calculate a minimum of 12 powertrain combinations BEFORE adding possible final drive ratio options into the mix.

    (And there were clearly many, many other options and color choices, etc!)
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I'm just kidding ya re the shifter. ; )

    I do wonder why Chrylser is able to come up with a u-shift-it-auto for just about every car they make (including some not-too-great performers), but Ford really doesn't seem interested. I don't think Ford even makes one for *any* of its cars...hmmm.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,506
    "I don't think Ford even makes one for *any* of its cars"

    The current (are they still producing them??) T-Bird has it available - essentially the same 3.9L V8 and trans. and SST mode as in my current 2003 Lincoln LS V8 Sport.

    - Ray
    Thinking on the 'Bird it used to be only something like a $150 option . . .
  • I'm finally selling my mustang V6 coupe and frankly don't understand what all the hype is about. Have owned many sports cars in the past, 280Z, corvette, mitsubishi turbo, fiero, etc. and this car ranks lowest in handling and ride. V6 bad on gas mileage for the power and it's bad in the snow no matter what tires I've tried. Everyone who rides in it comments on the bumpy ride. Depreciation is huge, can't believe the trade in value is so low on a car with only 45K.
  • ntimp, i agree with your accessment on the V6 mustang... it's suchhhh a low quality car and i think most people buy it for the V8 and it's heritage.. the only reason i bought a V6 cause it was a convertible.. and i bought it used... if i were to spend 22k, it wouldn't be on this.. i think the intrigue was a much better car for the money.. i'm not comparing the two, only that both are american and around the same price range
  • True.

    But the GT models have decent power that helps make up for the flaws...those are generally the Mustangs that people are passionate about.

    GT handling is good considering the age of the chassis. I've run my GT on a road course, and it did fine. Sure, it's no sports car, but it holds its own.

    I think the real appeal of Mustangs is that you're basically buying a (somewhat, anyway)modern version of a 1960s pony car. Few other cars on the road have such a direct heritage, and offer the bang-for-the-buck that a Mustang does. Rough around the edges, sure...not the most state-of-the-art, indeed. But maybe that's part of the car's charm? Is to me, anyway... <shrug>
  • dan1dan1 Posts: 76
    I would not buy any Mustang, Camaro etc... without the V8. For the majority of the people that are really into these cars the V8 is one of the main reasons. I recently went to the Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup in Steamboat Springs CO. There were 480 cars in the show and shine including my Bullitt, and of those I would say about 97% were Mustangs and of those 95+% were V8's.
    I am not saying anything is wrong with the V6's but the whole image if the Mustang is built around a high output V8. The combination of V8 performance, styling, RWD, price and the almost unlimited availability of aftermarket parts are what has kept the Mustang around for so long. It's not for everyone but what car is?
  • I'm beginning to car shop now, just on the Internet initially until I get my choice narrowed down to 1 or maybe 2 cars. In the top 3 on my list is an '04 Mustang Convertible. I'm eligible for S-Plan pricing and with the rebate on top of that, I can probably get a pretty sweet deal. Anyway,I can't find anywhere on the Ford website, dealer's websites or window stickers online any indication of whether the rear window in the convertible is glass or plastic. Which is it? A friend with a used Mustang Convertible (probably somewhere in the '00-'01 year range) says hers is plastic. Yuck! Here's hoping for glass...

    Thanks!
  • mine's a 99 and it's glass.. i don't think i've seen a late model mustang convertible with plastic rear window.. is she sure?
  • kyleknicks, I questioned it too, but she swears it's plastic. Next time I see her I will have to remember to go tap on that back window myself and see whassup.
  • The current Mustang convert has a glass rear window.
  • Could be it has an aftermaket top with a plastic window...didn't you say it's a used Mustang?

    <shurg>
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Yea...my 88 had glass, my 2000 has glass...if your friend has a plastic rear window its a cheap aftermarket replacement!
  • Hi Everyone,

    Quick question.. Just got a certified 01 Mustang Convertible (oxford white with med parchment tan top and interior) V6, Love the car so much.. 2nd mustang, previous was a restored 68 mustang GT, orginial heritage aqua blue with matching interior and black vinyl top. Had it in the early 80's and nicknamed her Diana Supreme..because it just remind me of that whole era..anyway fast forward to now.. this new one is named Seabiscut, because it may be only a V6, but it knows it comes from thorobred roots and has lots of heart..now here is the million dollar question. what is the difference in driving dynamics between the live rear axle, solid rear axle and IRS? I know I could do a google but I figured this may be more interesting..

    Why did I get a V6 instead of a GT? this is the first time ever I have ever optioned for the lesser engine..previous cars were the Mark VIII (a cobra engine in sheep's clothing) and a car before this was an 02 VW Jetta 1.8 turbo, 180 hores in a very lightwight car..0-90 in no time flat and before you know it or felt it you would look down at the speedo and say you were just this side of 100..so was kind of looking for something this time that would let me know what it was doing this time before doing it..all that said I do think the GT is worth the extra dollars..

    well that's all for now..

    Sign me, not really a Sally, but still a girl driver who ius driving my mustang all over town, cruising the highways and by ways of Southern California..
  • In everyday driving, the biggest difference between an IRS and a live-axle setup will be when you hit surface irregularities in the road.

    A car with an IRS system will "soak up" those bumps, fissures and potholes, as each wheel moves up and down independently from the other. So one side of a car may lose traction, but the other probably won't.

    In a live-axle car however the wheels will move together, and something that affects one side will affect the other as well.

    A great example of the difference is what happens when you hit a bump in the middle of a turn. An IRS-equipped car will ride it out fine, whereas a live-axle car like a Mustang will skitter sideways briefly as both wheels lose their grip.

    BTW shouldn't the Mark VIII be a "cobra engine in elephant's clothing"? Those things were huge.
  • I am currently having the windshield replaced and body painted on my project car. I noticed pitted emblems that could use replacing. Anyone know of a good source/vendor/website for purchasing or ordering these parts for a reasnable price? Anything else that is easier to do now while the body is being painted? I am in Los Angeles. Any good shops for parts around here?
    Thanks for any help/advice
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Pick up a copy of Mustang Monthly at your newstand. It will be chock full of vendors ads, some of which I am sure are within driving distance of LA.

    Easier to do now while the body is being painted? Oh lord, the list is endless....

    Maybe all new weatherstriping and window felts. Now would be a good time to clean up/replace some of the chrome glass trim. Door/trunk locks are probably all scratched up. Cleanup/repaint the grill. New taillight lenses/bezels.....how much money you wanna spend?
  • Try California Mustang as well...http://www.cal-mustang.com/. I believe they're in or near L.A.

    They also publish a very cool Classic Mustang spotters guide that's well worth the $17.
  • John for your rxplantion on the difference between solida/live rear axle and IRS..sounds like it is more a cost saving measure than anything else..though I wonder why they say it is preferered by mustang owners -- technical reason other than cost?

    as far as the Lincoln Mark VIII it really was a great car..very high tech and lightweight (matter of fact it got better gas mileage than my V6) the whole car lowered when you traveled over 50 miles an hours..because it was so high tech the Mark spent lots of quality time with the mechenic, ha air supension, transmission and engine all replaced with 6 months times and because of that reason would be hard pressed to recommend that car without a Ford service contract..

    as for me I work as a Ford delarship now as an F&I Manager so I always recommend extended warranties, lol..but truly personally would never be without one.. Looking forward to mid October with the new 05 Mustangs start rolling in..people seem to be leaving deposits on the black 05 GTs..

    I like the interior treatment of the 05 alot..so glad Ford has done a dramtic change of the gauges etc, keeping it from looking the same as all other Ford cars IMHO..

    well guess that's it for now..
  • The live axle bit is, as you say, mostly a cost-saving measure that'll keep the price down.

    However, there is a small but quite vocal drag racing crowd that prefers a live rear axle for both the iron durability and the better traction on smooth 1/4 mile tracks.

    Just kidding about the Mark VIIIs...I always kinda liked them (though I liked the proportions of the VII better). Those cars were "banker's Mustangs" to be sure.

    Be sure to keep us non-car-industry people apprised of what you see at your dealership re the 2005s...even the smallest bit of news ("hey, today the parts dept. got some '05 floor mats in!!) seems to cause a stir. ;-)
  • dclsdcls Posts: 32
    I have a '98 lazer red convertible and am looking for a replacement front bumper cover, preferably w/ the factory finish. No luck at several web sites. Anyone?? Also, any recomendations to clean up the beige top - it's in good shape, just a little dull. Don't want to damage paint. Thanks,
  • Just wondering what others have been paying for '04 V6 Premium package Mustang's. Have an offer in the 20-21.5 range right now w/ pony package, interior upgrade, Mach stereo w/ 6-disc changer, leather seats.
  • dcls, good question...all the body parts I see these days are for the 1999+ Mustangs. Tried an ebay search? As for cleaning up the top, a good carwash solution has always worked for me. Use a soft brush too. That should do it.

    Darren, that price range sounds about right for a loaded V6 convertible with all the goodies (though I do note for 2004, Ford got rid of that odd running pony decal it previously used on the pony package in 2003...I bet no one misses it.)
  • Any chance any of the readers have had this problem. The fan only works on the highest speed. Took out the resistor. The replacement ran for about 5-10 seconds on the lowest speed and burned out. It sparked and smoked at the resistor (?) in the center of the part. I replaced it. The replacement started to smoke instantly. I suspect I am getting too much voltage. Tried to measure it but could not figure out how. More important, what might cause this? I thought if ground bad, then it wouldn't work. Doesn't seem like the voltage could be all that high because the old switch works on high speed at what seems like normal speed with no amount of heat being given off. Someone tell me that you have run into this and that the fix is easy.
  • dclsdcls Posts: 32
    I did try ebay. Don't know what the deal is w/ '99+ body parts. '94-'98 shouldn't be that hard to find. Thanks for the top cleaner tip.
  • Hi guys and gals,
    I am writing from Australia and have zero knowledge on cars. I just inherited my father's 1965 Mustang Coupe in Wimbledon White with the 289ci V8. I was going to post the VIN numbers but am not sure which ones are which. It's a three speed auto and was never converted to LHD. Dad kept it in prestine condition and away from his "rev-head" sons by keeping it a secret. He loving stored it in a storage Unit down the coast. We didn't know he owned it until the reading of his will. I think I saw it once when I was about 8 or 9.
    My problem is we want to insure the car and don't want to alert any Aussie Mustang car clubs that it exists just yet.
    What does a "pony interior" mean and what does a "California Car" mean?
    My dad refers to both in his video will. "Look after the original pony interior." and "my California Car use to take me back to my Slade days." We know who Slade is.
    I am sure you guys can help!
    As the car only has 6500 miles on the clock should we consider more than just servicing it? I think the front brakes are drums. Should we replace the drum brakes with disc's?
    The car was serviced by the same guy for nearly 40 years. His son offered us $65,000 Aussie Dollars, thats about $45,000 US. Is that a good price?
    Sorry for being so ignorant about Mustangs. We are reading as much as we can but it's hard because we are a family of musicians not car enthusiasts. Ah dad why did you keep this a secret?
    Cheers, Noddy
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Bloody lucky s.o.b!!!!!

    6500 original miles??? Holy smokes!

    The 'Pony Interior' refers to a very desireable (though pretty common) optional interior upgrade over the base interior. Amoung other things, it featured upgraded upholstery featuring a group of running horses in the backrest (hence the 'pony' interior).

    I don't think 'California Car' has any special connotation for the '65 model year. I believe there was a 'California Special' that came out with the '67 model year but I could easily be mistaken.

    A '65 with that few of miles would be a fairly valuable car (duh!). Personally, I would NOT convert the front brakes to disks; I would try to leave it as 'original' as feasible. Yes, I would think that $45k USD would be a very good price. Though how much sentimental value it may have should obviously be considered as well.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I caught about the last 45 minutes of an hour long show on Discovery Channel last night on the development of Ford's new Mustang to compete in the Grand Am series (road racing). Good story on the development process (including the new 5.0liter DOHC race motor). Lots of in car track video of the old (circa '99) car as well as the new car. Also had a fair amount of in-car track video of what looked to be a production model GT. Show ended with in-car video of Kurt Busch taking the new racecar through its paces.

    Show to be re-broadcast this Sunday, Oct. 3, at 2:00 pm.

    http://dsc.discovery.com/schedule/episode.jsp?episode=0&cpi=2- 4805&gid=0
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