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Ford Mustang (2004 and earlier)



  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Are the A pillars reinforced for roll over protection? Or do Mustangs all have the same ones shared between soft and hard top models?

    I like the look.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    "Are the A pillars reinforced for roll over protection? Or do Mustangs all have the same ones shared between soft and hard top models?"

    The 'verts do have strengthed a-pillars.

    That car must have body flex worse than a '80s Fox body convertible...I notice for all of his mods, he hasn't done anything to stiffen the subframe to compensate for cutting out a significant part of the unibody.
  • I am torn between a 98 Mustang and 98 Sebring. The Mustang has 87K miles and Sebring 65K. However, I am most concerned about reliability and safety as my teen daughter will be driving the car.

    Any thoughts? :confuse:
  • nghtshd88nghtshd88 Posts: 7
    Take the Mustang, it also depends on what model it is. I would believe that the Mustang would have been taken care of better. Check the carfax on both.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Army tank may be the safest. Let's see, the Mustang does well in crash tests, and is less expensive to repair. Problem is that many younger people may have taken driving courses only for FWD cars. A RWD Ford can be tricky, particularly on the wet. FWD cars, like the Sebring will likely have understeer to them, and the tires stick in the wet. Back off the gas in a turn, and less bad things can happen, than with doing the same with RWD. The Sebring should have a lower death rate, so thus a far lower insurance rate for teens. I did have a Mustang when I was 20, but I had already had driving experience with other RWD cars and motorcycles.

    If the Sebring has the 2.7 V6, it could be prone to sludging. Be sure to have someone in the know - as in mechanic look it over. Both the Stang and the Sebring are good looking autos. I assume we are talking hard tops. NO convertibles for teens. And change oil at 3K on Chrysler.
    Some links for ya: link 1
    You will find both are relatively inexpensive for repairs / parts. Roam around on the site link above for more info. about the cars than simply repair costs.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I'd agree with Loren...both are good choices.

    To be sure, we're talking about a V6 Mustang right? If not, a V8 GT is probably a bad idea for a teenage driver.

    On the Mustang, some of the 3.8 V6s had head gasket failure problems (expensive to fix), so be sure to have it checked out by a mechanic.
  • Thanks for all of your advice! I have rethought the whole convertible thing and have decided to get a compact sedan, Mazda3, and after she's driven our old beat up Durango for 6-12 months, I'll let her have the Mazda. Safety (within our budget) first!

  • sundownersundowner Posts: 6
    Hi, I bought a 2002 V6 Mustang "Sundowner" convertible a few years ago and well, I've never seen another one. Have you ever heard of a "Sundowner" edition? Someone told me it might be a dealer package but how do I find out? It does seem to be upgraded with leather interior, chrome accents on the wheel wells etc. I would love to learn more about it or where I might be able to go to learn more about it. Thanks so much. :confuse:
  • Never in a million years would I buy a chrysler product like the sebring, over a mustang.(having years of experience auto repair business in one capacity or another, I have acquired disdain for chrysler products in general, but thats just my personal opinion, but the 2.7l v-6 has a NIGHTMAREISH failure record).just try to buy one USED,(JUST THE ENGINE), if you can find it it will usually run over $3,000.00 or so, because they are in such high demand. Now, it is true that the ford 3.8L v-6 HAD some head gasket, and even front timing cover gasket problems, the problems seem to have been much fewer on the '96 and later v-6 cars.As long as it has been maintained and NOT OVER-HEATED with proper maintenance it can give decent service. I admit it is not the best engine ford ever made but I would still take it over a 2.7L engine equipped chrysler any day.Good luck.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    As you surmise, it's a dealer package.

    The only factory-made V6 special edition for the 99-04s was the "pony package", which provided special trim, wheels and a very odd tape graphic of running horses... ;)

    Try to find out what dealer the car originally came from, and you can call and discuss with them.

    What color is she? What are the special options?
  • sundownersundowner Posts: 6
    :) She is torch red, wheel upgrade, white leather interior, white convertible top, chrome wheel well accents and the doors seem to be a different style. I ran a Carfax on it and it came out of California - any idea how I can track down the dealer? There is photo of her on my CarSpace page (I'm new here but I think you can get there from here.) It says Sundowner on the rear panel - that's what confused me - it doesn't seem to be a sticker - it's under the clear coat. Thank you so much for your reply.
  • sundownersundowner Posts: 6
    Oops sorry, I think I posted a new message rather than response to your reply. Looks at post 1941. :blush:
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Looks like you have a "deluxe" or "premium" level Mustang (the wheels are a giveaway) with some dealer-added items. The rub strip on the door was a common dealer addition on V6 Mustangs of the time.

    Interesting about the "Sundowner" logo. That's not a Ford designation, so the factory wouldn't have put it on. The dealer must have gone to a lot of trouble to professionally install it.

    Manual or automatic? Anything different about the interior?
  • sundownersundowner Posts: 6
    I wondered if the wheels were aftermarket put on by the 1st owner or not... Good to know. Also about the rub strip. It is automatic. The interior is white leather? with the mustang emblem stitched into them. Otherwise nothing remarkable about the seats that I can see. What were some of the other upgrades offered by the dealers in 2002 - do you know? Any suggestions on other things I could look for to see what makes it unique? According to Carfax the car came out of Burlingame California. But it's possible the dealer is no longer in business. I did find one old dealership in Burlingame - but they have no phone listing that I can find and no web listing.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    The stitched ponies on the seatbacks came that year on all Mustangs with the exception the base V6 version.

    Dealer upgrades can be any and all things, but usually take the form of different wheels, trim elements and exterior graphics. It's rare these days for dealers to offer performance mods.

    As far for other dealer-added stuff you might have, if you have anything made of metal/metal colored in the interior, it's from the dealer...Mustangs from the factory are heavy on the monochrome plastic. :(
  • sundownersundowner Posts: 6
    Wow, you have been the most helpful person I have found so far on information. Thank you so much. Are you a Ford Dealer or just a buff? :shades:

    The interior has no other upgrades that I can see. They did upgrade the stereo but otherwise it seems to be factory.

    I called Ford but they were limited as to what information they had on it. :cry: I would love to find out what the promotion was or whatever made them upgrade it to the point they did - I found out from Carfax that the original owner was a rental car company (I'm the 2nd owner) and that it was shipped to a dealer in Burlingame California with 5 miles on it. But the only Ford dealer I could find in Burlingame California is no longer in business. Any suggestions on where else I could get more info whatever the promotion was? It seems unusual to put so many upgrades on a car intended to be used as a rental.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Nope, just a fan. I have a dark blue '02 GT myself. :)

    Yeah, not surprised that Ford was unhelpful. I've had trouble even getting them to even answer the phone, much less provide useful information.

    Sounds like the original owner was hoping to develop a unique rental that he hoped would stand out in the pack. It's impressive that they went to such trouble to apply the "sundowner" logo correctly...most places would have just slapped a sticker on it.

    In any event, looks like your car may have been a one-off sort of thing. You might want to try posting on some Mustang fan sites...stangnet (dot) com is a good place with people who have scary amounts of knowledge about Mustangs...

    So enjoy having a unique, probably one-of-a-kind Mustang. Red convertible with a white interior is a classic Mustang combination, and the white leather interior was particularly rare for that year as well.
  • sundownersundowner Posts: 6
    Well Thank you so much. Your responses have been a ton of help and have given so much more to research. :) I just love it. My husband and I have been thinking about joining one of the local Mustang clubs and he's actually looking at the 07 Cobra V6 for himself. I kind of hate hearing that my car was a rental car though :( - but hey I still think she's a beauty. Thanks again.
  • Has anyone else had the (what appears to be a clear coat) peeling off of their headlite assy.'s? Mine have started to peel away in circular spots near the right side side marker area, and it looks like scratch lines are forming under/in the thin (clear)coating on the other side.Mine is an '04 GT PREMIUM and is parked in a garage all day 5 days a week since new in 7/04.Dealer agreed to replace them under warranty, otherwise they look like new, no hazing, etc.
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