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Ford Freestar/Mercury Monterey



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That should work. Lease is up in May. Getting a lot of miles on the old girl (42,000).
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Here's a link to the first printing of the owner's manual for the upcoming Freestar. (I'm posting a similar link to the Monterrey's in it's respective forum). This way people can see it's options, toys, gadget, instrument panel, stereo configuration, etc. it's a large file in .PDF format. Have fun !

    Note: On the manual, you will see the "WIN" name, meaning Windstar, that hasn't been rectified yet in the printing, but if you scroll thru the pages, you will find it's really the Freestar information considering how the Instrument Panel, stereo, options, are configured/designed. - ile.pdf?DMW_OBJECTID=09000c58803a7ce8
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Thanks for the link. I've downloaded the .pdf file (about 15 minutes on my 56K modem). I'm enjoying so much of reading information about the upcoming Freestar.

    There is a lot to like about the new Freestar over the current Windstar. However, there are many things I don't like, many things which I hoped so much to see an upgrade in the new Freestar, and many things which are even better on the Windstar. And let me explain a few of them.

    What I like about the new Freestar:

    Many new storage bins all over the vehicle, dual map pockets on each front door; on dashboard top; bottle holders, and more. Overhead console w/compass & outside temperature, as most other minivans have (in the Windstar it's on the message center, viewable for the driver only). Puddle lamps (if equipped). Revised engine, transmission, suspension & steering will give better feel, ride & handling, and reduce the noise (NVH). Steering-wheel audio controls. When Cruise is engaged an icon will appear like most other cars. And of course, the disappearing 3rd row seat, and good overall quality. And bigger 4-wheel disc brakes w/panic assist available. DVD entertainment system instead of the VHS system.

    What I will miss from my Windstar:

    The new Freestars dashboard really sucks IMHO. I hate everything, from gauges to controls of the climate & audio systems to the steering wheel & the steering-wheel-mounted controls. Although I guess those controls will be illuminated, a good thing over the Windstar, Ford changed the first time the cruise controls from the way it used to be for years, on the 2 sides of the steering wheel. Now it will have 3 tiny controls on 1 side only. The Windstar's gauges, in my opinion, was just beautiful, as I wrote somewhere else in Town hall. Large bright typefaces, evenly and clean designed speedo-tacho meter, and the high-beam icon in center of these 2. In the Freestar this icon is placed in the middle of the tachometer. So many icons all over in no order. This is not neat. Only one LCD for both, message center & odometer, while the Windstar has 2 extra on both sides of the gauges, so nice.

    Also we will miss the separate controls of the rear quarter windows which is located on the drivers door in the Windstar, Instead it will have a single switch to control both rear windows simultaneously (as in GM minivans, which brought a lot of criticism in the auto media).

    I also hate the analog clock, which should make a car 'luxury'... especially while they have no numbers on it, just dots instead of numbers. So if you want to know the time at-a-glance, you have no choice. It will take you at-lease 2-3 seconds to realize the time. Since this is offered only on the Limited model (and on Mercury Monterey), I guess if I'll go with Freestar I will not take the Limited.

    Things which I hoped to see a change, but unfortunately will not change:

    Overhead lamps in the front seats is placed behind the first-row seats in the Windstar, so it's hard to turn them on or off, especially while driving. No other minivan has this stupid design, nor Ford themselves have this design on their other vehicles. I was sure they will change it in the Freestar, but nope... they will not.

    Better & bigger controls for the audio systems. In 'consumer guide' it says Windstar Audio controls are too busy. In consumer reports (at the Town car report, few months ago) also says that the audio controls (close to the one in the Windstar) is not smart designed, and has too many similar flat buttons.

    Still no storage drawer under the front passenger seat; No wiper de-icer (now on Chrysler/Dodge, Kia, Toyota minivans, although I think Chrysler stopped to make them on '03 models); No DVD navigation system; Simple sound system w/6 speakers, while most other offers 8-9-10 speaker systems w/subwoofer. No driver's side outside auto dimming mirror. No rear-seat panel armrests, as Toyota, Honda, Chrysler/Dodge; Power seats are still 6-way, not 8-way, as most other have. Front passenger seat can't fold flat as the new Sienna; And of course we will not get power roll-down sliding door windows; AWD; Split rear folding seat; 2nd row seats folds down (new Nissan Quest), and just 201 hp with the updated 4.2L engine, and just a 4-speed transmission, not a 5-speed as Honda, Toyota, Kia, Mazda. No independent rear suspension. +++

    I hope Ford is reading this. I'm not the best writer (English is NOT my primary language), but they will get the idea. It's a long post, but contains a lot of information. As you all know, a new minivan from Ford is due in 2006 or 2007, built on the Mazda6 platform. I hope 'til then, when Honda & GM and perhaps Chrysler will be out with a new minivan, Ford will combine all features together and build a wonderful minivan.
  • haulthault Columbus OhioPosts: 130
    Is the new Freestar 3.9 and 4.2 engines just bored or stroked versions of the 3.8 ?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yes, basically, they are the same Essex engine as the 3.8L.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
       I agree about the clock on the dashboard, but it's mainly there as a focal point, decorate touch, more than functional. There's much attention being paid to the interior materials, fit and finish, and overall quality. And you will notice a balanced look in the way the items are arranged on the dashboard. Which is where the clock came in.

       It's funny you mention the Instrument panel icons. I was mentioning that to a friend of mine, considering that her vehicle has some icons spread through-out the speedometer/tachometer as well (Saturn L300). What's worse, in her vehicle they stand out, because the lighted cut-outs are very visible at any time. You would think with all that corners on the IP's, they would have sectioned them specifically in a few sections, or have a row of them towards the bottom of the IP (remember older Volvo's). But there's reasons for this arrangement, and one of them has to do with studies of visual awareness and such.

       The Taurus' IP is also being modified quite a bit as well for 2004, and loses some of those "icon corners" as well :( But this is an item that isn't a "make or break" deal for me. NOW RED intrumentation WOULD be, for me a, deal breaker.

       There's only so much that was re-engineered for the Freestar, it's benefit is that it's Taurus based, and is using exsisting current Ford items/techonology, etc. Although being overhauled, the main aspects of the vehicle has stayed intact. So development/research money is saved in that case, and spent elsewhere (improved materials, structure, engines). This will buy time till the Mazda6 based minivan debuts in 3 years. Which will feature much of what the competition currently has. Unfortunatly this is a case where Ford is a bit late to the party (remember the 4th driver's rear passenger door-late to the party as well), now it's with the foldable 3rd row seats.

    But it's a much more improved vehicle overall, and attention to reliability, quality, NVH was worked on.
  • hst1hst1 Posts: 17
    Hi there,
    Does anyone know the pricing for the new freestar? We are looking for a new minivan with the the third row side curtain airbags. From the media ford link , it seems like we will have to get a bunch of options in order to have the side airbags... does anyone know where I could find a price for the new freestar with those options? Thanks!!!
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Pricing has not yet been released. When so, I'll post a link to it.
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Hannah, you can get pricing if you can bluff you way into the "commercial" or leasing part of your Ford dealer. I work for GE and they have a buying agreement for employees, does your employer have the same thing (ask your HR person)? My dealer said he could give me a price now and gave me all of the ordering stuff, just no color brochures.

    You can also look at it this way, it won't be less expensive than 2003, but would probably not be more than 10%-15% +/- over 2003 with the same stuff.

    good luck....randy
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Ford announced that the new Freestar will be the most quality minivan from Ford (?). Here is a copy of their words:

    "In the past few years, Ford has steadily improved the quality and refinement of its minivans through changes in design and manufacturing - and a fanatical attention to detail. Quality has already been improved by more than 20 percent, according to independent analysis, over previous model Ford minivans. For 2004, Ford has taken quality and refinement to a higher level with the all-new Freestar."

    What do you think? Has quality really been improved? Looking at this site I'm surprised that many people are satisfied with their Windstar's: p;search=MostRecent&num=50&trim=All&lang=All

    The Aerostar had a long lasting powertrain. We have in our business 3 Aerostars, '93 & '95 models. 2 are in the 190K range, and most things are fine (one of them has no A/C), and another one, has 209,000 miles! and still runs great, with ice-cold A/C. If the new Freestar will be the best Ford minivan, it should at least last this long :-)

    The above link is for year 2003 models. but the year 2002 models, although not that good, is also much better than expected: p;search=MostRecent&num=50&trim=All&lang=All

    I hope Ford learned a lesson, and will build good quality vehicles once for all!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, I had the Aerostar from hell, I guess. After having the heads removed and re-milled, and about everything on the car leaking oil, my wife gratefully totalled it, and I was delighted. It was an 87.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Well, I also owned a '92 Aerostar which was very bad, but refused to dye even it had a lot of mileage and abuse. In Consumer Reports is rates the Aerostar for average reliability, and I think the same for satisfaction.

    Well, Windstar was the worst for both, reliability and satisfaction, both earned a fully black circle, which means very bad. But in 2003 Windstars, they reported just a 1/2 circle black for satisfaction, which is slightly better.

    So I hope that the new Freestar should have AT LEAST average reliability & satisfaction.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    it better
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Which engines were those Aerostars? Ironically they do well down here in S.FL, I see many many of them from early 90's. Know of someone personally that has a 92 with the 3.0L, only reason she still has it is because it's still in great condition. Only replacement was the A/C compressor a year ago. I myself am skeptic and tell her to get rid of it. Although she does need it to actually tow something, and a FWD Windstar will not be up to the task. Nor would I tell her to upgrade to that either.

    Shame there's very few RWD vans....
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Ford just released the data of the 2004 vehicle lineup fuel economy:

    Unfortunately, the Freestar will be: (City/Highway)

    * 3.9L Engine: 17/23
    * 4.2L Engine: 16/22

    Ooch... that hurts... Toyota Sienna is rated for 19/26 (although premium fuel is recommended for that mileage)...
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yep, surely quite a porker overall. This is related to the weight gain the vehicle underwent, all for NVH issues, as well as overall structural reinforcement. Although in this category the worst fuel user is the Kia Sedona, at 15/20, that too attributed to it's weight.
        This is another example of what I've mentioned in other forums/posts...When there's major weight gains on a vehicle, without no noticable size increases to justify it, then it's a hint that a new platform needs to be re-engineered. (like the Mustang) Luckily this is the last generation for this platform/engine. I look forward to 2007-ish then we'll see a highly competitive van from Ford.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Anybody knows on what date the Freestar will arrive at the dealerships?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    My Aerostar was an 87 with the 3.0L Vulcan. Now, that engine has a good rep around town, and you're right, ANT, there are a MILLION Aerostars still running around this town too, which just amazes me, given that mine was such a mess. They are preferred to the GM box vans or the Chrysler tin vans, I think because they are built on the truck frame and are fairly substantial, but also they seem to be hard to kill. Now that wasn't my experience, but I may have just had a bad one. Incidentally, my 87 Aerostar was my last Hertz purchase :)
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Well today I sent my request to my Ford dealer. I had picked up his ordering info, less pricing, so I had the codes and options. We picked out all of the codes and I faxed it in. The long and the short is pricing is not available. My dealer was willing to order the van now, without price info, and I had no obligation to take it when it arrives.

    I work for GE and we have a fixed pricing on the "X-Plan". So nothing yet as of today.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Congrats :)
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    Congrats Andy...what did you order?...please share the expirience with us as well as your taste......we all learn from each other...
    Good luck to you and the family....
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Being a 3 kid & car seat family unit, we went for the family stuff. I ordered an SE with cloth seats, safety canopy, power side doors, cdx6, floor console and throw in a cargo net. We live in Calif so we didn't get the slippery road stuff. Previously I had a Hertz rental with the adjustable pedals and we had them in the normal position, so we passed on them. The SE comes with the larger engine so that was a given. My only disappointment was the heated mirrors with the signals; those are only available in a package with some things we deemed unnecessary for us, therefore we did not order those or the electronic message stuff. We opted for a new color for the vans, Arizona Beige, which is currently offered on the pickups and hides dirt pretty good.

    The trim stuff that was new this year is the fold down / reversable 3rd row seat, vinyl seats in the 3rd row until you get to SE then vinyl 3rd row with leather (why?), side safety air curtains and a couple of migrated colors, Arizona Beige and a medium blue. The LE gets an analog clock in the center of the dash to add civility. Late offerings are the trailer package, 17" wheels, and some kind of cargo handling package. The LE can opt out of leather. We didn't take the DVD system, which looked cool on the Merc Monterey website. We live in an area with a bunch of twists in the road, so I rather have my kids look out the window and hold onto their last meal. Been there, done that....yuk!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    So, the big question is: When is delivery projected?
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Howard, I don't know. I asked the dealer and he said he would get back to me soon. They couldn't tell me the price, so why should I expect a date? All I know is my wife's van's registration is due 10/23, so that is the goal.

    As soon as they tell me, I will let you know. I may try to hedge my bet with the Mercury dealer next door to Ford. If there is no obligation, then we can order there as well.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Will the SE model have an analog clock?

    At it states that only the Limited will offer this (non)feature (I hate the analog clock without numbers), as well the Mercury Monterey. But SE? Are you sure with that or your dealer just told you?
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    Sam, from what I saw on the order sheets, the analog clock comes with the LE and is not an option on any other model of Freestar. All models, EXCEPT LE, have the digital clock in the radio. We did opt for the CDX6 player, verses CD+cassette (does anybody have those any more?). I might have been a bit unclear, we ordered an SE. I would have liked to be able to order the analog clock and the heated signal mirrors separately.

  • Does anybody know when the Ford Freestar will come out? I am very currious to see what it is like.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Look towards the end of Sept, into October.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Are there any pictures available of the new Freestar, other than those 5 or 6 pictures available all over the web (including Edmunds) from the Limited model? I would like to see the lower-end models, LX & SE, without 2-tone exterior and digital clock interior... any other exterior color besides Red...
  • trainboytrainboy Posts: 66
    I know that this is not a bunch of help, but you can go to the fleet site:

    Select the tab that is Products, then vehicle showroom, then passenger vans. When the chart comes up, you can move the cursor over the color swatches and the van changes colors (cool?). In the middle of the left side under trim, click on the "5 trim levels" and this will give some of the standard stuff.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I have some additional names for the new Freestar minivan, if Ford wants to listen.

    Ford's minivan names have a tradition to be 8 characters, with the last 4 called 'star'. It all started up with the Aero-Star (perhaps because it was very roomy), and then changed over to the Wind-Star (probably because of the wind noise you notice in the Wind-Star driving on the highway). Now they're changing everything to start with the letter 'F', so it's changed again to Free-Star (probably because you can get them almost for FREE, with such kind of rebates and low financing).

    So I have some additional ideas. Of course all names must be not more and not less than 8 characters, starting with an F letter, and ending with 'star', as I stated above.

    Ford's minivans earned five stars in the government's crash tests, so Five-Star is a good name. They also earned 4 stars for side impact crash tests (without the side airbags), so Four-Star is next on the list.

    If Ford will make it run fast enough (something which doesn't seem to happen with the current engine) the name is Fast-Star, Full-Star or Fine-Star. But if not, we will call it Fool-Star or Fail-Star. If it will be just average, call it Fair-Star.

    Since the EPA mileage for the 4.2L is 16/22 (city/highway), we could call it Fuel-Star, or Feed-Star (b/c you feed a lot of gas). If you'll need to replace the fuses as much as the Windstars, call it Fuse-Star.

    Or, we can go by features. It has a fold away third row seat? Call it Flat-Star, or Fold-Star.

    And my last option will amaze you: FORD-STAR ! :-)

    Do you have anything to add to this list? Of course I also have a few other names I don't want to mention them here..., and I hope we will never have to use them :-) LOL
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    LOL...Sam you definitely have TOO much time on your hands. I know that the wait time for the Freestar is killing most of us, specially the price list, but you take the cake...there is medication as well as treatments for those cases like you decide to buy a GM van and I can't wait for the names that you can come up
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    You're either a doctor or a patient... ;^)

    (BTW, if Ford has so much time to search for new names beginning with the F letter, then I have some time, too...)

    GM will not make minivans anymore. They will make some SUV like van. They don't release any info, so I await some surprises. Maybe something similar to the Aztek ????? :<)
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    ..LOL...yes I am a "patient" ....a patient prospective buyer of the you are awaiting for GM "Aztek" type SUV/minivan, you are in deeper need of medication than I must be the ugliest things in the planet. Besides GM has a history of launching new vehicles and pulling them out just about the time that they were about to get it right..remember the Fiero?...I believe it was 86 the last year and THAT year was the best of them but GM decided against it..time will tell...
  • wsag26wsag26 Posts: 124
    What's up with Ford and there 'F' kind of thing. By 2006 practically all of there vehicles except Explorer, and Mustang and Expedition and Escape will have 'F's in it. Not to get offtopic though...

    The Ford Freestar will be pretty behind all of the competition because of it's 200 hp engine. People will just keep on putting it behind because of that.

    I don't expect to buy a minivan, because I won't need one. I just look at them and see which one is ahead. Right now, it looks like the Quest and Sienna are getting the big buzz. Chevy/Pontiac/Saturn which will be the last to get redesigned will have a whole lot to think about from here to the time for the release in fall 2004, when it is due to come out.
    Ford, I think is rushing it too much. They need to come out with a more powerful 240 hp V-6 for the Freestar and maybe a extra digit for the Monterey minivan.
  • The Freestar, compared to the Windstar, is quite portly. Ford needed to add a torquey engine to compensate for the extra weight thus the use of a big cube, slow revving engine.

    I, too, am a little disappointed that the 4.2V6 only puts out 201hp. However, the 265 lb-ft of torque is impressive and usable. I would argue that the Ford's 265 lb-ft of torque is more useful than Toyota's 230hp.

    However, we will all have to reserve judgement until we get a seat of the pants experience.
  • wsag26wsag26 Posts: 124
    Mostly, families look for a minivan not because it is the strongest of the pack, like many people look at horsepower on sports cars/convertibles. In this case though, torque is something worth looking at. The 265 will, yes definitely be something better than the 230 or 240 hp on the Toyota Sienna/Honda Odyssey Nissan quest
    Update you with more info when I can
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    Someone here pointed to the fact that that we look or want is hp but what gets us going is torque...and that is the truth. Even in the Mustang world (where I am from) hp numbers are impressive but torque is what we are all looking for, granted that usually hp and torque go pretty much hand in hand, but when it comes to minivans torque is the most important thing to have when we get in the highway from a ramp or changing lanes..that is the difference. From what I have read from people test driving the Odyssey, Quest and Sienna they were dismayed at the poor "acceleration" and extreme "laboring" or "noise" of the engine..uhmmm..I wonder why?....maybe lower punds of torque?..I think so, is just that most of us do not know to describe this when it happens and we tend to think that it is hp.
    ...just my opinion, not trying to be confrontational...
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    For those that want some [email protected](2004)
                 [email protected](2003)
       2003 [email protected]
       2004 [email protected]
    ..just a note for the "curious"...
       2002 Explorer [email protected]
       2002 Explorer [email protected]

    My 2002 Limited sure pulls a lot (V8).....
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Heavier the vehicle, the more torque it should have (Even better if it's down low under 4000RPM). That's what moves the mass at first, whereas HP shines upon upper RPM acceleration, at points where passing power is needed.

    The Freestar's 4.2L has quite a bit of very usable torque down low, and that will help offset the weight gain.

    This WILL be the last generation of these 3.8(now 3.9L and 4.2L) engines. The next generation of Ford minivans will be powered by the 3.5L V-6 Duratec coming out in a bit over a year from now in other Ford vehicles. That will be quite a major leap above the current 3.9L, 4.2L offerings.

    As for the name game. Passenger cars will start with "F" names, while SUV's will stick with "E" names. With the Exception of the F-150 naturally. And then their "Heritage" vehicles will be Mustang, Tbird, GT Etc. Mercury's line will have "M" names as well throughout all vehicles.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I hope it will be a good engine. All Duratec's are fine, but this seems to be even better. At least that's what they sell us here:

    ANT14: The Freestar will be about 150-200 Lbs. heavier than the Windstar, not more (like one heavy passenger...) so we WILL feel a difference in power with this engine. It seems that nobody even thinks about the 3.9L engine with just 193hp (down from 200 in the current 3.8L) with 248 Lb.-Ft of torque. This will be too slow for the Freestar.

    (Ralph, svofan2: I didn't meant to say 'surprise', I meant to say 'upset'... of course I hate the Aztek more than you... just know that English is NOT my primary language...)
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes the 3.5L will feature a few other tech pieces that will trickle into the 3.0L as well. So far the Duratecs have been a problem free, reliable offering. I was quite pleased when the Mazda MPV started using the 3.0L over the 2.5L. Although many have pointed out, why wouldn't Ford install the 3.0L unit onto it's Windstar (like Toyota did with the Sienna). Unfortunatly, it wasn't economically possible for the 3.0L to be fitted "properly" to have decent torque off the line. So next possible offering was the 3.8. And for such a heavy vehicle, the 3.8 would have better performances over the 3.0L.

    I just prefer to flash forward a few years, when the next generation of Ford minivans debut with the 3.5L and AWD.
  • svofan2svofan2 Posts: 442
    It seems that you guys are all well informed and very perceptive on what is coming down the pike..uhmmm....I wonder if any of you are a Ford employee? any case homework well done...Sam you do fine with the English language..I believe you write your thoughts better than some of the recent high school graduates that I encounter the new generation of Freestars coming in 06 or 07?..what is the rumor?..
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Not specific target date yet has been mentioned, right now the program needs to start, than in maybe a years time, they can narrow down the Job1 date.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Aug 25th Job 1 date for the Freestar !!

    This morning Todd Bryant Plant Manager for the Oakville Assembly Plant gave a speech regarding Oakville being the official home of the Freestar, where it'll be built and exported for up to 30 countries. The first few Freestars were rolling off the line, so plan to see them towards the mid/later part of next month at your local Ford Dealership.

    Good morning everyone, thank you for being here. My name is Todd Bryant and I am the Plant Manager for the Oakville Assembly Plant.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    Somebody posted a link to this news:

    Note that they're calling this 'ALL-NEW' Freestar, 'ALL-NEW' van, etc... while it's not more than a revised Windstar... Perhaps this is one of the reasons of the name change games, because Freestar - I mean the name - is really ALL-NEW :-)
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "ALL New" has many connotations. I'm sure auto magazines will "explain" what all new is. Whereas, in this senario.. "All New" is really the name.
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    I can't imagine why would Ford offer 2 engine choices on the Freestar? All Montereys, and most Freestars (LX Sport & up) will have the new 4.2L engine which most people will prefer, since there will be no big mileage difference, and has much more pulling power.

    Many vehicles who offers 2 engine choices are usually a 4 cylinder or a 6. So there is a big difference in power & mileage. That's why they need to offer both, to give people choices. But if both engines are almost the same, I couldn't see any reason for giving this choice (except maybe for financial reasons, maybe the 3.9L is cheaper to produce for Ford).

    I would recommend for Ford to drop the 3.9L engine. Perhaps this will happen next model year.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Since the new F-150 is too heavy to continue using the 4.2L OHV V-6, you have all that inventory of 4.2L's with no real place to use them. Considering the new Freestar will weight a bit more, and uses practically the same mounting points as the 3.8/ now 3.9L, then it was the next best alternative for the moment. You can give the 3.9L Freestars to fleet sales, and as standard offering to keep the base price low, while using the 4.2L as an upgrade.

    Same as the Taurus, it offers 2 V6's, yet the 3.0L Vulcan is used for fleet vehicles, while consumer's stick with the 3.0L Duratec.

    Both the Vulcan 3.0L and Essex 3.9/4.2 engines are slated to be replaced in a few short years. This will be their last reincarnation...THANK GOD ! Put them to sleep already.
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