Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Mustang (2004 and earlier)



  • hhh387hhh387 Posts: 8
    Some people say I should get 3.73's some people say I should get 4.10's so I'm not sure which one to get. I'm not going for a full out race car this car is gonna be my daily driver but I would like to add some more power to it. Maybe someday I will turn it into a race car but for now I'm just doing little mods to give it some more kick. I'm not sure what emmission laws are in Arizona.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    The whole 4.10 vs. 3.73 debate seems to go on endlessly on the various mustang forums. All the hardcore types think if you're not going with 4.10s, then don't bother.

    But these are also the true believers that spend all their time either at racing at drag tracks or picking fights with imports/camaros at stoplights.

    I think 3.73s would add a nice amount of power for street work, and still leave you with a usable first gear and not require upgrading your tires to be able to get traction with all that power.
  • I am in the market for a reliable 3rd car. I was looking for a escort / neon / cavalier type car but instead came across a 1997 Mustang with 95,000 miles, 6cyl, 5 speed, all power.

    I was not looking for a mustang, but have always liked them. 95K was more than I wanted as well, but the dealer had maintenance records back to 32K. The thing has been maintained! It is in decent shape inside and out.

    My questions are these? Is this car worth $3,500?
    When do I need to change the timing chain? If I take of the care and perform regular maintenance, what is the life expectancy of teh 3.8litre 6 cyl? 150K, 180K, 200K?

    Thanks, Norm
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,480
    Price seems more than fair if condition is good.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • conv77conv77 Posts: 1
    I did alot of comparison shopping of used cars before running across my '98 Mustang with only 40k miles,I wasn't in the market for a Mustang, but being a convertible sold me. Sounds like the '97 is at a great price, by California standards anyway. Pick up the owners manuals if not w/car, well worth it. Haven't researched the life expectancy but I've put 35k on mine in 1 1/2 years w/no problems, just routine maintenance. I paid about 10k then - seems to be holding value by comparison in my area. Good luck!
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Anyone know if the the 3.8 head gasket issue been solved by then? I think it was in 1995, but not sure. At 95k miles, that's a concern...

    Otherwise, that's a good deal.
  • good point john. we had a 95 windstar which has the same 3.8 as the v6 stangs. it had head gasket trouble around 100k. i know from my research that the problem was for sure fixed by the 99+ stangs but im not sure about the older ones.
  • hhh387hhh387 Posts: 8
    How do you clean your engine bay without damaging your car?
  • bmolloybmolloy Posts: 23
    I'm thinking of buying a used 2000 convertible GT to enjoy the LA sunshine. But I see that Ford are offering 0% finance on new cars. I think I can get a 2000 GT convertible with 50k miles for about $13,000 which is about 50% down on the price of a new one. I would be paying cash but 0% finance sounds really good.

    How reliable are 2000 GT used models, would the potential maintenance trouble make the new car seem better value ? What would the 2000 GT be worth in another 3 years time ?

    Also, is the V8 GT that much better than the standard V6, is it worth the extra money ? and stick shifts are no problem, I drive them all the time.

    Does anyone have any comments ?
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    You can clean the engine compartment by covering the battery, fusebox and airfilter with plastic bags, and then using Simple Green cleaner (spray it on everything), followed by *gently* hosing it off. Check the owner's manual has specific instructions.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    bmolloy, I'd say go for it! Mustangs are pretty reliable at this point...sure there are small "annoyance" problems (mine is full of 'em), but the powertrain is solid, the suspension is dated but a known quantity, and it's pretty durable.

    Plus Mustangs are perhaps some of the most entertaining cars in their price range...maybe not strictly the fastest, but you can have more fun in them than most competitors (which is what you'll remember years later). 'Verts are esp. nice I think.

    V8 definitely worth the money. The power differential between the two levels is quite noticable, esp. the torque. Also, V8 exhaust sound is one of the best on Earth from a factory...

    The V8s also hold their value much better the 6cyls.

    Having said that, the V6 still a good car though and plenty of fun; 5spd is a must though if you really want to wring the power out of it.
  • bmolloybmolloy Posts: 23
    John_324 thanks for your comments .. I'm convinced .. a V8 with 5spd will be it then. Thanks again
  • If I bought the Mustang privately, say off a classified advertisement in LA, would the seller have to charge me Sales Tax on top of the agreed price, which I think is 8.5% ?

    or do private sellers generally include that tax when they advertise vehicles ?
  • I am Interested in buying an 02 GT and i am wondering how bad it would be in Chicago Winters if i bought a good set of Winter tires would it help and how much? how would it compare to a 98 taurus.

    thanks Scott
  • from what i have read as long as you buy a certain kind of tires you will be ok. i have heard many people reccomend the blizzak tires. again i havent tried them so dont take my word for it but it wouldnt hurt to check some prices online.
  • Is anyone else having bad repair experiences with Ford dealers when it involves parts under warranty? With me, they did not do the proper tests on my car while the defective part(s) was still under warranty. Then as soon as the warranty expired, they suggested an additional test that they should've done in the 1st place. When my '95 Mustang was new I had to continually add coolant & when I complained in '95/'96 they did only a pressure test & told me everything was fine. But when the warranty expired they immediately suggested another test for internal leaks only to find out I had a defective head gasket & had to pay for the repairs because it was too late for it to be covered by the warranty. To make things worse, when the repair job also had an internal leak, once again they wouldn't do the proper diagnostics & kept on insisting they couldn't find any leaks & that it was normal to have to add coolant on a regular basis. I'll never buy a Ford again. Is anyone else also having these kinds of experiences?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    bmolloy, I can't speak specifically for California, but in most states, sales tax is paid when you go to register the vehicle. It will be based on the purchase price, but the private seller does not collect the tax. The state will gladly take care of that :)

    Roving Host & Future Vehicles Host


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • Also, when I spoke to Ford Motor Company Customer Relations regarding my Mustang repair problems, they were just as bad as the dealership's shop. They did absolutely nothing to help me--just kept on referring me back to the dealer/service manager who was not doing a good job.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    lcorri, I'm sorry to hear your story...unfortunately, customer service by the big 2 1/2 is nothing short of terrible. And they wonder why they keep losing customers.

    Definitely write a letter to Ford explaining your anger, and cc the dealership. Maybe even say you're going to contact Consumer Reports too...

    Probably nothing more you can do then, unfortunately, except find an independent repair shop that you trust will treat you right.
  • Norm,
    Don't buy that V-6 if you can help it. V-6s in Fords are known for blowing head gaskets. I had one go at 40k (and two others). That's a major job/investment.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Just found this, on this website no less: tml

    In short, no head gasket issues for the 1997 3.8 V6 Mustang. So in that case, I'd say go for it!
  • Has anyone bought a sequential taillight harness for their Mustang? Good or bad experience? I have a 2002 convertible and I thought the tri-blinking taillights would be cool - like the old Cougars.
  • john_324, thanks for the feedback re: bad repair service. In the past the dealer actually provided good service at times, but in the year 2003 there suddenly was a big change for the worse. I hope I can help someone else who may have the same problems as I did with my Mustang 3.8 V6. If any of you have a slow constant coolant leak, w/ no obvious external leak, don't let anyone make you believe this is acceptable. The last person I know who thought this was normal ended up having a blown head gasket (he has a Ford Crown Victoria). Lucky for him, because of my experience he knew right away that he was better off going to an independent mechanic & got the whole engine replaced for much less than what the dealer would charge. If you have a similar coolant leak (mine was due to a defective head gasket), don't let the mechanic get away with doing only a pressure test & telling you he can't find anything. Other tests that can help diagnose the problem are: a chemical test, compression test, & leak-down test. Also, especially now, be extra careful about making sure defective parts still under warranty get taken care of promptly before you unfairly have to pay for them.
  • CDC manufactures the sequential tailights and they are a good quality shop. They also make the most popular light bar. So I would think as long as they are installed correctly you would have no problem.
  • Thanks a lot for the info. My dealer recommended nothing but CDC also. I thought the sequential lights would be a nice change rather than having the euro lights that everyone has for around the same price.
  • I own a premium V6 convertible. I suppose I might be a little older than the fellows that are discussing purchases. I bought a vinyl roadster cover to go over the back seats and my paint is diamond plated (red). It is an absolutely gorgeous car and absorbs mega-stares. You can also add exhausts to the v6s that nearly sound like a v8s so unless you are looking to burn up pavement and attrack tickets, the v6 is a nice choice if you are looking to save a few bucks. I choose the convertible over power I guess. PS: I have never been stopped by a cop (yet). ;)
  • I'm looking to buy a '99 or '00 V6 Convertible shortly. Are there any specific things on these models I should be checking out when I'm looking at used Mustangs ? Any weak points on the car that needs specific attention? etc
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Bmolloy, thought you were "gonna have a V8?!" ; )

    But re your question, nothing really to worry about...the V6s are more or less the same as the V8s with the exception of the engine, suspension and exhaust.

    Something to be aware of: 15 vs 16 inch wheels ('99 V6s had 15 inchers across the board...I think in '00 16" ones came with the deluxe model). 16" ones are probably better looking (I think anyway).

    Other than that, can't really think of anything. Best of luck.
  • Thanks John,
    well I looked at the bhp figures for the 99 and 00 V6's (190 bhp) and thought that it was enough for me, maybe the insurance would be cheaper too, and with going to be driving in and around Los Angeles I thought the extra power of a V8 would be a waste :(

    Of course the V6 is a lot cheaper to buy too ...

    So I was just checking if there were any specific stuff I needed to be on the lookout for when buying one. My girlfriend tells me that, in general, American cars are c**p regarding reliability .. and thats from her experience of being an American, but hey .. I'm a Brit .. going to live in sunny LA .. of course I want a convertible and an American car .. geez we have zillions of Mercedes, Audi's, Volvo's, VW and all the Japanese stuff over here .. I want something different.

    Having said that, a Mustang isn't different over in LA, but it will be for a Brit :)
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Fair enough...the V6 is a great car in its own right and plenty of fun. Look at it this way...the current V6s serve up nearly as much power as did the 1980s Mustang GTs. There's plenty of power to get you in trouble, no doubt about it.

    Since you're English, you'll appreciate this: the character of the V6 Mustangs is similar to the 2.5 Capris avaible in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s. Just think of Bodie and Doyle as you careen around corners in your 'Stang. ; )
Sign In or Register to comment.