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What Have You Done To Your Other Vehicle Lately?


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The only trouble is if either of you try showing down on the street no one will think you're racing, just attempting to briskly accelerate.

Work day today for the '97. The brake shudder came back, so I went ahead and decided to see if replacing the brake hardware will eliminate it. Parts fixed/replaced: New calipers on both si

More mods! Found the part number for the OEM black Charger emblem, so I did a swap. Yes yes, I could have plastidipped it, but this was just as cheap, and won't peel over time.

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Our JSW was built in Mexico. The Golf is still built in Germany. We had some build issues when it was delivered. The steering wheel was misaligned (dealer tried to tell me we hit something, BS). Dealer initially refused to even put it on the alignment rack, but after enough b***hing, it went on the rack, alignment checked out fine... steering wheel was corrected under warranty. The panoramic roof track was installed incorrectly. Entire thing was replaced under warranty. Rear seat pass-through was broken. Replaced the rear seat under warranty. All that was within the first two months. Since then, it's been an excellent vehicle. VW really cheapened the current Jetta sedan though. My cousin drives a 2013. The interior materials are all hard plastic while our 2012 is soft. We are at 75,000 miles in just over 2 years of ownership.

 

I would buy another Golf, especially a TDI. We have driven a few of the other models as loaners. The Tiguan was terrible. TSI engine was fun, but the ride was awful. The Passat was roomy, but again, ride was stiff... not "sporty" or "European".

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Unfortunately without some mods, a Taurus wouldn't last long over there. Look at the Tata and the Mahindra. They're kinda tall for economy vehicles, aren't they? That's because they're designed to handle India's rough roads. In the cities, it's very congested, lots of cars, animal-pulled carts, pedestrians, bikes, etc. going in all sorts of directions, no particular order or pattern, lol, so having a smaller, more maneuverable vehicle is best in that situation. Not to mention how expensive fuel is over there. Getting 25 to maybe 30 MPG in a Taurus would be an expensive way to travel.

 

I've driven Taurus' off road, and they're a little better than a lower Honda Accord or Toyota product, but they're not built for ground clearance by any means.

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Lots of FWD Ford products are fairly good off road. I've been out pretty far in a Taurus, Tempo, Escort and Festiva before, lol.

 

I took my '97 flying around dirt roads after a really heavy rain. There was lots of mud and dips haha. It handled fine and was very fun. 

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I have had a lot of my cars off road at one point or another. The car I loved the most for it was my beater 01 Outback wagon. I have been missing that car more and more lately. It was the Limited trim with dang near every option you could get. I would love to find an H-6 model, but that generation is still holding its value very well and I don't know if I will ever find a deal on another Outback like I did on the last one.

 

Lately I have been gathering a few parts for the Volvo, found an 01 S60 T5 at U Pull and grabbed a few things out of it. Got both front lower control arms with what look to be newer bushings in them, $11each compared to $118 each at Napa for new. Got a spare rear seat cupholder and fixed mine with parts from it. The car was a manual transmission model so I grabbed the clutch pedal pad to replace mine that was completely worn through and I also grabbed the spaceball so that I can modify it. A few other odds and ends too that I needed, a couple parts to modify, and a couple of spare things too. Plan to grab a couple more things off of it this weekend. Was really hoping it would have black interior, but it was tan. So I didn't get the carpet that I wanted.

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A family friend drives a Ford Freestar. She's a Ford gal, but her now deceased husband traded in her bought-new 1st gen Fusion that she loved on this Freestar used with higher mileage from a family that previously owned a Ford dealer locally.

 

It has had multiple problems since she's had it, and the latest is puzzling and I thought I'd post it here. I was inside a building when she pulled up and I could hear this thumping noise like somebody was smacking the bottom of an empty 5 gallon bucket with their hand. Very random, no pattern. I went out side to see what it was and it was the Freestar. It was idling, in drive, with her foot on the brake, and making that sound. She was just dropping something off so I didn't have time to examine the van closely, but it certainly was very loud and weird. I've never heard anything like it emanating from a vehicle. The engine seemed to be idling fine otherwise, and I didn't get the chance to see where it was coming from.  

 

Anybody got any ideas? Other than to trade it in ASAP like has been my advice since I found out she had it?

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Right? That's been my thought all along but how do you tell a perfectly nice lady that her car is a pile of s**t? Oh, and, she should of course buy another Ford since this one was so good, lol. No, I really do think she should give Ford another chance but she isn't exactly swimming in cash since her husband died.

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Grandparents Mercury "Freestar" is a beast. Its defiantly one of the cheapest interiors Ford has put out but it has tons of power and handles very well.  It's got over 130,000 miles on it and running perfect.  My dad just drove it to Texas and back over Christmas and it ran fine.

 

In fact it is much better than the Windstar, the entire suspension and wheel bearings are beefed up, the rear axle doesn't snap in half, and it has plenty of power with the 4.2L.

 

I honestly thought it was the first mini van that Ford had built right, besides for the crappy 4F50N transmission that can't handle the extra weight.  It would have been nice if Ford had the 3.5L at that point, would have been more reliable than the Essex power trains.

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Right? That's been my thought all along but how do you tell a perfectly nice lady that her car is a pile of s**t? Oh, and, she should of course buy another Ford since this one was so good, lol. No, I really do think she should give Ford another chance but she isn't exactly swimming in cash since her husband died.

 

I gave Ford another chance... They gave me a POS Focus... :ph34r:

 

The way Ford treated me, a younger new car buyer, I will never buy a new Ford ever again. I'll stick to older Fords as long as I can, something Ford won't profit from anymore unless I am stupid enough to let a Ford mechanic touch my car. And when the day comes where I can't... I don't know where I'll go, Subaru maybe? They still make station wagons :P

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I wasn't going to suggest a new Ford, I was going to suggest something she can pay cash for, like a Taurus. But, come to find out, she'd rather have a larger vehicle or a pickup because of the fact that she has animals on her farm and has to haul large amounts of feed, etc. I asked if a wagon would do, but didn't get a reply. A well maintained Taurus would do her wonders for fuel mileage, and I (with the help of this site, lol) can help her keep it going for a long time if she gets a good one, and ideally, I'll go with her to check it out so I wont let her buy somebody else's ill-maintained POS.

 

I don't know why Ford didn't use Duratec engines in the Windstar/Freestar/Monterey. They had the 3.0L DOHC V-6 at their disposal around the time the Windstar was introduced, but they went with the 3.8L instead, stroking it to 200 HP later. That Duratec that was being developed for the '96 Taurus had 200HP and 200 LB/Ft, seemingly plenty for a minivan with the Vulcan as the base engine. Don't know the story there. If the Duratec couldn't be made ready in time, use the 3.8L until like the mid-year refresh or something. Maybe it was tested and for some reason they didn't want to go with it, and continued to develop the Essex for Mustang and minivan duty.

 

My personal favorite minivan is still the Aerostar. Mine had well over 220K and had been treated pretty poorly by the previous owners. There was evidence the cooling system was ignored and lots of gunk and rust had been allowed to build up. It still had factory Motorcraft hoses, one of which (a heater valve) failed while I had it. I did what I could, and it was reliable enough for me to put a lot of miles on it but it's ill-maintained cooling system came back to haunt it when it blew a head gasket.

 

The trans in the Aerostar was pretty reliable compared to FWD Windstar (and later FWD versions). By '96, the electronic version is in place when has twice in my experience lived longer than the van did otherwise, past 200K (mine was still shifting well when I sold it with a blown head gasket, original trans, I serviced it when I got it). By '97, the vacuum cruise was replaced with an electronic one and the 5-speed automatic was started to be phased it.  The trans is comparatively easy to get to/remove for repairs or replacement/rebuild. U joints are simple and easy with the light aluminum drive shaft instead of the heavy Ranger/Explorer ones. Gas tank was plastic, rear lift gate and hood were fiberglass, so no rust. I know they rusted elsewhere but can find non-rusted ones.

 

Aerostar was very durable otherwise, with Vulcan and Cologne engines (non-SOHC), a solid axle rear end with coil springs from a Crown Vic. It also had, since '90, available E4WD.

 

If I needed a minivan again, I'd find the lowest mileage, newest Aerostar I could afford (likely located in the North West or maybe South West, and I'd probably get the '96 since there are small things about it I like) and make it last.

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If I were to get a Minivan, I suppose I'd get a Nissan/Mercury Villager :P

 

 

They had a Digi Dash ;)

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My Grandpa ran an Aerostar with the E4wd when he was still working (farming).  It ran though farm fields and some messy stuff as good as a 4wd pickup would have.

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Well, the Mercury Villager (later model, in preferably Sport but I'll take Estate trim) would be my 2nd choice, followed by a FWD MPV by Mazda with a 3.0 Duratec. I drove one new and it was pretty sporty for a minivan, lots of pep. I drove a lot of new and older Villagers, I like them, but I prefer the RWD Aerostar.

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