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2005 Sable LS, base. 148k miles. Column shift. Leather. CD player. Flip/fold center console. Moonroof. $1000

Since I (regrettably) sold my Mercedes C230 I've been driving my "track rat" '99 SVT Contour as a daily driver. And I've been trying to find a replacement daily driver since. I planned to finally make the '96 SHO a driver, but legal issues with the title continue to hamper that plan.

I need a vehicle to tote around my 16 month old son, so it needs to be safe with good A/C. And it's gotta fit into my "play money" budget of $1000-2000 cash because I don't want a car payment. I'm always watching Craigslist for a deal on another Taurus. 
Several cars made the cut but they all sold before I could meet the seller. I really wanted a wagon for the added utility, preferably a Duratec Gen 4, and reasonably decent body and interior. $1000 Taurii are constantly posted on CL, but they all come with considerable risk.
So I'm happy to introduce "Mable the Sable" (working title, the wife hasn't approved the name).
The car has been sitting for 3-4 years according to the seller and reflected by the registration tags. He said it belonged to his ex-wife and he acquired it in the divorce. It has a bad misfire, which he claimed is due to bad gas and need of a tune up. Possibly, but more likely bad coils and worn plugs. The dipstick is broken off at the full mark and oil level appears about 1qt over filled. A/C works great. Stereo sounds decent, no blown speakers. Seller had brand new tires installed. Minor body damage on the right front fender and missing left front inner fender liner. The horn wiring is damaged as well. Rides pretty smooth, struts feel decent. Clear coat peeling.  The car doesn't turn like I expect from a Taurus. I suspect this car has no rear sway bar (I got a spare for that too). 
I drove it home last night about 100 miles on 5 1/2 cylinders. Can't be good for the catalyst, but I took the chance, I got spares. I was able to maintain 65 mph without much difficulty. Currently have 7 codes related to misfire and coil circuits and P0171 (lean bank 1). 
I have a spare complete low mileage 2005 Sable Duratec engine sitting in the barn which I will rob of coils and manifold gaskets. I stopped at Walmart on the way home and picked up fluids, filters, wipers, and cleaners.
It's rough, but I think it will clean up well. And when I'm done, I should be able to get my money back.
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Excuse to get new wheels


Broken dipstick. Engine had about 7.5qts. Robbed the dipstick from the spare engine. Robbed the coils too. The coils on this 2005 all appeared to be used and none match.


Looks like someone attempted to do a tune up. Brand new Autolite AP103 plugs. I'll leave them for now. 

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12/2003 and newer built Taurus and sable lost rear bar.

its scary how hacked up people can make things under the hood. Wiring going in wrong places, clips broken etc. wow.

dollar store clearcoat for repairs. Just wow.


anyways at the price you paid who cares haha. Congrats!

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The first at-speed corner I tried to round surprised me. The body leaned over and the front tires pushed. This is not my wife's C250 sport sedan! Even then, not what I'm accustomed to from a Taurus. Good thing there's a 23mm bar with brackets sitting in the garage. Need to order bushings.

Completed an oil change and replaced the coils. No more misfires.

I kinda suspect a broken catalyst. I hear a little rattling at startup. I'll investigate further, but I'll likely replace it with a spare just to be safe. 150k on a poorly maintained Taurus, those cats are cooked.

Next step will be replacing the other fluids and cleaning the interior. 

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The transmission pan says AX4N. I thought these were labeled 4F50N. There is some evidence to indicate the engine and/or transmission were removed once before. Some wires and vacuum lines are routed improperly. The PCV connector on the rear valve cover was disconnected. And the PCV valve looks full of gunk. Trans fluid isn't the cleanest, that will be changed soon. I ran some SeaFoam through the intake manifold yesterday. Added the rest to the fuel.

Anybody got a set of rear discs?

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  • 1 year later...

So the car has been parked for over a year with 3/4 tank of gas. Fuel pump had gone bad when I parked it. Fortunately, I had added some fuel stabilizer before I parked it, knowing it was gonna sit for a little while (a lotta while). Finally got tired of the weeds growing up around it and no time or money to drop the fuel tank. 


Cut a hole! So much easier. Took about an hour all total. I noticed the old pump has already been messed with before. The ring around the tank seal was mangled and the top of the pump was broken from someone prying on it. New pump in, fired right up. 




Edited by Spridget
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