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New to Mustangs. How Long do they Last?

Discussion in 'Mustang Talk' started by tbryanh, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. tbryanh

    tbryanh New Member

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    I am new to mustangs, and I want to pick up a used one for the daily commute to work.

    How many miles do the engines and transmissions last? What years are good? What years are bad? Etc.?

    I am looking at probably buying a 1998 or newer car. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. 03-3.8stang

    03-3.8stang New Member

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    The 3.8 is a solid motor, especially when mated to the T-5 manual. Mine is at 204,000 (mostly highway miles) currently and still runs like a champ. 99-04 are better motors than 96-98 power-wise due to the split-port intake and heads. If you have more money, go newer.
     
  3. six gun

    six gun Active Member

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    Ditto. Go 99-04 if you're interested in an SN95. My 99 is also over 200k and doin great.
     
  4. fasterthanyou

    fasterthanyou Active Member

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    For the 3.8 engines I'd say 160k is about their limit before the wear and tear becomes a noticeable problem. It depends how well they were maintained. The guys that posted 200k probably did everything right, regular oil changes, coolant changes etc. I've had 2 of my own that started knocking at 150k and kicked the bucket at 160k.
     
  5. Phil II

    Phil II Cone Destroyer Staff Member

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    I recently purchased a 200k car to use as a chassis. The engine was fine and it actually drove well. One owner since 2001.

    The essential thing is your preference.

    I'd like to point out the S197 prices are dropping precipitously.
     
  6. John

    John Ex-Legend

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    Ive got a 2000.. 160k miles and I live in the Rust Belt..Erie PA one of the snowiest places in the US, so salt/brine can kill a car fast.
    I don't drive in the winter anymore, but leave it parked outside, wash it every time I take it out or after it sits.
    Only troubles Ive had are fuel pump clogging, and exhaust leaking issues. There is some rear fender well rust and the door hinges tend to sag.. but other than that Its been my daily driver for 15 years.
    Id say they last a long time as long as long as you take care of them and don't beat on them.
     
  7. Jesse01V6

    Jesse01V6 Away from V6's for now........

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    Not that I'm disagreeing with you in regards to maintenance and overall care on the 200K cars...... But my 01 went through some rough times and it ran very well, only actual failure was a fuel pump.... I bought it at around 80K, and around 160K I hydrolocked the engine. I thought it was done for, but I pulled all the plugs, cranked it over and shot all the water out. Some WD40 in the cylinders, new plugs, and it fired up lol...... Ran up until the 200K mark when it was totaled....

    I drove it everywhere, and ran in at the track numerous times.... Great engine.
     
  8. kitsune1324

    kitsune1324 Member

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    I'm at 190K in my 2000 v6 and still running strong! Still getting an average of 21mpg with just a cai and tune (91 race). Currently having my mechanic change out the motor mounts, transmission mount, and doing a compression and leakdown test. We'll see how it goes from here on out!
     
  9. tbryanh

    tbryanh New Member

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    Do any of the engines have aluminum heads?
     
  10. Phil II

    Phil II Cone Destroyer Staff Member

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    All of them, since some time in the 80s
     
  11. 98 Laser

    98 Laser New Member

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    Just about any modern engine/transmission/differential set up will easily make 200K miles with routine maintenance. I shorten up all the maintenance intervals by about 20 percent and drive my vehicles like I want them to last, and they do. Ball joints, brakes and steering components will fail sooner, but again, proper care, maintenance and driving will extend the life of those parts.

    Buying used is tough because there are many ways to cover up evidence that the vehicle was not maintained or driven correctly.. At least where I live, finding a good used Mustang over 10 years old is a real challenge, as they are often "first cars," driven hard by inexperienced drivers who don't understand or can't afford proper maintenance and timely repairs. I looked at over 100 Mustangs (94-98) before I found one in excellent shape (4 years ago/) Most were over priced, trashed and had had the front clip replaced. Be sure to check NADA, Edmunds and/or Kelly Blue Book for pricing before you sign!

    I would at least check fuel economy, and if possible run a compression check and scope under the valve covers for sludge. Also check for oil in the radiator before you drive and foam on the dipstick immediately after the test drive. If its an automatic, pull the dipstick and smell it after you drive. A burned smell is not good! If you know a mechanic have him or her drive it as well. You want an opinion about how the clutch and transmission function and how the suspension feels.
     
  12. Tele-Caster

    Tele-Caster Member

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    My 1999 V6 has 206,500 miles on it. I expect it will out-live me. It is daily-driver, road-trip anywhere reliable.

    Part of the reason I drive a Mustang is because I didn't ask "how long does it last" but "how long will I be able to keep it in well-sorted mechanical and cosmetic condition." A 1999 Mustang might be a stupid-simple machine, but it is still a machine, and machines wear out. That's not the end of the world if the worn bits can be replaced. This is especially true when the new bits are easy to find, relatively cheap to buy when found, and simple enough to replace that one need not be a certified technician to do a proper job of the wrenching.

    My 1999 is, more or less, a Ford light truck drivetrain in a car body. My father beat on a 7.5" rear axle and AOD transmission in a Bronco II far harder than I'll ever beat up on the axle and similar 4R70W transmission in my Mustang. My car had 196,000 miles on it when I got it, but compression and leak-down testing plus dyno runs had the engine "testing out" with like new numbers. Even at 206, 500, I think it has a lot of life left in it yet. I fully expect to get another 60,000 to 80,000 miles out of the long-block before I need to overhaul or replace it.

    Mine was a sad looking specimen when I paid $1,200.00 for it to a franchise dealer who was about to send it off to auction. Underneath the grime, there was a close to immaculate black leather interior. The only things preventing the interior from looking like new were a damaged passenger side vent register, a sagging headliner, a scratched instrument cluster bezel, and tatty-looking leather wrap on the steering wheel. I fixed the headliner with a couple of black nylon push pins and instructions from a Ford Technical Service Bulletin (TSB). I got a new FR-500 steering wheel, new dash vent register, and new cluster bezel, for about $300.00. Try doing that with a 17 year old Hyundai.

    Most of the stock mechanical bits I've replaced have come from Amazon.com -new headlamp assemblies to replace the oxidized old ones; new cooling system parts; new ignition system parts; wheel bearings, brake system components.... In my case, I had A LOT of catching up to do with respect to prior owner neglect. I'm the seventh owner of my car and at least a few of the other six didn't keep the thing maintained as I do. Still, including the purchase price I paid for the car, I haven't spent $6,000.00 total on it yet. That might seem like a lot, but the return on investment is that I can now just hop in the thing and drive it wherever I want to go, with no more worry about breakdowns or reliability issues than I would have with a brand new car fresh off the showroom floor.

    A Mustang like mine is about as close as one can get to a "forever car" that you only have to buy once. There is a vast aftermarket filled with cheap, easily replaced parts that make it unlikely that I'll have to ever throw my whole car away because something broke or wore out on it. Yeah, it's 17 years old now. I don't care. Nobody gives me grief over my "crappy old car." Mustangs, when well maintained, don't go out of style. And with the kind of aftermarket support Mustangs have, there is no reason why one shouldn't be able to enjoy driving one for decades.