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Discussion Starter #1
Ive been looking to purchase a car since the repairs on my Maxima are so high.

I have always wanted a Mark 8, and I found a 1997 LSC model locally. The LSC models seem to be getting more rare by the day.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/cto/2972124811.html

It has 200k miles on it though - I was going to look at it tomorrow and I figured if I can talk the guy down to $800 (as long as the car looks good) I would pick it up.

The car has a good motor, and it was maintained well - has service records from Firestone.

To make the car drivable, it needs:

1. Transmission (I found a used one on CL) http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/pts/2987863452.html

2. Rack and pinion needs to be changed according to Firestone - Its very hard to turn the wheel all the way to the right side.. turns to the left fine

3. The led on the trunk between the 2 tail lights is out

4. AC needs to be fixed (not a necessity but it will be very hot in Los Angeles in the next couple months)


-- The guy told me that he recently changed out one of the headlights (it has HIDS), and he spent a lot of money repairing the whole suspension - Im assuming that the air suspension was out. The interior I am told is in great shape with a few tears on the front seats which seems normal at this age. The clear coat on the roof is a little rough, but the rest of the car seems ok with the exception of a few small dents here and there. Car has a clean title and the guy is the original owner and still has the window sticker.

A few questions...

1. Does this vehicle seem worth the $800 I am going to offer? I would be doing all the work myself, and I am very familiar with these cars because of all the MN12's I have had throughout the years even though there are some differences

2. Is it a PIA to work on the motor in this car since the cobra motor is so wide? It seems that changing the plugs could be a little more challenging than on the Tbirds I have had because there being less clearance.

3. Is the LED bar on the trunk easily fixable? There does not seem to be too many out there to purchase.

4. How well do these motors hold up as far as durability is concerned (assuming the car was maintained)? Are the head gaskets know to break on these?

5. What other things should I be paying attention to with this car when I go look at it? The car wont drive because the transmission is bad, so I am a bit at odds over whether I should buy any car without being able to drive it.

Would I be better off trying to get a Mark 8 that doesnt have these issues? I found a few others on CL that need less work but they are both in the $3k range - I have the links to those listed below...

-- 98 LSC for $2750 with 150k miles - http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/2939150936.html

-- 98 LSC for $2750 with 130k miles - http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/cto/2991951308.html

-- 97 LSC for $2950 (unknown miles) - http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/ctd/2986710285.html
 

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1.For $800 it's worth it in parts alone, definitely a good deal

2. Not really. The plugs are in the center of the valve covers under a pair of covers and no less accessible than the 2V really.

3. No. And it's actually Neon with ballasts and stuff. Sometimes those are all that fail sometimes it's the light itself. Either way it's not easy to find or cheap.

4. Just as good as the 2Vs. In fact probably more reliable since they don't have issues with cracking intakes. Head gaskets, like any modular are virtually a non issue.

5. The HID headlights and air suspension. The lights are made of unobtanium and the air suspension is the albatross of the Marks. It fails very commonly(but is fixable). The headlights are like sourcing the rear neon, not easy. It should be possible to modify them to accept conventional bulbs or HIDs though.


All in all, any mark can have those issues or worse. For $800 and a spending a few extra bucks for the parts that need to be fixed you'll probably come out ahead of the alternatives.
 

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I have to disagree just a bit. Unless the intial asking price is the issue and you don't have the cash .A running driving car for $2750 with 130k miles seems okay to me. 800 for car 300 for trans 300 or so for a new rack with new tie rods another 100 for third light you're at $1500.00 plus whatever the a/c gonna cost have to do the work and take some body's word for the suspension being good. I've seen too many folks selling off cars like this that they never seem to get on the road after buying parts and doing a ton of work. doing a quick search on auto trader i found two others in California in the$2-3 K range
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I found a 97 Mark VIII (non LSC) in a green color last night - I took a look at the car, and I noticed the following issues - Any thoughts on the following issues are greatly appreciated before I take the leap and possibly buy the car. :D

1. ABS Light is on, and the traction control is off and I am not sure how to turn it on if it will even turn back on. Computer says to check traction control. Brakes do work fine, but I can hear brake pad sensors on what sounds like the rear brakes, and the rear rotors look like they can use a little TLC on a brake lathe as long as the pads are changed out. Also the check engine light is on - would that light go on just because the oil is due to be changed? The computer needs to be reset once I change the fluids out.

2. The front air shocks start to sag a bit after the car is off for a while - when you start the car up, the car pretty much levels out. The upper ball joints on the front of the car have ripped boots, so I will need to change out the upper control arms eventually. If and when the air shocks go, I am going to convert over to Tbird shocks.

3. The air compressor for the shocks was changed out, but it wasn't installed properly and is slightly hanging underneath the car a few inches too low. Its strapped in, not bolted in and the plastic cover underneath the motor in front was not put back on. Thankfully its in the trunk along with the old compressor motor, so I would be able to take care of that.

4. The rear light on the trunk is out. The tail lights work fine, but the trunk light wont even respond when I turn on the head lights, and I know that part is hard to find and expensive to purchase.

5. The little fuel door (covering the gas cap) wont open from the interior and I have to go to the trunk to pop it open. Same thing happened on all my MN12's and its a relatively easy fix.

6. There is a little body work on the rear drivers quarter panel, where a large dent was popped out, and painted over with a cheap paint job. The rubber molding around the rear windshield is in rough shape, and there is over-spray on it and also a little in the rear drivers wheel well. The center console in the interior has a rough and chipped surface (so I would redo that eventually), and the window and door lock switches in the drivers door are missing the caps that go on the switches, and the little chrome-looking plastic rings that go around the switches are loose and lift up easily so I guess I would need to visit the wrecking yard for replacements.

7. Also I noticed the car had a black grill in front even though the car is green, is that normal or should it be cause for alarm? The drivers side head light fixture had a bunch of moisture in there, so its safe to assume it was leaking. There is no frame damage, and the underside of the car is very clean and if it does leak, its just a drop once in a while.

I took it for a drive last night, and its not the tire burning monster I thought I remember that car being when I rode in one of them years ago, but it definitely had some power. From a standstill, the car can spin the tires for about 30 feet (possibly a little more), although the tires do look pretty new. The motor runs great, the trans shifts good, the AC is nice and cold and the car does not overheat. It seems like it would be a good running car that I can slowly fix these issues on while using it as a daily driver.

The guy selling it had it listed for $3500 originally but it didn't sell for the 6 months he had it for sale. It was lowered to $2300 but even that seems a little much considering I have to work on several things on the car.

I am going to talk to the owner again today and offer $1800 - is that a good price considering these issues that I mentioned? The link for the Craigslist ad for this car is listed below.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/3003747434.html

The car has 92,000 miles roughly, and it has a clean title.
 

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I found a 97 Mark VIII (non LSC) in a green color last night - I took a look at the car, and I noticed the following issues - Any thoughts on the following issues are greatly appreciated before I take the leap and possibly buy the car. :D

1. ABS Light is on, and the traction control is off and I am not sure how to turn it on if it will even turn back on. Computer says to check traction control. Brakes do work fine, but I can hear brake pad sensors on what sounds like the rear brakes, and the rear rotors look like they can use a little TLC on a brake lathe as long as the pads are changed out. Also the check engine light is on - would that light go on just because the oil is due to be changed? The computer needs to be reset once I change the fluids out.

2. The front air shocks start to sag a bit after the car is off for a while - when you start the car up, the car pretty much levels out. The upper ball joints on the front of the car have ripped boots, so I will need to change out the upper control arms eventually. If and when the air shocks go, I am going to convert over to Tbird shocks.

Air shocks are already gone. If you let it continue it will burn out the compressor. You'd likely have to rebuild the front end when you figure out if you want to convert it or stick with air.

3. The air compressor for the shocks was changed out, but it wasn't installed properly and is slightly hanging underneath the car a few inches too low. Its strapped in, not bolted in and the plastic cover underneath the motor in front was not put back on. Thankfully its in the trunk along with the old compressor motor, so I would be able to take care of that.

Whomever did the job certaintly didn't finish it..Half ass'd.

They likely removed the old comp and the bracket it's attached too. Remove bracket/mount from the old comp and install it where it's supposed to be.


4. The rear light on the trunk is out. The tail lights work fine, but the trunk light wont even respond when I turn on the head lights, and I know that part is hard to find and expensive to purchase.

Ballast is likely out. Get a used one or you might beable to pick one up from "glitch".

5. The little fuel door (covering the gas cap) wont open from the interior and I have to go to the trunk to pop it open. Same thing happened on all my MN12's and its a relatively easy fix.

If you can still hear it trying to click open you can prob still fix it. Spray some wd-40 on the lever the door attaches to. Repeat if needed. They just get stiff after a while.

6. There is a little body work on the rear drivers quarter panel, where a large dent was popped out, and painted over with a cheap paint job. The rubber molding around the rear windshield is in rough shape, and there is over-spray on it and also a little in the rear drivers wheel well. The center console in the interior has a rough and chipped surface (so I would redo that eventually), and the window and door lock switches in the drivers door are missing the caps that go on the switches, and the little chrome-looking plastic rings that go around the switches are loose and lift up easily so I guess I would need to visit the wrecking yard for replacements.

7. Also I noticed the car had a black grill in front even though the car is green, is that normal or should it be cause for alarm? The drivers side head light fixture had a bunch of moisture in there, so its safe to assume it was leaking. There is no frame damage, and the underside of the car is very clean and if it does leak, its just a drop once in a while.

Grill should be chrome or body color. It's been replaced.

Moisture means its getting in one way or another. Might beable to reseal it. If not expec5t to pay for another one.


I took it for a drive last night, and its not the tire burning monster I thought I remember that car being when I rode in one of them years ago, but it definitely had some power. From a standstill, the car can spin the tires for about 30 feet (possibly a little more), although the tires do look pretty new. The motor runs great, the trans shifts good, the AC is nice and cold and the car does not overheat. It seems like it would be a good running car that I can slowly fix these issues on while using it as a daily driver.

The guy selling it had it listed for $3500 originally but it didn't sell for the 6 months he had it for sale. It was lowered to $2300 but even that seems a little much considering I have to work on several things on the car.

I am going to talk to the owner again today and offer $1800 - is that a good price considering these issues that I mentioned? The link for the Craigslist ad for this car is listed below.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/3003747434.html

The car has 92,000 miles roughly, and it has a clean title.
Sounds rough for 92k.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I found another Mark 8 with what seems to be a new paint job, and american racing rims on it, but the mileage is not listed. On the 95 model in the link below, it seems that the radio size it smaller, and just below the HVAC unit there are 3 switches, where the 97 only had 1.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/cto/2993600329.html

1. Is there a way in this car to turn the traction control on and off?

2. Are some versions of these cars supposed to have heated seats?

3. For the green 97 model, even $1800 would be too much considering everything mentioned? I really like the look of the 97 - 98 models with the larger grill and headlight fixtures. I dont mind working on the car, but if I were to get it, what do you think would be good to offer for it?

One of the most frustrating things about trying to find a car is when people do not include info like the mileage in their ads. I try to avoid ads like that when possible.

On any Mark 8 I get, once the air shocks go I plan to convert it over to some Tbird shocks - probably would be a good chance to throw some koni or bilsteins in with some lowering springs, bushings and ball joints. It takes roughly a week of sitting for the front end to sag on this car.

When I mentioned that I took the green one for a ride and jumped on the gas from a standstill, did it sound about right that it was able to spin the tires for 30 feet or so? It seems this motor really wakes up when you rev it. I guess I was used to the low end grunt of my Tbird.

It seems to me that its possible that the traction control may not be working right because of the abs light being on.
 

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I don't know what I can add to this thread except for my experience.

I paid $600 for my 1995 Mark VIII LSC with 200,000 miles.

What did it need? Let's see, where do I start.....

1) Rear air bags shot so I converted to springs from my 97 Bird Sport parts car
2) Passenger front UCA & LCA were both shot - also got from parts car
3) Oil adapter gasket shot, bought a new one (they're only like $7)
4) Needed tune up badly, so I bought 103 plugs & 9mm wires
5) Passenger inside tie rod end shot, also pulled off parts car
6) Tires all shot, the ones from the parts car were 3 months old
7) Couple of wheels studs broken off
8) Front brake rotors were both WAY warped - replaced with new
9) A/C doesn't work
10) JBL system amp machine-guns and needs repair
11) "Door Ajar" light stays on all the time
12) IMRCs worked fine when I got the car, but I've let it sit so long, they don't open now
13) Headlights are typical "candle in a hurricaine" brightness
14) Rear shocks are shot
15) Power lock sticks in the driver's door and doesn't work right
16) Power lock switch doesn't work at all on the passenger door

I think that is everything wrong, and the rest of the car works fine. Windows go up and down, wipers work, power seats work, sunroof works, drivetrain runs great, remote works, and all the lights do work properly. I've driven the car several times and seems to run very strong otherwise.

I have fixed 1-8, now I'm addressing 9-16. Also, I have GOT to find some more comfortable seats. The seats are soooooo uncomfortable.....
 

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I like a challenge. I say go for it. I just picked up a 00 F250 v10 yesterday for $800.
 

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I found another Mark 8 with what seems to be a new paint job, and american racing rims on it, but the mileage is not listed. On the 95 model in the link below, it seems that the radio size it smaller, and just below the HVAC unit there are 3 switches, where the 97 only had 1.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/cto/2993600329.html

1. Is there a way in this car to turn the traction control on and off?

On my 97 its an option on the message center. Gen 1's might have a button.

2. Are some versions of these cars supposed to have heated seats?

Only gen 2's (97-98) had them as an option. They brake often and they don't make the heating elements anymore.

3. For the green 97 model, even $1800 would be too much considering everything mentioned? I really like the look of the 97 - 98 models with the larger grill and headlight fixtures. I dont mind working on the car, but if I were to get it, what do you think would be good to offer for it?

Hard to say. It sounds kinda beat up but the miles are good. Used cars are selling for really good prices so 1800 sounds pretty fair even with the issues. 2000 max. .

One of the most frustrating things about trying to find a car is when people do not include info like the mileage in their ads. I try to avoid ads like that when possible.

On any Mark 8 I get, once the air shocks go I plan to convert it over to some Tbird shocks - probably would be a good chance to throw some koni or bilsteins in with some lowering springs, bushings and ball joints. It takes roughly a week of sitting for the front end to sag on this car.

When I mentioned that I took the green one for a ride and jumped on the gas from a standstill, did it sound about right that it was able to spin the tires for 30 feet or so? It seems this motor really wakes up when you rev it. I guess I was used to the low end grunt of my Tbird.

Higher the rpm's in a mark the better.

It seems to me that its possible that the traction control may not be working right because of the abs light being on.

They tie in together. If the abs is bad it will disable the tc.

I'd say check the blend door actuator but your in cali. It's expensive to fix and is a common gen2 problem. Search around the mark viii forums and find the tech article. You can prob reach under there to see if it's broke. Its a 40 dollar part but the dash has to come part way out. Expect to pay 5-700 if you have someone do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
looks like the white one I mentioned in my previous post has 236k miles but the owner said that the motor was changed out roughly 60k miles ago - he isnt sure about the trans but he thinks that could have been changed as well, because there is no way that it would last that many miles. I like the front end and the rear of the car more on the 97-98 models more, but I am supposed to look at this car today and if it looks good and runs good I may jump on it for $1500.

As of now, this 95 model I am considering seems to be in much better shape then the green 97 model I looked at the other night.

The green 97 Mark I saw the other night - the guy wont go lower than $2k so I told him "good luck."

-- Does the rear light going across the trunk (between the 2 tail lights) light up on the pre 97 models?

-- If they do, are they different in a way where I can throw some bulbs in there?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I like a challenge. I say go for it. I just picked up a 00 F250 v10 yesterday for $800.
What was wrong with that truck? If it runs at least, $800 is a hell of a deal - even if it wasnt running, the parts alone would be worth FAR more than $800!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
looks like the white one I mentioned in my previous post has 236k miles but the owner said that the motor was changed out roughly 60k miles ago - he isnt sure about the trans but he thinks that could have been changed as well, because there is no way that it would last that many miles. I like the front end and the rear of the car more on the 97-98 models more, but I am supposed to look at this car today and if it looks good and runs good I may jump on it for $1500.

As of now, this 95 model I am considering seems to be in much better shape then the green 97 model I looked at the other night.

The green 97 Mark I saw the other night - the guy wont go lower than $2k so I told him "good luck."

-- Does the rear light going across the trunk (between the 2 tail lights) light up on the pre 97 models?

-- If they do, are they different in a way where I can throw some bulbs in there?
 

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I'll bet you can add some lighting one way or another, even if you used LED strips. I cant say for sure, but I think they have individual bulbs. My only experience with the 96 and older ones are stripping them down for all the goodies on them. These engines can run for a very long time with regular maintenance. I'll mention it again...I sold a 97 XR7 that now has 425k on the original engine and trans. Thats what oil changes every 3k will get you!

The truck was getting oil in the coolant. I think its just the oil cooler, so I am going to take it off and see what happens. ;) They were thinking HGs, but I told them it sounds more like an oil cooler. He said he checked the cooler and its good. I think that's where the problem lies though. We shall see! If it winds up being something more serious, I may just put a whole engine in it.
 

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It might be a better idea to join a m8 forum if you have questions. lincolnvscadillac.com or lincolnsofdistiction.com are the 2 best ones.
 
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