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MaleWhore
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Discussion Starter #1
thinking of getting a 98 mark 8 with about 110k miles...for a pretty cheap price...what do u guys think....just for a daily driver...i just dont know if its worth getting a car with that many miles...i dont know lots about the 32valvers, if they are dependable or not...the heat problem has been resolved in this car, so any other issues that these cars may have, please let me know...
 

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Only major problem I can think of off hand is that the stock bulbs (HIDS) are not made anymore so it is impossible to replace them if one blows out.
 

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MaleWhore
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Discussion Starter #3
how about the miles? is 110k a threat? how reliable are these powertrains
 

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You can rebuild it easy....complete B heads sell for $200 or less nowadays....

All I know is....a car like that has a lot of expensive little gadgets on it....like if it has the HIDs, or the console on the inside has a digital read out...all those sensors or electronics can have problems....It just has the ABILITY to be expensive to replace parts... or time-consuming.
Beautiful Car though....I would like to own one day.... I didn't want to sound so negative, but those are things I think of....how expensive it is to change the LITTLE things...like that electronic console some of them have...and the HIDS, etc. Motor and tranny is no problem.
 

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Same tranny as our car.....Without knowing if the oil was changed every 3,000 miles, etc....you can't predict it. I've never heard a complaint from someone who well maintained a DOHC..... my friend has one....over 140k....no problems yet.
 

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What to look for before Buying a 1997 – 1998 Mark VIII​


Exterior:

Be sure to take a look at both headlights with them turned on. If the low beam seems discolored or different colored then the other one, there is a problem with the HID bulb, and it will need replacing soon. Bulbs for these cars cost anywhere from $150 - $250, so it is something you want to check out.

Check the rear wheel openings. There was a rubber “protection” strip placed around the edge of it from the factory that collects moisture and dirt. Pull it back and check for any signs of rust. Even low mileage and southern cars can get rust back in this area.

If the car is equipped with the chrome 10 spoke design wheels, look around the center caps for bubbling or peeling of chrome. It was very common for these wheels to get corrosion in the hubs and spread outwards, causing the chrome to peel or flake off.

With the headlights on and in as dark of an area as possible, take a look at the rear neon strip on the truck lid. It is a common problem that it will not light up correctly or at all. They also can get moisture in them and appear to be discolored, or not light up completely. New replacements are over $600, with good used ones selling for $300 - $400, so it is good to check it out first.



Interior:

If the car is equipped with heated seats, be sure to test them both to make sure they work. The elements in the seats can be easily damaged if somebody kneels on them, breaking the fragile circuits in the heat pads. The pads themselves aren’t really expensive, but they have been discontinued from Ford and finding new ones will not be easy.

Check to make sure the heater works, even if it is the middle of summer. The blend door motors on the Gen2 Mark VIII’s are notorious for breaking, leaving you without heat. While the part is inexpensive at $30, the labor to change it is much more. If you have a dealership replace it, you will be looking at $500 - $800 in repair costs. You can do it yourself, but plan on at least 8 – 10 hours for a first time attempt. Either way, when replacing the blend door it is crucial to make the simple modifications listed on www.markviii.org so that you are not pulling your dash apart again next year.

Check to make sure the steering column functions as it should. It is a common problem that the steering wheel won’t move in or out, or up and down on these cars. It could be as simple as a new position sensor, or more complex issue such as a new multifunction switch, or a steering column rebuild. The multifunction switches are fairly expensive, in the $200 - $300 range. There was a TSB published by Ford that included the installation of cables to keep the steering column from over extending. While more difficult to check, if you have a chance to take the car overnight, drop the lower trim panel and take a look to see if there are two cables there.

Check the cup holder! This is possibly one of the most common things broken on these cars, and it is one of the more expensive things to replace. If you have to replace it, try and find a good used one. Used ones sell anywhere from $200 - $400. I have even seen on used black one on eBay sell for $900. New from the dealership they are almost $1400, so you can see why they bring so much.

Check to see if the car has all the floor mats and key fobs, esp. on LSC models. It is nice to have the factory mats, and they are no longer available from Ford. A good set of used mats sells for $50 - $100, with LSC mats being harder to find. Key Fobs can be purchased used, but will cost $20 - $30 each.



Drivetrain:

The things to check as far as drivability are pretty much the same as any other car. Drive the car with the radio turned down so you can hear what it is doing. Get a good feel for the car at all speeds. Drive around town; take it out the freeway, etc. A good test drive should be at least 20 miles or more with a variety of driving. There are a few things to check more closely on a Mark VIII.

Take a look at the transmission fluid. It should be a nice light red – bring pink color. If it is a yellowish or dark red - brown color, it needs to be changed! I would suggest having the dealer or seller change it and drive the car again before buying it. If it has never been changed, esp. on a higher mileage car, problems can show up after it is changed. On a side note, the 1998 models came with a slightly better VB in the transmission. If it is a 1997, ask them if the 1-2 and 2-3 accumulator pistons have been changed to the new updated style that were listed in the Ford TSB.

Check for any excessive vibrations. These will most likely show up in the rear view mirror. The 1994 – 1998 Mark VIII’s came with a 2 piece driveshaft that was very prone to vibration issues. Some start to show up as early as 40mph, with most appearing in the 60 – 75mph range. A few don’t have any issues, but most due. This can be greatly reduced by installing a 1 piece shaft from a 1993 Mark VIII, or eliminated by installing an MMX driveshaft from DynoTech. A used shaft will run around $100, with the MMX unit price $450 - $500.

Be sure to take a close look at the air suspension system. Just because the center panel in your dash says “Air Ride Okay” doesn’t mean that it really is. If the car is located at a dealership, drive by at night or first thing in the morning before they are open to see if the car sinks at all over night. If you just show up to drive it and they know you are coming, they might run the car to get it to pump back up to normal height before you arrive. Most air leaks don’t show up until 12 – 24 hours after the car has been parked. If the car seems to be sitting high, there might be a problem with the valves venting properly. Also look to see that it sits even when parked and while running. The air compressors do make some noise. If it is excessively loud, it will need replacing soon. Also, while driving the car, keep and ear out for the compressor. If it seems to be running a lot, there is most likely an issue somewhere. Repairs can vary greatly when it comes to suspension issues, ranging in cost anywhere from $100 - $1000. You can remove the air ride and replace it with standard springs and shocks for $300 - $400 if desired.

Thomas
 

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The 32V 4.6 will last just as long as the 16V version. I have seen a few at over 200K miles, and I almost bought a 93 mark that had 175K on it, and it ran great and still had plenty of power. Only reason I didn't end up buying it is because I found my 89 XR7 for slightly cheaper and decided to buy that as a toy instead of the mark.

Mike

PS Thomas, good info on all the problems. I'll have to remember that stuff next time I see a GenII mark for sale.
 

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Add to that the wrinkled rear window moulding (not available seperately, only with a new rear window), Door is ajar/door switch issue.

I used that list from Thomas A in addition to a few other things like what I listed above. I never found a suitable Mark VIII. If I would have had more time and done what I should have, looked for a first gen one too, I probably would have found one.
 
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