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50,000-Mile Update

788 Views 33 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Grog6
As I just hit the 50,000-mile mark, I thought it would be nice to reflect on what I have done so far, and how much it cost (approximate amounts to the best of my recollection).

This car has been wonderful to own, makes me feel great driving it, and just feels like it's made for me. Knock on wood, it'll continue to do so. Or make for a decent sale as I am considering returning to my home country of Germany.

  • New TRW upper and lower control arms: $1,200 (parts and labor; don't judge...I know I overpaid, oh well; all others are parts only, plus my own labor)
  • New fuel filter: $12
  • Two oil changes: 2x $40
  • Transmission fluid flush with Valvoline Mercon V: $75
  • New air filter: $12
  • New plugs, wires, and Motorcraft coil pack: $180
  • New belt: $25
  • New Continental Reliant tires: $400
  • Passenger side mirror: $20
  • Front valence panel: $15
  • Door striker bushings: $0
  • Passenger side door weather seal: $10
  • Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror: $16
  • Faux suede trim, incl. adhesive: $70
  • Genuine walnut wood pieces: $40
  • Leather-wrapped door release handles and shift knob: $15
  • Leatherette-wrapped armrest: $15
  • Leather headrests with custom stitching front and rear, tilting in front: $60
  • DRL with Zevo LEDs and relay: $35
  • Zevo LED taillights and LED-friendly flasher: $35
  • Cornering lights: $25
  • Door panel and center console ambient lighting: $10
  • Door courtesy lights plus interior LED bulbs: $40
  • Center console cubby (repositioned 12V outlet): $10
  • Center console armrest support (using pre-97 cupholder plus custom support): $10
  • Silencer removal with custom mesh rodent guard: $0
  • O2 sensor connector reposition (which cleared P0156 code): $0
  • Various interior cleaning/shampooing exercises
:unsure: Did I miss anything?

Comes to a total of $2,410. Considering that this is a budget operation, that's a lot of money; but I realize many people spend way more.
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My '97 Sport just clocked 68K miles, with very little ever needing to be done during all the years I've owned her. She's my daily and been garaged her whole life.
The only 'major' repairs I've done are replacing the belt tensioner, turn signal assembly, the window regulator gear plugs, and a couple of coolant temp sensors when I replaced the hoses. Other than that, it's just been the usual maintenance items, such as fluids, filters, tires, etc. I don't mod her at all, because I like to keep her as close to factory as possible.

Sure, they've got their quirks, but I'm always impressed at how well Ford designed these cars, their general ease of maintenance/repairs, their overall high-quality, and the beating they can take & keep going (I also had an '89 Bird that had the hell beat out of her over the years, but just wouldn't die. Finally sold her after I bought the '97).

Love these cars...except for the location of that damn oil filter...because I can't get my arms into there without tearing them up.

Photo: My Bird in her natural habitat...LOL
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