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So, yesterday was both sad AND happy for me - sad because, out of frustration at not having the cooperation of time, finances, and weather (it's just too damn hot out here in Phoenix, at least during the summer, to get anything done to my T-Bird that I want to do), I've finally decided to "throw in the towel" and let my T-Bird go, either to someone who would want a good running (for the most part), high-mileage daily driver.

To that end, I "bit the bullet"; I purchased & brought home a used 2002 Mustang GT 4.6 liter V-8/auto trans. The car certainly isn't perfect, by any means; right off the bat, it's got a bad battery, and I'm pretty sure the idle air control valve is dirty/bad. The little used car dealer I bought it from sells Interstate brand car batteries, and they were going to install a brand-new one in the Mustang for me, but me, being anal like I am, said I'd rather have a Motorcraft battery. So, they said if I want to go buy a Motorcraft battery, they'd compensate me $55, which is their cost for the Interstate battery they'd have given to me.

Regarding the idle air control valve, the car runs fantastic while I'm driving it, without any hesitation; surging; detonation, or loss of power. However, it idles really badly. Every 5-10 seconds, the idle speed drops 300-400 rpms (it sounds like it's going to stall), then it suddenly goes right back up to a normal idle speed. When this happens, these really, really odd sounds come from the area of the air filter, like a popping or belching sound (it actually sounds like an exhaust leak). Well, I found a video on YouTube last night, posted by some guy who's 4.6 liter V-8 in his 2003 F-150 was doing the SAME, EXACT thing! It turned out to be his IAC valve; when he cleaned the valve, the noises went away, but it was still idling poorly. So, he replaced the valve, and that completely cured his idle problems. So, I'm going to tell this dealer to either have the shop that services their cars for them replace the IAC valve, or (what I'd actually prefer) they simply reimburse me for the cost of a new Motorcraft part from Rock Auto, and I'll simply change it myself.

Anyway, for a thirteen year old car, 82,000 miles isn't bad (that's WAY less than the 205,000 my T-Bird just turned recently!); that averages out to less than 6,500 a year! They also provided me with a CarFax report on the vehicle; the original owner bought it brand-new at a Ford dealer somewhere in California, and he owned it for 11 years. He had it serviced OFTEN, and every, single time was at the Ford dealer where he purchased it!

Here are a few pictures of it:

<a href="http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/dmw4814/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-09/02MustangGT003_zpsn05hn9qq.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah283/dmw4814/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-09/02MustangGT003_zpsn05hn9qq.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 02MustangGT003_zpsn05hn9qq.jpg"/></a>

<a href="http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/dmw4814/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-09/02MustangGT005_zps9kbedvgu.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah283/dmw4814/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-09/02MustangGT005_zps9kbedvgu.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 02MustangGT005_zps9kbedvgu.jpg"/></a>

<a href="http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/dmw4814/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-09/02MustangGT007_zpsyyiahbqp.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah283/dmw4814/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-09/02MustangGT007_zpsyyiahbqp.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 02MustangGT007_zpsyyiahbqp.jpg"/></a>

<a href="http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/dmw4814/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-09/02MustangGT020_zpsngoulsap.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah283/dmw4814/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-09/02MustangGT020_zpsngoulsap.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 02MustangGT020_zpsngoulsap.jpg"/></a>

I'm going to try to sell my 1997 T-Bird, in case anyone's interested (I'll create a separate post on that a bit later). It has many, MANY new, or recently new parts on it (for just one example, in 2012, I replaced the catalytic converter assembly [Magnaflow]; all four O2 sensors [NTK], and a complete cat-back exhaust system [Walker/DynoMax] - and, being in Phoenix, there's virtually no rust on any of the exhaust components). I also have various, miscellaneous parts (rear knuckle/hub assemblies completely refurbished by Stuart Spencer, complete with new Timkin wheel bearings & retaining rings; a brand-new Motorcraft A/Ccondenser for a 1996 T-Bird, and those CORRECT Raybestos rear UCA-to-frame bushings, just to name a few!) I'm going to be listing in the "Parts for Sale" section, so - stay tuned!

I'm going to miss my T-Bird; that car and I have been through a lot together, and I've put a lot of time, effort, and money into it ("Mucho dinero", as my Spanish-speaking girlfriend says). Still, I have to admit that the Mustang is my true love - this 2002 GT is the NINTH Mustang I've owned in my lifetime!

I guess it's time to go find some Mustang forums - I've got PLENTY I plan on doing to this car (much to my girlfriend's dismay)! :)

Dennis
 

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Good looking pony there. Full service records? I'm jealous.

I frequent two Mustang forums; AllFordMustangs and MustangForums. Both have high member counts and well-organized layouts.

The Mustang's a bit tight. You're gonna miss how comfy the T-Bird is. However, you may find the SN95 an easier car to wrench on. The steering rack is easier to get to, the driveshaft can be pulled without removing anything else, excellent availability of aftermarket parts...
 

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I'll admit that I saw a 2008 or GTCS at the Medina JVS last summer tha made me question Why I have a driveway full of moldering MN12s. If I lived some place like Pheonix I'd probably have a 76-79 FSeries as a back up and nice late model Mustang GT convertible. Life would be a lot easier with two cars and not 6.

You will have fun driving the Mustang ;) my mom had a standard in the same color combination and while it didn't have the push of the V8 the V6 had 195 to the Cougars 210. It ran well enough. The ride is definatly sportier. You may miss the Birds ride.
 

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I test drove a '96 Lexus SC300, thinking it would be a comfy cruiser. Not so, I was glad to hop back in the T-Bird! Not many cars ride like a T-Bird.

Al
 

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A New Edge like that was my B plan for a long time if the Cougar ever became untenable, definitely not a bad choice to bail for, I'm in way to deep now though :tongue:. But yeah,same solid drivetrain, already "upgraded" for you from the factory, but way the hell simpler , easier to work on and cheaper elsewhere, they're also quite impervious to rust (not a really relevant in AZ though).

I still consider these the last REAL Muscle Mustangs - Cheap, cool looking, simple, lightweight, RWD, V8 cars. No $40k+ pricetags for V8s, no aspirations of being legit M3 fighters or any other Europhile satisfying nonsense
 
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