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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I've been looking for a bigger vehicle for my wife cause I HATE her little Saturn wagon....... I've been looking on CL, dealers, paper classifieds, and as I drive all over the state, trying to see what I can find on the side of the road. After coming across nothing but GARBAGE I finally came across something that was nice enough to buy.

It's a 2001 Mercure Sable wagon. 134K miles, duratec 3.0, power everything, auto climate control, everything minus leather...... It ran really nice and shifted well and the motor was nice and dry. I was told all the oil changes since they have owned it have been synthetic changes, and I will continue that. There are 2 issues with it.... 1) the owner told me that it 'occationally' has a misfire on cyl 1. It was running beautifully when I looked at it though. The owner told me that he would get the code once every 3-5 months, but would pull the plug(which was not carbon or oil fouled) clean it and put it back in and it would be fine for another 3-5 months. The wires look to be original so I'm going to do the typical routine maintenance(plugs, wires, and replace the coilpack). I had my coilpack go in my freestar and it did the same thing.... replaced the coilpack and al is well 30K later. And 2) the heater blend door motor stopped working. I've been reading up that a simple unplug of the battery seems to make them work again, however it's not a big deal to replace if necessary. The connector of the breather tube from the front head to intake was cracked but I have the replacement peice in the car.

Tomorrow it's coming home so it's going to be a busy day of cleaning and tinkering with the car doing some routine maintenance and getting the rest of the stuff fixed up.

Best part is I think I got a pretty good deal. $1400, and they are going to bring it to me tomorrow morning:D My wife should be happy with it, and should be happy it's not a big ass truck or a big van cause she likes driving smaller cars. We had a grand caravan and she didnt like driving it cause it's 'too big'. Now I can stop using the Tbird as the family car :D

Some quick pics





There's 2 spots of 'damage' on the car(more like scraped paint. One spot on the rear bumper and the other was the drivers door that looked like it was replaced at one time and repainted. It's straight and closes/opens smooth so I dont care.



First thing is to get the isseues fixed, get my tags swapped over, then I'm DEFINATELY going to be tinting those rear windows. Once the Saturn is gone I'll ONLY have Fords in my driveway....... 05 Freestar(work van), 01 Sable wagon and of course my 96 Tbird.
 

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Pedal Faster
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My GF just bought an '03 SEL Taurus just like that. Every option except sunroof and wood steering wheel / shifter accent. It's a very comfy car, definitely liking the comfort factor.

Good luck with yours!
 

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My dad has a wagon like that, same drivetrain, fewer options. It is a nice car, decently powerful for what it is...I would LOVE to have one as a second car...his is COP no plug wires...is yours?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My dad has a wagon like that, same drivetrain, fewer options. It is a nice car, decently powerful for what it is...I would LOVE to have one as a second car...his is COP no plug wires...is yours?
This one is just one coil pack not the COP's.
 

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I used to have a 2000 Taurus with that Duratec engine. It was a great car, very peppy :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So she's home now. I was able to dig a little bit into it to see what's going on. I'm almost 100% certian that it's the coil throwing the cyl 1 misfire........ yesterday it was running perfectly, when I left it POURED for most of the night and it's been humid all day. Today it's misfiring. So I bought a coil and that's going in tomorrow.

I also wanted to see what kind of plugs were in it.... they put in Autolite Irridiums, so tomorrow I'm going to swap those out for COPPERS and replace the wires while I'm in there being that I'm going to take the intake off to do this to make things easier.

Anyway... I cleaned the crap out of the car inside and out(smells like ciggerettes still but it's a bit better), I cleaned the MAF, and replaced the air filter.

how long do you think it's been since this was replaced?



These are the plugs, are Irridiums supposed to have that huge of a gap? I've never used them so I dont know.



And another shot before I cleaned the exterior



I told the wife that if she doesnt want it I'll drive it!! It's such a comfortable car, I would think that I can actually ENJOY long trips now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So today I replaced the coil plugs and wires. It turns out that my misfire on cyl 1 was caused because someone decided to replace all the plugs but the #1. That one was still the stock motorcraft Platinum, the others, Autolite irridium. I'm sure I didnt need to replace the coil but I did it for the hell of it. The wires looked to be the originals as well. She's purring like a kitten now though

I also repaired 2 vacuum lines that were 1/2 assed put together. It really makes me wonder cause the old owner told me he took the car to a "mechanic" to get things fixed. Now I have to unscrew what that idiot did with the AC/heater blend door motor.......
 

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You replaced the cabin air filter right? Nice buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You replaced the cabin air filter right? Nice buy.
That I did...... It looked to be original ass well and COVERED in leaves and stuff. Being that I took the passangers side cowl off to give me all the room I needed I did that while I was in there.
 

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That I did...... It looked to be original ass well and COVERED in leaves and stuff. Being that I took the passangers side cowl off to give me all the room I needed I did that while I was in there.
Nice, that should help with the cigarette stench. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I got the AC working in it today. The old owner's "mechanic" removed the AC/heat blend door motor and disconnected the compressor clutch electrics. I had to bend the upper pin in the clutch so it would go in the plug correctly, then repair the plug itself because the pin would push the female end out and boom...... the AC starting cycling. It was low on a charge so I recharged the system and man..... that AC is ICE cold(even better than my bird I must say)

At this point, I'm swapping tires tomorrow and I think it's ready to be put on the road for family use. Then it's time to retire my wife's saturn wagon, in which I might already have a buyer for it. 3 years and 2 months, and 61K miles she's been good to us, just getting too small.
 

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Nice find! I swapped in an '01 3.0L in my Contour when I had it. Great engine reliability-wise and pretty torquey for a V6. Plus, with a set of headers and a good exhaust, it sounds pretty mean too. ;) Just cause it's a wagon doesn't mean you can't play with it. :)
 

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Very nice purchase! Those rims fit your bird, by the way! Duratec is a nice engine and the AX4N is a smooth shifting transmission too.
 

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if the seats in that are anything like my wifes 02 Taurus, I hate em!!!
They kill my back on short trips.....
We do not use her car for trips cause the seats suck so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So yesterday I decided it was time to get the Merc on the road. My aunt and uncle showed interest in buying my wife's old Saturn wagon (they bought it last night) so I figured now is as good of a time as any to do the switch.

This morning I put it on the road and was able to take it for it's first REAL drive. The front rotors and pads were so bad it was making a TON of noise(that it didnt make the day I bought it). The rotors were worn down horribly, and the pads were almost to the backing plate. I also heard a bad ratteling at the left front end. I did the front rotors and pads and it made a WORLD of difference in breaking and no more noise. I found what the ratteling was though and I'm not happy...... the left front coil broke and the broken peice was in there just making tons of noise.

Tomorrow I have to do the rear brakes cause they are just as bad(if not worse) than the fronts. On a good note though....... it runs and shifts nicely. It actually shifts nicer than my 05 freestar does. Either way I look at it...... it's going to be almost like a new car by the time I'm done replacing the parts that have seemed to never been replaced eventhough I was told that they were. All in all..... I have about $1650 into the car including the purchase price so I think I'm ahead of the game.... I want to make sure it's safe before giving it to the wife to drive.
 

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Can't go wrong with that Duratec. Those engines are pretty quick. My mom's 01 Taurus has that motor in it and has been trouble free since it was new (106000mi). Same with the trans.

You're right about the broken coils. This one had the left front and left rear broken. The left front was missing a whole section of coil when my dad and I pulled it out.
 

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those are good cars the common issues i know of

1. the tune up as you found out is a little bit of a pain having to pull the intake doing this isnt too bad because the duratecs also have intake gasket failure which can cause a CEL and sometimes a rough idle

2. Oil pan gaskets leaking not a horrible issue but the exhaust has to come down to get at it

3. Sway bar links going bad that will cause a rattle in the front end

4 Ball joints

5. Coil spring failure- i reccomend quick strut assemblies to save time and hassle

6 the flex pipe on the exhaust falling apart and making noise


for the most part they are good cars best of luck
 
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