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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my car back in august this year for 6991 before taxes and the other expenses from a Ford dealer.
At the time it had 77712 miles.
And it came with no warranty.
This was my first time buying a car, and the salesman used to be one of my managers at wendys who I busted my tail for.
And he gave me 2000 trade in for my 89 Dodge Dakota which had a rebuilt transmission and was recently dying in the middle of the street for no apparent reason.
I think I got raped on the selling price, but I got a good deal on my trade-in cause it was nowhere near worth 2000.

At the time I didnt know about 3.8s having head gasket problems and Im only getting 16-17 mpg.
And since my car was sold as is, should I trade it in for something else?
I plan on having it paid off next October, so that I could establish credit.
So should I trade it in sometime soon before paying it off, sometime soon after paying it off, wait awhile after paying it off, or never?
And if I did trade it, what would you guys recommend?
As of now my birds got ~81000 miles.

I really do like my bird, but I just dont want to have a ticking time bomb on my hands (I know its not that serious) and I wouldnt have the dough to fix it, if it broke.
 

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97 3.8 birds don't blow as many headgaskets as the earlier cars did. As for the mileage per gallon, that is very poor. You deffinitely have a problem. I get 29 on the freeway with my 4.6.

As for trading the car, its your choice. When you sell a tbird you will take a beating on it, because for some reason mn12 tbirds hold very little value, and cougars hold even less. Even supercoupes don't hold much of a premium.

But, if you are buying another tbird, I would say to check out a 96-97 4.6 tbird with the sport package, or cougar with the sport package.

Justin
 

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Any old car is what you would call a ticking time bomb. At any time it could break. If you want less worries and better gas mialage you may want to look into a cheap new car. Kia, Hondai, Cavalier, neon, or Focus. You may not think these cars are as cool as the T bird but it is nice having a factory warranty. Plus with the rebates you should be able to find these cars new for only a few thousand more then you paid for the T bird. I would try to sell the T bird on your own to get the most money for it but it is easier to just trade in so you may want to just ask how much they will give you for it. Good luck.
 

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dansmurf said:
Any old car is what you would call a ticking time bomb. At any time it could break. If you want less worries and better gas mialage you may want to look into a cheap new car. Kia, Hondai, Cavalier, neon, or Focus. You may not think these cars are as cool as the T bird but it is nice having a factory warranty. Plus with the rebates you should be able to find these cars new for only a few thousand more then you paid for the T bird. I would try to sell the T bird on your own to get the most money for it but it is easier to just trade in so you may want to just ask how much they will give you for it. Good luck.
This is a Thunderbird/Cougar/Mark VIII forum. Why would you tell someone to buy a Kia, Hyundai, Cavalier, Neon, Focus, Civic or anything else so lowly? It makes me feel bad. No they're not as cool, as there's entirely nothing cool about all of those cars put together! You'd be happier with a V-8 MN12 (if you're normal) in the long run. I'm sure there's a remedy to your mileage problem (I had one like that) but I don't know what it is. Probably needs a tuneup, and maybe the oxygen sensors are bad.
 

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I love mine! I'd say keep it if you really like it. The mileage you're getting,is that city driving? If it is that's not really that bad, you might just need plugs and wires. Other than that are you having any other problems? Like Justin said, the 97 wasn't too bad for HG problems. I only have 51K on it though so if I was to have a problem I wouldn't think it would be for a while. The choice is yours.

Joe
 

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TurboCat said:


This is a Thunderbird/Cougar/Mark VIII forum. Why would you tell someone to buy a Kia, Hyundai, Cavalier, Neon, Focus, Civic or anything else so lowly? It makes me feel bad. No they're not as cool, as there's entirely nothing cool about all of those cars put together! You'd be happier with a V-8 MN12 (if you're normal) in the long run. I'm sure there's a remedy to your mileage problem (I had one like that) but I don't know what it is. Probably needs a tuneup, and maybe the oxygen sensors are bad.
He is also talking about being concerned about future repairs. Old cars are not for everybody. If he has alot of automotive experiance or $$$ to spare any older car may not be for him. If your normal you like getting into a car you know will start up every time and are not worried about being left stranded. You want to know whats not cool. Bringing your car to a shop to find out it needs $2600 in repairs to be driveable again. Ask the last owner of my 94 SC. He bought it last year for over $5000 and could not afford to put the extra money into it. He traded the car in for $500 with the engine still in pieces. He had to buy another cheaper used car and roll over what was left over from the last loan into his new loan. Big car payment for the junk he is now driving. Not cool.

As for the Focus not being cool that is oppinion. I think my SVT Focus is pretty cool. Cooler then my SC now that I am rebuilding the SC and driving the Focus. But thats my oppinion.
 

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TurboCat said:
This is a Thunderbird/Cougar/Mark VIII forum. Why would you tell someone to buy a Kia, Hyundai, Cavalier, Neon, Focus, Civic or anything else so lowly? It makes me feel bad. No they're not as cool, as there's entirely nothing cool about all of those cars put together! You'd be happier with a V-8 MN12 (if you're normal) in the long run. I'm sure there's a remedy to your mileage problem (I had one like that) but I don't know what it is. Probably needs a tuneup, and maybe the oxygen sensors are bad.
darkfire asked for opinions. dansmurf gave his opinion. that's all it is, just an opinion. dont have to get bent out of shape. some people are happier w/ econocars like Foci, Civics, Neons, etc. If he's worried about not being able to fix the car due to $$$ problems, perhaps a newer car w/ a factory warranty IS a viable option, even if he gets stuck in something that's not a Ford, or a MN-12.

Personally, I am with Justin. Sell/trade it in for another bird...but make sure it's a V8 w/ the sports package. Even if it doesnt have the sports package, like my car, you will be happy.
 

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The focus isn't all that bad... I recently totalled my bird last saturday and had to quickly find another car to drive. I can't afford to mess with non warrantied cars. As it is, in the year I had my 4.6 96' bird, i had one blown transmission, one minor injury to the quarter panel which costed 2000 for the labor and 1000 for new parts. The car got 12-14 miles to the gallon. Terrible handling in the snow. I went and got an 02' ZX5 focus premium. Pretty niffty car... I used to dislike them, but I have gotten attached to them. The dealers and manufacturers are trying to push the rest of the 02 line out, so they offer big rebates and 0% fiancing for like 60 months on 02 models... Plus you get a bumper to bumper 36kmile/3year warranty. But in the end, it's all your opinion, and don't let anyone tell you what to buy, buy what you want and can afford to cruise in.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all your opinions.
I think hold on to my baby for a little while longer.
Prolly bout 2 more years.
I wouldve graduated from college by then hopefully have a real stable job.
So a souped up focus wouldnt be a bad replacement for an mn12.
Sounds good.
Again thanks for your opinions.
 

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You may also want to consider how much it is going to cost you, in the end, to sell your car and get another. Your car is a 97 so I am assuming the car is in decent condition. After counting the final costs, you may want to consider droping in a V8. Just a suggestion.

If I had a 97 with a 6, I would defintely swap in a PI motor. No question.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I like the idea of dropping in a v8, but i have no automotive skills other than changing oil and the air filter, and plugs and wires.
I wouldnt know where to get an engine and what to do with it, and who to take it to without getting raped.
 

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Nah.......

Go for the 4.2 V6, pretty much a direct bolt in and lots more power and torque than the 3.8 we have now. Do a search at V6 Power.net and see what those guys have done. PJ 4.2L has done a swap in his Bird and loves it. Something else to think about. :idea:

Joe
 

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if you have a v6 and want a v8, it would be cheaper to sell the v6 car and buy a v8 car. The motor isn't the only difference between the two, the rear end is different amongst other things.

Justin
 

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Sorry Justin, I should have clarified that, I was refering to a v8 of the same year, 1997. I asked for a pic of the car because if I had a 97 in good condition, I would drop the V8 in there. Rear end gears are not that expensive. I'm just saying 97s, in my opinion, are nice cars and taking a loss (which he would be doing if he sold it being his 6 cylindar is not going to bring what he payed for it) would be a shame.

But hey, whatever you want the most...just make sure you stay in the MN12 family!

As far as V8s being expensive, here are just a few things I found after looking for all of 30 seconds so there are many more deals out there, but here is a quick sampeling:

http://www.stangparts.com/products/list.cfm?Page=3&TypeID=5

'96-'98, 4.6L, V8, SOHC engine. Our engines come complete from top of intake to oil pan..without front accessories. NO COD, THIS ITEM HAS AN ADDITIONAL $35.00 HANDLING FEE AND WILL BE SHIPPED TRUCK FREIGHT. CALL FOR SHIPPING QUOTE***
$850.00
'99-'00, 4.6L DOHC, V8 engine. Our engines come complete from top of intake to oil pan..without front accessories. NO COD, THIS ITEM HAS AN ADDITIONAL $35.00 HANDLING FEE AND WILL BE SHIPPED TRUCK FREIGHT. CALL FOR SHIPPING QUOTE***
$3,750.00
ENGINE '99-'00, 4.6L SOHC, V8 engine. Our engines come complete from top of intake to oil pan..without front accessories. NO COD, THIS ITEM HAS AN ADDITIONAL $35.00 HANDLING FEE AND WILL BE SHIPPED TRUCK FREIGHT. CALL FOR SHIPPING QUOTE***
$1,750.00

OR

http://car-part.com and look up 96+ mustang V8s, many V8s for pretty good prices.

Yeah, you will have to spend some money to swap different things, but check out what you already have invested in this V6 Bird and ask yourself if you want to lose that or use it. You payed almost 5 grand for that thing, you are going to be hard pressed to get as nice of a 1997 V8 Bird for what you will be able to sell yours for now. The options are out there, it all depends on what you want in the end.

One more thing: where are you located? There are many members here who do great work and do not charge much at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Its raining right now so Ill try to post and upload pics of my car later.
Man you guys are right, i wont get squat for my bird.
I looked up the kbb, and it said 2600 i think.
Man i got 2k for my dakota.
But I do love and trust my bird, it fires up like a champ in 20 degree weather just like my dakota did.
Oh and I live in clarksville, tn.
Again, thanks for all who looked at and replied to my post.
 

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Oh, well there are a couple of great mechanics in Atlanta, directly south of you, who do excellent work. (Big-Scott and Winston)
They are very helpful people and can do pretty much anything or know someone who can do what you need.
 

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This is just a thought....

darkfire55 said:
I like the idea of dropping in a v8, but i have no automotive skills other than changing oil and the air filter, and plugs and wires. I wouldnt know where to get an engine and what to do with
it, and who to take it to without getting raped.

If you plan on keeping your 'Bird for quite a while and can't
make repairs yourself or know someone who'll fix your car and
charge you buddy rates - you might want to cosndider buying
an extended warranty.

It's usually not cheap, and if you're really lucky you might
not ever need it - BUT if you end up with a serious problem
the repair bill from a dealer can easily and very quickly
run into four figures.

When I bought my current 'Bird (38,500 miles) I bought an
extended warranty. Two months later my intake manifold
cracked (Surprise!) and I wasn't covered by Ford as my car
was built in August of '97. My extended warranty covered
the cost of repair and saved me something like $800.00.

Here's a link to a company that's on the Edmund's site.
A quote is free - even if you decide to accept it - don't.
Tell 'em you're waiting on a couple of other quotes first.
Call 'em back, if you decide you do want their coverage and
bargain a bit with them - the sales people are on commish
and can go to their supervisor to see if they can lower the
premium for you. Also, do check out other companys to see
what their rates and coverages are like - use google.

http://www.warrantygold.com/

Best of luck,
 
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