1980 Ford Fairlane ZJ 4.9 from Australia and New Zealand


Big, expensive beast


One of my hydraulic lifters collapsed and the rest got very noisy.

The end con rod bearing failed and wore a large trench in the crank.

One head completely failed, warped, and the valves burnt out.

The flexible steering coupling was so badly worn that I had almost a half turn of steering play.

My diff was not the original, and it had extreme amounts of play in it.

The gear box lost first gear and reverse for a while, but now it still has a rough up shift.

The engine mounts break all the time, probably because of the rough up shift.

The exhaust gasket blew out, (big deal)

Timing chain was pretty dead.

General Comments:

The car was in need of some serious help when I got it, but after an engine rebuild she goes like a dream.

Very reliable, very comfortable, and reasonably fast, but mostly torque.

It's an early ZJ Fairlane, so the doors are as rusty as an old jetty, but I've had no trouble with the door handles or electric windows.

The car does drink a lot of fuel, thank god for LPG.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th August, 2002

31st Jul 2005, 06:33

It sounds like you had a bad run with it. On behalf of all Fairlane lovers...I'm sorry

I have had two and like yours I lost the doors to rust. However they are a very reliable car and comfortable too. I am of course talking only about the ZJ model. I had a 1989 NA and had nothing, but trouble with it, so I understand you completely.

Take Care and safe motoring.