1987 Ford Fairlane ZL 4.1L from Australia and New Zealand


It maybe a rust bucket, but I am going to work on it


Dies when in reverse (out of a driveway).

Drips oil slowly (sump of trans and engine ONLY; could be head gaskets too).

Failed to pump fuel (fuel pump full of rubber, repaired by a Cert I automotive repairer holding a Cert II in engineering).

Door's impossible to open (fixed 1/4 by pulling off plastic and using the real McCoy Penetrene at $80 per bottle).

Access to fuel is not possible with electronic opening after 20 years outside (needs work).

Body rusts severely in a few places (passenger side left mid pillar, in between both hinges on front doors, firewall breached by rust from gutter on the front of the car).

Rust around windscreen.

Rust on the bottom of the doors.

Poor water drainage on most of the car (retains water in front mid and back of car. Including the interior if the car is in a flood).

Interior still looks good, apart from interior panels, dash, seats and ceiling.

General Comments:

The car is very enjoyable to be in for a ride, especially in the back seats of the car.

Best enjoyment is at night time when you can turn on the fancy lights in the back.

This car, I would not want to get rid of even though it's a rust bucket, as the body and interior are so enjoyable to sit in and look at when in good condition.

Awesome layout of the dashboard, and how easy it is to find out your speed, RPM, KM traveled, warning meters etc.

This car has one of the most beautiful sounding engines for a family car.

Smooth driving in the hills, and will be reliable in the most unexpected of times.

There are other uses of this one car that I have enjoyed it for when running, but wasn't appropriate for what they needed to do. (Example; this car is two-wheel drive and I need a four-wheel drive with reliable power for towing).

The value of car is cheap, but it's worth it for the enjoying a midnight cruise.

Particular car's DOB: (09/87 Plate 2) (Sep87 Plate 1)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th November, 2013

1987 Ford Fairlane 4.1 EFI from Australia and New Zealand


One of the best Fairlanes Ford made


Door handles break when opening too quick.

Ball joints and front end need constant attention, eg, grease all the time to stop wear and tear.

General Comments:

The ZL Fairlane has good response to taking off very quickly off the mark.

The steering is very touchy, and also has good response.

Braking is extremely good.

Interior is roomy and comfortable.

Never have a problem when taking it on a long trip.

Very economical to drive around town, as well as the country.

Sits good on the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th April, 2003

4th Jan 2004, 02:17

I agree with the comments. I first leased a ZL Fairlane in 1986 and now have one as a spare care. Great value for money and more pratical than the LTD of the same year.

23rd May 2007, 03:03

I have just bought two zl fairlanes one for parts need any parts?

5th Mar 2012, 19:48

Would you know how much a 1987 ZL Fairlane would be worth?

I have found one for 2000 bucks. It is in mint condition with 156000 kms on it. It is the original owner with log books.


1987 Ford Fairlane ZL 4.1 EFI from Australia and New Zealand


The ZL is an excellent bargain 2nd hand car


Suspension failed twice (due to rough roads rather than a fault)

Alternator replaced once.

Wheel alignment on a regular basis (again, due to rough dirt roads)

Door handles exhibited the usual faults with this era Ford, needed replacing twice.

General Comments:

Serious power & comfort

Very reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th July, 2002

2nd Aug 2004, 22:47

The ZL series has a very comfortable ride hight, but the only thing that bothers me is the electronic air filter system. cold weather takes it's toll on the electrical system.

15th Nov 2005, 02:38

True, the ZL fair-lane is a good car to have, very reliable and has go when you need it, YES HAS GO!. I drive my dads car and his car is a ZL and has done 449,000KM and is still going strong wish I can say the same about the body from all the accidents my father has had. I drive this car every day and hasn't broke down on me, I do recommend this car as a cruiser or an every day car as long as you service it every 6 mouth's then you'll be fine, sure does have some problem's here and there, but all low cost problem's and usually no money spent on the motor except for oil, oil filter, air filter, etc.

7th Apr 2011, 05:10

I've had two ZL Fairlanes and an FE LTD, all the same year (1987), and these model cars seem to be one of the better cars of the XD to XF Lines.

I live 115kms out of Darwin, and the LTD seemed to love being driven on corrugated dirt roads more than sealed roads, and it had electrically adjustable seats, trip computer, digital dash display and an E.F.I motor; for something that age, it was pretty advanced.

The two ZL Fairlanes were similar in that respect, except with slightly less options. The first one that I had was full of rust and could not be repaired for a reasonable price, and for some strange reason ran on five cylinders until you 'put the boot into it' which had mechanics stunned!

The second one I had was excellent, but the steering kept wandering, and had to replace the ball joints and have the steering box reconditioned, which was expensive, and could never get the wheel alignment correct.

The car ended up being written off when the carpet caught fire and gutted the car, when a welder was welding the seat bracket back onto the seat, as it had snapped off, and did not remove the seat from the car (a very crucial thing to do when you're doing this type of job!).