1988 Ford Fairlane NA 3.9 EFI from Australia and New Zealand
I bought a lemon
The following items were replaced due to failure between 168,000klms and 172,00klms:
I had the ignition tumbler replaced as there was a lot of slack.
Head gasket blew three days after I bought the car. Head was completely rebuilt.
The differential had major problems from being used as a tow vehicle and has been replaced.
Universal joints replaced.
Power steering switch replaced.
Water pump had a "knock" so it was also replaced.
Complete rebuild of the rear brakes including handbrake set up.
Master cylinder replaced due to leaks and brake fade.
Radiator, top radiator hose and thermostat.
Alternator and battery replaced within 3000klms of each other.
Wiper arms were "warped"
Air-conditioning at this point still needs to be replaced.
The following problems with the wiring still need to be fixed:
Cruise control operates the horn.
Rear drivers side window motor needs replacing.
Electric aerial needs to be replaced.
Central locking motor on drivers door needs replacing. This has already been replaced once since I've had the car.
Other items I'm still yet to fix:
Tail lights have cracked after years of exposure to the sun and heat.
I have to replace the front handbrake cable after it snapped recently.
Possibly needs to have the rear bushes replaced and rear shocks.
Lots of room on the interior.
Holds the road well.
Economic for a large car.
If you are going to buy a Fairlane get it checked out first by a trusted mechanic.
If possible get hold of a second Fairlane for spare parts and save yourself a fortune.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st June, 2004
I have found the NA Fairlane to be a very reliable car, capable of achieving huge mileages without major work.
However, you have touched upon most of the niggly repairs that these cars often need. These engines are capable of up to a million kilometres and it is common to see odometers with 500,000 or 600,000 kms. I know because I have worked as a wrecker. But even needing a head gasket at 170,000 KMS is not that bad, although premature, you have to remember that is 6 times around the planet!! And even then it's cheap to fix...
If the tail lights are as faded as you say, the car has probably never had much love or been parked in a garage. A well cared for example is almost bullet-proof.