1987 Ford Falcon S-PAK 4.1 litre straight six from Australia and New Zealand
Fine if you like working on your car more than driving it
Oh dear, way too much to list here although you'll get a pretty good idea reading the comments below.
This car really gave me an insight to the complexities of the common automobile. I became aware of components I hadn't ever heard of before prior to owning this, this thing...
Well I’m afraid I’m probably the only person here to bag the XF. (Balance up the ante’ eh?) Many people I have spoken to reckon it’s a great car, especially the taxi drivers who owned and drove them.
My bad luck began in August ’96 when I took delivery of a one-owner, 76,000 kilometre, totally original blue XF S-PAK for $9,000.
The car was basically immaculate with only a bit of paint fade, which was to be expected I guess. The interior was as new and there were no dents/marks/rust etc.
I should have been suspicious though when I had trouble starting it when trying to drive it off the lot. The car salesman willingly obliged though and managed to get it going for me (probably happy to see it go!!!) what with $9,000 in his pocket and all.
Just out of its 3-month warranty and the fun began. First to go was the carburettor which cost $300 for an exchange unit. To its credit, the car did run extraordinarily sweet for the next few months before everything that could go wrong did. One day it just decided to cough, splutter and stall for no apparent reason. The replacement carb was checked and cleaned and adjusted both by me and trained mechanics many times although for the remaining 2.5 years I owned the thing it never once idled properly again. Juggling accelerator and brake with both feet in an auto is the pits. Believe me.
One day the whole bottom end went and subsequently needed a new camshaft, lifters, the works. The air-con was found to be leaking at the same time and required retrofitting for new ozone-friendly refrigerant. I had oil leaks that would keep the middle east in employment for the next 10 years, suspension that creaked and groaned like rusty bed springs and chewed through my tyres like there were no tomorrows. Rust that started springing up all over the place, belts that snapped, transmission problems, oil pressure problems, over-heating problems, power steering pump failure, master brake cylinder failure, radiator leaks, blown head gaskets, warped heads, constant wheel alignment problems etc etc etc.
I almost could have lived with most of those shortcomings except for the one major gripe: the thing drank enough fuel for two cars!!!, and even then only returned (in my mind at least) mediocre performance.
Oh yes, and who can forget that power steering that was totally devoid of any feeling and became just downright scary on the freeway yet still had a turning circle of 3 square miles!
I must admit, that car was one I was happy to see the back of, and it only had 135,000k’s on it.
And to all of you out there, no I didn’t thrash the car – it was just a lemon – that’s all there was to it. Besides, I’d hate to think of the running costs / repair bills if I had thrashed it!!!
Now, with my little Japanese import that I’ve had for the last 3 ½ years, I’m now totally happy. It has more than made up for all the grief endured by owning an Australian icon!!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 19th January, 2003
18th May 2003, 22:01
It would seem to me that the only problem with this car was the owner. He obviously had no idea about mechanical things and therefore turned small maintenance issues into one big drama. The car was probably happy to see the back of you buddy. I owned an 1987 XF S-pak with 5 speed and it was absolutely brilliant for it's age and previous owners treatment. It never, ever failed me. However, I will admit it was slightly heavy on fuel, but then, it isn't exactly a Camry is it.
7th Jun 2003, 17:20
I think the problems experienced by this cars owner are fairly common, though not usually all at once on the one car. The XF (and XE) tend to like being driven regularly over moderate to long distances. They aren't a city car. A low mileage one owner XF isn't always the bargain it seems to be. Irregular use or lots of short trips don't suit it. Oil leaks and idling problems can be common, the steering is often pretty woeful and air-con systems are never overly reliable due to their seasonal use. The comments by this cars owner should not be criticized!
24th Jul 2003, 23:56
I have an 87 S-Pack and haven't exactly given it the easiest of lives, but I haven't had many problems at all. Infact neither have any of the people I know who own/have owned one.
2nd Jun 2004, 00:27
Life is a lemon and I want my money back!