1989 Ford Falcon ea2 S wagon 3.9 MPi from Australia and New Zealand
A fun, comfortable, practical wagon that's getting weary
*) The clutch & clutch cable, clutch became very heavy and wasn't disengaging properly.
*) New front brake rotors and pads, it had dangerous brake shudder at 80km/hr+
*) Front Passenger window winder, couldn't wind the window up & down, now you can wind it down about 10cm before it becomes too tough :)
*) Hydraulic lifters, but it still ticks.
*) Plugs and leads, it started misfiring two cylinders after `enthusiastic driving' the previous night.
*) Ignition parts and a new radiator replaced by mechanic, after it died in peak-hour traffic one night.
*) Alternator bushes were worn, one night voltage dropped, ran on battery until I could get it home.
*) Power steering unit replaced after it failed at low speeds at a shopping carpark and made a racket (sounded a bit like a supercharger I guess)
*) Belts were worn, replaced.
*) Body is becoming a little tired.
Need to replace;
*) Fuel pump died a few days ago while parked at a fast-food restaurant, tapping the fuel tank fixed it temporarily, which means it's out of action again until parts and free time arrive.
*) The handbrake. If I use it, the back right wheel locks up in the wet.
*) Suspension bushes, car squeaks over a bump.
*) The electric sunroof leaks and doesn't slide.
*) Front & rear glass squirters don't work.
*) Original cassette-radio doesn't work.
*) Back-left window winder handle fell off.
Tends to be unreliable, but I figure there's a finite number of parts that can possibly be replaced, and few parts under the hood are original :)
As of 2005, it's a 15-year-old, first of the line car, and is showing its age. Keep a look out for signs of being abused (as I'm now certain mine was).
It's still a modern design, but the paint is thin and getting old, so expect things to start fading & cracking. You'll probably need a mat as the dash is usually cracked.
Fuel economy is `amusing', don't expect to get much better than 13 or 14L p/100km (~16mpg)
Now, some positive points;
It has quite an adequate amount of power with simple mods. In straight line, it stays with then slowly leaves behind a GSX-250F motorcycle. Power starts above 3,000rpm and goes to about 4,300, and the manual is fun with a short-throw and decent clutch. While passengers dragged down my previous 2.0L sedan/hatch, with the Falcon you just open the throttle more. Should do a 15-16 1/4 mile.
The wagon is incredibly versatile, rarely will you need more room. It has more usable room than most 4x4's, and if you run out of space, you can tow a trailer without any problems.
Plenty of rear space, it's a big family wagon with a big open boot. It can easily fit three adults in the back, and has squeezed four on short trips before.
Being a big local car, things are easier to fix and get parts for. Modifications are easier to find and install.
Lowering the suspension and using decent tyres/wheels stops most `wandering', but it's just as capable on the highway than it is being thrown around mountain roads
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 15th November, 2005