1996 Ford Falcon Reviews

1996 Ford Falcon EF Series 2 Sedan GLi 4.0 Litre EFI (actually 3984 cc) 6 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 4.0 Litre EFI (actually 3984 cc) 6 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired216700 kilometres
Most recent distance217900 kilometres
Previous carMitsubishi Magna

Summary:

Find a good Falcon and you have a bargain

Faults:

After purchase, needed new front brake rotors and bearings - usual wear and tear.

Annoying little rattle from rear - probably lower shock absorber mounts.

Air-conditioning will need a re-gas soon - again, usual wear and tear.

General Comments:

I must have had a lucky day - the EF Series 2 Falcon I have, apart from being a little grubby (an ex business car) is all but perfect for our needs, and in tip top condition. No leaks of anything from anywhere, not a drop. Now cleaned properly inside and outside. Also it had a brand new exhaust system, five ROH mag wheels and five brand new tyres. And for some reason, that silly "wing" on the boot lid.

Mechanically the Falcon is just like it rolled off the production line yesterday. The engine is sweet and has more "grunt" than an old codger like me will ever need. Auto transmission is the same, perfect. The car was fitted (on the production line) with the Ford 1600 kg towing pack, which means that the auto trans has an extra cooler mounted in front of the radiator - big bonus.

Around town it just woofles along at 1100 RPM in 4th gear.

It is obvious from the log book (found in the glove box) that the servicing had been kept up to date hence, and so far, no problems at all.

Early days, but from what I have found on the net and reviews, the EF Series 2 was given all the improvements that the Series 1 lacked. The EF Series 2 is generally written up as far better than the EL and the AU.

Handling, on rails.

Brakes (with new front rotors and bearings), solid and straight.

Interior trim and plastic-ware, perfect.

Auto trans - like new.

Sound system - good, but crying out for a radio/CD/MP3 player.

Engine - quiet, all the grunt I need is under 3000 RPM.

Check what I write after six months and after a year I suppose. But for now, the Falcon is the best of any used car I have bought over the years, and better than some of the new ones I have bought.

And, last thing - the Falcon cost $1499 from a used car wholesaler. Have seen the same model etc on the net for up around $3000 or more.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th January, 2013

15th Feb 2013, 05:13

Just an update to my previous post re: EF Series 2 I bought in late December.

A bit over 2,000 km so far, mainly short trips, but a few longer.

What has gone wrong, gone "pfutt!". Nothing. What has needed attention, ie: anything that would keep the car in the garage and unusable. Nothing.

Fuel economy, much better than the 2.6 litre Magna auto-trans TR I had before.

Drips, drops, oil leaks etc. None. (well, half a teaspoon of oil from around the sump in nearly two months).

Enjoyment factor to drive, up around 10 out of 10 so far. I should have bought a Falcon years ago.

Anyway, enough for now.

5th Jul 2013, 22:27

Further to my last comments at 2000 km since bought.

Air-con compressor leaking, no real surprise. Winter here anyway.

Power steering leak - simple things really - the "O" rings are/were worn out. Ford can only supply one of them. So, alternatives tried and to try, and I will succeed. Otherwise, just a good reliable Falcon Series 2 EF.

Now approaching 8000 km since bought. Must be one of the last (production ended September '96, mine is an August '96), and from checking the engine number seems it is one of a small batch fitted with the XR6 camshaft, but not the XR6 cylinder head. "More grunt than a paddock full of pigs"!

But good reliable comfortable transport. 1900 RPM at 110 km/h, push the "loud pedal" just a bit and it growls and does a good imitation of a scalded cat. But 99% of driving is sedate around the suburbs anyway.

Find a good EF Falcon, and apart from age wear and tear (usual), you may be lucky. I was.

1996 Ford Falcon EF Futura Olympic Classic 4.0L from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 4.0L Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired215000 kilometres
Most recent distance269000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Camry

Summary:

Owning a semi-reliable car that I can work on has benefited my wallet and mechanical expertise

Faults:

Radiator cracked, and was replaced in the first year of ownership at a cost of around $450.

Transmission flaring just after the new radiator was installed, due to an incompetent mechanic who didn't secure the transmission lines correctly. Ford dealer identified the issue, and topped up the transmission fluid and sealed the lines for $100.

Courtesy lamp fuse (responsible for items such as the smartlock system and the radio wiring) blew, which prevented me from disengaging smartlock and starting the car one afternoon. A Google search and one of the Ford forums helped to identify this as the culprit; I would have never guessed.

Inhibitor switch failure, resulting in erratic gear switching and engine flaring. Had the transmission serviced and was told by the service centre that if the flaring continued, they would have to rebuild the transmission for around $2000. The flaring continued, but I wasn't buying the mechanic's story, and a bit of research indicated the inhibitor switch on the transmission could be causing the problems. Bought the part and changed it in my driveway - all fixed. The former switch had become entombed in mud over time, which was obviously shorting it out.

The heater had never worked in all my years of ownership. After changing the thermostat to an AU model and flushing the cooling system, the heater came back to life. The old thermostat looked like the wrong one. I'm sure there's a logical explanation to all this; I can't offer it though.

The power windows have been problematic; probably need to lubricate the runners, as they get stuck easily. I've had to replace a couple of switches and window regulators. I plan to replace the switches again soon, but for now they are out of action.

The headlight wiring and sockets had burnt out a couple of times, but after splicing in some heat resistant sockets, they've been working perfectly.

The horn has petered out lately.

General Comments:

The car isn't particularly interesting to drive, but it's gotten the job done for the last five or so years with minimal complications or costly repairs.

I had it converted to LPG soon after I bought it, and it has proven to be very economical considering the size of the vehicle. Even though LPG isn't as cheap as it once was, it's still preferable to petrol, and the loss of performance running on LPG is negligible.

The interior is quite dull and plastics fragile, but these issues don't concern me too much.

The seat fabrics are a bit rough, but they are holding up, and I've even managed to sleep in the car on a few occasions without being too uncomfortable.

If I had my time over, I would have installed a transmission cooler rather than rely on the radiator to cool the transmission fluid. When you're driving up hills in summer with the air conditioning on, you can tell the transmission would rather be elsewhere. It also takes away the risk of the two fluids coming into contact, leading to expensive repairs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2013

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 13 reviews