Front Wheel Rotors warped and had apparently been previously turned for similar problem requiring replacement at only 60K miles.
Front Wheel Bearings also needed to be replaced, apparently somewhat prematurely (and I examined the burnt bearings) at the same time as the rotors. Unfortunately, the spindles had also been damaged and required replacement.
The car repeatedly destroyed it's battery. In each case, the failure was catastrophic (sudden, complete failure), and each time I purchased relatively expensive, high-quality batteries which exceeded the required specifications. Each time, a different mechanic worked on the electrical system, replaced various parts (to be mentioned next) and corrected the problem insofar as diagnostic tests could show.
The voltage regulator failed and was replaced three times. Twice the failure occurred with a battery failure and once with no other symptoms. When it fails, the vehicle is completely disabled.
The alternator failed twice, at the same time as both a battery failure and a voltage regulator failure. It was likely to an overload or surge related to the voltage regulator failures. This seems reasonable as on one of the occasions of failure, the battery cables more or less melted down.
The AM/FM Cassette Stereo began to work intermittently and finally went dead. On replacement, two of the five speakers were found to have been damaged as well.
The radiator sprang a leak which was in such a location as to require a new radiator. A couple of years passed and the beautiful, robust new (now relatively new) radiator suffered a very similar fate, and was replaced (again).
The starter failed and was replaced.
The automatic transmission failed utterly. The repair, a complete rebuild which included numerous Ford factory replacements and required improvements, failed 13 months later, just one month after the new warranty expired. Thus, another complete rebuild (the internal damage was extensive). If that wasn't enough, after another year and two months passed the third, and final, transmission failure occurred (believe me, I'd been being ever so gentle on it). At that point, I just gave up and scrapped the vehicle (I could take no more).
Overall, the car was a comfortable one. The seats and environmental controls (heating and A/C) worked well. However, road noise was annoying a highway speeds (well, in this case the car was a convertible). The ride was slightly firm, but smooth and well controlled.
Well, while it's true that I thought the car did a good job with regard to it's ride qualities, there were some distantly related problems. Foremost among them was that the car had a problem with "shimmying" (or wobble) at highway speed. I invested in a comprehensive alignment, a set of quality, high-performance tires and also had the tires computer balanced. This helped, but only a little. I guess I'll always wonder why it did that.
While the car felt like it handled well and was reasonably pleasing to drive, the major lack of power constantly left me disappointed. Indeed, the lack of acceleration resulted in some interesting changes in my driving habits/skills in that I would always have to plan well ahead when considering passing someone or pulling onto a roadway.
The lack of power might have been easier to tolerate had it translated into greater fuel economy. I simply didn't. I went to considerable expense having a major tune up (including filters, wires, plugs, cleaned injectors and who knows what else) only to discover that it made not the slightest difference whatsoever, either in the performance or the fuel economy.
That reminds me of something similar. I thought that I might be able to enhance the handling and ride qualities by investing in some expensive after-market gas shocks and struts. It made not the slightest difference (how odd).
While the engine wasn't the smoothest (never quite would idle flawlessly), quietest (it would growl and groan considerably), and as already pointed out, not the strongest engine I've known, one thing stands out. When there wasn't an electrical problem, it seemed nothing would stop that engine. It ran so hot (despite having the cooling system serviced, cleaned, the thermostat replaced and proper fluid added regularly) I thought it would melt. Indeed, it would regularly need coolant added (did it just evaporate? there were no leaks other than the points at which the radiators would fail). I used synthetic oil for durability because inside of 6000 miles, even the oil would begin to appear burnt. Nevertheless, the engine temperature gauge would always rise to a proper point within the operating zone. The engine even burned a quart of oil off every two or three months, but it never smoked and always passed emissions testing. Never had the slightest problem with the engine itself.
I would recommend to everyone to avoid this car, particularly the four cylinder automatic.