1997 Ford Mustang 3.8L V6 from North America
I love it because my Stang is truly unique
Well when I first bought it, it had 3 codes on the computer; bank 1 & 2 running lean, and evap purge control valve.
Intake manifold gasket (lower half, that connects to heads) was ruptured, so replaced that, cleaned out the MAF with brake cleaner (let it dry for a bit). The vacuum line on the evap control line was pinched by the fuel lines (check this first, give it a jiggle).
Evap code disappeared. Still had a problem of it turning off after like 10-30 minutes of running. Would run fine after 2 or 3 hours of cooling down. Ended up being the fuel pump. The codes were then fixed.
Let's see, upper radiator blew and the car overheated... Still drove it about 2-3 miles back home. Smashed on it half way through, since I felt the engine seizing (yup, very dumb). I replaced both upper and lower hoses, radiator and water pump. Turned it on, and it revved back to life.
Had a misfire on cylinder #1; ended up being the spark plug wire. So I replaced all of them, and routed the #1 wire differently so it wouldn't rub on the... alternator?
Either way, that was fixed.
Turned out the previous owner removed the cats. Luckily I found a full exhaust at a far away town for $100 with only 90k put onto it. I washed its insides with water, and it was confirmed by my old boss that it was working like brand new at the smog station.
I recommend you check:
Water color in the radiator. If it's brown, that lame owner has not maintained the Mustang.
Was told by a fellow Mustang owner, always the check bottom of the car to make sure it has all 4 cats. Yes, these have 4 and they run to about $900 cash for a full set.
Get a 5 speed (autos suck, in my opinion). Check if it grinds in 1st gear. If does, there's a high possibility it pops out every so often.
Replace the whole cooling system like I did (hoses, radiator, water pump, and remove the thermostat). This will help guarantee a long life.
Don't cheap out on oil; use a high mileage or synthetic blend.
I've run mine on flat 30w with good results, but I'm switching to 5-30w soon, since winter is coming.
Remember to check the coolant level and engine oil level.
Always do tune-up every 3 months or 3,000 miles. Don't trust the new standard of every 7k miles... Complete BS.
The fuel filter is one thing I highly advise not to skip.
Oh, almost forgot. Go test out those fuel additives at the Dollar Tree (contain methanol) for about $11 bucks. They will give you a surprise once you hit almost empty and give it WOT. :)
Chewed out about $1200 to $2000 in the first 3 months of ownership.
But, after the quirks were fixed, it's been nothing but a good car. My Mustang is personally ugly, but I love it.
I installed some Pacesetter Longtube headers, made a custom y-pipe and made a side exhaust using the OEM catback.
I like chopping and remaking the exhaust every so often. I like this setup so far...
I recommend if you go this route, to at least install a CA catalytic converter at the Y-pipe... Very poisonous stuff, seriously.
Recommend you just install CAI, make a custom side exhaust for the OEM y-pipe and get the SCT 4 bank chip.
I've heard many good rumors from these parts. And just call it a day. Screw the T-Lok and ETC.
You'll waste less and enjoy it more.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th September, 2013