2004 Ford Mustang GT 4.6 SOHC from North America

Summary:

The classic Mustang experience

Faults:

Sticking left-front brake caliper.

Shorted-out COP on #2 cylinder.

A/C blower motor resistor went out. $20 part and 5-minute fix.

That's it.

General Comments:

This is my second GT, my first being a '97. I've upgraded the exhaust and it has a short-throw shifter, so by Mustang standards it's stock. No other upgrades have been performed.

It's been very reliable as a daily driver, save the minor problems listed above. And the coil on plug that died was a result of me not being careful when washing the engine. Parts are fairly cheap and these cars are very easy to work on. A perk of Ford using the same chassis for 25 years with revisions along the way.

Power is OK. Not enough low-end for my taste, but it pulls like a freight train after 4000 RPM when the PI heads/intake/cams do their thing. Low-end is actually softer than my '97 was. If I had the means, I'd throw 3.73's in it to wake it up. The TR3650 5-speed is a bit notchy, but that's just how they are. The earlier T45 shifted smoother but couldn't handle as much power. Installing a Pro 5.0 Power Tower shifter made for much more precise shifting, and with the Tr-Ax handle, the shifter sits at about stock height.

The ride is (duh) firm, but never overly harsh/unreasonably stiff. Over extremely bumpy roads, you will get thrown around, though, and you will experience live axle "two-step.". Some minor cowl shake can be observed on rough roads, but it's the nature of the beast. You can add subframes and a strut-tower brace, but for a daily driver I don't really think they're totally necessary. Steering is a little numb and overboosted, but it responds quickly to your input.

Interior build quality is good, even though the materials are cheap, but this is a Mustang and not a Lincoln. Ergonomics are reasonable, the controls make sense, but since I need to leave the seat all the way back, I have to lean forward to use them. The seats are OK, but after 2-3 hours, my back isn't too happy. I rarely have the car out for that long, so no big deal.

I'll hate to see it go when its time is up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th January, 2013

2004 Ford Mustang Coupe 3.9 V6 from North America

Summary:

A very noisy, false-sports car. Not worth the money

Faults:

Front brake rotors were rusted and warped when car was bought brand-new. Dealer machined the rotors at no cost instead of replacing. A year later rotors were warped again and I had them machined again. This time I'll have to replace them myself.

Steering rack mounts got squeaky after a while - car sounded like an old wooden ship when turning. Fixed myself by lubricating the rack mounting bolts twice. Easy to do when you're a mechanic and have all the tools.

Parking brake cable would freeze on cold winter days (Below -10 C) and not release the brake pads. Will end up driving with parking brake on until it smells. Dealer said it's normal and there was nothing they could do.

I didn't think it was normal.

Ended up pumping the parking brake cable full of grease, which was hard to do and required special equipment and custom-made fittings. Never had the problem again.

Various squeaks and creaks heard from the center console when driving on bumpy roads. Attempted to fix by placing electrical tape between the center console bezel and the panel. Worked partially well. Still squeaks.

These are relatively small issues.

Engine feels unbalanced when revved up beyond 3,000 RPM. Very unpleasant feeling.

Lots of transmission whine inside, very annoying noise.

Driver's seat has no solid surface inside - it's just a rectangular frame stuffed with foam. After 1.5 years started causing back pains over long drives. Ended up fixing myself by installing a metal plate inside.

Cruise control malfunctions: when 'Resume' pressed while the car is in Neutral, engine starts revving up all the way to redline not knowing that the car isn't in gear. Scared me a couple of times.

Stock gear shifter makes very difficult to get into 3rd gear. This is a known problem. I've tried both Steeda Tri-Ax and MGW aftermarket short shifters. Steeda is insanely noisy. MGW much better, but still not completely quiet.

Clutch pedal position too close to driver to allow for the large travel it's designed for.

At the same time gas pedal is placed much farther, and brake somewhere in between.

Took me a long time to get used to this awkward sitting position.

No headrests in the back - can be very dangerous in case of rear-end collision.

Front seat headrests are flimsy and set too far back. Probably won't do any good in a collision.

Winter driving is very tricky even with best snow tires and a limited slip differential installed.

No attachment points anywhere at all: if you find yourself in a ditch or in a situation where you need to be towed - there's nothing to attach the tow rope to without braking or bending the bumpers.

Headlights poorly designed for side illumination - hard to see the turns or side of road at night.

When air flow selector is in the Windshield, or Windshield/Feet position, A/C automatically turns ON. This is a waste of gas most of the year when it's not hot enough to run A/C. If airflow position in a different place, windshield fogs up. I believe there should be a separate A/C button in a properly thought-out design.

General Comments:

The car looks great and turns many heads. But this is not the most important thing to look for in a car.

It's impractical with a tiny trunk and a small opening, a very small and uncomfortable back seat, very noisy inside and isn't that fast at all. Hard to maintain a conversation over all the noise - engine, transmission whine, wind noise, past 100 km/h.

Old-design single-cam pushrod engine produces only 49 HP per Liter of displacement, which is ridiculous by today's standards.

This car will only make sense as a second/weekend vehicle.

I'm very disappointed in my decision to buy it new. Now two years later the warranty is gone and the value of the car had plummeted to 50% already. I owe more than I can get back for it. And noone wants to buy it.

Originally I thought that being a mechanic I can deal with anything myself at half the cost, and still enjoy the image of the car.

But over time it gets annoying and very expensive to improve. It's not a sports car. It's just a big sporty-shaped vehicle.

Solid rear axle handles bumps very poorly, and is jerky at times. This is the 21st century - time to move on! There are better ways of building cars now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th July, 2006

28th Jul 2006, 17:15

You don't know what you're talking about. Perhaps it is because you bought a V6. Should have bought the GT. I've got a 2004 GT convertible with a Saleen Supercharger. The car is fast, gorgeous and I've had complete strangers come up to me to express how much they like my ride.

I do agree that the center console squeaks, but I suppose I don't really care considering my GT is so loud that I barely even notice.