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Old 05-02-2010, 17:19   #1 (permalink)
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To buy or not to buy? 1999 Taurus.

Hey!

I've been with GM throughout my life, but I came across what looks to be a pretty decent deal. I found a 1999 Ford Taurus sedan, dark blue, with a ton of miles (240,000). The exterior and interior are immaculate, and if I decide to buy, I was wondering what to look for. It has the 3.0. The only thing that worries me is not knowing the service history (it's at a dealership) and timing belt problems.

Any insight?
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Old 05-02-2010, 17:39   #2 (permalink)
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 1999 Taurus.

What 3 lt. engine ? 12 valve or 24 valve ? 240,000 is nothing for those 3 lt engines.
They don't have timing belts. How much ?
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Old 05-02-2010, 17:55   #3 (permalink)
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 1999 Taurus.

I know the salesman. I told him I was looking for a car, and because of the mileage, they were going to ask $995. I could get him down to $750.

It looked to be a base model, so probably 12 valve. The dealership hadn't even touched it yet, and the dark blue paint was shiny, interior was perfect, alloy wheels shined like new, and it still had a mild new-car smell. I went today when they were closed, and I didn't check under the hood. I know the shocks on Taurus's often go bad (at least on every one I see) and the car sat perfectly.

I feel better buying knowing that the 3.0 is a pretty good engine... though, I'll always have my love affair for the GM 3800 V6. :)

I'll post some pictures tomorrow when I go back up there.

Does anybody else think the 96-99 Taurus looks slightly like a catfish in the front? :)
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Old 05-02-2010, 17:59   #4 (permalink)
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 1999 Taurus.

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Does anybody else think the 96-99 Taurus looks slightly like a catfish in the front? :)
yes it does
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:20   #5 (permalink)
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 1999 Taurus.

Check the condition of the coolant in the overflow tank. For a while they used a 'special' coolant that was supposed to be good for 'the life of the car', and they had some blockage problems in the heater core requiring a kit of some sort to change the coolant flow through the system.
The OHV Vulcan has a timing chain and metal gears. The OHC Duratec has a timing chain. Remove the oil filler cap and look inside at the top of the head to determine roughly how clean the engine is, which would reflect how well it was maintained.
Check the transmission fluid for smelling burned or having a dark brown color. Either indicates it hasn't been maintained.
tom
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Old 05-06-2010, 20:45   #6 (permalink)
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 1999 Taurus.

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Check the condition of the coolant in the overflow tank. For a while they used a 'special' coolant that was supposed to be good for 'the life of the car', and they had some blockage problems in the heater core requiring a kit of some sort to change the coolant flow through the system.
The OHV Vulcan has a timing chain and metal gears. The OHC Duratec has a timing chain. Remove the oil filler cap and look inside at the top of the head to determine roughly how clean the engine is, which would reflect how well it was maintained.
Check the transmission fluid for smelling burned or having a dark brown color. Either indicates it hasn't been maintained.
tom
I checked the coolant - it looks new. (bright green)

Under the oil filler cap, it's spotless - it looks new too, from what I can see.

I ended up buying the Taurus. :D

However, it does have a power steering problem/leak/something. When I first checked the fluids before purchase, the power steering reservoir was empty. We added some for a test drive, and it was fine - but it continually leaks out, that is, until I shut the car off, and it overflows onto the exhaust manifold and starts smoking.

Any insight?

I ended up getting it for $850 out the door.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:55   #7 (permalink)
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 1999 Taurus.

I can think of four things to cause a PS leak: 1)hoses, 2)rack & pinion seals, 3)pump shaft seal, and 4)reservoir crack.
Once you get air bubbles entrained in the PS fluid, it takes a bit to get them out. They will show their presence by causing the PS fluid to overflow the reservoir when the pump is stopped. Think of it as the system has 'the bends' where bubbles of air are compressed in the oil, and when the pump stops, the bubbles expand, wherever they are in the system, and force fluid out the top.
A reman rack & pinion is around $100, pumps are less than that, and hoses vary. You should still be able to get factory hoses if yours are defective. If you run the pump too low, or without PS fluid, it will get very noisy, as the slippers will get grooved, and may not develop full power.
tom
p.s. sure looks good to me.
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Old 05-08-2010, 18:16   #8 (permalink)
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 1999 Taurus.

Nice find!

I'm still holding onto my '99 Taurus SE. Similar in colour but I have the medium blue, not the dark (photos in my gallery). I just passed 210,000kms or 130K miles.

I hold the 3800 GM in high regard, but engine for engine, the taurus 3.0L would give the 3800 a run for the money. I switched over to one oil change a year a few years ago, and put on about 12-18K miles a year and the oil's still a bit brown in colour before I change it. The only thing I don't like about the Vulcan 3.0L is changing the thermostat. I bought one, turned out to be faulty (fail safe stat), and exchanged it for another one. Five hours later, I had it fixed. My Dodge Durango takes no more than 20 minutes including getting the tools out of the garage.
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'00 Durango R/T 360ci 290hp (modded); 138,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 44,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 13,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:04   #9 (permalink)
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 1999 Taurus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomw View Post
I can think of four things to cause a PS leak: 1)hoses, 2)rack & pinion seals, 3)pump shaft seal, and 4)reservoir crack.
Once you get air bubbles entrained in the PS fluid, it takes a bit to get them out. They will show their presence by causing the PS fluid to overflow the reservoir when the pump is stopped. Think of it as the system has 'the bends' where bubbles of air are compressed in the oil, and when the pump stops, the bubbles expand, wherever they are in the system, and force fluid out the top.
A reman rack & pinion is around $100, pumps are less than that, and hoses vary. You should still be able to get factory hoses if yours are defective. If you run the pump too low, or without PS fluid, it will get very noisy, as the slippers will get grooved, and may not develop full power.
tom
p.s. sure looks good to me.
UPDATE: the power steering pump completely went out. Yeah, it'd be more expensive to maintain the power steering fluid level than it would be to pay for gas. It's not HORRIBLE driving without power steering, just annoying.

My summer job through the state comes with a $1000 car repair allowance, so I'll have it worked on when I start that.
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Old 05-09-2010, 08:29   #10 (permalink)
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Re: To buy or not to buy? 1999 Taurus.

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Originally Posted by 360ci View Post
Nice find!

I'm still holding onto my '99 Taurus SE. Similar in colour but I have the medium blue, not the dark (photos in my gallery). I just passed 210,000kms or 130K miles.

I hold the 3800 GM in high regard, but engine for engine, the taurus 3.0L would give the 3800 a run for the money. I switched over to one oil change a year a few years ago, and put on about 12-18K miles a year and the oil's still a bit brown in colour before I change it. The only thing I don't like about the Vulcan 3.0L is changing the thermostat. I bought one, turned out to be faulty (fail safe stat), and exchanged it for another one. Five hours later, I had it fixed. My Dodge Durango takes no more than 20 minutes including getting the tools out of the garage.
I'm beginning to like Ford, despite the power steering issue. I've owned cars with a GM 3100, 3400, and 3800... it's nice to know that every time I drive, I don't have to worry about my intake manifold gasket!
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