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Old 01-15-2009, 12:26   #1 (permalink)
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Question thinking of purchasing a 97 t-bird, any issues I should know?

Hey guys,
I've always liked the looks of the late 90's t-birds. I am thinking about buying one for my daughter, her first car. The one I'm looking at is a 3.8 V6, with 110,000 miles on it. Car appears to be in excellent shape, but what potential problems are there with a 97 3.8 v6? I chose the v6, because she will be driving this car to college, so good gas mileage is important. Being a typical overprotective Dad, I also need the car to be reliable. I refuse to put her in a sub-compact, I prefer she has some metal around her. Does a 97 have dual air bags? thanks guys, I appreciate everyones opinion / advice.
Mach

Last edited by mach2race; 01-15-2009 at 12:27. Reason: typo
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:43   #2 (permalink)
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Re: thinking of purchasing a 97 t-bird, any issues I should know?

I always like to check this site for customer complaints, recalls & Technical Service Bulletins.

1997 Ford Thunderbird complaints, problems & defects information -- [ CarComplaints.com ]

Yes the 97 came with drivers & passenger side air bags standard.
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Old 01-15-2009, 16:40   #3 (permalink)
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Re: thinking of purchasing a 97 t-bird, any issues I should know?

With a 3700 lb. car with a 6 i wouldn't expect the mileage to be that good. That is a
BIG car. What is wrong with the the sub compact ? With their size the body strength is
usually better then the all American 3 and your Thunderbird. So you want your girl to drive the type of car you didn't get when you were a kid ? The bottom line is if anything
can go wrong it will. I have a 96 Taurus that i bought from the insurance company, write
off. Put a ball joint in it and rear springs. My wife has the car.She puts 600 miles a week on it.Perfect car. Bought a 95 taurus from the same insurance company. Rebuilt the entire car and body. It only had a broken back window when i got it. My cost was $530.30. Retail was $1750.52. 60,931 miles on it. I've never had so much trouble with any car i've ever owned. You pay your money and take your chances. If anyone tells you what could be wrong with your car and what will go wrong at any time has rocks in their head. It ain't happening. I've had brand new cars drive out of the dealership one day and have them towed back the next day. You know the old saying. " you are a mechanic, will you come with me and check out a car i will be buying ? My answer. NEVER. You know how it goes. " You told me this was such a good car and now it needs an oil change. I've only had this car for 3 years and it now needs a transmission,I've only had this car for 5 years and the tires are shot". What kind of a mechanic are you ? I think you get my point. Buy the car if you want. see what happens.
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Old 01-15-2009, 17:01   #4 (permalink)
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Re: thinking of purchasing a 97 t-bird, any issues I should know?

I think, by the track record of the 97 Thunderbird, it should make a fine car for your daughter.

See if you can get a hold of the maintenance records if possible.

And YES you can take it to a mechanic and get an honest opinion.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:54   #5 (permalink)
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Re: thinking of purchasing a 97 t-bird, any issues I should know?

Well, I live in the South and most everyone has big trucks or big SUV's. Chipset, You may think that a sub-compact is as safe as a larger car, but i disagree. In fact, i saw a show where a new Honda was broad-sided by a full-size impala. Yes, the honda had air bags and they deployed... however, the damage sustained to 3 of the 4 dummies inside the honda proved to be fatal. Do i want my daughter to have the car i never did? My first car was a 1970 mercury cougar. (show car) I presently own a f-250 truck, a 79 indy mustang, a 69 mach-1, a 2005 crown vic... so NO, it has nothing to do with what i never had. It is all about safety & reliability for my daughter. You can choose to pretend that a sub-compact is as safe as a larger car, i just hope for your sake... you never get hit by a full-size car or SUV in your little honda. If that happens, let us know... maybe we will send flowers, since we probably won't make it to your funeral. The reason I am leaning towards a Thunderbird, is from what I've read.... most owners are very happy with the reliability of there 97 t-birds. From what I've seen.... mileage on the road should be around 24mpg.
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Old 01-23-2009, 13:19   #6 (permalink)
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Re: thinking of purchasing a 97 t-bird, any issues I should know?

I was broad sided by a fully loaded semi full of farm impliments at 50 M.P.H. I spend 3
days in traction. The car i had was a 67 L.T.D. My friend was in a head on with his F350.
Killed. He owned the F350. He hit a Toyota. The toyota people were fine.My neighbor T boned a dodge van with his motor cycle. killed the driver of the van. He was fine. Well
not very fine but hurt like hell. It makes no differance what you drive or how you drive.
If it's your time it's your time. you pays your money you takes your chances. Why don't
you give your daughter one of your cars and save a lot of money.
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Old 01-23-2009, 13:47   #7 (permalink)
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Re: thinking of purchasing a 97 t-bird, any issues I should know?

The crown vic, is hard to park, especially in a school parking lot, mach-1 has no power steering or brakes, she couldn't turn the wheel or stop it, 79 is a straight shift, and replacement parts are almost impossible to locate. Since you like jap cars so much, why spend your time on a Ford forum? Don't they have a p.o.s. jap forum? Just so you know, I once owned a datsun 280Z, it was quick but, poor build quality, and a Nissan pickup. The metal in the truck doors was so thin, that once while driving down the interstate, the window kept rattling. I took my left hand and squeezed the top of the door frame in the truck. I was able to actually bend the door frame (with one hand) enough to make the window stop rattling. If you feel that jap cars are safer than a large American cars.... you've been watching to many japanese car commercials. It really comes down to weight & mass. My F-250 would run plum through a sub-compact. Sure i might be hurt, but the people in the subcompact will be fubar. Here in the south, we have a name for people that drive those sub-compacts.... FODS (future organ donors.)
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Old 01-23-2009, 15:38   #8 (permalink)
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Re: thinking of purchasing a 97 t-bird, any issues I should know?

There must be something wrong here. What makes you think i love rice burners ? I don't
own one and never had one. I have had Fords most of my life and still own a few. i also
own a 75 toronado. Weighs 5920 lbs. My friend owned a 280Z. the worse piece of shit on the road but went like hell. i can see now why you might need a new car for your girl.
Most of your cars are not road worthy. Get her a Super Coupe or a LX, beautiful cars.
Not a very popular car and hard to get body parts but a beautiful car. Why don't you get
her a nice S.U.V. ? She will love it.
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Old 01-23-2009, 17:21   #9 (permalink)
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Re: thinking of purchasing a 97 t-bird, any issues I should know?

Chip, please stop trying to sell someone on something they don't want. Just offer your opinion & move on to the next thread.
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Old 01-24-2009, 13:54   #10 (permalink)
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Re: thinking of purchasing a 97 t-bird, any issues I should know?

What are you talking about ? He wanted advice on a Tbird. I told him which ones are
very nice cars full size cars. that was my opinion.
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