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Old 11-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello,

I'm getting ready to buy a car in the near future. I'm pretty set on getting a Gen II Taurus or Sable, but I can't decide if it's a good idea to get a nice SHO or not.

What's the maintenance schedule really like on these? Is it just oil changes apart from the special service every 60k? I'm looking for something reliable, and I'm not against investing in the car every so often (especially since I drive about 5,000 miles a year...max), but if it's going to be a maintenance pig I might just get a GL with the Vulcan.

Main reason I want a SHO (apart from the obvious) is that I'm going to be stepping down from a very nice F-250 with the 7.5L. I'm afraid I'll go into some kind of shock losing that much torque.

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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SHO.

Find a good quality one, if you only drive 5000 miles a year they can't give you too much trouble. Once you go SHO, you can't go back.

If you decide No-SHO, go with the 3.8 Essex over the 3.0 Vulcan. Much more peppy torque with only 10hp less. Overall feels faster.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, but I thought the Essex was a head gasket disaster waiting to happen?

Also, I'm looking at a 94 or 95-is the AT a no no for those years?
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would go SHO, I used to drive a 90 Taurus L and then just bought a 96 SHO and I don't think I'll drive another Taurus that isn't an SHO. They don't get as good of gas mileage, but when you need it to get up and go it takes off like a rocket
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The Essex is known for the headgasket issues. To be honest, that engine is not the most efficient design in the world either. You do have gobs of torque compared to the Vulcan, but same HP. And same trans. Imagine how well that holds up. There are some tricks to fixing the head gasket issue permanently like using late 90s 3.8 Mustang HGs.

If you are driving 5K a year, and don't mind working in a tight engine bay, get the SHO.

If you want a bit more room, and enjoy super cheap part prices and easy parts availability, go with the Vulcan. I think under WOT the Vulcan can do a 10 second sprint to 60 in sedan form. I would go for a 1995 Taurus SE. Has neat headlights, SHO spoiler, SHO seats, AT shifter on the floor with the Vulcan. It's a nice combination.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The White Falcon View Post
Also, I'm looking at a 94 or 95-is the AT a no no for those years?
The bugs were worked out of the transmission by 1994-1995. But you will want to be on the lookout for one that was well maintained AT-wise. Also, by about 150-170,000 miles, it may be neccessary to have the TC replaced, and/or other transmission work done. Once you do though, and take good care of it; it should last out to around 300,000 miles.

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Old 11-29-2012, 07:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The SHO is a great car, but owning one is a totally different ball game than a SLO (3.0 Vulcan or 3.8 Essex).

We've had our '98 since '99, and I've had my '95 SHO since '02. I love my SHO to death, and like the '98 too. But, the SHO is way more fun to drive.

However, I do all of the work myself. A SHO will not be your friend if you don't do your own work, or are willing to learn. Mechanics arn't very familiar with them, and often cause damage rather than fixing a problem properly. The other big problem is now a days, just like SLO's finding a SHO is good condition that hasn't been beat up its whole life is difficult.

SHOForum.com is a good SHO resource. Their are some nice SHO's for sale over there right now actually. A turn key ATX is currently up for grabs which it seems you are looking for.

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Old 11-29-2012, 07:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have an Essex 3.8 in my van and I like it! But it is prone to head gasket failure. Usually the new head gaskets you can get will solve the issue. Many from that era will have had their head gaskets replaced by now.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with Bull Geek. The 95 Taurus SE is a sharp car. I love the headlights. Also, a Sable in the hard to come by LTS trim would be neat to have. Just good luck finding one. It is pretty much the Mercury counterpart of the Taurus SE with upgraded wheels and interior.

Wagons are also fun if that'd be something you would want to look into. But yes only go SHO if you have the patience.. and the funds.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses everyone. Yeah, I don't hold out much hope on being able to find a Sable LTS or a Taurus SE, though I'm always looking. One way or another I'll end up in a Taurus or a Sable.

One question, though. Seeing as the odometer on the Gen I and Gen II units only goes up to 99,999 miles, is there any way to tell how accurate it is? Obviously, by the time it's got 200k you'll notice a difference from 100k, but...
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