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Old 03-20-2011, 05:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Barkentine's 1995 Taurus GL Project Log

I had been looking for a good used, older Taurus for months. Good used cars in the $3K - $4k range are rare in this area. The ones I looked at were a mess, with multiple problems and, imho, way over priced.

So, I found a dealer last week who was "wholesaling" off a trade-in at a reasonable price. What attracted me was the 116K miles on the 1995 Taurus GL. The dealer did not want to fool with the car. A lower cash price was negotiated and I drove the "beater" home.

Edit: This was not a true "wholesale" deal. I'm not a dealer. The car dealer I bought it from had moved the car off his lot and into a field behind his lot. He was planning on "wholesaling" it.

Here's what I found:

The Good.
Tires in good condition: 205R15-60's on the front. Air pressure 30 & 40 psi.
205R15-65's on the rear. Air pressure 30 & 25.
Almost new battery still under full replacement warranty.
The a/c works very well and compressor doesn't make any noise.
Does not leak any fluids anywhere. Dry and "clean" (dusty in parts...).
Came equipped with 4-wheel disk brakes and ABS (if that's good). Brakes work well.
The engine and trans both ran very smoothly and the oils were fairly clean.
The check-engine light is not on.
Came with a brand new radiator fan assembly. I saw the receipt for it. It was not even a week old.
CV's, outside tie rod ends, ball joints, struts and control arms all in good condition.
Paint is overall good and shiny (once all the mold and dirt were washed off).
The back seat and the trunk do not looked like they have ever been used.
The rest of the interior (after stickies, air fresheners, gummy things removed from the dash) is good.
All the power windows and power door locks work.
All the glass is good.
All the lights and turn siganls, wipers work. Headlight lenses are still 90% clear.

The Bad.
Battery is wrong group, has correct amps, but is too small to tighten in battery box.
Engine cooling system was filled with GM orange DEX anti-freeze.
Windshield washer reservoir was filled with GM orange DEX anti-freeze.
The water pump bearings were shot.
The idler pulley was shot.
The belt tensioner was frozen solid and in need of replacement.
The yellow airbag warning light blinks code "51" constantly.
The alternator bearings have a little buzz to them.
The plug wires were probably the OEM's, stiff and ancient looking.
The spark plugs were worn out and rusty.
Wheel nuts were torqued anywhere from loose to almost 200 foot/lbs., to being missing altogether.
One front disk brake rotor cracked. Pads 75% worn.
Power outside mirror control switch only works left and right, no up and down. Bad switch.
Remote radio contols are bad.
Clock does not light.

The Ugly.
Driver's side door panel is loose.
Passenger side outside mirror glass is broken.
Spilled coffee, cokes, and possibly chewing tobaccy on dash, door panels rear view mirror, and floor.
Door bumper strips are badly discolored.
Radio antenna bent and loose.
6" wide vee shaped dent in rear door.
Dust everywhere inside the car.
Gas filler door latch spring broken (remote release didn't work).
************************

What Has Been Done So Far.
New water pump, new idler pulley, new take-up pulley & tensioner, new lower radiator hose, thorough flush and rinse of cooling system, new green style anti-freeze, removed and cleaned out reservoirs, transmission fluid and filter change, plastic spacer to tightened battery in box, installed new plugs and plugwires, installed new front rotors and front disk pads, replaced many lugnuts with new ones, straightened and tightened antenna, removed door latch from gas fill door until a new spring is found,
aired tires to proper pressure (35 psi), good cleaning up inside and out, removing all the stick-on junk from inside, etc.. Edit: & new plugs and wires....

Total of parts above is $330. I provided all the labor.

Taurus was then taken on a 100 mile test drive and ran well. What I have now is a good running Taurus at half the price and in better mechanical condition than what I was looking at. The car seems to be doing well on fuel economy, too.

There are still a few issues to take care of, but I may have something worth driving.


Edit 27Mar2011: Bought a pack of door panel retainers from NAPA. Replaced bad retainers with new ones. Almost all interior squeaks and rattle are gone, now that the panels are tight again. Costs: $6.00 and (1) hour of my time.

Removed and sanded, cleaned and painted wheel covers with Rust-oleum Speckle Silver, (4) coats. Sanded, cleaned door strip moulding. Masked off and painted with Rust-oleum Brown Hammertone paint, (3) coats. Costs: $12.00 and (3) hours of my time.


I found a large key ring full of keys in a seat pocket. Called the PO and he identified the missing keys as his. For returning the keys, the PO gave me a new set of premium floor mats for the Taurus. The new mats look good in the car.


Checked the fuel mileage and found this Taurus is getting 23 mpg combination city/highway miles. This is good. I can tell it's doing fairly well on economy, for a Taurus.


This '95 GL has reponded well to these simple repairs. I don't see it needing any more mechanical repairs (still watching the alternator) for a couple of years, except regular maintenance.

Running Total: $350 (approx.)

Last edited by Barkentine; 03-27-2011 at 07:24 AM. Reason: correction, add stuff.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like you did well! Any pics?
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here are a few pics.

I need to take some better ones. (The green towel is to keep the seat clean while working on it.)
Attached Thumbnails
Barkentine's 1995 Taurus GL Project Log-19mar2011-1995-taurus-gl-005b.jpg   Barkentine's 1995 Taurus GL Project Log-15mar2011-1995-taurus-gl-006b.jpg   Barkentine's 1995 Taurus GL Project Log-19mar2011-1995-taurus-gl-014b.jpg   Barkentine's 1995 Taurus GL Project Log-15mar2011-1995-taurus-gl-003b.jpg  


Last edited by Barkentine; 03-20-2011 at 07:04 PM. Reason: add another photo
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Old 03-20-2011, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Positive Features on a '95 Taurus:

-The dash style and design, imho, is better than earlier Gen 1's and later Gen 3 Taurii.

-4-wheel disc brakes on a GL are a positive. It is so much simpler to work on the rear than ones with drum brakes.

-Rear wheel bearings can be purchased with a hub for less than $50 each and so much faster and easier to service.

-Wheel covers are anchored to the rims with screws.

-Multi-control stalk is better designed than the earlier Gen 1's.

-The '95 still uses many Gen 1 components on the engine and elsewhere.

-For now, junkyards still keep the 95's for parts.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow that doesn't look too terrible cosmetically inside and out...where are you located? I know on some southern Gen 2s that rubber molding tends to discolor like yours.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i'm surprise a dealer "whole saled" you a car. I was told if a dealer sells it, they still have to warrant it and make sure it passes inspection.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Bull Geek,

I'm just to the north of you in the Upcountry of S.C.. That's an S.C. car.

I have owned several Gen 1's and none of them discoloured. You may have a point there.

It's going to get cleaned and painted.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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WOW, nice find and looks like you should get alot out of that one.

I have been told (here in Ohio) that a dealer can "wholesale" it to the public without any warranty for anything or if the buyer doesnt bring it into the deal the dealer is also off the hook for emission repairs but not for safety issues. When ever I buy a used car (all of them recently) I always tell the dealer to put it on the papers that they will fix anything to pass the first emission check.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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risoworker,

I paid just a few more bucks than an action or wholesale would have gotten. The dealer didn't have anything on his lot less than $7-8k. This old Taurus was not his market.

There is no state inspection in S.C.. He can sell as-is anytime, as far as I know.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Looks good-nice not to have the rust we have up North!
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