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I found a 1 owner '99 Duratec taurus with 130k miles for $1k with a bit of rust but running fine, should I get it? And if so, anything to look out for on inspection?
 

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my opinion would be for $1K it's not a huge gamble depending on what you intend to use it for. for 20 years old that's low miles but depending on what the current owner did for maintenance/repairs it could be due for some of the more common items like struts, brakes, AT service, AC service, tires, battery, etc.
 

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my opinion would be for $1K it's not a huge gamble depending on what you intend to use it for. for 20 years old that's low miles but depending on what the current owner did for maintenance/repairs it could be due for some of the more common items like struts, brakes, AT service, AC service, tires, battery, etc.
I really just need a daily commuter and having owned an '07 Taurus I at least know what I'm getting into.
 

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my opinion would be for $1K it's not a huge gamble depending on what you intend to use it for. for 20 years old that's low miles but depending on what the current owner did for maintenance/repairs it could be due for some of the more common items like struts, brakes, AT service, AC service, tires, battery, etc.
Update: went and test drove it. Everything was in good shape, aside from the typical rear fender rust. Only things needing attention were the heat shield on the exhaust, parking brake cable, and rear brakes.
 

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So TL;DR, I have two options for my next vehicle.

  1. A 1999 Taurus SE with the Duratec motor, 130k on the odometer. 1 family owned, driven by the current owners grandma before being handed down to him, was his daily for 10+ years. Mechanically sound and maintained, just needs little things here and there. Lots of rust but nothing fatal. Ride is familiar as I owned an '07 Vulcan. Owner asking $900 firm.
  2. A 2008 Taurus SEL (3.5 Cyclone). 155k miles, just needs brakes. Mild surface rust in places. 1 owner, daily driven by a teacher. Nice overall, I'm just not the biggest fan of how it drives. They're asking $2500.
 

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So TL;DR, I have two options for my next vehicle.

  1. A 1999 Taurus SE with the Duratec motor, 130k on the odometer. 1 family owned, driven by the current owners grandma before being handed down to him, was his daily for 10+ years. Mechanically sound and maintained, just needs little things here and there. Lots of rust but nothing fatal. Ride is familiar as I owned an '07 Vulcan. Owner asking $900 firm.
  2. A 2008 Taurus SEL (3.5 Cyclone). 155k miles, just needs brakes. Mild surface rust in places. 1 owner, daily driven by a teacher. Nice overall, I'm just not the biggest fan of how it drives. They're asking $2500.
If you can get the price down, I would get the newer one. Living in Chicago rust is going to be a fast working enemy. 155,000 miles is not unusual for a 12-year-old car. My daily driver is a 99 wagon which will soon hit 125,000 miles. When I bought it though, I needed to replace front struts, front springs, rear shocks, stabilizer/sway bar links, steering links, and more. It’s not just low miles but how long the car has been sitting on its suspension.

You’ll get a bigger car, 30% more horsepower (265 vs 200), likely better gas mileage, CANBus control through the OBD system, and more availability of parts if you wish to do aftermarket customizing.


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Dont buy a FWD/AWD Cyclone unless you want to spend $1000++ replacing the internal water pump. One pump failure mode leaks coolant into the crankcase, destroying the engine. Relatively common problem on all the FWD/AWD Cyclones.... google it. There is even a class action lawsuit against Ford concerning the water pump failures.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dont buy a FWD/AWD Cyclone unless you want to spend $1000++ replacing the internal water pump. One pump failure mode leaks coolant into the crankcase, destroying the engine. Relatively common problem on all the FWD/AWD Cyclones.... google it. There is even a class action lawsuit against Ford concerning the water pump failures.
I'm well aware of the issue and that's really swaying me towards the '99 but I'm gonna ask my mechanic before I settle.
 

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Check the oil, if dirty, it says a lot about how well it was maintained. Also the same for coolant. It might be old, but if too dirty, then maybe reconsider. Check the belt and tensioner. Beyond that, I'd just be checking out the underside and integrity of the frame.
 

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Check the oil, if dirty, it says a lot about how well it was maintained. Also the same for coolant. It might be old, but if too dirty, then maybe reconsider. Check the belt and tensioner. Beyond that, I'd just be checking out the underside and integrity of the frame.
It was all checked and appeared to be good. Underside does have rust but less severe than my old Taurus.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sounds like a decent deal then. If you do your own work, just check for any play in the front end and consider throwing on some cheap front struts. Be safe out there
Thank you! I am still considering that '08 though and am really unsure on what to get, and my parents are expecting a decision today.
 

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Update: my mechanic and parents both advised me to offer the seller of the '08 $1500, and if they decline get the '99 for $900.
 

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I found a 1 owner '99 Duratec taurus with 130k miles for $1k with a bit of rust but running fine, should I get it? And if so, anything to look out for on inspection?
Look for rust under the front passenger floor where the brake line goes. It rusts both the floor and the brake line.
 

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I found a 1 owner '99 Duratec taurus with 130k miles for $1k with a bit of rust but running fine, should I get it? And if so, anything to look out for on inspection?
I found a 1 owner '99 Duratec taurus with 130k miles for $1k with a bit of rust but running fine, should I get it? And if so, anything to look out for on inspection?
So, on my 2000 Taurus wagon, Duratec, I blew out the transmission but I found a transmission in a salvage yard but changing this was a real bear. Transmissions are weak spots. My 2004 Sable with a Vulcan and very low mileage sits with a blown transmission and even with good tires I can't even give it away. (It's in Mansfield CT at son's house where it blew.) On the Duratec, watch out for oil leaks up in front of the engine (i.e. the front next to fender. You have to pull or lift high the engine to put in the gasket in the timing area. I was built with an adhesive not a gasket and once that leak starts, it just gets worse. Not worth the effort to fix it but the oil spot keeps getting bigger. Not good for the driveway.
 
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