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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I found that my Taurus might have to be traded. She has 202k on her, and shes only 7/8 years old (2003). She served me well, but good things have to come to an end.

I found a '04 Ford Freestar with 150 on the clock. I LOVE all the features on it, and I LOVE how its built on the Tauruss' platform. Maybe someone can give me some more info on the Freestar to see if i'm making a good decision......

All ideas/suggestions helpful!
 

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Well, pretty much same applies as Taurus, like making sure trans fluid was changed on time. The '04 year v6 was designed not to blow head gaskets like the older 3.8's did. I know there was a recall on Windstars/Freestars that are driven in the rust belt, it has to do with the rear axles rusting out, and falling off. Make sure that recall was done, since you live in the NE. Also, check the underbody/brake lines for rust issues. What about something new? Nows the best time for deals on leftover '10 models, even '11 models, as dealers want to reduce inventory this time of year.
 

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Nice find! I wouldn't mind owning one for my job as an Electrician. At least CT uses a lot less road salt than other states around the Northeast Chapter, but yeah, take a good look underneath...
 

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Cake monster
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I have a 99 Windstar. I really like it.

The 99 up is based on a different platform if I recall correctly, the 98 down was Taurus based. Though, the van is very similar still.

You'll need to check the front subframe control arm mounts and rear axle. Ford is being investigated for the front mounts and has issued recalls for the rear axle. These vans love to rot out, primarily in the rockers, quarters, rear hatch, doors and underneath in general. Make sure you check over the bottom really closely. The spear tire can rust itself stuck under the vehicle, so make sure it works too.

These vans have their own share of issues. One thing is steering racks, they go out pretty quick on these vans, but yours was probably already replaced. The front ends tend to wear out about as quickly as the Taurus. The transmission likely will have a slightly shorter life, thanks to the lf.ft rating on the Essex and extra weight it has on a Taurus. They tend to have more electrical issues than the Taurus, I'll note that right now. Window motors are know to fail mainly on the passenger side for some odd reason in the older ones, not sure about the Freestar.

My 99 has 79,000 miles, leather seats, cd player, rear hvac and radio control. Mine has very little rust. I really love the feel of these vans, I found GMs offerings form the same era ride too stiff and low, while Chrysler were a lot softer. The Windstar is somewhere in between.
 

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^ JW, inlaws 98 winnie had a bad pass. window motor when they traded it in last fall. Did not know that was a common prob. with them. Oh well, at least i didnt have to replace it for them.
 

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Cake monster
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^ JW, inlaws 98 winnie had a bad pass. window motor when they traded it in last fall. Did not know that was a common prob. with them. Oh well, at least i didnt have to replace it for them.
I learned that when my rear motor went out on the passenger side. It happens on the front and rear window, it always seems to be a passenger motor that goes. I wonder if it's an electrical issue or the design differences between the left and right motors?

The head gasket issues was mostly fixed by 98, from what I can tell. Though, I need to do the intake gaskets now on mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well The 99-2003 Windstars are nice, but i'm afraid about the rear axles, like you all said. Its something about the 2004 that just strikes me down. Im still not sure though. I want some info on someone who owned one. Thanks for all the advice though! :)
 

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Cake monster
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Well The 99-2003 Windstars are nice, but i'm afraid about the rear axles, like you all said. Its something about the 2004 that just strikes me down. Im still not sure though. I want some info on someone who owned one. Thanks for all the advice though! :)
The 99-03 Windstar is built on the same platform and is very similar to the Freestar. They share for the most part, very similar body panels except the front and rear, the roof and sides are very much the same. The Interior is redesigned and it has a newer front and rear suspension design. They are still pretty much the same van though.

It has a revised front end design, using aluminum control arms, new steering rack, tie rods, knuckle and redesigned mount points to the subframe. If I was in the position of needing to replace the subframe on my Windstar, I would look at the possibility of putting one in from a Freestar, they seem to be better designed.

The rear suspension is also revised, very similar setup, but mostly redesigned. You can tell that they are related.

All of the rusting issues with rockers, wheel wells, door bottoms, hatch bottom, doglegs and etc are still a problem. Though, I think they might be revised for that too.

I wouldn't hesitate upgrading to a newer Freestar, it seems to be an improvement on my older V-platform van.

Just my 2c
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, that was a LOT! LOL. Well thanks for all the advice! Im sure to have a lot to think over.
 
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