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Looking for opinions of others to see who feels repairs would be worth time and effort. I've had my 97 GL for about 2 years and have done a ton of work on her. This is my 1st car so it's what I've learned to drive and fix. My bull's key was just handed to me and I took off from there. She needs struts, sway bars, brakes and an oil pan gasket. My big worry is having the transmission rebuilt ($2500). My husband and I have gone back and forth on repair or replace. He says I should repair because she's my baby and he loves the idea that his wife knows her war a young all of those parts. I worry that there may be a ton more to do over the next few years that I may not be able to keep up on but I have all the needed parts in my shed.
What do think? Will ad pics of Miss Edna and my mini mechanic.
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Looks like a solid car for a '97 and great that you are able and willing to do work to keep it going. My opinion is that struts, brakes, bushings, etc. are all maintenance items that you can expect to repair on any used car, especially one over 20 years old regardless of miles on the odometer. A transmission repair/replacement on the other hand is a much larger project in cost and time and is harder to justify on an older car that may not be worth it. I've done a transmission repair and later an engine swap on my '02 and it's very satisfying when done but definitely a big job to do it yourself. I know how attached you can get to a car and that can mean more than the financial cost of repair. One of my favorite cars was a '94 Sable and I probably spent way more than I should have just to get a couple more years out of it. If the question is would I spend $2500 to rebuild a transmission on a '97 GL, my answer is no because I would rather invest that money on a newer used car but then I don't have an emotional attachment to it like you might.
 

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2500$ sounds really steep to rebuild a transmission when you can literally buy a new one for less. At AUTOZONE, all of them are less than 2500$. I would go with the new route, if you plan on keeping the car.
 

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I track repair costs on my vehicles. When my repair bills hit almost $400 a month, I figured I may as well be driving new without doing all the work, hence my '17 replaced my '06. It's all a personal choice but I went with the money.
 

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Thank you all for opinions. I'm super torn because I was given my car to learn how to drive and fix them. I will look at options for a bit and see how things go. At the moment my bull 9snt going anywhere with her coolant leak. My 3 year old thinks he made her tummy hurt because he fed her pepperoni.
 

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As others have said, if you are saving money by doing the work yourself, that’s a big plus. I would ask how many miles it has and the overall condition. Rust? Dense? Interior condition? As some others have noted, 2500 is really steep. You could look at new or you could find somewhere that will do a guaranteed transmission like LKQ. I remember a friend bought a transmission from an average mileage, rear end hit car at a wrecking yard. Took it to Aamco where they rebuilt it and installed it when it was ready. This way he kept his car on the road as long as possible. He negotiated and they gave him a discount so his car didn’t have to be in the shop for the two or three days while they rebuilt the transmission. If you were to ask me simply is the car worth keeping when you need a $2500 repair, I would say no.


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The odometer has 226K miles on it, minor rust and some scratches with some hail damage. Other that that there are minor annoying cosmetic things that I've lived with. Hasn't been horrible for a first car/project.
 

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Yes, I get hard/delayed shifting now and then and it likes to hang up in 3rd every so often. (Until I had it looked at). I was tons that it has 2 clutches engaging at once and a high pressure line that is not always providing high pressure. Diag was done in October and I was told not to expect more than 6 months with normal driving. Symptoms have decreased since then and it hasn't been fixed and I haven't added anything.
 

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You can get a Ford Remanufactured transmission with three year unlimited mile warranty at any Ford Dealer.
Swapping it out is a big job, I've done two in the driveway and the third was done with my Bendpak scissor lift on
my '99 wagon and Sable also in the driveway.

Consider a used transmission from LKQ pick your parts, look for one that looks recently rebuilt, nice and clean
if money is tight.
 

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I have a 2004 Duratec with 307,000 miles on the clock. I've owned the car since 2008. Things actually went really well till about 224,000 and then it absolutely started to come unglued. I have spent a fortune replacing almost everything on it. I would not suggest you keep the car. It will be one thing after the next. Things start to get REALLY EXPENSIVE I'm a slightly crazy old man with deep pockets. It has become sort of my hobby just keeping it going. I get some sort of weird kick out of going do salvage yards and buying used parts. She developed low oil pressure recently. In the shop right now getting a 51,000 mile motor out of a pristine but slightly wrecked Sable. Go find yourself a pristine low mile 2004-2007 if you want to dive and old Taurus. You will still have to spend time and money on them, but not nearly as much as your 97. Best of luck young man.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have a 2004 Duratec with 307,000 miles on the clock. I've owned the car since 2008. Things actually went really well till about 224,000 and then it absolutely started to come unglued. I have spent a fortune replacing almost everything on it. I would not suggest you keep the car. It will be one thing after the next. Things start to get REALLY EXPENSIVE I'm a slightly crazy old man with deep pockets. It has become sort of my hobby just keeping it going. I get some sort of weird kick out of going do salvage yards and buying used parts. She developed low oil pressure recently. In the shop right now getting a 51,000 mile motor out of a pristine but slightly wrecked Sable. Go find yourself a pristine low mile 2004-2007 if you want to dive and old Taurus. You will still have to spend time and money on them, but not nearly as much as your 97. Best of luck young man.
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Just an update from the original post:
Mrs.Edna has is now retired. I told the rest of my family that I would drive the bull till I couldn't. While I was taking hubby to work He said "when we get rid of her, we need to put the parts up for sale separately starting with struts". Less than an hour goes by after leaving his work and I hear a loud pop while rounding a corner. I found out quickly that a strut mount in the rear had broken. I am dreadful that I was at low speeds and that it wasn't the transmission. This let me get home instead of waiting for a tow truck with a toddler on board.
I firmly believe cars have personalities and if I didn't before; I do now. I'm just upset it didn't break while hubby was still with me. She let me know she was done and still got me home. I wasn't able to shut the ignition off till Edna was in her designated spot.
Thank you all for your input. This process was much easier. I am still heartbroken but I'm relieved that I don't have to be under a car constantly just to daily.

For the record: I am a women that has always loved fixing cars. I will say though, antifreeze doesn't help to maintain natural red hair when if falls in the catch pan. No job is complete unless you are covered from head to toe in car fluids and hubby (who can't identify a wrench to save his life) complains that you smell like a car. I await the day he smells old diff fluid.
 
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