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New here, looking to get a 7 seater wagon for family duty and ocassional guest riders...

I'm looking at 2003- 2005 wagons with the 3rd row seat. Any assistance with the following questions would be appreciated.
1. Is the middle seat belt in the middle row a typical 3 point retracting type with the inertial reel?
2. What are the height and weight requirements for passengers in the 3rd row seat?
3. Who makes a trailer hitch I can install?
4. What are the major weaknesses of these models?
5. Does the engine have a timing belt or a timing chain? If a belt, what is the replacement interval and approximate cost?
6. Braking performance of these cars stock was poor according to published tests. What's the cause and how can it be improved? Tires? Pads? Fluid? Or is it a suspension geometry problem where braking causes changes in the contact patch that are not optimal for braking?

Thanks!
 

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1. just a lap belt
2. small children
3. there are a few companies but watch your weight
only class1 and 2 available
4. transmission
5. chain
6. OEM tires suck ---. good tires, fresh fluid, and good pads will put any passengers through the windshield.
 

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New here, looking to get a 7 seater wagon for family duty and ocassional guest riders...

I'm looking at 2003- 2005 wagons with the 3rd row seat. Any assistance with the following questions would be appreciated.
1. Is the middle seat belt in the middle row a typical 3 point retracting type with the inertial reel?
2. What are the height and weight requirements for passengers in the 3rd row seat?
3. Who makes a trailer hitch I can install?
4. What are the major weaknesses of these models?
5. Does the engine have a timing belt or a timing chain? If a belt, what is the replacement interval and approximate cost?
6. Braking performance of these cars stock was poor according to published tests. What's the cause and how can it be improved? Tires? Pads? Fluid? Or is it a suspension geometry problem where braking causes changes in the contact patch that are not optimal for braking?

Thanks!

1) Both front center and back center are lap belts. The third row is also lap belts.
2) Adults can comfortably ride in the back without moving the front seats. Sometimes you can move the fronts up fpr a little leg room in back if its a long trip. I normally have 6' tall 200# guys in the back when we go to races. 4 adults is comfortable, a 3rd adult in front or back for short trips is OK.
3) Hitches are available, I think U-Haul sells and installs one still. Stick with a class 1 hitch and low weight towing.
4) The major problem with ANY taurus is the transmission. If your going to hook up a trailer, you are going to want to upgrade the rear suspention since taurus's also have soft springs in the back. A simple fix is install air bags into the rear springs. You can go as far as finding different springs or even installing coil over shocks along with the standard springs.
5) The 3.0 vulcan (12 valve single cam or duratec 24 valve DOHC) have timing chains and are very reliable.
6) I b eleave ALL Gen 4 (2000 - 2004) wagons come with 4 wheel disc brakes. With good tires and brake pads, you shouldnt have any problems. If your still not comfortable, there is an easy conversion to install larger vented rotors in the back as well as installing larger brake calipers. You really shouldnt need that though for normal driving.
 

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^+1 I would add an aftermarket high performance trans cooler also, if towing.
 

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^+1 I would add an aftermarket high performance trans cooler also, if towing.

+++++++++++ 1 ^^^^^ I totally forgot about the trans cooler. I would recomend that to ANYONE with a taurus. What ever it takes to prolong the life of these transmissions. Good addition Dan.
 
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