"But the car's only worth so much"

Falcon_LS

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I'm surprised that none of the parts come off a Toyota Avalon or something similar. Gotta pay to play. It's still a free car with sentimental value.
Yup! It's not a badge engineered vehicle, and it is rear wheel drive compared to a front wheel drive Avalon. Considering it was the flagship at the time, that is a good thing I suppose. If this was something like an ES, perhaps Camry parts could have been used but not on an LS.

I see Moog on Rock Auto for $75 each
Complete upper control arms, yes. Moog also has stand alone bushings for the lower control arms only, but they're made in China like the control arms are, which the owner did not want. Factor in shipping, and you're better off buying locally anyway.
 
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Worth and value are very subjective, and are typically interchangeably used from a financial perspective. Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. The Lexus has a resale value of $9,000, that is what it is worth in the current market. I would have to think long and hard about putting $4,000 worth of parts and labor in to a vehicle with a current value of $9,000.

I would most likely put that $4,000 toward a newer vehicle, and be willing to part with the Lexus for $5,000, just to see it gone. That $4,000 might just be the beginning and before you know it you have spent $9,000 on repairs.
 
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Mahzurrah!
If you want luxury on the cheap a 5+ year old Lincoln is the way to go. I had one and would/may buy another at some point.

As a German car aficionado I've certainly seen my share of older BMW's and Benzes that are clearly now owned by someone who is unable or unwilling to spend what is required to keep the vehicle in correct running condition. Same for Volvo's etc. This is where many of the Euro car horror stories come from IMO.

I don't care the country of origin you are going to pay the "luxury tax" on most makes for upscale name plates, as the OP is seeing here.
 
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If you want luxury on the cheap a 5+ year old Lincoln is the way to go. I had one and would/may buy another at some point.

My LS was a dream to have and drive and was incredibly reliable(inspite of all the FUD mostly from folks who have never owned one surrounding the car) but could get pricey when something did need to be repaired.

The Town Cars that were once plentiful in my family, and the MKZ I have now, are a different story. In fact, I'd gladly buy another Town Car in a second given the right one at the right price. The MKZ is a polished up Fusion. There's not 100% year-to-year interchangeability-i.e. a 2010 Fusion IIRC has electric power steering while mine has traditional hydraulic, but a whole lot of stuff on them is the same. The Town Car speaks for itself, since there's so many parts shared between all the Panther Platform cars.

The biggest weakness in the Town Car is the air suspension-most people don't pay attention to the signs of a split airbag(compressor running several minutes after you shut the car off, rear end on the ground in the morning before starting it that picks up after starting) and instead run it until the compressor dies and far too often now, given how inexpensive a lot of them are, just run around with the back bouncing and sending up a shower of sparks if they take a turn too fast. The airbags are an easy DIY job and I changed them at least once on all of the ones my mom had-if you catch a bad airbag early the compressor will probably last the life of the car.

I'd love a Mark VIII, but it has its own issues. The 32V DOHC Intech engine doesn't have the best reliability record, unlike the more common 16V SOHC 4.6L that was used in piles of other vehicles including Panthers. My dad always had good luck with his Continentals with that engine, but I've also heard plenty to the contrary. I'm not sure how plentiful those engines are in junkyards anymore, or how easy the Aviator version is to fit(the Continental, which is plenty common, is basically off limits since it's configured for transverse mounting). The Mark VIII also has an even more complicated air suspension system that changes ride height with speed. I love the tech in those cars, and it honestly works well when it works(the Continental has a lot of the same goodies, albeit not the lower-at-speed of the Mark VIII) but it was also a bit ahead of its time. I'm not sure how many parts are cross-compatible between the Tbird and Mark VIII either.

The LS only really part-shares with an even less common car-the early 2000s T-Bird convertible. Almost nothing is shared with the Jag S-Type despite it being on the same platform. Even 4.0L LS-V8 in some S-Types has very few parts shared with the 3.9L LS-V8 in the LS.
 
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Looking at the 'glass half full...' side of this.

You can pick up great deals on some very capable cars IF you buy right. Case in point,; Porsche 996's and Boxsters, but there are many others; Rovers, some recent Maseratis. $60-$100K cars new that can be bought in the mid-high $20k's up for premium examples or less for lesser cars, but all will have the needs and parts prices commensurate with their original values. I know several folks who picked up decent projects from folks who bought that $9K Boxster, then got the $6K estimate for valve train work.

I think the 996's are one of the best performance values out there as they have become the cheapest way into a 911......wow if someone could have only told us that back in 20 :D
 
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The LS only really part-shares with an even less common car-the early 2000s T-Bird convertible. Almost nothing is shared with the Jag S-Type despite it being on the same platform. Even 4.0L LS-V8 in some S-Types has very few parts shared with the 3.9L LS-V8 in the LS.
The 00-02 S-Type was the same car as the LS other than the interior and the 3.9 not having VVT. Ran off the PTEC, 90% of the engine bay stuff switches out other than the dumb clutch fan and ministarter that the linc had, intake was slightly different as well. same subframe and all suspension components, same 5R55N transmission.

The 2002.5 S-Type changed half the modules to denso, new front lower control arms, new steering rack, ZF 6speed auto, 4.2 V8, etc.
 
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I agree and if you do find one it usually is pricey. Majority of my stuff is older and based on the newer cars I’ve worked on and been in I can say I prefer the older ones.

After dealing with old stuff for most of my life and being 30 now, I'm kind of the opinion now that 10-15 years old is the best age for a car in the value you get vs depreciation and still having parts and the cars not being valued for collector status yet. My most reliable car was my 1997 Galant gotten in 2010 or 2011 for $1500, that I put 50K miles with very little work done. At the time it was a 13 year old car, like my 2007 Fusion was when I got it.

With my Sentra and to a smaller extent the 94 Jetta (though it was very well kept...) the big thing that was hard for me to realize is the 90s cars of today are like the 80s cars when I first started driving in 2007. As in, even if the engine runs, you got rust to deal with, usually weird electrical crap, air conditioning problems, rear defrosters, and broken/worn out interior stuff, sagging door hinges, etc, etc. Lots of little quality of life things that don't make the car stop driving but annoy you a lot. Most auto parts stores had to special order even simple parts, too. My problem is, I aged, but in my mind I still saw these 90s cars as I did back in 2008 or so, when now they're functionally the same as 80s cars when I was a teenager. By this, I mean, riding in a 96 Corolla or Accord in 2008, it felt functionally new, when it definitely won't feel that way now. Riding in a 1996 car now feels like riding in a 1986 Camry in 2008.

I don't know specifically how new cars will be with things like $3000 laser headlights, but I think there's still going to be some cars coming out now that are decent values and will be good to drive in 10-15 years still. I'm still going to love old cars for their style, aesthetics, and project aspects, but as I get older now I learn time marches on and I need to get with the program to have something actually reliable. It doesn't mean I need to get a new car on a lease, but driving too old stuff daily ends up being a recipe for heartache.
 

AutoMechanic

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After dealing with old stuff for most of my life and being 30 now, I'm kind of the opinion now that 10-15 years old is the best age for a car in the value you get vs depreciation and still having parts and the cars not being valued for collector status yet. My most reliable car was my 1997 Galant gotten in 2010 or 2011 for $1500, that I put 50K miles with very little work done. At the time it was a 13 year old car, like my 2007 Fusion was when I got it.

With my Sentra and to a smaller extent the 94 Jetta (though it was very well kept...) the big thing that was hard for me to realize is the 90s cars of today are like the 80s cars when I first started driving in 2007. As in, even if the engine runs, you got rust to deal with, usually weird electrical crap, air conditioning problems, rear defrosters, and broken/worn out interior stuff, sagging door hinges, etc, etc. Lots of little quality of life things that don't make the car stop driving but annoy you a lot. Most auto parts stores had to special order even simple parts, too. My problem is, I aged, but in my mind I still saw these 90s cars as I did back in 2008 or so, when now they're functionally the same as 80s cars when I was a teenager. By this, I mean, riding in a 96 Corolla or Accord in 2008, it felt functionally new, when it definitely won't feel that way now. Riding in a 1996 car now feels like riding in a 1986 Camry in 2008.

I don't know specifically how new cars will be with things like $3000 laser headlights, but I think there's still going to be some cars coming out now that are decent values and will be good to drive in 10-15 years still. I'm still going to love old cars for their style, aesthetics, and project aspects, but as I get older now I learn time marches on and I need to get with the program to have something actually reliable. It doesn't mean I need to get a new car on a lease, but driving too old stuff daily ends up being a recipe for heartache.
My older cars haven’t been too bad especially the 2004 Camry we have I swear the thing won’t die. We rebuilt the whole front end and done a few other things here and there but it’s great. My old stuff isn’t bad either my truck has given minimal issues for it’s age I had to do a thermostat or should say need to do every time I go to do it something else comes up. I don’t think I could own anything today based on the problems I’ve had to fix on them. I know every car will have issues some point but the ones I see in newer cars like made within the last 10 years yeah I don’t want to buy one.
 
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I don't know specifically how new cars will be with things like $3000 laser headlights, but I think there's still going to be some cars coming out now that are decent values and will be good to drive in 10-15 years still.
My active curve illumination bixenons with headlamp washers listed for around $1500 a headlight so about 3k new from the dealer. But you can get them new from Hella for around $600-$700 but I've just noticed that they sell them without the motors or ballast for around $200. You can still get used ones on eBay probably in the $100-$300 range. Anyway both of mine are fine and hopefully they'll last a few more years so I never have to replace them. It's a 2008 so lasting 13 years isn't too bad.
 
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I owned a Lexus LS460 and despite the value depreciating a ton because of age and Mikeage, it still very much thought it was an $80,000 dollar car. I probably spent $1,000 a year on parts for that thing. The heater blower motor went once...it was $325 for that motor! Usually a blower motor is $50-$75 bucks. I replaced the front control arms twice...$800 bucks each time with aftermarket parts. Wheel bearing was $400 (aftermarket). The thing would just eat up tires (every two years).

But I did love that car. Smooth. Quiet. Power, handling, comfort. It really was a great car.
 
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My LS was a dream to have and drive and was incredibly reliable(inspite of all the FUD mostly from folks who have never owned one surrounding the car) but could get pricey when something did need to be repaired.

The Town Cars that were once plentiful in my family, and the MKZ I have now, are a different story. In fact, I'd gladly buy another Town Car in a second given the right one at the right price. The MKZ is a polished up Fusion. There's not 100% year-to-year interchangeability-i.e. a 2010 Fusion IIRC has electric power steering while mine has traditional hydraulic, but a whole lot of stuff on them is the same. The Town Car speaks for itself, since there's so many parts shared between all the Panther Platform cars.

The biggest weakness in the Town Car is the air suspension-most people don't pay attention to the signs of a split airbag(compressor running several minutes after you shut the car off, rear end on the ground in the morning before starting it that picks up after starting) and instead run it until the compressor dies and far too often now, given how inexpensive a lot of them are, just run around with the back bouncing and sending up a shower of sparks if they take a turn too fast. The airbags are an easy DIY job and I changed them at least once on all of the ones my mom had-if you catch a bad airbag early the compressor will probably last the life of the car.

I'd love a Mark VIII, but it has its own issues. The 32V DOHC Intech engine doesn't have the best reliability record, unlike the more common 16V SOHC 4.6L that was used in piles of other vehicles including Panthers. My dad always had good luck with his Continentals with that engine, but I've also heard plenty to the contrary. I'm not sure how plentiful those engines are in junkyards anymore, or how easy the Aviator version is to fit(the Continental, which is plenty common, is basically off limits since it's configured for transverse mounting). The Mark VIII also has an even more complicated air suspension system that changes ride height with speed. I love the tech in those cars, and it honestly works well when it works(the Continental has a lot of the same goodies, albeit not the lower-at-speed of the Mark VIII) but it was also a bit ahead of its time. I'm not sure how many parts are cross-compatible between the Tbird and Mark VIII either.

The LS only really part-shares with an even less common car-the early 2000s T-Bird convertible. Almost nothing is shared with the Jag S-Type despite it being on the same platform. Even 4.0L LS-V8 in some S-Types has very few parts shared with the 3.9L LS-V8 in the LS.
How is the MKZ compared to a Fusion? I've been thinking of one for my mother if her Five Hundred ever goes. I'm really absolutely adoring my 2007 Fusion, as it's a sort of rare manual one (there's more out there than I thought...) but imagining it in luxury trim actually seems nice, too.
 
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What a neat thread, and learning that “if you can’t afford it new you can’t afford it used“ sounds like a very good life lesson. My first car was a used 74 Fiat X-1/9 and doggone parts were hard to find and expensive, even in 1979.

Seems I have read somewhere that manufacturers were considering ceasing parts production for models over 10 years old......
 
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One advantage of owning an old Volvo is that Volvo ships all their NOS to central warehouse. You can still get parts for 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's Volvo through the Genuine Classic Parts website. There a few online parts suppliers that will order them in for you from GCP.

Once the stock is gone that's it. If the dealer can't get it through Volvo of America here in the states because it's showing it's been discontinued, you can go to GCP and order it yourself. Prices aren't that bad either.
 
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What a neat thread, and learning that “if you can’t afford it new you can’t afford it used“ sounds like a very good life lesson. My first car was a used 74 Fiat X-1/9 and doggone parts were hard to find and expensive, even in 1979.

Seems I have read somewhere that manufacturers were considering ceasing parts production for models over 10 years old......
I'm not really sure I buy that. Lots of cars are sold used, more on an annual basis than new cars. So all those used car buyers shouldn't be buying used cars? Makes no sense, one of the major reasons why people buy used cars is because they can't afford new. One of the risks of buying used is that you can get burned on the purchase which is why Caveat Emptor is still very important.

As for ceasing parts production, some makers do that as I think it's no longer required after 10 years and some keep making them long after the 10 years is up. Mercedes still makes parts for many of their older vehicles and has a classic center just for that.

 
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A friend of mine has a 2014 Mercedes SUV and cracked two windshields within 3 months. The windshields are about a $1000.00 each time because the have rain sensors and different head up displays or whatever. I told her she should buy an F-150 or a Honda Civic because parts are a dime a dozen. I guess if the OP's car doesn't have a lot of other problems it's probably worth the money for repairs. The worst thing for a vehicle is just having them sit with low miles and no regular use. It sounds like an awesome vehicle and it's all in how much money you think your vehicle is worth. Congrats on the repairs and enjoy your new ride!
 
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I'm not really sure I buy that. Lots of cars are sold used, more on an annual basis than new cars. So all those used car buyers shouldn't be buying used cars? Makes no sense, one of the major reasons why people buy used cars is because they can't afford new. One of the risks of buying used is that you can get burned on the purchase which is why Caveat Emptor is still very important.

As for ceasing parts production, some makers do that as I think it's no longer required after 10 years and some keep making them long after the 10 years is up. Mercedes still makes parts for many of their older vehicles and has a classic center just for that.

I think what he's saying is, that the type of the used car you buy is something maybe people think they can afford, but in reality it maybe isn't. And that's kind of the spirit of the thread (original post and others). I've seen it many times...guy buys a BMW or whatever...gets a "great deal" on a $70,000 dollar car, and likes to tell you he has a $70,000 dollar car (even though it's eight years old and cost him $22,000 grand with 100,000 miles on it).

Then a year later...hey, how's your car doing? Oh, not good, costing me a fortune...had to put a new transmission in it, cost me $8,000 and my regular mechanic wouldn't work on it, had to take it to the German repair guy down the street. And then it needed $4,000 grand in suspension repairs. My Buick never cost me more than $150 bucks for a ball joint, and this BMW has a multi/link front suspension in it? Multiple control arms? What's up with that? And now I'm burning through a quart of oil every 1,000 miles, oil light came on the other day! Tech is thinking I need rings?

Well guess what? You should have done your home work and expected that $70,000 dollar car to act like a $70,000 dollar car when things broke.
 
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My wife and I just had this conversation as we reviewed the $1800 I’ve put into our “free” 2002 Beetle. I told her that is 4 months of new car payments, and this car is still a very good car (106k miles). Plus, in my state, the plates for a car this old are only $48, unlike the $350 our 2014 costs.

It makes the cost seem much more likable when you look at it that way.

I like the $0.10 rule mentioned.
 
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Absolutely...
A guy yesterday said he got a riding mower for $200 but it cost him $300 to get it serviced....lol
Probably that's the reason that he got it for 200 :)

Riding mowers are money pits if you have to get them serviced at a shop. Yearly maintenance plus gas adds up quick. In a region with cheap labor (deep south) it would be barely worth it.

Most of my neighbors with 1.3 acres run about 30 hrs per year. Will be lucky to get 4 years out of a $2,500 machine with the way they (dont) keep up on maintenance.
 
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