How long is my car going to can I help it?

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Dec 14, 2005
Hey all, First post. I hope this is in the right place. I have a 1994 Mustang GT with a 302 V8. It currently has about 190,080 miles on it. The only thing I have replaced on the car drivetrain wise is the clutch. I also put new radiator hoses. I want this car to last as long as possible (I love it and to save money). I change the oil every 3000-3500 and use a FRAM filter and 10w-30 Valvoline Max Life. It is using about a quart of oil between changes. The transmission fluid was changed about 50-60k miles ago. I don't think the rear end fluid has ever been changed. What can/should I do to help the car last as long as possible? The rear end has a limited slip differential and it is a 5 speed manual transmission. Thanks, Brett
might want to change the trans fluid. but it may be fine, im not sure of the rec on that. definetly get that old gear oil out of there. frams are ok, but there are better filters out there for the same money. motorcraft, wix, purolator, mobil 1, k&n, etc (the last two are expensive) dont sweat the oil consumption, not enough to worry about.
No mustangs here, but in general: I'll disagree with the statement that Frams are ok. Everytime they come up with a new color scheme some salesperson comes to convince me they are better, I cut them and find the same cardboard insides. I won't allow my people to put a Fram on a car under any circumstances. In Baltimore you have probably never had to drive through water over the axle, but I'd still get rid of the old differencial oil, specially since it is LSD - there are probably particles from the clutches and/or gears, specially if the additives have ceased to function. I've never tested Transmission fluids on cars in the US, where there is asphault. Here I don't like to let them get beyond 25,000 miles. But we drive on mostly dirt roads and cross a lot of flooded areas or rivers. I would try a good 15W-40 and see whether the consumption goes down. I have reduced consumption on Ford Explorers with high mileage by going up to a 15W-40 like Delo or something similar. I also have an unproven theory that by going to a Diesel/Gasoline formula, you may reduce the wear on thrust bearings. We have no big engines here to play with (other than trucks and tractors), but I think the extra zinc/phosforous additive should give more protection to that bronze bearing that gets it's wear from heavy acceleration. I never see as much copper wear on UOA here as I see posted on this board. But then we rarely use a gasoline only oil. The 3000 to 3500 mile changes are safe. In most casses that is excessive. I run 4000 miles as a minimum in gasoline and diesel engines, 8000 min in engines converted to compressed natural gas or propane, and 9000 min on heavy trucks in the mountains. but the 3,000 myth sells oil, so there are good reasons to propagate the rummor.
The 302 is preety durable. The transmission or rear end will probably fail before the engine. The main things to keep an eye on are distributor,timeing chain and valve stem seals on the 302. I am not Ford guy but that is what I have observed.
The timing chain used in the 94+ 302 is a "silent link" type and is widely thought to not be as durable as the double-roller timing chain used previously. So, if you replace the timing chain, get a double-roller timing chain set (sprockets and chain). Also...check the harmonic balancer.. it is composed of two metal pieces (inner ring and outer ring) with a rubber piece in the middle..the rubber is known to deteriorate causing (1) the timing marks to become inaccurate and (2) the outer ring to slip and possibly hit the timing cover, damaging it. (If that happens aftermarket replacements are available from Dorman).
frams are OK im not saying they are the best. if they are so bad then our race car would have blew up, my dads previous truck and an acclaim that we go rid of would not have the original engine in them. frams meet the minimum requirements. but there are better thats all i was saying.
Nobody has mentioned Auto-RX. Based on results of lots of people here it will very likely help with your oil consumption, and you will probably notice other benefits as well. I like a top-end lube like MMO, a lot of people here like Lube Control, which I've no experience with. MMO seems to make the engine run a little nice, start a little quicker, and it helps keep top-end stuff (including where crank oil doesn't go) cleaner. My preference would be Havoline oil and moderate OCIs with an occasional analysis. Check the UOA section; Havoline is second-to-none on results and there are many threads where it is directly compared to other oils, including pricey synthetics, and shows much better wear numbers. I'd use something else only if the engine didn't seem to like it, or if the UOA wasn't great. Then concentrate on getting the rest of the car to last as long as the engine. A coat of wax from time to time, fix little things as they need it, all that stuff. - Glenn
Just about anywhere FRAM is available, other filters are available, and even if FRAM is the cheapest, the next-cheapest is going to be a great value as long as it's not made by FRAM. There's really no excuse for using a FRAM other than ignorance.
Yeah *stomps on a dirty fram filter* Down with fram! down with fram! Fram the diseased crack whore of the automotive industry!
I'd pay attention to the interior, use cardboards, don't let the sun shine on them. Don't let oil sit long on parts, and don't use alcohol on trims unless necessary. Don't use heavy keychains. Take action early if doors start to sag. Also I'd replenish the wax in the crevices where once applied at the factory; probably A pillar, rocker and lower door panels, cabin side of the hood and the lights side of the tailgate lid. Check with the service manual for proper application places, now is about time they may be dried. The last thing you want is rust in the pillars. Some tungsten bulbs in gaugages and interior may appear function just alright, but I found some just start to work hotter and hotter over the accumulating years. When neglected may ruin the trims. Mechanicals? Who cares... they will last, and when not replacement will be cheap and easier. Subsitutions (worst case for forthcoming years) won't look as goofy. However very fine points above I think. I'd go with OEM for every filter. Steering pump may appreciate a fluid change too. Plus the brake hydraulics. I liked the Havoline and with UOA's here seems best value for the money. Too bad here the supply is kind of a chance operation with those. Somewhere I read that cooling system ignorance was the top reason for engine failures. It is a good move for taking care of the hoses, I just did mines. If any problems, do not postpone. it is much more hard to do it (have it done) later. You know, the "this is an old car and supposed not to function" belief.
With all the other good recommendations, keep in mind that your car could very well last until you stop at a red light, and the guy behind you doesn't. And then his insurance company will go to a book and offer you trade-in value.
I would not autoRx this car, you would be asking for a puddle of oil in your driveway. Agree on moving up to a thicker oil.
2003TRD, Why wouldn't you Auto-RX this car? Auto-RX, when used as instructed, is suppose to condition seals and STOP leaks, not start leaks. Remember, Auto-RX is not a solvent based engine flush. Anyway, here are my recommendations: Auto-RX treatment for the engine, and maybe other parts (tranny, rear diff) if you so please. Change all fluids, including coolant, brake fluid, clutch fluid, tranny, power steering (we all know about Ford's PS problems) and rear end. Make sure for the rear end you get fluid that will work for a LSD, or get the special additive you'll need.
Oh yea, that's the one thing I forgot. Fram is the worst oil filter I know of, so IMHO anything else will be better.
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