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Unicornscort
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Discussion Starter #1
Need to know the approximate value of a 95 LX hunter green a little beat up but no rust or very little 135,000 miles there is someone selling one for 700.00 OBO locally I want it for a winter car but would like to drive it whenever as well to prevent mine being run into the ground.Is it even a good idea to buy it with this mileage??Please help because I am supposed to go look tonight and have no idea the value or even if it is safe to buy it with that mileage!!!! Thanks Mary
 

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Its going to be a gamble no matter what we tell you to look at. The best thing would be if the seller could show you a big envelope stuffed with the repair receipts!
However, any Escort with over 100,000 miles on it -should- have had its timing belt replaced. In which event that would not be a problem again till 200,000 miles. You should have a look at the brake lines under the car, toward the back. The worst area for rusty brakes lines is right next to the gas tank, on the driver's side, ahead of the rear wheel well. You have to be able to look straight up though. Having a hand mirror and a flashlight would let you do this.
Ask about where the prior owner did their driving, in town, on the highway, and how long they owned it. If they havent owned it long, assume it was in-town driving; which is the hardest driving on the tranny.
If its an automatic transmission, the tranny might be the thing that would go out. So if the tranny has been replaced - then its likely $700 is a fine price. If it hasnt been replaced, be aware that tranny can go out long before it gets to 180,000. (By that distance its a good chance its been replaced, or that the owners used the car for long commutes: otherwise the car wouldnt be running anymore).
And understand that any 14 year old car is going to have things wearing out for the first time, not just due to the mileage, but due to the age. The list of things it could be is the list of the topics in the 2nd generation forum. If you do any of your own work, Escorts are great machines. If you have to have most all work done by a mechanic - then I hope you have a good reliable mechanic.
I have three 2nd generation Escorts. The first one (92) was given to me by a sister-in-law, with 192,000 miles on it. What it needed was a rebuilt tranny, and the usual maintenance items. I spent $1400 on parts, and since then its been a daily driver. The 2nd one was a 94 wagon w 98,000 miles that had dropped in inlet valve seat. It needed the engine rebuilt as well as a new clutch. I spent $1100, and since then its been a daily driver, with one trip to the west coast and back. The last one was a 91, with 187,000 that needed a rebuilt transmission, and the usual maintenance items. I paid $450 for it. I have spent $1300, & expect to keep it for dry weather use, as it has Zero Rust on it. An Arizona car. I do all of my own work, so the costs here were for the parts.
Good Luck.
P.S. If the owner wanted to sell parts off of it, & had a place where people could set out their tools and strip the parts - he could probably get $700 in a month or so after an ad on www.craigslist.org.
 

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Unicornscort
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Discussion Starter #3
Well he says it is rust free I don't know how I live in PA and I have a 96 LX it is my baby my husband can do alot to them but not everything!!Mine has 89,000 miles I got it almost 8 years ago with 48,000 miles.It's oil is changed every 6 months or before 3000 miles I have in the 8 years fixed tie rods,brakes,timing belt 2 years ago with water pump it wasn't bad but the garage insisted doing it with the belt and last year we had the headgasket changed that's it!Mine is an in town driver but if you would see me drive you probably wouldn't be too worried about my tranny it doesn't see over 40 miles per hour city and 70mph highway EVER!!I just had body work done on mine due to the rear quarters rotting out no rust anywhere else!!My deal is was the head gasket done?????He paid 500.00 8 months ago and since put on it new exhaust how much of it I don't know,new tires,brakes he said it needs struts.They body does look fine they only thing I seen was a few dings and the black coating peeling off the strips by the windows it doesn't bother me but mine is intact!!He claims he is selling it because he needs a bigger car.So what would be fair for it?Is their any way to tell if the tranny may go besides seeing if it shifts like mine?It is an auto as mine is too. Thanks Mary
 

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jacobsmom99 said:
My deal is was the head gasket done?????
A head gasket isn't a maintenance item. It doesn't matter if it was done. The black coating peeling off is a common problem for these cars. It just happens. If it looks good, drives good, runs good, and you like it then get it. Keep in mind, buying a car under $1500 is basically a crapshoot. Sometimes you can get a good deal, sometimes you can get ripped off. The statement let the buyer beware applies. Also, at $700 you don't exactly stand to loose alot either.
 

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I dont know of any way to tell how much more life the tranny has in it. There is a Tech Service Bulletin on the F4EAT tranny, to put in a different relief valve for its oil pump. It should extend the life if the tranny has any life in it, and I would advise doing it. It can be done without taking the tranny out, but you do have to get under the car a little; bottom of the transmission on the driver's side end. There is a How-To about it, in the How-To forum, down low on the first page. Its title is: ATRATB039 02/01/1991 A/T - G4A-EL/4EAT Low Pump Pressure. I can give you a place to order that 'kit' from if your local auto parts place gives you a blank stare.

As for the struts....If they pass the PA inspection, then I wouldnt bother to change them. Any & All cars with 135,000 would 'need' new struts, if you wanted it to handle and ride exactly like it was new. Both of my Escorts having nearly 200,000 miles on them have their original struts - except one I replaced on the back of the 92 wagon - because the old strut had a broken spring. I still couldnt tell any difference in handling, but the clanking noise on speed bumps was gone.

Before I retired I used to travel to Johnstown often, to a business adjoining the airport. I would come up from VA via route 160 or 219 & back roads in general.
 

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On the east coast, I think as long as it's generally rust free, 700$ isn't too bad. One of the good things about escorts is that people think they are pieces of crap so they try and basically give them away. I paid 700$ for mine and it's pretty clean. Has a couple quirks but nothing that is too annoying. Just check it out in person, put 10 miles on it, get it out on the freeway if you can or if you're in the middle of nowhere get to freeway speeds and listen, after warmup walk around the car with the hood up and listen for any odd sounds and rev the motor while standing over it to see if the motor sounds odd
 

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Unicornscort
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Discussion Starter #7
Well to me to loose 700.00 is alot but I would have parts not that I in any way EVER want to do that again!!But if it is rust free I can't see how it could ba a bad thing in my opinion 135,000 miles on a 14 year old car isn't bad and if it is rust free then it maby it was well cared for.Mine is well taken care and wasn't rust free it is now because the body work was done the only rust was the rear quarters which every Scort I ever had did that!!But for the money every single car has that mileage so why not a Scort at least the poor little thing could be parts if necessary!!! Mary
 
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