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  #26  
Old April 26th, 2018, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf_walker View Post
So it'll need the timing chains done, the cooling system revamped, some suspension stuff, maybe a trans, AC work.
Sound just like many TC's after 200K.
I don't think many LS's make it to 200k at all, let alone do so largely trouble free.

I used to see them on the road regularly. I rarely do now, and I suspect it's not because they're all low mileage creampuffs being tucked away by collectors. I suspect it's because they suffer those big problems well before 200k.
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  #27  
Old April 27th, 2018, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by TownCarLSC View Post
I don't think many LS's make it to 200k at all, let alone do so largely trouble free.

I used to see them on the road regularly. I rarely do now, and I suspect it's not because they're all low mileage creampuffs being tucked away by collectors. I suspect it's because they suffer those big problems well before 200k.
I've seen a few lately, it's what brought this to mind, one the same color as my 04 pulled up next to me and I was admiring it, and since she refuses to drive something TC sized in OKC traffic every day, it was worth a ponder if the ole lady would like one. There are plenty of cars that are perfectly capable of making that mileage though (which is to say basically that the bottom end of the motor will last that long) that the 4th+ owner just isn't going to spend any money on a sub $2K car to keep it going, so they get junked out. I've worked at a number of salvage joints, we even get Porsche guys that do that now. Maybe they don't replace the plastic radiator after umpteen years (this is a chronic BMW thing for some reason too) and it cracks and they cook the motor killing the head gaskets and a shop hands them a $2000 bill for an otherwise nice car that's worth maybe $2000: instant junkyard trip, that car is DONE even though it would have been just fine. Craigslist is typically littered with BMW and Mercedes and Volvos in that state of being. I've bought and fixed a number of them over the years.


What makes a car not make it to 200k anyway?
Head Gasket? Transmission? Major engine failure?
Needs some super expensive electrical component that
you either can't get used or takes a dealer to program to work on the car? Or maybe it needs tires, the AC fixed, the paint is bad, the seats are bad, and all together while it still drives it's just not worth fixing since it's depreciated to being worth a couple grand at best. That about right?

I think the owner is what makes the vast majority of cars not make it to 200k or more.
Most cars from roughly the late 80's will with a few exceptions.
Some will need a trans earlier than others, some eat a headgasket now and again, some need timing junk, etc, etc to varying degrees. But they will almost all make it if the owner and/or mechanic does their part.


That pretty much covers any "normal" car after 20 years and muich over 150K miles unless they have been extremely well loved, no? Town Car included despite it being a much simpler and more reliable and easier to fix car for sure. Craigslist is littered with them for $1500 in pitiful but still driving condition that arent worth fixing, largely due to the pitiful cosmetics of a car that's been allowed to deteriorate mechanically that far.


I think it's more accurate to say that the LS had a lot fewer people that liked them enough to put the money and effort into keeping them up, vs a TC that while there are more than enough ragged out examples, they are cheap and easy and reliable enough that it only takes a little love for the car to make it worth it(which is part and parcel of what makes it more "reliable"). Or a BMW or Mercedes maybe that held onto it's value a bit more and had some cachet to the name still before they got one too many parking lot dings or oil leaks and someone that did love them sold em down the river and they ended up in the wrong hands and run into the ground a few years later.

Like you said, there's nothing crazy cutting edge on the LS, even 20 years ago.
Nobody that's posted here has listed anything that anyone with a 90's or 00's BMW Mercedes Lexus Audi etc would bat an eye at. Hell most of it my 04 needed, needs or will need in the reasonably near future though it certainly made it further before. I don't think it's encompassing enough to just write them off as having disappeared because they weren't reliable.

And, we have the one in a million apparently gentleman that has 200K miles on TWO of them, who has presumably since he's hanging around here taken better than average care of them, and is quite happy. 200K from new till now on two seperate cars is a heck of a testimonial VS a lot of guessing and anecdotal-ish tales.

I could completely believe that they were not Lincoln-like in their reliability for the first owner, or the 2nd(or ever when compared to a panther). And I could completely believe that the 3rd+ owners drove them into the ground until the first unavoidable expensive-ish repair came up(as likely as not because of sensible maintenance that wasn't done) and they were sold down the soon to be beer car river, hence so few of them. You can get away with that with an Accord or a Camry or any number of simple cars, but not midsize european sedan, which the LS may as well have been. Ain't nothing free.


Shame they didn't get AWD, I do believe that platform from Jaguar could be had with a manual trans, v6 and AWD.
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  #28  
Old April 27th, 2018, 12:31 AM
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Owner variability is not unique to a given brand or model though. Old Town Cars are cheap as hell, and as we've even seen here on this enthusiast forum, there are folks who will just dump their's when the going gets tough. It's a prime example of a car that is cheaper to replace than to fix when big problems come up. Yet despite that, high and very high mileage examples are readily available and commonplace. Fact is, again my experience and what I've seen, is that properly maintained Town Cars generally do not suffer life-ending breakdowns with the frequency of almost every other car on the road. It's true that many people would junk a $1500 Town Car rather than spend $2k on a transmission replacement, but thankfully most people will never have to.

And if it's true that LS owners are less likely to spend money to keep their cars going than Town Car owners, there must be a reason for that.

I like to say this about many things in life, but stereotypes generally exist for a reason. The widely held perception that Panthers are very reliable, solid cars did not come about for no reason. I'm inclined to believe that the LS' bad reputation likewise did not come about for no reason. Admittedly I've not worked on near as many of them as I have Panthers, but I also haven't known many people who have owned them either. I have lots of customers with various Panthers of various generations and I usually do not see them often. That tells me they are good cars. But my customers who own FWD V6 GM products I see noticeably more often, for example. If it were one or two examples it wouldn't mean much, but I'm talking about more people and cars than just a couple.

If people are choosing to bail on their LS well before they would bail on their Town Car, there's got to be a reason for that. The two most likely are that they aren't that enjoyable to drive - a complaint I really haven't heard - or they're just not reliable enough to continue to justify keeping it.
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  #29  
Old April 27th, 2018, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by wolf_walker View Post
...So it'll need the timing chains done, the cooling system revamped, some suspension stuff, maybe a trans, AC work.
Sound just like many TC's after 200K.
Chains (tensioners really) don't seem to be a problem for the 2003 to 2006 models. They made changes in 2002 to address that problem. In fact, the 2003 model had over 500 changes, and several of them addressed failures. For example, in addition to fixing the timing chain/tensioner issue, they resolved the clock-spring failures and the airbag wiring under the driver's seat. I would note that certain year TCs had those two last problems too.

If they had continued with the improvements, it could be a very good car by now. It seems that they finally solved the coil failures, after 06. The replacement coils (OEM) that I bought are still trouble free at well over 100K miles on them.

Unfortunately, in 03 they knew that the LS was going to be dropped in a few years, so very little engineering money was put into it from then on, only some tweaks to cut down on warranty expenses.
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  #30  
Old April 27th, 2018, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by joegr View Post
Chains (tensioners really) don't seem to be a problem for the 2003 to 2006 models. They made changes in 2002 to address that problem. In fact, the 2003 model had over 500 changes, and several of them addressed failures. For example, in addition to fixing the timing chain/tensioner issue, they resolved the clock-spring failures and the airbag wiring under the driver's seat. I would note that certain year TCs had those two last problems too.

If they had continued with the improvements, it could be a very good car by now. It seems that they finally solved the coil failures, after 06. The replacement coils (OEM) that I bought are still trouble free at well over 100K miles on them.

Unfortunately, in 03 they knew that the LS was going to be dropped in a few years, so very little engineering money was put into it from then on, only some tweaks to cut down on warranty expenses.
That's certainly a fair assessment. I would also point out that the Town Car became decidedly more problematic as well around the same time the LS was produced, which to me is indicative of a larger scale, more fundamental problem within Ford at the time, and one of the reasons I try to steer people away from the later Town Cars, for I feel the mid-'90s models were far superior cars, especially in terms of reliability. Ford went backwards with the Town Car in terms of reliability, and that is not acceptable to me, especially considering the newer Town Cars offer nothing in terms of performance, comfort, quality or overall driving experience improvement over the earlier models. In some ways the major suspension redesign was an improvement, as it certainly did improve handling performance, but the myriad problems from that generation have nothing to do with the suspension changes.

To me, the LS is an example of why auto manufacturers should not try to merge brands, even though they may acquire other brands. Ford can own Jaguar and still keep the brands completely seperate from each other, and I think they should have.
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  #31  
Old January 10th, 2019, 01:54 PM
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After observing the market on these for a period of months, here in central Oklahoma at least, these cars are not really cheap unless they are ragged junk. Which admittedly most of them are, but the decent mileage and clean and cared for examples are not selling for average Town Car prices. I've seen a few unusually clean ones for a couple grand and change but I'm not really looking for another car quite yet(meaning my significant other would murder me in my sleep).
I think it's still on my list though. Interesting car.
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  #32  
Old January 10th, 2019, 04:09 PM
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I'm kind of of that mindset that it's not a Town Car it's going to be more problematic which is proving to be the case. After Town Car I would take a Grand Marquis or Crown Vic before a continental or an LS. I know a few people with LSS and they seem to be more finicky with more electrical issues and problems and the engines are harder to work on and they don't have the simple engine that the Town Car did with the 4.6.
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  #33  
Old January 10th, 2019, 04:25 PM
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Presumably, and according to all the reviews when it was new, it's a car more along the lines of a 5 series BMW VS a boat like a Town Car.
And if that's something appealing to a person, that would be worth some tradeoff in simplicity and reliability.
Very seldom anything newer is more simple or more reliable.
Wouldn't trade a TC for one (unless it was a 5spd) but I wouldn't mind one of them instead of another ho-hum BMW or midsize Mercedes.
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  #34  
Old November 25th, 2019, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by TownCarLSC View Post
I feel the mid-'90s models were far superior cars, especially in terms of reliability. Ford went backwards with the Town Car in terms of reliability, and that is not acceptable to me, especially considering the newer Town Cars offer nothing in terms of performance, comfort, quality or overall driving experience improvement over the earlier models. I
Hmmm...I think I have to take a point of respectful disagreement here. I feel qualified to comment because I had a '95 TC that I loved but it got totaled in an accident. (Other guy hit me.) Then I bought the '03 that I've had for 10 years.

I do consider the '03 functionally superior, although lookswise maybe not--the earlier cars had much more interior color choices, for instance. But the later models had a bit more power (about 20hp), and improved suspension and steering (rack and pinion). I find the '03 a superior handler as a consequence. It also has some more safety equipment, such as side air bags, and the trunk is better organized and more usable. And the full-power trunk lid (Trunk at a Touch, as the manual says) was not available on the 90's cars.

I don't find reliability worse at all. My '95 could be finicky on coils, wires, etc., and was very prone to transmission shudder. The newer car isn't The '95 also needed new suspension airbags at about 10 years. The '03 still has its factory bags.

The one thing I will say is that the engine is shoved considerably farther back in the chassis on the '03, which means there's really no longer legroom for a front center passenger; that third seat belt is really more for show.

I do mourn my pretty '95 every time I see a nice one, but overall I'd pick the '03 as the better car.
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  #35  
Old November 26th, 2019, 10:40 AM
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The 3rd gen is a better car, the 2nd gen is a better Town Car.


I'd like to have the motor and trans of my 04 in a 2nd gen, preferably an early one. Though a 351w and a well built AOD would be fine if not better.
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