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Questions about S197 quality.

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Old 07-04-2013, 05:26 PM   #1
JC316
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Default Questions about S197 quality.

I have a 97 Cobra right now, but I am potentially looking at getting into an 05-07 GT. The Cobra is a nice car, but you can definitely feel that it's a chassis that was designed in 79. It squeaks, it rattles, the seats aren't that great, the suspension is harsh, the road noise is terrible, it doesn't handle that well, etc. On one hand, I like the old school, no frills muscle car style, but on the other hand, I bought a crown victoria for my lot and it's nicer to drive than the cobra.

Are the S197's more refined than the SN95's? How well do they hold up over the years? Being in Texas and with my budget, I will likely be looking at over 100K miles if I go this route.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #2
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Quite a few S197 owners have over 100k miles; a number of those well beyond 150k miles. Although I consider most Ford's to be much better made than they were a decade or more ago, they're still Fords. My AVERAGE mileage-before-selling Toyota is over 200k miles and that's for my first 5 Toyotas. I wouldn't expect that from my 1st 5 Fords. Regardless, my Stang is a chit load more fun to drive than any of my Toyotas.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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i think they hold up pretty good for an under 30k car. They are certainly more refined that the sn95 just the same way that the 2013 is even more refined over the 2005. I wouldnt say the s197 is no frills though at all. take a few for test drives and see how you like them
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:36 PM   #4
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I have sat in a lot of them out at auction and I like the interior. One of my biggest issues with the SN95 era of cars is the damned bump steer. Even at stock ride height, bumps severely upset it and I am constantly fighting it.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
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I just put in a bump steer kit when I fit my air kit. Steers fine
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:31 PM   #6
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Just took mine on a 900 mile road trip. I was comfortable the entire time as was my passenger. Could be a little quieter, couple of rattles on hard bumps, a little stiffer than the average car. Some of this could be contributed to tire choice though. These BFGs I have are super loud, grippy but loud. The seats are great.

I can honestly say that the more I drive this car, the more I love it.
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:15 AM   #7
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Just took mine on a 900 mile road trip. I was comfortable the entire time as was my passenger. Could be a little quieter, couple of rattles on hard bumps, a little stiffer than the average car. Some of this could be contributed to tire choice though. These BFGs I have are super loud, grippy but loud. The seats are great.

I can honestly say that the more I drive this car, the more I love it.
I took a 500 mile road trip in my 96 GT vert and it was a nightmare. My Cobra isn't the stiffest car I have ever driven, but it's in the top 5. Sounds like the S197 is a better car, think I will try one for a test drive and look at getting one.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:08 AM   #8
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mustang is ok..i have 2 other cars i drive everyday..only thing the stang is better at is power..
not the best handling or smoothest cars tbh...an ok car for the money..a car with 1960's derived suspension can never be that good..
plus fords will never be as good or drive as nice as most german cars..go drive a top spec audi then get in the stang..i tell you you will be shocked..
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:34 AM   #9
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s197 is a more refined platform than the sn95 for sure but its a ford not a $50k Euro car. I have no complaints about my car............it is the funnest car I have ever owned.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:47 AM   #10
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You may be able to pick up a used 05-07 Roush or Saleen for @ $25k.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:41 PM   #11
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Since my '07 isn't my DD, it's primarily used for road trips and the occasional 60-200 miles weekend "ride". Quite a few of those road trips were in excess of 2000 miles round trip. I'll always take the Stang before my SUV providing I don't have to haul more than 1 dog (but since we now have 4, that's about shot). My SUV is much more relaxing but the Stang is simply too much fun.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 808muscle View Post
s197 is a more refined platform than the sn95 for sure but its a ford not a $50k Euro car. I have no complaints about my car............it is the funnest car I have ever owned.
I'm not expecting that level of refinement, but a car that I can actually drive with one hand on the wheel and carry on a conversation in would be nice.

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You may be able to pick up a used 05-07 Roush or Saleen for @ $25k.
Nowhere near that kind of budget. Definitely would keep it below 10k, right around the 6K-8K mark would be ideal. Since I am a dealer, I have access to the auctions and that is usually what higher mile 05-06's go for.
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:07 PM   #13
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Having previously owned a '90 LX and an '87 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, I can tell you that the S197 chassis is definitely MUCH better than the old Fox chassis. I would compare how my '05 feels stock to how my Mustang and Thunderbird felt after I'd put on subframe connectors and a strut tower brace. It feels much stiffer and stronger.

However it also feels (from the inside) like an extremely wide car. I'm not sure why but to me it almost seems tough to park sometimes because it feels so wide, like I don't know exactly where the front end or sides of the car are sometimes. Never felt that way even with my Thunderbird which I'm pretty sure was a physically larger car (at least longer, anyway).

As for road noise, ride and such...well, at this point with the wide tires I have on it, and headers & full exhaust, there's a lot of exhaust noise if you're going up hills and it feels like it kinda "slams" over bumps, but on the highway I don't feel like it really has any more wind/road noise than my wife's '07 Camry SE, and doesn't ride much worse either (but her car has a stiffer suspension and lower profile tires than your run of the mill Camry, a Camry LE would feel like a la-z-boy compared to her car)
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Having previously owned a '90 LX and an '87 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, I can tell you that the S197 chassis is definitely MUCH better than the old Fox chassis. I would compare how my '05 feels stock to how my Mustang and Thunderbird felt after I'd put on subframe connectors and a strut tower brace. It feels much stiffer and stronger.

However it also feels (from the inside) like an extremely wide car. I'm not sure why but to me it almost seems tough to park sometimes because it feels so wide, like I don't know exactly where the front end or sides of the car are sometimes. Never felt that way even with my Thunderbird which I'm pretty sure was a physically larger car (at least longer, anyway).

As for road noise, ride and such...well, at this point with the wide tires I have on it, and headers & full exhaust, there's a lot of exhaust noise if you're going up hills and it feels like it kinda "slams" over bumps, but on the highway I don't feel like it really has any more wind/road noise than my wife's '07 Camry SE, and doesn't ride much worse either (but her car has a stiffer suspension and lower profile tires than your run of the mill Camry, a Camry LE would feel like a la-z-boy compared to her car)
I'm not concerned about how big the car is, I drove a 92 Thunderbird Super Coupe and 70 cougar last year. Two winters ago, I was driving an 04 RX8 and it was a dream to drive. It still had the sporty suspension, but was actually comfortable. Same goes for the old 93 300zx that I had, hell even my 4th gen Fbody was better riding than the Cobra is.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:25 PM   #15
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...and 70 cougar last year.
I happen to have one of those and they're smaller than the S197 for sure.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:05 AM   #16
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I happen to have one of those and they're smaller than the S197 for sure.
Nope, cougar is bigger in every dimension. Not much bigger, but still. Even still, I have a 1957 Cadillac Coupe Deville sitting the garage that I can easily drive and that car is massive.

1970 Cougar:
111" wheel base
196.1" overall length
74.3" width
3408lbs

2005 Mustang
107.1" Wheelbase
187.6" overall length
73.9" width
3300lbs
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:03 AM   #17
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I'm not concerned about how big the car is
I'm not saying it IS big...I'm saying it FEELS like it's bigger than it is. I've never had so much trouble parking a car straight as I do with this car. Not sure why but I can never tell if I'm pulling into a parking spot straight or not and I always end up kinda crooked. I don't have that problem with my winter beater Camry which is very similar dimensionally.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghunt View Post
... I've never had so much trouble parking a car straight as I do with this car. Not sure why but I can never tell if I'm pulling into a parking spot straight or not and I always end up kinda crooked....
TOTALLY understandable. When we drive our Stangs, we usually get a woody which causes a reduction in blood flow to the OTHER head, resulting in occasional poor judgment and lack of coordination.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:50 PM   #19
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I must chime in here. My wife and I love our 2008 5 speed GT/CS Vert and its biggest surprise is how well it rides and its comforts on long road trips. We have driven it last 2 years 3x to our Condo in Myrtle Beach, we live in NW Jersey about 670 miles away door to door. We also have a 2011 CRV and my daily is an awesome '06 BMW 330ci (Coupe w/sports pkg & 18" staggreed wheels). We love all 3 vehicles, but both feel the Mustang is the most comfortable and fun car to drive on this long trip before the other 2, amazing!! But we can't take it during beach time in summer due to its small trunk. But that's ok, we usually drive it down Thanksgiving week or late March (non-summer and no threat of snow on Rt 95 corridor)
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC316 View Post
Nope, cougar is bigger in every dimension. Not much bigger, but still. Even still, I have a 1957 Cadillac Coupe Deville sitting the garage that I can easily drive and that car is massive.

1970 Cougar:
111" wheel base
196.1" overall length
74.3" width
3408lbs

2005 Mustang
107.1" Wheelbase
187.6" overall length
73.9" width
3300lbs
I stand corrected then... last time I had them side by side the Cougar looked smaller.
Weird.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:54 PM
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