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Buying a used 05-09 S197

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Old 10-03-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
V8Thrasher
 
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Default Buying a used 05-09 S197

Hey guys whats up? I used to be a member here, and havent logged into this forum for a while..... anyways a little about myself:

In 07 I bought a Mustang GT. It was my baby, I had it lowered in a classy way, Saleen replica staggered wheel/tire combo on it, corsa axleback exhaust, and a minor performance tune. I never got the chance to add anything under the hood....

Last december I was driving home from work, and it was raining pretty bad, I was on the #1 lane on the freeway, and hit a big patch of water and hydroplaned. If I was on the #3 or 4 lane Im pretty sure I could of regained control, but I fishtailed and when my Mustang regained traction I shot into the center divider. The Insurance company declared my car a wreck, and since didnt have full coverage as I paid off the car, I couldnt afford a new Mustang.

I have been driving a pos 88 Toyota.... and its a great little bulletproof car but its not a Mustang. I have money saved up and when I sell my sportbike, that money will go towards a new (used) Mustang.

I have one speeding ticket on my record and this single car accident that I have and am considered at fault to due to no one else being involved. The Insurance premium for a new Mustang would be through the roof which I cant afford, so I have to wait until after 2014 to buy a new car. So used is where Ill go.

Im in the market for an 05-09 Mustang GT. Manual. When I wrecked I had about 63k miles on my 07 GT. I kept up with the maintenance and it never gave me problems.

Buying someones used Mustang makes me weary....but its cheaper than the dealership. So what should I look for in a used S197? What problems should I look for/be aware of in a vehicle that someone didnt maintain properly? Any redflags? This is going to be my car until 2016-17. Id like to get one in the 50-70k mile range, and pay no more than 16k.

Any input would be greatly appreciated guys, thanks.
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Last edited by V8Thrasher; 10-03-2013 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8Thrasher View Post

Buying someones used Mustang makes me weary....
It makes you tired to buy a used car?
Quote:
wea·ry (wîr)
adj. wea·ri·er, wea·ri·est
1. Physically or mentally fatigued.
2. Expressive of or prompted by fatigue: a weary smile.
3. Having one's interest, forbearance, or indulgence worn out: weary of delays.
4. Causing fatigue; tiresome: a weary wait.
Maybe you meant:
Quote:
leer•y or Leary (both acceptable spellings)

adj. leer•i•er, leer•i•est.
1. wary; suspicious (usu. fol. by of): I'm leery of his financial advice.

Or perhaps wary, but leary is the better of the two words

war·y (wâr)
adj. war·i·er, war·i·est
1. On guard; watchful: taught to be wary of strangers.
2. Characterized by caution: a wary glance at the black clouds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by V8Thrasher View Post
but its cheaper than the dealership. So what should I look for in a used S197? What problems should I look for/be aware of in a vehicle that someone didnt maintain properly? Any redflags? This is going to be my car until 2016-17. Id like to get one in the 50-70k mile range, and pay no more than 16k.

Any input would be greatly appreciated guys, thanks.
Take a look at the pedals for wear - and the carpeting. That should help to determine if the mileage is a accurate. Check the fluids under the hood to see if there is anything suspicious about it. If you know a good body man have him take a quick look and see if the car is straight or if there have been repairs made to it from an accident.

Don't forget when checking the carpet to see if there is any evidence of water on the passenger side from the well known leak. Pull up the door sill and lift the carpet to inspect underneath.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:31 PM   #3
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FWIW, shopping for a new or used car makes me tired!!

If I was shopping for a used I'd go for an 08 or 09 because I think they improved a few things in 08+ and added some better options. At the very least, the 08+ has the revised heads without the spark plug extraction issues.

I sold my 08 because the transmission was horrible. If you get a manual, be sure to check it out good. Mine had the 'cold crunch' in which it was near impossible to shift into 2nd gear in cold weather. It was pretty notchy and crunchy through all the gears and really, just not fun to drive...and this is coming from someone who's driven plenty of manual transmission cars (and previously owned 3 other manual mustangs).
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:53 PM   #4
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Welcome back. I'm sure you're aware of the laundry list of TSB's, of which about 80% pertained mostly to the 05's and '06's and to a lesser degree the later models.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:09 AM   #5
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in july i picked up an 09GT, few scratches in the paint but otherwise flawless.
i replaced the sloppy stock shifter with a barton and i replace the upper and lower control arms with BMR.
in september i drove the car cross country and back, car performed amazing.
oh almost forgot , i replaced the spark plugs.
i suggest you get the car on a lift and look for rust and any signs of it being hit
see if you can lift of the plastic piece that covers the space from the grill to the RAD, see if the front has been hit, the metal piece under the will tell you if its been hit in the front.
good luck in your search.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:13 AM   #6
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You can find some great used S197s with low mileage and under $16k. My '07 has had a blown A/C compresor seal and has 65k on the odometer. That's it. Sure 5 plugs broke during the change but that is something I can personally deal with.

I'd look for one from an person in their 30's and up with a small family (no offense younger guys, us older married fathers tend to have less time to beat up on the cars). You can find them all the time being sold because an addition to the family. And talk to the person about the car. If you know enough about these cars, you can tell if someone has loved the car and maintained it well.

Look for any oil leaks. Look for obvious signs of any kind of maintenance. Do the panels have different shades of paint? I judge how well maintained a car is by looking closely at the engine. Most guys around here who love their cars keep it meticulously clean under there.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:34 AM   #7
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Look very closely at the underneath side of the hood for corrosion. It will show around the edges near the seams of the fold as paint bubbles first. By now I would guess most with a problem should at least be showing signs of bubbling. After the bubbling, the paint will eventually start to flake off leaving a white crusty material from the corrosion. And eventually it will creep around to the top of the hood (usually on the front first). You don't necessarily need to rule out these cars (from my informal surveys it may account for over 25% of them), but know that a repaint with proper prep to remove the contaminants and corrosion will run close to $1k. Add some to that for an aftermarket fiberglass hood painted to match.

Have you talked to your insurance agent to compare new vs. used? My experience has been that new cars can actually be cheaper than used due to improved safety (since injuries have potential to cost more to insurance companies than car repairs). I'm not sure with respect to Mustang GTs as mine is not a daily driver and therefore the insurance is pretty cheap. Nothing wrong with a used Mustang, but just throwing that out there.

Otherwise, per the advice above it's usually pretty easy to tell whether a car has been babied or beat on by looking for telltale signs of wear. Find one that's been babied and you should be set for the long haul. Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:20 AM   #8
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Sorry to hear about your accident, but glad to hear you are back in the market and searching for another Mustang. =)

My 99 Mustang was totaled out due to a dip wad pulling out in front of me. I was in the proces of saving up for a GT and only had it one year. Unfortunately, I did not have enough saved for a GT and decided to get the 2005 V6, since I really liked the look of the S197 body style. I've experienced numerous TSB issues with my 2005. With that being said, I would also recommend 07-09 models, less TSB issues.

Good luck with the search and keep us posted!
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
I judge how well maintained a car is by looking closely at the engine. Most guys around here who love their cars keep it meticulously clean under there.
I love my car and keep it well maintained, but I never clean the engine bay. It's a pain in the *** and nobody ever sees it so I don't bother!
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:38 AM   #10
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mine is mint under the hood


has to be kept that way
it never sees rain though
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:43 PM   #11
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Sure 5 plugs broke during the change but that is something I can personally deal with.
I'm also going to be moving on a S197 in the near future hopefully. I'm sure I can look it up but what is the issue with the plugs again, and if they break what did you do to finally remove them?
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:41 PM   #12
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Nothing wrong with buying used, I did. Just take your time and you will find a great car. Everybody has already listed the obvious items to look for, so get out the PC and start that search.
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:45 AM   #13
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This was an informative thread for me. I'm currently looking for an S197 GT and have been looking at a very clean '06. I thought it was the one until I read this thread. ouch!
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8Thrasher View Post
Hey guys whats up? I used to be a ... etc ...
Last december I was driving home from work, and it was raining pretty bad,
... etc ... single car accident that I have and am considered at fault to due to no one else being involved. .
You likely were considered at fault in that crash because you were driving too fast for conditions. Wide tires, higher speeds, lighter cars, more water, worn tires, worn pavement, .... all coditions that will increase the likelihood of hydroplaning.

As to insurance, you do know now that you can keep comp / collision on even after the car is paid off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V8Thrasher View Post
Buying someones used Mustang makes me weary....but its cheaper than the dealership. So what should I look for in a used S197? What problems should I look for/be aware of in a vehicle that someone didnt maintain properly? Any redflags? This is going to be my car until 2016-17. Id like to get one in the 50-70k mile range, and pay no more than 16k.

Any input would be greatly appreciated guys, thanks.
Banged up or bent floor pans and frame members are bad, signs of excessive leakage under the car, bent suspension parts, banged up rim edges, badly scuffed tire sidewalls, blue scotchlock wire connectors or "twist wrap splices" and such haphazard modifications, ill fitting or loose interior parts, strange odors .... these are some things that I look for .... and run away from.

I'm 59, my wife is "younger" .... and we never look for new vehicles, we look for golden opportunities in used, even if only slightly used. Mods that don't make sense or that are poorly executed or that don't suit my taste are best not done. I know what I like and when I see it, I listen to what the seller is telling me, both for what they say .... and what they don't say.

In June (2013) we bought our 2008 DCAR GT 5 spd which had a couple simple AM parts (grille, TL trim, etc) that while maybe weren't something I would have chosen .... it showed me someone cared for the appearance. Paint was taken care of, odometer showed 21,899 miles, tires were about half worn Perelli with a date code of 3107 on all 4, and all were worn equally indicating rotations done and likely few burnouts. The interior was absolutely unmarked, no dings, tears, stains, or loose parts. Car still had OEM airfilter, but new oil filter and oil. No leaks underneath, brakes look about 80% left. Still had cover in power outlet. Stock GT exhaust. The Chrome AR wheels have never had a wheel weight or other mark on the lips (weights are stick on just inside). I did look at CarFax on it, car originated Kansas and looks like owner moved here.

I got it for pretty close to what you are looking at, straight sale.

Don't just "settle" for something, look around and always be willing to walk away.

And think about keeping the insurance on it after paid off if it's loss will cause you a serious setback.

Same time as we bought the '08, some long time friends were casually looking at a Ford dealer about an hour north, same week anyway .... and mentioned to the salesman that he and his wife were just looking out for a nice used Mustang Convertible ..... salesman took them into shop where they had a trade in that had just been traded in that morning, it was 2001 dark blue Mustang GT Convertible with white leather interior and top and 4131 actual miles, aftermarket exhaust and CAI and 18" Chrome American wheels with 245/50-16 rubber, automatic, and not a mark on it. An older couple (older than both he and I, we are in late '50s) had bought the car new and used it just to participate in Cruise Ins that are so popular around here, to be around other cars and friends, and they kept it garaged and spotless except when at a Cruise In. He got it cheaper than 16K ....

Wife and I have been into GoldWing MCs for last near 20 years but we are starting to go to more Cruise Ins ourselves so when my buddy and his wife finally surprised us with their news, we surprised them with ours.



Yeah, I'ld own it .... and likely lower it a hair.

Last edited by tbear853; 10-12-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:37 PM   #15
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^ 4x4!!!
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:58 PM   #16
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Got 06 GT black on black ,1000 shaker,manual,18 polished bullit wheels,51,000,well kept. 17,000 cash
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:58 PM
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