Agreed. Despite the minor stuff that hurt them, Ford powered through. No government bailout money either. Their lineup of vehicles now is superb too. They're also beginning to introduce direct injection fuel systems. I think I heard the new model year Taurus is going to be sporting a twin-turbo direct injected engine with, I think I heard, 20% better fuel economy? A lot of common problems were region-specific too (states that use road salt in the winter), that contributed to problems like the rear axles rotting away on Windstars and exhaust manifolds on the F series trucks. (
Yeah, Ford GM and Chrysler all hurt pretty badly through most of the 2000s. The slump really helped Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Nissan Hyundai/Kia (just in the past couple years) leapfrog Detroit.
A few things I can pick out from Ford were struts and valvetrain problems in Taurus, exhaust manifolds on F-series, trannys in Explorers, those are the big things I come across. Electrical problems has bitten them in the ass for years, but it looks like they're finally pulling away from that; electrical is a fucking nightmare if you don't understand it. I toured the Mercedes Elite shop at UTI and they showed us a trainer vehicle that had 112 on-board computers. @_@ No thanks. (but I love Ford they're number 1 to me behind GM and Crapsler)
Agreed on Chrysler 100% too, rolling lemons, all they are. Ram trucks are nice, I like them, if the tranny in it won't blow driving home.
In GMs, I've seen a couple intake gaskets on 3100s, 3300s, 3400s, 3800s, moreso in the 4300s, 305 and 350 motors, although the 4300 and the V8s are insanely easy. The 3's are more of a pain, because the push rods run through the intake, so you need to disassemble the rockers and pull the push rods. A lot of people say head gaskets are common on those motors too, I haven't seen one yet though. We had a '95 Lumina that the tranny blew in around 100-150k, although I haven't seen another in a Malibu/Lumina/Imp/similar Buick Pontiac. Transmission oil coolers on Malibus/Luminas/Imps, I've seen a couple of those too. Transmission oil runs through the radiator, if that separate cooler ruptures oil mixes with the antifreeze. (yeahhh I think I can stop rambling here)
That's a nice run on that Taurus there. Rotted away before the drivetrain gave, that's how you do it. My Explorer has a long life ahead of it, only 145k right now and good for several more. Though I doubt I'll have it for too long. xD I love it, but I'm always shopping. Would LOVE either another Explorer or Mountaineer with the V8 (no tradeoff fuel mileage-wise, they're practically the same) or a Grand Marquis.
@approacing_darkness no, I wouldn't do that to mine. Its my daily driver, and I'm very picky about how it handles/rides. I run highway-tread (non-aggressive) passenger tires and balance them almost every time I change the oil in it, and for an Explorer, the usual driveline vibration you'd normally feel is almost non-existent. I drive it lighly too; do the speed limit, no sharp turns etc. (I live in Massachusetts, I'd rather not make friends with the stateys :/)