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Thread: Purchase advice for an SC - Potential new owner

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Albany, OR

    Purchase advice for an SC - Potential new owner

    Howdy folks.

    I'm looking at picking up an SC. I've wanted one for a while, but I've been spending my time with my two Taurus SHOs. My parents just bought a black 1990 SC for my 17 year old brother (which I am delivering to him tomorrow (he's working for my aunt in a different town - doesn't know the car is coming. Should be fun!), and after driving it, I've decided that it's looking like a good time to get one of my own.

    The SHO and the SC are kind of similar in the fact that they're both the igh-performance versions of a normal production car, and that they don't build them anymore.

    Having owned the SHOs for a while, I've learned quite a bit about pricing them - and that the published valuation guides are a joke.

    For example, most SHO owners prefer the MTX (Manual Transmission) over the ATX (Automatic Transmission), yet the guides value the ATX more, since it cost more from the factory.

    This is the exact opposite of what the SHO community feels.

    There's also the fact that they value my 1993 SHO at about $6500. I'd love to get that much money out of it, if I ever sold it - but I won't. Realistically, the 1993 is worth about $3500. It's an ATX (lowering the value). It doesn't have HIGH miles, it's in near-perfect condition - the cars just AREN'T worth as much as the guides say.

    Hence, my sojourn here. I'm pretty sure the same type of things hold true for the SC - the transmission preference making the car worth more to enthusiasts (I know I want a 5-speed!), and the general "overvalue" the guides give.

    I want your folks opinions on what you think this car is worth.

    Here's the details:

    1990 35th Anniversary Edition.

    Exterior nearly spotless - paint is good, body is straight, a couple of minor door dings that every car has.

    Automatic Transmission

    154,000 miles on the odometer.

    Owner reports her father put a brand-new zero-mile engine in the car approximately 2500-5000 miles ago. No way to confirm this.

    Engine pulls strong, and is nice and quiet.

    Now, for the bad things:

    Brakes SUCK. Have to push them all the way to the floor to get the car to even START stopping, and then, it takes a while to do that.

    Driver's seatcover seriously torn up.

    Driver's power seat mechanism busted up and does not work - seat locked all the way forward (and me, being 6'9" tall. Not a good combo!).

    Passenger seat cover moderately torn up.

    Rear seatcover in decent condition - however, grey cloth panels really dingy/dirty - don't think a steam clean would help all that much.

    Driver's automatic seatbelt does not move - must manually buckle/unbuckle.

    Passenger automatic seatbelt does not move - must manually buckle/unbuckle.

    Driver's lap seatbelt does not fasten.

    Driver's power doorlock does not function.

    Passenger power window malfunction - motor works fine, however owner reports window has habit of falling off it's track - was off track when I inspected the car.

    Radio missing - appears aftermarket had been installed at some point. Shoddy wiring for amplifiers still present in engine bay/passenger compartment/trunk. All exposed.

    Speakers appear to be missing, but did not remove door panels/speaker covers to inspect further.

    Passenger side foglight not working.

    All "idiot lights"/warning lights on display panel above radio are illuminated.

    Reminder chime dings constantly if headlights are on.

    ARC/SARC switch seems to have no effect on suspension.

    AC needs recharged/repaired - does not blow cold at all.

    Electrical system has a drain on it that will kill the battery in a few hours - owner currently disconnects battery cables. Can hear clicking if car turned off, key removed, and battery connected.

    Car has had smoker in it - owner claims this is recent, due to letting her brother borrow the car over the last month or two.


    So, with all that in mind, what do you think? I've tentatively offered $1000.

    What with all the diagnostic work that needs to be done on the electrical system, the front and rear seats needing replaced (unless anyone knows of replacement seatcovers that match the stock 35th Anniversary covers?), the brakes, etc, etc, if I buy this car, I'm looking at spending some bills to get it back to preferrable condition.

    Think I'm lowballing the owner? Highballing?

    Let me know.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Erie, PA
    The battery drain could be as simple as the ABS pump motor relay sticking. This is a common problem, and can be fixed for less than $20. You can get the relay at an Advanced or AutoZone. GP Sorrenson MR120.

    Do you notice any ABS/Brake lights with the touch of the brake pedal? If so the ABS Accumulator is shot and this is the reason for the hard pedal, the accumulator is not holding pressure and the system continuously has to re-pressurize it.

    Has the automatic transmission been rebuilt? How does it shift in and out of overdrive?

    As far as the seats, they are paticular to the 35th and are black leather and suede. Recovering will not be cheap. You can buy custom fit SC seat covers (i.e.Wetokle) but IMHO they don't look near as good as stock.

    About the window, this too is a common problem. You can have the window reglued to the track with a "special glue". Ask about this on the technical board.

    The power lock and seat belts could be as simple as a fuse. Seems odd both motorized lap belts do not work.

    Do you see the "Firm" light flash? If so this indicated a problem with the adjustable suspension. Could be as simple as the shck needing some WD40, or the actuator needing replaced.

    I would say $1,000 is a fair price. If the engine was replaced with a brand new unit then its a steal as most Salvage yards in my area (N.W. PA) want $1200 for a complete 80K mile motor.

    Other potential problems you may want to look for would be the following:

    Motor mounts (~~~~=expensive)
    Head gaskets

    To check the motor mounts:
    1.) Raise hood
    2.) Start car
    3.) Put in Drive (foot on brake)
    4.) Give it some gas and watch for excess movement

    Listen to the supercharger and make sure there are no rattling or any other bad noises coming from it! Check for leaking snout seal (behind the pulley).

    Push down on the front or rear of the car. The car should return to the spot it was and not bouce back and forth. Jack up the front end and check for ball joints, tie rod ends, etc..

    Head gaskets should not really be an issue if the engine was replaced but anything is possible. Check the oil for any signs of antifreeze. Check for white smoke out the tail pipes. Also let the car get up to operating temperature and watch the guage.

    If you have any other questions, post back.

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