Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for? - Mustang Evolution

Go Back   Mustang Evolution > 1979-2015 Mustang GT || Tech and Talk > 1996-2004 Mustang GT



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them here!
Old 07-30-2010, 05:57 PM   #1
Registered User
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10
Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

Sorry if this has been posted already, my searching skills are failing and the last 6 pages didnt look like anything i could use, so...

As the title says, i am looking at a 2003 Mustang Base (used, 62k). I will be inspecting the car tomorrow and test driving it. If anyone has any information such as inspecting certain key things on the car and feelings as i'm driving, i would appreciate it greatly.

In fact, ANY information would be awesome =) thanks guys.
Tuscloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-30-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
Registered Member
Regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Region: Other
Posts: 344
Re: Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

Carfax! Should have mechanic hook computer up to it if that is an option.
No white smoke out of exhaust. Best I can do for ya
Good luck and congrats on new buy
__________________
!
zztop1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2010, 07:01 PM   #3
Registered User
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10
Re: Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

thank you for your quick reply! i was worried no one would get to it by tomorrow.

I will have 2 highly trained "mechanics" with me when i look at it...but nothing official. I will have to get the electronics checked out afterwards or something. White smoke out exhaust = oil, correct? I know nothing about cars.

Are brakes ever an issue?
Tuscloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-30-2010, 08:10 PM   #4
Legacy Member
Legacy
 
lowflyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Region: Mississippi
Posts: 19,890
Send a message via AIM to lowflyn
Re: Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

If you can hear a metallic clicking sound coming from the passenger side of the engine the manifold is cracked. Common problem, but needs to be pointed out.

If it's an automatic there will be a slight shutter between 40 and 45 that can be fixed with a computer flash.

No known issues with brakes I know of. Drove a base 02 model for 100,000 miles on factory battery and belt. It's still going strong with the new owner and over 140k on it now.
__________________
"I'm not driving too fast...just flying too low"
Mine:
-03 SB Cobra vert- 2552 of 5082 Born 02/25/03
Our's:
90 7up vert - new project-07 DSG Focus -DD
335
lowflyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2010, 11:20 PM   #5
Loc: Austin,TX
Regular
Supporter
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Austin
Region: Texas
Posts: 5,980
Re: Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

Carfax doesnt mean **** unless its reported,check the body lines and see if they line up.Also look for spots in the engine bay that look like they have been repainted with no clearcoat.Pull the dipstick and check for a milky substance....not good.
DDTCM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 01:00 PM   #6
Registered User
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10
Re: Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

Thanks again guys...this is very helpful.

I checked out the CarFax, and it is clean. But like DDTCM said, it doesnt mean **** unless it is reported. However, it is always better than having a dirty CarFax, so i will take it =).

We checked out the body, and its all lined up. There are 2 rock-caused paint chips on the hood, but doesnt go to the metal so it just needs a quick touchup.

My oldest brother drove it too, and he said he thought he heard a faint clicking when accelerating a fast start...sounded like it was coming from underneath. He initially thought an exhaust leak, but it didnt happen every time. Any ideas? Could that be the cracked manifold?

Lastly, we checked the fluids and they looked ok. I will check one more time (cause we didnt check after we drove it) tomorrow. But it sounds like there isnt a real known issue with 03 mustangs, which is relieving to hear.

Thank you guys for everything! if you think of anything else, let me know. i dont officially buy it until tuesday.
Tuscloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2010, 07:29 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Legacy
Regular
 
SpectorV's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Region: Alabama
Posts: 26,049
Send a message via AIM to SpectorV
Re: Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

the 3.8L v6 is a rather good easy to work on and long lasting engine if its taken care of. Its a push rod engine so not much crazy tech wise. There is no real reacall or major known issues on them. You may run into someone that warns you about the head gaskets... but that was back in pre 96... thus WAY back so if they mention that take it with a grain of salt on anything else they say.

Check the rear end for leaks (rear diff cover) check the transmission for leaks as ell as engine pan and look for any obvious leaks or tool marks if stuff has been removed. If you can run a autocheck/carfax/and ford oasis report that will give you a good history of the car.

overall they are good cars, get modest gas milage, and are cheap/easy to work on with parts available everywhere.
__________________
2003 Cobra Vert (Redfire) #3938 of 5082 @ 05/27/2003
472rwhp/493rwtq -Modification List - Dyno Sheet
2012 Mustang 3.7L M6 (Kona Blue)
2011 Ford Edge Sport (Red Metallic)
SpectorV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 01:09 PM   #8
Registered User
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10
Re: Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

Thanks Spector, that is pretty reassuring.

I had a co-worker mention something about a Timing Belt Interval along with an Interference Engine? Do any of these ring a bell? He wants to know if it is 60,000 or more for the interval, and if it is indeed an interference engine. We googled it up, but didnt find any real solid answers.

Thanks for all your help so far.
Tuscloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 01:29 PM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
Legacy
Regular
 
SpectorV's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Region: Alabama
Posts: 26,049
Send a message via AIM to SpectorV
Re: Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

the timing belt on the 3.8/3.9L pushrod engine (all 94-04) have a timing chain not a belt

define interference? Its an even fire 6 cylinder coil pack ignition system good ole pushrod design with a 90 degree V6. The manual version (ONLY way to go in my opinion ever always) is a T-5 5 speed which is a good transmission that was used with the 5.0L push rod motors so those also have parts available.
__________________
2003 Cobra Vert (Redfire) #3938 of 5082 @ 05/27/2003
472rwhp/493rwtq -Modification List - Dyno Sheet
2012 Mustang 3.7L M6 (Kona Blue)
2011 Ford Edge Sport (Red Metallic)
SpectorV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 02:39 PM   #10
Registered User
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 10
Re: Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

Oh wow, ok. I guess that is why we did not find anything in google. He was trying to see if it had an interval belt, which i guess since it has a chain, it doesnt break (or very easily, at that?). He also said that if you have a timing belt break, you need to know if your engine is interfering or not due to pistons colliding with ...other things in the motor?

Dont shoot the messenger if that sounds wrong. as i stated, im way off base with cars... But i told him it is a chain and he said that everything is fine then, and that i dont need to worry about the rest. Hooray!

Also, it is a Manual Transmission. I have to brush up on my manual skills, as it has been about 6 years since ive driven one.
Tuscloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 03:14 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Legacy
Regular
 
SpectorV's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Region: Alabama
Posts: 26,049
Send a message via AIM to SpectorV
Re: Looking at a 03 Mustang Base, what should I look for?

if the timing chain breaks all hell will break lose and the engine will probably be destroyed as the valves will open and the pistons will slam into them, most all engines are this way.. .the good news is a 60k mile 3.8L engine would probably cost you about 600-1000 dollars lol at a junk yard lol.
__________________
2003 Cobra Vert (Redfire) #3938 of 5082 @ 05/27/2003
472rwhp/493rwtq -Modification List - Dyno Sheet
2012 Mustang 3.7L M6 (Kona Blue)
2011 Ford Edge Sport (Red Metallic)
SpectorV is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Mustang Evolution > 1979-2015 Mustang GT || Tech and Talk > 1996-2004 Mustang GT

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Problems With My 1995 Base Mustang MALITOU Pre-2005 V6 Mustang 4 04-08-2010 08:11 PM

» Like Us On Facebook



07:49 AM


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0

MustangEvolution.com is in no way associated with or endorsed by Ford Motor Company.