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Old 09-07-2015, 09:30 PM   #1
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When Buying a 96-04 GT

I think i'm going to stay away from foxbodies at this point in my life.
Sooo when buying a 96-04 GT,,,

What should I look for?
Auto or 5-speed?? (can drive stick but haven't in awhile)
Is there a "best" year?

Basically just tell me anything useful I should know about these year GTs.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:55 PM   #2
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1- Ask the owner if it has ever thrown a PATS Code
2- Ask him what oil he runs. The correct answer is Motorcraft 5w-20 with a motorcraft oil filter
3- Check all fluid levels after it warms up on a flat surface
4- Take it for the hardest & longes test drive you can
5- Check the fluid levels again
6- Listen for a clutch chirping noise (bad sign usually)
7- Pay attention to 5th & reverse gear grinds.
8- Listen for possible timing chain slappyness

The best years I think are 02+ tr3650? I think anyway, not sure exactly. They also have 21Lb injectors instead of 19, I think anyway. That might have came in 01.
The best one is often the one with the oldest owner and the lowest number on the tach. They are all good, but make sure its not going to burn all of the oil on a 2 hour long highway stint or blow all the oil out of the dipstick tube if you gas it hard.

Get a carbureted one if you can :p I can hook you up!
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:17 PM   #3
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Alright thats a good start, thanks brah.

Lol idk about getting a carbed one, havent seen any out there, maybe one on craigslist
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Old 09-07-2015, 11:32 PM   #4
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Oil brand does not matter but the correct weight does!.. Also make sure the coolant crossover is the aluminum one and not plastic!.. If you get an '03 or '04 you'll be good to go!..


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Old 09-07-2015, 11:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eturner View Post
Oil brand does not matter but the correct weight does!.. Also make sure the coolant crossover is the aluminum one and not plastic!.. If you get an '03 or '04 you'll be good to go!..


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What is the coolant crossover???
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LavaRedSixxer View Post
What is the coolant crossover???

It's on the front on the intake manifold!.. Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByMustang Evolution1441689588.924495.jpg
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ID:	190827 should look like this!..


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Old 09-08-2015, 12:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panther140 View Post
1- Ask the owner if it has ever thrown a PATS Code
2- Ask him what oil he runs. The correct answer is any synthetic 5w-30 with a motorcraft oil filter.
Better
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:47 AM   #8
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2004 would be the best year. Better 4r75w trans. 8 thread spark plug holes in the heads.


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Old 09-08-2015, 06:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panther140 View Post
1- Ask the owner if it has ever thrown a PATS Code
2- Ask him what oil he runs. The correct answer is Motorcraft 5w-20 with a motorcraft oil filter
3- Check all fluid levels after it warms up on a flat surface
4- Take it for the hardest & longes test drive you can
5- Check the fluid levels again
6- Listen for a clutch chirping noise (bad sign usually)
7- Pay attention to 5th & reverse gear grinds.
8- Listen for possible timing chain slappyness

The best years I think are 02+ tr3650? I think anyway, not sure exactly. They also have 21Lb injectors instead of 19, I think anyway. That might have came in 01.
The best one is often the one with the oldest owner and the lowest number on the tach. They are all good, but make sure its not going to burn all of the oil on a 2 hour long highway stint or blow all the oil out of the dipstick tube if you gas it hard.

Get a carbureted one if you can :p I can hook you up!
1-PATS code will either be an issue or it won't. If the car is tuned, definitely ask if PATS is disabled.

2-Nah, any good oil. 5w30 is the actual original Ford spec but it was changed to 5w20 for CAFE reasons. I am actually running 5w40 in my 5.4L and will be running that as well in my supercharged 4.6L.

3-5-Agreed

6-Yeah, bad TOB=trans needs to come out

7-This is a big issue on 96-98 cars. Watch out for the 2nd gear crunch on any 01-04s too.

8-Agreed


Quote:
Originally Posted by LavaRedSixxer View Post
Alright thats a good start, thanks brah.

Lol idk about getting a carbed one, havent seen any out there, maybe one on craigslist
He's just saying that because he was a nutswinger for carbs till he got a nice fuel injected Cobra. Have not heard a peep out of him since lol.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Eturner View Post
It's on the front on the intake manifold!.. Attachment 190827 should look like this!..


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soccerluvr4 View Post
Better
Beware, those can and will still warp and leak under the tstat housing. Look for any coolant around that area and shine a light down into the valley and look for any coolant in there and sniff around for that smell for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slater2111 View Post
2004 would be the best year. Better 4r75w trans. 8 thread spark plug holes in the heads.


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04 is the best year for automatics for sure. TBTH if I was looking for a straight line performer SN95 I would only be looking at an 04 auto. For a stick shift... the best transmission years for the 96-04 cars would be the 99/00 (and very early 01) cars that came with the upgraded T45s. But yeah the 04 cars did get the updated heads with the 8 thread spark plugs and the 21lb injectors started in 02. Neither of which is a really big deal at all unless you are going built with big boost and then they'll both get replaced anyway.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottydsntknow View Post


04 is the best year for automatics for sure. TBTH if I was looking for a straight line performer SN95 I would only be looking at an 04 auto. For a stick shift... the best transmission years for the 96-04 cars would be the 99/00 (and very early 01) cars that came with the upgraded T45s.

I shall remember this,,
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottydsntknow View Post

He's just saying that because he was a nutswinger for carbs till he got a nice fuel injected Cobra. Have not heard a peep out of him since lol.



.
Alright. Just for that im doing a carb swap tonight lol.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:25 PM   #12
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Just JB Weld a carb to the top of your Cobra intake an put a big air filter on it, nobody will know its not carbed!
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LavaRedSixxer View Post
I shall remember this,,
The 04 GT and 04 Mach (and some really really really really REALLY late run 03s) got the 4R75w which is an upgraded verison of the 4R70w. The 75w was only available for that model year run in the Mustang. Its basically a "built" trans right from the factory that is good for well over 600ft lbs if not more. I mean the converter needs to be replaced with a good aftermarket stall but that's the case in any event.

For someone who is worried more about 1/4 mile times than "banging gears" or doing highway pulls this is the way to go.

I actually ALMOST bought an 04 Mach auto but it had a little too many miles for me at 144k... It was in real good shape tho.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:14 PM   #14
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Definitely check the coolant crossover. When we got our 98GT long time back, it was the plastic. Busted it first time replaced the thermostat and had to replace the whole thing. 300-500 to replace depending on brand you get and that is if replace yourself.

I want to think that was a ford recall but is long since passed so it is out of you own pocket.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:25 PM   #15
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The plastic crossovers were only 99-early 01. 96-98 NPI cars and 01-04 PI cars had the metal crossovers. If your 98 had one then some clown did a PI intake swap with a plastic crossover intake before you got the car.


A FRPP PI intake is $295 on AM/LRS and is the only one you should use. NOT the Dorman and not the "replacement" PI intake for $199 that AM sells. Gaskets are $25 on Rockauto and the intake takes only a few hours to replace with hand tools and a torque wrench.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:41 PM   #16
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And make sure you use a torque wrench else you just cost yourself another manifold.


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Old 09-08-2015, 03:20 PM   #17
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And that you go in the right bolt sequence and do it in a 3 step process.
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:21 PM   #18
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:24 PM   #19
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I always thought I had a 70w till scotty linked a pic of the yellow tab on the 75w. I got a late 03 I feel lucky

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Old 09-08-2015, 03:32 PM   #20
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Here are some carb'd motors for you.........
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Old 09-08-2015, 04:02 PM   #21
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Here are some carb'd motors for you.........
you are my hero for posting that one with the freaking 6 pack. where did you find that?!?
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:13 PM   #22
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you are my hero for posting that one with the freaking 6 pack. where did you find that?!?
A number of years ago I was building a Model A Coupe and entertained the idea of putting a DOHC motor in it....a friend later put one in his 32 Ford....and there was a company..I can't remember their name that was making these for the DOHC motors. The only thing holding me back was the $3k for the complete setup. I'll try and look through my stuff and see it I can't find the company and if they still exist. They actually had a stock 97 DOHC motor out of a Cobra and with the tri-power were making around 350HP on the engine dyno.....I'll look and get back to you.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:24 PM   #23
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I always thought I had a 70w till scotty linked a pic of the yellow tab on the 75w. I got a late 03 I feel lucky

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Same here

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