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Old 01-24-2016, 03:45 PM   #1
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96-98 mustang gt info looking to buy

ok ive been looking at a 96,97 & 98 mustang gt, yes i know most say they are the worst years for stangs but they look good to me & aint that bad to me. ive only test drove the 97 so far going back monday to do good test drive due to bad weather here. done car reports on all 3 the 98 said MILEAGE INCONSISTENCY witch ive not seen, the other 2 reports was good all stock 96 has 110k, 97 115k, 98 kinda hard to say but says 158k ill take all info i can. are they good motors so on thanks
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:14 PM   #2
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The 94-98 cars can look good, it takes some doing but not that much. They are very good running engines, they go for 250k plus miles IF maintained correctly. They will be the NPI motors which are a tad under powered compared to other models, but their nice cars IMO. You can swap the intake, heads, and cams from a 99+ and gain about 45-50 flywheel HP. This is a common swap and can be done somehwhat cheaply, yet I havent done mine yet, lol.

Just look for the basic things like oil, leaks, check brakes, coolant, smell around the motor after you drive it. They are notorious for intake manifold issues which usually require replacement but is fairly simple to do yourself. The intakes are plastic and can crack and usually do by the Tstat, or heater inlet, so check those locations after you drive it. If DIY you can replace it for around $300-325. Other than that I would just drive the crap out of it, make sure it shifts good, steers tight, and does what its supposed to do. Get under it and look around for any issues on the frame or rust, etc. Watch gauges for anything off, check engine lights etc. The ABS sensors seem to be an issue on these too when their older and the PATS (theft system), you will know right away if there is a PATs issue because it probably wont start lol. Check maintenance records, if the owner has most maint records since they have owned it and are organized, thats a good sign they meticulously took care of the car.

To make them look good they need to be lowered, and a nice set of wheels/tires. Throw a set of good performance mufflers and a aftermarket mid pipe and they sound awesome! This can be done fairly cheap. Lowering if done right isnt the cheapest but it looks so much better.

Anyway, hope you find a nice cheap one in good shape. When you do find one post some pics and info up on here and ask for opinions. Be specific when describing it too, like new parts, issues, maint, etc. Good luck on your car hunting!

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Old 01-24-2016, 04:27 PM   #3
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As stated, if maintained reasonably well, these engines are pretty bullet proof. Lowered, I think they look a LOT better. Mine had a complete Maximum Motorsports Road and Track suspension, and it out handled practically anything:



Saleen side skirts and spoiler also improve the look immensely, I think.
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Old 01-24-2016, 05:33 PM   #4
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Those two ^ nailed the big things. I wouldn't even look at that 98. The mileage inconsistency would be a red flag for me and those cars are kind of the bastard child when it comes to fuel system components.
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:55 PM   #5
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read somewhere they bad about smoking around 120k miles do to valve steams seals ? yea the 98 mustang with that i did not like i done reports on all 3 but im thinking 97 pretty sure getting it if i like what i see in am.
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:08 PM   #6
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Had a 1998 GT with 194K miles before I sold it. Ran great! No problems at all. No leaks, nothing!. Wish I still had it, lol. I'd go with the 98 year model if possible.
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:58 PM   #7
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98 I think had a few more HP stock, but it wouldnt be worth even looking at with the history you pulled up like JDF said. If you want a 98 I would look for others, Im sure their out there. You can probably even find a lower mileage one than the others you have looked at too if you have some time to look. I know around me I see them on Craigslist with 100k or less miles for around 5k or so.

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Old 01-25-2016, 01:05 PM   #8
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Mileage inconsistency means the cluster was changed out or the title got messed up somewhere with miles reported lower than the title says. Don't buy.

That said, he 96-98 cars are great. Bargain rock bottom prices, the NPI with the PI swap done is actually noticably more powerful than a regular PI motor, you get a real black interior and the 94-04 chassis is basically identical so all the same stuff works.

I'd stay away from the 98s, they have one off wiring and fuel as they were a transition year. Also no dash clock pod to swap with a gauge cluster unless you swap it like I did.

The 4.6l is reliable as hell, they can go 200k+ easy with the right maintenance. The only real issue is the transmissions. The autos in 96 and most of 97 were very weak and all 96-98 T45 manuals have issues with the paper blocker rings and a faulty 5/R fork where the trans will get stuck in reverse.

I actually had a 98 GT with a PI swap motor, I swapped the trans to a freshly rebuilt 3650 myself and all the other "bolt ons" were done. Fun *** car and still the best looking 94-98 I have ever seen in person. Another enthusiast has it now.



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Old 01-25-2016, 01:27 PM   #9
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What looks to be a really nice, clean one down here in Florida if you want to take a road trip.

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Old 01-25-2016, 02:20 PM   #10
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I bought a 97 Cobra new off the show room floor...I tried almost every spring combo I could find when I lower it, put the R rims inplace of the 16's, totally changed the rear suspension, 3:73 gears, complete Bassani exhaust which got rid of 2 CAT's...blew the trans twice, finally put in a Tremec 6spd, had LT headers and tried the Ford Motor Sports/Performance headers...put a Supercharger on it and blew the motor............probably abused that car more than any other I ever had and it still came back for more....IMHO I'd look for a Cobra instead of GT.

Look at the pictures in my Garage
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Old 01-25-2016, 02:24 PM   #11
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What looks to be a really nice, clean one down here in Florida if you want to take a road trip.

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That is so overpriced it isn't even funny. I saw a bone stock original Rio Red with tan cloth interior and 18k miles garage kept go for $8k last year. Guy had a 31k mile white one with black leather bone stock listed in WV for $11k and dropped it to $9k.

NEVER buy these from a dealer unless they are bone *** stock, low miles and obviously garaged.
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:06 PM   #12
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thanks guys going in am to look at it, yea the 98 with mileage inconsistency turned me off from it plus 1st owner drive it about 25k miles a year thats alot in its own self, so i passed on it but if all goes well the 97 in am im getting also thanks for info on other cars but 12k to much ive got 2 kids looking for v8 to beat around town in also ive had other cars trans am few mustang not v8s mustangs had camaros but i just love mustangs & love its loook i like how it looks stock.
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:09 PM   #13
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So....what is your budget????
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:14 PM   #14
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That blue car I had I bought for $6k, did some mods, had 3 years of fun with it and then sold it for the same price eating the $$ I paid for the mods I did but I count that towards the time/fun I had with it.

I'd not pay more than $3k-$4k for a real nice bone stock 96-98 in good shape. Then depending on how mechanically inclined you are, start looking for a good PI top end for it and the rest of the basic "bolt ons". The good news is you don't really have to buy anything except the PI swap power wise. Nothing you do will really add any power besides exhaust. Then gears/shifter/tune and then work on suspension.
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:25 PM   #15
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cash wise 4k but the 97 is at a buddy of mines car lot so only 1000 down the 96 was 3,000 cash so was the 98 3000 cash as well, yea i try shop cheap but get best car i bought mint 95 z28 camaro for 2500 onlt 120kmiles few months back sold it to get a mustang.
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:27 PM   #16
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That is so overpriced it isn't even funny. I saw a bone stock original Rio Red with tan cloth interior and 18k miles garage kept go for $8k last year. Guy had a 31k mile white one with black leather bone stock listed in WV for $11k and dropped it to $9k.

NEVER buy these from a dealer unless they are bone *** stock, low miles and obviously garaged.
Did you take a look at the prices on his other cars?
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:51 PM   #17
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Did you take a look at the prices on his other cars?
Yes!, the 2008 SuperSnake for $86.5k.....give me a break!!!!!! They weren't that expensive brand new.....some of the other prices are a little over the top also...like 2 to 3 times what they are actually worth..........IMHO
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:52 PM   #18
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love my 98 , got a PI head & intake swap plus cams & 5 spd , only 60 k on it too , runs awesome
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Old 01-27-2016, 08:35 AM   #19
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passed on 97 so i guess its back to looking for now.
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Old 01-27-2016, 08:36 AM   #20
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passed on 97 so i guess its back to looking for now.
Keep looking. You'll find one.
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Old 01-27-2016, 08:42 AM   #21
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Problem I ran into looking on CL for those years is that everyone thinks their "nice" 96-98 is worth way more than it really is. I know what KBB/Edmunds say. Nobody is going to pay that for a stock NPI car with some miles.


Best bet is to get on multiple mustang forums and cruise the classifieds until you find a real nice one within a few hours. That's how I got my blue 98. I did find my silver car on CL but that was a once in a lifetime find and that guy legit had no clue.
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Old 01-27-2016, 06:51 PM   #22
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thxs guys. yea if i went by kbb id never buy one, kbb shoots low on older cars i think they said my 94 z28 was only was 1500 in great conditon. hard to find good runnng car a v8 for under 2,000 they do want lot them years 96-98< on clist alot spammers as well on there.
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Old 01-28-2016, 07:59 PM   #23
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one thing on 97 was it had weird idle it be around 800 then jump over 1000 ? iac took it off did fast clean put back on still did it maybe i didnt clean it good enough what would cause that ?
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:56 PM   #24
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one thing on 97 was it had weird idle it be around 800 then jump over 1000 ? iac took it off did fast clean put back on still did it maybe i didnt clean it good enough what would cause that ?

Possibly a vacuum leak somewhere in the system.............could be lots of things. Idle solenoid went out on my 97 Cobra.......A/C cycling on and off....etc.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:38 PM   #25
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if its not the iac what else think could be. i dont think it does it after good drive
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:46 PM   #26
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& ac ran fine
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:23 PM   #27
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or could iac just be bad?
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:26 PM   #28
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My 96 idle will fluctuate around there at times with the AC on or if you have it on the defrost setting. It has never caused me any issues or felt like it would stall or anything though.

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---------- Post added at 11:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:25 PM ----------

Could be a bad IAC. Seems if it was an oxygen sensor it would throw a code, but i guess they dont always.

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Old 01-28-2016, 10:35 PM   #29
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cash wise 4k but the 97 is at a buddy of mines car lot so only 1000 down the 96 was 3,000 cash so was the 98 3000 cash as well, yea i try shop cheap but get best car i bought mint 95 z28 camaro for 2500 onlt 120kmiles few months back sold it to get a mustang.
You do realize that you're doing this wrong.

Most people buy a 4.6 Mustang to be fast/cool ... then go up against an Fbody, Mini Cooper, Honda Odyssey or a 1 ton Dodge, get raped. Then sell Mustang and buy LT1/LS1 Fbody.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:43 PM   #30
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I was going to say if he had a mint LT1 F body and sold it for a NPI Mustang he either got it repoed or something happened or the F body was not mint...
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:07 PM   #31
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did have a mint z28 sold it was paid off so no repo here just not all about horsepower, if so id kept my lt1 or id never sold my 383 stroker 77 trans am just looking for a mustang, most all over priced so far. im dad with2 kids not going to be out drag racing like im 18 again.but just looking for soild v8
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:16 PM   #32
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Gotcha. If you just like the way they look you're weird like me liking the 94-98 body style just as much as the 99-04 new edge style lol.

You could find a 99-04 in your budget range if you look in good shape.
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:27 AM   #33
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Gotcha. If you just like the way they look you're weird like me liking the 94-98 body style just as much as the 99-04 new edge style lol.

You could find a 99-04 in your budget range if you look in good shape.
Im weird too. But I do prefer the New Edge. So why not just buy both styles? Lol

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Old 01-29-2016, 12:49 PM   #34
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Im weird too. But I do prefer the New Edge. So why not just buy both styles? Lol

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I've had a 5.0 SN95, a 4.6 SN95 and now finally got an edge.

I do plan on picking up a 94/95 Cobra in 3-5 years after the Steeda is long done and I want another project. There are still garage kept ones out there if you look.

Why I have held onto the 96-98 Cobra bumper in my shed lol.

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Old 01-29-2016, 08:47 PM   #35
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I've had a 5.0 SN95, a 4.6 SN95 and now finally got an edge.

I do plan on picking up a 94/95 Cobra in 3-5 years after the Steeda is long done and I want another project. There are still garage kept ones out there if you look.

Why I have held onto the 96-98 Cobra bumper in my shed lol.

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Yeah hold onto that thing. Again I love both styles when done right and cleanly. He should be able to find a good deal on a clean 94-98 I would think. There are a few around me right now. Also I have seen a couple 94/95 Cobras around me for sale that are really clean in the past 6 mths or so. The more I read about the 94/95 Cobra the more I would like to have one too, you can make them pretty damn quick.

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