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Old 07-31-2015, 08:59 PM   #1
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Buying a mach 1

I am going to be buying a 2004 Competition Orange Mach 1 next week! The buyer is asking 12,000. As far as I know so far it has xpipe with Magnaflow catback, H&R springs, new shocks and struts, control arms, caster camber plates, Hurst shifter, in dash TV, K&N intake, spec clutch and flywheel, brand new 315 Mickey Thompsons, Black Saleen wheels 18 inch, repainted whole car one year ago. What do you guys think? Good deal? What should I look out for?

82,000 miles

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Old 08-03-2015, 12:36 PM   #2
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Beautiful car! I just picked up a black '03 myself. Just look out for the usual stuff. Make sure the trans shifts well, listen for excessive valvetrain noise, etc. These are awesome cars that really respond well to mods.

Oh and if possible, inspect a couple of the cylinders. Look at the condition of the piston surface and the walls. If you can't, have a mechanic look.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:45 PM   #3
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Car looks clean in the pics. 12k is slightly high for the mileage imo, but I'm sure the current owner feels the new paint and the mods justify the price. Have you already bought it or are you going to look at it?

As said, watch and listen for anything unusual. Do listen to the engine at idle for any slapping or a slight grinding noise. If you can hear it and it sounds like it's towards the front of the heads, there's a good chance the chain tensioner(s) are going out. This can be due to lack of oiling, or just defective/junk sprockets which are common in the 4.6/5.4V's from those years.

Do keep in mind the infamous head tick from the 03/04 cobras was in the Mach's 4V's as well. This will sound much more subtle compared to the chain slap, and won't affect idle smoothness.

Also, if the silver (cast) shaker mount bracket is missing (located directly under the shaker) then the car has most likely had forced induction at some time. That's the only reason to remove that bracket.

Not sure if you have driven a TR-3650 before, but they are notchy and stiff. However excessive stiffness or lack of is a clear indicator of wear/worn synchros etc.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:20 PM   #4
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I'll be buying it Saturday, it's in New York so I will be flying there. The owner posted a video revving the engine, sitting at idle, close up of the inside and outside. Thank you for the info, I'll have to look up some of the things you brought up. So I know a little more about some potential problems. If you think of anything else at all! Don't hesitate to post please!! Wanna make sure it's a solid buy
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:27 PM   #5
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That looks like a really nice piece. Very tastefully modified to say the least. The owner looks like he has some other toys too.
Congratulations on the future purchase.


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Old 08-04-2015, 10:35 PM   #6
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Your first mod should be the removal of the cobra floor mats in a Mach 1. Other than that it looks nice. I would just tell you not to be afraid to walk away if it's not quite what you expected when you get there. He is going to think he has you hook line and sinker since you are flying there. If it's not right, don't force yourself to complete the deal because "well I'm already here and traveled all this way". Good luck and keep us posted 👍🏻
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:49 PM   #7
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Well if you're flying in I'm sure you're going with the intent to buy, provided the car isn't a complete pos. Don't feel pressured to buy if it don't feel right. A $300 plane ticket is a much better loss than a $12k car that doesn't run.

That being said, if the car is straight, I wouldn't hesitate to offer slightly less than he's asking. Since you will be there in person with cash in hand he may take a lower offer around $11-11.5k
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oxford5pointoh View Post
Your first mod should be the removal of the cobra floor mats in a Mach 1. Other than that it looks nice. I would just tell you not to be afraid to walk away if it's not quite what you expected when you get there. He is going to think he has you hook line and sinker since you are flying there. If it's not right, don't force yourself to complete the deal because "well I'm already here and traveled all this way". Good luck and keep us posted 👍🏻
Thank you! lol. I was thinking that when I blew up the pic a minute ago. OP, if you offer less and he takes it, immediately order a set of Mach 1 floormats on American Muscle. They are on sale right now and will look much better!
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:17 AM   #9
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Walking away would complicate things for getting home, but your right I rather lose 300 then 12k. The floor mats will be changed, not a fan of the cobra mats in a Mach 1 either! I'm most worried about engine problems, I'll prob call a mechanic shop up there and see if they would do a pre-purchase inspection just to be safe.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:45 PM   #10
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That's a good plan. Judging by the pictures and tasteful mods listed I'm sure the car is fine. The owner looks like he is a car guy with some other nice rides, so there's a good chance the car has been taken care of.

Biggest problem with the 4V engines off the show floor is the cams tensioners, sprockets. Really is a lottery as far as getting a car that's prone to the issue. Of course the powdered cast rods are weak as hell but should be fine N/A.

The head tick issue is more prevalent in the 03 models and can be resolved with a $200 bypass kit. Wouldn't be too concerned with that.

More common issues with basically all 03-04 cars in bone stock form:
TR3650 has been known to have throwout bearing issues,
Hvac Rattle common in all trims/engines
8.8" rearends have been known to whine/clunk

I did have a rattle/metallic sound coming from my engine bay shortly after buying my Mach 1. I immediately thought it might be timing chains, piston slap, etc., something serious. Turns out the shaker wasn't mounted tightly. Pressed down firmly on the shaker and the sound instantly went away. So don't be afraid to check that if you do hear some rattling noises.
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