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94 Aerostar vs 98 Navigator; your thoughts and advice
I have had this 94 4.0 AWD for about three years now. It has served me well, in fact I just got back Sunday from a trip from NJ to Michigan's U.P. towing my 1000 lb boat without a hiccup. Tuesday, starter died and I replaced it this morning. Gas mileage on Michigan trip averaged just over 15MPG with the boat!
The wife would like a 98 Navigator in good shape and I'm going to pay $4k for it.
I know the mileage will suck compared to the Aero.
Her car, a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan is in the shop getting a tranny rebuild!
Any suggestions/warnings/advice on the Navigator? Should I back out now!?
I haven't decided what it will replace. Family's third car is my daily driver, '94 Bonneville.
If this particular Navigator incarnation has significant issues, what are they likely to be? The Dodge minivans always seem to have trans issues for us!
The Navigator is overall very good. I've heard of front end issues, but that aside, nothing really. If your wife really wants to pay for the gas, go for it, otherwise, you can put a lot of money into an Aero and get a very good return. Unlike the Caravan, which is a money hole.
a ford mechanic friend of mine told me that if you bump the curb hard enough it will brake something that holds the suspension together, which makes the vehicle look like it is leaning on one corner. while it is really easy to fix, it costs LOTS of money because they have to weld the iron back together, then use NDT to come out and make sure the welds are good. this also involves dissasembling half the front end. so tell her NO curb hopping. lol
also... please no 26" spinners...
88 civic hatch - rebuilding from the ground up, too many mods.
90 civic sedan - daily driver in the works
95 4.0l 2wd xlt base - old reliable turn key family savior
snow and ice driving?
just want something upscale and fancy?
extra V8 power?
large V8 SucksUV's are a dime a dozen out here on West Coast. I wouldn't give more than $2K if it's over 100k on odometer. Banks and credit unions are plugged with the gas hog rigs, owners can't afford the gas bill and extra insurance.
which engine? 4.6 OHC or 5.4 OHC ?
the 5.4 OHC is a towing beast but requires high rpm on the hills which it easily does
put a 200 gal gas tank behind the front seat
you'll need it.
Uhm, an Toyota Scion, thats like saying a Ford Mercury. Scion is a spin off company. There are several Scion models. If the wife wants an SUV, go for the Explorer chassis, just makes sure its older than 2000. The 5R55E transmission is a bear to deal with.
Any suggestions/warnings/advice on the Navigator? Should I back out now!
5.4l engines on late '98 and '99 were recalled for replacement of head gasket on passenger side. Around 45,000-60,000 miles, they developed major oil leaks due to a factory caused milling problem. This is an expensive repair and the recall period is past. Make sure the previous owner had this addressed. Also, the brake switch on the master cylinder was recalled due to a propensity to start fires if the MC developed a leak into the always hot (wired) switch. Dealer repair will have a new looking lead into the MC switch with a Ford tag attached noting the repair.
We did buy the Navigator. The build date was August of 1997, so I hope this does not qualify as a 'late 98' truck. There's no sign of any leakage anywhere, and I just did the oil change so that is a good sign! The former owner might not be any help with so technical a question.
Looks like the Dodge Grand Caravan is the vehicle on the way out of this family. The trans repair (not rebuild) is going to be done by me, then it's up for sale.
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! If the basic maintenance can be carried out by me, and I see no reason it shouldn't, then we'll come out on top vs. the Caravan despite the lower day-to-day operating costs of the Caravan.
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