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Any common faults on a 98?

  #1  
Old 06-06-2006, 04:44 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 14
Default Any common faults on a 98?

Hi guys, first posting here but I'm a regular on the F*rd trucks site
Before I start, we're in the UK so I don't know if there are many (or any) spec. differences between UK and US models.
Anyway, we're taking a serious look at a Voyager for our daily driver. The one that catches our eye particularly is a 98 model.
I'm a truck driver so I know enough to know when a car is "straight" and I have excellent "seat of the pants" feel for noises, rumbles, vibrations etc that shouldn't be there.
This particular vehicle is a '98, 3.3 V6 with auto transmission. 2 owners from new, 78,000 miles and starts & runs flawlessly and rides like a luxury car should.

Are there any common or potential problems I should look out for? I'm thinking of stuff like Ford's famous 4.0 SOHC timing chain problem or 5 speed auto trans problem both of which are preventable with scrupulous maintenance and fluid changes (these can turn one badly maintained 70,000 mile explorer to junk whilst another similar car which has been looked after properly is at 200,000 miles and still in perfect shape).

Just anything you can think of that I should be wary of or check double-carefully before we buy would be great.
Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 06-07-2006, 12:02 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 54
Default RE: Any common faults on a 98?

The weak point is the auto-tranny. You want to change the fluid/filter and flush around 25K. Check to make sure that has been done from the service records. Some of us add a transmission oil cooler in addition to the one installed. You want to check for any leakage from the tranny as that may require new parts. The motors are usually bullet proof. The rear drums rust to the hub's and make removal a chore, and it's probably due for rear brakes based on time/mileage. Front brakes wear fast, especially on factory pads. Sway bar links are a constant replace item.
That's off the top of my head. I don't really think these vans are any worse than anybody else's and may be easier to work on than some of the other brands.
I'm sure others will chime in.
 
  #3  
Old 06-07-2006, 06:06 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 14
Default RE: Any common faults on a 98?

Thanks for the info, webbee.
We're taking a serious look at this one because it's head-and-shoulders better than any of the others for sale locally. I spoke with my auto trans guy today and said he thought they were OK as long as they were maintained tightly to schedule. The only problems he's had in his shop have been from 70,000 mile and up cars that had never had the fluid changed since the warranty ran out.
Rear brakes were just done as it failed it's annual roadworthiness exam (AKA "MOT" test) om low rear brake performance but I don't see replacing brakes and even rotors & drums as a big problem; it's a service item anyway. And as foir sway bar links; they're probably easier to do regularly than they are to do once in 5 years or so
You mentioned high front brake wear on factory pads. Is there an optimum pad the outperforms the originals but doesn't compromise rotor life? I understand these things are all trade-offs: better braking = high wear rates. harder pads = shorter rotor life but sometimes there's just one manufacturer that shines.
 
  #4  
Old 06-07-2006, 10:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 54
Default RE: Any common faults on a 98?

I have yet to replace the pads on mine as they were done about a year before I bought mine. I hear Raybestos pads are good for stock applications. I also read ceramic types are good. Another type is Kevlar and also carbon metallic. Some of these have dust issues. I replaced my rears with Bendix shoes because I have used this brand in the past and have had better luck with them than some others. The stock rotors are terrible so I think you replace them when you do pads. I don't know if aftermarket slotted/drilled rotors are any better. They are pricey. If you can find polyurethane sway bar bushings, they last longer at a cost of squeaking and a bit harsher ride. I would definitely put an aftermarket stacked plate type tranny oil cooler on for transmission piece of mind. I really think if you do the required maintenance and use quality parts you shouldn't have any problems with that van. As always YMMV.

I bought a '99 with 70K on the clock and am doing the replace the wear out parts and adding some improvement parts. I am hoping to make another 70K on it before I have to get rid of it. I want as trouble free an experience as I can get. Peruse the forums and you will get a feel for what others are doing and troubles they are having. I suppose your experience may be different because you are in England and may not have access to some of the parts we can get here in the USA. I surmise the parts will probably be more expensive for you there, too. I drove a Gen 1 work vehicle in the early 90's so I had some experience with them early on. I was impressed with them then and I think DC has generally improved the design over time. I just don't have a lot of driving time in on this one yet.
 
  #5  
Old 06-08-2006, 08:29 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 14
Default RE: Any common faults on a 98?

ORIGINAL: webbee

Peruse the forums and you will get a feel for what others are doing and troubles they are having. I suppose your experience may be different because you are in England and may not have access to some of the parts we can get here in the USA. I surmise the parts will probably be more expensive for you there, too. I drove a Gen 1 work vehicle in the early 90's so I had some experience with them early on. I was impressed with them then and I think DC has generally improved the design over time. I just don't have a lot of driving time in on this one yet.
Thanks again for your input on this, I don't know about not having access to the parts you guys have, I have friends in Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. I'm setting here drinking Jelks coffee out of Shreveport, La and just fitted an IAC valve to my Explorer that came from Tenn after Ford UK imported the (same) wrong part 3 times! If I need stuff in a hurry then it can be expensive but my buddies can ship to me in 5 days and I just paypal them right back!
I'm looking forward to my first MOPAR
 
  #6  
Old 06-09-2006, 01:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 54
Default RE: Any common faults on a 98?

LOL...Gotta love PayPal and "friends in low places"...
 
  #7  
Old 11-10-2008, 01:15 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Posts: 9
Default RE: Any common faults on a 98?

HI PAL , IVE GOT THE 3.3 V6 1999 , FRONT BRAKES I GOT CERAMIC BRAKES FROM EBAY, STOPS ALOT BETTER. THERE IS NO AUTO TRANS FLUSH FLUID OVER HERE IN THE U.K. SO I TRIED ENGINE FLUSH , DID THE JOB, I CHANGE MY ENGINE OIL EVERY 2000K , VAN HAS DONE 138000 MLS , RUNS A. OK . CHRYSLER 300 C ALLOYS FITTEDTO IT , AND MODED FRONT BUMPER..... ONLY PROBLEM I HAD WITH MINE WAS THE PLUGS. BUT MINE IS CONVERTED TO L.P.G GAS... 220 MILES ON 27 QUID.....
TAZ FROM MANCHESTER U.K
 
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