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Masochist, Apparently

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  • Masochist, Apparently

    Hello CEG forum.

    Back in April I purchased a 1998 Ford Contour LX with a 6cyl Duratec engine, Automatic transaxle. I bought it from a coworker of my father, for $450.

    It has been nothing but pain and misery since. I've sunk THOUSANDS into this POS car, just to keep it running so I can get to and from work. Not thousands all at once, but nickle-and-dime expenses that over the past 4 months have cost me big.

    I'm planning on getting rid of it as soon as I can before the two ticking time-bombs I know of pop off. If I don't get rid of this car I can look forward to either a: the transmission failing or b: the engine shorting out and possibly frying something.

    The trans has already thrown codes letting me know the torque converter is slipping, which from what i understand is a harbinger of doom in transmissions.

    The entire engine wiring harness is dry-rotted and crumbling. I literally can't touch anything without wiring insulation falling apart. 2 of the trips to the shop for this car were a direct result of this problem. Like a good 30-50% of the wiring in the engine has been wrapped with electrical tape..

    Oh, and let's not forget a slow oil leak coming from the bottom of the engine, (front of engine towards grill, passenger side, near bottom of engine. Possibly crank shaft gasket/seal, possibly gremlins.)

    To add icing to this **** sandwich, I had to replace a failed brake booster (which is not fun to remove or install, let me tell you), and while doing so apparently ripped the air intake boot going from the air filter to the throttle. (I had removed the whole air filter/boot assembly during repairs, discovered tear upon reinstallation). Advance Auto Parts wants 50 bucks for a new one.. and that's AFTER both I and the sales guy spent 10 minutes trying to find the freaking part -anywhere-. (btw I have an OEM part number now if anyone else needs this stupid freaking part).

    So yeah. Hi guys. My car sucks. But if it had been better taken care of the the past 20 years it might've been a nice ride.

  • #2
    I'm sorry to hear about your issues with the car! The wiring harness issue is a known one on the 98's. It can be fixed but it is time consuming or you can get another and swap it. Sounds like you don't really want to put the time or energy into this ride anymore though.
    Unfortunately when people don't take care of the vehicles this is the result. Sad.
    Post pictures of said Contour.

    2019 Ford Edge ST

    2000 Ford SVT Contour #1412
    2017 Ford Explorer Limited ~ Traded
    1998 Ford SVTContour #2059. 3 March 2004 - 18 June 2012- SOLD


    • #3
      You failed to mention the mileage. Every $450 car is going to have the problems you describe, and maybe more.

      98s are famous for bad engine harness wiring. Your options are a) $50 on a junkyard harness from a 1999 or 2000 contour and a couple of connector changes, or b) have someone make one up for you at $300ish, and swap it yourself.

      Tranny problems are unfortunate, but again what is the mileage? If you have the knowledge & tools to change out a tranny, it shouldn't be that hard or costly. But if you need a shop to do it, then you might as well scrap the car. $1500-2000 at a tranny shop would be my guess.
      2k SVTC - Black / Praire Tan, blu_fuz ported 3.0L, 58k motor, 118k chassis


      • #4
        Welcome! sucks you have has issues with the car, but for that cheap of a car it'll either work out or it wont. how many miles?
        00 CSVT #1363 Built 1/7/2000 Black/Tan 134k
        99 Contour SE Bought 10-2003-Sold 04-2017
        08 F150 Limited #357/5,000
        93 Ford TBird 3.8, 98 Jeep