Aged Stang, New Mods?

kiloms

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I'm not sure if this is in the correct thread, but I currently have '96 GT which I have had the transmission rebuilt w/ J-mod and had the entire car repainted Crystal White due to the paint peeling. The car is in excellent shape for it's age, and was a one owner car and meticulously maintained. She documented every service, had nearly all recommended maintenance done and even had the original invoice. (I have these documents(

Here is my dilemma, the car had 164k miles on it in 2006 when the odometer went out. The car was driven another 4-5 years before it was parked in a garage with broken transmission. A good estimate would be 220k miles on the motor. The mod bug is biting and I would like to put some work into it, but since this car is essentially untouched (only aftermarket parts are cobra headlights, clear GT fogs, weld-in SLP Mufflers, CAI and Cobra Rear Sway bar.) Ideally, the car would be used simply as my fun DD and for Auto X.

My question is, am I better off putting money into mine with the miles (knowing it's history) or selling it to dive into an Edge with 80-120k miles? (Assuming I can find one)

At times, I really wish I had a 5 speed. I was considering selling mine as it currently stands (mostly stock, fresh paint & tranny) to look for an 02-04 2v 5spd GT, then work on mods.

Plans for car: (Budget) Pacesetter Longtube Headers, Shorty X Pipe, w/ SLP 2s, 4.10 Gears, 2" Drop (full suspension setup), Staggered FR 500s. (Personally, I don't have the mechanic skills to comfortable complete a PI Swap, and I'm not sure how the motor, considering the miles, would take to major changes.) I had the J-Mod done when the new transmission was installed, and she shifts beautifully.

I would consider, essentially the same build with a newer Edge, with the addition of a Short Throw Shifter.


TL;DR

I also realize, I'll hear several opinions...my main concern is with the mileage and age on the '96 (even though it is well-maintained) would I be better off with something newer?
 

mcglsr2

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I think it depends ultimately on how much you want to do to the car. I was in the same boat as you when I bought my Mustang, except that I had plans to mod away from the start. If you are looking for something reliable to use on the occasional auto-x, then there is a lot to be said for a car with less miles on it (assuming it has been cared for/maintained). If you are going to rip into stuff anyway, then I would personally go for the well maintained 96 - even though it has a lot of miles, if you are replacing stuff anyway, then not sure it matters. A caveat to this is maybe there is some performance reason to go for the new edge that doesn't exist or is improbable to obtain on the 96. I know I didn't really help you much, it comes down to what do you want to do with the car. For me, on my car, I would have been fine with a well maintained; high-mileage car. As it was, I ended up with a poorly maintained; high-mileage car :)
 

96blak54

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We all are sn95 freaks and will suggest keeping the 96, but the edge is still a great mustang. The modulars are stable engine no matter how many miles, so buy them mods and slap them on. If the engine gives out, build it back better.
 

Ferocious

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Cliff notes....

car designed for DD + autoX.

minimally modded 96 auto with 222000+ miles or stock 02-04 5spd. GT with < 100000 miles to dump money into.

I would definitely sell the 96 and start over. You're not losing too much on your end excpet a modded tranny basically. The new edge is a better looking platform, has more power, and you'll have less to worry about with 100K less miles. I know many people will put blowers and such on their cars at 175K+ and run it til it blows, but I personally am not a fan of running cars into the ground until they self-detonate. Also, you'll have much more fun in a 5 speed, especially during autocross.
 

kiloms

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Cliff notes....

car designed for DD + autoX.

minimally modded 96 auto with 222000+ miles or stock 02-04 5spd. GT with < 100000 miles to dump money into.

I would definitely sell the 96 and start over. You're not losing too much on your end except a modded tranny basically. The new edge is a better looking platform, has more power, and you'll have less to worry about with 100K less miles. I know many people will put blowers and such on their cars at 175K+ and run it til it blows, but I personally am not a fan of running cars into the ground until they self-detonate. Also, you'll have much more fun in a 5 speed, especially during autocross.

I'm really leaning this route.

The 5-speed is something I would definitely enjoy, and I have a truck in the garage also so I wouldn't be stuck with driving the standard everyday.

I really appreciate all of your opinions so far!
 

Orange 94

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How reliable has the car been overall besides the tranny? Just because a car has less miles doesn't mean it will be better.

I'd keep it. Refresh the car with mods.
All depends or your time and how handy you are.
 

Burninriverdiver

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Why not just swap the tranny and ECU and make it a 5 speed? I did a 4x4 swap on my truck, and honestly building something yourself exactly how you want it makes it worth a lot more personally. Remember, no matter how mechanically inclined you truly are, anything is possible with the right tools and the internet to guide you through
 

96blak54

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Perhaps asking the same question on an s197 forum will provide the answer you seek.
 

96blak54

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Oh my bad...lol. I thought I read he wanted to pick up an 05up
 

punched281

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I would say start tracking down a lower milage motor, pi motor. Bolt ons. Happiness... So long as you're mechanically inclined.
 

kiloms

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Thanks for all of the suggestions everyone. I've decided to put her up for sale, and go from there. I have my eyes on a low mileage 96 Cobra, or a 1999 Cobra Vert. All depends on when this sn sells!
 

SnakeMedic

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Nice choices there!!!

Good luck with the sale and potential new ride! If you are patient enough, you can get exactly what you want.
 

1997GT4.6

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I'd go the New Edge route with less miles. Less stuff that will potentially break, and you'll have a PI motor. Not to mention you will have a better looking car!
 

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