2002-05 Most common issues

Good morning all,

I am about to go check a 2004 Tbird that I have had my eyes on for a while now.
Aside from the typical things you would check for any car,from the color of the oil to the tire wear pattern, is there anything PARTICULAR to this car that I should be checking?
I know the coils are a weak point, but except by looking at the maintenance record, there isn't much I can do about it.
For example, when buying a 70s Corvette, one would look at certain parts of the birdcage for rust, or more recently on a Chrysler Crossfire, one would verify that the crankshaft sensor has been replaced or would pull the RCM out to check the soldering...

Thanks allot, looking forward to be part of the community!
 
oil leaks. crankcase, oil pan, valve cover, timing chain. these get very expensive timing chain cover leaks about $2500. crankcase and oil pan about $500 ea. if the car has been sitting awhile, seals dry out.
 

BillM

Active Member
Check out the boots on the ball joints, control arms are expensive to replace but can get boots online at a reasonable price. Also check to see if any of the plastic under the hood has been changed out [ thermostat housing, upper radiator hose, radiator, serpentine belt.] If not plan on doing them my suggestion is to do them all at once so you don't keep going in every couple months.
 
Check out the boots on the ball joints, control arms are expensive to replace but can get boots online at a reasonable price. Also check to see if any of the plastic under the hood has been changed out [ thermostat housing, upper radiator hose, radiator, serpentine belt.] If not plan on doing them my suggestion is to do them all at once so you don't keep going in every couple months.
Thank you.
Makes sense. 15 years old car means anything "rubber" is toast.
 

Icewine

Well-Known Member
Find some speed bumps you can traverse at low speed. Should reveal and squeaks and groans in the suspension. Aluminum components mean you can’t simply replace bushings; you need to replace parts. A lot of these cars spend winter in hibernation, or have long periods of inactivity. Depending on where yours is coming from you may be dealing with one of these.

If you do have to replace suspension components, be prepared for an amazing transition in ride and handling!
 
Find some speed bumps you can traverse at low speed. Should reveal and squeaks and groans in the suspension. Aluminum components mean you can’t simply replace bushings; you need to replace parts. A lot of these cars spend winter in hibernation, or have long periods of inactivity. Depending on where yours is coming from you may be dealing with one of these.

If you do have to replace suspension components, be prepared for an amazing transition in ride and handling!
I agree. I just bought the car (could not resist) and it drives straight as an arrow. BUT just pulling in the gas station it felt like being in a boat.
The struts are shot.
Usually, one would only replace the shocks, right? Springs are good unless broke.
How much of a pain is it? I want to do it myself.
 

Icewine

Well-Known Member
If you aren’t hearing any noises from the springs, control arms, etc., I would leave them alone. I’ve only addressed the rear end of the car, but I chose to essentially rebuild everything since it was all coming apart to fix the parts that had worn out. I had it done at the dealership, using OEM parts. I suppose you could tackle it yourself, but I wouldn’t try it without access to a proper lift.
 
Changing the struts is easy, if you have access to a hydraulic press. The press puts the pressure on the
assembly so you can remove the nut for the strut. Slowly release press, and rod from strut passes
through of the top of the mounting assembly. Install new strut, and compress hydraulic press, as
you compress assembly make sure rod for strut stays straight, and it will easily pass through top
mounting plate, install nut, release press and you are done.

Took me 20 minutes to do first strut, fourth strut only took 6 minutes. Replacing the struts make
your car drive like new. Mine did not have a lot of miles, but struts did leak through o rings on
strut shaft.
 
Changing the struts is easy, if you have access to a hydraulic press. The press puts the pressure on the
assembly so you can remove the nut for the strut. Slowly release press, and rod from strut passes
through of the top of the mounting assembly. Install new strut, and compress hydraulic press, as
you compress assembly make sure rod for strut stays straight, and it will easily pass through top
mounting plate, install nut, release press and you are done.

Took me 20 minutes to do first strut, fourth strut only took 6 minutes. Replacing the struts make
your car drive like new. Mine did not have a lot of miles, but struts did leak through o rings on
strut shaft.
Thanks. Are you saying typical spring compressor(s) won't work?
 
Well its too late now but I would have added to observe the gauge and dash lights closely with the dash switch ON and the dimmer all the way up...if no lights the FEM is suspect and those are getting to be a PITA to get fixed...
 
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