MCarp22 Reader
April 10, 2010 3:47 p.m.

So, we've been looking for a cheap car for my wife, and we came across a '95 Contour. 48,000 miles, V6, purple (her favorite color), nice interior. I talked the guy down since the engine light was on and it seems to have a problem with the EGR valve.

Holy E36M3 I should have done some more research.

This car didn't get the 99M03 harness replacement. I wasn't aware of the recall at the time we bought it, so my casual underhood inspection didn't reveal some of the bad wiring that i've since noticed. Now i get to go through all of the underhood wiring with electrical tape myself. On the bright side, that might be the reason for the CEL.

Who the berkeley decided that 4x108 was a good idea anyhow?

The CD4E (automatic) is apparently a time bomb. It was ok on the test drive, and i plan to change the fluid way too frequently. I guess a newer one with escape internals will probably be in order at some point.

First person to chime in with anything related to destroying the car or setting it on fire loses.

Will HalfDork
April 10, 2010 3:53 p.m.

I was once in a Mystique when it got destroyed (head on accident on the freeway). Does that count?

pete240z Dork
April 10, 2010 4:56 p.m.

too bad you are not closer to me as my brother-in-law has dumped a Contour ("not sure what's wrong with the engine" B-I-L) over at my father-in-laws house. and nobody is asking or bringing up what the plans are.

apparantly I made a comment that you can part out cars and do well on ebay selling the parts. (YEAH - I parted out a 1968 Datsun 2000 and a 1971 Datsun 240Z - not a Contour)

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo Reader
April 10, 2010 9:54 p.m.

These cars are like mid 90s Grand Ams. They used to be everywhere, now you never see them on the roads. I hope it was cheap.

John Brown SuperDork
April 10, 2010 11:22 p.m.
MCarp22 wrote: So, we've been looking for a cheap car for my wife, and we came across a '95 Contour. 48,000 miles, V6, purple (her favorite color), nice interior. I talked the guy down since the engine light was on and it seems to have a problem with the EGR valve. Holy E36M3 I should have done some more research. This car didn't get the 99M03 harness replacement. I wasn't aware of the recall at the time we bought it, so my casual underhood inspection didn't reveal some of the bad wiring that i've since noticed. Now i get to go through all of the underhood wiring with electrical tape myself. On the bright side, that *might* be the reason for the CEL. Who the berkeley decided that 4x108 was a good idea anyhow? The CD4E (automatic) is apparently a time bomb. It was ok on the test drive, and i plan to change the fluid way too frequently. I guess a newer one with escape internals will probably be in order at some point. First person to chime in with anything related to destroying the car or setting it on fire loses.

I LIKE Contours... which means you are likely in trouble.

4X108mm is AWESOME! Audi 80, XR4Ti and Focus all wear that bolt pattern and all those cars are AWESOME... which means you are likely in trouble.

You bought an automatic Contour... which means you are likely in trouble.

I would look into a manual swap and while you have the transmission out accidentally swap in a 24V Taurus 3.0L to "increase fuel mileage"

John Brown SuperDork
April 10, 2010 11:23 p.m.
Will wrote: I was once in a Mystique when it got destroyed (head on accident on the freeway). Does that count?

You are not typing this from heaven/hell are you?

If not then I would say it was a GOOD thing.

Chris_V SuperDork
April 10, 2010 11:26 p.m.

Yeah, as much as I loved my SVT Contour, I don't think I'd have a regular one. And I like all cars...

djsilver
djsilver New Reader
April 10, 2010 11:56 p.m.
MCarp22 wrote: This car didn't get the 99M03 harness replacement. I wasn't aware of the recall at the time we bought it, so my casual underhood inspection didn't reveal some of the bad wiring that i've since noticed. Now i get to go through all of the underhood wiring with electrical tape myself. On the bright side, that *might* be the reason for the CEL.

When I moved in to my current residence 5-1/2 years ago my neighbor had a dead Contour in the driveway. After I got to know him a little better (involves beer) I asked about it. Apparently he had gotten tired of trying to get the harness replaced at the dealer and finally just said "give it to me and I'll do it myself" (big mistake). He said it would run but the charge light wouldn't go out. After some snooping around I figured out he hadn't hooked up the feedback wire to the alternator. Of course the alternator had burned itself up trying to charge from zero, so that involved removing the right wheel, fender liner and half-axle to replace. We eventually got it running but it had been sitting long enough for the timing chain tensioners to seize up in the V6. The front one was easy to get to but the back was impossible without removing the timing chain cover. There was a procedure for doing it in-car but it would have been easier to pull the engine and that's where I stopped offering free help. Oh yeah, the transmission was interesting too. It would bark the front tires shifting from 1st to 2nd. I'm sure it was healthy....., He eventually sold it real cheap to another back yard mechanic (optimist) and I lost track of it.

I'm offended by the veiled comparison to a Focus. I have a 2001 ZX3 with 135K miles, Five years of autocross and track days and 2 years with a teenage son as the driver. The only problems I've had has been 3 failed right front wheel bearings (replaced the whole knuckle last time) and a right half-shaft (carrier bearing went bad). Could it have been related to that bent Konisport strut I had to replace a few years ago?

Will HalfDork
April 11, 2010 7:29 a.m.
John Brown wrote:
Will wrote: I was once in a Mystique when it got destroyed (head on accident on the freeway). Does that count?

You are not typing this from heaven/hell are you?

If not then I would say it was a GOOD thing.

The car held up well, I'll say that. Everyone in the car walked away.

integraguy HalfDork
April 11, 2010 6:43 p.m.

On a round trip from Memphis to N.E. Pa I saw several Contours...nearly all were V6s and all but one was the post "face lift" model....full width tail light panel. The Contour/Mystique was one of those cars that SHOULD have been pretty good, but was let down by cost cutting.

As far as using an auto with "Escape internals", is that really going to help? Apparently, the automatic in Escape/Mariners (the '08s especially) are REAL pieces of crap.

HappyJack New Reader
April 11, 2010 7:17 p.m.

I raced a 4 cylinder, 5 speed Contour as an Enduro car. It actually worked pretty well. And 4X108 means Mustang rims fit it. After 4 races the over heated the motor so I cut the cage out and scrapped it. Ended up looking like this.

Maybe you should make yours a convertible?

Knurled Reader
April 11, 2010 7:41 p.m.

I'd really like to have a Contour.

Yes, I've worked on them before.

I don't really like to have one enough to go through with the actual process of spending money for one on purpose, but it's one of the few vehicles that I am not against.

(The others are ur-S4/S6 wagons, and strangely enough Ecotec-engined Cavaliers)

pinchvalve SuperDork
April 11, 2010 8:12 p.m.

See my other threads about trying to get my friends Contour on the road. Short story was that the car needed a complete cooling system overhaul, new water pump, new head gasket, new tie rods ends, new heater core, new belts, and then the transmission crapped out. Gave it to a local garage in exchange for a bag of mixed nuts.

The good news is that I have a Haynes Manual if you want it!

mtn SuperDork
April 11, 2010 8:55 p.m.

I always thought it was a pretty decent design at least.

pigeon HalfDork
April 11, 2010 8:58 p.m.

As I post every time a Contique thread comes up I loved my CSVT and it was basically problem-free until I sold it with almost 150k miles on it, and it still ran great and handled/autocrossed very well.

Toyman01 Dork
April 11, 2010 8:58 p.m.

(Standing to the left.) I'm sorry.

I actually teched one at the autocross Saturday. It didn't look to bad, but I didn't watch his runs.

MCarp22 Reader
April 11, 2010 9:28 p.m.
integraguy wrote: As far as using an auto with "Escape internals", is that really going to help? Apparently, the automatic in Escape/Mariners (the '08s especially) are REAL pieces of crap.

With 3/4 the torque it'd least last long enough to get our money's worth out of it.

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