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belteshazzar SuperDork
10/27/09 11:01 p.m.

my salvage title, previous rental car, automatic transmission maxima, that's bone stock except the factory cool air tube is missing, with 140k miles, and last but not least 40 psi in the tires, ran a 14.8.

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/28/09 6:30 a.m.

Odd. The 3.0L V6 swapped (properly with the SVT bits swapped to the 3.0L) car I drove ran 13.30s at Milan.

It kills me because I was driving the STRANGR and that truck would normally run 11.70s, but that day I was having a fuel pump issue and laid down a 13.50 egg.

belteshazzar SuperDork
10/28/09 7:15 a.m.

a 250whp fwd car that weighs 3000lbs ran a 13.3?

John Brown
John Brown GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/28/09 7:26 a.m.

I can not speak for the power output, nor can I speak for the weight. My Ranger got beat by a Contour and the guy was nice enough to drive me up to the parts store to get my parts and I drove the car back. I noticed no boost gauge or N2o switches. It could have been gassed, I never asked.

Adrian_Thompson Reader
10/28/09 8:20 a.m.

I honestly think that most of the engine problems people have with Contours are through abuse. I sold mine at almost 160k miles on the original engine and clutch!! It was never babied. Both myself and the original owner open tracked it and autocrossed it, he also did some TSD's with it as well as plenty of hard road use. I beat on the car but didn't abuse it. I added an extra quart of oil prior to going to the track and that was it.

The great thing about these cars is that you don't need to do much, they handle great out of the box. Of course the 'experts' will tell you that you need to throw springs, bars and shocks at it. I call B.S. If you want the car to be an autocross champ then you are starting with the wrong platform. If you want a car that's fun to drive on street, track or autocross refresh the stock SVT suspension and go for it on the cheap. When I got my car it was just shy of 100k miles. I put on new from the DEALER shocks (proper SVT ones) front LCA's and parking brake cables and had change from $500 including tax. That gave me a car that was fun to drive, comfortable on Special stages, sorry I meant Michigan roads, they're far rougher than the average WRC Special stage! That was a capable autocrosser. As my car had a SHO Shop Y Pipe, CAT delete, CAI, Subframe connectors and SVT Focus brakes on it I had to run in street tire street mod (CMT in council events). In that class the car was a consistent top third finisher which is about as good as I can do in my C30 in stock! That's with bone stock suspension and (quality) all season tires, not STS tires!

On to the mods I had;
CAI - I'd call this one worth it, the engine was always in good health, sounded nice and had excellent throttle response, better than some others
Subframe connectors - Fitted prior to my ownership, waste of money, I didn't notice any improved rigidity over Tom's car, although I will admit I had more than twice his miles
SHO SHOP - Y-pipe. It's better that the stock Y Pipe which has the cats built in, but it was too loud and I had to replace the flex joint as it was E36 M3ty quality. There are better examples out there.
Borler Exhaust - Excellent quality, but never sounds as nice as the stock exhaust which I think is fantastic.
SVT Focus brakes - Best thing I did to the car. The stock brakes are a little undersized, the Focus parts have a larger rotor, basically the same caliper spaced out radially. All you need to fit them are some hardened steel spacers to get the caliper spacing correct -AKA some grade 8 washers. Brilliant upgrade.

You need an engine so for the 3.0L there are several ways of doing this. Here's the Cliffnotes of the Cliffnotes from easiest to best, refer to Contour.org for the real info. For all of these I'd add an Escape oil pan to help with the oiling issues

Stock 3.0L block with SVTC Heads, cam's and intake. Basically a straight bolt in.
3.0L block with 3.0L heads, either SVTC or 3.0L cams and SVTC intake. Need to match the heads to the intake. If you use the 3.0L cams you need to swap the gears, chains etc as they are different.
Complete 3.0L with or without SVTC Cams, you need to do some work to make the fuel rail match up.

As I say that's the real real brief version, there's always more to it than that, but none of them are that hard. After than you can add head porting, headers, ST220 intake from Europe etc etc.

An LSD is a real nice upgrade for street or Auto-x although I survived without one. Traction is far better in the Contour than a Focus stock, and as I say I had an experienced (race winner and lap record holder) IT Civic driver in the car who couldn't believe I didn't have an LSD as I came out of the hairpin at Gratton so well. I attribute part of that to the stock suspension.

They are easier to work on than internet-lor has you believe. Alternators do seem to go quite often. I could change one in 3 hours start to finish with no hoist, just hand tools, ramps and jacks. The key to getting at the hard to reach bolts on the top of the alternator is removing the coil pack and going in from the top. Forget the linked together extensions and going in from the opposite wheel well, I never got that to work. The HEGO sensors are another myth, I changed both in less than an hour, again for the rear one remove the coil pack and go in from the top.

The also have a reputation for the electrics being iffy. After 150K miles everything worked on mine, including the sunroof which is supposed to go out. I think part of that is my car was a daily driver and everything was used regularly, nothing electrical ever broke. The one issue I had was when there was a large object behind the drivers seat and I tried to recline it. That stripped the gear on the seat motor, the motor worked but the teeth were dead, that wasn't the car's fault it was mine for being stupid.

Overall I think they are amazing cars for the money. Remember C&D called them the M2.5 when they drove one at the same time as the E36 M3 and Audi S4 in 99 or 99.

Back to the Datsun Minima, I had a couple of those as rentals in 02 then 06. My honest opinion was 'what's all the fuss about, this is a bland boring POS with about as much dynamic ability or fun as a stoned hedgehog'

edit as GRM forums software is too crappy to recognize when you hit return

93celicaGT2 SuperDork
10/28/09 8:41 a.m.

I'd be all over that car like a fly on E36 M3.

I want one of these so badly, to the point that i would trade my MX6 for one without a second thought, and i've got a TON of time in that car, and is probably way faster in any measure.

The SVT Contour is just that cool.

4cylndrfury Dork
10/28/09 9:00 a.m.

I think theyre lookers and a good platform for mods.

However, I will never own one.

If you get one for fun, cage it. Also make sure your tires are all 4 the same and equal tread.

Had a friend pass when he was fooling about in his SVT. Modded with some cams, bigger injectors, bored block and some other stuff I cant remember. Made quite a bit of power. Admittedly he was being a bit wreckless flying up a hill, crested and saw a van turning in front of him. He nailed the brakes at ~70 (gauged bu the Po Po based on his skidmarks) and fishtailed, broadsiding a small tree (<6" diameter trunk). The SVT split in 2 just behind the b pillar and he perished. Come to find out later, 3 of his tires were a higher rating than the 4th...all 4 were replaced less than a week before and the tire place installed one rated much lower than the other 3. There was no conclusive proof that the tire made any difference, so no charges etc, plus he was being a fool on public roads risking more than his own life. Whatever... hes no longer here.

Like I said, watch your tires, install a cage, and leave automotive tomfoolery on the track.

sorry to be a bummer, theyre great looking and great performance cars, this just struck a cord

GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand New Reader
10/28/09 4:07 p.m.

I had a 95 SE V6 Contour. As the mags called it the poor man's BMW...cost as much to fix as a BMW and made me a poor man. I loved the way that car drove, but typical Ford of the era used sub par materials for water pumps and the like. You had to take the subframe out to change the clutch if I remember correctly. And check the control arm bolts. Mine rusted through after only a few years. Ford was almost there. I sold it because the dashboard rattle drove me nuts, yeah that was a weak reason but I replaced it with a Miata.

littleturquoiseb HalfDork
4/25/11 5:34 a.m.

canoe! ... its spreading today

fornetti14 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
5/4/11 5:29 a.m.

Canoe again.

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