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Checking in: How's your S197 experience so far? I still love mine 7 years later!

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Old 10/16/17, 09:54 AM   #1
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Checking in: How's your S197 experience so far? I still love mine 7 years later!

How are you liking your S197 now that it's a generation and a half old? Any surprises? Any unexpected failures?

My experience has been basically ideal...this car has been fantastic. I ordered my 2011 GT in May of 2010 and took delivery with 18 miles on the clock on 8/12/2010 and as of this weekend, I just rolled 33,000.

Aside from the "igniter tick" (which never manifested as a functional problem..but did result in a new and probably unnecessary water pump), the car has been basically flawless.

I have no regrets on any mods. Bilsteins, Eibach Pro springs, Eibach camber bolts, BAMA 91 Octane tune, Boss 302 side exit exhaust...and I'll be damned if this car is just about perfect.

It STILL feels fast to me. I know that by 2017 standards, a 3,600 lb car with 400hp isn't technically all that fast but it still surprises me, it still feels really good to blast to redline. I've never taken it to the strip but I'd be surprised if this car wasn't solidly in the 12s. It still surprises passengers, I'd still feel good about my chances with 95% of the cars that I might end up next to at a stop light.

Ok....so the SRA is admittedly a sore spot. More than ever, I notice that the car can get a bit spooky when hitting a mid-corner bump or braking hard on rough pavement where modern cars would likely be a lot more composed...but that's honestly the only bad thing I can say about how this car drives and even this can be prepared for...and avoided if you know the roads (always a good idea if you're driving like a hooligan anyway).

I've often tossed around the idea of a Watts link, supercharger, Tremec swap, etc...but **** it, I'm just happy with it the way it is.

The car is holding up well to wear and tear but there are a few sore spots.

Despite hardly ever seeing rain and never seeing winter salty roads, the hood is corroding. The blisters are just now visible if you get up close...still shameful for Ford. Don't relish the idea of spending money to repair what really is a quality defect.

The gorgeous (IMO) Kona Blue paint is fragile. While not immediately visible, the sheet metal aft of the front wheels is getting chipped...undoubtedly, this has been accelerated by the sticky tires but it still seems excessive.

This is minor but the screen on the old school digital radio display has visible spiderwebbing of scratches despite my best efforts to never ever touch it. I have always gently brushed it with a sweep of a microfiber cloth...which worked until I fell behind in my cleaning efforts and a well meaning passenger wiped off some dust with their finger. If it wasn't front and center in the dash, I wouldn't care.

Otherwise, everything is holding up well...AC still works too...though it is approaching the expiration date.

Over all, my S197 continues to be one of my favorite cars I've ever driven and it was worth every penny. Despite going back and forth many times, and trying to fall in love with them, the S550 just isn't better enough and I've just stopped plotting to buy one all together.
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Old 10/16/17, 10:19 AM   #2
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My 2012 has been a joy. I bought it during a low time in my personal and professional life. Divorce, career change, etc. I’ve had the usual problems, a/c, driver powered seat, rear sway bar linkage, and good bubbling. Through all of that, I still love it. I’ve considered the new model mustang but it’s difficult. I’m too attached to this car. Lol, having to spend on mods again doesn’t help.
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Old 10/16/17, 11:57 AM   #3
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My 2013 GT has been good...no real complaints, do hear the occasional creaking sound when i drive slow and do a hard turn. Love the rumble of the V8. Currently at 54k.
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Old 10/16/17, 12:56 PM   #4
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still love my 10. its no coyote but oh well. the only issue ive had was vandalism recently. driver mirror shattered and hood dented some
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Old 10/16/17, 01:12 PM   #5
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Still loving my 2013 GT. Bought it in 2014 with 1600 miles on it. Did a few mods, nothing crazy. Have a blast driving it every time I take it out!
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Old 10/16/17, 01:32 PM   #6
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I've had mine for 6 years and driven it 114,000 miles myself (125,000 total on the car). Only major things that have gone wrong:
  • Hood Corrosion - got a Cervini's fiberglass replacement a couple years ago
  • Bent Right Rear Axle Shaft - $800
  • Bad Evaporator Core - $2,000
  • Air Bag Light Electrical Issue - $800 thankfully covered under original warranty
  • Driver Side Power Seat failure - $700

In total, I've spent $17,000 on maintenance, property taxes, mods, etc. over all that time. Not cheap but not abnormal for how many miles I've driven it. If anybody is curious, here's all the gory detail in a spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing.

I've driven it year round the whole time and the body is still overall in great shape. Motor and transmission still feel great and still get 23 MPG overall on average. Still gets comments and still puts a smile on my face. I would love to get a new one but this one works fine and car loans are no fun so I'll continue to be happy with mine for the foreseeable future.
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Old 10/16/17, 01:36 PM   #7
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Sold my 11 after 7+ years of ownership, & the new owner was thrilled to get it. Went to a nice home in SC..
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Old 10/16/17, 04:47 PM   #8
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I bought my '14 base GT new in July of '14 shortly before the new S550's came out so between factory rebates to clean out the last of the SN197's and my grandson being the car salesman I bought it at a pretty good price. It has two very minor flaws. A small scratch on the INSIDE of the radio screen that I didn't see for quite awhile and the rear bumper cover on the drivers side dosen't line up exactly with the body work. Neither of these is worth getting all worked up over IMO. I have just under 35,000 miles on it now and that's in spite of the fact that it's not my daily driver. It's just hard to keep my hands off it. A friend of mine had one and I think his description of these cars was as good as any. He said driving it was like "gearhead crack". I do my own maintenance so it's only been to a dealer three times. Once to install a Ford Racing track key and twice for the airbag recall. The first airbag was apparently superseded and so I was asked to return a few days later for the current model. I've autocrossed it a few times and I am generally pleased with results. It's pretty close to stock right now. Boss 302 wheels, Boss strut tower brace, Steeda clutch return spring, Bob's oil catch can, BMR adjustable panhard bar with poly bushings, J&M rear lower control arms also poly and the previously mentioned track key. The lower control arms eliminated the wheel hop I had with the stock arms and the adjustable panhard bar centered the axle. The poly bushings reduces slop in the rear axle, but I still get unwanted motion with mid corner bumps. I don't consider this to be any big deal unless you're at the very limits of traction which you shouldn't be on public roads anyway. In any case I am an old guy [ 73 ] and I grew up with live axles so I am pretty much used to it. All told the car has been pretty much flawless. Of course with a base model there are fewer high tech or luxury things to go wrong either. I am totally pleased with it.

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Old 10/16/17, 07:40 PM   #9
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I've owned 3 s197 GT's and the only reason I don't own a s550 is looks. The s197 is a rough ride when compared to the s550 but the rear and the front end of the s550 just don't scream Mustang to me. No matter what I buy in the next year I will keep my 2014 GT. If Ford brings back Lava Red in the Mustang I will be buying one.

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Old 10/16/17, 09:12 PM   #10
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Awesome stuff, guys!
Keep them coming.
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Old 10/16/17, 11:44 PM   #11
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Love my 2011 GT. I have mods to suspension, brakes, wheels/tires, exhaust. No powertrain mods whatsoever. Looks and sounds perfect - to me. And the performance is more than I could ask for, really. I work from home, so only 30k miles. But it still turns heads every where I go. And, to be honest (and a little silly maybe), I get a thrill simply starting her and just driving to the store. It's that good. 3-4 track days per year just seals the deal...I will be keeping her for a lot longer. As others have mentioned, our S197 is more 'raw' compared with the more modern S550. In many ways. But the looks of the 2010-2014 really speak to me. The S550 looks do nothing for me, it stirs no emotion for me.
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Old 10/17/17, 07:55 PM   #12
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Picked up my 11 Kona Blue GT in June 2010 with 12 miles on her. Still loving the car & still get a lot of points waves & comments of awesome car & what color is that almost every time I take her out. Car has 37,000 miles on it & has never had any hood corrosion like others have experienced.

Had the air bag recall done & the driver side power seat track replaced. Car had a rear passenger side knock. Dealer replaced the rear sway bar & end link along with the bushings. Other than that the car has been solid & reliable.

Like others here the S550 just doesn't strike any chords with me at all. Never had a vehicle that had independent rear suspension so no biggie for me.
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Old 10/18/17, 07:18 AM   #13
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Bought my 2012 M6 speed 5.0 used 5 years ago with 10K miles, now sitting at 127K. Basically trouble free the whole time, bought a VIS carbon fiber hood due to the corrosion issue, and replaced my rear sway bar with a BMR unit due to the clunk. Other than that it's just been general maintenance.


Been running a Steeda tune pretty much since I bought it, has a Steeda shifter and a transmission mount bracket, a few other bits here and there. My biggest annoyance is probably the cold weather 2nd gear grind. I've tried several fluid changes including Amsoil and Royal Purple but no huge improvement. I have factory 3.73's and she still pulls really hard....for a mostly highway cruiser it does what I need very well.


Be putting the snow tires back on soon as it's driven everywhere & everyday.


Still have the orginal battery but plan to change it out soon before I run out of luck.
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Old 10/18/17, 08:18 AM   #14
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I ordered my 2014 V6 Premium Convertible on January 7, 2013 after Ford had just shut off orders for 2013s. It arrived at the end of February and was gorgeous in Ruby Red Metallic with the Stone top and interior. I put a stubby antenna on it, but it is otherwise stock. The only thing done to it other than routine maintenance was an adjustment to the driver's side window (was not going quite all the way up) and the air bag recall. I have put plenty of highway miles on it and love getting near 30MPG on regular gas. I have also run autocross with it and had a blast. My wife and I drove down to Frisco, TX this past April when we moved down from Washington State. I have a little over 49K miles on her and still love her. She is very comfortable and quick enough for me and she still looks fabulous.

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Old 10/18/17, 11:25 AM   #15
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I paid $30,075 for my new '09 Bullitt in April of '09. That was all fees, licensed, out the door. It currently has 26,700 generally trouble free miles on it's clock.

I won't say I love the car, it's nothing special...just a Ford. It's a well balanced driver. Just okay in performance, comfort, etc. But I knew I wasn't buying a Porsche or a Ferrari..

BUT...after looking at that published $53,000 sticker for the new '18 GT?

Well, I'm sure not going to be rushing to my Ford dealer.
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Old 10/18/17, 08:17 PM   #16
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I still love my GT/CS and enjoy driving her! Owned her since April 2012 and have 42,600. Knock on wood no issues. I did take her in to have the Takata Airbag replaced on recall. I had a couple rattles that I was able to take care of myself.

The wife and I got back from a Smokie Mountain trip, hitting the tail of the Dragon twice. Total blast and the car performed well.

I still want to get around to doing some more mods to her over the next few years. Tune, exhaust, bigger front brakes. I would like to have another car to drive and make the Stang my weekender so I dont rack up so many miles. Current mods in my sig.
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Old 10/19/17, 09:31 AM   #17
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115 000km and loving it. Plenty of interior/electrical mods and still have more planned. Now going into performance mods.

Be keeping this car unless there is a new down the pipe that has a glass roof.
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Old 10/19/17, 11:46 AM   #18
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I got my 2010 GT in May of 2010 (slightly used) and now it has about 95K miles on it . . . still puts that silly grin on my face every time I drive it.

I do lust after another 100 HP every now and then, but I think I am going to just keep it and put my money in to track mods and track time instead.

The Red Candy paint still looks awesome, especially in the sun, even though I haven't really polished it for at least a couple years. The paint blisters on the hood are mostly on the bottom where they don't show, though it has started to spread to the top. I have countless rock chips from highway and track, maybe someday I will touch them up or repaint the entire hood.

Overall it has been super reliable; only a few minor problems. The engine and transmission have been pretty much flawless, aside from stiff shifting when cold. The suspension is starting to show its age with some clunkiness, and there are a couple squeaks that I need to chase down. A suspension refresh should take care of the clunks; some squeaks seem to be coming from the back seat area and might be harder to find.
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Old 10/19/17, 12:31 PM   #19
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My 2011 v6 is my 5th new Mustang I have had but the first one I have ordered from the factory. Ordered in February 2010 and arrived in May 2010. It now has 28,500 miles. I ordered it with every option except for the glass roof, that I didn't want. Been perfect except for the drivers power seat motors, replaced under warranty and the passenger side door sill light (the word Mustang) wouldn't change colors. It was fixed under warranty also. I had the Customer Satisfaction Program 16B23 done where the dealer replaced the throttle body with a new one. I wasn't having any problems with my old one but let Ford install a new one anyway. Then of course the air bag canister recall .

I love my Mustang even if its just a v6

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Old 10/19/17, 12:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert View Post
The Red Candy paint still looks awesome, especially in the sun, even though I haven't really polished it for at least a couple years. The paint blisters on the hood are mostly on the bottom where they don't show, though it has started to spread to the top. I have countless rock chips from highway and track, maybe someday I will touch them up or repaint the entire hood.
Cervini's pre-painted hoods are a REALLY good deal and the paint match on mine was perfect. $1,054 shipped, which is way less than the cost of repair/repaint on a stock hood. Good chance to add some differentiation/style to your car too.
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