- July 2, 2012
- Reaction score
- City, State
- Here, There, and Everywhere
- Year, Model & Trim Level
- 93 Aeros: 430 & 289,000mi
You'll need to excuse me... I'm generally not among the gullible. Not implying your 369k didn't happen, just that I'd need see the paperwork. I might buy fresh OEM A4LD's driven ol' fart sanely, religiously maintained and not overloaded surviving 300k, but not under the "abuse" you suggest. A 3 minute Google will uncover literally hundreds of failed A4LD's littering the net - and I owned one. This would seem to suggest that you are well among the minority.
But more importantly, it's prudent to maintain a monetary perspective. You buy a nice, well maintained Aerostar for say, $1500. Six months later... or even a year later, the tranny decides to unload.. usually when you're some distance from home. Tow=$350 Repair=$1250. You just exceeded the resale value of the entire vehicle. And at my age, I'm not overly eager to lay on my back while struggling with a 100 pound mass anymore. Bottom line for me; If the manual trans wasn't available in the Aero, I'd not own one.
You are welcome to come see my Aero, the odometer, the paperwork, and the abuse I give it every day any time you wish. It is possible that I am among the minority, but two Aeros in a row? My first Aero died at 200,000 miles when the top of #5 piston came off and started rattling around in the motor. Instead of fixing it, I traded it for a V8 motor for my 77 Ford flatbed.
As far as the A4LD transmission is concerned, I have made lots of money selling parts for them. In the 27 years that they have been on the road, I have sold many tens of thousands of dollars worth of parts for those transmissions. And in that time I do not ever remember anyone needing parts for one in an Aerostar. Since I have owned Aeros for 11 out of those 27 years, if I had sold very many parts for Aeros, I would have remembered it.
Ranger? Bronco II? A whole different story. Would often do nothing the whole day but sell parts to fix their transmissions. And 10 years ago, I was often selling core A4LDs to transmission shops for $200-$250 each just so they had something to start with because the original transmissions they took out literally could not be dismantled nor fixed.
How many A4LDs have I owned in my life? Never counted them. For several years though I used to buy a 100 or so every month, so maybe 5000 or more. Yep, I have torn down lots of them, sold lots of parts, sold lots of whole cores, sold lots of scrap. Nowadays I seldom see more than 1 per month and seldom sell parts for them more than once per month. Except in industrial applications, they are pretty much history now.
At least for me the monetary perspective is meaningless. There is no other vehicle ever made that will do my job the way I need it done at a cost I can afford. So, spending $2000 or more to keep a $500 vehicle on the road is money well spent to me.
I don't have time to go through my notes to see what I have spent on this Aero, but in the 194,000 miles I have driven it, I have replaced 2 water pumps, 2 alternators, 3 sets of tires, 2 starters, 1 oil pump (today), plugs and wires once, cap and rotor 3 or 4 times, 1 battery, oil & filter every 3000 miles, transmission fluid & filter twice, 1 clock spring, 1 shifter housing, 1 headlight bulb, several tail light bulbs, front brakes either 2 or 3 times, rear brakes once, ignition switch once, and maybe a few other nickel and dime items. I overpaid $2000 for it 7 years ago because it was a one owner vehicle with all of the paperwork, which is still in the drawer under the seat.
As you can see, all pretty much insignificant costs, making my cost per mile far lower than any other vehicle I have ever owned. In addition, Aeros are also the most comfortable vehicle to drive of any vehicle I have ever driven in the 56 years that I have been driving. When you add in my mpg (23-26) and load capacity, Aeros are the best vehicle ever made in my book. Bottom line is that I will own and drive Aeros with automatics for the rest of my life. To me, Ford built the PERFECT vehicle - very ugly, but does my job (in comfort) better than anything else I have ever owned or driven.