Thinking of buying a Mach 1, questions for you. - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017 Thread Starter
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Thinking of buying a Mach 1, questions for you.

I've been trying to decide if I want a 03/04 Mach 1 or a 2014 GT/CS. It's been a difficult debate for me as I love both so I want to ask you, the pros, your thoughts on the Mach 1. I've always had a soft spot for the Mach 1 package in azure blue with the wheels, shaker, lip, interior etc. I owned a 2011 V6 Premium which I daily drove and it was very reliable but this time around I want the V8.


My plan is to daily drive the car in the spring/summer/autumn. I have my Forester for all cottaging, hauling/towing, winter months etc. I would keep the mod list simple, CAI, exhaust and short shifter. Curious what the Mach 1 is like on a daily basis. How is the ride quality, reliability, fuel economy, or anything else you can think of.. just curious on your opinions.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017
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Coyote > any other modular


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017
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To add to my comment...if there is a chance to get an S197 for a daily driver, I would take it. The chassis is lightyears ahead of the SN95/New Edge (which was deisgned in the 70s). The Mach 1 is a great car, don't get me wrong...but the S197 chassis with a Coyote Engine is such a better platform.

If you really want a Mach 1, get it...you won't be disappointed...BUT, if I had a choice between a 2014 GT and 2003 Mach 1, it would be the easiest decision in my life to make...the 2014 GT ALL DAY, EVERYDAY.

Good luck with your decision. This is my opinion and it probably differs from most people who own New Edges...take it for what it's worth (which isn't much ).

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017
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I have been in your shoes before and many other similar situations when it comes to what Mustang to buy. I have owned 9 Mustangs over the years. Pre 2012 it was always should I buy an 03/04 Cobra or a new 5.0? There was 1 time I went between the Mach 1 and the new 5.0. The last go around it was between the 07-09 GT500, 2011-2012 GT500, or a Boss 302. You can see where I always ended up in my signature.

I always went for the newer car as newer is most of the time better all around. So this really comes down to what you are expecting and looking for. Also the Mach 1's are getting some age on them so you need to be ready to pay out repairs or get a little dirty turning a wrench to make small repairs as 16 year old cars need some work here and there to keep them going. The 2014 GT choice not so much work would be anticipated plus it still could have a little warranty left. The warranty is what always one me over as when you buy a used car you never know if there is something wrong with it and that is why it is being sold so have a little warranty to cover you is always good in my book.

So my vote would be for the Mach 1 initially and I would do lots of research thinking I am going that route, but when it came time to pull the trigger and pull out the finances I would end up in the 2014 GT.

I will say the New Edge Mustangs have a special plan in my heart as I always love that look when I see a clean one come around. I would almost say it is still my favorite body style. Maybe they will do a retro of it a long long long time from now. hahaha

Just my .02
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017
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I donīt have a Mach 1 so I canīt really say anything about how they drive, but I think most of the changes vs a regular GT were in the engine department...

I beg to differ that the 2014 platform is "ages better"... it honestly depends on what you want the car for. I have a 2014 convertible (but also had a 2010 GT) and a 03 GT, all cars stock.

Engine wise thereīs no contest, the Coyote is going to blow off the 4.6 engine all day unless you mod the hell out of it.

Handling... in smooth pavement or racetrack the 2014 would be better, in everyday pothole country the New Edge is a lot smoother and more comfortable. The smaller size of the New Edge makes it nimbler and definitely lighter.

The 2014s have a more bouncy rear end over uneven pavement, then again the power of the Coyote is awesome!

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017 Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your opinions. I can see pros and cons to owning both, more pros for the 2014.

Two friends of mine both had a 2002 V6. I always remember loving how nimble they felt and would comment "imagine if this had 300hp how great it would be." There lays the Mach 1. I'm not afraid of turning a wrench on it but would hate to be living under the hood as well. Unfortunately you don't know until you buy it.

My 2011 V6 had 305hp which is part of the reason I bought it, I thought it would have more than enough power but it always felt large and needed more torque, there lays the Coyote. But it also had all the bells and whistles that 2004 car simply doesn't have. However, my friends 2002 V6 was 190hp but it was more fun to drive, kick the end out, etc. I could sum it up and say the 2011 was a better daily but the 2002 was a more exciting drivers car.

One other personal aspect of choosing the 2014 is I'm the short friend in my gathering of friends and owned the largest car.. I always received the compensating for something comment lol.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017
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I thought the V8 was for compensating........

If you do get one and the CT is your location Rob and I run cruises several times per year

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017
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The ride quality on New Edge cars is horrendous, esp. if you use lowering springs.

Having said that, I came from a S197 car back to a SN95 car and I would not go back. The S197 is bigger and heavier and feels like it. The seating position isn't as nice either. The HVAC systems suck and I found that on a really humid day I couldn't even defog the glass...I later read many accounts of the same on the forum. They had water leak issues, brake/bearing issues, paint peeling issues, etc. I do not feel like the S197 cars were a step forward at all.

Once they put the Coyote engine in for 2011, they obviously became much faster than a Mach 1. So if speed/power is what you want, go for the 2014 GT. But if overall quality and longevity is what you're after, I personally would take the Mach 1. The New Edge cars are just better cars.

I searched everywhere for an Azure Blue Mach 1 myself, only found one in a 150 mile radius. Ended up going for a GT instead and modded it to make Mach 1 power. I'm happy. But everytime I see an Azure Blue Mach, it still gets my attention.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017 Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input. I agree my S197 did feel big and I also had rust issues all around the car (hood lip, trunk lip, bottom of doors) and it was only a year and a half old. Ford refused to do anything about it. My friends new edge are 9 years older with double the miles and have no rust. Otherwise my S197 gave me zero issues and I was very happy with the quality.


Overall speed isn't my goal and I won't be lowering the car or doing excessive mods. I want something I can jump in and drive with confidence and enjoy driving on the country roads listening to the V8 rumble.


I've been bouncing pros and cons off friends and family and based on size, similar fuel economy, and price I'm in favour of the Mach 1. The Coyote is great but if all out speed isn't my goal than the Mach 1 has enough power. I'm also not in a rush to buy so I will keep my eyes peeled for a good buy.


Thank you all for your input.
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Originally Posted by MustangCT View Post
Thanks for your input. I agree my S197 did feel big and I also had rust issues all around the car (hood lip, trunk lip, bottom of doors) and it was only a year and a half old. Ford refused to do anything about it. My friends new edge are 9 years older with double the miles and have no rust. Otherwise my S197 gave me zero issues and I was very happy with the quality.


Overall speed isn't my goal and I won't be lowering the car or doing excessive mods. I want something I can jump in and drive with confidence and enjoy driving on the country roads listening to the V8 rumble.


I've been bouncing pros and cons off friends and family and based on size, similar fuel economy, and price I'm in favour of the Mach 1. The Coyote is great but if all out speed isn't my goal than the Mach 1 has enough power. I'm also not in a rush to buy so I will keep my eyes peeled for a good buy.


Thank you all for your input.
Sounds like you have made up your mind on the Mach 1. Post back with pictures once you buy.

Where are you located? There are a couple for sale around my area in NC that have caught my eye recently.

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(I have owned a few non Mustang cars over the years as well, but always try to have a Mustang with it or come quickly back to a Mustang!)
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See my sig for Mustangs I've owned. I'd get the 2014...especially if it is going to be driven fairly often. The Mach is great, but not so much for daily driving anymore compared to the new stuff. I also happen to think 13-14 is the perfect body style. I plan on getting a Comp Orange '04 Mach someday...but when I do it'll just be a car for fun. I agree with the torque issue on the V6. I thought I could do it as well for a daily driver but ended up going back to a V8. Except for my truck...but it is a tuned ecoboost...so no issues.


To help answer your question about comfort of the Mach for daily driving...it is similar enough to an '01 Bullitt to compare. You will not feel as isolated from the road or as big. But the comfort isn't close to the same. Unless you get a lemon, the '14 will be more reliable and get better mileage. The Mach is nearly 15 years old. Things will start to need to be done to keep reliable, even with a low mile specimen. You can also get tons of used mods for cheap for the '14. The older used mods are starting to dry up.


I know you think you've decided for the Mach. You'll be happy and I'm sure it is cheaper than the '14, but the Coyote is awesome! Through a shaker kit on the GT/CS and you'll have the best of everything!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info.

To clarify my commuting to from work is 2 miles. The city for shopping is 6-7 miles. So although an older car may break more often and use more gas, my daily driving with the mustang will be limited. All of my towing, hauling, cottage, very long trips etc. will still be done by my Subaru.

I have actually found a very mint condition 1998 Cobra which is thousands less than the Mach 1's in this area. Looks stunning, rebuilt motor, mostly stock besides intake and exhaust. I may make a move on it if I can get it for the right price.*Not the actual car but looks identical to this Cobra.

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Hello here goes my 2 cents, I own a 2003 Torch Red Mach1 so my opinion might be a little bias. First you have to ask yourself what is intended for the car, I got it that you have a second car to do all the work and for winter driving. But in late spring to late fall what is your intentions for the Mustang and how much are you willing to spend for upgrades and maintenance. When I was in the market for a Mustang I had the choice too just like you. But I truly love how the SN95 looks inside and out and did many months of research. I came up with 03/04 Cobra or Mach1, I originally wanted a 03/04 Cobra but could not afford it so went with a Mach1 and have not looked back since then. If you do buy a Mach1, look for 03 they have two things unique with them than 04 Mach1. For one the 03 Mach1 have a little cargo net on the ceiling perfect to hold driver license or sunglasses. Second the 03 have black painted valve covers and the 04 don't. Just to let you know the Mach1 has the same engine as the 99 - 01 Cobra except the intake and cams are different. With the Mach1 you will have to keep on the maintenance and always check your oil levels once or every two weeks dependent on how hard you drive. Because its a modular engine it burns oil more fast then what a normal car does. When it comes to modes or replacing OE parts the market is there and very cheap. Now for the S197 I don't own one but I did get to drive a few (I am part of car group) and I did not like how the dashboard was setup (speedometer and tachometer) and how the seats feel. When it comes to maintenance of course its going to be not as intense as SN95 however upgrades is just as cheap as SN95. The best advice I can truly give to you is do research in pros and cons of each car and if that don't work then listen to your heart, yean I know sounds mushy and crappy but if all else equals up and you need a tie breaker go with your heart. When I am finish paying off my Mach1 and I am going to buy an 03/04 Cobra and make that my track car. You can't beat the engine in that car as far as dollar value, with stock engine, few exhaust and intake mods and a good dyno tune you can easily go from 390hp (stock) to 500+hp. Please keep us in form to what you come up with and how you got to your decision and what you are going to do with your car, good luck.

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I have owned an 04 GT and now have an 07 GT. If I had the money it would be 2014 GT every time because of what others have said about S197s. With the 6 speed you will be able to churn out 30mpg highway (there is a Coyote gas mileage thread here if you want to verify). I remember the ergonomics, interior quality, and ride harshness of the 2004 and I know these characteristics are light years better on the 2014 than the previous generations even though they weigh more. The weight distribution is not as biased to the front and the 3 link rear suspension & panhard bar setup keeps the car planted better around the corners. These cars are built to run with BMW M cars and it's stuff like this that made Mustangs no longer straight-line only cars. Sorry to hear that your 2011 V6 had rust issues but I would chalk that up to an isolated incident. There are plenty of S197 owners in Canada & northern US who drive these cars in the snow and salt with no body perforation problems. Though any northern car will rot out after several years of salt exposure, it's not common to see a Ford rust out in less than two years.
As for the water leaks and wheel bearing issues someone else was mentioning, those leaks are caused by a firewall grommet that prevents water collected from rainfall from draining out and when left ignored, the water will make its way into the carpet. The grommet is easy to access and needs to be pulled out every so often to prevent this flooding. And wheel bearings are a mechanical wear item that goes bad at some point on all cars.
I won't get too deep on the performance benefits of the Coyote as I'm sure you're well aware. 400whp is just an intake & tune away and 550whp on stock internals is easily attainable on 7-9psi of boost. I realize 03 Cobras can do this too but the two cars are in the same price range at this point. So it's a matter of choosing what you like more.

With that said I do think the 96-98 Cobras look very sharp and have aged well. I would personally take one over a Mach 1. But that's just me.

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Originally Posted by 40th GT View Post
I have owned an 04 GT and now have an 07 GT. If I had the money it would be 2014 GT every time because of what others have said about S197s. With the 6 speed you will be able to churn out 30mpg highway (there is a Coyote gas mileage thread here if you want to verify). I remember the ergonomics, interior quality, and ride harshness of the 2004 and I know these characteristics are light years better on the 2014 than the previous generations even though they weigh more. The weight distribution is not as biased to the front and the 3 link rear suspension & panhard bar setup keeps the car planted better around the corners. These cars are built to run with BMW M cars and it's stuff like this that made Mustangs no longer straight-line only cars. Sorry to hear that your 2011 V6 had rust issues but I would chalk that up to an isolated incident. There are plenty of S197 owners in Canada & northern US who drive these cars in the snow and salt with no body perforation problems. Though any northern car will rot out after several years of salt exposure, it's not common to see a Ford rust out in less than two years.
As for the water leaks and wheel bearing issues someone else was mentioning, those leaks are caused by a firewall grommet that prevents water collected from rainfall from draining out and when left ignored, the water will make its way into the carpet. The grommet is easy to access and needs to be pulled out every so often to prevent this flooding. And wheel bearings are a mechanical wear item that goes bad at some point on all cars.
I won't get too deep on the performance benefits of the Coyote as I'm sure you're well aware. 400whp is just an intake & tune away and 550whp on stock internals is easily attainable on 7-9psi of boost. I realize 03 Cobras can do this too but the two cars are in the same price range at this point. So it's a matter of choosing what you like more.

With that said I do think the 96-98 Cobras look very sharp and have aged well. I would personally take one over a Mach 1. But that's just me.


Okay I hear you, yes a NEWER car (stock) is always better than an older when it comes to maintenance and or performance, however it doesn't mean its the best car either. I admit the handling and cornering on a stock suspension Mach1 is not the best. But after you put some after markets suspension parts like I did (Eibach Sportline Springs red) and offset tire and rims (Nitto 555 / 275/315R17) I was able to hang with BMW M and Audi going through tight corners. The best part is I have the bottom end torque to spit me out of the corner when I hit WOT and do all this with out kissing the guard rail or climbing trees. Yes the 6 Speed trans do help you save gas, but at the end of the day did we all buy Mustangs for their great miles per gallon in the city and highway......No. Yes they did cookie cut the SN95s when it came to ergonomics and hard plastic interior, but that is the last thing you are thinking about when you are on the strip or hitting it from traffic light to traffic light for bragging rights. Plus their is some people who like the Fox Bodys and can tell you with some upgrades it will out perform newer S197 and SN95 to the point of embarrassing people and hurting feelings. At the end of day it depends on how much you love a particular car and how much are you willing to throw at it, with enough money you can make any Mustang talk the talk and walk the walk.


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