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Discussion Starter #1
i have a 92 stang with a 2.3L and its just a dog on horsepower and it drives me nuts. thats my first grip but on the other hand it gets 19-21 mpg around town. my moms 1992 5.0 cougar gets that. i either want more horse power like a 5.0 but i cant find much around here with under 100,000 miles on it. or i want respectable looking car with good gas mileage, ive been kinda lookin at some 'sporty' rice out there like a nissan 240sx or a mazda rx7 but the rx7 gets about the same mpg as i do right now so its kinda stupid to buy one of those. what other cars should i look at and i dont want the typical rice on wheels thing. something that can be fun yet respectable to none rice lovers. any ideas??? oooo and older car, $4000 is pushing the limit on price....
 

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There's nothing "rice" IMHO about the cars you mention until you bolt on a whale tail, fart can and slap "NOS" stickers on it. ::
 

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Rice is an ATTITUDE, not a car. There is nothing ricey inherently about an RX-7, 300ZX, Civic, or any other car. Even some exterior mods aren't necessarily rice. It's the attitude of the driver that makes or breaks rice.
 

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Ever heard of a SHO? I recently found out about them and got one as a 'beater' car that I can drive around while my stang gets restored. they are quite a cool 'daily driver' car that get around 17MPG around town and 25+ on the road plus they have over 200HP stock depending on year. It's basically a ford taurus with a super high output (SHO) 24V DOHC head made by yamaha on a ford 3.2L V6 engine. the cool thing is that it's still a ford and it's got a pretty big following, the educated will recognize you and it as one of the baddest 4 doors around plus you got air condition, power this power that, cruise control yadda yadda and it's a quiet soft riding car. Mine is a 93, they made them starting in 1989 through 1991 are considered 'gen 1', 92-93 are considered 'gen 2' and the 95+later are a different body style and have a v8. i'd recommend a gen 2 with as many options as you can get, they go for around 1k-4k depending on condition/mileage. the SHO gets my vote, good luck though.
 

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ok first of all. DON'T EVEN TRY TO CONSIDER an RX-7 that is 4000... There are soooo many problems with that engine and its well documented. Its one of the main reasons why mazda stopped making the car. On Record it could possibly the worst warrantied car ever. The turbo heated up the engine too hot and all sorts of problems come with that. The 240zx is a solid car its not going to get you the pickup that i think you want tho. Its still a bit low on the torque end of things. However, Nissan engines and especially the 240 engine is pretty much bulletproof. you can do a lot with that block.

But for 4000 man thats not a lot when it comes to anything looking sporty and "fuel efficient" ... what i'd do if i were you is try to get some parts from a junk and convert your chasis into the 5.0 chassis. Then swapping out the engine for the 5.0's engine. I think thats a better way to get what you want. However, if you are looking to change to imports, i would highly recommend the nissan over the mazda. There is one sleeper car that you might think about if you can find it, dodge stealth. However, the parts are manufactured by mitsubishi which in any import circles is known for its well "unreliability" to put it gently.

I have to say tho i don't know what you are trying to accomplish.. Do you want to go faster with better mpg. Or do you want more horsy's per mpg. cause they are two different things when it comes to imports. There is almost no such thing as a "fast" econo import in the mid 90's or before. Honda tries with the VTEC engine but its still nothing like a V8. Trust me Camaro and Civic were my last two cars. Night and DAY when it came to power delivery.

The imports do one thing that the american cars just don't which is corner and turn. I mean these things can handle. I usually test cars on a mountain road by my house and i have to say when the civic got up to speed it handled better than the camaro.

So i guess after all that is said here. it all depends on what you want. Straight speed? Cornering? But to answer your question in the subject line. I don't believe so not with the money you are willing to put up.

Do the swap your going to like that much better than any import cars. TRUST ME.
 

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Drive an '02 Camry LE 4cyl that gets 19 to 20 around town with AC on ALL the time. To me it's a low priced, by today's standards, well rated, well put together, attractive, comfortable, reasonably safe sedan. Beginning to wish I'd bought the Matrix that gets a good 24/5 around town with AC. Can't call it ricey, which is a stupid expression IMNSHO. If you put all the fart can, wing, sh!t on a Fucos, you must have a Taco special with bobbing dog in rear window. I'll take the rice instead. ::
 

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I have a '95 Ranger with the 3.0L. 25mpg to work through hills and mountains and almost 30mpg on the highway. Plus, I can still haul a 20' boat with a 5.0L to the lake on the weekends.
-Brian
 

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That 2.3 must have an automatic behind it. Our 93 2.3 5spd gets 26 on its bad days. I've hit 31 on the highway ( using the cruise control of course).
I agree with the statement that "rice" is attitude.
What about an Escort? Inexpensive and the 4 that we had in our service fleet (94-95 wagons, auto and air) averaged 27 mpg. Just make sure you cahnge the timing belt every 70k. Remeber a stick car will do better on the gas and have more power tahn and auto, less drivetrain loss.
BTW my 2003 Mercury Marauder gets me 21mpg around town!
 

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Ever consider a 65-69 Mustang with an I6? I get around 27-28 MPG on the highway...and I think my car has the looks if not the power...

Slade
 

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94-95 Mustang 3.8 V6 - good mileage - plenty available for your $$$.
87-93 Mustang GT/LX 5.0 will pull down 25+ driven right...
As mentioned - the Taurus SHOs are nice and fun - maintenance can be an expen$ive headache though (I had one).
 

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My son just bought a 2000 Ford Escort ZX2. 5 speed, 4 cyl.

I've been driving it for 2 weeks now. 35mpg!!! Beats my Durango (13mpg.)!

A little small for me, as I'm 6'3" 230lbs. But a great little car. If mileage is all you're after, this is decent, and will keep you in the Ford family.

Regards,
Brian
 

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How about a german car, VW for instance? That is the main reason I just bought my new beetle daily driver, and glad I did. In the last two weeks gas has gone up by more than 40 cents a gallon, now in the $2.20 plus range for regular. 30 mpg is so much better than than 15 I was getting.
 

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It can also be the car. It isnt necessarily all attitude. I dont act like a ricer, but the point where I have a coffe can and a 4 foot wing on my car, my car IS rice.
 

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Anything VW-TDI. I average 47mpg (52.3 high) and I've heard of these engines last well into the 200k mile range. Just take care of the timing belt every 80-100k miles and you're good to go.
 

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I know there have been alot of good sugestions, but I will add my 2 cents also. The german car idea was a good one, but what about a Sweedish car. I am curently driving a 1996 Saab 9000 AERO. I got the car for 4 grand, with just over 100K miles on it. I woudl only suggest getting the 5 speed, as it is 225HP. The turbo is the life saver on gas, as its only a 4 banger, but it can really get up and go. 0-60 was 6.1 seconds when the tested it back in the day. I get just over 30 MPG on the highway and just over 20 everyday driving, when Im not pounding on it all teh time (its hard not to drive the car hard, as it liek being driven hard). The car can fly, and is a sleeper at that, unless you know Saabs. I would suggest getting a 1996, as they had worked out all the problems by then and in 1997 the cars were limited. The car probbly has one of the best interiors you could ask for. It was originally a $30,000+ and its will be the best bang for your buck you coudl probbly find.

Just my 2 cents. E-mail me at [email protected] if you want to talk about it at all.
 

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Haha, looks like you've got about as many opinoins and suggestions as anyone could ever want. I'll add the 2 cars I drive when I can't be Stangin' it. We have a '94 Ford Probe GT (think Mazda MX-6 or 626 with a blue oval on it) and a '97 Lincoln Mark VIII. They both average about 23-25 mpg, and are quick! The Probe has 164 hp in stock form, though my friend put one of the hated coffee can exhaust systems and a K&N filter on before I got it that gives it a little more power. It's quick and handles GREAT! 25-30 over the posted limit for curves are a breeze and it wants more. The Mark has a 290 hp 4.6 and though it pulls hard, it is a HEAVY car and moves a bit slower. It seems strange to me that both of these cars that have bigger, more powerful engines get better mileage than your Fox body, have you had it tuned or checked for problems? I would think it should be getting close to 30 mpg, even my 4x4 gets 15-17! One last note, our family had a '92 Taurus with 3.0 that got 30+ mpg on the freeway if there wasn't much wind. Big car loaded down too, and it did it until it got wrecked at 150K.
 

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Dare I suggest a "mini" pick-up truck with a 4 or 6 under the hood. I've got a Nissan SEV6 (same engine as the 240sx) gets 23 hwy and is indestructible. My friends got a 97 Ranger that she abuses the &$^* out of and it keeps going.
Although they are not fast, NO one expects them to be and they are very useful to drag all your Mustang parts home. ::
 

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Discussion Starter #20
as stated above i got a 2.3L with an auto probably the big reason i get horrible gas mileage, ive done a tune up to it and it runs nice for 140000 miles. couple things wrong but no biggie. thank you all for the .02. after i posted this i thought about the 'rice' effect and that is only if i make it that way. thanks for the news about the rx7, i was lookin at stuff and just the searches i did came up with some scary headlines on them. i thought about trucks but im just not a truck person. vw stuff would be nice but isnt it very expensive to fix if something goes wrong?
i want better gas mileage, first but i want it with some fun 'play ability' behind it. in my 92 there is no 'fun' i cantgo around a corner and speed out of it, it just isnt possible. i cant turn the tires over when im on dirt road, im serious, ive tried it. really i want something that is simply more fun to drive. ive looked at doin the 5.0L swap but i have to have my car or i dont get money, i deliver pizza's for a living. yes i am looking for another job that doesnt involve be driving my car to make money so i could look into the swap more and drive my 69 for a week or so when i did the swap. im just trying to weight my options and i got a lot of info and exactly what i was lookin for from everyone.
chuck
 
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