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What can you all tell me about the Taurus SHO? My little brother is looking at one for his first car, and I am wondering how well it handles, what the performance is like, how sturdy they are, what the hp/torque is, etc. If any of you have one I'd love to be able to help him out.
 

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HIGH and EXPENSIVE maintenance.
My son has one and enjoys it but you need their forum a detailed shop manual and a talent for working in confined places.
 

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Just some guy
67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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I don't know whole lots about them, but a lot of the earlier ones have experienced transmission failure by now. the tranny is SHO ONLY. A friend of mine has one he's been hunting a used 5 speed for for about 2 months now. He can find them, but they seem to be gold-plated. His exploded and is basically non-repairable. On the upside, he has been known to embarass more than a few Camaros with it.(When it runs)
 

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I'm gonna have to go along with the others here. I've never had any experience with them, but I've always heard that they are a PITA as far as maintenance goes. Everyone that I've talked to that has had experience havn't had anything good to say about them, unfortunately. Good luck with whatever he decides.
 

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I hadn't heard about the maintenance problems, but I CAN tell you about my ride in one. It was my first Open Track event and, on the second day, I asked a fellow Shelby Club member if he would give me a ride in his (my bro-in-law is a Ford Technician and is always telling me what a performance car they are). This older gentleman had bought his SHO from his company when he retired - it was an 89 (or maybe an 88) and it had been his company car.

I swear, it looked like Grandmas car!! Four doors, leather interior, power seats and windows... You get the idea. Well, he would drive it to the track, throw racing tires on it and blast around the track. Four wheel independent suspension, four wheel disc brakes and about 325 hp out of that V6!!

After 6 laps, I thought I was going to be sick, but it was worth it! This guy was passing Ferraris!!! That was one amazing ride.
 

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They can't be terribly fast, some jerk severly cut me off in one, and then tried to run, I caught up to him, made some colorful sign language, and left him in the dust, while I was in my F-150.
 

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There are two versions. The early version had a V6 (3.0 IIRC), was ratted over 200 HP and came only with a manual trans. In the following year or two, and automatic way optional. There was a body style change and motor change to a V8 (3.2 IIRC) also ratted over 200 HP and only came in an automatic trans. The motor is from Yahama (sp?, the motorcycle company). A well driven SHO can be very fast. I've seen on make FTD (Fast Time of the Day) at an Auto-X beating Porsches and Miatas.
 

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There are actually three versions of the Taurus SHO. My family has all 3... There is the 1988-1991, 1992-1995, and 1995-2001 (last year for the SHO was 1999)

In 1988, the SHO was called an "MT-5" and sported a 3.0 liter V6, rated at 200 horses. The first year for the SHO was 1989, and it sported a Yamaha 3.0 liter V6, rated at 220 horsepower. This 220 horsepower V6 was standrd fare in the SHO until 1996, when Ford SVT dropped a 3.4 liter V8 producidng 235 horsepower into the Taurus. In all years of the SHO except 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991, a manual transmission was standard with an optional automatic overdrive transmission.

These cars are wonderful, spirited vehicles. It's a lot of fun to race f-body cars and keep up with them in a 4 door car. The 3.4 liter V8 is conservatively rated at 235 horsepower for safety regulations but it's considerably more powerful than that.

But yeah, manintenance is very bad.. I don't know why, perhaps a Taurus isn't meant for high performance. Ford beefed up the suspension for the SHO model line but it doesn't seem to be enough. My brother's, for instance, eats tie rods and cv shafts like no one's business. Alternators, starters, a/c compressors... They all seem to have a short life expectancy in the SHO.

If he can get it cheap, and if he's mechanically inclined, then he should get it. Until 1994, they were relatively easy to work on. However, AFTER 1994, with the advent of the V8 in that tiny engine bay... Well, lets put it this way. My brother has to loosen motor mounts to change spark plugs.
 

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No, Wan't the MT-5 the 4-banger taur-ass that had around 80 hp? That and the SHO were the only sticks IIRC
-Brian
 

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Ya, I dunno what I was thinking.. The MT-5 did have an inline 4 that made a whopping 80 horses. But yeah, that and the SHO were the only manual trannys.
 
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