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Ford EB II Fairmont
(Click for a larger image)
(Click for a larger image)

I took these photos of my EB II before I even owned it.

I was looking around at buying a cheap second hand car that could carry more than 3 people (having sold my '83 Mazda RX7 because it couldn't).  So I wanted a 4 door sedan with automatic transmission, air conditioning and electric windows for as little cash as possible.

I realised to get something that would respond well and not be too slow I would have to look at something with an engine size of 2 litres or greater.  This eliminated smaller cars such at the Ford Laser and Toyota Corolla.

First car I test drove was a '90 Subaru Liberty sedan powered by a 2.2 litre flat 4.  Unfortunately the air con didn't work and the engine had done over 300,000 kms.  It was still a very nice car and it did have electric windows and cruise control.

I drove a '91 TR Magna which was very nice.  Excellent air con and fantastic brakes, but no electric windows on the Executive model I drove and the SEs were too expensive.  The 2.6 litre engine had done 145,000 kms and ran well.

Next was a VN Commodore.  Unfortunately it was a Series 1, so it was a bit worn out and unrefined.  Once again, it had no electric windows.  The engine had done around 186,000 kms, but I was put off by the V6 (2 heads to worry about).

After this I drove the EB II.

This was followed by a '91 Pintara Ti.  The Ti is the luxury version (electric windows/mirrors, central locking) with the 2.4 litre engine.  It had travelled 165,000 kms, but the body shape was a coupe and I wanted a sedan.

The sixth car I drove was a '91 Ford Telstar with the Mazda 2.2 EFI engine.  It had travelled 231,000 kms and seemed a bit tired compared to the EB II.

Upon returning to the EB II again I was satisfied with the power of the 4 litre straight 6 engine and the transmission was the smoothest of all the cars driven.  The air conditioner had also been serviced and filled with the newer R134A gas.  The only problem was that the interior fragrance was too potent, but I decided I could live with it.  The engine was a bit oily and had travelled 188,000 kms

It took a bit longer to get the Safety Certificate than I expected, but at last the Fairmont was ready.  I purchased the EB II on Thursday 28th March 2002.   The previous owner was a bit concerned about the fact that since they'd left the mechanic (that did the Safety Certificate) the coolant low warning light had stayed on.  They checked the reservoir and it had water in it.
I said I'd keep an eye on the temperature gauge.
As I drove away from the previous owner I realised that the interior fragrance wasn't as strong as it had been previously.

Fairmont interior
(Click for a larger image)

I anticipated having a few problems with the car because it was a relatively cheap purchase.  A few faults I had noted before purchasing the Fairmont were:
  Dent in driver's door.
  Dent in the boot.
  Bonnet gas struts didn't work.
  Valance had a split in it, but was intact.
  The RHS rear window didn't wind.
  The key wouldn't go all the way in to the passenger door lock.
  The odometer didn't work.
  The main interior light didn't work.
  Roof lining had sagged.
  Remote keypad didn't work.
  Wiper arms needed painting.
  Radiator reservoir showed signs that it has boiled (rust coloured water stains down the side of the engine bay) so I suspected potential head problems.

A little further away from the previous owner's house the "Check ABS" light flashed a few times and the car shuddered in sync with the flashes.  I didn't realise the car had ABS brakes...  I was still unsure and put it down to a wiring problem.  I arrived safely at the transport centre and transferred the registration.  After that I purchased a workshop manual then drove it to work then home that night, in the rain.  I turned the engine off then tried to start it again...  Everything was dead...  I got out of the car and locked each door manually and left the car.  I returned a few minutes later and was relieved to see the central locking worked again when I unlocked the driver's door.  The engine started but didn't run too smoothly.  I put the whole thing down to the wet weather causing a problem with the SMARTLOCK system.

Click here to go to day two of ownership.

Updated 9th Apr 2002