Page 2 of 2

Re: Al's 1997 Aerostar XLT e4WD

Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:14 pm
by asavage
I just realized that I never finished the AMSOil bypass oil filter install story. I wrote that up over at, so here's the link.

Re: Al's 1997 Aerostar XLT e4WD

Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:53 pm
by asavage
I removed the air shocks, the onboard air compressor, and the AMSOil oil filter setup. And I put my last Aerostar on CraigsList :( ... 49017.html

As the ad will disappear after it's sold, I'm copying the text here for posterity.


1997 Ford Aerostar EXT all wheel drive - $900

I am reluctantly offering my '97 Aerostar for sale. Man, I hate selling this van.

I purchased it in Vancouver in 2010 with 131k . . . and a leaking head gasket. It now has 210k . . . and still has that leaking head gasket! Leaks a little bit of coolant outside (not into the oil), and I have to change one spark plug every couple of months.

Given the history of this engine, it likely has recessed valve seats too. Power is definitely down from what it was, and Ford didn't use hard valve seats on this engine back then. I think it needs new heads. It has been driven daily up until last year, then weekly since then (moving furniture, etc.). The middle-row seat has been in storage for seven years, until I reinstalled it this week for the pictures.

I've been commuting 56 miles a day in it for years, and it's a great van, but I am not up to replacing the heads on it, and I bought a replacement AWD van already. But I'm really going to miss this one.

The paint is good, though there are a lot of minor imperfections and scratches (parking in Seattle every day!) and one very light crease along the sliding door, can't really see it in the pictures. No rust!

Dual heater, dual A/C, rear audio controls (I think this only works with the factory radio, though; I never use them), rear climate controls (these work!). Power windows, power outside mirrors, factory console & cupholders. Cruise control.

No rips/tears/wear spots or damage to the upholstery, seats, door panels or headliner: they're all in great condition. No funky smells. The carpet in back has some brown areas like spilled soda, but I never tried to clean those spots, and you can't see them with all the seats installed.

Two sets of keys. Aftermarket remote keyless entry (lock/unlock) with two fobs. .

I've owned five Aerostars ('89, '90, '91, '93, and this '97) and this one has been a great van. With the seats out, it holds an amazing amount of stuff.

AMSOil lubricants ever since I bought it. Uses NO engine oil at 5k oil change intervals (using AMSOil, anyway, which has very low volatility). Never add oil between changes. The rear main seal does weep a bit, but it's not enough to ever be reflected on the dipstick.

The engine is the venerable 4.0l pushrod "Cologne" engine. The transmission is a five-speed automatic, the only Aerostar engine & year that has the 5-speed auto. trans.

It has an aftermarket Sony head unit which works great. I have the OEM radio if you want it. The wiring is not butchered.

The wheels were replaced last year with Ranger wheels (upgrading from the OEM 14" to 15") so I could buy Michelin tires that would handle the load range; I had had Michelin Harmony tires on it before, but Michelin stopped making that line and no longer had a 14" tire that would meet the load rating of the van. So, 15" wheels that fit perfectly and never, ever rub, and new Michelins last year. Even the spare tire is 15" Michelin (never been on the ground).

The transfer case was replaced with a NEW (not rebuilt) transfer case last October. (receipt)

The transmission torque converter clutch blew up, so it was replaced in Jan2016 (203k miles). (receipt)

The transmission valve body was replaced with a rebuilt unit in 2014, to cure a hard 1-2 shift. (receipt)

The alternator, starter, and water pump all replaced in 2014. (receipt)

There's a hole in the knee panel where I used to have an air pressure gauge for the onboard air compressor (see pics).

I had the rear hatch and side windows resealed in 2013 due to rain getting inside, a very common problem on Aerostars. (receipt)

The front passenger seat has been modified and now adjusts fore/aft, just like the driver's side. From the factory, the passenger seats do not adjust.

There's a heavy receiver hitch mounted, and it's wired for lights. I have towed the U-Haul 6'x12' trailers to/from Denver and LA several times, it tows great.

All three wiper blades are new two weeks ago, Motorcraft.

An OEM NOS transmission crossmember, which has rubber bushings that sag with the added weight of the transfer case, was found and installed last year. (receipt)

Oh, the rear wiper switch sticks ON. I have a replacement switch; perhaps I'll replace it before you buy the van.

I have a stack of receipts and a printout of the CraigsList ad from when I bought it in 2010. Lots of spare parts, too, if you want them. Like a dash cover (doesn't need it, though, it just came with it), and a hood bug guard (I didn't like it, but again it came with it). I'll send you home with a full tank of gas, and the engine oil & filter were just changed.

I have a set of Cooper new-never-been-on-the-ground metal studded snow tires, mounted on factory alloy rims, available for sale as well. Bought three years ago but we've not had enough snow to make it worth my while to put them on.

It has the "gas cap code" (P1443) check engine light come up every few days. I've replaced everything up front that I could (sensor, solenoid, canister) but it continues to return. I'm half-convinced it may have a cracked vacuum line above the fuel tank. I just use my phone to reset the check engine light every few days.

Put a pair of new heads on (or have hard seats installed in these heads), and fix that probable vacuum leak at the fuel tank, and this van has a lot of years ahead of it. I've taken good care of it while it's been in my care.

If you need an all-wheel-drive minivan, there are not a lot of options. I bought an AWD Sienna to replace this Aero, and I'm already kind of regretting it, but what's done is done. This van has given me very good service and our family has a lot of good memories with it. I hope you will, too, make good memories with this Aerostar.

Re: Al's 1997 Aerostar XLT e4WD

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:57 am
by asavage
I sold the Aerostar to Fred in Salem last month. He texted me that he's enjoying it :) I gave him all my leftover Aerostar parts as well, so I am done with Aerostars. Five was enough.