Reliability of the 500/Freestyle

I am giving serious consideration to buying a new Freestyle. My concerns are as follows:
1. I heard that the Duratec 3.0s in some Escapes are having problems around
the rod/crank bearing area. Is this really true? And if so, does it affect ALL Duratec 30s?
2. Ford has made some 'mistakes' in designing various automatic transmissions (E4OD, EAOD on Taurus 3.8L), and I am hesitent on the reliability of their CVT amd on their 5-spd AT.
Can anyone please help me on these issues?
Thank you,
Rob
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The only problems I've heard of with the Duratec is with those who terribly neglect their maintenance.
Also, I don't think that the 5 speed is all new. I think it's a reprogrammed AX4N, which has been the more dependable of Ford's transaxles. I may be wrong. If there's more to this, someone else speak up.
CJB

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please see my topic on the Freestar lights on this forum
or read this link below
http://www.rafeonline.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid035
BJ
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Not too worry. The underpinnings of the Freestyle and 500 has been around for well over a year, both use the chassis that was first used by Volvo, and has proven to be trouble free. The CVT is a pleasure to drive. It operates right on the engines torque curve producing plenty of power. The 4 cam V6 is a proven engine, used for several year, as well. The FWD 500, with the CVT or the 6 speed automatic, easily out performs the larger V6's used in the Chrysler 300 and the Toyota Avalon and gets great fuel mileage to boot.
mike hunt
Rob Tristani wrote:

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The CVT is a great idea in concept. In execution, we don't know.
I would stay from it.
Jeff

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Perhaps YOU do not know, but many others know that the CVT have been used to drive machines in industrial plants since the early nineteen hundreds and in automobiles since first used by DAF, back in the late fifties or early sixties. Several other brands use a CVT today, as well.
mike hunt
Jeff wrote:

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And the fun thing about it , back then, you could drive as fast in reverse as going forwards. Ever done 50mph going backwards ?? they had races on our local circuit doing that
I am sure they found some limiter on it on today's CVT's, doing 50mph backwards you flip over VERY fast
Johan
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Why would you flip over any faster going backwards than going forwards?
Jeff

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Try it.....

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Jeff wrote:

I have a Saturn Vue with GMs attempt at a CVT. I mostly like it, although it took some getting used to. The Vue with the CVT is actually faster than the 5 speed manual Vue, but gets slightly worse gas mileage. There have been a number of minor annoyances (mostly an annoying noise / vibration at some low speeds when coasting). GMs has had so many complaints / problems, they are dropping their CVT (at least in Saturns). Hopefully Ford will do better. Nissan Muran's also offer a CVT. I've heard it is a trouble prone dog, but that is from only one person (the only one I know who has one). Honda also offers CVTs in some vehicles. I haven't heard anything good or bad about those. Since the Ford 500 is based on a Volvo platform. Volvo purchased DAF years ago. DAF was one of the first companies to mass produce CVTs. One can hope this long time experience with CVTs might guarantee that the Ford CVT is a good product. I like the concept, but would wait for the 2006 model myself if I wanted the CVT.
Ed
Ed
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[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the cited author.]

I don't think there are any real differences in the Duratec between models. The 3.0L has been around since 1996 in the Taurus/Sable, then MPV, Escape/Tribute. The Mazda6's V6 is a Duratec with different heads. I think the same goes for the Jaguar 3.0. There is also a 2.5L version in the Contour/Mystique/Mondeo. And the weird V8 version in the 96-99 SHO.
Other than a water pump issue in the early 2.5L, I haven't heard of any common problems.

Supposedly, the latest AX4S/AX4N's have been good. The main issues with the earlier versions was when they went to an aluminum forward clutch piston in the early 90's. It had a habit of splitting and failing, especially with the high-tourque 3.8L. I read that in 2000 they went back to steel.
I don't know what the 5-speed is based on, or if it's totally new. Audi and Nissan have heavy-duty CVT's on some of their vehicles, too.
On the other hand, there is a big recall on Explorer/Mountaineers due to reverse failures. http://wardsauto.com/ar/auto_ford_mulls_explorer/index.htm
Otherwise, there are some overall build issues with the 500/Montego/FreeStyle. If you are considering one, you may want to wait a few months, as is typical with most any new model: http://www.blueovalnews.com/2004/cars/fivehundred.quality092804.htm http://warnerrobert.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic ;f6;t1465;p
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Well among another automotive discusion group I am a member of, we pretty much don't give anything BON reports any serious credit. Even amongst the GM group it is, they take anything he reports with a grain of salt....
1. Duratec, no big problems there....
2. The CVT ford is using is being made by the same company Audi is using for thier CVT's if i recall correctly (I don't guarentee my memory) and they aren't having any biggies. The Saturn ION on the other hand has had some from what I recall. But they get them thru the same supplier as.uhm.............honda? eh, one of those asian imports. While the 6speed is a new tranny, little is known on it.
But overall, the car outaccelerates cars that have as much as 250 HP. Impressive feat I'd say. From what i've seen of it, i like it. But have not driven one as of yet....
Jason
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