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Question about Mark VIII Longevity

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  • Question about Mark VIII Longevity

    Hi Guys,

    Newbie here, but certainly not a newbie to Mark VIII's.

    Owned a silver '98 Mark VIII LSC for about 6 years starting around '99. Sold it in 2005 . Which may be my biggest car related regret ever. Replaced with a 2005 Jeep GrandC LTD/Hemi same year ... which is my second biggest car regret ever.

    Finally getting to a place where I may consider getting a "fun" car in near future and despite all the choices currently available, am oddly drawn back to Mark VIII's. I've looked around a bit recently, and it seems that picking up an almost pristine example for under or around 10k is quite doable.

    Which leads me to my question, with the youngest examples being 20 years old at this point, how have they held up over the years? How is ongoing maintainability looking? Is service or spare parts availability a problem? Anything else related to keeping a Mark VIII running for the foreseeable future that I should be aware of?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by DeepBlue; 04-03-2018, 01:13 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome, DeepBlue!

    I'm glad to hear you're considering coming back around to the Mark VIII.

    Pristine examples do still exist, and I suspect you'll find that "very good" ones will often still come in less than the $10k you're considering.

    First and foremost, be on the lookout for rust. These cars have a few places (rocker panels come to mind) where it's basically impossible to truly get rid of.

    Regular maintenance items generally aren't too bad. There are a few unique parts that are tough to find at the moment. Front air struts, for example. Although I've noticed quite a few new cars on the market (Ram, Tesla) that now offer adjustable height suspension. I'm hopeful that some creative retrofits will be possible. Spring conversion kits are readily available now, also.

    Expect to go over all of the front end suspension, (ball joints, etc) on pretty much anything you find. OEM parts are becoming rare, but alternatives exist.

    I do believe the rear window glass has gotten pretty hard to find, should you end up needing one.

    I might be missing some pain-points, but all in all, I find myself eagerly waiting for spring to arrive here in Minnesota, so I can get mine out and drive it again.

    If you're shopping, you may as well start here:

    I also believe that one forum member, Warden, has been considering one or both of his (extremely nice) customized Mark VIIIs. His post is here.
    Mike Martin

    1997 Mark VIII LSC 5.0
    2001 Dodge Dakota


    • #3
      Actually, I think it's easier to find the good ones now. The junk ones are really obvious and the good ones have been hiding in garages.

      Parts availability is the biggest thing to really be concerned with. Also consider whether you're doing the maintenance or you're paying someone else. It's very difficult to find anyone who's familiar with working on these cars.


      • #4
        I think you can find replacements for everything on the used market. Just have to start paying attention to the forums, Ebay, and FB to buy up good spares. Gen 2 rear neons are always tough to come by. My experience is that all the mechanical stuff is easily replaced.
        98 LSC Torreador Red
        "This fire's thrills per BTU are off the charts!"


        • #5
          Thank you Guys.

          Thats funny... When I owned a Mark VIII, back in the day, I thought that was rather high maintenance at the time. Everything is relative of course, can't say that I would call it high maintenance today, having been daily driving a German car for the past 10 years!

          It sounds like the Marks are holding up pretty well. I tend to get attached to, and take care of my cars very well. Which includes doing as much maintenance myself as I'm able to. Part availability/price is of some concern, as I would like to keep this car 100% OEM, no coilover conversions or anything like that. Neon replacement was hard to find even back then as I had to pickup a junked replacement when car was only 5 years old. Overall, it sounds like keeping one running will be a bit of a project and certainly a labor of love. But not too bad, as far as total cost of ownership. Keeping in mind that this car will not be a daily driver, which will hopefully add to its longevity.

          Finding a good one doesn't seem like a big deal. As JP was saying, there are quite a few decent examples showing up on the market regularly, and the trashed ones are easily identified as such.


          • #6
            The people here can help you keep it going. The only reason I sold mine after 18 years was it was no longer practical with two young kids in car seats.


            • #7
              These platforms imo are the easiest cars to work on. It's all pretty strait forward and on the forums you can get any needed help and hook ups..
              I just met a guy by me with a whole farm of m8s,birds,mustangs and a few vics..
              98 lsc..trac loc,cobra cams,90mm mafs,exhaust,tune,accel coils,DS rotors and ceramic pads,rims and sounds too.


              • #8
                Moose might be for sale.. I emphasize MIGHT. I have found a 2004 Aviator with only 80K that appears in very good condition.
                1997 Mark VIII LSC - (Moose)
                1986 Chevy El Camino - (Elky)
                New York AutoFest show schedule


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 94badbird View Post
                  These platforms imo are the easiest cars to work on. It's all pretty strait forward and on the forums you can get any needed help and hook ups..
                  I just met a guy by me with a whole farm of m8s,birds,mustangs and a few vics..

                  These and the tbirds are by far the hardest american cars ive had to work on. The only thing ive had an easy time with was the spark plugs.

                  I would recommend modernising the car a bit for ease of parts. The headlight circles out of older grand marquises bolt directly onto the HID spots so you can use 9006 bulbs, a few things in the trans can be updated like the OD pin without tearing into it to make it last a long time, an extra cooler would also help.
                  1998 Mark Viii LSC, Black but runny,138k Miles... Still
                  The problems I have with this car aren't normal compared to the ones everyone else has


                  • #10
                    Jamesvinar, that Grand Marquis tip I might use someday!

                    Really my MarkVIII is still my preferred driver. I also own a 97 Aurora for that week during the winter when we actually have snow on the ground.

                    So far thanks to the internet I haven't had too much problem with parts. Having to retrofit headlights or buy used bulbs kinda sucks though.

                    Oh! I did ditch my air ride about 6 years back I guess. If I had more energy and time I would have kept it up. As it was I didn't feel like ever NEEDING to replace a shock to make it home. That said, I could have kept it.
                    230,000 mile, 98 Sprung MarkVIII on Gabriel Air Shocks