Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Do The DEW: 2004 Lincoln LS V8

If you've ever wondered why the Toyota T100 was not superseded by the T150 (as initially planned by Toyota) but by something called the Tundra -- you're looking at the reason.  Well, not the actual reason, but a part of the funny business around the turn of the 21st century.  Ford wanted to release a Lincoln version of the DEW98 platform (Jag S-Type, Ford T-Bird) called the LS6 and LS8, but Lexus claimed it was too close to the name of their LS400/LS430 at the same time as parent company Toyota was releasing the Toyota T150 pickup...so Toyota changed the name to Tundra and Lincoln called it the LS V6 and LS V8.  Find this 2004 Lincoln LS V8 here on eBay offered for $5,200 buy-it-now or make-offer located in Studio City, CA.

When someone mentions a late model, rear drive, manual transmission, 8-cylinder luxury sedan with a sophisticated double-wishbone front & rear suspension - thoughts immediately jump to BMW, perhaps a Mercedes, or something from Lexus/Infiniti.  You may be surprised to learn that such a vehicle was indeed designed, built and assembled in Michigan at Lincoln's now dead Wixom Assembly plant.

Powering the LS is a Lincoln V8...wait...that's not right...it is a Lincoln branded piece of plastic covering a Jaguar 3.9 liter AJ-V8  good for 280 horsepower and 286 ft-lbs of torque.  Reports of engine problems and astronomical repair costs float around the interwebs, but it can't be any worse than a similar vintage Audi or Mercedes.

The LS interior isn't something you'll dedicate a chapter to in your autobiography, but it seems to have survived the last decade without too much damage.  Boring...sure...but that's kinda what you want in a ten year old depreciated luxury sedan.  Excitement equals expensive. 

See a better V8 powered late model red sedan for sale? tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. Wait, they offered these with a manual?

    1. The V8's were all automatics. The did offer a stick with the V6 for a short time.

      I have rented and driven many Lincoln LS. They were a great car!. Handling was excellent.
      My friend's wife drove a V8 LS to 160,000 miles and the only unusual repair was coil packs.
      They only sold it because his wife was regularly transporting the grandkids and the LS did not do well in the snow.

    2. To my knowledge, only the v-6 model was available with a manual. Same story with the S-Type. Pity, as I feel Ford really missed the opportunity to build something legendary with the v-8 manual combo. Must have figured that the take rate for that configuration would be too low to justify the development of such a great thing. Bummer.

  2. I believe the manual Wixom unicorn (deja vu...) was only available in the 6 cylinder but I'm not certain.

    1. Dang, beat me to it Doc. Pesky little stupid-phone buttons.

  3. It helps I've been shopping the intertubes for Jay Ward series DVDs this AM, 'cause we need Sherman to set the wayback machine for the late 1980s when Ford, having done everything (well, most things) right for a decade proceeded to screw the pooch ('Sherman, a highly inapt expression if I may...' 'Sorry, Mr Peabody'.)

    My recollection is that the DEW98 was originally designed to replace the Ford Scorpio/Granada in the European market, but in the process of digesting the Jaguar purchase and spinning off a version for them it took FOREVER to get it to market, and along they way they'd hired the Anglophile Wolfgang Reitzle fresh from being canned by BMW for Rover Group's failure and Mini's capital consumption. Then they bought Land Rover, and Volvo, and suddenly they had a huge array of Ford-owned product in the European executive market and Reitzle wanted to preserve as much of that segment as possible for his acquired British nameplates.

    So the Scorpio-replacement never went to Europe, and in US Lincoln form the product spec was constrained so that it wouldn't poach on Jaguar turf, it wasn't until 2003 that it got the 280HP engine and a few other upgrades.

    It's a great platform, great chassis, far more money in the car than in, say, the first-gen Cadillac CTS. Interior trim not up to E39 BMW standards, seats a little flat, but probably the roomiest thing in its segment for people and stuff. The Jag S-type was, of course, the same platform and shared most mechanicals and a few bits of interior trim, and was if anything even ruder than the LS from '00-02. The '03 S-type got a thorough interior update and is a wonderful place to be, but the Jag has far less interior room than the Lincoln. I wonder if you could swap the late S-type dash and seats into an LS...

    No, they never put a manual transmission behind the V8. Manuals were common in the Jag S-type V6 outside the US, never sold in the S-type here, and only a few Getrag-box LSes ever went out the door.

    The '03-05 are I think the ones to own with the 280HP motor and a few other upgrades, but if you want to install a Truetrac LSD for an 8.8 Ford rearend you need to backdate the rearend housing to the '00-02 piece. Same applies to the Jag S-type.

    1. Oh, and re the V8 - when Jag introduced the AJ-V8 in the late '90s the first ones out the door had Nikasil-plated bores just like the original BMW M60 V8s five years earlier, and just like those BMW V8s sulfur in gasoline in some markets started peeling the plating off the bores. So by the time the LS came out all the V8s were steel-sleeved, and even though Reitzle's game-playing had the Lincoln branded as a 3.9 and the Jag as a 4.0 it was the same block.

    2. Did you say Jay Ward?

  4. Since there is some level of reverence here for this Lincoln today, So not to pee on anyone's parade, I will just add that Lincoln does itself no favors in the name department. The last few years are really puzzling. If the cars had not just been (and continue to be) gussied up Fords, I'd swear it was due to people getting all confused by a jumble of letters and cars that don't make a person care enough to figure them out. A Lincoln by any other name would be as dull.

    1. Oh, no question that that the Lincoln nameplate today might as well be on a high-end line of bedpans.

      Ford had a vanishingly narrow window of opportunity when the success of the Navigator brought a bunch of new buyers to Lincoln showrooms, and the LS was a tremendous product, but the guys in tan slacks and white brogues wanted to push Grand Marquis and Town Cars.

      GM's effort to push Cadillac into the 21st century has been inconsistent but at least it's been ruthless, and from a product perspective it's been more successful than not.

      The LS sold okay, not spectacularly, didn't help that it was two, three, four years later to market than many of its direct competitors. Ford went nowhere with that opening and let Lincoln dealers turn the company into the Black Car Brand. Mulally-era Ford made a conscious decision to focus (heh, heh) on their basics, that Lincoln was not a strong enough brand to chase upmarket buyers and they couldn't spend the money to turn it into one, so it stumbles along in kind of an odd niche.

  5. This line should be standard issue in all Jag V-12 engined'd ads:

    "This now has to go. This car has a salvage title and is not running. It has V-12 engine"

    The AJ16 engines are one of the sweetest and reliable straight 6 built, the V-12 is for aristocats (sic), Jag wrenches or dreamers.

    Ford helped improve Jag durability immensely from about 94' on. I ran a 98 XJ6 for two years and it was a very sweet car. Once used to the fact that only the initial steering input and body settling on the suspension were wee inducingly scary, it was great fun hurling the 4500lb car around. Everything worked except the radio.

  6. If you want this car save the extra couple of dollars and get the S-type R. Fixed brakes. 400hp. Same chassis as stated before. I couldn't get over the horrible interior on this one, the XJ's were much nicer in that respect. Sure these are lighter and the suspension is from this century but the category that this car fills for me the ride comfort and interior trumps sportiness.

    1. An '03-05 S-type R is a sweet car. Yes, much nicer interior. Considerably less back-seat room and somewhat less trunk. Still lacks a limited-slip diff and you'll have to backdate the axles and center section to the '00-02 to install a Ford 8.8 diff, Jag stuck their head up their backside and did the don't-raise-the-bridge-lower-the-river thing, they made the rear axles and center-section asymmetrical to reduce wheel hop.

      My biggest problem with the S-type R is that in my limited experience Jag parts prices make BMW's look like replacing a snap-ring on a Fisher-Price toy.

    2. Jag parts from the Ford ownership era aren't bad, you just have to cross reference the ford part. And some of the Jag parts are pretty cheap too if you're used to German car part prices. Lead time was my biggest issue.

    3. ...and that brings up the next point about low-volume Fords: they stop selling parts for them very quickly. Hit the SHOs, and the Contour SVT, and the Mark VIII and Thunderbird, now the LS and the SVT Focus.

      You cannot, for instance, get a right-side engine-mount bracket for an LS with a 3-liter V6. Ford NLAed them a while back. You can, however, get it from Jag for the S-type, but the online prices I've seen are pretty painful.

      I'll wait for one to turn up in a junkyard picked over to the point that it's an easy grab, not in a big rush.

      Similarly, there's a list of Contour SVT and SVT Focus stuff that can be had through Ford in Europe as Contour ST220/Focus ST170 parts, but Ford doesn't sell them in the US.


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