Ford lasers. Any good?

DTMracer

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My colleague's son is currently looking for a first car, and is interested in buying a 1989-1990 Ford Laser (KE series I think).

Since I know very little about these thing, does anybody here know much about them? What problems should he look out for, and what will they be like to live with on a day to day basis? Are the carbs known to screw up as well, especially on cold mornings?
 

turbo lag

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We used to have an old KB Laser as a daily driver. Ofcourse, I'm still 13 and I haven't driven yet, but the car was very reliable, it ran about 3 weeks with any oil what so ever (Don't have a clue how that's possible). We used it to carry fridges, beds, everything. They are really good little cars, shame we had to get rid of it about 6 months ago.



I'm fairly sure the KE Laser will be good.
 

public

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I'd guess any Ford that's really a Mazda can't be that bad.
 

DTMracer

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Well, I don't think he needs too much from his first car.

Do those things have power steering? Also, how're they to drive?
 

Spectre

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I'd guess any Ford that's really a Mazda can't be that bad.
Yes, it could:



Your Laser was sold in the US as the Mercury Tracer. They're almost all extinct now. I haven't seen one in almost 10 years now.

It did not hold up at all and died fast.
 

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From my experience those old little Fords are quite ok, but very unsafe to drive. They're like a tiny little coffin. If it were my money I'd spend a little bit more and get an old Corolla or Lancer.
 

DTMracer

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In what way are they unsafe?
 

turbo lag

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I don't see why they are unsafe, they are nearly 20 years old now. We've had a goose go through the windscreen (Don't ask how that happened), we've crashed it into our own garage somehow, and nothing exactly went wrong with it. My dad's also had a 30km/h rear end VOLVO crash into it, nothing much happened really. The rear did give out but no structural damage done. There been many other times which I can't remember right now, I dont think they are that unsafe frankly.
 

syncview

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well, if thats the case, then its unsafe for the passengers inside... neck injuries etc..
 

Hidden_Hunter

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From my experience those old little Fords are quite ok, but very unsafe to drive. They're like a tiny little coffin. If it were my money I'd spend a little bit more and get an old Corolla or Lancer.
a 4th gen Lancer is probably only marginally safer at best
 

The_Finn

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Yes, it could:



Your Laser was sold in the US as the Mercury Tracer. They're almost all extinct now. I haven't seen one in almost 10 years now.

It did not hold up at all and died fast.
uh... it's a 323 i see them all the time. The reason you don't see any tracers is because no one bought them so their are none to see.

Back on Topic the 323/laser will make a fine first car granted at this point i assume parts are going to be a little tough to come by but then it's an old car so what do you what. If you are feeling crazy you can always get the TX3 which is the same as my GTX though i am unsure if AWD and Turbo is something you want in a first car

also: forums to check out for more info on lasers (i suggest looking and seeing how hard is it so get parts)
 
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Dsemaj

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From my experience those old little Fords are quite ok, but very unsafe to drive. They're like a tiny little coffin. If it were my money I'd spend a little bit more and get an old Corolla or Lancer.
Just make sure he hits into something safe, like a parked car - then he'll be fine! With my friend driving my car.. which is meant to be one of the unsafest cars from the period to be involved in a crash in!

EDIT: ^^ parts are easy to get. They're all piled up in junk yards - just go to U-Pull and grab the parts you need.
 

Jeepin

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I had a tracer! but I smashed the windows and chained the door shut and went racin with it at the local dirt track. Honestly though you cant really expect much from a 1st car 95% end up broken or crashed. Mine did both:)
like someone else said Corolla or how about a civic?
 

Disciple

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By unsafe I mean they're a tiny car with no intrusion bars or any kind of safety in mind. I would never recommend one to anyone I know for that reason. If safety isn't a big concern then obviously go for the car. I'm just saying for my money I'd save a few more dollars and get something a little newer, more reliable and safer. Possibly something with at least one air bag?
 

JipJopJones

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If I'm thinking straight, the lazer is the same as the Mazda 323. If so, then they are great little cars. My friend's dad has one, the only thing you really have to watch for is oil leaks. The seals tend to degrade so that would be an issue, also the carb can be a bit fussy in the cold/wet/whenitisn'tfeelinggood.
 

Lupin_IV

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By unsafe I mean they're a tiny car with no intrusion bars or any kind of safety in mind. I would never recommend one to anyone I know for that reason. If safety isn't a big concern then obviously go for the car. I'm just saying for my money I'd save a few more dollars and get something a little newer, more reliable and safer. Possibly something with at least one air bag?
It's natural selection; if someone can't survive past their first car, we don't have to deal with them causing any more accidents.
 

Deanodriver

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Wow, they still put carbs in those things up to 1990?
Try 1994 on the poverty-pack models. Then again, they still had carbied Lancers and Magnas until 1996 here.

The Lasers were fairly popular here. I was actually considering a ~91 model for a while, but found them a bit too spartan inside. My mum's got a '99 Laser, it's alright, nothing fantastic though. Parts shouldn't be too hard to find, either. Seems like late 80's cars are still fairly common at wreckers. Civics tend to be harder to find, they were more expensive than the others.

If you can afford it, I'd say get an N14 Pulsar, they're probably the best commonly-available Jap hatch of that era. I hate to say this, but at a couple grand, a Hyundai Excel is an option.
 
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