I just bought a 1997 Taurus LX sedan for my mom. She lives in TX, and I live in CA. Her truck recently bit the dust and she was in bad need of a car but with very little money. I stumbled upon this beauty on Craig's List, and for $400 I had to check it out. The guy told me it would over heat, so I figured that it could only be a few things. Worst case scenario, the radiator is only $84 from rockauto.com. So, I limped it home and started with the cheapest parts first, thermostat, flush, and finally a water pump. So, with two days hard work, $500 and lots of grease and grime, my mom's got a very strong and reliable car which I drove 1300 miles to her without a hiccup!
This one I just got lucky on. I found a receipt in the glove box for a transmission rebuild less than two years ago.
Easier access to the thermostat on the DOHC models!!