Mercury Comet GS-R Logo

1997 Mercury Sable GS Project

1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R


Here is the latest project, a 1997 Mercury Sable GS. I bought this car in September of 2001 off of a Mercury Dealer's used car lot. I was instantly impressed with the standard features, interior room and smooth handling. Up until October 2003, it was driven by my Wife and it provided trouble free service. After I bought my Wife the Mercury Villager, I got this car. This Mercury is very refined compared to the Ford Aspire I was driving previously and was in better condition.

This car has aged very well since 1997. The exterior design still looks like a more newer car. With its large headlights and large windows, it looks more mainstream then it did in 1996. This 1997 is the most basic of the GS line. It has a standard interior package which includes entry lights, gray cloth seats, power windows, power locks and an AM/FM stereo cassette with CD changer controls. The dealer added class to the car by installing a ASC moon roof. The exterior featured the GS trim, Ebony Satin Metallic Clear coat paint and alloy wheels. The engine is the base 3.0 V6 Vulcan that is responsive for both freeway and city driving.

Next year, I am going to do nothing special other then maintenance on this car. Of course, I have said that before! :)

1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R side



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R interior



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R front



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R 1996



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R 1998



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R




Update 2/14/2004

1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Wheels

After getting an unbelievable deal on GEN2 SHO rims from a yard listed on, I added them on to the Sable. After shopping for a couple of weeks, I decided on a set of General eXclaim P225/55R16 H rated tires. This upgrade has improved the ride BIG TIME.They had the exact look I was looking for, upgraded stock.

In other news, I have a set of clear corners coming in the mail. They are cheapies and some on TCCA think they won't look good. I don't see how anyone can screw up a plastic lens. As long as they fit, they should look nice.

1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Wheels



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Tires



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Wheels



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Wheels



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Wheels




Update 4/4/2004

Found here..

Best Buy

I just got this changer and installed it Friday night and thought it would help someone if I reviewed it. I wanted to use the stock Ford stereo to control a CD changer. I didn't want to use a RF Mod changer due to all the wires and the not so great sound quality. The goal of my system is to play CDs using the 6 speakers that came stock with my Sable. I also didn't want to pay $80+ to have it installed.

When I got this out of the box, it came with the control box for the RCU, short Ford harness cable, a longer cable that goes from the control box to the CD changer, the CD changer itself and magazine. It also came with instructions that were not really helpful BUT they pointed us in the right direction. It came with a 1-800 number to call in case you get stumped.

After pulling the carpet out, it exposed the RCU that is located on the drivers side wheel well. We noticed right away where to plug in the Ford harness cable. The harness cable came with a pig tail for the power connection. After looking around by the RCU, we noticed that there was already a power connector in place (for the factory changer?). We cut into that and was able to get power to the changer with no issue. Its hot all the time so it will be easy to change the magazine without starting the car.

After the power was connected, we used the longer cable to plug into the CD changer from the control box. It was just a DIN cable, so it was not a big deal. We tested the unit and the stock stereo found the changer and started playing.

We had a fun time trying to mount the changer. There is not a lot of flat surfaces in the trunk so we used the back seat for mounting. They didn't provide enough screws to secure the changer but my buddy had a few extra. After mounting it, the job was complete. It took us about 1 hour to do the whole thing. We had a lot of interruptions too with my friend's dog bothering us.

The performance on the changer is great! I had the RF mod version of this changer before and this new one is like night and day. Bass sounds really good and the highs are great as well. My car doesn't have a big system so I can't really say how it would sound with higher end equipment. MP3 playback is great! I wish I had enough MP3s to fill 10 CDs.. I would never have to touch this changer ever. You can put over 140 songs on it. It can also see all 10 dics, the factory changer was only 6. The display on the factory stereo displayed everything correctly.

Whats nice is that this changer can be used with many different cars/trucks by just flipping a couple of dipswitches. So if I sell the car and get something else, I can take it with me as long as the new car has CD changer controls.

Money well spent!

Update 8/8/2004

1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R Chip

So far this summer, I have done a lot to the Sable. I just installed the new chip from American Motorsport and it has made a big improvement in engine performance. This chip was custom programmed for my Sable to provide the most horsepower and acceleration.

Here are some of the benefits (from their website)

Optimized Spark/Timing:More spark is added to increase power. Spark is optimized at each load level and RPM interval, for maximum power though out the power band.

Eliminate Spark retard:The spark retard during tip in is eliminated for better throttle response and faster acceleration.

Optimized A/F Ratio:A lot of cars are run rich from the factory at the higher RPM levels. We optimize the a/f ratio per your application for maximum power.

Raised Rev limiter:In most applications, the rev limiter is raised when there is power to be had higher up in the power band.

Speed Limiter:The speed limiter is raised or removed.

Fan turn on temps:The fans are commanded to turn on earlier, to keep your car running cooler. Because we optimize our programs to add timing when coolant temperatures are lower, this will yield some power.

Matching MAF's to injectors:Via our programming, we can match any MAF to any injector size, as long as the MAF has enough range. It does not matter that the MAF is calibrated to a different injector size than you are running.

Max fuel economy programs available:We offer some programs with optimized EGR calibrations, shift schedules, and fuel calibrations to increase fuel economy. This is a good option for a multi-position chip, to have a performance program when you want it, and maximum fuel economy when cruising around town/

Just about anything else:Since we have access to every parameter in the PCM, if you need it done, chances are we can do it...from changing displacement for a stroker kit, optimizing idle quality for an aftermarket cam, to just about anything you can think of, just ask!

Their price is a great deal for what you get!. Once you get one of these, you wonder what you did without it!

Update 08/23/2004

1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R Leather Swap

After saying to many people that I am done with modifying my Sable for the year, I was presented an offer I couldn't refuse. While looking on ebay for a new bumper cover, I found someone who was parting out a 1996 Mercury Sable. He had a bumper cover but it didn't look any better then the one I had so I asked him about the interior. He said it was leather and was in good condition minus the driver side. The driver side was hit pretty hard on the fender so the door wasn't able to open and it looked like the seat was damaged. Lucky for the occupant, they survived.

After getting the seats out, I took them home and cleaned them up. I went through a spray bottle of Wollite mix and some Turtle Wax leather protectant to get these cleaned up. There was glass and dirt everywhere on these seats but they cleaned up very nice.They are not museum quality, but they are better then most leather seats I find in cars.

The driver side was a little more harder to find. After calling most everyone in Michigan on, I started calling some of the yards I used to go to as a teen back in Canton, MI. Lucky for me he had a driver side gray leather seat. I picked it up, cleaned it up and they look great. Since it came out of a Taurus, it is very slightly different but it was close enough!

In other news, I got myself a TCCA license plate holder. It looks great now, I hope it holds up.



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R Leather Seats



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R Leather Seats



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R License Plate




Update 10/10/2004

1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R Bumper

Over the last couple of months, I have added some worth while mods to the Sable. I went back to the place where I got the leather seats and picked up some great parts from the car that the seats came from. I got a JBL tweeter grill and some other smaller parts. The big thing I picked up there was a re-painted bumper cover. My old one was really scratched up from my Wife's taking the strollers in and out. The repainted cover matched the car perfectly. In an effort to be different, I picked up a V6 HO emblem that matches the body color. I didn't put back on the rear Sable emblem but I did install the Mercury emblem after striking out with another emblem I picked up. Of well, it covers the mounting holes.

I also found someone on TCCA that was selling a Mach audio system RCU and bought that. It was well worth the purchase price since now I have more volume. The standard stereo was OK but sometimes my CDs aren't loud enough. Unlike the JBL system, the Mach plugs in and uses the stock speakers and wires. This spring, I plan on getting a complete set of 6x8 speakers and replace the OEMs. I am sure my stock speakers will be pretty much trashed after that.

Winter is coming and the Slicers will be coming off. I figured the 15" rims/tires are thinner and could help in driving in the snow/ice. During the winter, I will be planning my mods for 2005. This will include a suspension replacement, speakers and service items.

Update 11/15/2004

1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Suspension

I just wanted to let everyone know how the suspension replacement went. Thanks to the suggestions of Bob and spridget, I got good advice on the best case scenario for a non-lowering GEN3 suspension setup. I am very pleased about the result but getting everything done was a battle. This was supposed to be done in Spring but one of my end links busted so I figured it would be best to move the project up.

Here is what I bought:

- GEN3 Taurus SHO "KUM" Springs. These have the highest load rating and are supposed to be the stiffest.

- TRW front replacement springs. These are a totally different design then the OEMs. You get one extra coil with these.

- Moog sway bar end links (I can't believe that the front OEMs are plastic!)

- Monroe Sensatrac Struts

We had some difficulty with getting the strut mounts off and had a very big issue with bolts that won't move. We had to drill one of those bolts out and create a larger hole for a new bolt for one of the rears. Lucky for us, my buddy has lots of air tools to help, some of those bolts are were hard to get out. It took the better part of the day just to get the two rears on. We worked from 10:00 to about 6:00 with the rears. We did take breaks but not too many.

The fronts were just as hard. We had issues with compressing the spring low enough to get the strut off. It took us awhile to figure out how to get it off. Then we started disassembling the front end parts. At 11:00 we were finished with the pass side front. We called it a night so I drove home on 3 new struts,

Today I took the car to Pep Boys to finish the job. They installed everything great and I also got an alignment while I was there. Its really handy that they are open on Sunday. With all the bashing we have done, Pep Boys deserves some credit for being there on odd days.

I took it for a ride today and was very pleased. Handling is 100% better and I don't feel every bump like I used to. I think it rides better then my GEN4 rental I had a couple of months ago. The rear end is up a little higher then before. I haven't take the car on my favorite freeway entrance ramp that is a complete circle but I am sure it will do fine.

Here are the pics!

1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Suspension After



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Suspension After



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Supension Before Front



1997 Mercury Sable Ford Taurus Comet GS-R SHO Suspension Before




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