probes


Whilst both the 16V and the 24V Probe share the same stunning curves and sleek  appearance, there are some subtle differences between them. This page describes  the differences, and also the facelifts that Ford introduced during the production  run.

Firstly, the wheels. When  the Probe first rolled off the ferry into Britain, the 16V showed off with some  3 spoke 'Swirlie' 15" alloys, with 205 width tyres. The 24V posed with  some 5 spoke 'Star' 16" alloys with 225 width rubber. The 24V also boasts  a subtle side skirt kit, a black plastic rear wheel arch trim, and twin exhaust  tail pipes. In later years both models received a facelift although it should  be noted that the changes were not done all at once. Many Probes have only some  of the new facelift features.


'94-'96 24V Star


'94-'95 16V Swirlie


'96- 24V Swirlie


'95- 16V Swirlie MKII

Facelifts

As time went on, Ford decided  to change some bits and bobs. There are some obvious details, and some very  subtle ones. For reasons best known to Ford, they decided to remove some of  the gizmos from inside the car as follows:

     

  • Front footwell courtesy  lights - removed
  • Under-bonnet light -  removed
  • Ashtray in the rear  of the centre console - removed
  • Map pocket in the back  of the drivers seat - removed
     

Some features were changed:

     

  • The mainly grey interior  is now black, except for the 'Saddle' leather option, where the interior is  also 'Saddle'.
  • Alloy wheels revised.  1995 saw a new 16V alloy, and the 24V got replacements in late 1996.
  • All of the earlier Probes  sported a 'bump strip' that ran just beneath the exterior door handles and  extended from the rear of the front wheel, to the middle of the rear wheel.  In 1996 this bump strip was shortened and started at the front edge of the  door, and only extended to the front edge of the rear wheel arch.
  • Wing mirrors are now  colour coded.
  • Early models had burgandy  edges to the rear light clusters. This was replaced in late 1996 with a black  edged design.
  • The immobiliser unit  changed from a remote key fob, to a more convenient chipped key design.
  • Some mechanical redesigns  including rear brake calipers and distributors where necessary.


Long bump strips (early models)


Short bump strips (later models)


Burgandy trimmed rear light cluster (Early models)


Black trimmed rear light cluster (Very late models)

Immobiliser

All Probes  come with an alarm and an immobiliser as standard. The immobiliser and the distributor  tend to fail on the older models although this is not the expensive problem  it used to be, thanks mainly to club members sharing their experiences. We now  know how to fix these problems without spending hundreds of pounds at main dealers.  However, to help you to understand the difference, the older models come with  a separate remote control to disarm the immobiliser. Later models have a 'chipped  key' system that automatically disarms the immobiliser when a correctly coded  key is used in the ignition.


Early model with seperate immobiliser key fob


Later model ('96-) with chipped ignition key

 

If you’re looking to buy second hand Ford Probe there are various points to watch out for and questions to ask the seller.

In the main, you should check or look out for the basic points which apply to buying any second hand car. However, the Probe can suffer from problems specific to it’s own design and build. Some of these points are detailed below.

Cam belt  If the car has a Service History then one thing to check is whether cam belt has been changed? The cam belt (timing belt) should be changed at about 60,000 miles on both the 16V and V6 engines. Serious damage is likely should the belt fail on the 16V engine and although the V6 engine is a “Non Interference” design, the belt should never the less be changed at the same interval

Engine oil  Check the engine oil dipstick for both level and quality of oil. Dirty black oil may suggest that the engine oil has not been changed for some time and so possible excess wear may be the result. The oil level on the V6 in particular should always be maintained at the high end of the scale.

Sunroof  The metal sunroof panel is a particular weak spot on the Ford Probe due to it’s poor design and pretty much all original sunroof panels on these cars are likely to show some degree or signs of rust breakthrough in the paint work. If there are any tell tale signs of this such as raised paint work or bubbles then a replacement will become necessary at some point down the line. Fibre glass and Carbon Fibre replacement panels are obtainable though not generally from commercial dealers.

sunroof1

sunroof2

The two photographs above show the internal rust deterioration which is almost certain to have occurred by the time bubbles have begun to appear in the external surface of a Probe sunroof. The second two photographs below show the results of fitting replacement Carbon Fibre or Fibre glass units. Fitting these panels is a very easy job, although if you opt for a fibre glass   replacement then the panel will obviously require paint spraying to match in with body colour of the car

sunroof3

sunroof4

 Buyers guide to the 2nd generation Ford Probe  1993-1997

Car Interior 

The bolster on the drivers seat is another point to watch out for. These often show clear sings of wear even to the point of actual damage such as a hole or tear.  Holes splits and tears can be obviously be repaired by an upholster or quite a decent job can be done with the use of a strong thread of a suitable colour and a few stitches

 

 

Note: Much more detail will be included in this guide very soon.

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The Ford Probe Owners Club