1994-1998 Ford EF-EL Falcon XR6 - Buyer's Guide

By: Unique Cars magazine, Photography by: Wheels archives

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EL Falcon XR8 1 EL Falcon XR8 1
EL XR Falcon 2 EL XR Falcon 2
EL XR Falcon 3 EL XR Falcon 3
EL XR Falcon badge EL XR Falcon badge
EL XR Falcon wagon EL XR Falcon wagon
EL XR Falcon rear EL XR Falcon rear
EL XR Falcon wheel EL XR Falcon wheel
EL XR Falcon engine EL XR Falcon engine
EL XR Falcon interior full EL XR Falcon interior full
EL XR Falcon interior EL XR Falcon interior

Our mini buyer's guide if you're in the market for a Ford EF-EL Falcon XR6

 

Ford Falcon EF-EL XR6

After ignoring for a decade those customers who desperately craved a Falcon-badged performance car, Ford finally came to its senses in 1992.

A year later the ED XR added a very distinctive four-light nose which was lengthened and made more aerodynamic for the EF. With it came a bold new colour range that when combined with the XR’s other endearing attributes should have guaranteed a strong following and solid value retention. It hasn’t.

People will climb over each other to own a lumbering and slow 1970s Falcon six but walk past pristine XRs on offer at half the money. Outstanding EF-EL manual sedans are hard pressed to reach $8000 and the majority of quite decent autos sell at or below $4500.   If you need more space than the sedan provides, track down one of the very scarce EF XR6 wagons. Only 198 were made and they seem not to command any more bucks than a sedan in comparable condition.

EL-XR-Falcon

VALUE RANGE:
Ford EF-EL Falcon XR6
Fair: $18000
Good: $4800
Excellent: $7500 (EL manual)

BUYER'S CHECKLIST

Body & Chassis

1990 Fords seem less prone than other cars of their era to rust so one with bubbling around the wheel arch edges, sills and doors or showing evidence of body filler will likely be neglected in other ways as well. Beware damage and broken locating clips on the one-piece bumper/air-dam which will manifest as uneven gaps. Look underneath for ‘kerbing’ as well. Boot seals can leak so check for dampness which can affect operation of the rear lights. Replacement headlights come as high/low beam pairs at around $300 each. Higher wattage bulbs will improve night vision but generate more heat and fail more frequently than the standard bulbs.

Engine & Transmission

EL-XR-Falcon -engine

By the time EF release day rolled around, most of the overhead-cam engine bugs were well and truly dead. Oil still leaked from various places and head gaskets still failed but lucky owners can manage 200,000 kilometres without a problem. Most common cure is replacing the original head with an AU unit. Use the AU studs and gasket set as well. EFs were the only XRs with coil packs and misfiring will likely be down to a failed pack. Specialists in Ford servicing recommend replacing all of the packs at once. The five-speed manual can have the shift lever detach from its mounting. Four-speed autos seem durable if a bit harsh.

Suspension & Brakes

Falcon discs are prone to warping and wear but better quality replacements aren’t expensive. Check that the handbrake holds the car on a decent hill and doesn’t require brute force to release. Also find a stretch of empty road and try out the ABS. Look carefully at alloy wheels for cracks and bends, especially on the inner edges. The factory 16-inch rim came with different springs and bushes to the 15 with its baggier rubber and very low profile tyres will deliver a harsh ride plus shock loadings through the steering. Standard shock absorbers, especially at the rear, don’t last long but again better-quality replacements aren’t dear.

Interior & Electrics

EL-XR-Falcon -interior

The problem which proves insoluble for many owners of 1990s Fords involves the not-so-smart Smartlock central locking system. Doors don’t lock at all, stay locked when they shouldn’t or even lock then unlock themselves as you are walking away from the car. Even complete system replacements under warranty didn’t entirely cure the problem. Seat frames aren’t especially robust and will bend or crack under the weight of hefty occupants. Check adjusters including the back-rest. Air-conditioners need frequent attention to remain efficient and a major failure can see a cheap XR sent for scrap for lack of air-con. Less important but still annoying if they don’t work are the trip computer and cruise control.

SPECIFICATIONS

1994-1998 Ford EF-EL Falcon XR6

NUMBER MADE: n/a BODY: all-steel unitary 4-door sedan/wagon & utility
ENGINE: 4089cc in-line OHC EFI six or 4942cc V8
POWER & TORQUE: 164kW @ 5000rpm, 366Nm @ 3150rpm (EFI six)
PERFORMANCE:  0-100km/h 7.6 seconds, 15.5 seconds (manual)
SUSPENSION: Ind. with coil springs, struts, wishbones & anti-roll bar (f) Live axle with multi-link location, coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers (r)
BRAKES: disc front/disc rear with power assistance and
ABS TYRES: 225/55 R16 radial

 

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