Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

rickhamilton620

has a fetish for terrible cars
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I'd avoid the merc, buy a car based on weather you can afford to service it, not if you can afford it. That was overengineered merc times so it may well not go wrong, but if they do prepare for some rather large bills

Yeah that's the one thing that gives me pause....repair costs are very important.

http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/cto/2550637464.html

Nice car but it has that typical rear fender rust....still...I can't be picky.

depending on how much the rotor job and middle exhaust job costs, I could still be ahead of my 2k budget.
 
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EyeMWing

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Ilpav

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Rick, a '93+ Corolla is the best bet for you. It is better made than the equivalent Civic and gets better gas mileage than an Accord/Camry (you don't need the larger cars, since you drive alone most of the time). These things can make it up to and over 500k kms/300k miles without any problems whatsoever.

http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/cto/2540507842.html

That's the only one I could find in your area with a picture. I'd go check it out.
 

Spectre

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All the Doverite Saturns except yours have since passed into the afterlife.

And a new ignition control module for one of those Mercs is... Not the cheapest thing, unless Spectre knows something I don't.
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1194735,parttype,7172
Unless he actually meant the coil, in which case:
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1194735,parttype,7060


I do. Most junkyards have a few Merc SEL's around with crash damage. Pull a module out of one of those and chances are good it'll work. Cost, less than $100. Can resell the module on eBay for four or five times that.

Merc ended up replacing a lot of them under warranty, too, so chances are good that you'll find one with the replacement module that doesn't fail as much.

That said, yeah, a Corolla is probably your more reliable choice. That or a Toyota or Nissan truck.
 
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tigger

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I hate 2 doors. :p
Wat. No wonder you wound up with that Saturn; you must be genetically predisposed to non-awesome cars :D. The Harrisburg CL is even worse than mine. There are some solid trucks on there though.

Buy one of these and never worry about repair costs:
http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/cto/2550262550.html
http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/cto/2521039972.html

Buy one of these and never worry about anything actually breaking:
http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/cto/2549967531.html
http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/cto/2548890023.html
 

Spectre

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Saw those. Of the last two, the Nissan's being sold because it needs a timing belt change and the Toyota's rusted out.
 

tigger

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What, did you call the Nissan guy or is that just when they go? Wouldn't be surprised if you called :p. The Toyota has a couple holes in the bedsides, sure, but it will be good for years of service.
 

Spectre

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What, did you call the Nissan guy or is that just when they go? Wouldn't be surprised if you called :p. The Toyota has a couple holes in the bedsides, sure, but it will be good for years of service.

Those Toyotas rust from the underside and inside out. If rust is appearing there, the frame is now made out of condensed rust and probably won't be around much longer.

That Nissan has 60K timing belt change intervals, and they're not kidding about it - the belts often go poof not too many thousands of miles after that and then you're looking at a new engine. It's about $300-400 in parts to change the belt, as you also change the thermostat, water pump and a couple of coolant hoses while you're at it. I can just about guarantee that's why that Nissan's being sold.

By the way, my (now former) Nissan? Had its belt changed at 229K. I just sold it at 272K, in part due to the upcoming timing belt change that I wasn't interested in doing.
 
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tigger

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Those Toyotas rust from the underside and inside out. If rust is appearing there, the frame is now made out of condensed rust and probably won't be around much longer.
I've seen a few of them up here with beds in far worse shape that still had solid frames. I've seen plenty with rotten frames too, but never on something with so few external rust holes. Personally, I'd take a look it.

By the way, my (now former) Nissan? Had its belt changed at 229K. I just sold it at 272K, in part due to the upcoming timing belt change that I wasn't interested in doing.
Ah, I figured you still had yours. I knew they ran forever but had no idea about the expensive belt jobs.
 

Spectre

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Ah, I figured you still had yours. I knew they ran forever but had no idea about the expensive belt jobs.

I just sold it tonight. The belt job price makes sense when you find out everything that gets changed - and a couple years later they changed the belt design and made it 105K intervals. Still, even at parts alone, that's a significant portion of the purchase price of a used Ford diesel F-truck - which is what I think I need/want now - so I sent it on its way.
 

Hbriz

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So I'm very tempted at the moment by a 1984 Jaguar XJ6. It's cheap and it's British Racing Green. It's done 350,000km but the engine was reconditioned 5 years ago. There are apparently some small oil leaks, some minor rust and a few other niggles (disconnected heater, disconnected sunroof, broken clock)...

Should I? I'm trying to talk myself out of it. I really have nowhere to put it and while I have the money to buy it, keeping it going may prove to be beyond the bounds of my wallet...
 

Spectre

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So I'm very tempted at the moment by a 1984 Jaguar XJ6. It's cheap and it's British Racing Green. It's done 350,000km but the engine was reconditioned 5 years ago. There are apparently some small oil leaks, some minor rust and a few other niggles (disconnected heater, disconnected sunroof, broken clock)...

Should I? I'm trying to talk myself out of it. I really have nowhere to put it and while I have the money to buy it, keeping it going may prove to be beyond the bounds of my wallet...

The reason the heater is disconnected is because it's leaking and unless you know the trick, that's a job that's priced in the thousands. The climate control core was the first thing they put in the body and then the rest of the car was assembled around it. By the book - step 1: Remove the seats and the center console. Step 2: Remove the entire dashboard. It only comes out in parts, not as a whole module. Step 3: Remove entire climate control core. Step 4: Dismantle climate control core. Step 5: Replace heater core. Reassembly is the reverse of removal, as the manual says. (However, as with so many things on this car, if you know the trick and throw the manual out the window, you can replace it in about an hour or two for just the cost of the heater core, some hoses and coolant.)

They do all leak oil, so that's fine depending on where the leaks are.

Disconnected sunroof - gotta wonder about that. It's not that hard to fix, usually it's the motor drive in the trunk that died. Broken clock is unusual but fixable.

Bad news is that unless it's a manual the original gearbox is probably about to take a crap everywhere. It also sounds like the owner didn't take care of it, so you might discover the joys of the $4000 rear brake job as well. (There's a trick here too, but you have to hope the prior owner didn't let it get too bad which would force you to remove the whole subframe and do it more or less by-the-book.)

Enough for you? They're not bad cars and could be used as a daily (which I did for years), but I must regretfully say that some of the above stuff plus the current parts situation really relegates the Series III to a hobby car, especially outside the US (the things are built with a lot of US-sourced parts that apparently are hard to get elsewhere). My current Series III has modifications to overcome many of the problem areas, so you shouldn't look at my current car and expect the experience to transfer over.
 
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tigger

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I just sold it tonight. The belt job price makes sense when you find out everything that gets changed - and a couple years later they changed the belt design and made it 105K intervals. Still, even at parts alone, that's a significant portion of the purchase price of a used Ford diesel F-truck - which is what I think I need/want now - so I sent it on its way.
Heh, I know I want an old Ford diesel a lot more than I need one. I'm trying to restrict myself to small trucks, that's all I really need at the moment. I'm taking a look at an '81 Ford Courier in a couple days. Maybe an outrageously clean '84 C10 too. But if an older Ford diesel popped up for sale I'd definitely take a look.
 

Hbriz

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The reason the heater is disconnected is because it's leaking and unless you know the trick, that's a job that's priced in the thousands. The climate control core was the first thing they put in the body and then the rest of the car was assembled around it. By the book - step 1: Remove the seats and the center console. Step 2: Remove the entire dashboard. It only comes out in parts, not as a whole module. Step 3: Remove entire climate control core. Step 4: Dismantle climate control core. Step 5: Replace heater core. Reassembly is the reverse of removal, as the manual says. (However, as with so many things on this car, if you know the trick and throw the manual out the window, you can replace it in about an hour or two for just the cost of the heater core, some hoses and coolant.)

They do all leak oil, so that's fine depending on where the leaks are.

Disconnected sunroof - gotta wonder about that. It's not that hard to fix, usually it's the motor drive in the trunk that died. Broken clock is unusual but fixable.

Bad news is that unless it's a manual the original gearbox is probably about to take a crap everywhere. It also sounds like the owner didn't take care of it, so you might discover the joys of the $4000 rear brake job as well. (There's a trick here too, but you have to hope the prior owner didn't let it get too bad which would force you to remove the whole subframe and do it more or less by-the-book.)

Enough for you? They're not bad cars and could be used as a daily (which I did for years), but I must regretfully say that some of the above stuff plus the current parts situation really relegates the Series III to a hobby car, especially outside the US (the things are built with a lot of US-sourced parts that apparently are hard to get elsewhere). My current Series III has modifications to overcome many of the problem areas, so you shouldn't look at my current car and expect the experience to transfer over.

Right, so the busted heater is a big money problem, and the brakes and gearbox could be on their way out. It wouldn't be my daily driver if I did get it and would be a hobby car, but the problem is I don't have terribly deep pockets for it. The owner has been very helpful responding to my emails, so I'll ask him about these things. There has been a significant amount of work done on the car in the last two years, the reason he's selling it is probably because he's run out of money :lol:
 

Spectre

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Heh, I know I want an old Ford diesel a lot more than I need one. I'm trying to restrict myself to small trucks, that's all I really need at the moment. I'm taking a look at an '81 Ford Courier in a couple days. Maybe an outrageously clean '84 C10 too. But if an older Ford diesel popped up for sale I'd definitely take a look.

I'm thinking maybe not quite so old.

http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/2549455111.html
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/cto/2548909659.html
http://killeen.craigslist.org/cto/2537765508.html


Right, so the busted heater is a big money problem, and the brakes and gearbox could be on their way out. It wouldn't be my daily driver if I did get it and would be a hobby car, but the problem is I don't have terribly deep pockets for it. The owner has been very helpful responding to my emails, so I'll ask him about these things. There has been a significant amount of work done on the car in the last two years, the reason he's selling it is probably because he's run out of money :lol:

Yup, pretty common.
 
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Shawnw

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EyeMWing

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I have difficulty finding that gen super duty here for under $5000 unless it has the V10 or was a company truck.
That isn't really a bad thing like it is with cars. Trucks, especially diesel trucks are expensive capital investments and are often absolutely critical to business operations - so they tend to get maintained quite well mechanically. They do tend to pick up dents and scrapes at an alarming rate, though.

That said - DAMN. I need to go to Texas and buy me a truck.
 

Night_Hawk

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I can vouch over and over about the reliability of the 90's corolla's. I bought mine because I knew it would be the best way to go in terms of cheap trouble free transportation. I've been laughing ever since, I've gotten 42mpg over some tanks of fuel and all I've had to do is change the oil every now and then as far as maintenance. It's my winter car now but if I never liked it I'd probably sell it for around $1500. I've driven a few different saturns and the corolla feels so much better in every way. Civic's of the same period enjoy corners more but that's about it as far as I can tell.
 

CAPT_Howdy

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Owning a '97 Geo Prizm (The mechanical twin of the Corolla) I can vouch for everything that NightHawk said. Even a POS like mine has been very reliable.

In other news, is it wrong that I kind of want a Saab 9-7x? I like the idea of having a car or truck that you don't see every day.
 
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