The "Questions for Spectre" thread

Labcoatguy

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The car should:
1. be safe and reliable
2. have an automatic transmission
3. be a 4-door
4. be equipped with a decent radio (must have phone/music player jack)
5. be somewhat stylish (in 19-year-old girl-think)
6. get decent fuel mileage
7. cost less than $6,000
If it wasn't for the 1st one, a Jetta would tick all those boxes. #3 and #5 are going to be hard to reconcile, though maybe a compact crossover like a Rav4?
 

SquareLeft

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V6 Mustang convertible, that's what all girls drive :p
When you find me that 'safe and reliable' 4-door Mustang V6 convertible, let me know! :p

Kids today are just different. I didn't know about the 4-door thing until we were doing the search that ended in their purchasing the Sentra. I found a really nice Honda Civic coupe - which was immediately shot down with: "Two-doors are soooooo inconvenient. I don't want my friends having to crawl over the seats to get in the back." Lesson learned and remembered.

SL
 
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SquareLeft

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If it wasn't for the 1st one, a Jetta would tick all those boxes. #3 and #5 are going to be hard to reconcile, though maybe a compact crossover like a Rav4?
She and her friends all like the newer small sedans, although the color must be 'right'. I don't think that a crossover would make the cut.

Edit: Something like a Kia Soul might be OK.

Edit again: Spectre, my initial question was more about day-to-day reliability than anything else.
 
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SquareLeft

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This one is almost undoubtedly a scam.

Possibility, but not really looking for something like this. Simple is better in this case. Small/medium size 4-door sedan, preferably FWD Japanese or Korean.
Yeah, it's boring, but it's also a proven formula. The young lady in this case doesn't care about performance, handling or brand name. She just wants to turn the key and go. Mom makes sure that the maintenance happens on time.
 

Spectre

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This is the first decent-looking prospect I've found. I'm not a big Hyundai fan and don't know a lot about them, except that my friends who have purchased them are NOT 'car people'. I do have on autocrosser buddy who has a Tiburon that he's turbo-ed and generally thrown gobs of money at without any good results, but that one really doesn't count.

So, any and all comments are welcome:
https://huntington.craigslist.org/cto/d/2012-hyundai-accent-gls/6387802177.html

SL
Skip the Accent. While it represents a lot of value for money when new, it doesn't change the fact that the thing is absolutely a bottom-feeder bargain bin car (albeit of a better caliber than a lot in the segment.) They seem to run about 130-140K, give or take, and then explode. This one's about to hit 100K. I'd run away from it because first, it's an Accent and second, it's about to hit 100k. You would be paying for a time bomb; another name for this platform is the most abandoned and police auctioned car in DFW, the Kia Rio.
 

Spectre

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19-year-old female will drive the car to a local college.
It's not THAT far away, so she'll be living at home.

The car should:
1. be safe and reliable
2. have an automatic transmission
3. be a 4-door
4. be equipped with a decent radio (must have phone/music player jack)
5. be somewhat stylish (in 19-year-old girl-think)
6. get decent fuel mileage
7. cost less than $6,000

That's a pretty wide set of parameters, but I don't want to recommend anything that doesn't have a good track record. So far, I've found them a Sentra and a Corolla, both of which have been exceptionally reliable. This Accent just looked very clean...

Edit: For certain reasons, the car I recommend should be close to home, so I'm limiting my Craigslist search to the Huntington, WV one. I'm also looking at ebay & cars.com, but I'm mostly relying on Craigslist and local newspapers.

SL
In the "boring econobox" category, I would skip the smallest class and go for the next one up - the Civic/Corolla/Focus class. I suggest looking at a MY2014-on Kia Forte as a leader in value for money and reputed driving fun. The related Hyundai Elantra from roughly the same era is a little bit less of a value, little bit less fun to drive, but a solid choice. Skip the Sentra, those things have had sporadic but serious problems of late and their sales have reflected that. Corollas are a safe choice (usually, except for those that had the 2AZ-FE engine) but often resale values are high for what you don't get. The Civic is a similar story. Run away from anything with a Mitsubishi badge.

If the budget can go up another thousand or so, you can often get into a well equipped Sonata.
 

bone

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When you find me that 'safe and reliable' 4-door Mustang V6 convertible, let me know! :p

Kids today are just different. I didn't know about the 4-door thing until we were doing the search that ended in their purchasing the Sentra. I found a really nice Honda Civic coupe - which was immediately shot down with: "Two-doors are soooooo inconvenient. I don't want my friends having to crawl over the seats to get in the back." Lesson learned and remembered.

SL
if you get a 2 door, you don't have to be designated driver, cause no one wants to crawl in and out of your car
so you can just hike along with them...
coupes rule :p
 

Labcoatguy

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Did the X100 come with significant underbody bracing? There's so few coupes out there I'm wondering if the convertible is stiff enough to still be a good handler. I've seen the following items mentioned on the Jaguar forums as an option to stiffen things up. Not quite apples to apples, but I remember that once I installed a central chassis rail brace on the Spyder, it felt significantly tighter, and reduced the already minimal cowl shake to the point where it was unnoticeable even on Boston roads.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Jaguar-XK8-4-0-1998-Ultra-Racing-4Points-Front-Lower-Bar-Front-Member-Brace/172923538492
https://www.ebay.com/itm/JAGUAR-XK8-4-0-1998-ULTRA-RACING-3POINTS-REAR-LOWER-BAR-REAR-MEMBER-BRACE/172923582267
 

Spectre

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Its stiffer than the parent XJS, but a brace can be beneficial, yes.
 

Labcoatguy

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They usually do help when it comes to convertibles. I'm looking through ads and I've yet to see a single one that has pictures of the underside showing what they came with originally.
 

Spectre

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They usually do help when it comes to convertibles. I'm looking through ads and I've yet to see a single one that has pictures of the underside showing what they came with originally.
Oh, they don't have any external underfloor bracing from the factory. It's all accomplished through unibody revisions.
 
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Labcoatguy

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Oh, they don't have any external underfloor bracing from the factory. It's all accomplished through unibody revisions.
Oh interesting. I remember seeing some front bracing on late XJS convertibles, so I figured they'd carry over onto the successors.
 

Spectre

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Oh interesting. I remember seeing some front bracing on late XJS convertibles, so I figured they'd carry over onto the successors.
No. The parent Series I-III and XJS had front top bracing in the engine bay from the factory even on the hardtops but the successors didn't.
 

Spectre

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Yes, but that brace is there on the coupes as well. IIRC, the part number is something like HJA4616BC. There's no cross brace further back to prevent the rest of the body from flexing separately.
 

GRtak

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Please remind me of why a 99 XJ8 with a bad engine is a bad idea. My nephew found one for cheap, and I don't think it will be cheap to repair which ever way we tried(stock, block need liners, or LS swap).
 

Spectre

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GRtak;n3553732 said:
Please remind me of why a 99 XJ8 with a bad engine is a bad idea. My nephew found one for cheap, and I don't think it will be cheap to repair which ever way we tried(stock, block need liners, or LS swap).
The liners on that 99 were spray-in, not drop in. Doesn't make a lot of sense to rebuild, not with the Nikasil problem combined with the timing chain problem. LS swap can be interesting but you lose a *lot* of the features of the car like the CATS active suspension and none of the dashboard will work.

Cheapest way to get it going and fully functional is to drop a used engine in from an 01 or later after updating to the 4.2 timing assembly while it's out of the car. Even that's not terribly cheap. If you put a donor engine in or rebuild the original, you still have the time bomb of the original 5 speed auto.
 
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