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Dream/final car advice I learned the hard way... The real hard way.

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  • Dream/final car advice I learned the hard way... The real hard way.

    STORY (Optional): I needed a car real bad after my 3.2L A6 puked as much oil as possible and fell victim to poor timing chain design. (Only affected early cars...) So I spoke with my mom and asked her if her challenger was her dream car. She said oh yes and I wish I had bought it sooner. She cut to the chase and said if I had a dream car and could do payments just get it now. Which I have to say was sound advice.... So I looked for a wreck as lotus Esprits can go for 50K which I couldnt afford or would be paying on for years and years. I didnt want that as I want to take out a home loan soon. Well I found one cheap and close! 24K USD... Almost within budget. If I could talk him down a grand I could get it... If it wasnt a turd. Well I arranged a meeting and the guy showed paperwork and the books and the special pre obd2 ecm interface... and photos of a full rebuild. Car had 50-80 kilometers on the rebuild. The car wasn't registered or inspected and he paid for one day driving at a time so the car was honestly low miles. Only issues were: Faded paint on the passenger window trim, new but 7 year old tires and the coolant looked like sewer water and after I took it home I found a rotten map hose causing me lots of hell and oh the speedometer rebuild was crap so it registered nothing below 20km and lower speeds at crusing than actual... All things I could fix or deal with until winter. Well that started some hell for me because on the condition that I kept the car in a garage he sold it to me for 23,000$ and promised to get it inspected for me. I was so excited to take it home I said forget it I will fix the speedo... Car almost didnt make it home but true to his word he got the car fixed up for inspection... I found the issue a month later as sometimes the map was within spec and the sensor is behind some fiberglass work.. Then the alt went... ok 27 years old... I want to quit too... Then the cam covers.... Intermittent weak in the knees... I found loose bolts on the manifold and others missing.... Then the trans started to drip then the engine seals both went.... 1000 kilometers of ownership... Holy crap man... I ended up having the shop promise to just give me the rebuild parts and let me do the rest...

    Moral of the story and a warning: DO NOT BUY A "REBUILT CAR" if you are a grease monkey like me. DO IT YOUR SELF! DO buy a car with a blown engine for 1/4 of the price. If your a body man which I am schooled in. Buy that hail car and hammer it out.

    YOU CAN: Put custom paint on a once rusted up dinged car. Put a brand new stroker motor in ( Unless your in Japan). <In that case: Rebuild that blown motor better than ever.

    YOU CANT: get your money back from a 20-100k car that still has problems.

    I could have picked up a lotus S4 with a smashed right in front end... its all fiberglass... for 4 grand... had it shipped for 3 grand. Bought a clip for 1 grand, I would have a 8500$ car in better shape than mine. Then I could have done what I am doing now and sunk 10 grand into a spare motor and driven the car till she puked the rods out and still have had enough money to buy a new sound system. instead I have 27K into a car that is sitting under a tarp waiting for the rotating assembly to go get machined with the parts I always wanted minus a few because of budget.

    DO NOT: trust even the best pros machine work because quite frankly the people who rebuilt my car have been in operation longer than I have been alive and have a good reputation... BEWARE and if you can do it your self then do it. Remember the Z car has a gumtree motor in it and if it blows up well its a gumtree motor and another can be had cheap. ... Same idea can apply to you!

    Just as an aside the owner has made it up to me in several ways. Nearly cried when he heard how rough the car was running. He really wasnt at fault for once.
    Permanent rev limiter = the crank popping out to say ELLO!!!!