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I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!

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  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,100
    I see a lot of teenagers, early 20s guys usually driving the TBrids. Affordable and decent looking cars if you can find some for $1000-$2000.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    Yes, the Chevette strut towers were a point of relative weakness, but 11 hard Midwestern winters suggests that they weren't a design defect for a '70s entry level car.

    Interesting about the Corsica. Was it a I-4 or V6? How did the Cavalier compare to the Corsica, durability wise?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    The 3.8 was most problematic in the FWD Ford products, and less so in the RWD ones. The main reason for the problems, usually head gaskets, is that it's a tight fit for the 90 degree angle 3.8 in the FWD cars. That restricts air circulation, thereby restricting cooling. This condition also caused premature transmission failures in FWD 3.8s.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    It wasn't so much the cooling problems. The biggest reason was the iron block combined with aluminum heads. They expand at different rates and the gasket fails.

    Yes, the FWD products had more issues, but honestly I think just because there were many more sold (Taurus, Sable, Continental, Windstar) than the RWD models. Ask any Ford mechanic they will tell you the RWD cars (Tbird, Cougar) fail as well.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,361
    I actually put more miles on the Cavalier--129.6K miles. Both it and the Corsica still had cold air, neither had had the 'you'll have to replace the intake manifold gasket' issue (neither did my '02 Cavalier with 112K). I would actually say the Cavalier was probably a little better than the Corsica. I had the cheapo plastic wheel covers on the Corsica which upwards of 100K miles would fall off easily. The Cavalier had bolt-on covers. I had a smallish area of crazed painted on the Corsica--it was dark grey--and I never had any paint issues whatsoever with either Cavalier, but both had clear coat. But I don't regret that Corsica one bit. There was a good rebate on it at the time too IIRC. It was a four, BTW. The Corsica was a larger, more comfortable car IMO, with better seats and upholstery.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,916
    My uncle lost a transmission in a 3.0 Taurus, and my mother lost a head gasket in a 3.8 Taurus (at ~80K miles, maintained regularly). My uncle also had the intake gasket/manifold 3.8 issue in a LeSabre. My mother and brother (he dealt with issues in V6 Sundance Duster/Neon/Lumina) are both Toyota converts now.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,916
    Might be things to get out of estates for cheap. I see hipster types in older cars around here, especially things like slant 6 Mopars, and of course old VWs.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I lost a head gasket at 65K ish in my 93 Taurus 3.8. The transmission was still going at 100K when I dumped it. I had a feeling it wouldn't have lasted much longer because at WOT it didn't like to shift into 3rd bouncing the engine off the rev limiter.

    My mother had the 3.8 in her 96 Thunderbird and she had that car for 10 years, but only put 45K on it. No head-gasket problems but I think the low mileage helped and by 96 Ford changed something to help the HG problem. That car did like to leak anti-freeze and puked up an entire A/C system.

    I still remember when my Stepdad got that car for her. We were at the dealer and they had two 96 leftovers in January 97. One was a gorgeous dark blue 4.6, and a Pacific Green 3.8. There wasn't much price difference between the two and he told the dealer he would be back. In the car on the way home I told him to get the 4.6. When he went back he got her the 3.8 thinking she didn't need the extra power. :cry:

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    the early 90s Escorts are mostly gone here, too

    I had a '91 Escort GT, until it was totalled in 1998.

    The power train was solid, ran for 107k miles on the original clutch despite some, uh, enthusiastic driving. :shades:

    The motorized mice belts drove me crazy and some interior trim starting falling off, and the door cards were beginning to come unglued.

    That was when Ford and Mazda were related, so it actually had the 1.8l engine from the Protoge and Miata.

    Fun little car, but interior quality wasn't that good.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,916
    edited February 2013
    I remember my mom's Taurus (also a 93) started making sloshing sounds - like something had leaked behind the dash. Maybe a heater core issue too? I don't remember any smells though. But by then, it was near its end. She dumped it when the engine failed. Kind of sad, as the car was pretty trouble free otherwise. It was white with a blue interior, all the excitement of a fleet car, but it was a GL with power everything, wheels, etc.

    I also remember when the transmission in my uncle's 3.0 died - suddenly, only reverse worked. A few days earlier, it was shifting oddly - would stay in gear far too long, kind of like what you describe. Heads up for next time, I guess. He got it fixed, but a few years later it caught fire (!) and was a total loss. He fixed the LeSabre after its intake issues and kept the car, as he likes the engine otherwise.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,916
    edited February 2013
    I remember liking those GTs when I was in high school. Around 1993-94 maybe, I remember my dad pointing out an ad for one, and saying I should get something like that. The car was still like 8K used, and I just replied "you going to buy it for me?" As I was maybe 16-17 and didn't exactly have that kind of cash saved up. He was very into a first car being an old car, which is why I started with a 66 Ford. Taught me about dealing with cold stalling, flooding, steering when the car stalls in motion, anyway.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,627
    He was very into a first car being an old car, which is why I started with a 66 Ford. Taught me about dealing with cold stalling, flooding, steering when the car stalls in motion, anyway.

    LOL, I can relate. My grandpa was nice enough to give me his '75 Buick Regal when I got my license in '87. It taught me many of the things you mentioned above. It taught me to never leave the house in the winter without a heavy coat, hat, gloves, and always have a good pair of walking shoes no matter what the weather was;)

    OTOH, I get get 6+ teenage girls in it, so it wasn't all bad;)
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    as the car was pretty trouble free otherwise.

    Mine was a total nightmare. It was a loaded to gills LX silver/grey leather. Off the top of my head, it had the HG failure, tie rods two/three times, idled at 3K intermittently, leaked everything, blew air only through defrost, and the WOT tranny problem. This was all between about 65K and 100K.

    I'm sure I missed a few things, but I can tell you my previous 89 Grand Marquis was much more reliable.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2013
    One thing I hated (besides the motorized mice) was the oil filter was on the side of the block, above the exhaust. Very poor placement, you had to reach up from the bottom to get to it, and I would use a diaper to catch the oil that spilled no matter what you did.

    You could get an oil filter relocation kit for the Miata but I never found one for the Escort.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,361
    I had a very late model Mustang rental once, about 25 years ago, in Richmond, VA. I can't recall if it was a four or a six, but it went 50 mph without my foot on the gas. I went out to dinner with a coworker who's a Ford guy (I still work with him at a different company), and he accused me of being a complainer and Ford-hater. I took him for a ride and his eyes about bugged out to see my foot wasn't even on the gas.

    Similarly, my '81 Monte Carlo, when cold, would barely stop in reverse--even as a new car. You'd have to stand on the pedal to get it to stop. I never took it in for that, but a couple years later I met a guy at work who had a Cutlass Supreme and he complained about that, saying he'd better not hit a kid because of that and if he did GM would be sorry.

    I never heard any media attention to either of those issues.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,916
    Now that I remember it, the Taurus got taken in for a warranty claim, as a strut started making noise within a few weeks of purchase. The AC was also long gone by the time that gasket blew. I think it also lost a starter or alternator sometime in its life. But no leaks or weird things come to mind. My mom is pretty easy on a car though.

    Oh yeah, I swear it had an 85mph speedo too - in 1993!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,916
    I drove my friend's 1983 Monte Carlo (305) once - I think it idled around 15mph. Braking seemed to require more planning than I was used to.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,916
    The Galaxie was an 8 passenger - and it was a 2 door :shades:

    Really has moved me away from ever wanting a carb car. The 9mpg combined with insane cold-bloodedness, and what seemed like constant adjustments.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,916
    That's what shops are for :shades:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,593
    I've never had enough road to get up to 50, but on level ground, most of my old cars, when warming up, will idle up to around 30 mph or so without touching the gas pedal.

    They might actually get up higher, but I've never had the opportunity. Either a red light, stop sign, sharp turn, or hill would present itself before I got going too far.

    Even once the fast idle has kicked down, my '67 Catalina and '76 LeMans still feel like they pull harder than they should. But, I'm afraid to mess with them too much, because then some other issue will most likely crop up!
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