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Acura Legend



  • I'm considering buying an 87 Acura Legend L Coupe with $85,000 miles. We're negotiating price but it will be in the $5000 range. Appears very well maintained. A new exhaust system and timing belt were installed, new tires. I understand I should be looking for potential rust issues and transmission problems. Are the tranny problems more in the automatic or the standard (this is an automatic? I am, of course, fearful of buying a car that is going to eat me out of house and home with repair costs. Are there issues with it being, what I believe was, the first year of this model (2nd?). I have to admit to otherwise thinking its a very happening vehicle for the price. I'd appreciate any help. Thanks.

  • The '87 coupe was the first year for that body style and 2.7L V6; the '86 was the sedan with a 2.5L V6. I bought one in 1987 and swapped it 17 months later for a minivan. I always missed that car and I eventually bought a used one in 3/97 for $4500 with 104K on the odometer. Car had been well-maintained with all service records. Timing belt and water pump replaced at around 90K, as per recommended schedule, AC compressor and evaporator replaced, tires in reasonable shape. All I needed were new front disc pads and muffler.

    I have enjoyed this vehicle over the past 3-1/2 years, but I must warn you that ANY vehicle will show its age. A synopsis of the major repairs:

    distributor shorted, new 7-year Delco battery installed, oil pan gasket replaced ........ $970

    AC conversion to R-134; compressor/evaporator crapped out, found that the dealer had installed re-manufactured components and charged previous owner for new parts; problems with "re-man" parts, as AC has conked out numerous times over the past two years, all replaced under warranty .... $1100

    automatic transmission overhauled at 145K; two engine mounts - 6/99; two-year warranty ... $3000

    electronic module located under passenger seat shorted out because of water leak ......... $900

    twin fans modules @ $394 and $376 (AC & radiator) for just the parts, installed .............. $900

    brake master cylinder, front brake overhaul, new speedometer; dealer had nerve to charge me $75 for diagnostics after I told them what the problem was; they didn't have the parts in stock, so I had to bring the car back in three days - last time I ever used their service department ........ $1100

    This totals $8000, not counting any regular maintenance, tires, another battery last month, and other assorted minor breakdowns.

    These are only the "major" costs. I have 167K on it and it now runs like a charm, but the car has no trade-in value. There is a leak in the trunk through the tail light assembly, rust developing beneath the back glass (if the rust is repaired, the glass has to be removed - more expense), major rust in the back of the engine compartment in front of the windshield - that's where the water leaks into the passenger compartment.

    Bodywork and paint to "cure" these problem areas and other rust (gas-filler cap area) will cost at least $2000 - simply not worth it. I'm keeping it as a "disaster" car for sunny days when other vehicles are in service.

    I love these cars, but have to have it carefully inspected. No matter how well-maintained on the outside, here are things hidden from view which can lead it to be a perpetual money-pit.
  • JANEC, what prophet2 says with the detailed list of operating costs, is that with any used car there is concern. But your asking is the best approach, because knowledge provides some comfort/security. If you want the car, then have a certified acura mechanic check it over, may cost a few $$ but may pay dividends in the long run. My '87 Legend L has 110K miles w/nary a problem, just routine maintenance, but no big ticket items to date (see #25 post). My automatic shifts very firmly, which most people are not accustomed to so it may be a little unsettling at first. Have a friend that's into cars look it over as well, never hurts s/he may see something you missed. Good luck!
  • I am looking at a 92 Acura Legend with 125,000 miles. I have been reading this thread and I feel a little more comfortable about even considering a car with that kind of mileage. The dealer is asking $8995. The credit union has the value listed as $6100 whlsale and $8200 retail. Internet sites I have looked at had the value higher, some up to 10K+. I plan to do a test drive today. If I get really serious I will have a mechanic look it over. I should check for things like timing belt and water pump and maybe transmission overhaul. My question, is this a good price and any other things to really check for?

    P. S. 12mth 15,000 warranty available for $600 which seems to cover a good bit of stuff. Any thoughts on this!
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I paid $8900 for a '91 Legend LS (completely loaded) with 105,000 miles last month. Retail on was about $9700. I think that I got a reasonable deal. The dealer replaced the water pump and timing belt before I picked it up. My daughter took it back to Clemson.

    Go Tigers.
  • The Legend I am looking at is an LS, this raised the credit union valuation to 9550. My other credit union quoted 11,350. (See post 34) I test drove it and the ride was pretty nice but going from 1st to 2nd it does kinda jerk. Dealer said they can sell for $8500. I contacted former owner from records I found in glove compartment. He owned the vehicle for 8 years, has had timing belt and water pump changed. He had me verify this by calling the dealership. He traded it in to try the new Volvo S80 about 2 months ago. No major accidents, one fender bender. He said he hated his Range Rover but loved the Acura.

    So far, this sounds like a good deal.
  • Hello to whomever sees this. I need advice. I've read all the wonderful posts about how many miles the Legends can go. I bought a used 1994 Legend LS Coupe in 1998. One owner, 42K miles, installed radar detector. One month later, my company went on a plan where the car had to be less than 4 years old. I was given a grace period, but it's expiring in Nov. I can keep my car, but I won't get as much money for driving it as I would under the plan. It currently has a little over 85K on it, and I put about 15K- 20K on it a year.

    I have had to replace the master cylinder(under warranty thank goodness) and the antenna mast and the radiator. Other than that, no problems. Warranty is running out.

    Should I keep it or get a new car? I kind of wanted a car with more room to carry people, and considered an SUV, but thought again when I saw how expensive. Nothing has really sparked my interest, but I suppose I could find something if I have to. Considering the mileage it has and that I'll be putting on it for the return I'll be getting, and considering gas prices, is the Legend worth keeping?

    Any comments will be appreciated.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    Will your higher return for driving a new car make it economically worth it to do so? That is all you need to consider. A new one is usually more reliable, but your Legend probably has 150,000 good miles in it, if properly maintained. I would keep it.
  • I have a 89 Legend L, manual transmission with 128K miles. I have recently been experiencing trouble starting the car after taking a short drive shutting off the car and then trying to restart the car. When it does this, if I let the car sit for 5-10 minutes, the car normally starts right up. Today I had to wait about 30 min. Weather when this happens is usually hot and humid. Do not believe the engine is flooded as I do not press on the accelerator when starting the car. Believe the trouble may be in the distributor. Has anybody else experienced this problem and if so what was the fix. Thank you for any assistance. P.Webb
  • P.Webb - I have an '88 Legend L which exhibited exactly the same symptoms. The car wouldn't start and there was no apparent reason. Letting is sit would help sometimes, usually 5min to a couple hours. Seemed dependent on weather, but couldn't really tell. Thought it might be electrical so I checked the Battery, installed a new distributor and distributor cap, checked all the spark plug wires. All this didn't help this intermittent problem. I couldn't figure it out.

    Then, while I was on a road trip, I noticed very light smoke coming from the steering column - but didn't think much of it. The next day, my wife was stranded on the hwy. My brother-in-law, a mechanic, found the problem...

    The keyhole ignition switch!

    Apparently, the switch had worn and the car wouldn't start, and/or stay running. The switch was very sensitive to the "on" and "start" positions. If the switch did not return or seat in the exact proper place - no juice.

    I replaced the switch myself - which also comes with the wire harness - and haven't had any problems since.

    I hope my 10 months of puzzlement and slow degradation might help you. I would suggest you check some of the same things I did, just in case. - John
  • Thanks, smithed, for the response. After I posted that message, I thought about it more and then I checked my payoff balance. I think the company program is probably more beneficial if you have a car note or want to keep a car note going, but if you own the car then I don't think you come out ahead. So, I paid my car off! I'm going to keep the Legend because, as you said, it has a lot of miles left in it. If I do decide to get a new car, then mine still has a great resale value, as compared to my mom's Mark VIII, for instance, about $5000 more for same age car. Plus, I look good in it!!:)
  • Forgot to add in my previous post that I experienced the same sort of trouble in a Datsun 510 station wagon. It was quite frustrating, but the answer was the same as what John said--the ignition switch, although I don't know for sure mine was in the keyhole (is there another one?).
  • Thanks for the help with the starting problem. Webbo
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I'm sure you wear the Legend well.
  • I would appreciate any insight into the 1993 Legend Coupe LS w/ automatic transmission. What is a "Type II", is the hp 230 (was told that the a/t's had only 200)? Should I keep looking for a 6-speed or is the performance of the a/t comparable? Is there anything in particular that I should be wary of? Thanks in advance!
  • I have a 94 Legend LS with wind noise problem on the right front passenger door and have been to the dealer 3 times without a solution....has anyone experience any similar problems?
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I haven't had this problem on our Legend, but have on other cars. This is almost always an unsealed door. My solution on other lesser vehicles was to buy some self adhesive weather stripping and put it in likely places of the air leak. You can do this better yourself than the dealer, because you will take more time with it than will their technician. If the leak seems to be coming from the window/door interface rather than the door/door frame interface, you may need new tracking. Good luck.
  • The automatic versions do have 230hp. You were told wrong. A 1993 six-speed coupe goes 0-60 in 6.3 seconds with the traction control turned off and 7.3 with it on (road and track, 1993). An automatic would be maybe half a second slower. I don't think there were any major problems with that model year coupe so you shouldn't worry about anything except for maintenance.
  • I bought a 1994 Legend LS with the 6-speed manual. Maybe I really don't know how to get the most out of the transmission, but I find it's difficult to get a smooth acceleration in stop and go traffic -- if I really want to get going with no one in front of me, no problem, it blows doors off, but it seems to really take a lot of gas pedal to get it smooth in traffic. Also, it's a great car to be driving on the highway if you want to get around someone while traveling at 75 mph. Granted, I'm only a girl so I may not be driving it right (!) I know I tend to want to pop the clutch. Any tips would be appreciated.

    My advice would be to buy the 1993 you are looking at, azsundevil. Be warned, though, my 1994 had to have the master cylinder and the radiator replaced last year.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    My jealousy has been rekindled. My daughter drove our '91 LS home from college last evening. I hadn't seen it in a month. What a nice car. What a great dad she has ;)
  • Yes, she has a great dad. Unfortunately, when she gets ready to buy her first new car, unless you are a great RICH dad, she'll have the same trouble I had -- she won't be able to afford a new one that is equal to the Legend. It's very difficult to go backwards in quality. On the other hand, I suppose everyone should have such problems....
  • I have read in several publications about Hondas
    & Acuras with fuel injection refusing to crank if
    left sitting in the hot sun for a few hours. The
    problem is caused by a faulty F1 main relay. The
    relay is located inside the car under the dash.
    It turns on the fuel pump and sometimes when it gets very hot inside the car it will malfunction.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I know what you mean, but I hope that I can teach her (and me) to never buy a new car. The way they are built nowadays, it makes much more economic sense to buy a really good used car. Her Legend has 105,000 miles, and we anticipate an easy total of 200,000 and maybe 300,000.
  • I have a 1995 LegendL, leather, 6-CD, automatic. (Everything else is standard).

    I am selling it, but wonder what price to ask. I see prices from $14K to $17,500. It is in perfect running condition, still under BtoB warranty, and has 82000 miles.
    the only thing keeping it from being "mint" is scratches on the bumpers from parking lots (man I hate that), and some stone chips from highway driving.

    Any advise on pricing the car would be appreciated.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    Well, here we are on Edmunds, where you can get all the pricing information you need. Go to the used car section and look up your Legend and they will appraise it for you instantaneously. You will get both the wholesale (tradein) value and the retail price, even adjusted for mileage. I would ask for retail, because then you have the ability to meet somewhere below that when the buyer offers the wholesale price. Something in between seems reasonable to me, since you are not a dealer. Good luck. Why are you selling such a nice car?
  • Well, thanks, i did go to Edmunds. And, and others. All these provide a good range. But I have gotten little response to ads, so was looking for a reality check from a human or two.

    Why am I selling? Because one day I was in for an oil change and took a test ride in a 2000, and well, now I have two cars :)
  • To - siriusgirl and smithed - YOu both are so true about getting a used Legend and then getting use to the quality and luxury. We bought used '86 Legend and now that we need to get another its hard to go backwards. Hopefully we'll replace with the RL.
    Reliability it has been a good but at 146K it has been not troublefree like my Toyotas in the past and present. Every year in last 5 plus years has been spent in $800/yr is some form of repair or another above the usual maintenance.
  • I recently purchased a '90 Legend LS with 130,000. The car is in excellent condition, but it seams to have a problem when it should shift into 3rd gear. Some times it won't downshift when it should and other times it will rev for a few seconds and then ultimately shift into 3rd. Anybody have any ideas as to what may be wrong?
  • Did anyone else hear that Acura is supposed to
    reintroduce the "Legend" name badge for 2002? From
    what I've heard, The current outdated sluggish 3.5
    RL is supposed to be replaced by a sleek european
    styled V8 Legend. An 8 cyl. Honda engine? That
    rocks! The only bad thing that I've heard is the
    price tag may top $70,000 fully loaded. That's a
    bit steep for all of those Legend owners who
    haven't given up their 2nd generation Legends
    because there's still nothing out there like them.
    At least Acura's flagship can finally compete with
    the new LS430 and the Europeans. Now all they
    need is a Legend coupe!
  • Still driving my 88 Legend L with 175,000 miles on it. Still can't seem to get rid of it even though we have a new 00 3.2 TL w/navi and new RX 300. Maybe our daughter will someday drive it. What a wonderful car. It sure did spoil us.
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