buying a villager with engine trouble

morledzepmorledzep Member Posts: 12
edited November 2017 in Mercury
Getting details out of the seller is kinda like pulling teeth. But from what I can surmise it seems he was driving the van and it suddenly started making knocking noises, then it quit running. And he says that there is oil on the dipstick and when he tries to start it nothing happens.

The sale ad says it has 130K miles, which isn't a lot for the age of the van.

I can't actually get to see the van till the weekend. He is asking $500 for the van. What do ya think? I'm looking for ideas about what may be wrong with the engine. And if it's worth rebuilding or replacing with a good used engine?

Comments

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,750
    It sounds like a blown engine. I'll guess $100.

    (That's the amount you'll pay to have someone tow it away).

    Edmunds Lease Calculator
    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • morledzepmorledzep Member Posts: 12
    And.. is the Nissan 3.3L v-6 the same engine and are they interchangeable?
  • morledzepmorledzep Member Posts: 12
    kyfdx said:

    It sounds like a blown engine. I'll guess $100.

    (That's the amount you'll pay to have someone tow it away).

    Why would I have it towed away? Are Mercury Villagers throw away cars?
  • morledzepmorledzep Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2017
    So, is a 1999 Mercury Villager worth putting a good used engine in? Will it get me around for a couple years until I can afford to buy something better?
  • morledzepmorledzep Member Posts: 12
    I'm asking because I'm not familiar with mini vans, or Nissans. I've spent the last 20 years working on telephone company fleet vehicles. All American made trucks and heavy equipment. And precious few cars.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 187,750
    morledzep said:

    I'm asking because I'm not familiar with mini vans, or Nissans. I've spent the last 20 years working on telephone company fleet vehicles. All American made trucks and heavy equipment. And precious few cars.

    An 18 yr old vehicle with a blown engine is worth virtually zero. Can you put in an engine and use it for a couple of years? Maybe. But, the vehicle isn't worth $500, if it doesn't run. Regardless of "low miles".

    Edmunds Lease Calculator
    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Find out what a junkyard would pay for it and offer him that if you want to play with the vehicle.

    But considering that you can find these vans in decent condition and running well for $2500, the numbers for installing a used engine just don't add up for you.

    So, to answer your question---is a 1999 Villager with a bad engine a throw-away vehicle?

    Yes.
  • morledzepmorledzep Member Posts: 12
    Like I said, I'm a RETIRED mechanic, but I'm still too young for my pension, that won't kick in for 2.5 more years. So money is a little funny right now. I can probably come up with $1000 to spend on a vehicle right now, but a running vehicle for less than $1K seems elusive at best.

    Without fuel efficient and reliable transportation I'm dead in the water. My old Dodge truck is reliable, but it's FAR from fuel efficient. When I go to look at the van I was going to offer the guy $200 if it's clean enough inside and everything else seems to work.

    I've found Nissan 3.3L engines for $400 and I've found 3.3L engines that are listed for Mercury Villagers for $600. What I can't seem to find online is whether the engines are interchangeable, and if the engine has to be dropped out of the bottom of the van or not. Which will make a really big difference in mine and my son's ability to replace the engine. I don't think he can take the van to work to replace the engine if he has to use a hoist in another department (he works at a toyota dealer).

    By the time I buy the van, engine, radiator and related accessories, I think I should be able to have a running mini van in 2 - 3 weeks for less than $1500. And be able to get back to working enough to cover my utility bills for February.
  • morledzepmorledzep Member Posts: 12
    ok, you guys, with a little help from my son have talked me out of getting this villager. thanks.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    kyfdx said:

    It sounds like a blown engine. I'll guess $100.

    (That's the amount you'll pay to have someone tow it away).

    That's funny! I was waiting for the punch line!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    edited December 2017
    ok, you guys, with a little help from my son have talked me out of getting this villager. thanks.

    You raised a good boy!

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=GiPe1OiKQuk
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    I once helped a friend install a junkyard engine in a 1956 Ford. It was a dirty, nasty job that we spent two days getting done. Not only did the engine SMOKE but it had a knocking rod too. The guy at the junkyard said to bring it back and he would exchange it for another he had. My friend ended up working out a deal with the junkyard and he junked the whole car. a lot of hard dirty work for nothing!
  • morledzepmorledzep Member Posts: 12
    I don't mind replacing engines, or even rebuilding them. In fact, it was engine building that got me interested in becoming a mechanic to begin with. But I'm disabled now and I just can't do everything myself anymore. And getting help from my adult children, especially if they have to come here to help, is difficult at best. One of my sons still hasn't even come to my new house since I bought it almost 2 years ago now.
Sign In or Register to comment.