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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I've been looking for a while for a vehicle to replace my '91YJ. I need something better on the highway and more practical while I'm in school.

I'm looking at a '89 Xcab pickup at a local used car dealership. From the previous owner's paper work it looks like it had the clutch replaced about 2 years ago, new exhaust system, and some other work involving wheel bearings (not sure about this). The body is in pretty good shape - the cab is fine, but the box has a few dents with some body filler and paint coming off some of them. It's not that bad, but there is a few. There is also some slight rust around the fenders. It has a 4 cylinder engine (which I assume is the 22re) and is a 5 speed. Everything feels solid, shifts smoothly, engine is quiet. The dealership sanded the frame and undercoated everything with rustproofing.

I would like to have a mechanic look at it (even though it seems pretty solid) but the dealer has a new ad coming out in tomorrow morning's paper and says he can't leave the lot for an inspection until the weekend rush is over. I'm afraid that the truck will be gone if I wait until Monday. On the other hand, Im paranoid that he might just be hiding something and not want me to get it looked at. He will give me the warranty though for $200 CAD.

The engine has 209,000kms (125k miles) on it, and the dealer has settled on $6000 CAD ($4400 US) + $200CAD if I want a 12 month powertrain warranty (engine/tranny/transfer case/clutch/both diffs) + tax.

What do you guys think of this deal? I won't be using it for any heavy offroading, only when camping and heading up snowboarding in the mountains. it will be my daily driver to and from school, and I'd like it to last me at least 4 years without any major headaches.

The dealer is phoning first thing tomorrow morning to hear my final decision. Should I insist on an inspection and wait till monday, or should I go for it?

Thx in advance,
Simon
 

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assuming it's a 2wd judging by the price, but you say you're gonna use it camping so that makes it sound like a 4x4. that seems too low a price for a 4x4. you mentioned that the dealership sanded and painted the frame. i wonder why? they don't usually fix things unless very necessary, especially used dealerships. take a large metal punch and hammer and start banging all around the frame. i'd be very careful around used car lots. many of their cars come from the auctions and a lot of the salesmen are crooks and/or liars. the whole inspection excuse sounds like bs to me. if they want to make a sale, they should be willing to bend over backwards for you. don't get pushed around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sizzlechest, thanks for the advice. It is actually a 4x4 (sorry I didn't mention that). I saw the frame etc before they did the undercoating and it did have surface rust over a lot of it. I thought they did the undercoating because it looked bad. They also have thrown a boxliner in the back to cover up the dings (there is one hole about the size of a fist straight through the bottom of the box, 3/4 of the way back on the drivers side). I had a few taps around the frame before it was undercoated (but didn't get to check it all).

The xfer case seemed to work alright as well. I did get a chance to look at some receipts from the previous owner showing a new clutch, wheel bearings (??), and exhaust stuff, as well as some new (****ty) tires.

He says that the woman traded the truck for something cheaper because she needed the cash. I do not like how he seems to be avoiding me getting it inspected though. I'm going to tell him tomorrow that without inspection I won't buy it.

thanks again,

Simon.
 

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here goes that red alert siren in my head again.

if she needed the money why would she take her vehicle to the used lot and get trade-in value for it? seems like a private sale would be much more practical. and if they're going to sell to you for $6k, there's no way she could have got more than $4,000 for trade in value which is less than half (maybe even 1/3) of what a vehicle like that normally goes for. seems pretty sketchy to me. be careful.
 

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It sounds like a good old pressure tactic to me. Remember you are the one with cash in hand, walking away is no skin off your back. There are lots of vehicles for sale out there. Insist on the inspection, you might be able to get money off of the price if there is something minor wrong with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks guys, I am going to insist on it. Inspection, or no deal.
 

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undercoat= bad, trust me, i got ****ed, anyway, I hope u know how to check toy frames because they rust out bad.... u have to hit every inch of the frame.. mostly from the cab back, don't forget the lower corner of the frame, it looks innocent, but thats where mine was srewed, right by the gas tank on both sides, the warrenties are not usualy anything, its usualy a money grab, so i have been told, do a compression test, get it checked, and thats all u can do. if possible get the previous owners telephone # and ask whats wrong with it, most likely its on a reciept or 2. good luck, kinda sounds like a POS, which they are making look good. get the best toy u can afford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
So I went and got my deposit back today, and started phoning around looking for other vehicles. I'm looking at a '91 4runner tomorrow afternoon (4cyl) with 192,000km (120k miles) on it.

How do the 4runners and pickups compare to each other as far as mechanical reliability? I'm assuming they are basically the same machines with different bodies on them. Are the 4 cylinder 4runners more of a dog on the highway than the pickups because of the added weight, or are they about similar for performance?

Anything specific to look (out) for in a 4runner?
 

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yup, same mechanics. i think many people would prefer the 4cyl to the v6. the V6s aren't much to brag about plus they have head gasket problems. i've got a 4cyl and it does the job just fine. a bit better on gas too. one place to check for rust is under the chrome fender trim. dirt and salt packs in there very easy and after a few years without cleaning, rust is inevitable. have you given up completely on the first vehicle or what?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am looking at two 4runners and one Nissan pickup a few hours from now. I'll let you know how they all look.

As for the first pickup, no, I haven't totally given up on it. I will phone the guy back on Monday, and if the truck is still there, see if he's willing to let me inspect it. If so, I will inspect it, although the way he has acted (and what I've been told about dealerships motives for undercoating vehicles) have made me very suspicious. On top of that, all three vehicles that I'm looking at today are either cheaper, or have lower mileage, or both (in the case of the 4 runners).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I got to see one 4runner and a Nissan p/up today. The Nissan did not feel like the same class of vehicle. It felt, well.....clumsy. I don't know any other word for it.

Anyhow, the 4runner I saw was a '91 22re, 120,000 miles approx (195,000 km). The body was immaculate, but smelled suspiciously of fresh paint. Even if it did, I could not find rust on any of the body. The guy said he just got under the hood painted, which could explain the paint smell.

Underneath the truck, it looked as though the frame etc was undercoated/rustproofed (that's twice this week I've seen this). So I couldn't tell by looking how rusty the frame was if at all. I had a few solid taps along it with a set of keys, but not much of a test I guess.

The engine made a fast clicking sound when the rpms were on the way down. I'm not sure, would this be the timing chain, or valve problems or something? Not a good sign I guess. And the only other fault that I could tell was that the back window wouldn't go down. The guy said that it sometimes would go down, so he didn't think it was the motor.

I guess a mechanic could tell me further what the clicking sound is. Is there a good way to tell how worn the clutch is in a vehicle?
 
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