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Thread: A 7 Hour Drive for Nothing

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    Default A 7 Hour Drive for Nothing

    In case everyone is wondering where I was yesterday, I figured I'd tell you all a story. I apologize in advance - this going to be a long rant this time. I'm copying most of this from the rant I posted at the Allpar forums

    The day finally came to go get the '89 New Yorker I've had my eye on for a while. As you read, keep in mind it's been advertised for months at $1300, 190,000kms. That last number is of particular importance.

    After 7 hours on the road, having left at 5AM, my ride (Dad) and I arrived in Wynyard to take a peek at the New Yorker, test drive the heck out of it, and hopefully buy it. Things didn't quite work out that way though.

    We got to town just a hair under noon. First thing we did was check in at the dealership to make sure they knew we were there, and would be hitting up the local Subway before the test drive. As we pulled up, I looked at the front of the dealer and beheld the car I was interested in up on a hoist in one of the service bays. Cool, I thought, they're making sure it's ready for me. How nice. Gee whiz, these folks sure do care about their customers.

    I went inside the office, and the main man himself came up to greet me. He remembered me from when I bought the '88 New Yorker from him. He explained that the techs were just adjusting the e-brake, and we should go get some lunch and then come back and it would be ready. So we did. We got back to the dealer at 12:30, only to find out the car now had a master cylinder problem. A little voice in the back of my head said, "Uh-oh... are you sure about this, Wolfie?" I ignored it, and asked the guy on duty (the main man was out for lunch himself) if I could take a peek at the underside of the car while it was up in the air. He said it would be ok, so I wandered over there.

    First thing I noticed was the cut rear air ride lines - it had been converted to standard suspension. I could live with that, knowing what those air shocks cost to replace. Second thing I noticed was the rust. The rust was everywhere, coating almost everything. The rocker panels (very common problem area) had no holes, but looked like they had been painted with rust. Saw rust underneath the doors. That little voice came back and told me I should really listen to it, and did that car really look as low mileage as it's supposed to be? I asked one of the guys about the reported "engine misfire." Not a simple misfire at all, bad compression in one cylinder. Grrrr. But still, I expected as much from the ad description and at this point still wanted the car since the rust was still a teeny bit better than my old car.

    One hour later, they finally get the thing off the hoist and over to me for the test drive. Mechanic says to be careful, the brakes needed bleeding some more yet. I hop in and take a look at the dash, and my head is instantly full of klaxons, sirens, bells, and for some odd reason the words "whiskey, tango, and foxtrot." Odometer read 175,000 miles. 25k less than the '88. Tried to switch it to metric, digital dash refused. That was deal killer #1 - I cannot stand being misled, either intentionally or accidentally. At this time I used all my restraint from recoloring the upholstery blue with the new 4 letter words I had invented. Dad was in the car with me, after all. A preacher's kid swearing? Never!

    Fired up the engine - it was indeed only firing on 5 cylinders - and took off. Deal killer #2 came up immediately and smacked me on the back of the head. Brake pedal went to the floor and the car barely avoided smacking another. I have never driven anything with brakes this bad, not even Lincoln #2. I hit the auto button on the ATC to see if the heater and AC worked, and was rewarded with... nothing. ATC was on the fritz. Noises from the front axles - hello, deal killer #3. Chrysler/Infinity stereo had been replaced long ago with Chrysler's cheapest hunk of cassette junk - didn't even turn it on, but by this point there was no way this car was coming home with me anyway. I took a brief spin around town, parked it, and told them I wasn't buying the car. Engine I could have handled, but the brakes... not with 600km to drive with practically no brakes. And the mileage... well, if I'd wanted another car as up there as my '88 I would have kept the '88. At least the '88 had the options I wanted.

    There was one bright spot about the car - the tranny was flawless. Shifted perfectly. Other than that... there was nothing else I liked about the car. So, Dad took me back to Regina and I caught a bus home after doing some fruitless car hunting there.

    Leaving Regina, the Mopar gods decided to rub it in and showed me a 90's Imperial in a parking lot on the way out of town. Had it had a for sale sign in the window, I'm sure you all would have heard me screaming from here.

    So, I am still carless. Mom came and drove me home in the '88 when I got to Gull Lake - it's really saying something that my old 320,000kms New Yorker blew away the 277,000kms '89 in every possible way on the way back. Except the tranny... that really did work well. Maybe I did sell my car to Mom a little too soon.

    At this point, the plan is to keep stockpiling funds and attack local cars as they appear. No more dealer specials - if I learned one thing from all this, it's that I can't get anything half decent on my budget at a dealer. Private sales only from this point on.

    And that's what I've been up to since Wednesday

  2. #2
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    If you want me to.....I'll look around here....I sold an 89 New Yorker to the girl that has a house behind the shop several years ago....I see them around on a regular basis in good to excellent condition with no rust.....plus I have a bud with a dealers license......we'll be going to the wholesale auction soon....I'm looking for a 97 or 98 explore with engine wear and my friend assures me we can pick up one for $1500 or less.........running... just smoking.
    You could always fly to Atlanta...and drive back......
    R. N. Koester
    CEO/Founder Macon Armory Inc. and Grumpy Old Soldier
    Don't mess with old farts, for age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!

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    You're making me drool with that no rust comment, but I'm probably not going to be able to afford shipping and other fees to get one up here from there. Thanks for the offer though

    A friend is looking into another '88 for me... I'd rather have at least an '89, but the seller claims low mileage (again) so I figured it couldn't hurt to find out more. Especially if I can do it without spending money to go look in person again.

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    Be happy to look..........and no shipping....all you have to do is fly down and drive back........and you can use the shop facilities here to check it out before you leave.....
    R. N. Koester
    CEO/Founder Macon Armory Inc. and Grumpy Old Soldier
    Don't mess with old farts, for age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Machinist View Post
    all you have to do is fly down and drive back....
    Border inspections + plane tickets + gas + temporary insurance + food + lodging = $$$$

    Will probably want to do that for an Imperial at some point in the future, but a fair bit of money would have to come my way first

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    let me know if I can help.........
    R. N. Koester
    CEO/Founder Macon Armory Inc. and Grumpy Old Soldier
    Don't mess with old farts, for age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!

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    Will do. Actually looking into another '88 right now for $300 - has valve guide seal issues and the accompanying James Bond smokescreen effect to go with it. Might be after you for engine parts if I go for that one

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    Not a problem......I'll see if I have a set of 6G72 heads that I can get worked out in the core pile if you want me to......probably stick a set of guides and seals in them....do a valve job and take a light surface cut on the gasket surface......and I'll make ya a hell of a deal on them.

    And all parts are yours for jobber cost or less.......I get a better break on some things than others

    for instance a full engine gasket set for $98.20
    R. N. Koester
    CEO/Founder Macon Armory Inc. and Grumpy Old Soldier
    Don't mess with old farts, for age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!

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    Cool

    I might still just fix the valve guide seals myself depending on how bad it is, but hopefully will know by Wednesday.

    My friend in Saskatoon who is checking out the car for me sent me a pic last night. It's really loaded - only missing the sunroof. Has body rust issues, but for the price if it's doing good mechanically and the underside isn't too badly rusted I'm probably going for it. I just like that it's a whole $1k less than the other one I was looking at and not pretending to be a better car than it is.

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    I was just suggesting if you thought it actually needed valve guides.......I made tooling that does a wonderful job of retaining concentricity with the valve seat when you remove and replace them......glad to hear you found something.....
    R. N. Koester
    CEO/Founder Macon Armory Inc. and Grumpy Old Soldier
    Don't mess with old farts, for age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!

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