Calling on saner heads again...

MartyB

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Last year, I was on the point of getting an M for a daily. Saner heads on this forum (thanks, Duke5A et al), urged me to rethink. Well, likely that save me some trouble, given my commute then was 50 miles round trip. Happily, I am now semi-retired, can walk to my part-time retirement job and use a car only for errands and groceries a couple of times a week. In fact, I'm currently sans car and surviving borrowing my son's car occasionally.

Now, I can get (a little) crazy. Looking hard at an '89 Dip that is clean looking and runs without issues, per owner. But even so, I'd like to avoid getting stranded overmuch. Keeping in mind that I have to farm out all my mechanicals to my local guy (I'm a good nurse, but not much with tools), what ought I do first with it to make sure it's road ready? I can guess an inspection of all belts, hoses, plugs and wires is in order. Anything else that immediately comes to mind? Thanks for the input!

PS: I've seen the suggested upgrades on dippy.org. I'm not looking to build a street machine or retro rod, just getting reliable and safe as budget allows.
 
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Oldiron440

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How old are the tires, 15 year old tires are no good even if the tread looks new.
 

MartyB

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Tires are newer...
And good point that. If ya ain't got shoes, you can't run.
 

Oldiron440

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I bought a thirty year old Nova with 60k on the odometer for $103 bucks. A $150 front clip that I used a fender and the hood off. We straightened the oldman dents on the drivers side and sold it to my sister who was going through a divorce, that car ran 100,000 miles with very little problems. The only problem I had with the car was getting the back doors to swing on the hinges I don’t think they were ever used. So I definitely think you can buy something older and have it work.
 

Mikes5thAve

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Check belts and hoses especially the ones in fuel line and brake hoses. Change the fluids unless there's records that it's been done recently. And plugs. Tires like already mentioned. Get the brakes and front end checked to make sure nothing is worn out.
That's about it until you get into normal something broke repairs.
 

Voeltagear

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Fuel system maintenance alway falls behind. Fuel filter, carb maintenance/cleaning/rebuild. Next most neglected is grease and lubrication. Check ALL serviceable lubrication points. Shake down the suspension or someone who is experienced. After that it's a matter of normal wear and tear. Tires, brakes, fluid changes. Look for leaks developing near axle seals, transmission output, engine deals, etc... Take note on any "unusual" noises and do you due diligence.

If you have a specific vehicle in mind please share as much information as you can.
 

LSM360

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I think Mikes5th covered it and these really are reliable cars. If it hasn't been sitting a super long time then nothing should suddenly rear it's ugly head. You can peak around the radiator closely and look stains from leakage and you could consider doing the thermostat and housing as well. They are cheap and are good to do with belts and hoses. I don't wait I do them as preventative maintenance.
 

Lightning II

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To add: make sure the HVAC switches work, It's something I still need to track down the issues of on my own car. It's linkages and vacuum lines, so the linkage can jam.
 

IndieDippy

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i've been dailying my car for 2 years now. my car has some issues i believe linked to the lean burn system going up i need to sort out but other than that it gets me where i need to go slowly but surely
 

69-

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Using a 79 LeBaron as daily. Works out fine.
Replace all VAC lines. And tires, YES.
 

BudW

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For the most part, the Lean Burn computer system gives very little troubles. About 99% of all problems it is blamed on is usually NON-Lean Burn issues (like worn (or jumped) timing chains, carburetor issues, and so on/so forth).
Even the service manual says to diagnosis all of the fuel system, the ignition system and check for mechanical problems (compression, camshaft timing, etc.) before looking into the computer system.

I'm not saying it has nothing to do with the computer, but odds are it is not.
BudW
 
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