Just bought a '92, now what?

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Feb 22, 2011
I bought a '92 about two months ago and I'm starting to work on it now. I have no record of any kind of service on it so here's a list of where I'll start but I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on what else to look at.

Oil & Filter Change
Replace Front Brake Pads and Rotors
Repack Wheel Bearings
Replace Spark Plugs and Wires
Replace a few cracked belts
Replace Transmission Fluid
Replace Motor Mounts (they're sagging)
Replace Air & Fuel Filters
Replace Transmission Fluid Filter

Any other routine maintenance steps I should start with? The body and interior itself are in great shape so not a lot of work to do there, I mainly just need to get the motor operating a little smoother.

As it runs now, at speed it runs great but when I'm stopped at a light it idles pretty rough (around 600 rpm) and the Check Engine light will occasionally come on. Once I start moving again and get around 30 mph, the Check Engine light will go back off. The other night when we pulled in front of the house there was a pretty heavy gasoline smell. Any ideas on what could be causing the rough idle and check engine light and gas smell? And if these issues are related?

If case it wasn't obvious, I'm a newb so please go easy on me and use small words!!
check this one out too.

warning, a broken drivers side motor mount can cause your motor to jump up, the fan will break the shroud, and damage the underside of the hood. found that out the hard way. I was able to replace only that mount, I did have to cut the stud to get it in there though.

Plugs, cap, rotor, wires, valve adjustment (easy on 3fe)

Thanks for the suggestions Andrew and for the "Magic Screw" link, that was a great read and I'm anxious to get home and check on mine. When you say "Valve Adjustment" you mean....?
The 3fe has solid lifters and the valves are supposed to be adjusted every x? miles (30k maybe)

entails pulling the valve cover and using feeler gauges while rotating the motor properly. If you don't have one yet you need a FSM (Factory Service Manaul) usually about $100 on ebay, it is a must.

when pulling the valve cover you are likely to mess up some old rubber hoses for pvc, etc. careful with the main breather hoses between the air filter and intake, they are not cheap. I've found that duct tape can get you way, way down the road when you've effed up one of those..


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