Looking to buy my first 80 series, could use some opinions.

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Jan 16, 2022
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New Jersey
So I'm in high school and have been wanting to get into the 80 series platform because I've been a fan for a while. I've been looking around for a few weeks now and have come across a lot but this one stuck out with the price($7500), miles(196, XXX), and cleanliness. In order to buy this car, id has to sell my 06' Subaru Legacy which is a great reliable daily and this LC would become my daily driver and only car. I'm wondering if it's really worth the risk of the maintenance cost, which I'm willing to wrench myself but being in high school is it worth the cost and possible headache of not knowing what I'm getting into to the full extent? The guy has it listed for $7500 OBO, and I received pictures of the undercarriage which does have rust, noting looking to be catastrophic, it's a 3-hour drive to go take a look in person so I'm wondering if this is just a possible bullet I should dodge now. He noted that it needs "a little TLC and it will be in daily condition"Any feedback is appreciated! View attachment 2895806View attachment 2895807View attachment 2895808View attachment 2895809View attachment 2895810View attachment 2895811View attachment 2895812
 

Ozark80

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Its not necessarily about neglected maintenance. The maintenance schedule in the FSM gives the inspection and replacement schedules based on miles/months. There are few, if any, preventative maintenance activities. The intervals between the maintenance activities is the same regardless of the vehicle age. However, as we all know, age plays a part. For example, the only cooling system maintenance activity is to change the coolant every 3 years or 72,000 Kms. There is nothing about checking the condition of the hoses or the heater valve or even the radiator. In fact almost 100% of the maintenance tasks are changing fluids, greasing etc.

Anecdotal evidence shows these vehicles were designed to operate for 20 years or 300,000 Kms with nothing more than routine maintenance. Well for some of us the 300,000 Kms is already a reality and for all of us the 20 years milestone was at least 5 years back. Every one of these vehicles need a full baseline - even the one that sold $80K on BAT last year with 4k miles on the clock. Rubber and plastic age - it just does. Most owners aren't mechanics and most oil change shops don't have mechanics so the the first time an owner knows he needs to change a part is when the vehicle makes a noise or no longer works. Even then it is likely that only 1 part is changed - 1 coolant hose that started leaking. The rest are obviously just fine because they are not leaking but it isn't long until the next hose fails or the radiator leaks and the owner starts thinking "WTF, time to get shot of this 25 year old POS". Then you come along....the PO made a decision to sell and not to be bothered with the maintenance list that will grow. When you buy it it is with the knowledge of what the PO did or didn't do. There should be no surprises on what is required going forward. Baselining should be done on a system basis (Cooling system, Fuel/Ignition system, Suspension system etc.) If you piecemeal it then you will always be chasing your tail and never more than one failed part away from a catastrophe.
A good baseline strategy will give you another 15-20 years of minimal maintenance and outstanding reliability and way less than a monthly car payment.
Yea AFAIK the fluids in mine (other than oil) had only been changed once at 130k miles at a Toyota dealer (I think coolant was flushed again when PO replaced radiator).

I agree it's a better approach to just do a $5-10k upfront baseline on these. Fixing things as they break just leads to frustration IME.

In any case, it has to be a labor of love with these trucks.
 

Devils Paw 80

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Oct 22, 2003
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Juneau, AK
So I'm in high school and have been wanting to get into the 80 series platform because I've been a fan for a while. I've been looking around for a few weeks now and have come across a lot but this one stuck out with the price($7500), miles(196, XXX), and cleanliness. In order to buy this car, id has to sell my 06' Subaru Legacy which is a great reliable daily and this LC would become my daily driver and only car. I'm wondering if it's really worth the risk of the maintenance cost, which I'm willing to wrench myself but being in high school is it worth the cost and possible headache of not knowing what I'm getting into to the full extent? The guy has it listed for $7500 OBO, and I received pictures of the undercarriage which does have rust, noting looking to be catastrophic, it's a 3-hour drive to go take a look in person so I'm wondering if this is just a possible bullet I should dodge now. He noted that it needs "a little TLC and it will be in daily condition"Any feedback is appreciated! View attachment 2895806View attachment 2895807View attachment 2895808View attachment 2895809View attachment 2895810View attachment 2895811View attachment 2895812
Did you buy it? Someone did. '92 not considered as desirable as later models with the bigger engine...
 

OGBeno

Arakawa-san
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30,590
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Patagonia, Arizona, USA
Its not necessarily about neglected maintenance. The maintenance schedule in the FSM gives the inspection and replacement schedules based on miles/months. There are few, if any, preventative maintenance activities. The intervals between the maintenance activities is the same regardless of the vehicle age. However, as we all know, age plays a part. For example, the only cooling system maintenance activity is to change the coolant every 3 years or 72,000 Kms. There is nothing about checking the condition of the hoses or the heater valve or even the radiator. In fact almost 100% of the maintenance tasks are changing fluids, greasing etc.

Anecdotal evidence shows these vehicles were designed to operate for 20 years or 300,000 Kms with nothing more than routine maintenance. Well for some of us the 300,000 Kms is already a reality and for all of us the 20 years milestone was at least 5 years back. Every one of these vehicles need a full baseline - even the one that sold $80K on BAT last year with 4k miles on the clock. Rubber and plastic age - it just does. Most owners aren't mechanics and most oil change shops don't have mechanics so the the first time an owner knows he needs to change a part is when the vehicle makes a noise or no longer works. Even then it is likely that only 1 part is changed - 1 coolant hose that started leaking. The rest are obviously just fine because they are not leaking but it isn't long until the next hose fails or the radiator leaks and the owner starts thinking "WTF, time to get shot of this 25 year old POS". Then you come along....the PO made a decision to sell and not to be bothered with the maintenance list that will grow. When you buy it it is with the knowledge of what the PO did or didn't do. There should be no surprises on what is required going forward. Baselining should be done on a system basis (Cooling system, Fuel/Ignition system, Suspension system etc.) If you piecemeal it then you will always be chasing your tail and never more than one failed part away from a catastrophe.
A good baseline strategy will give you another 15-20 years of minimal maintenance and outstanding reliability and way less than a monthly car payment.

Very well put, John. Best statement in this thread so far. :cheers:
 

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