Pre-purchase inspection: engine check?

e9999

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Thanks for all the great info on this forum, guys. Finally starting to feel a bit like a more informed shopper for both 100s and 80s thanks to your patience and good advice. I’ve now learned that on a 95-97 with about 90K or so I should check –besides the usual condition etc-:
- front end (see zillion other posts)
- head gasket leakage (not that I can see much with all the stuff on top but I’m trying)
- red coolant
- VIN stickers
- Rust on back doors (not a problem in the PRK I assume)

But what about the engine? Should one have a serious mechanic check the compression or put it on an IR computer? A good idea? Anything else worth doing?

Thanks
Eric
 

sleeoffroad

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If you don't have the skills to inspect the truck mechanically take it to a third party shop and have it checked out. Also, you need to get under the truck and see what shape things are in. Couple of $'s paid in advance might save a lot later. Especially if you are buying As Is.
 

e9999

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understood Christo. The thing is that if you go see a truck out of town, at a dealer or even a private party's it is generally thought to be somewhat uncouth to stick your finger in the pumpkin if you know what I mean... :D
And I don't think they'll let ya take the plugs out.
So that leaves an inspection by an "official" mechanic as about the only real option if something more is needed than I can do on the sidewalk. So, I would like to know what I should ask them specifically to check since usually they (not the serious outfits like yours, of course) usually only look at the brake pads and the odometer :-\
What about compression and IR?
Eric
 

sleeoffroad

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If they won't allow you to inspect the truck I would not buy it. Yes, doing a compression check in the guys driveway is maybe not always on. It might be better to have a shop do it. The owner should feel better about it, even if you are trying to convince them that you are a 5 :banana: shade tree mechanic.
 
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As a pre-inspection for my mechanic, I've also had dealers put the truck up on one of thier lifts to have a general look-over. Much easier than crawling around under the truck.

I was able to quickly check my truck for accident damage, oil/fluid leaks, rusting, etc. The dealer I eventually bought it from let me take the truck with dealer plates to my mechanic to do an inspection. Based on this, I went in knowing what needed to be fixed (for the most part) ~C$3K of work.

Cheers, Hugh
 
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Red coolant? I know you should not mix it but I have not had red coolant in mine for the past 5 years and over 100K miles. Flush every 20-30K miles and fill it with coolant and run it ( I like green ). Never had a problem. I had my valve clearence checked at 100K miles and it was right in the middle of the recommended spec. I would have the compression checked and have a mechanic you trust give it a once over.
 

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