Thoughts on this Vehicle?

To Buy or Not to Buy

  • Buy for $6.5k

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Run Away

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • Negotiate Down

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • Negotiate Way Down

    Votes: 3 27.3%

  • Total voters
    11

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awesomeissquid

SILVER Star
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Threads
27
Messages
1,404
Location
Bay Area, CA
Hi All,

I have been eyeing a 100 series and talking with an owner about one. It has 270k miles and was in an accident back in 2018 (have the records and photos before/after). The owner was daily driving it until getting a smaller car this past month and is looking to sell because they don't need something so big.

The owner has been trying to solve some intermittent brake issue with the traction control light coming on and the vehicle braking, but the dealer has been unable to correct it since January. In that time they have replaced the brake master cylinder and ABS anti-skid ECU. The latest dealer recommendation was to replace some other computer, but I do not know any additional info. I have a call in with the tech that serviced it to get more info.

The original asking for the vehicle was $8k. Due to the ongoing braking issue and the possible $2.5k fix the dealer recommended, the seller agreed to drop the price to $6.5k. I just got the results of the PPI and it doesn't sound great. but I wanted to get some input on if you think I should walk or try to negotiate down and spend the time/money to fix. I am handy and would be looking to get my hands dirty as much as possible.

PPI Finds:
  • Antenna Mast In-op
  • Right side exhaust manifold leak (driver side maybe?)
  • Power steering rack and pinion leaking
  • Oil residue at engine to transmission junction
  • Pass side rear door lock not working and others stopped working after 1 use
  • Tailgate electrical lock not working
  • Driver side master switch assembly missing a button and some are faulty. Recommended replacing master assembly
  • Windshield Cracked
  • Tailgate rusty next to latch
  • Hood shocks need replaced
  • Power steering hose from reservoir to pump is leaking
  • Lower radiator hose at thermostat housing is seeping
  • Might be due for spark plugs and fuel filter
  • On the positive side, no rust, but I guess this is expected from a socal car.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts. Current plan is to pick it up this weekend if I pull the trigger. I would be looking to fix whatever I buy up so I can use it as a second vehicle for adventures.
 
Check this thread out:


There's a not-uncommon (not super common either) brake issue with the ABS pump motor. It's worth looking in to for the sake of your negotiations. If you can find out something the seller can't, that's a plus for you.
 
A lot of that is fixable/minor, except for the tailgate rust. At $6.5k, you're not going to find a clean 100 series, unless you find someone that's unaware of what they have.

Sounds like an OK deal, just a question of how willing you are to take on something with that many known problems. There are probably another $5k in unseen issues you'll tackle as well. For a project car, sure. For a buy n drive sort of thing, maybe not.
 
It is going to be a pitn to fix all those issues, but if you can drive it while fixing it as you go, sure. The rack is a bit bothersome. Those are not cheap. If not for this forum, you would be all on your own, but you can always research every issue right here. By the way, do you like the way the truck looks? If not, why don't you pass. If it is exactly the color you love, then you will have motivation to go all out.
 
A lot of other variables to consider, including body and interior condition, if it's pre-2003, last TB/WP replacement date, etc. Plenty of negotiating power if you know what your looking at.

For instance, the steering rack is likely on it's last leg and that's a ~$450 DYI project (not trivial wrenching) with a decent reman'd OEM rack + alignment ($1k total at indy?). But, that rack might also be the source of the ABS/TRAC issue. As the rack get's sloppy the traction ECU's read/calculate yaw, wheel speed, etc. and just the slop in the steering rack can cause the "geometry" calculations in the TRAC ECU to think a wheel is slipping or the truck is off-course relative to the read steering wheel position. The symptom is most evident going around turns on a beautiful dry day or speeding over dry but rough road - the ABS will suddenly kick in and scare the $^&* out you! Just replacing the rack might cure the secondary TRAC/ABS without further attention. Somewhere here on MUD I'm sure there's a thread on how to have a trusted friend turn the steering wheel back and forth while you lay under the front of the truck to gauge the rack's slop. You'll want to do this anyway and negotiate accordingly.

A lot of the other stuff is not uncommon. Door locks are common issue on the old trucks, especially in hot summer. Assuming you viewed on a hot SoCal day. Those locks will also work even worse if the truck is not running and has a low battery.
 
@MongooseGA, Thanks for the suggestion. I have been reading that over the past few months just trying to learn about it. I was hoping that the master cylinder replacement would cover the expensive stuff related to that. Guess I need to do some more reading on this. My current list of things I would want to check would be wheel sensors, wiring, and the based on other comments I guess the steering rack.

@suprarx7nut, I guess the tailgate rust would require either a touch up or a full respray depending on how bad it is? I know the owner had the car repainted in '16 at a Maaco location.

@onemanarmy, I have thought about bypassing and saw it somewhere else on the forum that there is a way to disable it with some wire connections under the hood near the master cylinder, but I was hoping to have this active for the on-the-road driving I plan to do.

@LongHaulCruiser, My plan would be to do exactly that. Work on it as I go. Since it would be the second car I would not need to drive it all the time so I was thinking that is a plus. I was reading about racks after getting the PPI info, Ill need to do more research but seems like either a new or re-manufactured OEM is recommended.

@loganbrew, I appreciate the input. The interior is average condition except for the front seat, but from looking at cars for sale it seems that is expected for the age. The owner did put on some nicer seat covers on and I have thought about upholstering as an option. The TB/WP was replaced 36k miles ago. Besides that I know the following other stuff has been done since 2017:
  • 2017
    • Radiator Replaced
    • Replaced Ignition Cylinder
  • 2018
    • Rear Shocks Replaced
    • Left Rear Axle Seal Replaced
  • 2019
    • Repacked Wheel Bearings
    • Replaced Ignition Coil
  • 2020
    • Replaced Brake Master Cylinder
    • Replaced ABS Anti-Skid ECU
    • Replaced Rear Control Arms
    • Replaced Sway Bar Bushings
    • U-joint had a repair kit installed (not entirely sure what this includes)
You bring up an interesting point about the steering rack. Based on what you described about the dry road and a turn that sounds exactly like what the owner described when it first happened to them. I will look into more to see if I could do it myself as I would prefer to do this so I can learn about the vehicle and know the way it works. Do you know if a re-manufactured OEM rack is just as good as a new one?
 
New OEM rack is definitely ideal/better, but for me, given that the orig rack in the 2000 went 250k, I couldn't justify spending the 2X or 3X for what I didn't foresee being another 250k under my ownership/lifetime. Likewise, my rigs predominantly see pavement. If a LC is intended to be used to the greater extent of what Toyota intended, it's best to go with their factory parts.

Originally I installed an OE replacement, which was basically the lowest price I could find. A regrettable choice because the high pressure fittings always leaked just a bit. On ripping it out a year later I found the bosses on the rack were improperly milled... Anyway, I replaced that with an OEM reman at a bit higher price point, but with confidence the original case, etc was to Japanese vs Chinese spec. It's been 50k miles since and I haven't had a single issue. On my 03 I went OEM reman again and also without issue. A lot easier install for that one as the engine was out.

If you ever do replace one I recommend loosening the engine mount bolts to lift the engine a couple inches above the rack. The extra clearance makes removal and install significantly easier. Get a polyurethane bushing kit from any number of vendors and toss out the elastomer bushings that come with the new rack. In fact, much of the slop in the pre-2003's is the failed rubber bushings (plus some in the pinion and ball joints). It's possible only the bushings could be replaced and let the rack live a while longer. That's a lower banana job and could likely fix the TRAC issues. One would just have to decide whether the rate of leakage is bearable.

It's good the rad was replaced. That would be my next concern given the info you originally provided.
 
@MongooseGA, Thanks for the suggestion. I have been reading that over the past few months just trying to learn about it. I was hoping that the master cylinder replacement would cover the expensive stuff related to that. Guess I need to do some more reading on this. My current list of things I would want to check would be wheel sensors, wiring, and the based on other comments I guess the steering rack.

@suprarx7nut, I guess the tailgate rust would require either a touch up or a full respray depending on how bad it is? I know the owner had the car repainted in '16 at a Maaco location.

@onemanarmy, I have thought about bypassing and saw it somewhere else on the forum that there is a way to disable it with some wire connections under the hood near the master cylinder, but I was hoping to have this active for the on-the-road driving I plan to do.

@LongHaulCruiser, My plan would be to do exactly that. Work on it as I go. Since it would be the second car I would not need to drive it all the time so I was thinking that is a plus. I was reading about racks after getting the PPI info, Ill need to do more research but seems like either a new or re-manufactured OEM is recommended.

@loganbrew, I appreciate the input. The interior is average condition except for the front seat, but from looking at cars for sale it seems that is expected for the age. The owner did put on some nicer seat covers on and I have thought about upholstering as an option. The TB/WP was replaced 36k miles ago. Besides that I know the following other stuff has been done since 2017:
  • 2017
    • Radiator Replaced
    • Replaced Ignition Cylinder
  • 2018
    • Rear Shocks Replaced
    • Left Rear Axle Seal Replaced
  • 2019
    • Repacked Wheel Bearings
    • Replaced Ignition Coil
  • 2020
    • Replaced Brake Master Cylinder
    • Replaced ABS Anti-Skid ECU
    • Replaced Rear Control Arms
    • Replaced Sway Bar Bushings
    • U-joint had a repair kit installed (not entirely sure what this includes)
You bring up an interesting point about the steering rack. Based on what you described about the dry road and a turn that sounds exactly like what the owner described when it first happened to them. I will look into more to see if I could do it myself as I would prefer to do this so I can learn about the vehicle and know the way it works. Do you know if a re-manufactured OEM rack is just as good as a new one?
I think the paint issue is more up to what you expect rather than what is "needed". Getting the rust removed and stopped is one thing, but getting an OEM finish is 10x the cost of the basic rust-stop work.

The Maaco paint job isn't a great sign, IMO. Pending which exact level of service they got, that could be a significant detriment. If they went top of the line and had Maaco do an unusually thorough job, maybe it's a plus. Hard to say. Generally people use Maaco when they have terrible paint and can't stomach the cost of "real" autopaint work. Refinishing done right is astonishingly expensive. Maaco will spray an entire car for what a normal autopaint shop would charge for an initial cleaning alone.
 
@loganbrew, appreciate the tips! Yea, the radiator will be high on my list for whatever truck I end up with if it has not already been done recently.

@suprarx7nut, Yea, I dont think I necessarily care about getting it to look OEM and I would probably just look to remove and stop what is there. So how would I figure out what level of service they got? I have copies of the original invoices and it looks like the total cost was around $3k. Granted I dont know if it was a total spray or just a localized due to some smaller fender bender. I see on the invoice some surface recon, body supplies, and body labor, but I have never dealt with getting a car painted before so I have no idea if those are normal items to have.
 
So happens I got an online Maaco quote last week for a full repaint in the original color. I was just looking to ball bark relative to my trusted body man who understandably wants $5-6k for close to OEM quality... with a bit of orange peel. I figure an actual Maaco quote after their viewing the truck would come in at the $2k high end (their low end is a teaser, I'm sure). Plus I got the quote with an input for "no body work", which is far from my actual need, so it will escalate from there. But it is for their highest level paint service nonetheless.

Personally, I can size up a Maaco franchise, it's owner, it's facility and abilities like any other body shop. Many can do good work, just as a single family-owned and seemingly exclusive shop can do crap work. But as suprarx7nut alludes, Maaco's brand it forever associated with the $300 total paint packages used decades ago to grow their brand recognition and franchise locations. While I might be happy with the value of the work for my expectations, the stigma that a potential future buyer would place on the quality of the job will likely be a negative one.


1598941684385.png
 
So just spoke to the mechanic who did the PPI. Here are the updates he gave me from the original notes:
  • Exhaust manifold leak
    • Corrected this was the passenger side and he heard something that may be a leak but he did not diagnose it.
  • Power steering rack and pinion leaking
    • Confirmed leaking from both passenger and driver side.
  • Oil residue at engine to transmission junction
    • Confirmed dripping, not a huge amount but some drips.
  • Windshield Cracked
    • Corrected that this is just a rock chip above the wiper blade on the driver side. Said it could likely be repaired before needing to get replaced.
  • Tailgate rusty next to latch
    • Clarified this is on the inside of the upper tailgate to the left of the latch. About 2" area where the paint has flaked away and the bare metal is rusty.
  • Power steering hose from reservoir to pump is leaking
    • Clarified this is just damp.
  • Lower radiator hose at thermostat housing is seeping
    • Clarified this is crusty and stained from a past leak but not leaking currently.
Based on this I am thinking I would monitor the exhaust manifold and replace the steering rack. I think my only real concern is the oil leak at the engine/transmission junction. I know this is an older truck and expect some oil to be leaking. I assume this is the rear main seal which would require dropping the transmission to replace. Sounds like it might be fun to try but I would want to make sure I understand the scope of work before diving in.

In talking with the owner this morning they don't seem too enthusiastic about dropping the price more from $6.5k. I was thinking of accepting that price since any truck might have these main issues and sell for more since they do seem pretty common items that come up over time. Does this sound like a good strategy?
 
You'll be at a $10k car pretty quick on that car, since there is so much that is just right at the tail end of its life. Save your money some more and buy something that needs less fixing.
 
So I agree, but most of the LCs in the $10k range are the same 1998-2002 year with similar mileage so I would assume they will be needing the same work. It just seems like this will add up to less overall instead of $10k plus another $4k of work needed. Or is this wrong and I am looking at something in the wrong light?
 
270K, an accident, a Maaco paint job, some kind of a rogue VSC problem that the dealer has been unable to fix since January, plus lots of other stuff including some rust. I'm with gatormark, this is a bad idea.
 
Based on the limited info provided (and I respect the OP's choice in that), I don't see a "quick" $10k to sort it, but it very well could be, there's just not enough info to gauge that level here. However, I do gather the OP is doing the right homework, being objective, planning to evolve his wrenching skills and learn a few things. He's working from additional info like pic's, service records/invoices, etc. He can see the extent of the accident... who cares if it was a fender bender, this isn't a used $60k+ Porsche 911, it's at most a $6500 LC.

The truck being from western/southern US and relatively rust-free, it having an apparent forthright and candid seller, and the OP finding the truck's spec meets his tastes/budget, it seems worth while to make the SF-SoCal trip for a view. Ultimately, it needs to be viewed, test driven, and buyer willing to walk away.

Personally, I'd make the trip down if I were in the OP's shoes. If the body/paint/repair looked acceptable and the interior shows acceptably, and I could force the ABS issue in a controlled test, I'd plan to separately leverage the steering rack and seemingly uncertain ABS system against him. Seek a $5k deal, max $6k, as he'll probably take it if cash in hand.

awesomeissquid what exactly is the extent of rust on the hatch? I've accepted a rust spot there for over decade after sealing a leak path from the 3rd brake light above.

1598993705712.png
 
@97 AZ LC, I hear what your saying but I guess kinda like @loganbrew mentioned the owner is being very forthcoming about all the history and information. Another seller could just not tell me these things and still list the truck for $10k+.

@loganbrew, What other info would be good to provide so the group can provide better input? I obviously don't want to share everything that I have since some of it is personal/identifying, but I can probably provide some stuff like the pictures I have attached here. I think I am in agreement with what you suggest, drive to see it, test drive, and try to negotiate in person with cash in hand. Worst case I walk away (the significant other will not be happy, but oh well). I also don't know the extent of the rust since I have not seen the truck in person yet but the mechanic described it as a 2" spot to the left side of the picture.

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On second thought, those wheels and rabbit skin seat covers are a deal killer... move on.

Seriously though, those pics show the body well. A lot of potential on this Hundy.

Useful pics would be under the hood/engine bay, frame/undercarriage from front to back, the hatch rust spot, and any other rust mentioned by seller.
 

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