Top 5 Things to Look For?

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Okay, before I get blasted, I have read the FAQ about looking to buy a used 80 (or any used LC for that matter), but I have a very limited amount of time and would like some advice.

I will have about 20 minutes and no tools to check out a vehicle tomorrow and would like your opinions on the first 5 things you would look for - It is a late model '96 80. If it passes this quick inspection, I'll invest the time to go back for a more thorough inspection and test. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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Obvious oil drips that make it to the ground
Oil dripping from front knuckes (excessive caking of grease) or diff oil seeping onto tires
Condition of drivers seat, interior in general.
Lockers switch on dash on left side of steering wheel
Popping sounds when turning
Check engine light on?
Maitenance records avail?
Was the headgasket ever replaced?
 

NaterGator

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Popping when turning/Birf Soup leaking at the knuckles
Rear main seal/upper pan arch leak
Bubbles in the coolant overflow @ 1500rpms/milkshake under oil cap
EGR CEL (they can be crafty and reset it. if you have a scanner you can tell because it will tell you the emissions system is not ready)
Torn / Cracked Leather

If it has lockers it would be prudent to make sure they all engage without too much fuss.
 
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1. Service & maintenance records
2. Check radiator to see if it has been converted to green coolant. Check overflow bottle for signs of sludge.
3. Engine oil leaks. Especially around front and rear of oil pan.
4. Front knuckles. Inspect for oozing grease.
5. Ask if any drivetrain parts have been replaced and if so why?

Remember, this is a ~12 year old truck and it will have some issues and most likely need some maintenance. You want to avoid the serious drivetrain issues. Other problems can be used as negotiating points to lower the asking price.
 

NaterGator

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thats pretty uh :princess: isn't it? :flipoff2: MOST 80's have worn, tough brittle leather that is usually pulling at the seams. I don't think I'd consider that a top unless ALL of the leather is just trashed...then I'm sure there are going to be much worse things wrong as well.

New leather isn't cheap and can seriously affect the resale value of the car. It's a good way to get a stranger lower on the price:
"See this huge gash in the leather? It's gonna cost me $600 to fix the leather in the front, why don't you take $400 off the price"

;) I think the other 4 hit on all the major money/time consuming parts of 80s PM and ownership.

EDIT: I take that back, look for leaky PS components as well. Starter contacts and PHH are going to be hard to check in a quick stop and look, and neither are particularly horrible (the PHH is just time consuming). It also never hurts to bring along a blackstone kit and get a sample of oil. Just bring a little (1/3rd) qt of makeup oil if you're nice ;)
 

bpenn1980

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I'd check for head gasket issues. Under oil cap shouldnt have moisture or milky looking stuff after the truck is fully warmed up. Have someone hold 1,500-2,000rpm while you look in the coolant overflow to make sure bubbles arent coming out of the tube.

Aside from that, check the knuckles for lots of grease/oil oozing out. The second part of that is while driving make tight turns in both directions. You shouldnt hear any clicking while doing this.

You should take a quick look at the coolant while you're doing the overflow bubbles test. SHould be either red or green, not some funky combination of the two like orange or brown'ish.

Look for wet oil leaks. LIkely candidate is where the transmission and engine meet. Mine leaks there. I had a full dealer inspection when I bought mine and used all the crap on there to negotiate a better price.
 
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Not all 80's have the VIN stickers on all major body panels.
The early years 91-94, I think, don't have them. I know my 93 doesn't. I think the VIN stickers were on later 80's poss 95-97
 

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