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need advice on second backup vehicle

Old 03-13-2015, 03:19 PM
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Year: 1996
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Default need advice on second backup vehicle

Hello Everyone,


I am looking for a secondary backup vehicle. There are a few reasons I am looking for a backup, one being able to put stuff in it I can not get into my jeep and the other is to allow me the freedom or less stress on doing more time consuming work on my jeep (I have a few things to do on the jeep yet).


Anyway I am looking for a van or mini van. I test drove one today (http://orlando.craigslist.org/cto/4919224914.html). He did make a comment that the price is not firm so i might be able to get it cheaper.

Look wise its not bad for the money. I did test drive it but can not get a good estimate on its condition possibly due to the tires. When driving it it shakes but he told me ahead of time that the tires are both old and said they have flat spots from sitting all the time.

The van has like 250k miles on it but he has owned it for 10 years or so and he himself put very few miles on it. It sat as a billboard in front of his store and was started up and driven every few months.

He did an oil change a year ago but says there is less than 100 miles on the oil change (if I buy it thats something I'll get done right away).


I am not a mechanic i can do little things and with a backup vehicle i'd try other stuff that I don't or can't get done all at once.

Here's what I am worried about and I was hoping someone could let me know what they think.


The shaking when driving. He said it was from the tires always sitting there and have developed flat spots. No real way to test if that was the case or not. I am not sure what else could be the problem but i am sure there could be a lot. Also in addition to the tires being the same tires on the vehicle when he bought it (meaning they are over 10 years old themselves) and then sitting for two or three months at a time, his story sounds plausible. What do you all think about this?

The second thing is the smoke. He said its becasue it sits all the time and oil burns off the lifters or something like that thats dried on and such. it goes away after a short bit. I am not sure if thats plausible or not or if there is a bigger underlying issue.

Other than those two things most everything else seems good or minor on the vehicle. Back door don't open from the outside but needs a clip or something and can be opened from the inside. I think a lot of the noise you hear when you stop is parts loose back there as they vibrate but we could not locate anything specific making the noise.

I did not notice any slipping of the transmission and engine seemed strong and had no problems getting going.

I am not rushed to buy a vehicle so I can take my time. I did kinda like the vehicle but I am looking at some others as well. But you never know when they will be sold. Looking hopefully tomorrow at a bigger van.

Anyways if anyone can offer any advise and such please let me know.

thanks

Ryan
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:50 PM
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Well everyone,

I purchased a backup vehicle. Was not expecting to find one I liked so quick. It was cheap at a dealer (well buy here pay here place). The test drive was fine.

It drove fine, oil and transmission looked good. Steering was good. Tires are ok but will need to be replaced soon. No working ac but they say they have a person that can give me a great deal on fixing it (we'll see on that).

I think the belt will need to be replaced soon or possibly the tensioner, I think one of them is making a slight noise but I've never had a dodge Ram van before it might just be a normal noise.

Not sure how long the link will be good for. I go tomorrow to pick it up.

http://orlando.craigslist.org/ctd/4932252033.html


Ryan
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:13 PM
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That's quite a van! Looks almost like a camper van.

Since I've always bought used vehicles, tires are usually something I look at replacing early on anyway. Even if they look decent, they may just not be what I want anyway.

What's wrong with the A/C? Seems like that would be important in Florida. If it's just not blowing cold, it may have leaked. Theoretically it's not very hard to fix, and you could probably do much of the replacing of parts and recharging the system yourself, with just having to have a shop vacuum the thing out.

Belts are relatively cheap. I'd just get a new one, swap it out, and make sure it's tight enough. If it has an auto tensioner and it works good, you should be good to go. If it has a manual tensioner, it maybe too loose. You'd want to get a tension gauge (should have one for your XJ anyway) and make sure it's tight enough. Whenever a shop messes with the belt on my XJ, they never tighten it enough.

The link for the first van has been taken down. Did you pass on it or did someone snag it already?
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:55 AM
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Hello,


Yes he sold it. I guess they removed their ad from craigslist.


I don't have no tension er thing you mentioned. I have a grand cherokee and I don't do anything special to it, no off roading, lifting etc.

The van has no ac. Its blowing warm and its not coming out of the vents in the dash so it has a couple of issues besides not being charged and/or having a leak.

As for the belt if I end up doing something for the water leak I'll probably try to replace it at the same time. However its very tight in there, unlike my old econoline which was very roomy this is very compact. So I am not sure how much work I'll end up doing on this vehicle. Heck not even sure how to get off the cover inside the van itself.

Taking the van to firestone in the morning to get inspected. Really my two biggest concerns right now is the water leak and the trans leak.
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