Ever been burned on a car? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 19, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Ever been burned on a car?

Anyone care to share some stories about getting burned on a car deal? I bought a 97 Chevy z71 to have a work/farm truck around the house. The guy I bought it from said it needed a gas tank and even had another to go in it. I took his word for it, made an offer, and hauled it home. Well, I guess he didn’t lie because he didn’t say ALL it needed was a gas tank...he just conveniently left out the rest of it. I’ve replaced all the fuel lines because they were rusted. I’ve replaced the rear brake line because he had 6ft of rubber hose in place of it. I got it running and thought it was missing. I look and the #8 plug is hanging out of the head, not even screwed in. Weird. Buttoned it up, changed the oil, put 1.5 gallons of antifreeze in it (weird again) and then concentrated on cleaning up the interior. I backed it in and out of the garage several times and let it idle and whatnot. Well, last weekend I figured I was all done. I thought I’d check the oil before shutting the hood. I was greeted by a nice chocolate milk mixture halfway up the dipstick! Compression check showed #8, the one with the unscrewed spark plug, had 100#. All others were 160+. Leakdown test shows exhaust valve. I’m guessing cracked head! I’ve learned a good lesson here 🙂 Some guys are full of ****
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 19, 10:58 PM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

Never been burned but I always go after running vehicles for the most part, If it is not running though my offer is based on if it needs an engine and I tell them as such just because I donít trust them.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 19, 11:32 PM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

Back in '84 two friends & I went to Atlanta with the intention of buying a nice musclecar (they were still fairly cheap back then). We looked at a nice 1-owner 1968 GTO convertible with original paint & top, the car they should have bought. Instead they bought a different, flashy, freshly painted '68 GTO convertible. It looked really sharp and everyone agreed it sounded healthy. We did have trouble with the convertible top but we got it sorted out before the trip back. Driving home with the top down, we got 40 miles outside of Atlanta when the engine spun a bearing. We left the car and drove 1000 miles home. They had to drive back with a thirsty F150 with a 390 & flat-tow the car back to Canada. Once home, when they got into the engine they found it was thrown together for a quick sale out of odds & ends. Even the pushrods were random lengths. It was a total hustle from the seller and he knew it.

The next year the one friend decided to try again, but this time he bought a '68 Mustang convertible from a middle-aged professional lady from an upscale neighborhood. Before we made the trek home, the seller insisted we get the car checked out one last time on her dime before setting out on our 1000 mile trek. That car ended up being an excellent buy. The previous year the car had been used for short trips and seemed to be tired, and the selling price reflected it. After the service & the long trip back, the car began to make more power & the blue smoke cleared up. I figure the rings may have been sticking and they freed themselves on the long grades through Pennsylvania. It even started to growl through the duals. That was an enjoyable drive and we got lots of sun.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 19, 11:36 PM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

The L31 engine in that truck is notorious for intake gasket leaks, usually leaks outside the engine, but could leak inside the engine, good luck either way!!

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 12:55 AM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

Iíve made a few bad purchases, mainly because I wasnít safeguarding my own interests well enough by doing a thorough enough inspection.

I have several friends that have made nightmare purchases, itís their own fault, they bought cars from sellers that skipped registering the cars in their names. One went to the DMV the morning after he purchased the car and found out the car had a salvage title, even though the pink slip he was handed didnít. Another friend bought a 1969 Camaro convertible project, he worked in the car for a couple of years, until it was ready for paint. Then he decided to transfer the car into his name. At the DMV as he was waiting at the counter a couple of police officers came walked up to him and started asking him about the car. They went with him to his house and impounded the car on the spot. He never saw it again.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 7:35 AM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

Most of the stuff that was bad you could have seen if you looked at it.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 8:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwhite00 View Post
Most of the stuff that was bad you could have seen if you looked at it.
Yes Al, I know...I did see some sketchy stuff when I first looked at it, and that’s why I got it for $750. I bought it from a soldier on Post, thinking he would be a stand-up guy.

I’m not complaining. I wanted a project. I’m just looking for some good stories. I can’t gelieve that GTO! That was a good one 🙂
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 8:53 AM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
Iíve made a few bad purchases, mainly because I wasnít safeguarding my own interests well enough by doing a thorough enough inspection.

I have several friends that have made nightmare purchases, itís their own fault, they bought cars from sellers that skipped registering the cars in their names. One went to the DMV the morning after he purchased the car and found out the car had a salvage title, even though the pink slip he was handed didnít. Another friend bought a 1969 Camaro convertible project, he worked in the car for a couple of years, until it was ready for paint. Then he decided to transfer the car into his name. At the DMV as he was waiting at the counter a couple of police officers came walked up to him and started asking him about the car. They went with him to his house and impounded the car on the spot. He never saw it again.

Steve R
Very good friend of mine was burned the same way on a '58 Impala he bought from out-of-state. The paperwork all looked perfect so he bought it. Went to transfer into his name, same thing, FBI showed up and impounded the car. It had been stolen about 30 years ago out of CA, sold several times in other states with faked titles, then he innocently bought it. Then HE was under investigation for receiving stolen property. This guy is as honest as they come, and it took a long time to clear his name. Plus being out $38,000. He has never gotten over that screwing.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 9:54 AM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

Not burned, found a few surprises but thats normal for a used car

I never trust or take anyones word....if it doesnt run Ill assume the engine or trans is bad and pay accordingly.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 10:23 AM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

Back when I was 18 and didn't know enough to protect myself, I bought a 327 short block. My first Chevelle had a 283 and I wanted to upgrade. When my mechanic uncle showed up to inspect my new acquisition it took him about 20 seconds to point out that the block was cracked. It had a bulge in one side from having been frozen. (Why do blocks have freeze plugs if they never pop to save a block from frozen water damage?) I was out $150. I had felt safe as he was a friend of one of my then few trusted car advisers. Turns out, he screwed a lot of people in a short time, luckily became a pariah.

I was never as trusting again and have never been really burned again. I did eventually sell that forged 327 crank and rods and made a portion of my cost back, but that was MANY years later.

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 10:38 AM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

Most of the burning I get is buying used GM vehicles and the issues they just develop when older; each newer model year one I buy is a bit less reliable or lower in quality. So I blame myself for not buying a Toyota I guess. I think the most reliable car I had was $175 '85 Parisienne Wagon I bought to get me through the first couple years of college. High miles, I did minimal maintenance beyond regular oil changes. Newer cars I do full maintenance on and they way more problems. Go figure.

I almost got burned buying a '91 Jimmy. THe lady I bought it from told me the loan was paid off. In Ontario there is a used vehicle package you must buy from the govt (essentially a tax) but it does reveal if there are liens. When I approached her that there was a lien on the car she swore it was paid off. Turns out it was, the bank had forgot to release the lien. So all was good. The truck however rusted out like it was designed to rust. It was bad. Loved that interior tho, a digitial dash was neat.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 10:42 AM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

Those plugs are not freeze plugs. They are called "core plugs" because they make the passage that allows the sand cores inside the block to be contacting the exterior sand cores. That is how they are held in their proper locations.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 11:04 AM
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I purchased my 2002 suburban from a limo company in 2013, that stated it had 86k miles. Years later I was playing around with car fax bc it was a free weekend and it stated that in 2010 it had 240k miles! Not sure if it was a mistake but I still have it. I put 65k on it with no problems, so with that being said, it should have around 350-400k lol.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 11:28 AM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

I think everyone that has been buying old cars has in one way or the other made mistakes. Its to what degree that matters. I feel for the poor guy that bought a car that was stolen 30 years ago. How can you protect yourself against that? Easy answer you really cant and since it was re titled in other states that certainly makes one more comfortable that the car is not stolen. I've learned long ago to watch out for the shinny cars without seeing pictures of the restoration. I have also learned that a car may look good needing only some bodywork but almost always is usually not the case especially as most muscle cars are 50 years old plus. A small hole cost as much as a big hole to fix in most cases and replacing a whole panel usually looks better then a patch.. Also even my current car which is worse then I anticipated has actually forced me to replace and not patch but the end result is quite nice. I was lucky that my number matching car that wasn't running was in great shape internally when I had it rebuilt but what if it wasn't and the block had internal cracks. So much for being # matching and say goodbye to a lot of cash. Just do your diligence!
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 19, 12:58 PM
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Re: Ever been burned on a car?

The short story......The first and only car I ever bought "sight unseen" (yes I know) was due to the fact that it had been inspected by the well known and renowned Jerry McNeish, how could I go wrong, right? When I first purchased it it went into storage for a couple of years(approx), it was only when I brought it home did I realise the huge mistake I'd made.

The car at some stage had been smashed and the rear half of another car had been welded to it(quite poorly)through the A-pillars and the front floor. I contacted the guy I bought it from and he claimed he knew nothing of it, McNeish claimed the same and there is nothing in his report about it.
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