my new tow rig

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35,995
Location
ME
Always wanted a trailer hitch for one of my saturns. They'll tow 1000 lbs. Sick of owning pickup trucks just to haul yard waste-- they rust out, need tons of repairs and insurance. Bought this heap... and it has a bolt-on hitch that I'll move to one of my "good" cars. Well at least the headliner fabric won't fall down. This oily mess explains how I got it so cheap. PO had the cam cover gasket resealed but it still leaks oil on the exhaust manifold. I theorize the plastic cam cover is warped and I have an aluminum one I'll stick on with RTV. PO thought the head was cracked or the gasket was shot-- we'll see-- but of course the head gasket is UNDERNEATH the exhaust manifold and an unlikely source of oil. When I showed up to look at it the battery was completely flat dead. He jumped the car and I noticed the serpentine belt wasn't moving. I touched it against the (nearest) AC pulley and it caught and made a horrendous rythmic clacking noise. Incidentally the valves were also ticking madly. (Saturn DOHCs get loud when they sit... and loud when low on oil.) Once it made that noise I let out a deep sigh and told the guy I could use it for parts. Get the title, come back with a charged battery, belt tensioner, and temporary license plate, and it's ready for the road. Except: No wip3rz? Seriously? This is like when I bought my house and the previous owners stole a light fixture from the bedroom. Previous owner ran "30w50" oil. Wonder where he gets that. Saturn parts counter? Thing was low, I put in 2.5 qts of used oil that was mostly M1 0w30. Smoked like mad the first couple miles then smoothed out and got peppy. Also the lifter tick cleared up. I thought maybe the cat was eating the oil but I did another cold start and the exhaust is clear! I have some "Mag 1" motor flush, mostly kerosene, that may also get dumped in this heap.
 
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22,722
Location
CA
The blue washers on the valve cover gasket bolts makes me suspect that he used the Permatex valve cover gasket kit. How could a valve cover get warped?
 

eljefino

Thread starter
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35,995
Location
ME
Agree, it's probably one of those dry wide o-ring style gaskets. Prefer RTV myself.
 
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1,562
Location
St. Paul, MN
I don't think a heap like that is worth much more than 150, considering that "as is" it was not driveable. Good to hear you got yourself a little project beater, those are always fun to mess with.
 
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5,573
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earth
what i don't understand is that in australia the prices of cars bottom out at 2.5k. It is not like over there where they hit the 3 figure amounts. seems strange.
 

eljefino

Thread starter
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35,995
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ME
One year we can sell 17 Million new units, then soon after 10. Many get crushed for simple issues. There's still a glut. You could take it as having enough handy people.
 
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9,926
Location
Birmingham, AL
 Originally Posted By: crinkles
what i don't understand is that in australia the prices of cars bottom out at 2.5k. It is not like over there where they hit the 3 figure amounts. seems strange.
We have tons and tons of cars, and many people who trade after only three years. Once you start looking at 10-15 year old cars, it's easy to find runners for a few hundred dollars because people would rather get rid of them than fix the various problems they have.
 
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9,568
Location
Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: crinkles
what i don't understand is that in australia the prices of cars bottom out at 2.5k. It is not like over there where they hit the 3 figure amounts. seems strange.
I assume, in the rust belt here, that we get alot more rust than anywhere in Oz. So 10 year old cars might need the brake lines replaced or fuel lines which at a dealer would be maybe a $1k or more... I was watching top gear and its funny that they can buy a drivable car for less than a train ticket to go across the country. All because of the disposal fees when the car is finally taken off the road....
 
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15,056
Location
Canada
Eljefino, After you get the parts you want from it, are you gonna 'fix-n-flip it', or just keep it for parts? Seems to be in good enough shape that it could become a decent car for someone...even w/o a headliner!
 

eljefino

Thread starter
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35,995
Location
ME
It's looking like another at-cost gift to my brother-in-law... Grandma babysits for me and he splits and stacks her firewood so everything comes around. Consider mechanical condition, interior, exterior, and you want 2 out of 3 in nice shape to make a decent project car with resalability. Woman-owned cars are usually well kept. This had zero! The rear package shelf has gaping holes where speakers used to be. Of course the car had a nice (loud?) sound system even as (because?) it was driven with a slipping belt and clicking valves. However, all the parts I needed were on-hand so the out of pocket expenses are staying low.
 
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2,021
Location
NC
Poor little saturn...glad you're giving it some new life eljefino. Is it an auto or standard transmission? LMAO on the 30w50 oil
 
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