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Discussion Starter #1
In the past month I've posted questions on here about replacing the oil pan gasket and a couple other things.

So I bought the gasket and replaced it myself. I thought I did a good job. But the car still dripped a lot of oil over night.

So I took it to the Dodge dealer and had them replace the oil pan and gasket. The old oil pan was bashed in on the bottom from the previous owner. And it still leaked a lot of oil.

So I took it back. They told me that the oil was coming from the rear main seal. And the timing chain cover gasket needed to be replaced. And the water pump. On top of that I told them to replace the front valve cover gasket, and the driver side tie rod.

So the car is back in the driveway now. I haven't lifted the hood to look at anything, my wallet is still in shock. I really like the car. I think it is a low mileage car even though I can't be sure because the odometer stopped at 36,000. I have already repaired that. But it runs like a sewing machine. The transmission is smooth and tight. The suspension is nice since I replaced the shocks and struts and tires last year.

I've alread sunk three times more in maintenance on this car than I paid for it outright.

So far I don't regret it. Thanks again for the many helpful replies on all my novice questions.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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I know $2400 sounds like a lot, especially on an 20+ year old car, but think of it this way. More than likely you would have spent over $3K on a decent used car so you're probably ahead if anything. As long as the rest of the car is in good shape, it's probably money well spent.

And here in the Mid-Atlantic region, those items would have probably been well over $3K. There was a recent article indicating our area (DC-MD-VA) is the highest in the country in terms of auto repair and maintenance.
 

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Car repair is expensive and the more that you can do yourself the better. I know that one can't do everything and that some things will still require a lift and special tools. Air-powered wrenches make things much faster and easier. My driveway can get loud and busy on the weekends and I have to have respect for the neighbors quiet time.
It is an investment. On an older car every repair has to be considered 'maintenance'. It is in the end, more expensive to neglect a car's service needs. Some cars only get gas put in them.
I put $3000 into a '98 Sebring convertible and $8000 into a '62 Lark and $1500 into an '07 Caliber. The wife yells at me, so I have to justify it. I don't drink or gamble my money away like other husbands that she knows about (remind her of that) and I live frugally so that I can have nice machines. I only financed a used car once so I could get a credit rating for an eventual mortgage.
It takes money to get from here to there and a nice car is something to be proud of.
There is little equity in a car, but a clean, dependable car is desirable.
 

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If it's fixed and you like it, then that's not too bad. Heck, $2,400 would only be a down payment on a new one and then you'd have your monthly notes and increase in insurance to boot. If your car is in tip top shape now that you spent that much, then I say drive it until the wheels fall off. It's a lot better than having a car payment for the next six years.
 

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What sanity?
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And if Arizona is anything like Saskatchewan, that car will be dirt cheap to keep plates on, too, compared to a newer model. Even my Imperial is rather cheap to keep on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, the yearly registration is dirt cheap on this car. I just took it out on the freeway for a fifty mile test drive. Everything went well and there are no apparent leaks on the engine. Last time the dealer worked on the car I had to replace the hose clamp on the lower radiator hose because the mechanic over tightened it and stripped it. It was leaking radiator fluid on the way out of the shop. Little things like that make me cringe whenever I have to trust somebody else to work on my car. And what makes it worse is that you can never talk to the actual guy who works on your car. The service manager keeps them away from the customers. I understand the reason for that, but I want to know who is actually doing the work. One service manager at this dealership has the personality of a paper cut, and the other guy is great to deal with. Luckily I got the good guy this time.
 

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i think i spent 4grand replacing random parts on my 90 lebaron since i got it. A preventative maintenance. In fact it needs to go back in for the belt tensioner the autozone ones have a year warranty and last one year and one day...
 

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neon98rt said:
i think i spent 4grand replacing random parts on my 90 lebaron since i got it. A preventative maintenance. In fact it needs to go back in for the belt tensioner the autozone ones have a year warranty and last one year and one day...
A good, conscientious manager would swap it for you even if it's 90 days past your warranty date. My district manager actually liked the fact that I would do that when I worked for the zone. It drove my manager nuts, but I had a lot of loyal customers. Once I left, they started going to other parts houses.
 

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I have a 1994 Plymouth Acclaim with 187,000 miles, bought new in late 1993, and I am still driving it. Over the years I have probably spent as much as I paid for it to keep her on the road. Like some others said, what else could you buy with the $2400 that would give you as much satisfaction as having a dependable car for many more years and miles? Good Luck in the future with your 1991 Dynasty.
 

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Fits and Finishes
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I bought my good-conditioned '84 New Yorker on ebay for $1300 and a month later dropped in a new $1400 A/C.

Since then (within the past two years), I have also replaced the driver's side power window motor, power steering rack and steering fluid pump, front driver's side axle, and engine gasket.

Now, it needs new brakes, the steering rack needs to be replaced again (it was the wrong kind), and the headliner is falling. Basically, it's a K-car with leather seats and a ridiculous 2.6 Mitsubishi engine. I've put way more into it than I paid for it, but I've not borrowed money from anybody else. I bought if for an investment in pleasure, and so far it's been a bargain. The paint is near-perfect, the underside has no rust, the leather seats are excellent, and even those pompous electroluminiscient side lights work on the no-rip padded vinyl landau roof.

Enjoy your car, my friend, and as long as no one suffers, be your own guy.
 

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What I think people leave out is that these cars are built like tanks. Sure, you spent $2400 now, but if it is anything like my Acclaim (now at 204,000) you will have the next few years of only easy PM stuff. My wife gets pissed when we have a bad year with the Acclaim and insists that I should get a new car, so I tell her that at the next major failure we will go car shopping. However, the huge failures always seem to be followed by 2-3 years of smooth sailing with an occasional $100 repair, so she quickly realizes that we are money ahead versus getting another car. $2400 won't get you a new car and everything it will need for the next 2-3 years, and you already know what you have in this one. The $3000 car you buy will be a mystery as far as history and maintenance go.
 

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Mopar starship captain
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I agree with the others. EEKs are built like tanks and are comparatively easy to work on compared to the later stuff and parts are comparatively cheap. You can't get a decent used car for what you've spent and since your car is back up to snuff, it's money well spent. I'd love to have a new Challenger or a Charger, but I also like making my house payment so the 2002 Concorde Lxi that replaced my 1999 model of same has to soldier on for a good bit longer. I've spent pretty much the same money you have to get the car back up to where it should be. The car cost me a little under three thousand and I've spent close to two thousand taking care of everything it needed and I still have about two or three things left on the list. The car was a mixed bag of neglect and keep the car alive maintenance. I've done most of the work myself except I had help on the rear struts. I've been frustrated at times but I'm hoping patience on my part will finally prevail. I'm close to having my "new" Concorde back to the level of the "old" one.

The next time I wash the Concorde, I should take some pics of it and add it to my Allpar garage. It's not a bad looking car for a 12 year old. :)
 

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Mopar starship captain
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Dave said:
People told me I was nuts to drop $1,400 into the 300M for a new air conditioning system.

I kept the car for four years after that and then sold it. Try buying a new car for less than $300/month.
Exactly!
 

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patricklynch said:
I agree with the others. EEKs are built like tanks and are comparatively easy to work on compared to the later stuff and parts are comparatively cheap. You can't get a decent used car for what you've spent and since your car is back up to snuff, it's money well spent. I'd love to have a new Challenger or a Charger, but I also like making my house payment so the 2002 Concorde Lxi that replaced my 1999 model of same has to soldier on for a good bit longer. I've spent pretty much the same money you have to get the car back up to where it should be. The car cost me a little under three thousand and I've spent close to two thousand taking care of everything it needed and I still have about two or three things left on the list. The car was a mixed bag of neglect and keep the car alive maintenance. I've done most of the work myself except I had help on the rear struts. I've been frustrated at times but I'm hoping patience on my part will finally prevail. I'm close to having my "new" Concorde back to the level of the "old" one.

The next time I wash the Concorde, I should take some pics of it and add it to my Allpar garage. It's not a bad looking car for a 12 year old. :)
This. My DD Saturn S series (that I've owned since '05) 5spd transmission developed a severe leak that will require a major rebuild right when my girlfriend and I were about to close on our house this past spring. As much as I wanted newer car, I bought a $600 Aries, put about that much into it doing the work myself, and now have a reliable DD more so than my Saturn ever was. This is my 6th Aries/Reliant so I know these cars better than anything and while it looks a little rough it runs like a top. This leaves more money for my house, which while saving up for it we spent 3 miserable years living in a dilapidated single wide and this is the most important thing. I'll more than likely rebuild the Saturn, it is a time thing not a cost issue the job isn't hard but got to pull a lot of things to get to the seal in side the tranny case, but we are keeping the Aries indefinitely.
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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patricklynch said:
I agree with the others. EEKs are built like tanks and are comparatively easy to work on compared to the later stuff and parts are comparatively cheap.
Agree. I had three EEK's - a 1986 GTS, 1992 Acclaim and 1990 Acclaim. All three logged over 200K miles with the '92 having 302K when I finally had to park it (heater core shot). Cumulatively, they had over 800K miles on them. All were relatively easy and inexpensive to maintain. The 2.5L 4 cylinder engine was very easy to perform maintenance on - even a timing belt was not that hard if you chose to do it yourself though I usually ended up having a shop do it since I rarely had the time.

Sadly, EEK's have become very rare in my area. The one's I do see are either well maintained or on their last legs.

In the snow, the GTS and the '90 were tanks. I don't recall ever getting stuck with them. I remember taking my wife to work in the '90 (a 57 mile trek one way) in the midst of a snow storm (we ended up with 10-12" of snow). The GTS and the '90 had good feed back through the steering wheel. For some reason the '92 had a different feel - never got stuck with it either, but it was harder to detect wheel spin with it.
 

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Doug D said:
Sadly, EEK's have become very rare in my area. The one's I do see are either well maintained or on their last legs.
I'm afraid this is becoming true where I live too. Acclaims and Spirits are what I still see the most of, followed by a dwindling number of LeBaron convertibles. But every so often, I still see original K's humming right along. I haven't seen a hardtop J-body LeBaron in at least three or four years. I still see some late Daytonas but little else except the occasional Shadow or Sundance. However, there are tons of first and especially second gen LH cars on the road around here along with first generation cloud cars and second gen Neons. The rare beast around my neck of the woods is a first gen Neon. They were around by the dozens and then nearly all vanished. Strangely I don't see that many second gen cloud cars but they seem largely replaced by Dodge Avenger sedans which are just everywhere. The magazines bash the Avengers but the people I talked to who own and drive them seem to like them very much.
 

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patricklynch said:
I'm afraid this is becoming true where I live too. Acclaims and Spirits are what I still see the most of, followed by a dwindling number of LeBaron convertibles. But every so often, I still see original K's humming right along. I haven't seen a hardtop J-body LeBaron in at least three or four years. I still see some late Daytonas but little else except the occasional Shadow or Sundance. However, there are tons of first and especially second gen LH cars on the road around here along with first generation cloud cars and second gen Neons. The rare beast around my neck of the woods is a first gen Neon. They were around by the dozens and then nearly all vanished. Strangely I don't see that many second gen cloud cars but they seem largely replaced by Dodge Avenger sedans which are just everywhere. The magazines bash the Avengers but the people I talked to who own and drive them seem to like them very much.
Very similar picture here in Omaha area except: more first-gen Neons and 2nd-gen Clouds. I think that salty winter roads are a major culprit, plus the perception of the cars as disposable.

I was just going to put up a post reporting two oldtimer EEK sightings but couldn't find the best place to put it. This is as good as any. One was a few months ago on an unseasonably pleasant (for Omaha/Midwest) winter day: a 1982 or '83 Chrysler E Class, two-tone black and silver, really sharp looking. The other was just this morning when a coworker (big-box home center) showed up in a Reliant sedan ('85-'89 incarnation). Not sure, but I think the pale green with silver bumpers mark it as some company's former fleet car as I vaguely remember seeing lots of 'em when they were newer. It did my heart good to see both these cars. On this forum it's safe to admit that the Reliant was one of the high points of the workday (consisting entirely of an early-morning staff meeting).

To keep this post on-topic, I too say OK to the $2+ grand into your Dynasty. I'm going to do the same thing as funds become available for my Caravan: timing belt, valve job if necessary, tranny fix, fuel system cleanup and front brake job (latter two due to being in storage since '10). I second the comment that the same amount of money would only buy me a used car with more miles on it and some rust spots (the Caravan so far is virtually rust-free and near-new inside, only 105K on the odo).

BTW, my ladyfriend had a really spiffy 1998 Plymouth Breeze; hunter green with tan interior. Less than a month after she got it, a dumb$#!+ crashed into it when it was parked at the curb in front of the house (we have no driveway). Wiped out most of the left side including rear wheel/suspension. :cry:
 

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Rezachi said:
What I think people leave out is that these cars are built like tanks. Sure, you spent $2400 now, but if it is anything like my Acclaim (now at 204,000) you will have the next few years of only easy PM stuff. My wife gets pissed when we have a bad year with the Acclaim and insists that I should get a new car, so I tell her that at the next major failure we will go car shopping. However, the huge failures always seem to be followed by 2-3 years of smooth sailing with an occasional $100 repair, so she quickly realizes that we are money ahead versus getting another car. $2400 won't get you a new car and everything it will need for the next 2-3 years, and you already know what you have in this one. The $3000 car you buy will be a mystery as far as history and maintenance go.
I second this (note my above comments re: Caravan). A coworker at a previous workplace, on the other hand, figured he'd always have a monthly car (loan) payment. As long as an oldie doesn't keep breaking down and leaving me stranded (reason for me to take the term "preventative maintenance" literally), I'd rather support the locally owned shop whose employees have to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, than funnel money into the banking industry beyond what's necessary.

Besides, most of the time, even with major repairs required, I've had plenty of warning of impending failure so whatever vehicle in question got repaired before disablement happened.
 
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