Let me say I knew from the start what I was getting into. It was a $600 car. Taking that into account, I'm still quite impressed.
Brakes - Pads and hardware front and rear $575
Timing Belt & Camshaft/Crankshaft Seals - $300
Power Steering Pump - $175
Tranny pan gasket & fluid - $95.
She still needs...
Cap/rotor/wires/plugs - $70 est
Radiator (not gone, but old) - $120
Battery (same as rad) - $50.
She runs great.
I bought this car the day I saw it pretty much. Sitting at the side of the road with a sign in it. The body and interior are almost mint. A few rust spots mar her exterior, otherwise, paint is perfect with hardly any scratches, and the interior looks like it rolled off the lot yesterday.
I knew it needed work, with a very large leak puddle underneath it. It was leaking P/S fluid, tranny fluid, and scads of engine oil. Despite this, and despite the timing belt being severely weakened by oil seepage, she ran pretty well. I've fixed all the leaks except one oil drip between the engine & tranny. Rear main seal I think. That will be expensive.
This car is amazing. Gas mileage could be better at 25mpg hwy/19mpg city, but its far better than the New Yorker I had before (3.0L V6). Drop the pedal, and wait two seconds for the turbo to spool up, and she's off. Very quick on it's feet, once you give it the first 10 feet or so to gather a breath. It's comfortable, and super easy to drive. It's style, with great proportions, waterfall grille, and crystal pentastar (oh yeah and wire wheelcaps) put a Mercedes C230 to absolute shame. The digital dashboard is a riot to watch.
My goal is to restore this car to like-new condition, although that mostly entails mechanical work. It's a shining example of how much punishment the K platform can take and still survive to live another day.
30th Aug 2006, 10:30
Methinks it is premature to declare it the "best car ever" when you've only put 1500 km on it.
Why not report back here in a year or so and let us know if you still feel the same way?