Fantastic commuter car with enough pep from the engine to make carrying 4 people no hassle. Much better in manual than in automatic for power transfer. Great fuel economy from the 1.6L 4 cylinder SOHC carb engine, no major problems. Only two annoying things for me, suspension floats a bit too much for my liking and brakes aren't as responsive, even from new, to suit my tastes.
Just bought an 85 TX3, has a lot more go than my old 86 L auto! Just need to replace the gear shift bushes as the shift is very loose. Strut inserts need replacing on all corners too as it moves around on the road over bumps. Hitting bumps mid corner at speed is quite unnerving at the moment. The tachometer has a mind of it's own too! Car has 230,000 kilometres on it and still feels quite good otherwise.
Having read the other reviews I thought I'd chip in here. Owned a 86 TX3 for 9 years now (!), was maintained to some degree for the first 4 years of my ownership, but generally have neglected it since. Looking back it has been an *excellent* car, needing very little, but giving a whole lot. Has now traveled 312000 Ks mostly as daily commuter in Sydney traffic and left parked on the street - things wrong : couple of relays twisted around and filled with water, alternator just recently,unbelievably that's it.Looking to buy a new car now - wish they still made these.
Have owned a Dec 1988 KL wagon for almost two years now and in that time has only been serviced twice. Car has been running good probably due to the fact that the first owner had serviced regularly. Has been through two major crashes (write offs) and repaired both times and still goes great. Air-con and heater fan stopped working at 245000 klms and tailgate lock at 240000 klms. One of the better 88/89 Lasers that I have seen.
Only mechanical problem was the crank shaft which cracked. My fault, not the cars.
Bought my KE '88 GL manual 1.6L hatch in 2000, so had it for 7 years.
From then 160k to now 255k.
VERY reliable engine, due to age though had to fix some parts during my travels.
Clutch and alternator were replaced, had to put new boot on CV joint. One of the brake wheel cylinders went, which caused the only small accident.
Also hand brake cable snapped.
Generally if parts of the interior plastic age (more in sunlight), they tend to break off or crack.
I kept this in the garage, but alas the rust that came with it starts to eat around, and I also keep having issues with the brakes, so I'm getting some other car now.
Rust likes the back part of the window frame in the driver's door. Seen that in several other KEs as well.
Also rust is in the frame under the windshield.
Time to send this car to the wrecker, or donate it for parts. Overall quite happy.
My 88 KE GL Laser was bought when she was 190000 km old by my family. Since then, the only main work we have done was replace the engine at 220000 km (cost 1200) and the gear box at 230000 (cost 700).
The car is now on 370000 and we only have done general servicing, although the engine now needs a rocker cover gasket. That is a simple job and will soon be on its RD radiator. My first one was plastic and broke and my current one has a leak down below, but it's a second hand one so it's done its time.
Interior wise, she has had door handles done, maximum 1 or 2 every year, but other than that nothing much.
The wiper blade motors on the rear one has been done in and I'm looking at getting another one put in.
But she has been a good car and I can see a full restoration with donor Ghia car parts added when she turn 30 in 2018.