I bought the car off a little old lady that used it to commute around town. I sold my 1999 VW Chico for a R4000 profit and bought the Ballade for R12 000 less than I got for the Chico. My car is the 1988 to 1992 model.
When I received it I had the following done:
The car had brand new Firestone S211 tyres on it, but I also had these tyres on my Chico and when you don't have power steering, they make turning the wheel quite difficult. I immediately replaced them with a set of Pirelli's.
The left front top balljoint had to be replaced. On my model the balljoint is welded onto the wishbone, which meant that I had to replace the whole wishbone at R450.
I replaced the two rear shocks, as they were shot to hell, and caused the car to bounce around under braking. R700 for the pair.
I had to replace the front right CV-joint as it was making a terrible noise when accelerating whilst turning. R150.
Had all the other CV joints greased up.
Took the car for a decent service, as it had last been serviced in 2003, and had only done 4000km since then! 4000km in 3 years! Service cost R1200.
During the service the back brake drum cylinders were replaced because they were leaking brake fluid. R450.
I installed the first radio in the car. It still had the Honda badged place holder where the radio should be. I installed a Sony MP3/CD player with some nice Pioneer 6x9 speakers in the rear. R1600.
Only 500km after fitting the Pirelli's, I drove over a piece of sharp iron next to some roadworks and wrote off the rear right tyre completely. Another new Pirelli was fitted.
The interior cooling fan stopped working for no apparent reason. I checked the fuse box, but no fuses was blown. Took out the glove box and fiddled with the wire that goes into the fan and voila! It's working now.
I blew a headlamp in the wee hours of the morning just before a long trip. Bought a replacement at a service station, but it is practically impossible to fit! With all the fiddling I have turned the headlamp so that I am now blinding birds out of trees while driving at night. I have been adjusting it ever since and can't seem to get it right. It's either too high or too low.
In a few days I am going to have the front disc pads replaced as the brakes have been making a grating noise of late.
All in all, I spent around R7000 on the car before I was satisfied that it would be reliable enough to drive long distances, seeing that my girlfriend lives 350km away.