8th Jun 2011, 19:39

Another update:

The car now has 229,000km. The battery will soon need replacing, and the distributor and plug wires and plugs. The valve cover gasket that they ship for the car needs a pretty healthy coat of RTV liquid gasket to seat properly so that will need a replacement, too.

I did some repairs at an expensive shop. The car runs beautifully.

This car just won't quit. It's sometimes hard to start (the battery can`t support more than about 15 minutes of headlight run-time. There's no headlight buzzer, so when you turn the car off you have to be very careful). The driver's seat is now short a bolster. The car gives the impression that it could go on forever.

I did my first long trip, through mountains, with the car and it kept up to traffic nicely on grade, though when I was coming back with the car full to the roof, I had to use 3rd gear instead of 4th for most of the steeper hills. In warm weather the mileage has improved: I haven't gotten less than 36 MPG/6.6L per 100km for months. Unfortunately, there's no mileage-sapping A/C in this car, so the interior gets very warm on hot summer days.

The front suspension is developing a rattle, but it's not the commonly rattly ball joints, so further inspection will be necessary.

This is a great car to wrench on, so if you can still find one unrusted, get it for a teen or a college student looking for a cheap fix-it project.

25th Jul 2011, 11:46

Well, it's dead. I ran it into the back of a truck. There's one less Wagovan on the roads. It was a good car, and quite quiet while I had it running well.

31st Aug 2012, 00:40

I read your whole story. Thanks for sharing. These hatchbacks are good cars. Good on gas, and can fit big stuff in the back. Or surfboards on top. My '88 just keeps on tickin'.