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Old 02-29-12, 01:15 PM   #1
rat fink
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The budget "I'm a car guy" club.

This is a thread for car guys/gals, who appreciate and respect their cars, but don't have unlimited resources to obtain/care for them.

The word budget is emphasized because I know there are tons of people who have $4,500 cars with $25,000 of mods, but I want to see budget builds and/or budget performers and quirky non-performance cars.

The car's price should be under $10k. Mild exceptions can be made for cars that have more than that in them, but was built quite thriftily compared to average because of ingenuity. Exceptions will not be made for $30,000 cars that were were obtained for $2000 because your parents spoil you. Also, no older exotics.

Trucks and older luxury cars are also welcome.
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Old 02-29-12, 01:38 PM   #2
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Car: 89 Volvo 760ti
Mileage: 136,000
Cost: $1,000
Status: daily driver
Upgrades (if any): Kuhmo tires, drilled/slotted rotors for the front, IPD front and rear sway bars, Jacobs ignition, boost/temp/oil pressure gauges, Sony stereo
What you like about it: Magic carpet ride, while still having a firm reassuring feel, Minimal body roll, superb braking, a nice 'whooshy' kind of fast feeling with accompanying pleasant turbo sound. It do a one-point turn on almost any street with ease. Very reliable engine, especially for a turbo car. All in all, it drives like most cars that are a lot newer and more expensive.
What you don't like about it: The electronics and plastic interior pieces should have been done by the Japanese. The turbo engines (only one worth getting, imo.) are challenging to source, and the turbo costs about the same as the whole engine.
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Old 02-29-12, 04:02 PM   #3
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99 BMW M3. Pretty much stock. Wife paid about $10,000 for this when I was in Iraq in 2008. I think she paid a little too much for it. Had to get new tires immediately and invest about $1000 to fix the convertible roof. It's an awesome car. Street value right now is probably about $6,000 (I've put A LOT of miles on it since 2008, currently at 145,000 and still going strong).


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Old 02-29-12, 04:07 PM   #4
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Hmm... That is debatable. More info will be necessary.
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Old 02-29-12, 04:51 PM   #5
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Not a fair thread.
The way the city bafoons spew frame eating salt around here cars are crap after 5 years.
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Old 02-29-12, 04:53 PM   #6
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99 BMW M3. Pretty much stock. Wife paid about $10,000 for this when I was in Iraq in 2008. I think she paid a little too much for it. Had to get new tires immediately and invest about $1000 to fix the convertible roof. It's an awesome car. Street value right now is probably about $6,000 (I've put A LOT of miles on it since 2008, currently at 145,000 and still going strong).

My eyes keep getting fixated on that door ding.
Sorry
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Old 02-29-12, 06:14 PM   #7
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My eyes keep getting fixated on that door ding.
Sorry
I know . Got to get that fixed. Got a couple of dings on the trunk as well. They are character marks. This is the "budget car" thread afterall.
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Old 02-29-12, 06:51 PM   #8
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2001 Ford Windstar.
Purchased in 2003 for $8000 with 70,000 miles
Currently at 185,000.

Windstars are rated at mediocre quality. I guess I got a good one. Purchased almost 9 years ago off Ebay. Flew out to Dallas, picked it up and drove it back. Only thing that's gone wrong is a metal y coolant fitting sprung a leak. Oh, and a window regulator and climate bypass flap went bad, but fixed those myself on the cheap. Other than that, just basic maintenance and two sets of tires. What a great car.

Will be sad to get rid of it this year.

Other car is a 2008 Highlander that we got a year old. $30K new, got it for $20K. Expect another ten years out of it. Doesn't meet budget criteria of this thread, but a decent deal on a very desireable model. BTW, buying new is for chumps - don't do it!
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Old 02-29-12, 07:01 PM   #9
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$3500, 55,000 miles bought in 2008
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Old 02-29-12, 07:03 PM   #10
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2000 mazda miata with hardtop and hard s suspension/ limited slip/ chassis bracing package
purchased jan 18, 2008 with 30,000 miles
paid $8800
now has 102,000 miles

love: it handles like a miata. only has 2 seats (was great in high school. no big groups asking me for rides across town).
hate: it has the horsepower of a miata. i also dislike the fact that it's a convertible. it's the only 2 seat, <2500 pounds, FR car on the market without getting in to older or really expensive stuff. have a renesis powertrain swap in the works to take care of the HP deficiency and hopefully drop a few pounds. they went to all the trouble of making the hood aluminum and using extra thin steel for the rest of the body work... then went and put a cast iron block in the thing.
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Old 02-29-12, 07:10 PM   #11
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I know . Got to get that fixed. Got a couple of dings on the trunk as well. They are character marks. This is the "budget car" thread afterall.
Yes but that's not a budget beater car plus it's a convertible!
Standard equiptment out that way right?
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Old 02-29-12, 07:33 PM   #12
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1997 Subaru Outback Sport AWD
80,000 miles
Runs and looks a little better than new, always garaged, still is at my house.
$39 (inherited)
Put about $1200.oo into it.
Sedan version held World Championships in European road ralley racing. 1996,1997,1998. But this one is a wagon.
Possibly the best AWD system on the planet.


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Old 02-29-12, 11:48 PM   #13
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$3500, 55,000 miles bought in 2008
I all kinds of approve. 1600 or 2000?
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Old 02-29-12, 11:57 PM   #14
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2000 mazda miata with hardtop and hard s suspension/ limited slip/ chassis bracing package
purchased jan 18, 2008 with 30,000 miles
paid $8800
now has 102,000 miles
I paid about the same amount for about the same year car with about the same mileage at about the same time. No hardtop or modifications to mine, and I've put far fewer miles on it.



I find that it has plenty of power to get me into plenty of trouble. I can't say I'd complain if it were a GT body style instead of a convertible. I think my bicycle holds more than the trunk of the car...
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Old 03-01-12, 12:47 AM   #15
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I know . Got to get that fixed. Got a couple of dings on the trunk as well. They are character marks. This is the "budget car" thread afterall.
Paintless dent repair. If it's just 3 dings, will probably cost about $100. One of the most satisfying investments I make in my cars every couple of years. Nice car BTW.
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Old 03-01-12, 05:19 AM   #16
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I all kinds of approve. 1600 or 2000?
1600
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Old 03-01-12, 03:25 PM   #17
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1600
Awesome. My cousin had one not long ago. I never got to see it move.
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Old 03-01-12, 04:05 PM   #18
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Hands down, best bang for the buck I've ever owned. 2001 VW GTi

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Old 03-01-12, 06:35 PM   #19
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My second 1990 Mitsubishi Montero. Practically the Volvo of trucks, reliability-wise. Torquey V6 on a 3/4 ton frame, giant 9.5" rear limited-slip differential. 30x24" sunroof. Has 160kmiles, and doesn't burn or leak a single drop of oil. Best part: I didn't pay anything for it. I found it in rural Indiana and traded my Subaru for it straight up. Drove it home three hours and haven't done a thing to it since except wash it and install new speakers.

All stock, but I'll be putting some 33x10.5 tires under it and some other stuff here and there.


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Old 03-01-12, 06:56 PM   #20
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1989 Corolla GT-S. 245K but only $1200 with a new battery. It belonged to a mechanic's daughter so it's been very well maintained.
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Old 03-02-12, 02:29 PM   #21
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2001 Subaru Outback wagon.
135,000 miles.
Bought in 2007 for $4600.
Cheap because the factory paint job has "crackling" all over it. Looks fine from a few feet away.
Check engine light comes on frequently.
5 sp transmission makes a noise in reverse, but it hasn't gotten worse in a few years so I haven't bothered to get it fixed.
It's reliable enough to take anywhere. I plan on keeping it for several more years.

My SO has a 1996 Toyota Tacoma 4wd excab truck with a topper.
Bought a couple of years ago for $6400.
140,000 miles
He put in new timing belt, clutch, shocks, brakes.
It's a good reliable truck for any road trip.
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Old 03-02-12, 02:55 PM   #22
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My second 1990 Mitsubishi Montero. Practically the Volvo of trucks, reliability-wise. Torquey V6 on a 3/4 ton frame, giant 9.5" rear limited-slip differential. 30x24" sunroof. Has 160kmiles, and doesn't burn or leak a single drop of oil. Best part: I didn't pay anything for it. I found it in rural Indiana and traded my Subaru for it straight up. Drove it home three hours and haven't done a thing to it since except wash it and install new speakers.

All stock, but I'll be putting some 33x10.5 tires under it and some other stuff here and there.

I love old Monteros. Actually, any old Japanese SUV does it for me. Montero, Trooper II, 4Runner, Pathfinder. Oh yes.
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Old 03-02-12, 03:01 PM   #23
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Old 03-02-12, 03:57 PM   #24
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Indeed! Such workhorses. I've looked at/owned/driven/worked on a few of the "others" but I just keep coming back to Monteros -- they seem to be the most solidly built (stock configuration) of the lot IMHO.
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Old 03-02-12, 07:13 PM   #25
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That is the cleanest old Montero I've ever seen. Nice! It's good to read that they have a rep for reliability as well. I will have to keep an eye out for one.

The Corolla GT-S is real nice, too. Is it stick?
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