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    Thread: Goodbye Roadmaster, hello... what? (help)

    1. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 11:01 AM #1



      So, the Roadmaster goes to it's new home today in New York and I've reached a stalemate in determining what kind of car to get.

      I've got $3000 and can go up to $3500 if it's really good
      I'm considering the following cars

      1996-1998 Volvo 850/V70s
      1996-2003 Nissan Maximas (Gen 4 and 5)
      1994-1997 Honda Accords (preferably wagons)
      Subaru Legacy Wagons

      Here are my concerns with each:
      Volvo 850/V70 - Could be a potential money pit. I'm not familar with these cars in terms of repairs, though they seem simple enough. The one I'm looking at is mechanically sound


      here's the list of mechanical work recently done: headgasket, decked and cleaned head, timing belt, tensioners, rollers, water pump, radiator, alternator, full PCV kit, Bosch wires, OEM cap/rotor, new plugs. From Missouri. V70 tail lights, HIDs, Cross drilled and slotted rotors with new pads all around. 125k miles
      Being fixed up right now by a known person in the Volvo community and for sale at the top of my price range ($3500). Paint is oxidizing (single stage) and would require a significant amount of buffing by a real pro to return. The bumper is also a bit banged up, but this is common for the 850R. The fact that it's not BROKEN is more amazing.

      Nissan Maxima - NOT A WAGON... I really would like a wagon. VQ35DE motor can consume oil, VQ30DEK Gen5s seem to be plagued with sensor issues, Gen4s seem stout.
      Here's one I'm looking at:
      2002 Maxima SE 6speed


      180k miles. Interior looks pretty thrashed:

      Shifter bezel is... not attached.
      steering wheel looks pretty worn

      Rear seats look pretty stained or dirty.
      Not interested in an automatic

      Honda Accord - I really want a wagon. I do NOT want an automatic and will not buy one with an automatic. That makes it difficult to find. Another issue is rust. We all know Hondas of this vintage rust BAD on the rear fenders. I won't touch a rusty car making this even MORE difficult to find one. What sucks is I had found one and the bastard never got back to me with his number and eventually sold it after dropping the price from $3000 to $1900 and the thing was ****ing immaculate.

      Subaru Legacy - Hits nearly all the right boxes except one: reliability. Most Legacys I'm looking at are of the 'leaky headgasket' generation (EJ25D and EJ251). Also, most of them of the older generation are beat to ****.

      Any other suggestions?
      the 855R seems like it might be the best choice for me despite being expensive.

    2. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 11:26 AM #2
      and unlike Vad, I intend to buy something

    3. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 11:39 AM #3
      '95-'99 Legacy wagon Brighton or L with the EJ22

      or like I was saying to Lee last night... "a 5-speed Previa sounds like something Jared would buy"
      Splinter - Team Post-Killing Ninja
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    4. Member BluMagic's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 11:42 AM #4
      I'd go volvo but find one with a recently replaced rear main seal. I am sure there are quite a few, look for oil under the car.

      also oil cooler lines are prone to leakage.

      then do stage zero to refresh the old parts, swap to a 18T, reflash, enjoy.
      Quote Originally Posted by winstonsmith84 View Post
      He did this at 22 old. He is world strongest man. President Obama ordered him to stop but truth must come out. Buy silver in middle of week.

    5. Senior Member
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      09-26-2012 11:49 AM #5
      Just buy the Volvo and live with the cosmetic issues.

      That car has had most of the biggies addressed. I'd like to see the AC condenser replaced and at a minimum, pay him to flush the transmission before you pick it up.

      You may also be well served to replace the wheels with a set of 16's for winter up there. Those wheels are notorious for bending easily.

    6. 09-26-2012 11:50 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by UNBANNED_GERBIL View Post
      Phew!!! Thank goodness it's a VW troll thread. If it were a Hyundai troll thread the bukkake faced fanboys would be frothing at the mouth

    7. Member rynodyno312's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 11:53 AM #7
      Volvo would be my first choice. Seems to have most of the stage zero stuff done already and will be tons of fun with a few simple upgrades.


    8. Senior Member
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      09-26-2012 11:55 AM #9
      The early Outback wagons with a 5 speed also had the EJ22. I think through 1998.

      That Accord wagon looks nice, but you can see the beginnings of rust through on the rear fender lips. You'll even see it occasionally on cars out here in rust-free Seattle.

    9. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 12:27 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by josh_did_what View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      The early Outback wagons with a 5 speed also had the EJ22. I think through 1998.

      That Accord wagon looks nice, but you can see the beginnings of rust through on the rear fender lips. You'll even see it occasionally on cars out here in rust-free Seattle.
      it's also horribly overpriced

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      09-26-2012 12:28 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      1996-1998 Volvo 850/V70s
      Great wagons with 3rd row seating. I personally hate the interior of 850's, so I'd go V70R all the way. Yes, you'll have a maintenance budget bringing a high mileage brick into reliable status.

      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      1996-2003 Nissan Maximas (Gen 4 and 5)
      I LOVE VQ35's. Make great power effortlessly. Thirsty buggers though. I'm less concerned with the oil consumption issue (although it is valid), but they've got a recent issue with leaking oil into the spark plug tubes that's causing some headaches. One of the biggest tragedies is that the Maxima wagon took a hiatus after the late 80's. These really are boring appliance cars though.

      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      1994-1997 Honda Accords (preferably wagons)
      I love these as well, but most are beat to hell, salvage title, or both. And ALL of them are overpriced for what they are.

      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      Subaru Legacy Wagons
      Huge fan. We had a 97 Legacy GT wagon (5AT ) and that car was amazing in the snow and had great ride compliance in all conditions. That was one of the few Legacy's with the 2.5 engine. THIRSTY; we never got above 21MPG. Possibly the worst front seats on the planet. For some reason child seats just never seem to fit securely in the back seat. No 3rd row option. Yes, head gaskets are an issue. Excellent candidate for a 2.5 STI swap. I'd never consider another 2.5GT without a manual transmission. The auto ruined the car. Our was brilliantly reliable for 24mos before we sold it. Despite my lengthy (and awkward) discussion with the prospective buyers about being attentive to temperature and cooling, the new owners must have thought I was joking and the car puked the head gaskets 3wks later.




      It's really a shame that you're no longer a Saab fan. A 9-5 wagon 5MT is really a nice car.



      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      You may also be well served to replace the wheels with a set of 16's for winter up there. Those wheels are notorious for bending easily.
      There is a little known solution for addressing wheel bending on these European sport sedans/wagons with 17" wheels. Avoid road imperfections. I've had several sets of "widely accepted soft wheels" that never got bent. Mainly because I look where the hell I'm going and avoid road imperfections.

    11. Senior Member urogolf's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 12:31 PM #12
      i'd go with the Volvo
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    12. Senior Member A.Wilder's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 12:35 PM #14
      Volvo, if it was my money. I'd check the head for leaks as they don't use a traditional head gasket iirc.
      Quote Originally Posted by koidragon1980 View Post
      If Jesus is your pilot, then irony is your vehicle.

    13. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 12:37 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by A.Wilder View Post
      Volvo, if it was my money. I'd check the head for leaks as they don't use a traditional head gasket iirc.
      headgasket is traditional. It's the valve covers that are not.

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      09-26-2012 12:39 PM #16
      Volvo. It's an 850R. Get it

    15. Senior Member A.Wilder's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 12:42 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      headgasket is traditional. It's the valve covers that are not.
      oh yeah, that's right. I just put over 200k miles on my v70 glt and it's been a great DD. Only things i have replaced are radiator, battery, fluids, and tie rods. It needs a few things fixed like a slow coolant leak, and engine mounts, and consumes a bit more oil than other cars i have owned, but it's a great car imo.

      If you haven't found this website already it's a great resource: http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/

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      Quote Originally Posted by koidragon1980 View Post
      If Jesus is your pilot, then irony is your vehicle.

    16. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 03:45 PM #18
      I'm also considering Ford Focus Wagons and ZX5s... but I know my brother's 2000 ZX3 was plagued with first year problems... all various things covered under warranty, but are they any good?

    17. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 03:52 PM #19
      The problem is that good focus wagons are bringing closer to $6k.

      You should buy my wagon. I've sorted out all of the maintenance, it came from a no-rust area and its tried and true. I've done the ETM, head gasket, lifters, timing belt, rollers, tensioner, oil pan o-rings, oil pan gasket, rad hoses, vacuum hoses, engine mounts, diff mount, fluids, pcv system and block cleaning and all the suspension replaceables.

      Oh, and I added a 3rd row with the seat belts and everything.

      $3500 buys it. It does wallow a bit on stock suspension, but the trade off is a terrific ride.

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    18. Member Lifelong Obsession's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 08:40 PM #20
      Has the A/C evaporator been done on the 850? The design is known to be faulty, and they "gunk" up and inevitably fail. It's a $1200 job at the dealer . The part itself is only $100-$200 but it requires disassembly of the dashboard.

      Suspension parts can be an issue, too. But...if you can set aside a healthy budget for repairs and DIY what you can, the 850 might work for you.

      How about the H6 Subaru Legacy/Outback? They don't have the head gasket problems. (Edit: I didn't realize how expensive even early H6's were. Yikes.)
      Last edited by Lifelong Obsession; 09-26-2012 at 08:44 PM.

    19. 09-26-2012 08:42 PM #21
      I think this is generally the next step after a Roadmaster:


    20. Member Vettes, Volvos and VWs's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 08:45 PM #22
      I'm biased just guess which one I pick
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    21. Member 1985Jetta's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 09:12 PM #23
      First choice would be the Accord, second choice for me would be a 1st gen Legacy wagon.

    22. Member subgraphic's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 09:36 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by BluMagic View Post
      I'd go volvo but find one with a recently replaced rear main seal. I am sure there are quite a few, look for oil under the car.

      also oil cooler lines are prone to leakage.

      then do stage zero to refresh the old parts, swap to a 18T, reflash, enjoy.
      This.
      Have a on me...

    23. Member Geechie_Suede's Avatar
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      09-26-2012 10:34 PM #25
      Or... and you're going to like this.. or, you could just buy my car for $2500 and call it a day
      Previously Owned: 96 Discovery/65 Corvair Monza/93 Corolla Wagon/89 LeSabre/96 Camry/99 Regal GS/95 Accord/98 CSVT/90 LS400/89 Supra N/A/91 Legacy Turbo/01 CVPI/92 Mark VII/87 S12 200SX/90 325i/03 TL-S

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    24. Member MidnightSpecial's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 12:47 AM #26
      Algunos padres son poetas, todos los hijos son poesías. ♥

    25. Member Lifelong Obsession's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 12:54 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by MidnightSpecial View Post
      Holy schmoly...I didn't realize they were that cheap already. Seems like a great bargain, and no less reliable than a FWD Volvo, is it?

    26. Member reticulan's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 01:15 AM #28
      you'll be happy with an S70, just try to get one for around 3k and spend the other 500 on things like strut seats, tires and general overhaul.

      They are not that bad at all to work on and the build quality is pretty amazing. That 850 wagon looks like a keeper. I would jump on that before somebody else does. also the paint jobs on these cars are fairly solid. somebody painted the bumpers on mine and it doesn't quite match but it doesn't bother me all that much considering that the car is a daily. order some factory spray cans from paintscratch.com and have at it. the volvo support forums for diy jobs are pretty damn good too.

      the lpt in my car is impressive and it's just a much more refined car than my 9-5 Aero was, although the Aero was better looking, handled better and was faster, working on the Saab was a bitch. The Volvo is fairly straight forward.

      After owning one for four weeks I can really see why there is such a following for these cars. I really like the feel the steering, the seating postion, the comfort level and the power from the 2.3 lpt. Feels like a high output V6 but with much better mpg.

    27. Member paradigmGT's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 01:46 AM #29
      An early Mazda6?
      '99 Camaro SS 6MT | '04 Accord V6 EX Coupe 5AT

    28. Geriatric Member Chapel's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 04:59 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by midnightspecial View Post
      never again ever!

    29. Senior Member VWVan's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 05:25 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by kingrukus View Post
      An early Mazda6?
      Out of his price range? There are some 5 speed wagons.

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      09-27-2012 05:34 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by VWVan View Post
      Out of his price range? There are some 5 speed wagons.
      Get an E39 touring

      http://cnj.craigslist.org/cto/3248277922.html

      http://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/3224796978.html

      We can like match or something

    31. Member paradigmGT's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 05:42 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by VWVan View Post
      Out of his price range? There are some 5 speed wagons.
      in the GTA there are many under $3500, not sure about the states however.
      '99 Camaro SS 6MT | '04 Accord V6 EX Coupe 5AT

    32. Member VadGTI's Avatar
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      09-27-2012 06:36 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      I intend to buy the 855R
      FTFY.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jrod511 View Post
      If I could do one thing with a DeLorean it would be to give Vad's parents a condom.
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      Do you want to be known as the guy who makes worse automotive decisions than VadGTI?

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      09-27-2012 07:33 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by VadGTI View Post
      FTFY.
      Agree
      Quote Originally Posted by Baconator14 View Post
      vettes, volvos, and vws for president
      Quote Originally Posted by UAlvarez View Post
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