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buying a 4kq
OK. You're probably going to get a ton of info here, so i'd suggest looking
for overlap between the various responses... My words of wisdom are based
soley on the past experiences of my own 86 4kq.
1) test window switches. mine all worked, then over 2 years, the two rear
ones stopped working. I found the ones in the console (as opposed to the ones
in the rear doors) are the ones to go. The more you use them the more they
seem to hold up.
2) check to see if the diffs lock. you'll know if you lock 'em and try to
drive in a circle. don't overdo it. expect to have to roll the car
forward/backward/etc. for a few yard for them to kick in.
3) the basics: repair records on clutch, timing belt, internal engine work,
struts/shocks, etc. Even if the T-belt's been replaced yesterday, check it
yourself. The clutch and T-belt are expensive if you don't do them yourself.
Expect more time than anything else if you do the clutch yourself. You
probably already figgered this part.
4) exhaust. can be quite expensive. check for leaks, cracks around seams in
mufflers (note plural).
5) dash lites. check w/ key on, no start, and highbeam.
6) brakes kick butt as they are. not too expensive to maintain/upgrade.
7) trunk struts. probably bad. $25 - $50 for new ones. worth it.
8) check tire wear. alignments are a PITA for the people who know them, and
they don't exist at every place. I'm sure you know that. The tie rod ends
sieze within 8-10 minutes of being new.
9) the damn vacuum pump rod makes noise intermittantly. easily mistaken for
something worse. i r&r'd it, pulled the rod, never noticed anything since. i
tend to drive pretty hard, too.
10) speaking of the vacuum stuff, check the cruise, power locks (trunck
included), and the computer if it has one (they have sorta wacky numbers
11) Everything else I can't think of. Mine's got about 150k, and has been
damn good. I rebuilt the head, upgraded the suspension/wheels, and do regular
maintenance. I dig the thing. Most recently I got a new spare tire holder
If you have any particular questions, feel free to call on me (or anyone else,