[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]
More Questions....Want a Quattro, some comments
<<Sorry, got some more questions! Looked at an 85 4KQ tonight with 185k miles
and needing some work. Tried diffs but not even sure if they worked! Are
only asking $900 but could prolly get it for less. It has been sitting for
over a year and maybe even two. I should run screaming, no? Or buy a
I'm assuming that you are looking at a car with no known history and no
service records available. So here go my comments:
For what it's worth, I recently bought a well-maintained '84 4KQ that had
lived in New York. Great car, and got a great deal on it. But the salt
corrosion is significant. I have a parts car and have moved the brakes over,
and will move the front subframe when we get ready to change the front shocks.
Eventually I will move all the brake stuff, including the lines because of the
corrosion. If this car had not been as well maintained as it was, I really
can't say how bad some of these things would be right now.
So, unless that car was very well maintained, there could be a lot of hidden
damage from salt corrosion. Look diligently for that kind of damage 'cause
that's the kind of stuff that causes irreparable damage. Well, yeah, you
could replace the body and frame parts, but then you'd have another car. The
mechanicals can be changed out as you have time, but if the sub-frame
collapses (or a strut lets go) in a corner you've got trouble. Right here in
River City...oh, wait, that's from the movie....sorry.
You'll want to make sure the engine starts and runs OK. Make sure the clutch
feels acceptable. Drive it and makes sure the trannie goes into all gears
easily. Check to see if it stops in a straight line. Determine if it will
roll in a straight line (no pulling to one side or the other when the road is
straight.) Listen to the exhaust to determine if it's mostly sound. If it
has been properly maintained you should be able to engage the diffs and hear
them move. (And I can on my '84! That was a BIG clue that it had been well
maintained by someone who had a clue...) Also listen for the fan while
driving in slow-moving traffic (watch for the temp needle to move upward.)
Listen for the after-run fan when it's shut off.
Check window operation. Does the heater work? (Assume that the A/C doesn't,
most of them don't on these older cars. If it does, count that as bonus
points.) Look at the brake rotors, check them for salt-corrosion-related
flaking. Look at the brake booster and master cylinder, if they look rusty
you should plan to change them. Look at the wheels carefully. If they're
black from brake dust, the car will have been neglected to some degree. If
they're cruddy from salt, look for other salt damage. Look at the bottom of
the engine - what's on it? If it's oil, where's the leak? Was it repaired?
If there is paint (or rust) then it was kept from leaking which is generally
good. Look over the water hoses. Do any of them look original? If so, plan
to change them IMMEDIATELY. Look at the back of the engine and check the
water lines to the heater core, those almost never get changed unless the
engine is out (or the head comes off).
While this is a moderate laundry list, make sure you check the safety items
first. If any of them give bad signs, run away. That includes brakes and
corrosion on suspension parts. Mechanicals (engine, trans, etc.) come second.
Comfort comes third (mainly 'cause, hey, it IS an old car.)
Anyway, that's what I think I know about checking a quat over in New York.
Someone on the list might want to chime in with additional stuff.