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down to the wire, is this car worth buying?

1489 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  slideurride
The situation is thus; I had an accident with my 91 NX 2000, and I wanted to get a 240sx. Friend of a friend was selling one (yea, you can starting "uh-ohing" now), so I told him I was interested.

Car info: 1993 240SX SE Super HiCAS | 162,000 miles | white | fairly good condition black leather interior | some small rust spots, and some minor body damage on the passenger side front fender and bumper | moon-roof seals seem good | aftermarket springs on the car, lowered around 2" in front, 1" in back, camber is decent, but ride is harsh, extremely rough over any road surface faults | decent 17" aftermarket wheels and tires | Injen intake

He said he was asking $2500, but he would probably take $2000, since there was a "ting-ting-ting" coming from the engine, and the power steering whined when it was first started. I told him I was favoring it over other choices (don't really want to go $9K deeper in debt on a 99 Subaru 2.5RS Impreza), but that I wanted to get it checked out first.

Respectable Mechanic's "Pre-Sale Inspection" report:

"tink-tink-tink" The car needs it's timing chain and tensioner replaced. $1900 estimate I wouldn't even consider doing this repair since I would hopefully be looking at a SR20DET or maybe RB engine swap. I read that this noise is due to the plastic tensioner, and the chain very rarely breaks. (please correct me if I am wrong).

There is some smoke in the exhaust (burning some oil), and that "replacing the valve stem seals" could possibly fix the problem. $645 estimate

It won't pass VA emissions test with this smoke.

It also won't pass VA safety inspection due to:

Passenger side hi-beam out. $265 estimate to replace headlight switch (this is 100% confirmed, it is DEFINITELY not the lamp or a fuse).

Small hole in muffler. $95 estimate to weld the tear shut. (Not worried about longevity due to likely hood of new exhaust accompanying new engine).

Clamp and hoses replaced for power steering, to eliminate whine; $190 estimate.

Now some of you may know about Virginia's incredibly strict (even facist) regulations. Safety inspection is extremely tough and it is done ANNUALLY, as is emissions. Inspection standards are so high, if you have an aftermarket fog light on your car, it will fail inspection if it doesn't work, even though it's not stock, or required.

I plan to confirm this with my mechanic tommorrow (Wed. morning), but to the best of my knowledge, the car will pass the safety inspection if I have the headlight/muffler/power steering issues taken care of.

Now, I know a guy who knows a mechanic (asian in-circle thing), who says the guy can probably be very leniant on the emissions, and pass the car, assuming the muffler hole is fixed.

As of RIGHT NOW, I am trying to coordinate all of this with a deadline of Thursday afternoon.

What I hope you knowledgeable members of this community can help me with, is:

The guy selling this car to me will drop to a $1800 sale price; is it worth buying the car, and paying about $700 in total repair costs to have the car legally on the road in VA?? This would be a total of $2500 out of my pocket, and I would be left with the car, as originally described. It would still have a smokey exhaust, and need a new timing chain sometime in the not so distant future. I have aspirations to do the typical SR20DET engine swap, or perhaps even try to swap in an RB. However if I am putting out $2500 initially, it won't be until the late summer that I can do this.

This has been an extremely complicated endeavor so far (believe me, this is the concise version), and I am now down to the wire. I really would like to have a 240 to work on, but it MUST be a reliable daily driver as well.

I am at the mercy of your wisdom! q[@[email protected]]p

thank you all in advance, for helping a noob.

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I wouldn't buy it. If you swap, you won't pass emissions either, and it's just too much money to get it to run legally. If you are interested in doing a swap, just buy a shell and swap the motor straight in and find somebody to pay off to emissions pass it.
Yeah if you're worried about passing emissions and everything else legally, I wouldn't even think about an SR swap or an RB (they won't pass). If I were you I wouldn't buy one that's nicer and runs better that you can work on the kA, because they can be just as quick as SR's you just have to tune 'em right. Also, if you didn't want to drop 9,000+ on a 2.5, then you're not gonna want to drop a lot of money to do the swap and make it legal. Just some things to keep in mind, and these are all just my opinions...
Do it and just move to Oklahoma. We don't have emmisions testing.
it will be a long time before you have the opportunity to buy another 93 se. if i were you, i would buy the car and pay someone off to pass emissions. forget about the headlights and engine. just find a new motor (ka sr etc) and get a front end conversion, (you will probably end up wanting to do it down the road anyways). also if you go to a mechanic, labor fees is going to cost you an arm and a leg, so try to do it yourself. this car seems to be in pretty bad shape, but it is definitely a car worth working on.

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