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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! I am pretty determined to buy myself a hardbody. I need to get one (2wd) for $3000 to $4000. Coincidentally, there is a '93 Nissan Hardbody 2wd 2.4L automatic tranny with 180,000 miles on it for sale in town. The truck is in great shape for it's age. The body looks new. The paint on top of the cab is beginning to fade, but that is nearly the only blemish I can find. The interior is in really good shape too. I think it was a grandpa truck. It has a camper on it (which I like) and I'm pretty sure it has been there since new as the bed has (really clean) carpet lining the bed. I lifted the carpet to find a couple of layers of egg crate foam underneath...I could sleep in this thing. Anyway, point is, the paint in the bed wasn't even scratched. No rust underneat. 4 matching and fairly new tires with a brand spanking new spare on it. It has the tiny 14" rims on it... :mad: But I can live with that for now. Other problems are, the AC vent selector switch seems to be out of line or something. I can only select the right half of the air flow options, but it blows cold none the less. Also the center vents are melted? Texas heat? The stereo does nothing...whatever. Now for the real worries. When I first started it up I let it idle for a while. It began to slightly blow white smoke. I mean it was barely noticable. When I took it down the road, it drove wonderfully. Plenty of power, shifts perfect, like new. So I stomped the gas. A lot of white smoke came out for about a half second and then went away. It never sputtered or anything like that. It never occured again during the test drive. I took it back and parked it. It smelt like it was running rich. I went back about 6 hours later to "take my wife for a drive" (see if it happened again). I checked to make sure it was cold and started it up. No smoke. Ran it down the road. No smoke. I bet the truck had been sitting for some time and this was the culprit. Any thoughts? I plan on doing a nice tune-up if I do buy it. Hopefully that would take care of the running rich. The other thing that bothered me was a squeeling noise (like a constant belt slipping but quieter) coming from the belt assembly. It was quiet enough that you could only hear it right infront of the truck with the hood down. I believe it to be a pulley bearing giving up. I could fix that easy. Anyway, the truck would cost me $3000 even. He is even willing to pay TT&L. Good deal? Could I do better? I plan on using it as a point A to point B truck and possibly on a few road trips. And, of course, some light wheeling with my brother in his 2wd S-10 from time to time. In the future I would like to put some 15" rims and larger tires on it. Crank the front torsion bars slightly and lift the back to match. My ultimate goal is an economical daily driver/weekend wheeler. Let me know what you guys think!
 

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Pass.. 180K on an automatic?? Nah, maybe at 2K. Any service records? White smoke is most likely condensation inside the exhaust.. What does the oil look like? Milky creamy and run don't walk away.

wheeling in a 2WD?

Yes, you can do better. By the way the Nissan automatics are incredible dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Define "dogs" I would prefer an automatic because A: my wife can drive it, and B: I am lazy. I've been driving a 5-speed Saab 9-3 around town for a while and hate the tediousness of 4-cylinder manual start and stop driving. Anyway, oil looked fine but he could have just changed it. No records. 2wd wheeling is more challenging ;) and lastly, the only other option remotely near here is a really nice '95 2.4 extended cab 5-speed with 120,000 miles on it. But they are asking a ridiculous $6000.
 

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Negotiate! The seller was asking $3k for mine and said numerous times to me "I won't take a penny less". I had it in my driveway delivered by the seller that night for $1,800.
 

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Teach me your secrets wise one...
Haha most people expect the buyer to try to "negotiate" so sellers typically raise the price to something higher than they actually expect to get in anticipation of the buyer negotiating. Every seller has a "target price" that he really wants.

I always show up with blue book printouts (unless they're asking for less than blue book) and use that as a good starting point. Then i give the car a thorough look over and point out all of the problems that i can find that would lower the blue book value. On my truck i found a bad spot on the frame that was rotted through. That was a big deal to me and I made sure the seller knew that he was no longer selling a "mint truck" like he was trying to convince me of. $3k for a mint truck may be a fair price but not for a truck with a broken parking brake, a frame with some rot and a bad alternator belt (those are the things i found).

I think this seller knew about everything but the frame rot. I'm guessing his target price was $2,000 because he quickly dropped his price to that when I brought up all of the problems. He refused to budge below $2k. So i got my keys and left. A few hours later he called me back saying he'd take $1800. I said "fine, if you can deliver it to my house tonight i'll have cash".

Bottom line is this...set a price in your mind that you're willing to pay and that's fair and don't settle unless you really think your purchase is worth it.
 

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The automatic is just slow. Also at 180K, even if its been flushed every 30K miles like it should be, its still an automatic and the clutch plates wear and burn out. Automatics are expensive to replace. At the very least check the fluid while its been running and see if it smells fresh.. not burnt and it should look nice and red in color. Dark dirty and/or burnt smelling means its on its way out.
 

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... really nice '95 2.4 extended cab 5-speed with 120,000 miles on it. But they are asking a ridiculous $6000.
A same year toyota in same condition and the guy would have to beat people away from his doorstep at that price. And the Nissan is a much much better truck in almost every way.. Strange how people think.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the help guys. I think (when I finally sell my car) I will probably look for a newer one. Hopefully a '95+, after reading all the timing chain posts around. I have a few options I have ran across on autotrader.com. What should I look for in a '95-'97? Is anything prone to breaking early? Most vehicles I have seen in my price range have arounf 150,000 miles on them. Except for this one:

http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/ctd/1025000198.html

Then there's this:

Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

And this:

Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

And this:

Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

And this:

Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

And this:

${vehicle} ${status} by ${seller} in ${city}, ${state}

Sorry for the long post. Keep in mind, that if I am going to buy a truck for $4000 it has to be totally perfect. I can spend up to the $4000 limit fixing up a cheaper truck. Include in the cost that I would like a camper on the back. Thanks in advance
 

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Im in the biz for a hardbody as well. 3000 for a 93 with 180000 is kinda steep. I have found two or three 97's one with 127,000 and one with 108,000 for $3500. Both were 5sp one king cab other regular. I think you can do a little better. White smoke is nothing to worry about its fairly common if its cold or the motor is cold when it starts looking blueish or black is when you got a problem.
 

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I've got a 93 5 spd 4 cyl nissan hadbody king cab 4x4. Great choice in trucks... The one I bought had the sports package with the bigger size tires, lift kit and everything... The only thing wrong with it when I bought it was that it had slight body damage around the drivers side headlights. Its kinda crazy to hear you talking about paying 3000 for it.... I only paid 700 for mine and am totally satisfied with it... and as for 2wd wheeling.... I used to do that in a toyota pickup I used to have. Didnt find it near as fun as in my niss 4x4. Anyways, I would definitely recommend a hardbody but I'd definitely look for one a lil cheaper than that. either get him to come down on the price or pass.:balls:
 

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1 & 2 on autotrader get my vote i have a reg cab 4wd now i wish it was ext cab for more room to store junk
More room to hunt for something-lol. Actually, I have nothing back there. I like the recling seats, great to have, when the fishing is slow, or you decide to go night fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Bad news, I just got an Email from the owner of truck #2. He has a buyer lined up for tommorrow. Here's my car's auction BTW just incase anyone is interested:

eBay Motors: Saab : 9-3 (item 190286141856 end time Feb-17-09 15:22:18 PST)

As far as the cab option, it doesn't really matter to me. The extra "dry" room would be nice... but not necessary as I will be putting a camper on anyway. Just sayin... I like the look of a single cab.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Someone please tell me why I should'nt buy this one as soon as humanly possible:

1999 NISSAN FRONTIER XE

Are the Frontiers as dependable as the HB's? Why or why not? I really like the way they look. What would be the drawbacks?
 

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I can't tell for sure from the pictures, but the interior looks a little ragged out. Use that as a bargining point if you're willing to fix it up.
 

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Well, for one, he can't spell TIRES. lol... also 170K miles on an automatic is kinda high. Ask him if he has maintenence records for the transmission.

Also, how long are you planning to have this truck? A simple trick I use is I add how many miles I am planning to use the truck for over the time I want to have it for.

So do you plan on keeping it for 5 years and drive 20K miles a year? If so add 100K miles to the odometer and you get the idea.

I would be patient. I PROMISE PROMISE PROMISE YOU that the truck you really want IS out there. It will speak to you and you will have no doubt if you should buy it.

When trucks get this kind of mileage on them, you really need records to validate condition. especially automatics which I am not a fan of with high mileage.

I say pass on this one.
 

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With all due respect to oldnissanguy who originally posted this comment.. it bears a worthwhile look at... And I quote:

.....Well Jon, remember that no matter how good Nissans are they can be destroyed by abuse, so be careful when you buy a used one, or any used vehicle for that matter. I bought mine with 186,000 miles and it now has over 205,000 and the only major repair I've had to do is have the automatic transmission rebuilt. Had my black baby not cast stars in my eyes when I saw it on the lot, I would have noticed the transmission had issues from the start.
__________________


note the rebuild needed for the automatic..

Just trying to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Thanks, This one is a close runner up:

2000 Nissan Frontier Single Cab

Although I'd have to abondon the auto... Which I can live with. And it is a LONG ways away. But it just happens to be around where my family lives. But more to the point, 1995-1997 Hardbody vs. 1998-2000 Frontier. Pros and cons. What differences are there? I'm leaning towards Frontiers, I ddn't know you could get them that cheap.
 
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