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Kenny_McCormic HalfDork
2/14/13 1:38 a.m.

I have awful automotive luck. My automotive history reflects this. My DDs, in chronological order.

  1. $Free Toyota Camry, 1992, 4 bnger, auto, 18xK miles, meticulously maintained by POs(non car guy Uncle who just did whatever the dealer recommended), got car, got DL, changed oil, drove a couple months, then I was puttering along a back road one day, looked down and noted that my 3000 miles on the OCI was up, pulled away from the stop sign and spun the #2 rod bearing so hard it seized solid in seconds. That's right, a peak Toyota killed itself on me. It looked fine inside other than the big pile of bearing material on the balance pack under the #2 cylinder. Looking back, I should have got an engine for it, got better seats(for how big it was, it did not fit my 6" frame very well), and kept driving it. Never was a fan of that car, but it did its job.

  2. $600 98 Mitsubishi Mirage 1.5 5 speed, this was a stopgap for the Camry death, 17yr old me loved that car, had like 220k on it, I beat the crap out of it and sold it in the fall for $650 when I realized another winter and the rear upper control arms would pull out of the body. This car was somehow reliable.

  3. The E36 M3fire, a 1996 Sunfire 2.2 5 speed I saved from the auction for $468 OTD with something like 162 on the clock at a Kia dealer, a used(not rotted out) K frame, front end rebuild, and it was an ok car with working AC! Drove through HS and my freshman year of college. I still drive it, though its a hateful thing, for the last year anytime it comes within 100ft of a garage I have access to something stupid breaks. IE, a couple months ago the front wheels decided to almost fall off, I then worked till 5 am beating the hubs out of the knuckles to press in new studs. Last summer the AC compressor blow off exploded on the hottest week I have ever seen, fixed it and found no problems. I maintain this car meticulously, but its getting rusty, tired (191k and climbing), and pissy.

  4. The 98 Bonneville, shortest lived car yet, bought for something comfy to replace shifire, rebuilt upper intake, drove 2 weeks and ate the bearings at 164k miles when it was discovered that a goofy GM oil pressure gauge was correct for once. I have all of Detroit's yards at my disposal, and would repower the bonneville but a 3800 that isn't hydrolocked aint easy to find at a pick n pull, and they arent cheap elsewhere. Not to mention that car is significantly rustier than I thought when I bought it.

So half the cars I buy for driving immediately E36 M3 an engine on me, always the ones known for their durability too. Seems to run in the family, every other truck my dad buys blows an engine fast too, and he's a mechanic. I bet I could kill a 4.0 jeep in a month trying my hardest not to. What do I buy? Danger Ranger w/cap? ACVW by the logic that its too simple to fail in a manner not repairable in an afternoon? At least I can look cool that way while being miserable. 25+ highway and at least slightly sub challenge budget is a must, I've given up on everything else.

Appleseed PowerDork
2/14/13 2:19 a.m.

Seems to me you're a car slayer.

Kenny_McCormic HalfDork
2/14/13 2:36 a.m.

Should have been more clear, the ones I baby blow up, the ones I beat on mercilessly come back begging for more.

  1. The Camry was always handled gently for MPG with the occasional fully warmed up WOT pull to clean the carbon out.
  2. The Rage was beat on relentlessly, constantly, and returned 31 mpg doing it.
  3. The Sunfire is ready for 5000 rpm upshifts by my standards pretty much as soon as the temp gauge moves off the peg and takes it fine.
  4. I dont think I let the Bonneville wind out but once or twice, was still getting used to a car that huge with that kind of FWD torque on demand. Also too busy enjoying the ability to cruise around in a relaxed manner completely under 2500 rpm. It also snowed a lot those two weeks, so flogging wasnt an option.

The Yugo loves the revs, but its not a car to me, for financial justification purposes, its a toy with license plates and insurance. Its also Italian under that communist body, so its designed to be wound up, not many 80s crapcans came with dual valve springs and Ferrari valve shims.

yamaha SuperDork
2/14/13 2:39 a.m.

fasted58 UberDork
2/14/13 3:22 a.m.

K car

Grizz SuperDork
2/14/13 3:24 a.m.

Did the Mirage have the 1.5? Because that motor likes getting the E36 M3 kicked out of it for some strange reason. Beat the hell out of ours in a field and it loved it.

EvanB GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/14/13 3:24 a.m.
Kenny_McCormic wrote: Should have been more clear, the ones I baby blow up, the ones I beat on mercilessly come back begging for more.

So mercilessly beat on all of them. That is what I do and I have never had an engine blow up.

sobe_death HalfDork
2/14/13 3:50 a.m.

unkillable beater? Any Honda with a D-15 engine. If it's not burning oil now, you probably have another easy 80,000 miles on top of whatever it has now.

EvanR HalfDork
2/14/13 4:26 a.m.

'72 Dodge Dart. If you can kill that, your license should be revoked.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof UberDork
2/14/13 4:46 a.m.

My youngest son has blown up everything he has ever owned ( I mean EVERYTHING ) except for his last two. 2001 Suzuki Swift we bought for $800 4 years ago is still around and being auto crossed, and his DD for the last 2 years, 02 RSX.

Appleseed PowerDork
2/14/13 4:46 a.m.

80s Toyota pickup/4runner. Wail away.

ddavidv PowerDork
2/14/13 5:23 a.m.

moparman76_69 HalfDork
2/14/13 5:37 a.m.
EvanR wrote: '72 Dodge Dart. If you can kill that, your license should be revoked.

Only if it has a slant 6. When the lifters start to tap it's 3 quarts low on oil. Ran great up until I finally killed the old 3 speed with the floor shift conversion by hanging up in two gears one to many times.

petegossett GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/14/13 5:40 a.m.

I have an '88 Chevy 1/2-ton for $1500. Though highway MPG is closer to 17.

Klayfish Dork
2/14/13 6:46 a.m.

Corolla/Prizm. Good luck killing it.

moparman76_69 HalfDork
2/14/13 6:56 a.m.

Oh, I had an 85 camry (2.0/5 speed) that it took me several years to kill. Went through 2 clutches and half a dozen fuel pumps, the trans finally went out after a few years of high school kid abuse from clutch dumps, puttting it in a ditch on an icy road, etc.

kazoospec HalfDork
2/14/13 7:04 a.m.

I have a strange feeling my Saturn SL1 will still be running LONG after I wish it were dead. Believe it or not, my most unkillable car was a Chevette. Beat the crap out of that thing for years, sold it cheap with a cagillion miles on it and still saw it on the road for several years after with the "new" owner at the wheel. The only thing I ever did with that car is rebuild the floorboards (crudely, with sheet metal and pop rivets).

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/14/13 7:10 a.m.

80s Toyota pickup/4runner and pre-2000 'rolla are good suggestions.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
2/14/13 7:18 a.m.

I had one of these I got for free in 1990 for wiring up an outlet in a friends mother's house. So sexy was it that a girl I was "dating" refused to go out with me because it was too embarrassing. It was awesome - it had a hole in the floor you could spit your chaw, about 28 steroid fueled whorspowers and was way ahead of it's time on "patina".

I drove it for 8000 miles, ran it with no oil, jumped it over an embankment so hard the shock towers blew out, rolled it on purpose using a wooden ramp at 15mph... shot it a few times with a .45... then drove it to the junkyard to collect $60 (with the front subframe throwing sparks the whole way!).


chuckles Reader
2/14/13 7:38 a.m.

Superstition is man's oldest enemy. A car doesn't know who's driving it. Get another Camry or the Corolla/Prizm or a Saturn.

Klayfish Dork
2/14/13 7:51 a.m.
chuckles wrote: A car doesn't know who's driving it.

I beg to differ...I rest my case:

Duke PowerDork
2/14/13 7:59 a.m.

Any Subaru with an EJ22 in it. When they start knocking, you add a quart of oil and drive it another 30,000 miles.

Adrian_Thompson UltraDork
2/14/13 7:59 a.m.

Late 80's early 90's Crown Vic. Simple as the day is long, 302 powered, infinite improbability drive.

Bobzilla UltraDork
2/14/13 8:03 a.m.

i DARE you to kill a 1.5L Alpha in an Accent. As long as there's SOME oil and SOME coolant in it it'll run.

SilverFleet Dork
2/14/13 8:05 a.m.

1989 Nissan Maxima SE.

If you live in a dry climate, this is the car. I bought one about 11 years ago with 199,000 miles on it for under a grand. It was well maintained, and the original owner said that the only thing that ever went wrong with it was the ABS computer, which he replaced. I drove it for 2 years, and all I ever did (mechanically) to it was throw a couple CV axles in it (ripped on a pothole), buy tires, and do a tune-up. It met its demise when it got rear ended and the impact pushed me into another car. It was dead simple to work on with the SOHC V6 and it was even fun to drive! Only issue they have is they like to rot out. Once they start, there's no stopping it from happening.

If I could find a clean one, I'd buy another in a second without hesitation.

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