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At precisely what point do you give up on a vehicle?


Ramcharger90

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Yes, repair cost IS ALWAYS a factor

But its not related to vehicle value, UNLESS you are building strictly for re-sale, a restoration or a flip

If you are building/repairing a driver for you or your family then it should be looked at differently
If you invest $4,000 into a driver and you think you can get another 5 years without other major repairs then that will cost you $67/month over 5 years to drive it

It would be hard to find a used car for $67/month, and you wouldn't know its history
 
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97RangerXLT

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Yes, repair cost IS ALWAYS a factor

But its not related vehicle value, UNLESS you are building strictly for re-sale, a restoration or a flip

If you are building/repairing a driver for you or your family then it should be looked at differently
If you invest $4,000 into a driver and you think you can get another 5 years without other major repairs then that will cost you $67/month over 5 years to drive it

It would be hard to find a used car for $67/month, and you wouldn't know its history
This.

if you own the car outright, then even a couple thousand in non maintenance/ wear item repair can be worth the money, especially if it is a decent car and there is only one or maybe two systems that need the extensive repair. if it needs extensive repair in more than 2 major systems (engine, transmission, body/ frame, electrical) it may be money ahead to spend several thousand on a downpayment or outright buy a different vehicle...

AJ
 

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While I know my 98 Ranger isn't worth squat, I keep it because it's still running good, I've had it 20 years, and I like it for a daily driver when the weather is bad. I did the front end in 2018, fuel pump in 2017, new computer as well. I've already spent more on it than it's worth. And I'll keep doing so as long as it keeps running great. The ac gave up years ago and I have plans to just tear it all out. It only blows heat out for climate control, but I'm a windows down driver anyway. So I have no plans to fix that either. Been like that for years.
 

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Keep a vehicle long enough, and it's guaranteed that maintenance will exceed value. But "maintenance" is everything - wipers, bulbs, oil changes, and so forth. We don't think for a minute about those, but somehow the big-ticket items (even if they can be spread over the remaining life of the vehicle) somehow get our attention, more. New set of tires on a 10 year old truck? Ouch, but ya gotta do it. Rebuild the tranny? Time to cry in your beer, even if the tranny will outlive several sets of tires, and cost less in the end.

Something to think about.
 

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Rust is the big one to me... if the body is rotted out really bad, it usually gets parted out. Only one of mine is really bad... my daily driver '88 is gonna need to be put down sooner than later I think. For fixer uppers that I'm gonna flip, I go by rust, mechanical issues, interior condition, overall exterior appearance... there's no point in putting even a hundred bucks into fixing something that looks awful if my profit margin is very slim. Thus I have crushed a lot of trucks unfortunately.
 

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A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
As i have said many times around here before....i will not give up on (most) vehicles untill they are completly beyond repair, as in, wrecked, rotted in half, burnt, etc.

Most know the history of Rusty 2.0...basically pulled it off a scrap pile for 375 bucks and have well over 1000 into it...but now i have a reliable DD that i actually ENJOY driving and also makes me feel good i saved one from the crusher.

Now, ive had plenty of vehicles i could care less about, mainly the escorts ive had as well as the aerostar, etc. But if its a Pre 97 fullsize or 88-back RBV ill save it for sure. No matter what.

Always remember....if its something you care about....chances are its no longer in production and the numbers of them will only decrease. Do you want to contribute to the demise of something you care about?

Oh...and if you dont have the money, skill, time, or gumption to save it....sell it, or hell even give it to someone who does. Dont just give it to the crusher cause they gave you 50 bucks more then the guy who wanted to bring it back to life.
 

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Yeah, that...

My '90 has worn me out several times, but I'm deep enough in it now that I just can't give up on the thing... It sat for a few months lately because the parking brake pedal was stuck down, fixed that in about 30 minutes the other night and the shoes aren't adjusted enough to even grab so I called it done for now... that and all the oil leaks even after I've put a lot of effort into fixing them in the last couple years, gave up on those for now...

I for real gave up on my '94 Geo Tracker, it's a blast to drive, decent gas mileage, but it's high mileage and parts are getting HARD to find. Not to mention I've rebuilt the transmission twice (bearings just can't take commuting duty) and the engine almost twice... It's been sitting for 3 years now, I moved it to the driveway from the side yard a year ago, put a new head on it and now it needs fuel injectors and a battery... I'm stubborn and will fix it before I sell it since it will double the selling price and is only $300 in parts... but the motivation isn't there, it's literally in my way and I just don't wanna... Once I get my shop done I'll get on it, I could use the couple grand to build the office in there...
I hear this loud and clear. I typically don’t mind working on them, but sometimes repairs become far more extensive than originally planned and I run out of time/money/motivation and it sits until I can get back to it. I usually have a hard time giving up completely on anything, I felt sad about the two trucks that realistically were way beyond repair that I stripped and scrapped. Hell, I still have literally half of a Ranger. Frame rotted in half behind the cab so I have everything from there forward. The plan was to build a rock buggy out of it but I’ve been so behind on other things that I haven’t got to it.
 

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I gave up on the Ranger when the cost of repairs was more than the value of the truck. The transmission lost ALL of it's fluid in a less than 30 mile drive, the fuel pump was near shot, and the left rear wheel cylinder was leaking. Oh, and the power steering pump had a leak. Total cost of repairs would have been over $4,000.00. Value of the truck was less than $1,000.

My '95 Taurus needs a water pump, a rad, likely the parking brake cable (not sure why the left rear brake is dragging (discs), and probably front end work. It's driveable for now, I just won't take it on the highway until I get that left rear brake seen to.
By that, all of my trucks should be gone, lol. My Ranger I’m currently working on needed a fuel pump and half the frame replaced not long after I bought it. Plus previous owner nonsense. Probably within the first year I hit the value. The next year wasn’t so bad, but now it’s got me again. My F-150 I rebuilt the entire front end, exhaust two or three times, entire driveline minus the motor, suspension and so forth. Choptop had the original motor repaired twice, then three other motors....
 

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Also depends where you're at in life, if your working on a "project" then I assume you already have a good daily driver so the project is soley for enjoyment not practicality. In that case yea it's gone the second I'm bored with it or can no longer find any fun in working on it.

It's different for your daily driver. When I was dirt poor with just one vehicle there was no giving up on it, it had to work no matter what. Couldn't afford to buy anything else and couldn't afford to let it die. Now that I'm not AS dirt poor I look at my daily drivers from a strictly momentary standpoint. If it's cheaper to replace it with something else more reliable then it either just goes into the project category or gets sold and I'll buy a new car/truck.

I doubt I'll ever get rid of my ranger but I know at some point it will definitely be replaced as my daily driver.
Not quite dirt poor, but not really comfortable either. I consider everything I own a project because I can’t leave anything alone, always have to tinker with it. In fact, that’s how I ended up on this site way back in 2001/02. My original Ranger was a 2000 I got brand new (I was making bank back then working concrete construction) with a manual transmission and no tach. I got an aftermarket tach and was trying to understand how to wire it up.

I have been kicking around the idea of buying a car for a DD to take the pressure off my old trucks because they certainly aren’t getting any younger and problems are likely to just keep increasing. Always wanted a shop of my own and to just basically resto-mod any newly used vehicle I get before it goes on the road. This one piece at a time crap is what really eats on me.
 

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Everyone is different on where that threshold is. Once it becomes a chore with no seeming end in sight, that's pretty much when you are at a decision point on whether to continue or just throw in the towel. Like Dirtman said, if it's your primary mode of transportation and money is an issue, then it might change things. Only you can decide that. Can you afford to just stop and get rid of it?

I've hit that point a couple times on my trailer rebuild/modification. Repetitive work for hours at a time for weeks at a time can just plain beat me down but progress is getting made and what I'm doing, no one else makes. If they made it, the price would be insane. Trailers half the size of what I have are about $7,000. When it's all said and done, I'll probably have about that in my trailer but it will have more utility, twice the size, and it will be exactly what I want.
I feel like this has become a chore with no clear end in sight, but I wonder how much that feeling is being driven by my whole situation in life right now. The Ranger is my DD for now, I unfortunately have to have an automatic for a DD. My Ranger and my 88 are the only two I own right now. I can still drive a manual, but the heavy clutch in my F-150 and 350 is no bueno for DD use, beats up my hip too much.

Money is a bit tight. This whole basically rebuild has been munching through my budget pretty hard. Naturally that doesn’t help my mental state with repairs. Stopping and getting rid of it, I have doubts of breaking even and it puts me down a truck. As much as I would rather keep my F-150, if I had to get rid of one vehicle, that would be it. I need the Ranger and the dump more than the 150. Of course, the 150 is the more reliable right now, lol.
 

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depends on the vehicle. whats the history with it? inherited, you got laid in it for the first time (or some other memorable moments in it...

Also depends on the issues. like Dirtman said, when it isn't your daily driver and it stops being fun to work on, maybe time to let go. if there is no real sentimental value in it, scrap it, or turn it into the parts donor for the next project. severe frame rust would be something I would think about ditching, also if it is just sitting taking up shop or yard space and you want to do other projects...

as for spending a ton of money on it, I think I would look at it as a "is this going to be fun to drive when done and I will get enjoyment out of it?" if yes, i would spend more money on it. I probably put close to 2k in repairs in my 97 over the last two years. some of that was needed maintenance (which I don't count toward it being a money pit, you need to replace tires/ shocks/ brakes as they wear...) and the truck is probably worth 3500 here. I would go and spend another 2k on it as I had time to work on it (not my daily driver) and as I am able to do so.

AJ
Yes, it has major issues and my real irritation is that I haven’t had it all that long yet. Almost 4 years I think. And yes, it should be a lot of fun when it’s done. EFI 5.0 AWD in a Ranger is fun. Eventually I’m planning to make it a 331 stroker with some other goodies. Just sucks hard right now trying to get there, lol.
 

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Yes, repair cost IS ALWAYS a factor

But its not related to vehicle value, UNLESS you are building strictly for re-sale, a restoration or a flip

If you are building/repairing a driver for you or your family then it should be looked at differently
If you invest $4,000 into a driver and you think you can get another 5 years without other major repairs then that will cost you $67/month over 5 years to drive it

It would be hard to find a used car for $67/month, and you wouldn't know its history
This for sure. I often say that buying used is buying someone else’s problem. At least with mine I know the problem. Just can wear on you at times I guess.

This.

if you own the car outright, then even a couple thousand in non maintenance/ wear item repair can be worth the money, especially if it is a decent car and there is only one or maybe two systems that need the extensive repair. if it needs extensive repair in more than 2 major systems (engine, transmission, body/ frame, electrical) it may be money ahead to spend several thousand on a downpayment or outright buy a different vehicle...

AJ
It is a good point and I think if you like the vehicle it can even be worth going more into it, but it can be mentally challenging at that point. Which I think is where I‘m at.

Keep a vehicle long enough, and it's guaranteed that maintenance will exceed value. But "maintenance" is everything - wipers, bulbs, oil changes, and so forth. We don't think for a minute about those, but somehow the big-ticket items (even if they can be spread over the remaining life of the vehicle) somehow get our attention, more. New set of tires on a 10 year old truck? Ouch, but ya gotta do it. Rebuild the tranny? Time to cry in your beer, even if the tranny will outlive several sets of tires, and cost less in the end.

Something to think about.
You had to mention tires... I refuse to go cheap on tires no matter how much it hurts. My last set for the Ranger was like $700. I could have gotten more expensive and I could have gone cheaper, but I learned the value of having good rubber long ago. With the tires that are on it, I’m not afraid to point it anywhere. But it’s definitely an important perspective to bring up about the true maintenance costs.
 

MikeG

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Yeah I've put $800 worth of tires on a $500 truck.... LOL.... but it beats walking home
 

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Yeah, I dropped 760 bucks on tires for the Ranger last year...that hurt

AJ
 


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