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Offline JohnW

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What can go wrong?
« on: October 02, 2011, 07:00:32 PM »
What kinds of mechanical failures are common on older cars?  I've already ran into or eliminated these:
Starter
Solenoid
Distributor
Electronic ignition module
Alternator & voltage regulator
Plug wires
Oil pressure sending unit
Thermostat

What else is there that commonly fails and leaves you stranded aside from the fuel pump?  I'm trying to eliminate any possibly reliability problems I can.  I also figured it'd be good to have a list here for anyone that's just picked up a car.
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: What can go wrong?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2011, 08:45:05 PM »
Radiator & heater hoses, fuel lines, vacuum lines, brake lines(steel & rubber), brakes, calipers, wheel cylinders, battery cables, alternator belts, timing belt, water pump, radiator(if it's 20+ years old), fuel filter, wheel bearings & seals(front & rear), tie rods & ball joints, change ALL fluids(oil, trans, diff, antifreeze), driveshaft U-joints & trans seal.
 
Any of these will leave you stranded.....
 
Worn suspension bushings wont strand you but they tear tires up. It's a good idea to change engine & trans. mounts & the heater core as well.
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Offline popbumper

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Re: What can go wrong?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2011, 08:51:06 PM »
These may not strand you, but are common to older cars (and were major issues on my '76 wagon) when I bought it:
Rusted/leaking gas tank
Gas tank sending unit bad
Dash cluster crumbling
Rust - passenger inner fender almost gone, cowl holes/leaks
Front end suspension shot
Heater box stuffed with debris
Rusted floors from water leaks
Chris
 
Restoring a 1976 MPG wagon - purchased 6/08

Offline D.R.Ball

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Re: What can go wrong?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2011, 05:07:23 PM »
Bad wiring on the voltage regulator circuit.

Offline JohnW

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Re: What can go wrong?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2011, 10:19:41 PM »
Radiator & heater hoses, fuel lines, vacuum lines, brake lines(steel & rubber), brakes, calipers, wheel cylinders, battery cables, alternator belts, timing belt, water pump, radiator(if it's 20+ years old), fuel filter, wheel bearings & seals(front & rear), tie rods & ball joints, change ALL fluids(oil, trans, diff, antifreeze), driveshaft U-joints & trans seal.
 
Any of these will leave you stranded.....
 
Worn suspension bushings wont strand you but they tear tires up. It's a good idea to change engine & trans. mounts & the heater core as well.

A lot of those are things I really should get started on soon.  Mainly the hoses, rubber lines, wheel cylinders, and water pump.  The steel lines in my car all seem to be good, but I'm probably going to replace them all with stainless in the spring.  I really should have put the timing belt I bought on months ago too...


These may not strand you, but are common to older cars (and were major issues on my '76 wagon) when I bought it:
Rusted/leaking gas tank
Gas tank sending unit bad
Dash cluster crumbling
Rust - passenger inner fender almost gone, cowl holes/leaks
Front end suspension shot
Heater box stuffed with debris
Rusted floors from water leaks
Chris

I'm really glad I don't have to deal with most of these.  I should probably replace my fuel pump and check the sending unit to be on the safe side.

Bad wiring on the voltage regulator circuit.

I've got a new alternator with an internal voltage regulator, so I shouldn't have to worry about that now.
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