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O/T I need a mechanics advice

1354 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  flyin'68bird
I'm needing to get a pick up truck fast, they are rather hard to come by at a decent price around here. I've only got about 1800 bux. I found a dodge ram50 (88 I think) It has the 2.6 mitubishi engine. The body is in perfect shape, good paint, interior looks good. Runs smooth,Popped the hood and it looked clean. I don't think they degreased it or anything as they just took it in and hadn't even gotten around to vacuming it out yet.

So I called my friend who is a volvo mechanic and asked him to look at it. Not sure what it was he twisted and turned but he says it showed a lot of "slop" in the timing belt, he thinks the timing belt will go on it. They're asking $1950.00 on it and I'm sure I could talk em down. What I'm wondering is how much it would run me to put a new timing belt in it and what all it entails, are there other things that should be done when the belt is changed? Is this a hard motor to put one in? I know noone can give me an exact price but a ballpark figure would be great.

Thanks for the help!
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Who's selling? Dealer or private party.

A 1988 vehicle should have had at least one timing belt change already but you didn't say how many miles it has on it.

If you think the timing belt is gonna go, tell them you'll give them $1750 if they replace the timing belt, otherwise, no sale.
Thanks for the reply!

It's a small dealer, pretty good rep here in town. The truck has 97,000 on it.

I'm not sure they do work like that there, they do minor stuff but nothing major. I guess the reason I was looking for a ballpark figure was so I can tell the man give me that much off so I can afford to get the work done.....not a good idea?

What do you think of the price for what it is?
You could

A: Come to Fredericksburg, and buy a truck from me:p



B: Go here, and speck out the trade spread, and the private party spread, as well as the retail spread. (You must know all the options to give those evil dealers a fair shot at your dollar)!:D


Luv, Paul:wave:
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i changed my timing belt and water pump and all tensioners for around 100 bucks in my mitsubishi eclipse gsx. but i performed all the work myself.
T belt, water pump, seals, drive belts, coolant, should be around $300 at most shops, these trucks are pretty easy to do. Do it all siince you dont know know the service history, its cheap insurance.
Pony said:
So I called my friend who is a volvo mechanic and asked him to look at it. Not sure what it was he twisted and turned but he says it showed a lot of "slop" in the timing belt, he thinks the timing belt will go on it. .

Thanks for the help!
Ask your friend what it should cost, he knows exactly what it needs

Whoa people!
I think that the 2.6 engine has a timing chain not a timing belt...
If it has a chain that is a whole new can of worms to open and can be a bunch more money to replace....

Another thing that leads me to think this is the statement:
" Not sure what it was he twisted and turned but he says it showed a lot of "slop" in the timing belt, he thinks the timing belt will go on it"

Most times if a timing belt has "slop" in it the engine will not run. A loose belt will jump teeth and the engine will not run...
A loose chain will allow the engine to run, but the engine may run poorly and lack power..... Until it gets so loose it jumps teeth and the engine will stop running.
hope this helps...
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Well, it would be VERY unusualy for a timing chain to need replacement at 88,000 miles.
I think your right about it being a chain not a belt......so how does that change things?

It runs really smooth and doesn't lack power..I mean for the size engine it is :)

WLPaul, thanks but I doubt you have anything I can afford and my credit is too bad to finance. I will check out the sites you gave me though.

Thanks everyone for the advice! It is much appriciated!!
You didn't give all of the info for the truck, but I think it is a little on the high side for that price. I put in a Ram 50, 2 wheel dr, auto, a/c, power steering, "clean" with 97000 miles, and I got $1930 for dealer retail. If all of the info I entered is correct, then it would be worth around that price, but you should be able to talk them down. They probably gave someone less than 1000 for it, because the trade-in value says $1000, but you know they didn't give someone the full value on it. The website is www.edmunds.com.
I'm no professional, so I'm curious about the timing belt/chain. How did your friend know this without tearing the engine down? If it is a chain, and it is running fine, I don't know how you would know this. Just curious.
There is a simple check if you don't mind getting a little dirty...
Disconnect the battery.
Remove the distributor cap.
Take a socket the size of the crank bolt on a breaker bar and slowly turn the crank pulley in the direction or rotation about 1/4 turn. Put a chalk mark on the pulley lined up with a nearby bolt or timing pointer.
Now slowly turn the crank pulley the other way and at the same time watch to see when the distributor rotor starts to turn. The difference of where the mark on the pulley started and where you stopped when the rotor moved shows how much slack is in the chain.
If you are a manly man, you just grab the crank pulley with both hands and work it back and forth..;)
Some engines have hydraulic chain tensioners and will have slack in the chain until the engine builds up oil pressure!!! (I just remembered that fact.)
I do not know if Mitsu engines have hydraulic tensioners......
But most overhead cam engines do...
Second note:
Don't try this on an engine with a timing belt. You could make it skip a tooth...
Hope this helps...
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What did your friend recommend?

It sounds like you want the truck and are fishing for some positive advice. That's okay but no one here can see the truck.

It also sounds like you're in a hard place, needing a truck and I think you're right about them being hard to come by, especially the small ones. Back in the early nineties you could get a small truck fairly inexpensively but since the popularity of SUVs really took off, I don't think they have made or sold as many small pickups and the used prices appear to have gone up.

If you can run it by a mechanic who specializes in Japanese cars to take a look then I would recommend you do that before you buy it.
Again thanks for all the help!

Noddaz _ think thats exactly what he did! I guess hes a manly man :) but what you said about the hydraulic tensioners is exactly what the dealer told me today. He said my friend wouldn't be able to tell by doing that.

challengerman - I ran it through a site and got 2150.00 retail but that was with all the extras....auto, a/c, power steering, bedliner, sunroof, sliding rear glass, trailer hitch and electrical. It also has one of those visors over the windshield, with lights :)

modog - your right, I want someone to say "it's ok, go for it" but I know in the end it's my decision. I also wanted to make sure I wasn't getting in over my head with the timing thing. I took it to another friend today who works at a shop, he says it's got a little chain noise but nothing unusual for an 88. I went back to the dealer and I've got him down to $1700.00 of course processing and that crap brings it back up to $1848.00.

Anyone got any good tips for bringing a dealer down more when he says thats bottom line?
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Always remember, the vehicle was traded in for a reason. Either the previous owner wanted a change or there was a problem with the vehicle. Also, if someone is looking to sell or trade in their vehicle, most people would make it as presentable as possible, meaning they would clean the drivetrain, wash the vehicle etc. in an attempt to get as much as possible out of it. That said, the term "slop" in reference to any drivetrain component is usually never good. It sounds like you need a vehicle fast, but I'd hate to have you buy this one and then have the truck down for major repairs for a week or two, costing you more time and money in the long run, than continuing to look elsewhere.
I am busy tomorrow, but I can look up the vehicle on Alldata at work on friday for you and tell you wether it has a chain or belt. The truck engines usually have chains, but I am unsure about this vehicle.:wave:
BTW, you could ask to see the smog sheet(assuming your state has smog checks). A high CO and/or HC reading could mean valve train problems resulting in compression loss.
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