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Old 07-24-2006, 07:41 AM   #1
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Exclamation Need some serious advice!

An opportunity has presented itself for me to buy a 2001 9-3SE 92k. Very cheap for $3800. Here's the catch there is what is believed to be some lifter chattering. The seller who bought it at an auction is an airplane mechanic and was trying to repair it himself. He placed a couple of the lifters, replaced the main bearings dropped the pan and had it cleaned out (sludge present) replaced a mushy hose. Now the noise is less audible but still present, no oil pressure light and if he makes a hard right turn the noise disappears. Is this car worth the risk for $3800? It drives great! Handles great, cosmeticly looks good/very good.

$3800 is his rock bottom price.
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:40 AM   #2
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that sounds like you have found a pretty good deal with that one, depending on how much time and money you have to spend if a problem were to come up. if you budget the money to have someone replace an engine(worst case scenario) or if you are willing to put in the wrench time yourself you could get a bargain. are you going to keep your vert as well? if so then i think you could definitely get on fixing this yourself and drive the vert while you do it and get a great deal.
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:46 AM   #3
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I would keep my vert, as for the repair i would have to pay someone. I spoke to my mechanic he quoted and engine swap for about $3k including engine. That's way too much! I could afford like $1k to $1200 in repairs.
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:46 AM   #4
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a sludged engine will require a complete cleaning....I bet the timing chain is shot too. I predict you'd be investing another $3K-4K in getting the engine back in running order.
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:55 AM   #5
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I'm not sure if it's a sludged engine but the pan and screen was grimmy.
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:02 AM   #6
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the local indy saab mech. around here that I deal with (he also writes articles for 'Nines' magazine) often suggests hooking the motor up to an oil flush system that he has, along with the cleaning of the pan and pickup screen.

As far as the timing chain, that could be checked to some extent by removing the tensioner and seeing how far out it is (the further out, the more the chain has stretched).

The unfortunate thing is that if you had to pay to have the work done it really might require a lot of $ to get the motor back to good shape or replaced. If you could do the work yourself you might be looking at spending only around $1000 (maybe less) for a used motor.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:09 AM   #7
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New member here but a long time mechanic. If you like it and want to take a chance there are some things you can do. the engine flush is a good idea. there is a product called kreen made by kano labrtories that is amazing. also BG products makes a great flush. Id Flush change oil run a while and flush again. you may be able to work the crud out of it after a while. So you spend $200.00 on flush ,oil, filters. What have you lost? You have every thing to gain it may come around. Ive seen it before. take a chance. its beggen for a little TLC from you LOL good luck moses
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:22 AM   #8
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Mine did the same had lifter chatter, and i brought it to this mechanic who specializes on head work and he told me that the rockers sound a lil loose and all u have to do is tighten them up. So he did it for me and the m=noise went away. The guy did an awesome job.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:50 AM   #9
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I have a question,.....dont our lifters sit on top of the valve stems in a very thin layer of oil? So how could you "tighten" them up?
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:56 AM   #10
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I didn't get to look, i dropped it off and when i came back a couple hours later he had fixed.
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:09 AM   #11
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you cant tighten the lifters...theyre hydraulic...they self adjust.

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Old 08-18-2006, 10:21 AM   #12
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Then he must have done sometin else cuz it wasn't makin the noise after, he never told me what he did when i came and picked it up, all he said was it's fixed and that it shouldn't make anymore noise for a long time.
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:35 PM   #13
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If the engine does go, it cost me 2650 for a 47k engine with turbo, shipping, and installation at my euro indy in VT.. Just thought I'd give you a base to go by.
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:48 PM   #14
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Wonder what he decided?
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