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BoogieMonster (September 27, 2011, 10:27:44 AM):
In an ideal world, i would buy a new car

Only really for people who have more money than sense IMHO. But I'm grateful for their sacrifice.

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currently driving a honda balade.

They're awesome, my mom had the "boxy" one until a fateful venda-bakkie skipped a stop street. Nothing short of a full write-off will kill them.

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now, i am looking to pimp her. saw some really nice headlights. need new tyres. might invest in some new seats. the exhaust is reminiscent of the cape flats.

(I am not a mechanic, but I love oldish cars) IMHO best things to do on an old car to make it feel "new" again: Shocks (horribly overlooked, HUGE difference if they're old), depending on the age: Front control arms/bushings. This should give you "like new" steering and ride .In some cars both (arms/bushings) have to be replaced at once - pricy, some only the bushing. Then a wheel alignment: if your bushings are shot, wheel alignment doesn't help that much on it's own any more. Bonus: Your tires will last longer.

Then for longevity some people go ahead and replace every liquid in the car - More expensive than it sounds. Stuff like gearbox oil, power steering liquid, brake fluid, etc... is frequently overlooked. Some fear this can "dislodge" gunk and clog up things, others say it's the only way to go. YMMV (pun intended). Also, think about checking out the brake discs, esp. if you start getting a shudder. Usually they outlast their specified lifetime, but it's worth checking...

On lights: The lens covers tend to "fog" up over time due to a lifetime of "sandblasting" by debris. This makes them look really "aged". Sometimes you can just go to the manufacturer and buy new clear covers (depends on car I'm sure) for the lights to make them look new again. This is why in ye olden days people put those perspex covers over their headlights. But uber zef. People with hot cars these days put a clear plastic film over the front of the car. This is very expensive, and not worth it on your car, but works a charm.
Zulumoose (September 27, 2011, 11:47:44 AM):
Then for longevity some people go ahead and replace every liquid in the car - More expensive than it sounds. Stuff like gearbox oil, power steering liquid, brake fluid, etc... is frequently overlooked. Some fear this can "dislodge" gunk and clog up things, others say it's the only way to go.

What I like to do with an old car, especially if it has been run for a long time or distance without fluid changes, is to change oil and brake fluid twice. Brake fluid is cheap in enough quantity for two changes and you can buy two oils, a cheapie and some good stuff.

Change the oil once with the cheap stuff, run the car for a week or one long (100km+) trip and drain when hot, this will clear out more gunk than one change possibly could and also will not leave traces of detergent in the system like an oil flush chemical would, thus damaging the new oil. All the pipes are now as clean as they can get for the new oil to circulate and the new oil filter can be used without fear of it being immediately partially clogged with what new oil might dislodge.
GCG (September 27, 2011, 11:54:37 AM):
i tend to think a bit further than my nose is long when it comes to my car. i have done shocks/brakes/disks and so on. it helps to know wtf is going on in there. when the mechanic checks you have boobies, they quickly rattle off a R12 000 quote. when i bought the spares myself, and had some bloke install them. R1200 excercise. and what i dont know, i google.
the bushes might be a valid point, i had bought them, but never got around to having them put in. the are rolling around the back of my car, in whatever shape of destruction.
my big worry is, pistons, gearbox, and the like. the expensive stuff. i have a theory, that once you open an engine up, it's downhill from there. totally unfounded, of course.
this car has given me least shit of all my rides. and the fact that i'm pretty much putting her out to pasture taking the gautrain everyday, will hopefully stay the inevitable a little longer.
st0nes (September 27, 2011, 13:53:46 PM):
What I like to do with an old car, especially if it has been run for a long time or distance without fluid changes, is to change oil and brake fluid twice. Brake fluid is cheap in enough quantity for two changes and you can buy two oils, a cheapie and some good stuff.

Change the oil once with the cheap stuff, run the car for a week or one long (100km+) trip and drain when hot, this will clear out more gunk than one change possibly could and also will not leave traces of detergent in the system like an oil flush chemical would, thus damaging the new oil. All the pipes are now as clean as they can get for the new oil to circulate and the new oil filter can be used without fear of it being immediately partially clogged with what new oil might dislodge.
I have heard that you can drain the oil, fill with parafin, run until hot, drain and refill with oil again. That comes from one of the guys who do the Talk On Cars show on 702 and Cape Talk on Friday evenings.
AcinonyxScepticus (September 27, 2011, 14:05:12 PM):
... I'm in the process of replacing the engine ... Will keep [the car] until I hit 1 million k's.


This might be an interesting question for the philosophers, but if you're replacing the engine, is it really the same car? Has the car really traveled 1 million k's? I think that if the Ship of Theseus had an engine, Plutarch might not have accepted it was the same ship once all the engine was replaced all at once. ;)

Reminds me of a Jimmy Carr joke:

Quote from: Jimmy Carr
I have filled-out an organ donor card. But I've added a condition, you know, I've just written it in biro on the back. It says they can have my organs when I die, just as long as they all go to the same person. That way, it's not so much a donation as a hostile takeover.


James

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