View Full Version : Might be getting another ST185 for the fiance

04-13-2008, 02:11 AM
OK, so the fiance wants her OWN car (she's not driving the All Trac or 'vert, and she doesn't want to take the Merc and the Honda is on it's way out after 350k miles), and I think she's more obsessed with Celicas than I am. So I looked on CL and lo and behold, a 91 All Trac for sale on LI. $3500, body is clean except for a quarter sized spot of rust by the rear wheel. Looks like it has a shirt shifter installed, System 10, but the speakers and head unit have been pulled.
Guy says the piston rings are bad. Not a good sign, huh? I asked the guy if I can drive it, he said he has no plates, bt if it runs for more than 30 seconds, it smokes a lot. Sounds worse than piston rings, no? Anyway, I would appreciate some input on this.
He said the last time he drove it the turbo pulled strong, no play in the wheel. She just got a really good promotion and she's now managing all the construction projects in Brooklyn. SO I figured, if it works out, and the engine isn't going and needs only like $600 worth of work, she needs a car to get her to all the projects (-edit- and she hasn't yet killed me for all the money I've sunk into the cars), and she loves my All Trac, why not?
Tell me what you think:

04-13-2008, 03:39 AM
Sounds like the engine is going.

It is hard to be sure with that description, but there is something wrong.

A new motor would only run about $1200, since you wouldn't need the wiring or ECU.

I think the price is a little steep given the issues with the car and the potential required to get it up to par, especially with rust. If you can see a quarter sized spot on the quarter, odds are good the undercarriage is full of it too.

Talk him down to $1500-$2k and expect to drop another $2k into it for a solid nice car, and it might be worth it.

04-13-2008, 03:42 AM
I don't know, after clicking the link, the car does look clean.

$3500 might be a good price, but I would still plan on dropping a new engine. Easier IMO than rebuilding (BS for $600) the current engine.

Rings and labor wouldn't be that hard, but if you go that far, rebuild the whole engine just to be safe. Don't do the work twice.

I would still plan on dropping at least $2k into making it a good reliable runner.

04-13-2008, 04:13 AM
Oh, I know all about replacing an engine in the All Trac. Spent about $3000 to buy and drop a 2nd gen 3S and tranny into my 92 All Trac, and I've saved up about $3500 so far for a 4th gen 3S and AWD transmission.
I don't like the fact that I can't drive the car, make sure she drives OK. I don't want to drop a new engine in unless it's for a performance upgrade (as in the ST215 engine), not a standard rebuild. Eh, I'll look at it tomorrow. I wouldn't mind another All Trac in the household, but I don't want to spend my engine replacement fund for a problematic car that's going to cost another 2K.

04-13-2008, 06:02 AM
The piston rings are bad. Estimated repair from mechanic $600.

:squint: I dunno about that one.

It is clean and rare, but with a bad engine, I personally wouldn't spend more than $1500. With 148k, that means they've probably flogged it.

He seems pretty firm with his price, but you might still be able to get a good deal out of him. Good luck.

04-13-2008, 06:04 AM
Unless she's looking for the performance, a regular GT/GTS would be her best bet for something reliable and easy to fix. Not to mention, if the engine takes a dump, just grab a 5sfe from one of the millions of camry's sitting in junkyards.

04-13-2008, 06:23 AM
the body is clean, but the issue may not just be the rings. A compression wet test would show it needs rings.

04-13-2008, 02:17 PM
Don't buy that.

I saw that car for sale a year ago on both AutoTrader and Craigslist when I was just thinking about getting rid of my 1990 Coupe.

Obviously, its bad enough that no one wants it.

04-13-2008, 07:15 PM
Id say get her Vert for herself or get the alltrac and rebuild the motor

04-13-2008, 08:59 PM
Its going to cost a lot of money to fix the rings if that is even the problem, and then when you do fix that you have to hope there are no more problems. The asking price is WAY to high if the car is not in running condition and with the 3S-GTE it might be a pain in the a$$ to get it to pass smog up there if there are more problems. I say get him to drop the price to around 2k, assuming it needs rings and that is it, which I doubt. Might be a seeping head gasket if it smokes after it gets a little warm. Once the coolant gets some pressure it might be seeping into the cylinders, which is what my corolla just did. Works like water injection until the gasket finally blows. Good luck!

04-14-2008, 05:01 PM
Eh, I scrapped the idea of getting the All Trac. Got a bad feeling when speaking to the guy, and when I think about it, I don't think an All Trac is a good first car (she's never owned a car before). So, we'll just keep looking, and hopefully we can find her a nice powder blue Celica ST/GT/GTS with a 5 speed.
Anyhow, I think I was being a little selfish with the All Trac anyway, I mean, I probably wanted to get another All Trac more than she wanted one. She says she'd be happy with any Celica (4th, 5th or 6th gen).

04-14-2008, 06:10 PM
jus get her an IS350...