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Old 09-14-2009, 01:11 PM
Status: "My ride is here" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: The Plains
6,067 posts, read 5,250,147 times
Reputation: 4284

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My fathers 1995 Lincoln Mark VIII which he bought new has 40,000 original miles on it, He went into a nursing home five and a half years ago and the car has sat in his garage (attached to the house). It seems I am the only one of my four brothers who wants this car. They want rid of it because it could be problematic. Is this car worth the $2500.00-$3500.00 that they will sell it to me for, and what should I do to prepare it for the 120 mile drive to where I live.? Thanks
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:14 PM
 
Location: San Bruno, CA
5,191 posts, read 6,821,916 times
Reputation: 2961
Check the rubber hoses, battery, tires (flat spots) and the fuel has probably sat there with all the crap collecting at the bottom of the fuel tank. I'd check just about all the fluids in the vehicle.
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Phoenix,Arizona
2,819 posts, read 2,528,666 times
Reputation: 2031
Before you even turn the key look good under the hood
and inspect the wiring to see if any critters have made
a condo, fluid levels should also be checked add a bottle
of gas treatment

Also check what iTsLiKeAnEgG mentioned and I would
put a few miles on it around there when doing this lightly
apply the brakes to scrape off any light rust that might
have formed on the rotors.

If the car has an 'Air Ride' suspension let it run a moment
to fill the system, details on this will be found in the owners manual
change the oil & filter and you should be good to go

One other thing I'd do is when heading back home is to vary the
speed and avoid using the cruise control, I've seen many cars like
this and people go out and run them hard this is when things start
to get expensive.

If the car needs no reconditioning I'd be a player @ $3,500.00

Enjoy the New Ride
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,825 posts, read 23,242,151 times
Reputation: 4818
OK, the car was running when parked, right? It might fire right up but I would doubt it, almost certainly the battery is dead, so you will need a good battery, smell of the fuel, it will probably smell like varnish big time, if you can get most of that gas out of the tank, that would be a good thing. Fill up with fresh fuel from jerry cans, you don't need to fill it completely but try to get at least 5 gallons in there. If you buy about 4 jerry cans of 5 gallons capacity each, you can use 3 of them to get at least 15 gallons of the old bad gas out of the tank, some cars you can siphon easily and some you can't, I don't know about this car. The stale gas can be added to good gas in other cars, you can use it but once you put the stale gas in it will encourage the rest of the gas in the car you add it to, to start going "off" faster than normal, so do this only with a car you will drive regularly. Ideally you would use this stale gas in an old carburated car, where it won't matter as much. If no one will touch it take it with you in the trunk, you can use it blended with fresh gas on your trip home.

Remind us where you live. If this car was driven on salted roads in winter, it may not be worth fooling with.

If you are not mechanically inclined you will likely need professional help getting it started.

I would not hit the road for a 120 mile trip immediately after getting it to start, either. I would want to drive it around some, probably at least change the fuel filter.

I'd get AAA before setting off on the trip.

If the car is cherry and you have a good shop where you live, it might make more sense to haul the car home on a trailer.

The tires may be OK but if they are well-worn or the car has been outdoors much, you may be money ahead to put 4 new tires on before driving it home.

This being your Dad's old car, if it's in good shape I would say go get it and put it back on the road, sort of a family thing.

Good luck in any case!

Last edited by M3 Mitch; 09-14-2009 at 01:43 PM.. Reason: what to do with the old gas
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:48 PM
Status: "My ride is here" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: The Plains
6,067 posts, read 5,250,147 times
Reputation: 4284
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
OK, the car was running when parked, right? It might fire right up but I would doubt it, almost certainly the battery is dead, so you will need a good battery, smell of the fuel, it will probably smell like varnish big time, if you can get most of that gas out of the tank, that would be a good thing. Fill up with fresh fuel from jerry cans, you don't need to fill it completely but try to get at least 5 gallons in there. If you buy about 4 jerry cans of 5 gallons capacity each, you can use 3 of them to get at least 15 gallons of the old bad gas out of the tank, some cars you can siphon easily and some you can't, I don't know about this car. The stale gas can be added to good gas in other cars, you can use it but once you put the stale gas in it will encourage the rest of the gas in the car you add it to, to start going "off" faster than normal, so do this only with a car you will drive regularly. Ideally you would use this stale gas in an old carburated car, where it won't matter as much. If no one will touch it take it with you in the trunk, you can use it blended with fresh gas on your trip home.

Remind us where you live. If this car was driven on salted roads in winter, it may not be worth fooling with.

If you are not mechanically inclined you will likely need professional help getting it started.

I would not hit the road for a 120 mile trip immediately after getting it to start, either. I would want to drive it around some, probably at least change the fuel filter.

I'd get AAA before setting off on the trip.

If the car is cherry and you have a good shop where you live, it might make more sense to haul the car home on a trailer.

The tires may be OK but if they are well-worn or the car has been outdoors much, you may be money ahead to put 4 new tires on before driving it home.

This being your Dad's old car, if it's in good shape I would say go get it and put it back on the road, sort of a family thing.

Good luck in any case!
hey , triple A is good Ideal !
Also this was definately a fair weather car never driven in the snow or Kansas Winters
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,825 posts, read 23,242,151 times
Reputation: 4818
Forgot to add, that I would probably change the engine oil anyway after a little running around town type mileage. Won't hurt anything.

While you are under the hood, at least consider taking out enough coolant to allow you to change the upper radiator hose at least, it runs hotter so generally ages faster than the lower. I'd give consideration to changing the coolant, mixing the correct antifreeze for this car 50-50 with distilled water, and changing both rad hoses and the serpentine or V-belt(s). You will have to do this stuff before you can rely on the car anyway...more convenient to do at your parent's house or nearby shop than on the side of the road.
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:52 PM
Status: "My ride is here" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: The Plains
6,067 posts, read 5,250,147 times
Reputation: 4284
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Forgot to add, that I would probably change the engine oil anyway after a little running around town type mileage. Won't hurt anything.

While you are under the hood, at least consider taking out enough coolant to allow you to change the upper radiator hose at least, it runs hotter so generally ages faster than the lower. I'd give consideration to changing the coolant, mixing the correct antifreeze for this car 50-50 with distilled water, and changing both rad hoses and the serpentine or V-belt(s). You will have to do this stuff before you can rely on the car anyway...more convenient to do at your parent's house or nearby shop than on the side of the road.
Thanks , I'm starting to put together a game plan
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:49 PM
 
3,073 posts, read 4,473,324 times
Reputation: 1540
If you can make the car safe to drive for only several hundred bucks its worth 3500. If its going to take a lot more which it could if its repaired at a dealer the car is worth 35/4k minus the repair cost. You dont want to end up with 5 k in a 4k car. I hope the family will let you get get an estimate but if they want to sell it without knowing what it will take 35 hundred is TOO MUCH
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Southwest Pa
1,009 posts, read 2,260,995 times
Reputation: 545
Just went, well, still going through this process right now with a '94 LeBaron LE. Unlike yours, mine spent the last five years sitting outside under a walnut tree.

Looked like crap when I spotted it but even underneath the mess I could see it had no rust other than on the brake parts. Inside was clean as could be, trunk was clean. Underneath the hood though, remember the walnut tree? Food source for the squirrels who thought under hood was a great place to sleep and store. But, the fellow only wanted a fifty for it plus it had less than 17k miles total. Sold.

Here's the order of things as I did it....

(1) Filled the tires with enough air to get it on a flatbed. Couldn't be started due to some wiring damage and the rusty brakes. Even if it could have, five years is too long for tires to sit, inside or out, and then be considered roadworthy. And I only needed to go three blocks.

(2) Battery was toast, without question, as yours will also be. Take it out so you have a turn-in at the auto store, no core charge.

(3) I'll skip the wiring harness woes, mine were easily repaired with used parts and an excellent auto electric mechanic. But check yours anyway! Look for any signs that there might have been rodents....nuts, bedding. If you see such material then check your wiring carefully.

(4) Change the oil, change the oil, change the oil. You can skip the filter for now because you'll need to change it again rather quickly. You'll stir up a lot of crap after a hundred hot miles or so.

(5) Check all your other fluids, coolant, power steering, brake, tranny. The coolant should be changed soon but if it still looks green you can let it go for now.

(6) How much fuel in the tank? Less than a quarter and you might be good by adding in a few new gallons. Closer to a full tank and you might have to have it drained or else risk gumming up the works....that can get expensive. I was lucky as my tank was almost on "e". But either way it is a gamble to start, even with fresh gas, and not change the fuel filter and drain the tank. Bad fuel, bad fuel filter, bad fuel pump and no cheap fix.

(7) Pop a wheel off, one front and one back. Do a good visual on the brake system. Rusty? They'll need work before you rely on them too far. The last thing you want is to be on the highway and one of them decides to lock up tight.

Again skipping the wiring problem, keep in mind that all these things should be done before you attempt to start it. You'll just cause yourself a whole new round of problems if you give in to the little voice that says "oh go ahead, just try it".

Once you've done all those little things then you can try and give it a go. Mine fired right up like it never took a five year vacation. Now on to my brakes and tires.

In any event, a car like this is always a gamble and a great candidate for being a money pit, especially if you have no personal mechanic skills. I fully expect mine to need extra attention beyond the required extra attention that a fifteen year old vehicle already needs which is beyond basic attention to begin with. Keep that in mind.

As far as the price...it certainly is in line with a "fair" condition example but I'd still try to knock a grand or so off. You'll need that extra cash for the unexpected. Good luck and hope it works out for you.
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:30 PM
 
775 posts, read 2,094,749 times
Reputation: 286
I have resurrected dead cars and used them as a daily driver many times. I've resurrected a car that sat for almost 30 years.

My checklist:

Check/replace battery
Change the oil
Grease the chassis (if applicable)
Drain the gas tank
Check fluid levels and condition
Rebuild the carburetor (if applicable)

What I do is to crank the engine with the ignition disabled so the top end will get lubed with oil.

I fill it with 5-10 gallons of fresh gas along with a half can of Seafoam after draining the old gas.

I generally clean and repair/check whatever I could find. In almost every case, I had to replace the tires.

When I get it running and trust it enough to drive it, I take it on a 200 miles round trip to see how it holds up. This is where AAA comes in really handy. Plus, driving it on the highway gets everything loose and will burn off most of the crap. Then it can be used daily.

When doing a such thing, you need to be very knowledgeable with cars...if you are the type of person who takes their car to Jiffy Lube to get the oil changed, either don't bother with your father's car or buy repair manuals on the car and join car forums.
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