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Old 11-06-2002, 21:52   #1 (permalink)
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Hey all i am newish to these forums and id like to get some opinions on my car. Its a gold 1988 EA Falcon GL 3 speed cfi (read slow) with a decent stereo and a set of 12 slotters and im thinking about doing some mods to improve it. (manual conversion, MPEI, exhaust etc) But it seems like all i have done is spend money on it lately. I have replaced altenator, water pump, radiator, engine mounts, steering rack and a few other things and this is just in the last few months. Now my question is am i wasting my time with this car and would i be better off selling it and looking for something else. I was thinking either another EA but with manual MPEI etc already done. I love the car but its nothing special and any mods i do will just add to the money i am going to lose on the car. Or am i better off forgetting EA's altogether and going for something newer. I would hate to spend more money on the car and have it still be off the road as much as it is on. So i guess my question is is my car a lemon and i should get rid of it and are all EA's the same or am i just having bad luck. The car has only done 185000 and i dont drive it overly hard.
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Old 11-06-2002, 21:59   #2 (permalink)
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It's a personal decision mate. You might find the car will continue to need money spent on it, or else you could find if you sell it, the next owner will have a trouble-free run thanks to the money you've already put into it.

If you went for a mint condition newer Falcon you'd be unlikely to have many problems. But even then, the newer the car, the more serious the money you lose through dropping resale values will be. There's a lot of factors to think about.
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Old 11-06-2002, 22:09   #3 (permalink)
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if you plan to "mod" the car, do not expect to get your money back for those mods when you go to sell ANY car. Modification is a personal thing, to make your car different from the others.
As for other things like the alternator and waterpump you mentioned...these things can happen to any car, at least you KNOW what has been replaced and what probably needs to be.
I suggest you hold onto it, keep it well maintained, regularly serviced, dont thrash it and you should get many km's of happy motoring. Dont do what most people who know nothing about cars do, if something sounds a little off, they dont worry about it until the car basically shits itself.
the only dramas you probably will have with it is a blown head gasket every couple of years...which isnt that big of a deal.

Whichever way you choose to go, good luck with it

My mate just bought an immaculate VS ute for $4000 below market value and his waterpump shit itself within the first week...so the newer the car is, doesnt really mean the better its going to be...cars are more tempremental than human beings
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Old 11-06-2002, 22:42   #4 (permalink)
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i agree with XMFordFalcon on this one.
If you've already spent the money at least you know that those things will last you a while. The fact is all cars are money pits.
The best mods would be a cfi convertion (I'll write up a indepth tutorial once I've done mine) and a manual convertion.
Both of these things arn't worth doing unless you do most of the work yourself.
If your not mech minded then sell it and spend $5-7k on a manual EB/ED with everything done already.
If you are mech minded then keep it and spend the time on it.
Nothing is more rewarding then driving a car that's great because of your own efforts!
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Old 11-06-2002, 23:40   #5 (permalink)
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It all depends on how attached you are to your car. If you're not all that attached to it and want a 5 speed MPI then go out and buy one. If you are attached to it then do the mods yourself.

If I wasnt so attached to my LTD i'd sell it and buy a 5 speed ED XR6 in a second.
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Old 11-07-2002, 05:12   #6 (permalink)
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If it was me, i'd prolly sell the car and get an eb/ed manual. This way you get the mpefi already, and if its auto, a 4spd. Not to mention the interior will be slightly nicer as well. And the EB's where pretty quick, with there 3.23 diff.

But habing said that, I know what it is like to love a car. I had my old XF for a long time and had a whole heap planned. But when the diff went in it for the third time, I got fed up. So I sold it and now drive an EL. I'm very happy with it now.

But i still have withdrawal symptons every now and again. But when I drove it just before selling it, I was glad i sold it!!

And the most likely thing that will go next on your car, will be the head. (please touch some wood now!!!)

Good luck with your decision!!
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Old 11-07-2002, 17:21   #7 (permalink)
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yea i agree u have already spent money on these items that can and will go wrong with every car, my EB2 just did a starter motor (pain in the arse to fix) but hey i got a new one and i wont have to worry about it for a long time to come, i belive a head gasket in in the works but ill fix that and life goes on:) its a pain in the ass as i would perfer to install my leather interior chip and cam exhaust etc but the basics need to be done for the rest to work well:) cheers and good luck:)
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Old 11-07-2002, 17:43   #8 (permalink)
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Zomwit has it spot on. As much as id like to sell my car and get something decent... i dont think i could part with her coz of all the time i spent fixing her up. If i were to sell it now then all that work changing the GL to a ghia would be wasted. Im attached now so all i can do is go all the way with it. My down fall was the fact that i didnt do enuf reaserch before i brought the car. If i knew asmuch about falcons now then i would have got an EB2 fairmont for almost the same price and would have saved myself a couple grand in conversions....

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Old 11-07-2002, 18:43   #9 (permalink)
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This could probably start a new thread...but anyway

Have you ever had the car checked out thoroughly by a mechanic? If you're really concerned about spending money on it in the future, this could be an idea (although it might cost around $100 for a really thorough check!). At least you'll have some idea of what might be near breaking.

Working on it yourself can save a bit of money too. But be prepared to spend some $ on some decent tools. Once you start doing these repairs yourself, you will probably find that you need to buy/beg/steal/borrow some specific tools. Of course, if you buy the good stuff, then you've got it for life.

The story of my mechanical adventures under the bonnet:
(The Adventures of a Backyard Mech and his Camry)

I started doing my own services some years ago. Initially I just changed the oil between regular services by my mechanic. Then I became brave, and started changing the air filter and oil filter as well. I graduated to fuel filter and spark plugs. I also started changing transmission fluid when needed (not very often). Eventually I bought a timing light and an multi-meter, so I could tune the engine, and check the leads etc.

At some point, my tuning efforts were not solving the problem of revving engine and a (related) lack of power. After some reading and quite a lot of thought, I put these woes down to the distributor. This led me to give the distributor a rather good cleanup - solving a spark advance problem that had developed. What a huge step this was for me.

Many services, and even a radiator flush later, a wobble developed in the steering when taking a moderately tight left hand corner under power. This went on for some time, eventually becoming so bad that the vibration was feeding back through the steering wheel when driving along a straight highway (uphill or under power). Again after much reading and considerable though, I figured that the drive shaft joints (tripod joints in the case of my front wheel driven Camry) might be causing the problem. A quick exploration of the underneath bits revealed that there was a fair bit of play in the joints on both sides, with the rhs joint giving an audible knock when the wheel was turned around. What to do? I knew that this repair could cost me a small fortune at a mechanics. A quick trip to my local Toyota spares place revealed that a new (entire) driveshaft (for one side) would cost around $1200!! I didn't fancy shafts from a wreckers - who knows how much life they would have left. A reco CV business provided the solution. I removed the shafts myself, and took them into the (surprised) guy at the CV place. They were able to provide me with a pair of exchange shafts for $300. I saved myself about $100 on labor by doing the replacement myself (but spent $30 on a socket to remove the hub nut, and $16 on some special lock-tite stuff).

Since embarking on my mechanical adventures, I have helped friends rebuild an engine, and exchanged the original gearbox of a SWB '84 Pajero with the box from a late model LWB version (this involves a lot of stuffing about...believe me). I am learning something new all the time, and being able to fix these things on your own vehicle is very rewarding. Strangely I have stayed away from brakes and suspension - but I recently acquired a book on the subject, and I am looking forward to being able to service these components as well! I also service my partner's car, which saves even more $$$.

So get some books (especially a workshop manual for your car), and get your hands dirty. It's loads of fun!

Cheers!
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Old 11-10-2002, 15:16   #10 (permalink)
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Welcome to the exciting world of the EA Falcon, hehe!
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