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Old 08-24-2017, 03:15 PM   #1
homegrown
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Fix, sell, part-out or junk it?

Everyone:
I'm at a bit of a crossroads with my Alero, and I'm not really sure what to do.
I could really use some level-headed advice.
My Alero is now 17 years old, but it still looks pretty decent. Sure, there are rock chips and dings here and there, but no rust holes in the body (although there is the usual subframe rust - I do live in Northern IL, after all). I'm sure it helps that the car hasn't been driven during winter in over 12 years.
Anyway, I had a 6-speed manual swapped in by Milzy maybe 4 years ago, and after some tinkering with the shifter, it works pretty good. Oh, and it has a super-rare Quaife limited-slip.
Then about 3 years ago, I had a new motor dropped in, and I thought this was it. It was my original block, but it was bored 1mm oversize for forged 11:1 pistons, Scat forged rods, a healthy cam, double-roller timing set, ported 3500 LX9 heads with Manley stainless steel valves, stiff PAC Racing springs, titanium retainers, all the good stuff. Again, after a few teething problems, it ran well. When I contracted the engine shop that built it, I told them specifically I didn't want any leaks.
Well, it always dripped a bit of oil, but not enough to get my pants in a bunch.
Fast forward to this spring, and it leaks oil like a sieve. I have to add a quart every 1000 miles. I know it's leaking by the puddle on my garage floor.
I took it to my trusted local mechanic, and he thinks it needs head gaskets. Swell. Damn Cometic MLS gaskets never did seal well.
They don't do that kind of work, and I'm not sure I'd ask them to because so much has been changed on the car. I could do the work myself and save the $1500 or so I'd pay a shop to do it for me, but I'm really busy at work and I'm getting old. Wrenching just isn't fun anymore once you're over 40.
Of course I've got a bunch of suspension mods and some really beefy brakes, plus a nice Razzi kit and Recaro seats. Again, there are good parts in this heap. And if I do fix it, the convenience of having an extra car just in case is undeniable. Insurance costs basically nothing on this car, and with a gentle right foot, I can get 35MPG.

So, what do I do here? Spend the $400 or so on gaskets and fluids, and fix it myself? Try to sell it for peanuts? Part it out for anyone that'd pay me for the parts that are worth good money (although I highly doubt I'd find anyone to buy my AP Racing brake calipers)? Or just send it to the scrap pile?
Thanks for indulging.
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:43 PM   #2
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I would say fixing it is ideal.
However if you decide you can't do that, don't scrap it, either sell or part it. I'm sure someone is itching to get their hands on a 6-speed.
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:45 PM   #3
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Keep the car, you have put so much worK into it Matt!! As soon as you got rid of it you would regret it.
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:56 PM   #4
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Well, I'll assume you are joking about the junk-out option

I vote fix it yourself over the Winter, if it's going to be parked anyway...

40 is old?? Man, you must have a stressful job lol
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:19 PM   #5
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Depends if you are ready to move on or if you think you will regret selling it. If you think you are ready, put out a feeler with a price and see what happens. I never thought sleepyalero would sell his, but he did.
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:37 AM   #6
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I would buy the brake setup.

If you want to bet on someone keeping theirs forever, it's me.

Just pay someone to fix it. At any age it's not enjoyable to wrench. Only if you're upgrading stuff is it fun.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:45 AM   #7
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I would fix it.
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:44 PM   #8
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The hard part about modded cars is finding someone that is willing to work on them and that will take the time to listen to what has been done. Then you question did they really do a good job. The guy that bought my grand am tried to take the car to a shop who told him no way in hell was that a 3.5L engine. Ultimately I ended up helping him and he swapped in a new 3500.

Sadly if you want it done right without spending a fortune, you will want to do it yourself. If working on cars isn't your thing anymore, then I would let it go as a car of this age will need things more and more often in most cases.

Personally working on stuff is still a release for me and something I enjoy.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:28 PM   #9
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I vote for you to fix it... It shouldn't take but a weekend to fix plus you'll know it was done right as you're meticulous with your own vehicle...

It is possible you might find someone who would buy the car whole, but probably max out at about 4k... Which is criminal for that car... Parting it out would be tough as well and you could end up sitting on parts waiting for them to sell... Chris is in for brakes, wheels, motor and razzi kit might be able to talk Ryan into them, then you might be able to toss in a stock motor and get 1500 for the car, but that's a lot more work then just fixing it...

Hopefully you'll fix it and keep rolling but it's ultimately your decision...
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:23 PM   #10
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Fix it. No doubt at all.

I just put $800 to get mine thru inspection back in April. If it was still a DD stuff that needed to pass, would have replaced a while ago. Plus I spent $225 to fix a small rust hole on my rocker. I got luck with that one I guess.

I plan on keeping mine forever, so I don't mine spending the money. Helps that it's garaged a lot now. I suspend the insurance every now and then to keep costs down, because it's hard with paying all my legal fees and a mountain of child support. Hopefully things will change with that in November.

Drove it around for 2 weeks when the Volvo was down. It's not that I don't enjoy driving it, it's that there's so many dumbasses and pure ahoes driving around here. Plus the city is putting speed bumps on just about every street in my neighbhood. In fact, I bottomed out with the freshly built, $3000 transmission in the Delta, about 6 hours after getting the car back from the shop

People at work ask me all the time "Where's the Redog?"

Needs paint, the quarter is starting to flake from the poor paint in the accident, the hood has tiger stripes, and needs bodywork, the spoiler is mostly white now. It will be repainted, but for now, I enjoy it
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:51 AM   #11
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Fix it! That car is completely worth it. I have moved on from an alero a few times and regretted it every time. If you do decided it's time to move on, find it a good home- like my garage.
edit- don't part out that package. You have put together a great car. If you end up looking to sell, contact me before you post it somewhere else.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:57 PM   #12
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So did you fix it?
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilzyZ34 View Post
So did you fix it?
I have not. The car is up on jackstands in my garage.
The only thing I have done is to remove the front and rear brakes because I have a verbal commitment to purchase from a buyer.
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Old 12-02-2017, 01:34 AM   #14
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40 isn't too old to work on cars Keep it and fix it.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:54 AM   #15
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Not sure how I missed this back in August, but I'm with pretty much everyone else and say fix it. I remember seeing your car at A.S.S. back in 2010 and then seeing how far it has come since then and you've put so much work in to the car Matt that it would just be a shame imo to see it end up in the scrap yard after all of that, but I also totally understand too that you've gotta do what you feel is the right option for you. Me personally though I go with fix it and getting that puppy back on the road in time for Summer.
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