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Best Tinkerer's Car

Miscellaneous (car related) stuff and BSing. Craigslist/eBay finds, stuff from Hooniverse or elsewhere in the automoblogosphere, youtube or whatever.

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Dan

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Best Tinkerer's Car

PostSat Dec 22, 2012 2:00 pm

What would you choose as your ultimate tinkerer's car?

For me it would have to be a second car that was easy to work on (i.e. it wouldn't be necessary to remove the intake manifold or lower the whole k-member to change the darn things), but took time and a degree of precision to do any sort of preventative maintenance. It would also need frequent preventative maintenance to truly be a tinkerer's car. Because of this I'm thinking maybe something Italian or British.

Thoughts?

Dan
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FrankTheCat

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  • Location: Foothills of the Adirondacks

Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostSat Dec 22, 2012 3:28 pm

a saab 900.

I speak out of personal experience.
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Stu_Rock

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Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostSat Dec 22, 2012 6:36 pm

Peugeot 505 (also spoken from experience).
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Dan

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Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostSat Dec 22, 2012 6:42 pm

What draws you two to those cars?
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FrankTheCat

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Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostSat Dec 22, 2012 8:48 pm

anything swedish is bound to be fiddly. saabs are just more fun to drive than a volvo. :3

my girlfriend has a '97 NG900 that I'm constantly fixing things on. nothing major though, the saab B234 2.3L is rock solid. apparently the head can take 20+ minutes of driving on a 90 degree day with no water pump, without warping a single thousand of an inch. only toasted the head gasket between an oil passage and the water jacket. oh man, she will never live that one down.
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Tanshanomi

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Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostWed Dec 26, 2012 9:17 am

Everything is simple, everything is easy to access, everything needs constant attention.

Image
2011 Kizashi GTS Sport — 2002 Ford F150 Supercrew — 2007 Chrysler 300 Touring
2013 Cam-Am Spyder RS-S — 2012 Can-Am Spyder RT — 1974 Honda CL125 — "Bultakenstein", a pile of worn out motorcycle parts I'm calling a project bike
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Dan

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Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostWed Jan 02, 2013 9:10 pm

I had a burning desire for a Meyer's Manx when I was younger after I saw the film "Now You See Him, Now You Don't." VW Things also had my attention when I was younger. I'm still a fan of sand rails and dune buggies. That is quite a good suggestion.
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jeep_jeff

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  • Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostThu Jan 03, 2013 1:43 pm

Jeeps. Particularly the short wheelbase Jeeps. They're great little runabouts, they're bloody simple to work on (even the modern ones; at least up to 2006, the JKs (2007 on) are where Chrysler really started running afoul of new requirements for ESC and what not). There's always something wrong with them, excellent aftermarket support, and even though they always need something, they almost always run. Mine passed smog with a cracked cylinder head.

Old Jeeps, man. Old Jeeps.
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Dan

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Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostSun Jan 06, 2013 8:29 am

I do like old Jeeps, but the only kinds I would get would be a CJ-8, a two door XJ with a manual and the 4.0 (I came so, so close to buying one), or a TJ Unlimited (one of the long-wheelbase Wranglers). Maybe a TJ with one of those pickup conversions would be cool too.
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zsm

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Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostMon Jan 07, 2013 1:59 pm

Not everything Swedish is fiddly, I got a Volvo Amazon precisely because of the well deserved reputation of a great old car to start with when you have no clue, like me.
Well, you know what they say, "The candle that burns exponentially more durably, burns several decades after it was lit and for a completely different reason." - BlackIce_GTS
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P161911

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Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostTue Jan 08, 2013 6:38 am

BMW E30 probably makes this list. Fairly maintenance intense and always a way to upgrade just about anything. Fun to search the Pull-apart yards for parts.

Most anything with a Chevy small block too.
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jeep_jeff

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Re: Best Tinkerer's Car

PostTue Jan 08, 2013 9:33 am

Dan wrote:I do like old Jeeps, but the only kinds I would get would be a CJ-8, a two door XJ with a manual and the 4.0 (I came so, so close to buying one), or a TJ Unlimited (one of the long-wheelbase Wranglers). Maybe a TJ with one of those pickup conversions would be cool too.


Those are all awesome Jeeps (I wave at all of those), and all would be great tinker mobiles. The only thing to watch out for on the LJs (TJ Unlimited) was there is one year (2004) that didn't get a manual transmission and the last two years (2005-06) had a revision to the cam position sensor/oil pump drive assembly that tends to fail early (I think the aftermarket has mostly worked out a solution to this problem, it just requires some modification and installation of a few upgraded parts; which sounds like part and parcel to what you're looking for).

If I had found a 2 door XJ with a stick when I was looking for a 4x4, I would have snapped it up. Those are hen's teeth. And so awesome.
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