at what point do you decide no more money

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at what point do you decide no more money

Postby a2l1 [OP] » February 22nd 2011, 7:43am

I bought my astro so I would have something to tinker with. Cost me $550 and I was ok with that. I decided I didnt want to spend more than a couple hundred bucks total doing any repairs because one I havent got the available income and two because its a $550 van and I dont want to put more money in it than its worth.
Well I passed the couple of hundred mark and still have to put at least another two hundred or so into fixing it just to have a reliable driver,and I am doing the repairs myself. But I like the van and want to keep it. I know it will never be a show vehicle or even close it will always be a driver. I decided I could justify the additional expenditure by saying it keeps me busy - I wont be able to afford anything better for less money. I know it wont be worth the money I am spending on it but even though my disability income is tight I still spend bucks on fixing this or that. At what point would one stop? I am just looking for opinions here actually Im looking for justification for spending the money on the van. I just like it and am having fun working on it busted knuckles, pain pills and all. Just wondering at what point would a normal person stop?
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby fshrgy99 » February 22nd 2011, 12:37pm

Hi,
I guess everyone is different and it depends on your comfort level with repairs and access to parts....
for me, since my work is done in the drive (which, in the winter means in the snow) there are places I don't want to go when it comes to repair. This forum revealed the reason for my power steering and brake assist failure on my 1996 (thought I'd get fancy and spin the rear end around into a parking spot in an icy parking lot ,,, torque snapped the pulley shaft). When the mechanic quoted me $500 for a replacement I looked around and found a better 97 with 60K fewer miles for $1200. Now the 96 is a parts van. BTW While I was shopping for a new vehicle I considered lots of other options but, in spite of all the well known problems with electrics etc) there is nothing (IMO) that is as versatile as the safari (towing, passenger, light truck)
If you need parts maybe you could look for a parts van, never know
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby chevymaher » February 22nd 2011, 1:33pm

We have established I am not normal.And I got a money pit outside of the van.Way I do it is when every blue moon I have some money.I am not rich so not very often.I get the make it dependable stuff out of the way first.Then I plan a maintenence schedual.Right now it the brakes turn.They good but getting thin.It been 5 years since I replaced everything.So pads are next.Took me three years to be able to paint it.Every time I had the money something more important would come up before I got the paint.I will never get rid of her so I long range planning a engine.Piece at a time.After that it has a bejillion miles so rebuild rear end would be next.I try to cycle the biggies in 6 year increments so evreything dont hit at once.By the time all that gets done the new tranny wont be new anymore.It already got almost 100 thou.Then just upgrade interior and stereo etc as I can.
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby Leeann_93 » February 22nd 2011, 2:51pm

Shoot, I paid $500 for mine, then another $225 for the engine (forget new parts and fluids). I'm working on that swap here and there, when weather and my other vehicles allow. There's no way I could buy a vehicle that nice that didn't need work for the same money. Besides, I like to tinker ;)
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby Mr_Bowtie » February 22nd 2011, 3:42pm

If it runs good and its all caved in on one side I say keep tinkering! These Vans can last a long time. Every Astro/Safari I have sold was running great when I sold it. I think eventually you will get to the point where you should be able to enjoy a few months if not a year of no maintainance needed. On my old '92 and now my '96 thats how it is. My '96 needs some front end work now after a year, but in the last year all I have done to it is a new water pump, serpentine belt, and lower radiator hose. :rockon:
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby Gary » February 22nd 2011, 3:52pm

I suggest you go on Craigslist or Ebay to look for the same yr van as you have in the shape you would like yours to be.It might somewhat give you a idea of the replacement costs.In some cases it is the utility of the van you own that drives you to invest.Knowing everything about the van and it's needs.For me,I have a project known as "Ole Yellar" that I am building for a specific use that I can't buy.I have bought three vans to make into one.In round figures I have about three grand invested.
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby paintdrying » February 22nd 2011, 5:17pm

If you live in a rural area you will need a car. The used car market is very bad and getting worse. Everyone is holding anything that is good. All the good deals are snatched up fast by unemployed tinkers looking to make a few bucks. If it is keeping you busy that is very important, depression sets in if your out in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. I would evaluate what the van will need, and replace the minimum to keep it moving. Living off disability would be very difficult. i am working on keeping the lights on, if my van goes, I could manage but it is nice driving places.
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby Munken » February 22nd 2011, 6:13pm

I bought my daily drive Astro Oct7 2009 for $700 and the only thing I've done so far is:

$75 for new front brake pads.
$5 for a hose to the rear heat bypass.
$15 for antifreeze.
:think: ............... yeah, filled air in the tires.

Not much done................I have not even locked the doors since I bought her.

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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby tedanderson » February 22nd 2011, 6:41pm

a2l1 wrote:At what point do you decide no more money?


I say NEVER! :lol: :rofl:

But in all seriousness, I think that a mistake that many people make is that they don't evaluate ALL of the factors. If you only focus on your price paid vs. the price for repairs, you very well might miss out on something good. When I bought my first G-Series van, I paid $300 for it. Then I put another $2500 into an engine replacement, new tires, brakes. and exhaust. Because the van had a clean body and a clean interior, for $2800 I had a work vehicle that was nicer and more reliable than anything that I could have picked up on a used car lot for LESS MONEY than I would have otherwise had to pay.

Sometimes it actually makes sense to pay more to fix something than what you paid to buy it because it might have value to you that is beyond being monetary. Also, you have to think in terms of the fact that when you paid $500 for your van, you had a big advantage over the first owner who bought it new for $18,000.

So to put it into perspective- If someone was selling you an $18,000 van and gave you a $17,500 discount, would you have a problem with putting $3000 worth of repair work into it? Probably not. But sometimes we think that it's unwise to pay $500 for that SAME vehicle and paying to do the SAME repair work for $3000.

Also take into consideration that you really LIKE the van and you really LIKE working on it. Those are very important factors in vehicle selection and whether or not you keep it. It's a hobby.. one that produces fun and experience..both of which are VERY valuable. Just because something does not make sense financially, it doesn't mean that it's a bad idea.
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby RECox286 » February 22nd 2011, 8:23pm

It can be very difficult to say when do you say when, because folks have very different values. If the truck, or whatever hobby you are spending your time and money on, is worth more than just a finished product at the end, then the expenditure is deemed worthwhile, If you start with junk, and end up with junk, then it is not. Each person must evaluate for them-self if the finished product will be worth the expense and effort.

How to evaluate: Will the end product be worth more to someone else than it will to me ? Will I get more use out of the end product than I put into it ? Can I really afford (time and money) to do this project ?

You must realistically list all the problems that will require attention, and if you are willing to tackle those repairs, or if they will need to be farmed out. ie: horn not working, sloppy steering, engine tuneup, cooling system flush, headlight won't light, front brakes need replaced, pinion seal leaking, etc... Once the list has been compiled, then you can start to figure out all the parts you will need,which parts you will have to buy retail, and which ones you can opt to replace with recycled/used parts. Start searching for parts on the net: Amazon, CL, E-bay, autorecylers (JY), Want-ads in bulletin boards, and finally retailers last. You may be amazed at the deals available. Of course this is more time consuming than just going to the LAPS, however if you have the time vs the money...

Next consideration is will you be able to actually do said repairs. Are you equipped with the basic tools, literature, a place to work, and the ability ? This may sound a bit negative, but I have seen a few projects that ended up being sold off for cheap, and even going to the junkyard because the project just became more than the person could handle both for finances and abilities. Alternately, there have also been quite a few winners.

Your call, sir...Ball is in your court. (think about it)

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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby chevy57bert » February 22nd 2011, 9:39pm

Did not reach this point yet... With a little luck I never will.. :rofl:
This Van is over it`s value here in my country. So.. I just keep building :mrgreen:
It`s my last Car project... Will not buy a other Van or car.. It`s my Hobby to build this Van the way I wanted..
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby throrope » February 22nd 2011, 10:30pm

a2l1

IMHO, the driving factors are cost of repairs, cost of operation, utility and alternatives.

  • Cost of repairs comes in two flavors, parts and service. Part for part, every other car I've had costs more in parts by as much as 3X. Our 192K Astro requires more service than our 142K Nissan by about twice. If I had the time and ability to do all the service, keeping the Astro on the road is a no brainer. If I depended upon the shops, between the hourly rate and the parts markup, the Nissan is a no brainer and the Astro would have been long gone.
  • Cost of operation that is different from other cars is gas. If you drive by yourself long distances every day, the Astro would be difficult to justify. If you don't drive much or the Astro's a second car, then all is equal.
  • For utility the Astro is hard to beat. Good room, payload and tow capacity. If you don't need it or need more, why keep it.
  • If you have an Astro, what are the alternatives. In order to minimize on repair and operating costs, you need a new car that will depreciate in half in about four years and then the costs return. Since a vehicle in the same class will run $25K, you're looking at a twelve grand loss not including finance and leasing is about the same.
Nothing lasts forever including us. As far as cost vs benefit, it's a snickers bar. Any way you slice it, your best bang for the buck is driving a vehicle until it's absolutely worthless.
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby chevymaher » February 22nd 2011, 10:35pm

Geeze my van is not worth what the tires are just about.I got way more in her than she worth.Doesnt matter as long as I drive it.I could pay a fortune for a van same miles in worse condition.Only thing different the year.It subjective.If you drive it twenty years it was worth it.if you trying to make money off it it a waste
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby safari kev » February 23rd 2011, 5:25am

the way i figure, as long as the repairs aren't more (at one time) than the hassle of selling a broke vehicle, buying another one in similar shape + repairs on the new vehicle+ insurance on the new vehicle, I say its worth it.
for example, (I know I know, its not an astrofari)
I have a 1986 cadillac fleetwood brougham. I paid $1500 for it with 67xxx original miles- always garage kept, but maintenance was lacking and prev owner smoked like freight train and hit some stuff. so far I've replaced the tires, overhauled the brakes, front steering bushings, radiator, TCC solenoid, tailpipe, valve cover gaskets, had a carb tune up, and a bunch of other stuff (mostly at a shop due to me not having a garage and it being cold).
next up are the engine and trans. (wreck broke a motor mount, caused a bad leak between the engine and trans and some mystery oil leaks, and causes the trans to slip so bad the car will only go 15mph so i figure I might as well do a motor swap/ upgrade) (1600 parts and labor for installing a 350 chevy and 700r4)
anyways, when I'm done, I will have a $2500 car that I bought for $1500 and put $4k into. is it worth it (as an investment)? no. will it be a slick ride when I'm done- hell yeah.
not to mention you can never replace your first car.
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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby a2l1 [OP] » February 23rd 2011, 6:29am

Thanks everyone for all the input. I knew it was a personal decision but I wanted to see what the various opinions were. For now I guess I will replace the 1-2 solenoid in the tranny and go from there. If I can go without spending any more on it for a few months then I guess it will be here forever. I can/have found several astros here for $600 and under, all running and driving, all but one were 93 and older. The single newer one was a 96 and that was sold by the time I got in touch with the guy so not much of a selection for parts. Other than the shift solenoid all the other needs are cosmetic and would require a 95 or newer for parts. So I will fix the tranny and drive it for awhile and see how it goes.

Thanks everyone,

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Re: at what point do you decide no more money

Postby rev_les » February 23rd 2011, 6:47am

for what it's worth, I just put a 325 dollar fuel pump into a Safari I bought for 400....I pretty much stole the van though! :mrgreen:
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UncategorizedAn all-purpose area for Astro/Safari van related discussion. These forums typically contain van-related but ill-assorted topics unfit for any other category. General questions and information relating to Astro and Safari Vans only.
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