For Those Who Have Purchased a "Non-Running" Mopar/Other

General Discussion

  1. hosehead

    hosehead Well-Known Member

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    My 65 d100 sat for 27 years (that I know of) with the timing cover off. It had the loosest timing chain ive ever seen. when I looked down into the pan, I saw something weird sitting on top of the oil pick up. I reached down with one of those spring loaded claw tool things and pulled out a giant lizard. He was fully marinated in 10w40. This made me decide that I would get the mighty poly engine running.
    Put a chain on it, rebuilt the carb, points, condenser, and a new fuel pump/filter. runs like a champ now and recently cold started at 17 degrees during our current storm.
    Oh yeah, I did pull the engine to fix numerous gasket leaks. Inside the oil pan where the lizard was living I also recovered, a mouse, a rat, three baby frogs and dozens of bugs.

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    • 72swingerVA

      72swingerVA Active Member

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      Not a real purchase, but my first car was a hand-me-down '81 Mercury Zephyr with a straight six (junk with constant vacuum leaks, but that's a different subject). After I moved out of state and drove it for years my parents took it back and let it sit, then they couldn't start it. My dad and brother (who had about 90 years experience working on cars between them) went all over the thing and couldn't get it to start or run at all. But sometimes it's the simple things - I threw a $30 WalMart battery in it and it started right up. Then I drove it home about 800 miles.
       
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      • Greasyfingers

        Greasyfingers Well-Known Member

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        The 74 Bronco I have had been sitting for over 20 years when I dragged it home. The guy I got it from was never able to get it to run right. I spent a Saturday morning going through the basics to make sure everything was ok. Then I realized whoever installed the spark plugs wires used a chevy firing order.
         
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        • 67autocross

          67autocross A new iron curtain drawn across the 49th parallel

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          In the late 80’s a local guy sent the engine from his 86 Honda 250cr dirt bike to some tuner 800 miles away from where we lived to get rebuilt top to bottom and have the cylinder ported...he gets the engine back and the work cost $1500...after 3 weeks of trying to get it running he is pissed off and gives up on it... I was at the local bank in line with him and asked him why he had not been out riding his bike...tells me how it got rebuilt and the guy who did the work must have messed up because it wouldn’t run...so I offer him $800 for it and he says he will drop it off at my place in an hour...so one hour later as he is driving away from my place before I even push the bike into the garage my brother who is a bike mechanic pulls up in his car and asks what’s going on with the bike... I tell him I just bought it from the guy who is driving away for $800 but it doesn’t run because of a bad rebuild...he gets out of the car and starts looking it over...he proceeds to twist the throttle and says something is wrong with the carb tells me go get me a Phillips screwdriver...it’s Friday evening and I tell him I would rather go for beers instead of working on the bike but I go get the screw driver anyway...he spins the carb sideways and unthreads the top off carb and pulls out the slide and starts laughing... I ask what’s so funny...he says the slide is in the carb backwards...he puts it back the correct way and the bike starts first kick...I jump on it and ride it past the guys house I bought it off 15 minutes after he dropped it in my driveway
           
          Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
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          • bcschief

            bcschief Well-Known Member

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            Had a fellow employee give me a 88 Taurus wagon with a 3.8 engine didn't run and he had to get it out of his yard because of code enforcement drug it home with a chain put a fuel pump in it the wife drove that car for 2 years and then she traded it in on her next car.
             
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            • famous bob

              famous bob mopar misfit

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              Was pretty kick ass, got pics w/ it carrying 1'' wheels up , only 4 ;10 gears to go w/ those 14'' mickeys, which came out to about 3 ;73 rear gearing.
              wish I still had it.
              Seems to have dropped off the earth , no ones seen or heard tell of it since, the guy that bought it told me he was from Bartlesville, only about 30 minutes from me ------??
              Did I say , I wish I still had it ??---lol
               
            • famous bob

              famous bob mopar misfit

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              this was a basket case w/no baskets too----
               
            • Big_John

              Big_John In my defense, I was left unsupervised.

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              Bought a '72 Plymouth Fury ex cop car for peanuts, owner was a co-worker. Said it needed a starter. Dragged it home and turned out the 440 heavy rod motor had tossed a rod. Surprisingly, no real damage, except for the rod and a small chip in the block, but I pulled the motor and junked the car. His wife came into work and actually asked me for more money for the car a couple weeks after I bought it.

              Bought a '53 Chrysler Windsor with electrical problems. Mice had chewed up the cloth covered wire. Got it to start, but no oil pressure, so I tore the engine out. The oil pressure problem turned out to be a home made gasket covering the oil filter housing (flathead six) but what was scary was the engine turned out to swapped from an earlier car. They just tossed it in with 2 bolts to the bellhousing and a loose bolt or two to the fluid drive. I'm glad I had the oil pressure problem because if I had gotten it running, the whole thing would have come apart with disastrous results.
               
            • mcodecuda

              mcodecuda Senior Member

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              My brother in law is a used car dealer and I always accompanied him to drive some of the cars that he bought or sold. On night they pushed through a non running Plymouth Omni TC3 that was in good shape. I bought it cheap and my brother in law was on my case for buying a non running car. We flat towed the car home and I noticed that it had a new alternator and a new battery so we jump started the car and I drove it for about an hour with no issues. It ran but the battery would die every few days. I changed it up one day and when a came home after a night of drinking I noticed that the passenger’s floor area was lit up. Turns out the glove box light assembly had popped out behind the dash and that’s what was killing the battery all along. I sold the car and my brother in law was pissed because I made money off of it.
               
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              • Cuda Al

                Cuda Al Well-Known Member

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                Purchased a none runner, CHP 1969 Dodge Polara that had been sitting in a field for 30 years, didn't care. It was parked because of transmission issues. The owners son was a High School auto shop teacher and could have easily rebuilt the transmission.

                2010, engine seized, took a week of soaking to free it up to take apart for rebuild.
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                2017, six and a half years later.
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                Alan
                 
                Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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                • roylerumble

                  roylerumble Well-Known Member

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                  bought a 96 land rover discovery. Running really rough, had a coolant leak, picked it up super cheep. Was running rough because a vacuum line was cracked right at the intake, pulled it off, clipped it a bit shorter, put it back on. Coolant leak was an exchanger, torqued the bolts down, stopped. Drove it for years after that before I sold it.

                  Bought a diesel smart car that had a bunch of warning lights on the dash. One was a heater light that wouldn't come off. Discovered the carpet shifted and was preventing a cable from engaging.
                   
                • Cuda Al

                  Cuda Al Well-Known Member

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                  Recently I purchased a 69 Polara convertible. At the point of sale I went to start it and nothing, seller popped the hood and wiggled the very questionable fusible link connector, fired right up. They put the car on a lift so I could inspect the floor and see anything else. The exhaust was cobbled together with no less than 20 pieces and was ready to fall apart in spots. And there was a c-clamp holding the starter on.
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                  I did a test drive and even with the well worn suspension it drove quite nice so I was good with going for it on a 540 mile drive home.

                  On the road the questionable fusible link connector failed, repaired it and then wouldn't start, bad starter relay.

                  Most of the way home with a couple big grades still ahead of us the car starts struggling up the smaller hills like it was running out of gas, we persist. At the large grade the car comes to a crawl and we crawl up the hill and maybe 4 mph. The next day I pull the fuel filter and cut it open.
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                  While working on it I find a piece of wire on the intake, to realize it was a make shift accelerator pump rod that had fallen off.
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                  Even after totally rebuilding the exhaust and fuel system I still had issues with it running bad, no where as good as the initial test drive.
                  Went to check the distributor and found it only had one clamp, it was that way when I got it (looked at old pictures).
                  Fixed that and much better. Now it was getting almost impossible to start, rebuild the carb, wasn't much left of the accelerator pump.
                  Runs great now, great power.

                  All that and I made it 540 miles home?


                  Alan
                   
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                  • Dartnut

                    Dartnut Don't hate me because i'm beautiful

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                    I bought a '71 Demon 318 3 speed standard on the floor with an 8 3/4 sure grip in 1981 for $400.
                    The guy had put it in the ditch during a snow storm and it sat on it's left side over night.
                    He started it and the engine smoked badly, so he thought the engine was fried.
                    I bought it, and ran the crap out of it and the smoking cleared up after a few days.
                    Apparently, the oil leaked past the rings and fouled the plugs on the driver's side.
                    I drove that car for 3 years with no other problems, it was the best car that I have ever bought.
                    I never even pulled the plugs on it..........

                    Then, there was the ex wife's '87 Cavalier.
                    She said it wouldn't start after it sat uninsured for a year.
                    She gave it to me, and when I looked under the hood, the spark plug wires were chewed off in little pieces on the front of the engine.
                    I went to the local junk yard and got the wires and distributor cap off of another car and replaced the old ones.
                    It started right up and ran good.
                    I sold the car for $1,000 and thought, that is a good start on paying me back for all that I lent you over the years.......
                     
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                    • pishta

                      pishta I know I'm right....

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                      There is a flawless 2018 Smart car with 50k on it for sale for $1000 locally that has a fuel vapor pressure leak (failed EGR pressure test so it won't pass smog) that's probably just a cracked vent line from the tank or a bad fuel cap gasket. I should pick it up... stupid looking cars but great for the college student in the family. Had same problem in our 2012 Grand Caravan. Was a pinhole in a fuel vapor hose under the van. Common issue.
                       
                    • MOPARMAGA

                      MOPARMAGA FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      99 dakota 5.9 r/t 78,000 miles
                      Supposed to be bad head gaskets.
                      I figured also the valve seats were cracked.
                      I cleaned up the engine really nice, installed my new comp cam installed my new EQ Heads. I painted it race hemi orange & went to fill it up with coolant
                      (In the dark & in the rain) & started hearing water pouring out.
                      Well it was a corroded freeze plug, in between the trans & block.
                      Then I unbolted the trans & fixed that.
                      Long story short..
                      I got it running & shortly after noticed water in my oil pan. THE FUCKING #5 CYLINDER HAD A CRACK IN IT.
                      so rebuilt another 5.9 magnum & haven't had an issue so far except now the trans is going & I thinks it's times for a big block 4 speed
                       
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                      • Jim Lusk

                        Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

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                        Forgot about the '79 Power Wagon. Would run on a steady stream of starter fluid. Had it towed home (on my car trailer). Found the fuel hose from the main line to the fuel pump had a crack in it. Ran great after that. That was in 2006. The biggest problem with the PW was that it was TOO big and too much truck for my needs. It was a 3/4 ton, club cab, long bed. Great truck, but hard to park at the store...

                        Then, the PW was replaced in 2011 with a 2000 Durango that didn't run (No Bus error in the odometer). Dragged it home and realized that the fuel pump wasn't making any noise when you turn the key to "on". Hmmm, no ground to the ASR from the PCM. Bought it through a buddy of mine who owns a shop. His mechanic had replaced the PCM about six months prior and thought there was no way the "new" rebuilt PCM could be bad again...

                        We're still driving the Durango and it's already been paid for. Back in late 2013 a guy high on meth ran a red light and shaved the grill and bumper off. Also damaged the left fender. Before valuing the Dodge AAA totaled it ($4k in damage). They then proceeded to give me $6,300 AND the Durango back. Bought a parts Durango for $1k and sold $2k in parts (still have front and rear axles). It's nice to "sell" a car and be able to keep driving it...
                         
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                        • Krooser

                          Krooser Reform School Graduate

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                          '48 Ford F1....locked up. Had a '56 Buick nailhead. Found an intake valve stuck in the cylinder head. Bought one new piston. My DD for 5 years.
                           
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                          • dirty white boy

                            dirty white boy 50 yr old Juvenal delinquent

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                            bout 1989 bought a 70 chevelle for 500 bucks from my neighbor motor ant been built lil over a year, was poping threw carb accelerating and back firing out exhaust decelerating, was the dreaded 5/7 crossed plug wires! took car back to him next day told him the fix and offerd him his car back, he declined!

                            drove a new chevy topkick truck with 35ft furniture body on it with a caterpillar motor in it, ol truck seemed week to me from day one! bout 6 months later crank it up at the yard about 20 degrees and it gose to making a squilling noise loud as hell, kill motor owner come running out and he decides to get it towed to shop, shop brings it back 2 hours later said was big piece of cardbord trying to go threw turbo, with no way it coulda passed threw the air to air had to been there since built!

                            new freightliner 35ft furniture truck, 1st trip out! best running straight truck ever drove to date! run great from high point nc all way to mass, run around all day put off 10 stops, coming up 495 around boston ol truck just flat loses power to point 55mph fastest it run after running 80+ all way up there! told company fuel filters, thay said take it to closest cummins dealer so to cummins we go bout 3 blocks away from foxboro stadium check truck in, and we go to the hilton at foxboro! so next am trucks ready, 4 1/2 hours dyno time + 10 dollar fuel filter cost 490 bucks and hotel cost 350 and phone bill to call an reschedule the remaning 22 stops was 620 bucks....1450 bucks over 10 fuel filter driver said to start with...
                             
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                            • Krooser

                              Krooser Reform School Graduate

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                              I bought a 60's MGB ragtop in DeLand, FL late 80's. I was hauling cars back then with a C-30 Chevy with a ramp body and a 20' enclosed trailer..

                              I had a MB 190SL in my enclosed trailer so I loaded the MG onto the ramp truck. While crawling under the RR of the B to strap it down a good size snake crawled out of the tailpipe... I must have been disturbing his home.

                              When I got back home to WI two big rats jumped out of the under floor battery boxes... yikes!
                               
                            • jbharris

                              jbharris Well-Known Member

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                              I bought a $200 70 Chevy truck once. Owner had put a ton of new parts on it. Couldn't get it to run. "electrical issues" he said. Took it home put a new battery in and found the ground cable broken. Looked like it was hooked up but it was hiding a cut wire behind the alternator. New ground wire and she fired right up. I made some good money on that one.
                               
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                              • Dartnut

                                Dartnut Don't hate me because i'm beautiful

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                                That reminds me of a '69 Coronet R/T that I bought in the early '90s.
                                440 4 speed 3:54 Dana Ramcharger hood car, all original and stock except for headers and electronic ignition.
                                Pretty much a ''survivor'' by today's standards.
                                The clutch was bad, and that's why it was parked in the guy's shop for over 10 years.
                                I replaced the clutch, but it didn't have a lot of power for a 375 horse 440.
                                I got pissed off at it and floored it running it through the gears and revving it up to 5,500 R.P.M. between gear changes.
                                The second time I did that, it somehow ''took off'' as if I hit a nitrous bottle at the end of second gear.
                                It had great power after that.
                                I turned around and drove back to where this surge in power happened.
                                On the highway, there was a bunch of dead mice and stuffing, twigs, etc. laying on the road.
                                As it turns out, the exhaust was so plugged with the mouse nest that the engine couldn't breathe.
                                Problem solved!
                                I loved that car and shouldn't have sold it...........
                                 
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                                • Jim Lusk

                                  Jim Lusk Well-Known Member

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                                  One more. Back around 2006 or so my son was itching for something to fix. He found an '84 Ramcharger 2wd 318 for $200. Guy said it had a transmission leak so they got a junkyard transmission to replace it and it leaked, too. They had started to remove the transmission so it didn't run. We pulled the trans out and put a kit and converter in it. My son called and said it was still leaking, but looked like engine oil. I told him to replace the oil sending unit. No more leaks, but the thing got terrible gas mileage and he was still itching to do something else to the truck. Enter my best friend from high school and his son's wrecked '96 5.2 Dakota...Made money on the swap and the fuel mileage doubled and there was a lot more power.
                                   
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