Author Topic: Clown Car?  (Read 5771 times)

change_seeker

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Clown Car?
« on: April 28, 2016, 10:46:09 AM »
 We are considering getting an additional vehicle.  Our current vehicles are a 2005 Chrysler T&C minivan (purchased used for $7000, now has 120K miles on it) and a 1960 Ford F-100 pickup.  I bike commute 90% of the time (13 miles total per day), so the poor mileage of the F-100 doesn't affect our spending much.  I have been driving this F-100 for over 20 years, so it has quite a bit of sentimental value as well.  I do all my own maintenance, and it requires very little at this point.  My wife homeschools our 3 (almost 4) kids, so uses the minivan to take them to weekly homeschool meetups, Cub Scouts, church, etc.

I have an additional Ford F-100 that I purchased for parts.  My plan is to take the cab from this parts pickup and use it to replace the cab on my 'good' pickup, which is severely rusted out.  This process will take several months (hopefully no longer!) so we will need another vehicle for the few occasions (1-2 times per week) that we are driving in different directions for activities.

I'm considering buying a used Mazda Miata for $2000-$3000.  We have the cash, it is currently in a savings account labeled Car Savings, which was intended for an eventual minivan replacement.  I'm confident I could get the money back out of the Miata once my pickup repairs are completed, would just have to be careful that we don't expand to a 3 car household after the pickup project is completed.  I test drove one last night, and it put a VERY big smile on my face.  I used our simple FIRE calculator to see the impact of putting that money into the 'stache now, and it moved our FIRE date less than one month.

How anti-mustachian would this purchase be?

bobechs

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 11:19:38 AM »
Approximately this much


change_seeker

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2016, 11:30:29 AM »
This is pretty clowny.

humbleMouse

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2016, 11:36:25 AM »
I dont see the issue with dropping 3k on a miata if you can afford it.  They hold their value and you obviously know how to work on cars, so do it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2016, 11:38:35 AM »
You're rebuilding the truck to sell it right?

change_seeker

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2016, 12:01:21 PM »
You're rebuilding the truck to sell it right?

Now you're hurting my feelings...

Honestly I don't see myself getting rid of the pickup...ever.  We live on 4 acres in the country, so having a "farm truck" to throw firewood into or pull the occasional rented trailer is definitely worth it to me.

bobechs

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2016, 12:16:39 PM »
I'm not saying you should not have four motor vehicles on hand to do the work of 1.1.  I'm not saying you shouldn't take months to do a cab swap that should take about a weekend, with plenty of beer breaks.

I'm just saying if you do, you should be wearing the right hat around:



http://www.amazon.com/Felt-Clown-Hat-Red-Yellow/dp/B003XRNM7U/ref=sr_1_21?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1461867194&sr=1-21&nodeID=7141123011&keywords=clown+hat

Rufus.T.Firefly

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2016, 12:30:40 PM »
I think I'm going to get a MX-5. Maybe. But not until I am a millionaire. That will give me several years to think about it.

Pretty much you can boil all choices down to it will only extend my FI date "____ months." The principal of frugality is that a bunch of seemingly little choices add up to some pretty dramatic results. Pocket the money now and buy the car when you're FI, if you even still want it then.

HipGnosis

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2016, 12:39:34 PM »
A couple random thoughts
from a gear-head

I don't see why you need a car for a couple months.  I'm not saying not to do it, but just asking.
You can remove the 'good cab' w/o needing another car.  That will 'teach' you what is involved and what's required.   Removing the 'bad' cab will be alot faster because you will know what's to be done, know how to do it and will have gotten everything you need to do it (and you won't care about damaging it).
Installation is simply removal in reverse, probably with some new nuts and bolts.
I've worked on a few old p/us, and they're not very complicated.  Disconnect the master cylinder from the bad cab (firewall) and you won't have to bleed the brakes.

Nothing wrong with a Miata, but for a short time like that, you could get most anything you come across that's a good deal - esp. if it's a deal because it needs some work that you can do.
It just makes more sense (to me) to buy a car the family can fit in...  esp since you already have one they don't all fit in.   Just in case...

Can you make a trailer from the 'parts truck'?  I've seen lots of trailers made from p/u beds.

change_seeker

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2016, 01:10:40 PM »
Bobechs-

Your implication that my gearhead card should be revoked has merit...  My (admittedly lame) excuse for planning a longer duration is that since transitioning from single-guy-who-works-on-cars-all-the-time-and-builds-racecars-from-the-ground-up to married-guy-with-a-millon-kids-who-can't-even-get-an-oil-change-done I have been unable to get many large projects done.  In the last year I did a steering rack on the minivan and a new shortblock on the riding mower, that was it.

HipGnosis-

Thanks for fact-checking my overestimation of the project.  There are a few more details, because I want to combine all the "good" parts from both cabs.  i.e. attempt to move the whole windshield from the "bad" cab to the "good" cab.  However, nothing that a focused effort couldn't overcome.  The wiring will take a bit of time as I've updated to halogens (added relays), etc.  I know, more excuses.

I'm attempting to make this a net-zero or profitable project by selling all the leftover parts.  The "bad cab" is from a complete 1960 F-100 4WD with a V8, so I am hoping to sell the engine & chassis.  This was only the second year of Ford's factory 4WD, so they are a bit rare.  If I can't get decent money for it I'll see if I can revive the V8 and do 4WD donuts with it.

The advice to get a vehicle we will all fit into hits WAY to close to home.  I know that is the practical choice, could probably get a Volvo wagon or SUV with third row seats for around the same price if I shop around.  But when we go separate directions it is usually a 2-3 split, so the Miata would technically work.

change_seeker

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2016, 04:48:14 PM »
Mustachian Miata Clown Car?

Jack

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2016, 05:11:26 PM »
It sounds like a great idea to me... but then again, I have a $3000 Miata and a project car!

I'm attempting to make this a net-zero or profitable project by selling all the leftover parts.  The "bad cab" is from a complete 1960 F-100 4WD with a V8, so I am hoping to sell the engine & chassis.  This was only the second year of Ford's factory 4WD, so they are a bit rare.  If I can't get decent money for it I'll see if I can revive the V8 and do 4WD donuts with it.

I realize it's a difficult question, but... other than the sentimental value, would it make more sense just to keep the V8 4x4 intact and consider your existing truck to be the "parts truck?"

change_seeker

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2016, 10:41:46 AM »
It sounds like a great idea to me... but then again, I have a $3000 Miata and a project car!

I'm attempting to make this a net-zero or profitable project by selling all the leftover parts.  The "bad cab" is from a complete 1960 F-100 4WD with a V8, so I am hoping to sell the engine & chassis.  This was only the second year of Ford's factory 4WD, so they are a bit rare.  If I can't get decent money for it I'll see if I can revive the V8 and do 4WD donuts with it.

I realize it's a difficult question, but... other than the sentimental value, would it make more sense just to keep the V8 4x4 intact and consider your existing truck to be the "parts truck?"

Jack-

The 2WD is much more road-worthy than the 4WD.  I put independent front suspension, power steering, disc brakes, modern 5-speed transmission, and a rebuilt engine in it right after high school so that I could drive it instead of a beige-mobile during college.  The reliability of it surprises me to this day.

I just found a 90' Miata for $1300 on CL, that may seal the deal...

Cwadda

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2016, 11:02:06 AM »
Love Mazdas. Wish I could fit in a Miata but my Mazda3 is treating me just fine :)

Jack

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2016, 11:21:18 AM »
The 2WD is much more road-worthy than the 4WD.  I put independent front suspension, power steering, disc brakes, modern 5-speed transmission, and a rebuilt engine in it right after high school so that I could drive it instead of a beige-mobile during college.  The reliability of it surprises me to this day.

I just found a 90' Miata for $1300 on CL, that may seal the deal...

Hmm... is the rebuilt engine a V8? Can the 4WD transfer case / driveshafts / axles /hubs be bolted up to the 5-speed transmission and independent front suspension?

change_seeker

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2016, 01:13:24 PM »
Ended up buying a 1987 BMW 325 (e30) for $1700.

In full-on buyer's remorse mode now...

First time I filled it up with gas it leaked out of the top of the tank and the outside of the car reeked like gas.
50% of the time it runs like crap, coughing and sputtering for the first few miles.
It has aftermarket coilovers, which *might* marginally improve the handling, but I'm convinced they are adjusted so that they have no bump travel and thus damping is basically non-existent.
Feels like I bought another project, when I don't have time to work on the project that I originally purchased this as a substitute for.
Haven't worked on the truck yet, and my parts truck has been sitting in the shop for a couple of weeks now.

grrrrrr....

Dicey

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2016, 03:17:09 PM »
1987? That must be a very old itch you scratched. Make the best of it by getting all the work done asap and move on with your life.

change_seeker

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2018, 03:45:22 PM »
Just to close the loop, sold the car about a year later for the same amount I paid for it.  It was fun to drive on the North Caroline backroads, but not 'nice' enough that my wife wanted to ride in it on date nights.  My kids and dog loved going for rides in it!

SugarMountain

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2018, 04:08:55 PM »
Just to close the loop, sold the car about a year later for the same amount I paid for it.  It was fun to drive on the North Caroline backroads, but not 'nice' enough that my wife wanted to ride in it on date nights.  My kids and dog loved going for rides in it!

Did you ever swap the cabs on the trucks?

change_seeker

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Re: Clown Car?
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2018, 04:35:02 PM »
Just to close the loop, sold the car about a year later for the same amount I paid for it.  It was fun to drive on the North Caroline backroads, but not 'nice' enough that my wife wanted to ride in it on date nights.  My kids and dog loved going for rides in it!

Did you ever swap the cabs on the trucks?

I did!  It was a mad rush to get it done before we sold our house last spring, but I managed to get all my 'good' parts assembled into a single truck.  We moved from NC to NV, and the truck is currently sitting in southern Indiana in a friend's barn.  I'm planning on flying out there sometime this year with my oldest son and road-tripping it back.

Picture attached below