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Considering a 1988 RRC and Looking For Advice

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Old 05-04-2019, 01:43 PM
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Default Considering a 1988 RRC and Looking For Advice

Hi,

An unexpected opportunity came my way recently. A childhood friend back in my home town (in California) asked me if I wanted to buy a 1988 RRC that was gifted to a Buddhist seminary he volunteers at. He is close friends with the head monk. The monks are preparing to build a new temple and wish to rid themselves of several donated vehicles, including this truck. It was donated by the original California owner and has been sitting on site for about 1 year collecting dust. It lived in the dry valley area near Modesto all of its life up until recently. The head monk took possession of it from the owner and drove it ~ 150 miles to the seminary, so it runs. It is on a planned DMV non-op at the moment.

My friend did some basic inspecting for me, jumped the battery and got it started, drove it around and said it seemed OK, though he is not a Rover or car expert by any means. Body is straight, no apparent rust (even on the rear lift gate). I have the VIN and the search proves it was owned by one person from new until last year when it was donated. Paperwork also shows the donation form, release of status on the title, etc.

The one caveat with the report is the last odometer reading was in late 2007 at 100,010 (binary 34!) and still reads the same today. Uh oh. Previous readings in the report show the owner put about 10K per year, sometimes much less over the period from new to 2007. So, I figure it likely has ~ 200K on the engine given its age and previous driving pattern.

Cosmetically , it's missing the rear bumper end caps, and the interior has a few rough spots (seats worn, some minor door panel damage on one side, wood trim needs a refresh). And there is a crack in the lower passenger side windshield. Other than that, just dirty from sitting unused.

Tires appear to be good.

In terms of dash lights, the following were illuminated when my friend got it started.

Oil light. Friend checked the oil and it was full and looked slightly dark, though not black. Not sure what the deal is here or how sever it could be.

EFI light. The hose between the MAF and plenum chamber is taped up, so my guess is there is a crack/split in it. Maybe the MAF is dirty/malfunctioning?

Coolant light. Friend topped off the expansion tank with a little coolant and the light went out.

Battery light/alternator? Dim, even after driving it around for 10-15 minutes. My guess is the alternator needs replacing.

Below is a image of when it first arrived at the seminary. I have recent images as well, and it's super dusty as one would expect.




Price (undetermined, but likely very inexpensive, like maybe a few hundred $).

I am strongly considering flying down to inspect in person and making a decision. My parents live in the same area, so my first idea was buy it, spend a week getting it road ready, get the necessary temporary operation DMV stuff in order and driving the 700+ miles back home to WA. Maybe that is a fools endeavor, so backup plan (maybe better idea) is to have if shipped up for a grand or so.

Now for the advice. I own a 1997 D1 and have spent the last 14 years maintaining it, making upgrades, etc. so I am very familiar with it mechanically. Understanding that the 88 RRC is similar, I feel like it's probably worth the risk bringing it home and putting some time and $$ into it assuming I don't find anything heinously wrong with it.

Should I run away or take this rare opportunity to pickup a decent RRC for a very reasonable price that I can turn into another fun Rover to put around in?

I appreciate any wisdom to offer.

Thanks,

- Chris
 
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:20 PM
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This is a NO BRAINER...………….

100% Buy it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:54 PM
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Depending on price and space , it’s a go
 
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:12 PM
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Geesus man. What’s your address. I’ll send you some hundos and take possession of this wretched unreliable invaluable vehicle. Don’t waste your time.

more pics so I’ll know what size trailer to bring.




...yea dood, buy it for a few hundred.
 

Last edited by stillruns; 05-04-2019 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 08:04 PM
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the thing is junk, I will pay for delivery to my house, and dispose of it properly for you.
 
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:33 PM
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Thanks all! I knew you would have a totally unbiased opinion on this.

I'll try to follow up as things develop.
 
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:32 AM
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Default Update.

Originally Posted by LeakyDisco View Post
Thanks all! I knew you would have a totally unbiased opinion on this.

I'll try to follow up as things develop.
I have the title and other paperwork in hand and a flight booked to pick it up on the first week of July. A friend parked it at their house and says it seems to run fine. I'm taking it to my parents' house a short distance away to do an assessment of whether I think it can make the 700 mile journey with just some fluid changes and maybe fresh drive belts. Being it will be July in Northern CA, I'm a bit concerned about the heat and mountain pass over the Oregon border being a challenge. Plan B is either a U-Haul with a dolly or trailer, or maybe a car shipper. TBD.
 
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