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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had to scrap my 1998 Ford E-150 because it was literally falling apart with rust. It is ashamed too because the power train had a lot of life left. I need a new car but I only have $2300-$2500 to spend to due to the time and money constraints of being in nursing school. I found an '99 Isuzu Trooper that was in great shape but the jerk at the dealership would only budge $100 on the price. So I walked.


I am finding a lot of S-10 size Chevy Blazers from the late '90s with less than 100,000 miles on them. I have read a lot about them online and it seems as though there is nearly a 50/50 love hate relationship with them. These are 15-16 year old cars so I take these complainers with a grain of salt. Does anyone here have any experience with one this old?


I am also looking at Trackers/Suzuki Grand Vitara in the same price and age range with similar miles. To tell the truth these little SUV's are starting to grow on me and it seems as though they are rather well liked by their owners. From what I have read the Tracker is nothing more than a Suzuki with a Chevy logo.
 

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For what its worth, my sister had a early 1990's Geo Tracker. Rugged little 4wd jeep like truck. She put a lot of miles on it, and eventually traded it in due to rust. I remember one of the few problems she had with it was the driver's door falling off because the hinges rusted away. I would say if you could find a clean one, it would probably work well for you.

Might want to Google any particular model vehicle you are looking at for known problem areas. I know with my 1996 GMC PU, it has been the brake lines and rear bumper rusting out.

Larry
 

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lakota said:
. . . . but the jerk at the dealership would only budge $100 on the price. So I walked.
good man ! :D
never ever be afraid to walk away. they NEED you, you don't need them.
new and used car dealers are a dime a dozen. it's nothing like when i first
started. back then, a lot (most) salesmen stayed at one place and served
2 or more generations of families. nowdays you're lucky if the same guy
that sold you the car still works there when you go to pick it up.
 

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Depending where you live, or where the vehicle is from, rust is a major concern as mentioned. Not just body wise but brake lines, suspension components, etc. Anything older should go on a lift for a decent look over.

Know some at an auto salvage yard? Ask them about what sells or is hard to find for your vehicle of choice, preferably before you purchase. Certain manufacturers have bad years on various products, one way to stay away from a potential mess.

I'll see about what I can find out on late 90's Blazers, could be interesting!
 

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That kind of budget, go with an older toyota truck. Just stay away from the 3.0 v6 and you will be safe.
There is a reason they last so long, very over built from the factory.

I would not pay much more than scrap price for any variant of an s10, blazer or otherwise. Gm built those things as cheaply as possible, and a cheap gm is by far the worst gm product... I have worked on them and fixed wrecked ones.. no way would i own one.

Most all suzukis are good vehicles, some parts will be very hard to get since they pulled out of the us market a few years ago.
They are usually up there with toyota on build quality.. The trackers/sidekicks were pretty flimsy body wise though.
 

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I remember one time I bought a 77 2wd long bed Toyota pickup from a dealership. It had just been traded in and the paint was faded, the seats were ripped up, needed a couple of tires, and it was about 15 years old. They were pretty plain trucks back then.
They quoted me $2500, but about 2 hours later I drove it out of there for $700.
 

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I'd stay away from any "off brands" like the Isuzu or the Suzuki/Trackers. The Suzuki/Tracker was a good vehicle, but parts are just too hard to find, and some parts are unavailable anymore.


If you don't need 4 wheel drive you can get more vehicle for the same price by looking for a 2 wheel drive version, plus most repairs/maintenance will be cheaper too. Salesmen will be more eager to dicker on something with a stick shift, as they don't sell as good anymore.


Like Ranger99 said, don't hesitate to walk away - let the salesman chase you across the lot! Most of them will too, it's a cutthroat business! ;D
 

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OK, checked with the counterman and the parts puller at the salvage yard.

Late 90's S10 blazers are big on automatic trans replacements along with some 4.3 l engines. The engines can go 150,000+ but like all things YMMV. The transmissions were the first thing mentioned.

There's a part referred to as the 'spider' under the intake manifold. It is a plastic line that the fuel runs thru and when they get old and dried out they can crack/break dumping fuel where it's not supposed to. If the engine as changed the 'spider' could be ok.

HTH, 30cf.
 

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daughter has one a 4.3 auto and it was sitting out here the other day and I looked and it had 140k on it. I asked the son in law how it had held up and he said other the brakes, tires and shocks he hadn't done a thing to it and it still doesn't burn oil and runs like a top. We used the s10 pickups for meter trucks at work and all of them went over a 100k and the only problems I remember were a couple of the earlier ones had harmonic balancers that slipped position. they were pretty much bullet proof other then that and when you figure they went well over a 100k you have to factor in that being meter trucks there started in the morning and shut off at 4pm. When there not driving them there sitting there idling while they read the meter.
 

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Lakota, congratulations on nursing school. I have been an RN for about 12 years. I no longer do patient care but nursing is a good job for now. lets hope Obama Care does not mess it up. I had a 1999 tracker and that was one of my favorite vehicles. I wish they still made them. Parts were expensive for them though. we had over 200000 when we let it go due to a growing family.
 

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same motor
lil_hunter12 said:
The s10 blazers I've always heard have problems with freeze plugs popping out but the s10 pickup was pretty much bullet proof and have seen many over 300000 miles especially the manual version
 

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My guess is bad plugs the mechanic I was working for claimed it was from people running then hard constantly and not maintaining the cooling system properly he also said that if one wants a 2 wheel drive the best engine in an s10 has always beenthe 4 cyl with a 5 speed trans claimed that he had only done one rebuild and one engine change since they came out they are near indestructible
 

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we used to have a fleet customer with
100 + 2.2 m/t S-10's.
they had all been through 2 wringers and were
still rolling. the only major repairs we had to do
were replacing the poor factory radiators and
fan clutches with quality aftermarket ones.
if they'd have handed me the keys to one i
wouldn't have been afraid to drive it anywhere.
(after a good washing and vacuuming :p )
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm about ready to call this whole thing off. Shopping for a used car has been an enormous waste of time so far. I have only actually seen 4 cars and 3 of them were absolute pieces of trash that the owners believed to be in near mint condition. The rest of the cars I contacted people about were a bunch of scammers. "Ebay is handling the sale for me, I can't be there in person just send them the money and the car will be shipped to your door..." Does anyone fall for this crap? I was supposed to meet a guy tonight about a Tracker and he stands me up. I have a bicycle that I may start using as my primary vehicle.
 

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lakota said:
. . . ."Ebay is handling the sale for me, I can't be there in person just send them the money and the car will be shipped to your door..." Does anyone fall for this crap? . . .

actually, yes. a fella i knew (now passed) sent a large amount of money for a muscle car several states
away, sight unseen. i was worried about it being a bondo wagon and a rust bucket and told him. i
never thought about him getting it up the chute for the whole amount. i thought those sites were
better controlled, but it turns out they're barely controlled at all as long as their ad money is paid up.
 
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