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Possible purchase ~ 1990 Aerostar.

Kai

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2002 ZX2
I have been in the market for a strong reliable van for use in hauling my gear and art to faires.

I came across a 1990 Aerostar with 151k declared miles.

I ran a vin check as the seller provided it for me, and determined it is an Eddie Bauer 4.0L-V6 4spd automatic

Has power windows, power mirrors and door locks.

I haven't taken a physical look at it yet, he lists it in "good condition". The vin check brings up no warnings or other issues and the mileage is verified by the AZ DMV

It looks clean, and I am hoping it drives clean. He is asking $800.00 ( which I think is a fair price).

I currently drive a Ford Zx2 and am a member of a dedicated Ford family, so this is a bit of a no-brainer for me. Plus I dig that it actually sits on a F-150 chassis!!!!

So thoughts? What should I look for? I attempted to located what recalls applied to the vin but had an issue actually getting that specific info.

Here is the CL post ( please if you are a local AZ resident, don't buy it out from underneath me!!!) http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/cto/4279505608.html
 


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Jose A.

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That one is called a "shorty". 1990 is too old, you can get a 1997 (last year), in better shape. And you could try to find the Extended 4.0 model with more space.
 




Kai

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Well, most of the "newer" models in my area are beat to shit and have twice as many miles and are twice to three times more money!!! I don't really need more space than the "shorty". Its plenty of room for my art and equipment!!
 




Kai

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Update: Just talked to the guy on the phone.
Said he had a new tranny put in 3 yrs ago.

After which, a clunking noise started occuring in the transfer case when he lays into the gas pedal hard?

He said possibly the transfer case chain? How spendy is it to replace one?
 




BrooklynBay

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Welcome to this forum! Take it for a test drive to see how it runs. You might be able to rebuild the transfer case if you could get the parts cheap enough. Take a look at WWW.RockAuto.Com & WWW.Drivetrain.Com. The price isn't bad providing that the transfer case works. Don't pay that price if the transfer case will need to be completely rebuilt. It's very hard to find one of these vans in this kind of condition (considering its age). Everything in my area is rusted.
 




Kai

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The seller explained that the clunking only occurs when he gives it full throttle. And it has been like that for 3 yrs.

He said that it also started after some dingbats at the emissions testing location nearly blew up the van because they ran up the rpm not understanding that it is an AWD van. He said it was the most hideous thing he had ever experienced... the van lurched forward and nearly took itself out of the testing bay. :-/

He sounded like a nice old gent who said he owns several.
I asked him if the 117k miles were orig. and he said yes, but with the new gleaned info about the electronic odometer rolling back to 100k after hitting 199,999, I am thinking it might just be a 217k true miles. Nevertheless, it looks clean.
Going to take a mechanic friend with me to give it a once over and drive it. I'm thinking this just might be the ticket for this artsy fartsy gal to haul her wares to the faires!!!
 




Kai

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Brooklyn ~

How do I know if the transfer case is working? I checked out the parts links you posted.. the rebuild cost is nominal but woofty... a rebuilt is way out of budget.. ugggh.
Last thing I can afford is to drop a couple of grand on a remanufactured transfer case and installation..
I can do minor repair but this sort of thing is way out of my wheel house.
 




BrooklynBay

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The transfer case has an electromagnetic clutch. If you see that it's causing issues, you could cut the power to the clutch so that it doesn't engage. We have a thread on this site called the brown wire mod with information on this. The transfer case in that thread is a real transfer case with 4 Hi & 4 Low (unlike the one in these vans) but the principle of operation is similar.
 




JeffHWV

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That is a great deal if you ask me. These vans are unibody not F-150 chassis and have mainly Ranger mechanicals. The body is everything on these vans as most of the AWD models are in rust areas and rust is the biggest weakness of the Aerostar. You could buy a used transfer case in the junkyard if you can find one in your area. Look on ebay or car-part.com . I can't imagine having to pay much more than a couple hundred dollars for one considering what the vans are worth. One thing to consider that having AWD is going to cost you considerable gas milage and if you don't need if I would stick with RWD. He's down to $700 now.
 




BrooklynBay

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It might not be available much longer if he keeps lowering the price. Some guys on Craigslist ask insane prices (2K -3K), so even if it needs a little work you will have a good van with some money left over to invest in repairs. The guy might give you a better price if he sees that you're interested (especially if he sees that nobody else is making an offer).
 




JeffHWV

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IMO, this van is worth near double the asking price unless there is something else wrong. Probably why it is so cheap is it is in the wrong area of the country. Not much need for AWD in Arizona unless in mountains. You can't buy much with AWD for $700 let alone rust free if original AZ vehicle. I' d bet 5 hundreds in person takes it home, which is only slightly more than what it is worth for scrap. I could sell it in a day here for $700.
 




colintrax

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That is a great deal if you ask me. These vans are unibody not F-150 chassis and have mainly Ranger mechanicals. The body is everything on these vans as most of the AWD models are in rust areas and rust is the biggest weakness of the Aerostar. You could buy a used transfer case in the junkyard if you can find one in your area. Look on ebay or car-part.com . I can't imagine having to pay much more than a couple hundred dollars for one considering what the vans are worth. One thing to consider that having AWD is going to cost you considerable gas milage and if you don't need if I would stick with RWD. He's down to $700 now.

$700 is a good price. IMHO it's worth it, even if it's having transfer case problems.
Don't expect good gas milege, 4.0+AWD= :eek:

Also, it doesn't ride on a f-150 frame nor is it unibody. It's a ranger frame (well sorta)
 




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