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 New member from Tennessee.... with a question!

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Bushwhacker



Posts : 5
Join date : 2019-02-01

PostSubject: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:52 pm

Hi everyone - I'm not a wagon owner yet, but have always loved the '91-96 GM longroofs, and am in the market for my first one. Any recommendations for a newbie for what to look for, what to avoid, problem areas, etc? I'll be looking for something less than $3500, so I know I won't find perfection in that price range - but I want to make sure I don't end up with something needing major work. Good thing is, I live in the south, so rust won't be as big of an issue as in the North and Midwest. Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. Thanks in advance and I look forward to officially joining you soon with my own big-ass wagon!
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mythi



Posts : 38
Join date : 2019-01-22
Age : 28
Location : Colorado

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:12 am

welcome. i would look for something with low miles and you can test and make sure it runs well. watch for rust even in the south the car could have been a out of state car. rust problems to look at is the corner support rods under the hood, wheel wells where trim and mudflaps are. look for missing parts like passenger rear corner chrome molding. crashes and history of the car. if it is a 1 owner make sure the owner didn't die cas i did that and out of state and the lawyer signed the title instead of the owner which at that point would be the guys son. there are posts on the forum about more what to look for's and some finds good luck
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Bushwhacker



Posts : 5
Join date : 2019-02-01

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:49 am

Thanks mythi - I looked at one this past weekend and it did have rust in the areas you said to check. About 200K miles. Overall the car presents pretty well - interior is immaculate. I didn't get a chance to look at the frame, but the guy said he replaced the entire exhaust system because it was rusted out, so I assume there may be some rot down there too. I also didn't get a chance to test drive due to an ignition issue, but once it's fixed, I'll take it for a spin just to see how it runs out. He's asking $2800 for this, and if the frame isn't too bad, I might see if he'll let it go for about $2000. CarFax came back clean on it, but did reveal that it was a northern car most of it's life.


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rauldelp

rauldelp

Posts : 129
Join date : 2015-05-27
Age : 35
Location : Hollywood, Florida, USA

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:57 am

2000 for that kinda rust and 200k? I shoulda held onto my Caprice longer!

That said, welcome!

I would think you could find something with less rust/less miles for the money your looking at. I know these cars are hot now (and this one already has the impala style grill) but that rust can only be indicative of what's underneath.
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Bushwhacker



Posts : 5
Join date : 2019-02-01

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:07 am

Thanks for the input rauldelp... I'll probably end up passing on this one, and keep scanning the for sale ads for something cleaner!
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JeffY

JeffY

Posts : 74
Join date : 2018-10-04
Age : 38
Location : Columbia MO

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:20 pm

Welcome, and just be patient. $3500 should get you a fairly clean wagon.
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Sprocket

Sprocket

Posts : 5466
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:01 pm

Run away! That's a northern car. look south TX and Oklahoma are good and not too far.
Think fly in, drive home.
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JeffY

JeffY

Posts : 74
Join date : 2018-10-04
Age : 38
Location : Columbia MO

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:43 pm

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dmg4

dmg4

Posts : 829
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 64
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:10 am

I'm in central NY and I've bought 5 wagons in the south and drove them home without an issue, so if you are in TN, I'd not hesitate to expand your search radius to 500 miles in any direction but north and look for a lifelong southern resident. You can always hire a local mechanic to look at the car to check it out before traveling. I've had good luck cold-calling nearby dealerships and speaking to the service manager to find out if one of their folks wants to make some cash on their lunch hour. Then you are a cheap one-way air fare and an Uber ride from picking up the car. It's fun too.
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sherlock9c1



Posts : 2061
Join date : 2009-05-28
Location : Huntsville, AL

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:27 am

Bushwhacker, Do you do any of your own mechanical or body work? Do you weld?
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94Woody



Posts : 1591
Join date : 2008-12-02
Age : 43
Location : Belleview,FL

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:16 pm

Yikes, only nice things on that blue one are the rally wheels and the ultra rare, basically impossible to find, LTZ hood ornament.

Welcome and keep on looking. Still a lot of these cars floating around out there. Low miles are trickier to find but they do exist. Sadly, even the southern cars can get attacked by the rust monster.
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mythi



Posts : 38
Join date : 2019-01-22
Age : 28
Location : Colorado

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:23 pm

if it helps this website is where i found mine. i just googled roadmasters for sale and this came up and i picked mine out. if you want a caprice you can change it but here is a listing of roadmasters in the country.

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/inventorylisting/viewDetailsFilterViewInventoryListing.action?sourceContext=cargurus&newSearchFromOverviewPage=true&inventorySearchWidgetType=AUTO&entitySelectingHelper.selectedEntity=c5375&entitySelectingHelper.selectedEntity2=c5340&zip=80108&distance=50000&searchChanged=true&modelChanged=true&filtersModified=true&sortType=undefined&sortDirection=undefined

also look on craigslist and on the forums, here, stationwagon forum and GM/buick forums. always look for the best if you see rust through the body panels pass it. wire brushing the bottom is a lot easier than welding new panels. its all about starting with a good 1 and how much work you want to put into it. save the whales bud
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mythi



Posts : 38
Join date : 2019-01-22
Age : 28
Location : Colorado

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:25 pm

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silverfox103
Moderator
silverfox103

Posts : 2922
Join date : 2008-11-05
Age : 69
Location : Littleton, NH & St. Simons, GA

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:42 pm

94Woody wrote:
Sadly, even the southern cars can get attacked by the rust monster.

Sprocket always says northern cars rust from the bottom up and southern cars from the top down. After being down south FL / GA area for the winters and regularly hitting the JY's, I now understand what he's talking about. Although northern cars by far have worse rust issues.

Tom
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dmg4

dmg4

Posts : 829
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 64
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:29 pm

Bushwhacker: the fastest way by far is to use a Craigslist aggregator like SearchTempest to run a nationwide search.  Here's one for "Buick Roadmaster Wagon" for all regions under "cars and trucks for sale" (excludes car parts).  Run this search, click on the "open all" button, and just page through all the open tabs.  It will find everything on craigslist and on auction sites like eBay.

See:  https://www.searchtempest.com/search?search_string=Buick%20Roadmaster%20Wagon&category=8&subcat=sss&hasPic=&maxAsk=&maxYear=&minAsk=&minYear=&srchType=&cityselect=zip&location=14456&maxDist=50000®ion_us=1®ion_can=1®ion_mex=1&Region=combined&addCities=&subCities=&q=Buick+Roadmaster+Wagon++%22for+sale%22
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Bushwhacker



Posts : 5
Join date : 2019-02-01

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:11 pm

sherlock9c1 wrote:
Bushwhacker, Do you do any of your own mechanical or body work?  Do you weld?

I do my own mechanical work, with the exception of rebuilding transmissions. My body work experience would be limited to minor repairs - not skilled enough to be cutting sections out and welding in patch panels or anything.
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Bushwhacker



Posts : 5
Join date : 2019-02-01

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:14 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone - will start expanding my search to other southern states... I've done the Greyhound bus into a city, bought the car, and drove it home. But I just worry that if I don't buy the car, I'll be out a few hundred dollars and have nothing to show for it. I guess that's the chance you take!
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dmg4

dmg4

Posts : 829
Join date : 2014-08-13
Age : 64
Location : Geneva, New York

PostSubject: Re: New member from Tennessee.... with a question!   Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:25 pm

I just work out the price with the seller after the inspection by the on-site mechanic and I plan to drive the car home if I make the trip. Ask lots of questions and get lots of pictures of the outside, inside, topside and bottom. Figure out what you want to pay, and accept that any 20+ yr old car is going to require replacement parts and money infusions every year if you drive it (and sometimes even if you don't). If it is a lifelong southern car, looks like the owner cared for it, is a 94-96 and has a sound body, nice paint and interior, runs well, doesn't burn or leak a lot of oil, shifts well, exhaust system is sound, and the heat and AC work, and you can get it for less than 5 grand, you'll be laughing at what you paid for it in a few years.
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