Jump to content

Lesabres How Long Do They Last?


MarkV
 Share

Recommended Posts

Ok, so in my search I found a 1987 Lesabre four door with 200,000 one family owned car in good condition in and out, the engine has been supposidly rebuilt, I am going to go and take a look at it, how long do they last?

-Wes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A 1987 LeSabre 4-dr. sedan with over 200,000 miles on it ought to be under $750 to purchase. Anything more than that, and as Mike says, you can get a better car with lower mileage. They do last 200,000 miles without an engine rebuild if they have been taken care of and not abused, but I've not heard of very many with more than that amount of mileage.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason the engine was rebuilt might well have been due to the normal/known issues with the center main bearing and its oil supply galley in the block. Takes a crank kit, usually, to fix it--not a big deal, but probably generated "the rebuild". This is for non-balance shaft versions of the Buick 231 V-6 engines--didn't see those issues with the slightly later balance shaft versions of the Buick 3800 V-6.

It might be a nice car, but . . . it's your decision. As mentioned, you might do well with a similar car with less miles, but . . . the stated mileage averages out to less than 10K miles/year. Everything that old, other than a "barn find 50K mile car" (for example) will have "miles" on it.

Just buy it cheap enough to allow for some 2nd-time-around expenses, as but not limited to, struts, brake items, heater hoses, belts, heater core/radiator, a/c compressor, tires. This is one situation where using your gut suspicions (with respect to non-verbal body language and signals of the seller) to good advantage. As always, pay particular attention to changes in paint gloss and texture on the sheet metal. See if the hood opens and closes "as designed", too.

For good measure, you might also look for the "Built in Flint" decal on the driver's inner door near the door latch. By observation, Flint LeSabres were built just a little bit better than the other plant did.

Happy Hunting!

NTX5467

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See here in CA the only half way decent, meaning running and with an interior that you can find is 1000+ regardless of bluebook value. The car will only be temporary as I figured it would cheaper than renting while I am waiting to get the insurance settlement, which could take a few months.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and I am planning to pull the tires off of mine and put them on this one as they are new, also, I am going to pull the radiator which is a week old and put it on this one (looks to me that they have the same radiator config.) And here in CA there are few of these left with low mileage, if any at all, we even rarely have cars older than 10 yrs old on the road, even in the poorest of areas. And 99% of them are beat up bad, with everything from damaged interiors, exteriors, everything you can imagine. Out of curiosity can I lift my 3800 out of my 89 and put it in this one? I recieved no damage to the engine in the crash. will the electrical, etc. plug in similarly? transmission? axle?

Edited by 1948Lincoln (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wes ..... you did not say why you were buying it in your first post. I agree with Mike, Willis and others. Don't waste you $$ on this car, if you are looking at a long term keeper.

First the 3.8 in a 1987 was upgraded in 1988 with a balance shaft and probably many other improvements that Willis could recount. At that time the designation was changed to 3800 and seem to be better engines in general.

There are several 3800 engined Reattas on the database with 250,000 miles and the engine has never been rebuilt. So the engine is a good one. I don't think those bodies had any problems especially outside the rust belt. We do know that there are records of high mileage cars from the rust belt that have engine cradles that have rusted thru.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, its not going to be a keeper, unless I can drop the 3800 from mine into this one, can it be done? My 3800 runs like brand new and it has 140,000 on it. If I can switch it across before they haul mine away Ill do it. So, far all the ones I have looked at have had as much or more mileage 200-250. It is rare to find one that does not. I once found one with 45,000 on it. But, the ass did some funny stuff and never heard back from him. But, that is the lowest I have found. But, the other issue is, if it has been taken care of. A car that has been taken care of at 200k is better than a car not taken care of at 100k. And I have noticed that the lower mileage older cars here in ca always have a lot of problems, leaks, stuff going out right and left, especially when you begin to drive them everyday. Most of the older cars here have high mileage because it is typical for one to have to drive 50-60 miles to work one way everyday, and things have been replaced along the way, so, you are not going to be getting the orig. delco alternator, hoses, which typically in an older person's car you will be (like my grandma's which is falling apart (02 impala with 15000, never driven, and no she wont let me take it!)....

Edited by 1948Lincoln (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Redwind89

Wes the only way the 89's 3800 engine will go into that 87 is by taking the whole wiring harness with it. Also you would need then to change the transmission as they changed the wiring plug in 88 to a newer three prong as to the older two prong type. Other than that it should go right in, just unbolt the engine frame from both cars and wheel the new one in the 87. As for how long the Lesabre last I know of a few with well over 300k on them. My one T-type that just sold had 208k and still was getting 27mpg on the open road. If it is something you think you want and if it looks good and runs good offer them 750 - 900 and see what happens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if the body paint and trim are good, my 89 3800 would be a great donor, it is flawless, and most everything is new at 140,000. But, 900 sounds good, Ill see what happens, he is asking 1200 which is ridiculous, but, he ll go down probably to 900 or 800 Ill start low! LOL!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wes, swaping engines can be RISKY in CA and many other states. IF the DMV discovered you have put a later model engine in an older vehicle, you must not only worry about engine stuff fitting and working, but the REST OF THE EMISSIONS system also being transfered to go with the later model engine . . . all the way to the fuel tank matching the later model vehicle's specs.

With weekly car rentals going for approximately $200.00, generally, you could have a full month of rental for less than the price you state you're willing to pay for the '87 LeSabre . . . BEFORE you do any of the work you've mentioned!!! Hertz is advertising a long-term "lease" that is for at least 63 days, so that might be another option. Go into National Car Rental's website and see what a weekly rental might be for your locale, for example, then shop the major rental chains for the best combination of availability (near you) and price.

Sounds like a lot of extra work that will not be totally financially fiscally responsible . . .

Just some thoughts,

NTX5467

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...