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Guest Walls33
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Guest Walls33

Hello, I'm in a difficult position currently. I'm 18, and a senior in high school. I do have a job currently, and need reliable transportation. I am interested in older cars, just don't know much about them but would like to learn. I currently drive a 95' jeep cherokee. I was offered a trade for a 1986 cutlass supreme with 80,000 miles on it and looks to be in pretty nice condition. And also a 1985 chevy citation with 26,000 miles on it. The jeep has 130000. I was wondering which of these you would choose, why, and if I should. Thanks!

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Keep the Jeep. Think about why they want to trade.

 

You have a known vehicle. Anything else can have hidden mysteries (miseries?) Kind of like listing all your current girlfriend's faults and trading her for a new one that looks better.

 

Buy some mechanics books, learn the basics and avoid the instant online answers, get some tools, and learn how to keep the Jeep alive. Then you'll be ready for some real nice stuff.

Bernie

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Guest AlCapone

At 130 k the jeep will soon start to nickel and dime you into poverty! The Citation, although not my favorite car has about a quarter of the mileage. Take the Citation to a reliable, honest mechanic and have him do a thorough inspection. If the results are positive, make the trade! Wayne

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 The Citation and the Olds are transportation cars, the jeep is a special vehicle most likely a off road/street vehicle. You need to determine what kind of vehicle you want first. Then proceed. I have no favorites in your selection, except to say if your looking for reliable transportation pick the one with the most life left in it.  

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Depends on what you want. That Cherokee (assuming it is the small Cherokee and not the Grand) is about bullet proof and super easy to find any replacement parts for. It will be the most utilitarian as far as hauling you, friends and cargo around and if it is 4wd that is a bonus.

 

The 1986 olds is super car as well, excellent design and looks and G body parts are pretty easy to come across.

 

I'd stay away from the citation as it was not a long model run and being front wheel drive makes it harder to work on. But it would probably be the easiest every day driving car of the bunch. 

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The Jeep is something you can learn with.   There is a tremendous support mechanism for Jeeps - parts replacement, technical espertise, clubs, etc.etc.  I don't know of any Citation clubs where you could get moral support or technical advice.  Chances are the Jeep doesn't owe you anythilng so use it, tinker with it and don't take any chances on jumping to an unknown replacement.  Although the Cutlass sounds interesting, it may cost a lot more to maintain and repair than your current ride.  Both our Son and Grand-daughter are Jeep enthusiasts.

 

PS - we enjoy our MGs but wouldn't try to use one for everyday transport, although I know some folks who do.  It takes a special relationship with Joe Lucas (aka "prince of darkness) to keep them rolling.

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I would stay with the Jeep.  All the positive reasons stated are excellent. Citations can be problematic. Low miles are not always a positive thing. I bought a 1989 Ford Escort from a coworker for my daughter years ago. Seemed like a great deal, until I found out he had only changed oil twice in 75,000 miles. I took the valve cover off and had to use a putty knife to remove dried oil residue.

Edited by plymouthcranbrook (see edit history)
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The older, wiser, me says keep the newer, reliable, practical Jeep, but the 86 Cutlass, (V-8, rear wheel drive, two door? You will have to tell us a little more about it.) Could be a great car to start in the hobby with. I wasn't a Citation fan, but the 2.5 'Iron Duke' was a good motor back in the day and there was an 'X-11' Citation along the line that had performance options.

 

 (And what a super-cool hobby you have chosen too - can't drive baseball cards or old guitars to work or out with friends!)  

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Keep the jeep . My daughter had a 98 , had almost 300 k  when she sold it . Now she has a 97 with 120 k ,They gave her little trouble  great jeeps . looking to keep this one a lot longer. 

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Insufficient data. You have not said what the body style or drivetrain of the Cutlass or the Citation is. Cutlass with V8 is OK, anything else (including the 3.8 V6 unless it has the BW 5-speed)should be a no-go. Citation is similar: V-6 four speed could be interesting but the "Iron Duke" had a weak bottom end (unless you got the racing block).

Would be curious why a '85 has only 26k miles.

Both: watch out for crumbling plastic trim and broken armrests. GM cars of 70s and 80s have a problem with this but expect 3D printers may be able to solve soon.

ps both are early GM computer cars with ALDL and need something like an OTC 2000 or Tech 1 with the right cartriges to diagnose. Since everything went OBD-II in '96, these are not easy to find in 2015 (few pop up on ebay now and then).

pps May not be much info on Citations but is a lot on Fieros and the drivetrains are essentially the same.

As to the Jeep, the same applies: if it has the 4 liter 6 cyl and 5 speed manual it would be interesting to keep and easy to work on. OTOH if a 4cyl automagic it had few redeeming virtues. Have seen them go over 300,000 miles so 130,000 is just broken in - if the 6 cyl.

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Walls33,

 

Welcome to the AACA Discussion Forum. There are a lot of details that we would need to know before offering you the best advice. Your location matters (old cars don't like winter salt road treatments), the distance it takes to drive to work matters, as well as a few other details.

 

I am happy to see a young person like you looking for an antique car. When I got my driver's license at age 16, I obtained an old car as a daily driver. It was fun but it was not the most practical choice. While I don't want to discourage you, I would offer the opinion that it is generally best to use a more modern car as a daily driver and to buy a collector car as a second car when you can afford to have a second car and have garage space to protect your collector car from the elements. 

 

Please tell us more about your situation and the cars that you are considering. I have also found over the years that it is generally best to decide what particular collector car you want or which most appeals to you, and then find the best example that you can find. Whenever I have purchased a collector car because it was close by and available, it generally was not the best car to choose.

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You can do better. Scan your local ads. Look for a car not too old, not too many miles, for a cheap price. Last week I spotted a 1999 Volvo wagon in the local ads for $400. Needs a $129 fuel injection part ( dealer wants $800 to fix it, I googled the problem and the solution). Cars like that ready to go, are $3000 or $4000 around here.

 

Your Jeep is a better vehicle than both those cars put together. They come from a time Detroit was putting out some awful junk and they are 2 of the junkiest.

 

130,000 is nothing. Your Jeep should go 200,000 to 300,000 miles IF you maintain it by the book. Get out your owner's manual and follow the maintenance schedule. Replace tires and brake pads before they completely wear out. Get a repair manual and do your own work if possible. A few hundred $$$ bucks a year for reliable transportation. I am not kidding, I used to work in a garage and customers who did their maintenance frequently drove the same car 300,000 miles or more without a breakdown and without any large repair bills.

 

Maintain it, keep it clean and waxed and it will last so long you will be sick of it before it wears out.

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I have no argument with those who say keep the Jeep. However, I once owned a second hand '84 Citation (4cyl. automatic), and was quite pleased with it overall. The two weak points that I remember was the rack and pinion steering and the idle air control valve. If the power steering seems to bind, especially when cold, the entire unit will eventually need to be replaced. (There should've been a recall). If it won't idle at stop lights, you'll need to replace the Idle Air Control (IAC) valve on the throttle body. Other than that, only diligent regular maintenance may be all that's required. Tough decision, good luck!

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Keeping in mind your age, you have grown up with cars that typically last 200,000 miles. The cars of the 70's and even some of the 80's were wore out at 100,000 miles. Don't assume the older cars will last as longa s the Jeep. The jeep has to be a hell of a lot more fun to drive.

My two cents worth.

Eric

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You need to consider rust as well.  If your jeep is rusty and the Olds isn't that might be something to consider.  A jeep will make 300,000 in the right climate but in the rust belt it might disintegrate long before you get their.   I would trade a rusty car for a rust free one in a heart beat.  Although a Citation would be very low on the list if it was even on their. 

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Depends on the Citation. The 4 cyl had an TBI that never worked very well. OTOH the 2.8 V6 had a nice Port FI. Agree about rust, avoid at any cost (did not say where you were).

 

Suspect the best answer is to keep the Jeep as a reliable driver and then get a toy.

 

Can echo MC: " When I got my driver's license at age 16, I obtained an old car as a daily driver. It was fun but it was not the most practical choice." Mine was a Jag.

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Guest Walls33

I'm going to be completely honest, the jeep was the practical choice of course and I understand that but the young guy I am I decided to take the cutlass. It has the 307 v8 2 door rwd, while the jeep did have the 4.0 6cyl and the citation is the 4 cyl. I live in indiana, us.

Edited by Walls33 (see edit history)
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Guest AlCapone

It appears you went for fast, fancy, classy looking. We should have had descriptive pictures to better advise assist you. Good luck on your choice! wayne

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You might also want to consider joining a local AACA Region. Hopefully one of these is near your location:

 

Crossroads of America Region
President - Sidney Meyer
5422 County Rd 11A
Auburn, IN 46706

Lower Ohio Valley Region
President - Jerry Hirsch
2855 Fuquay Rd
Newburgh, IN 47630

White River Valley Region
President - Burt Rolland
425 Trenton Court
Zionsville, IN 46077

 

 Members of a local AACA Region can be especially helpful as you begin in the Antique Car Hobby.

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So that is an early computer car. The Oldsmobile 307 is designed for emissions and torque at low rpms. It does share components with everything from the 260 to the 403 and is an oversquare (shorter stroke than bore) design that came with a 750 CFM Quadrajet. It should have a 200R4 trans which is a 4 speed/lockup version the same size as a THM350.

 

I'd suggest just driving it for a while before making any changes other than cosmetic.

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You might also want to consider joining a local AACA Region. Hopefully one of these is near your location:..

 

 Members of a local AACA Region can be especially helpful as you begin in the Antique Car Hobby.

 

Mr. Walls, the advice you're getting on cars is as 

diverse as the people responding!  Any wise choice

could bring you a lot of enjoyment, as long as you

go into the situation with your eyes open.

 

Matt Hinson's advice (copied above)--of joining

the AACA and becoming active--is something everyone

will agree on!  If you indeed become ACTIVE, you

will get to know car hobbyists all around the country,

north and south, modest and famous, and your enjoyment will

be increased beyond measure.  And by getting a good

start now, you'll have many decades of enjoyment ahead.

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I'm going to be completely honest, the jeep was the practical choice of course and I understand that but the young guy I am I decided to take the cutlass. It has the 307 v8 2 door rwd, while the jeep did have the 4.0 6cyl and the citation is the 4 cyl. I live in indiana, us.

Congratulations!

B)

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Just got out of the 1988 Jeep Cherokee when I read this. Our Jeep is rust free and still has paint that shines like new and it has 220,000+ miles on it, with no major mechanical work performed(did seal up the engine oil leaks and some front end work}. It's reliable and I like it. It also gives me some winter flexibility on the rare occasion that we get snow in Seattle. It gives me the option of driving some of my rear wheel drive cars all year, which I much prefer to front wheel drive cars. Ever ask yourself why the other guy wants to trade? Think about it and I think that you will keep the Jeep!

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I'm going to be completely honest, the jeep was the practical choice of course and I understand that but the young guy I am I decided to take the cutlass. It has the 307 v8 2 door rwd, while the jeep did have the 4.0 6cyl and the citation is the 4 cyl. I live in indiana, us.

 

Congratulations!  Would love to see pics, if you have 'em.

 

 

 

I'd suggest just driving it for a while before making any changes other than cosmetic.

 

 

Yes, I agree with this advice!

 

 

Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve | 1979 Caprice Classic (awaiting new owner)
"I may lose the battle, but I love the fight" __ John Schneider __ 'Love, You Ain't Seen The Last Of Me'
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I agree with Wayne for daily transport, cant beat the citation.

that is provided your jeep is rusted and or worn out.

 

had an 87 celebrity and was the best damn cheap car I ever owned-zero maintenance and had 143k thousand miles on it and running strong when a 17 year old girl on a cell phone rear ended me at 55mph.

 

that was the end of it..............was a 4 cylinder and loved it for reliability.

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