Clutch

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  #1  
Old 10-18-03, 08:06 PM
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Clutch

Guys, you've helped me out before and I hope you can help me again. My daughter is thinking about buying a truck from a friend of mine. It is an old truck but is in good condition.It is a 1991 GMC Sonoma S15, 5 speed, 4 cylinder. She is selling it for only $1650.00. My daughter is only 21 and just started working and even thought this is not a lot of money, it will take all of her savings to buy this truck. After driving it, she noticed a problem with the clutch. Now I know nothing about a clutch. It seems that the truck does not start moving until the clutch is let up completely. My daughter feels that the truck should start moving as you are letting up on the clutch. A friend who drove the truck said he thought the clutch needed tightening. My question is this, is this costly. Could someone give me an estimate on how much a mechanic shop would charge to tighten the clutch and how much it would cost if it actually had to be repaced. We are trying to decide if we should purchase the truck(it has been well taken care of and has no other problems except this one) and fix the clutch or try and find another vehicle.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-18-03, 09:17 PM
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sounds like it may be due for a new clutch. rough guess as labor rates can vary alot probably looking at around 500 to have clutch, pressure plate, throw out bearing replaced about half of that will be parts.
suggest you call around to several shops in your area to get a better idea of how much you will be looking at to fix before you purchase.
 
  #3  
Old 10-19-03, 05:17 AM
Joe_F
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STOP!!

Whoa Nelley. She cannot afford this vehicle and will get into a hole right off the bat. You mentioned she will "tap her savings completely by buying this vehicle."

It is it a good truck and worth the money? Sure, but....Newsflash: She can't afford it.

You need money for:

1) Repairs
2) Insurance
3) Tools/parts if you do it yourself.
4) Fuel, etc.

You already know minimally it will need a clutch adjustment and likely a clutch, she's already in the hole as she doesn't have the money. You should save up double what you pay for any vehicle this way you have money for repairs and unexpected things. No sense getting into debt for a vehicle.

The truck may be a good value, but if you cannot afford it, it's going to be a wallet drainer if you have no money for the upkeep and repairs ANY used vehicle will require.

My cousin got into this trap. Bought a Camry from a friend. I told him exactly what I've told you up top there. Sure enough, he called me last month that this and that is wrong with the car, will cost X to fix (BTW: he has never shown me the car or planned out the expenses of it, alot of these problems could have been headed off or he could have done them himself if I showed him how), and that "I can't afford it".

In his case, it needs brakes and other repairs to be roadworthy, so these are things you CANNOT let slide. Unfortunately, he didn't plan or save when buying this car and is now in a hole.

Moral of the story: Don't repeat it. She needs to work some more and save up some more coin so she has a cushion to work with.
 
  #4  
Old 10-19-03, 06:37 AM
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Just for some added consideration here.

I don't believe that clutch is adjustable and likely to need replacement. I'd try to negotiate the repairs into the price somehow. Definately have it checked out closer before making any decisions.
 
  #5  
Old 10-19-03, 07:18 AM
darrell McCoy
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I would 2nd thought this deal. More than I would give for it with a bad clutch. Would be different if you could do all the repairs yourself, but at 65 bucks an hour, dont take long to get in real deep. Save up a little more $ and get a newer model of some type. Dont think you would be happy with the 4 cyl of that era.
 
  #6  
Old 10-19-03, 08:08 AM
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I appreciate everyones advice. I forgot to add that the truck is in good shape other than the problem with the clutch. The brakes have been done all the way around, a new radiator was put in, all four tires are in good shape, the air conditioner works, the body and interior is in excellent condition. The oil has been changed every three thousand miles. The owner has evey receipt for every repair that has been done to it. I just thought that for the money she had to spend, since she knows the history of this truck and the owner, it might be wise to go with this one instead of buying one off a car lot or from someone we don't know. I know that you are not going to get much for $1600.00. My daughter still lives at home and has a steady job working in construction. I figured this would serve as transportation back and forth to work until she could afford to get something nicer. I thought that if the truck was in good shape otherwise, I would lend her the money to fix it and let her pay it back a little each month. But now I am wondering if this is wise. After giving you a little more history about this vehicle, please let me know if you still feel the same. I trust everyone's opinion on this board and will probably advise my daughter according to the advice I receive here. I appreciate all the help.
 
  #7  
Old 10-20-03, 04:18 AM
Joe_F
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Again, truck sounds OK, but can she afford it?

You surely don't her getting into a hole with it if she cannot afford repairs on it and taps good ole mom all the time for money for it .

Any vehicle will require repairs right off the bat (why most vehicles are sold in most cases), so you are going into this already in the hole. LOL.

If you doubt it in any way, have a mechanic (third party) look at it and give you an estimate of anything it might need. Or, negotiate the price for the clutch into the buying price of the truck.

As Darrell said, the 4 cylinder is woefully slow, but it will get the job done.
 
  #8  
Old 10-20-03, 04:12 PM
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Good advice here. $1650 is not much for a good condition gm truck. For the price, it may be one of her best options for a cheap reliable transportation vehicle.

However, no matter how well maintained the vehicle is SOMETHING will always pop up, especially on a 13 year old vehicle. If she is desperate and MUST get this truck, then you don't have a choice. Other than that, if she is 21, and can't afford the maintance/repairs, if you don't want her constantly coming to you for cash (as my 21 year old sister ALWAYS comes to my mom for repair $) then she should save more $, or work more hours.

I am just going with caution, as I helped one of my best friends get a car (twice now) and he CAN"T afford repairs, and constantly comes to me for every squeak rattle, and complaint, and as a default have become his personal free mechanic because he has no repair $.
 
  #9  
Old 10-20-03, 04:26 PM
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Her low budget puts her in a risky position no matter what you buy. I believe for the money she has to spend this truck sounds better than what she's going to find out in the world. You seem to have a good grasp on the condition of the truck and it would probably work out to be the most reliable vehicle you'll find for that money. All these guys make a valid point though. This probably won't be the end of the repairs but it appears you may have your best chance with this one. Just start planning to put away some "repair" money now for the inevitable problem in the future. I think at least you don't have the worry of a total disaster in this particular vehicle.
 
  #10  
Old 10-20-03, 04:31 PM
Joe_F
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Good point by Jeremy and Desi, and I agree. Just make sure the "loan" is on strict terms or you (mom) will be footing this bill.

Back in '87 when, I was 16. I got my '82 Toronado, my mom and dad gave me the same $1000 they gave my sister in '83 for her first car. I borrowed the rest from them, giving them a specified amount each week. I paid off the car in one summer $3200.

As these guys said, she will now value the money (I know I did....I made sure I worked all the time along with studying so I would make my payment. LOL )

I did it easily.
 
  #11  
Old 10-20-03, 11:31 PM
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Sounds like you found a decent truck for the money, from someone you know and trust, and with a paper history. That's about as good as it gets. If you and she can afford it and whatever repairs turn up, then you might have the best deal you're going to find in her price range. Depending on how worn the clutch is, you might not even have to replace it for quite some time. I wouldn't put it off too far, but have a mechanic check it out and tell you how worn it really is. It's possible that it just has air in the lines or something like that, causing the pedal to not actuate like it should. Never know till you check it out.
 
  #12  
Old 10-21-03, 03:14 AM
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Hold on a second!
If all it does it engage at the top of the pedal, keep driving it! If it is not slipping, it sounds like the clutch is behaving normally.
those clutches did catch high after they got some miles on them , but will last a long, long time that way.
It is when the clutch engages too close to the floor, or you cannot get it in gear without forcing the shifter is when you have a problem.
Again, it sounds like a perfectly operating clutch.
 
  #13  
Old 10-21-03, 03:53 AM
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A high pedal is the first indication of wear out in those clutches. (assuming it's very high) If it's more than 2/3 up the travel, it's likely cooked but drive it until it starts to slip a little then do it immediatly.
 
  #14  
Old 10-21-03, 05:27 AM
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I disagree, that pedal was probably high from a very young age, and will probably go a long time.
 
  #15  
Old 10-21-03, 09:32 AM
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clutch

Just wanted to thank everyone for their advice. I had a friend who drives a 5 speed take the truck out to see what he thought about the clutch. Bigguy, he pretty much said the same thing you did. That he thought the clutch was performing normally and that this was just the way the way the clutches on the older trucks perform especially after you put a lot of miles on the vehicle. My daughter is use to driving her friend's 5 speed which is a 2003 Toyota Tacoma so naturally she is going to feel a big difference. I feel like most of you do, that for the money she has to spend, this truck is the one she should buy. We bought it last night. She's happy with it and the friend who sold it to her gave her back $100.00 after she paid her the $1650, not because of the clutch situation because we did not even mention that to the seller, but just because she wanted to do it! She even told her that as far as she knows there is nothing wrong with the truck and if it ever needed repairs she would be willing to help her out financially with a loan if need be to have it fixed. What more can you ask for? I want to thank everyone, Joe F, Darrell McCoy, bejay, J T Thompson, Cheese, Desi, Bigguy again for all the good advice. I 'm sure I will be contacting you guys in the future with problems but until then "take care"
 
  #16  
Old 10-21-03, 09:35 AM
Joe_F
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Thumbs up

Sounds like a very honest and reputable person. You got a good deal. Good job.
 
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