Van Restoration


Old 10-07-04, 04:44 PM
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Unhappy Van Restoration


I am a computer nerd and do not know the first thing about auto mechanics. I am trying to restore a 1990 dodge caravan. Part of the restoration includes rebuilding the engine. The total cost for this is $4k. The shop that is doing this is a small operation and the mechanic was throwing alot of information my way and I understood very little.

I would like to know how long a rebuilt engine should last. All new internal engine parts will be used. The following is a list of things that is going to be done. If I am going to make this investment...will my vehicle be reborn.

1. Interior will be taken completely apart and new rug, headliner, install new plastic parts. This is to be colored at the customer choice. Seats and Belts will be replaced.
2. Engine will be removed and taken down to block and rebuilt with all new internal parts.
3. Repair body and Paint complete with Customers choice.
4. Rest of Van will be gone over and complete to PA State Code.

Please help.
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Old 10-07-04, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
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Does this van have some sentimental value? A rebuilt engine, properly cared for, could last 100 - 200 k miles. Making a few assumptions in your favor, I checked the blue book. After all your work the van may be worth $1600 as a trade or $3000 if it's on a dealers lot. Heaven forbid, if it gets totaled, what will insurance pay? Not what you have invested. Just doesn't compute to me.
Old 10-07-04, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
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Your vehicle will also still have a 15 year old suspension and transmission
As with most restorations you will spend more than the vehicle is actually worth once it's done
In other words, you could put 5 or 6 grand into it, it's still only worth 1600-3000
Old 10-08-04, 05:34 AM
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I second what both of these guys said, but I tow a lot of vehicles in for repair that are barely worth the cost of the tow much less repairs. For the most part those are people who have just barely enough money for the repair so getting a better/newer vehicle is not an option. If you have $4000 to spare you should have no problem finding a Caravan half the age and without a blown motor. Goldstar really hit a key point. If you sink $4000 in it and get creamed at the first intersection as you drive away from the garage, some insurance company is going to give you a check for about $1000 (if you're lucky).

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