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Old 11-18-2021, 08:37 PM   #1
93twincam
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1993 SC2
Default Should I save a 91 SC?

It's been several years since I've logged on. I sold my 93 SC2 back in 2017 after graduating from school so I could afford to move. I can't think of many decisions I've made in my life that I regret more than selling that car. I wish I never did. Fast forward a few years, I find out a coworker had a 91 SC he bought brand new and drove to work every day since then. Now he works from home and the car sits, so he sold it to another coworker who made some repairs and is now selling it (for more than he paid). I might be able to get it for $1,200 or so. But the big question is, should I buy it or not? I'm not really in the need of a commuter since I work from home most the time, but I do have to commute occasionally and current gas prices are killing me when I drive my truck.

The kicker is, it has 340,000 miles, automatic trans Supposedly runs fine, uses a quart of oil every 600 miles but still gets good fuel economy so it has to be pretty healthy. He did all the necessary maintenance throughout the years, but it's got a few minor issues, the biggest being rust hole in the drivers floor pan. Needs motor mounts, probably a coolant overflow tank etc. He had previous rust repaired on the cradle at one point.

Like I mentioned before, I really miss my SC2 and would love to buy this one and keep it going. If anyone else buys it, it'll end up with a blown motor and get scrapped I'm sure. Is an SC with 340k worth saving? Parts are getting difficult to find for first gen S-Series...

The biggest variable in this whole situation of course is approval by my boss, aka wifey...
...
$300 1993 SC2 finally plugging along with 184K and going up :) 38 mpg!

1993 Foxbody build in slow progress

Last edited by 93twincam; 11-18-2021 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 11-18-2021, 09:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Should I save a 91 SC?

Is this '91 DOHC or SOHC? Was your '93 a manual trans or auto trans? I would not be interested in any S-series with auto trans or SOHC, but if you were happy with an auto trans before then that may be OK for you. Ignoring reliability/repair issues, of course.

The pre-OBD2 gen1 is the only I would be interested in, but that '91 has some mechanical differences from later years that may make it harder to work with.

Check carefully for other body/suspension rust. The engine and trans can be swapped fairly economically, either as an "upgrade" or for renewal, but extensive structural rust will make this a poor choice for a long-term toy.
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Old 11-18-2021, 10:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Should I save a 91 SC?

It's a DOHC, automatic trans. What mechanical differences are there between it and later models?

My 93 had a manual transmission which I much prefer. That's the biggest reason I wish I hadn't sold it. I'm not thrilled about the 91 being an auto, but it's made it this far without major issues so I figure it might have some life left in it? I'm mechanically handy so doing repair work isn't an issue. My concern is part availability.

As for rust, that's the only thing keeping me from jumping on it right away. Its a MI car. I'll have to give it a good inspection. I know the original owner had some rust repaired, but I don't know the extent.
...
$300 1993 SC2 finally plugging along with 184K and going up :) 38 mpg!

1993 Foxbody build in slow progress
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Old 11-19-2021, 12:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Should I save a 91 SC?

The crankshaft, front wheel hubs, CV axles, and trans VB are different on the '91-93 from the '94 on up. It is certainly not an insurmountable problem, but may make it harder to find parts or require you to replace parts in "sets".

For finding JY-only parts, like interior trim and panels, you will find fewer of the '91 than a '94 or '95.
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Old 11-19-2021, 01:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Should I save a 91 SC?

'91-'92 SC were "SC" because they only had the DOHC engine option (YAY! lol).

'91-'93 axles and front hubs are only different from '94+ if the car didn't come with ABS.

Biggest issue will be getting the engine mount for it, '91's have a very very different mount setup from '92+. #4 >here<

The interior bits should directly swap '91-'94 SC/SC1/SC2; out to '96 for everything except the dash.

I'm not sure I'd buy any car that's spent a large portion of it's life in MI, other than maybe for interior bits or engine/trans. At least VT has yearly mechanical inspections that force use to keep our vehicles at a minimum level of rust/rot or junk the car.
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Old 11-19-2021, 09:59 AM   #6
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1991 SC
Default Re: Should I save a 91 SC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
I'm not sure I'd buy any car that's spent a large portion of it's life in MI, other than maybe for interior bits or engine/trans.
Northern Michigan is pretty rural and some places don't use salt which keeps the roads more dry given the colder average temperatures. I bought a '91 SC new and I live in Ohio where roads are all salted.

I found a lot of rust on the pinch weld and behind the trailing arm when I replaced the rusted brake lines. The rockers were rusting from the inside out. I treated and patched the rust while the brake lines were removed and riveted galvanized metal HVAC ducting above the trailing arms after cutting out the rusted areas. I plan to keep my car and drive it regularly. I have an OBD1 OTC 4000E scanner I'm trying to figure out how to use. Learning how to keep this car running well is kind of interesting and satisfying in a perverse sort of way.

If I were the OP, I'd check the trailing arm mount area to make sure its solid. Almost guaranteed the metal just aft is rotted out and needs patched.
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Old 11-19-2021, 10:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: Should I save a 91 SC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
The crankshaft, front wheel hubs, CV axles, and trans VB are different on the '91-93 from the '94 on up. It is certainly not an insurmountable problem, but may make it harder to find parts or require you to replace parts in "sets".

For finding JY-only parts, like interior trim and panels, you will find fewer of the '91 than a '94 or '95.
Fortunately the interior on this vehicle is mint. It's loaded, has most options available at the time. Black "leather"

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
'91-'92 SC were "SC" because they only had the DOHC engine option (YAY! lol).

'91-'93 axles and front hubs are only different from '94+ if the car didn't come with ABS.

Biggest issue will be getting the engine mount for it, '91's have a very very different mount setup from '92+. #4 >here<

The interior bits should directly swap '91-'94 SC/SC1/SC2; out to '96 for everything except the dash.

I'm not sure I'd buy any car that's spent a large portion of it's life in MI, other than maybe for interior bits or engine/trans. At least VT has yearly mechanical inspections that force use to keep our vehicles at a minimum level of rust/rot or junk the car.
After studying the image of those motor mounts, I don't think this is a 91. It has the upper "smiley" motor mount that the later models do, so maybe it's a 92? It doesn't have an airbag steering wheel so can't be any newer than 92.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtuuri View Post
Northern Michigan is pretty rural and some places don't use salt which keeps the roads more dry given the colder average temperatures. I bought a '91 SC new and I live in Ohio where roads are all salted.

I found a lot of rust on the pinch weld and behind the trailing arm when I replaced the rusted brake lines. The rockers were rusting from the inside out. I treated and patched the rust while the brake lines were removed and riveted galvanized metal HVAC ducting above the trailing arms after cutting out the rusted areas. I plan to keep my car and drive it regularly. I have an OBD1 OTC 4000E scanner I'm trying to figure out how to use. Learning how to keep this car running well is kind of interesting and satisfying in a perverse sort of way.

If I were the OP, I'd check the trailing arm mount area to make sure its solid. Almost guaranteed the metal just aft is rotted out and needs patched.
Yep, I'll check all the typical rust spots. Like I mentioned before, the PO was meticulous and had structural rust repaired, but I don't know to what extent.
...
$300 1993 SC2 finally plugging along with 184K and going up :) 38 mpg!

1993 Foxbody build in slow progress
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Old 11-19-2021, 10:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Should I save a 91 SC?

I just confirmed with the original owner, it is a 92 not a 91. So that should make finding some parts a little easier...

I really miss my 93 SC2 and with gas prices on the rise for the foreseeable future, this 92 SC is looking very appealing. I also have a weird fascination with high mileage vehicles. My wife's car is a 2007 Impala with 345,000 miles on it and running strong. The 92 SC has 340k and still runs well. I want to keep both going for "fun". If I don't buy that 92, someone who never checks oil will and it'll be blown before too long.
...
$300 1993 SC2 finally plugging along with 184K and going up :) 38 mpg!

1993 Foxbody build in slow progress
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Old 11-23-2021, 12:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: Should I save a 91 SC?

I would say go for it if the initial inspection checks out. The trailing arms are probably the biggest thing to worry about. No rear door sills thanks to being a coupe and the subframe can be swapped out if needed. (even though it would probably have to be with a 94+ frame with slight modifications.) If the auto trans still works fine I would personally leave it alone. Manual swaps are pretty easy on these cars though and any manual trans 91-02 can bolt up, making finding one still relativity easy.

Being a 92 also means you don't have to deal with the 91's weird motor mounts with no easy replacement option.

If you want to narrow down the timeframe this SC was made a little more, early 92s had the windshield sprayer nozzles mounted to the hood, while late 92+ moved it to the windshield cowl. Airbags also became an option late 92 and standard 93 (I think?)
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Last edited by El_bell; 11-23-2021 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 11-27-2021, 01:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Should I save a 91 SC?

A guy at local gas station is selling a 2006 Ion sedan for $1000.

The Sat 's' are fine cars, but the body rust becomes a deadend.
My '97 rockers got weak from internal rust, could not jack rear with
onboard jack....
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