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mog_uk

buying s15

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hey guys,

 

thinking of buying a s15 as a second car as they're going for so cheap at the moment. Just wanting some tips on what to look out for on one with 100kms+ is there anything specific that needs to be done.

eg timing belt, water pump, etc?

 

i am after one without any mods or with very minimal mods.

I do want to buy one with full service records so i can see what has been done/ hasnt been done which should be a bonus.

 

what is there to look out for at 150,00 plus kms on a sr20det. how long can these motors last when not thrashed?

 

thanks- mog

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I bought my S14 at 150,000kms two years ago, and after many track days and hill runs and 25,000kms the piston rings after on their way out and the car is burning lots of oil at high rpm. I bought my car not knowing the service history and have just fixed things as they come up..

 

Note that sr engines run a timing chain which does not need replacing, and I don't think many people touch the oil pump or water pump unless rebuilding the motor.

 

All you can do on the car you are looking at buying is a compression test and if that checks out hope for the best! Given what they put up with they are very reliable motors though.. A stocker should last above 200,000kms without trouble.

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Have any sr20dets made it to 300,000? I dont want to buy the car then afew years down the track the thing dies on me.

 

Its either the s15 or a vz ss.

 

Is there anything major that needs replacing at 150,000 service?

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Dude any car no matter the make is going to need regular maintenance after 150 000km that is a f**king long way.

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Why would you drive an s15 to 300k km's lol. Maybe a diesel but not an s15 you would replace or rebuild long before that.

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f**king immaculate. :humpleg: $20k with 45k km's. Engine bay/interior looks like it just rolled off the factory floor!

 

http://www.carsales....id=128B621CD150

 

Or this one, even cheaper and could haggle him down even more

 

http://www.carsales....id=128B621CD150

 

http://www.carsales.com.au/all-cars/results.aspx?tabID=304727&Qpb=true&keywords=&SearchAction=N&N=1216%201246%201247%201252%201282%204294963846%204294963493%201622%204294922332&sid=128B621CD150&Nne=15&tsrc=allcarhome&Ns=pCar_PriceSort_Decimal|0||pCar_RankSort_Int32|1||pCar_Make_String|0||pCar_Model_String|0

 

Damn spec r gt's are cheap now, $15k.. Should be closer to 12 when i get opens!

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Here's my experiences with 2 silva series chassis running > 200,000 ks:

 

My car isn't an s15, but I've got a 1991 180sx sr20det turbo manual that's done around 240,xxx k's and still runs fine. I've had no real problems with it and it's now running a t28bb turbo with perfect AFR's with no problems. The previous owners have obviously looked after it quite well and I look after it as well, I regularly service it always warm it up and cool it down and it hasn't let me down.

 

Some things you may have to watch out for are:

- Heater hoses: these can last for more than 200,000 k's but I had a small leak of oil that went unnoticed from the back of the rocker cover which ate through my hoses and they had to be replaced at around 215,000

- Water pump: probably best to replace it at around 200,000, they are only like $100 and it's a pretty easy job to do

- Radiator: After 220,000 the radiator on my old s13 started to crack on the top tank but this may be because previous owner didn't really look after it. Once again a second hand rad can be found for close to $100 and it's an easy part to replace.

- Turbo; with an s15 it should be fine but I replaced the t25 turbo on my 180sx at around 220,000 k's because it was getting tired and because the turbo gaskets were leaking I figured while its out I may as well just get a newer one.

- Bushes and suspension components; obviously once that car ages these will need to be replaced but being an s15 I'm sure they would be fine still

- Obvious things like radiator hoses, gaskets (such as rocker cover, turbo gaskets etc) but if you are willing to do the work yourself then these are quite easy to replace. Also like any other car you'll find that from time to time little oil leaks and that sort of thing will pop up but if you do the work yourself this is no problem.

- Service history: although it can be something to look at, it's better to see that the car is in good overall condition as this shows that the owner obviously looks after it well. Service history signed off by a mechanic can be rare to find on imports so don't get too concerned if there is none. My car has no service history but being a car-minded person I maintain it more than just at the 'recommended service intervals' that are in the service books anyway and use better oils than the cheap stuff many service centres use anyway.

- Sr's use a timing chain not a timing belt so you don't have to worry about that as well.

 

 

 

Other car: My old s13 1992 non turbo sr20de had around 250,000 when a small end bearing finally gave out, but that said the previous owner didn't really look after it very well as I found that they were running water in the radiator instead of coolant and the cooling system had rust and all manner of crap in it as well, not to mention god knows how often they changed the oil on it...

 

 

 

 

Basically it comes down to how the previous owners have looked after the car. If fluids were changed often, the car always warmed up and cooled down and the car hasn't been overly thrashed out then the sr is capable of doing 300,000 k's no worries. Also obviously once you purchase the car you need to look after it as well, if you look after the car then it will look after you :)

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Hey mog, bit of extra info here for you cos I'm bored:

 

I bought my '02 S15 with 190,000km's on it. It's been through 3 engines according to vehicle history check.

 

The main thing to suss out is the chassis condition. Make sure there is zero rust and the chassis rails/car isn't bent. Make sure there are no cracks or stress fractures in the engine bay, wheel arches, transmission tunnel, firewall, boot wheel well etc.

 

Next is to suss out the engine. A compression test pretty much tells you what you need to know + examining the exhaust gas, the water temp, and colour of the oil for contaminants etc.

 

Next check auxiliary stuff like engine accessories - turbo condition, make sure alternator is charging and starter motor works, all your headlights and electronics work, etc.

 

Personally if an engine is on the way out that doesn't put me off the car. Engines are actually pretty cheap to replace and you use it as a tool to bargain down the price if it's f**ked. Other things that are easy to bargain down on are paint condition and interior condition i.e. if the dash is cracked, seats torn, cigarette burns on the carpet etc.

 

An NRMA/RACQ pre purchase check thingy is usually pretty thorough and will tell you if there's anything major going on.

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Look for a clean stock car with full service history, don't worry about high mileage, you better of with a a high mileage but well looked after with full service records then one with low mileage but been through tough time...

 

I sold my 160,000Kms 8 years old S15 Specr GT 4 months ago, the car was serviced every 5000kms since new, still original clutch and zero oil consumption.

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To be honest at least the high mileage ones you know probably haven't been wound back...

I find it interesting how many imports come up for sale which are close to 20 years old but seem to only have 50,000 k's or so on them but if you look at the condition of the car its quite obvious they have done more

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My mate has a Nissan NX with 340,000 on the original SR. Still has good compression, runs perfectly and doesn't burn any oil.

 

 

It's impossible to make a rule with K's, because it's so dependent on how the car has been treated and whether it's had regular oil changes.

 

Assuming the S15 has been well serviced and hasn't been stacked, it's mainly rubber mounts and suspension components that will wear out with mileage.

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At the end of the day who cares, if the SR goes its a few G's and you drop in a new low km engine yourself. People freak out and think its going to cost the earth or it cannot be done.

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The condition/age cheeks could include...

Check front quarter panel bolts for original sealeds and panels themselves to get an indication of accident history.

Can also cheek boot/batch seals but they are usually fine.

Check rubber mould, esp around quarter window. Usually okay on S15s.

Then cheek oil and coolant. Rough indicator of a hard life. Then again don't hit the ground running if the oil 'looks' black.

Look for parts that have part numbers (esp with white marker) as an indication of replacement.

Although the SR is noisy as fk, such as the injectors, there should be no rattles.

Feel if the turbo spools good, as in starts coming on at round 2.2k, should have full boost 3.2k.

If you don't really understand all that, your probably should get someone else to do it for you - who will also cheek a fk load of other things, such as how the box feels, the clutch slipping, etc..

 

Happy hunting.

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I bought my s15 with 116,000kms... had full service history but still the VCT hub and timing chain tensioner had gone, so replaced both of them and runs perfect.

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I'm sure a few people will disagree with me here but a v8 holden engine will usually outlast a turbo 4 cylinder due mainly to the fact the v8 is not as stressed. Most people would not buy an S15 and expect it to do 300,000 k's.

However that said the extra money the v8 will cost in regards to fuel consumtion and rego costs would probably pay for a new engine in the S15 after a few years anyway. Perhaps also you may want to check how much insurance will cost as well.

 

Perhaps you are better off asking yourself how do you intend to use the car. Do you need a large boot or do you intend carting people around in the back of the car regularly as in do you need 4 doors? Do you want to tow stuff? Do you want quietness and comfort? Do you want the parts availability on every corner that comes with owning a holden? That's asuming your in Australia that is.

 

Or do you want a small light powerfull sporty car with a quite hard ride, great handling that's, well, not that practical but way more fun?

 

Have you driven either of them. If not then maybe that's the first step then stand back and make your choice.

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Not the best comparison, since the S15 is 185 kw / 2L from factory. 5L VP commodores were 150kw from factory, so they are a lot lazier a motor. Less stress like you said, and there is a good 10 years between the motors, but even though the commodore motor has to deal with paddock bashing from kids, they are not used anywhere near their peak. It does also contribute to doing 3-500,000km, but a lot of the high km motors are taxi's, which are never shut off (most wear on a properly running motor is during warm up, but these guys are always running).

 

As said though, maintenance is muuuuuuuuuuch more important than kms. Cars leave japan at 30,000km without having the oil changed in 5 years.

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LAWL timing belt. That made me giggle like a school girl.

 

I replaced all my pipes at 100K it stupid to cook a engine beacuse of a coolent hose leaking..

 

Lol Timing belt hehe

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Not the best comparison, since the S15 is 185 kw / 2L from factory. 5L VP commodores were 150kw from factory, so they are a lot lazier a motor. Less stress like you said, and there is a good 10 years between the motors, but even though the commodore motor has to deal with paddock bashing from kids, they are not used anywhere near their peak. It does also contribute to doing 3-500,000km, but a lot of the high km motors are taxi's, which are never shut off (most wear on a properly running motor is during warm up, but these guys are always running).

 

As said though, maintenance is muuuuuuuuuuch more important than kms. Cars leave japan at 30,000km without having the oil changed in 5 years.

Your on the right track Wizard regarding reliability but you may have missed the OP is deciding between the S15 or a VZ SS wich is 2004 gen3 5.7 with 250kw.

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please do not get a ve ss. get an s15 make sure its had a good service history and go from there. if it gives out in 50,000kms who cares drop another engine in or rebuild wont cost u the world, few grand and ull be running.

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