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Old 08-17-2016, 10:36 PM   #1
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Purchasing a used, modified car

I am looking for opinions on the purchasing of a modified (boosted, tranny work, serious suspension mods) car.

Is this something that you would consider? If not, why? Reliability? Rather do your own work, trust your own tuner, etc?

Every once and a while I'll pop onto Craigslist and see what is available. Sometimes there are very good, possibly unbelievable deals. Not too long ago I saw a 2014 C7 Stingray going for 59k; that's $6000 above KBB, but it had an additional 50k worth of upgrades.
FRS guys seem to be the worst offenders with pricing; they seem to add all the work they done and add it on top of the KBB value.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:57 AM   #2
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I go out of my way to find a completely stock unmolested car. I don't know if the previous owner had any clue what they were doing, or if they used quality parts and hardware. Also it's much more likely the car has been run hard. Those are plenty good enough reasons for me. If I were to buy something modded I would only do so if they have all the paper work like I do with my cars. Every receipt for every part, and any work down. I keep every receipt for every drop of oil that goes in, and keep every single picture taken of anything to do with the car. This is how I sell my vehicles, and the only way I would consider buying a modified one. With a super detailed history.

I would give it a much harder, longer test drive. Extended highway, hard pulls and stops. I find the biggest speed bumps to stretch the suspension. I also bust out the automotive stethoscope and flashlights. I generally spend the better part of the day inspecting it, including a trip to a family friends lift so I can check out the underside. Be thorough, and if something seems fishy, it's better to just walk away and keep looking.

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Old 08-18-2016, 07:02 AM   #3
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^ Some fine advice right there! Couldnt be said any better!
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:07 AM   #4
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Agree with the above. I stay away from modified cars. Never know what you are getting into. It took me over 8 months to find the one I have now. Only modification that was done to it is the mufflers were changed out and a cheap *** radio was installed.
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:08 AM   #5
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I go out of my way to find a completely stock unmolested car. I don't know if the previous owner had any clue what they were doing, or if they used quality parts and hardware. Also it's much more likely the car has been run hard. Those are plenty good enough reasons for me. If I were to buy something modded I would only do so if they have all the paper work like I do with my cars. Every receipt for every part, and any work down. I keep every receipt for every drop of oil that goes in, and keep every single picture taken of anything to do with the car. This is how I sell my vehicles, and the only way I would consider buying a modified one. With a super detailed history.

I would give it a much harder, longer test drive. Extended highway, hard pulls and stops. I find the biggest speed bumps to stretch the suspension. I also bust out the automotive stethoscope and flashlights. I generally spend the better part of the day inspecting it, including a trip to a family friends lift so I can check out the underside. Be thorough, and if something seems fishy, it's better to just walk away and keep looking.

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I am the same exact way. I do not abuse my vehicles, and I do not want somone else's problem due to their abuse.

I bought an unmolested car, and I still have a few issues to be sorted. A factory stock car is not a guarantee for care, but it is a starting point.

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Old 08-18-2016, 01:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Project Pony View Post
I go out of my way to find a completely stock unmolested car. I don't know if the previous owner had any clue what they were doing, or if they used quality parts and hardware. Also it's much more likely the car has been run hard. Those are plenty good enough reasons for me. If I were to buy something modded I would only do so if they have all the paper work like I do with my cars. Every receipt for every part, and any work down. I keep every receipt for every drop of oil that goes in, and keep every single picture taken of anything to do with the car. This is how I sell my vehicles, and the only way I would consider buying a modified one. With a super detailed history.

I would give it a much harder, longer test drive. Extended highway, hard pulls and stops. I find the biggest speed bumps to stretch the suspension. I also bust out the automotive stethoscope and flashlights. I generally spend the better part of the day inspecting it, including a trip to a family friends lift so I can check out the underside. Be thorough, and if something seems fishy, it's better to just walk away and keep looking.

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Since everyone has agreed to these points, here is the follow up question. How do you sell your heavily modified car? Do you even bother? Afterall, if no one would want to take a risk then there is no market to sell your car after all that work.

I do keep all my records of all parts purchased, invoices of the install (if I paid someone), which ultimately means I did some work myself (am I a professional ), and invoices of all typical maintenance.

If that day comes, I was thinking of having a compression test done as well to alleviate concerns.

When it came to pricing, I am thinking KBB fair value plus some pennies on the dollar for all the work done. Maybe 20 cents for every dollar spent.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:02 PM   #7
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Purchasing a used, modified car

That's why you keep the parts you take off. That way if it's time to sell return it back to stock. Being in the real world mods don't add value 99.9% of the time.
Like everyone else, if it's not stock I'm not interested.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:14 PM   #8
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That's why you keep the parts you take off. That way if it's time to sell return it back to stock. Being in the real world mods don't add value 99.9% of the time.
Like everyone else, if it's not stock I'm not interested.
Yeah, but that's a little shady if you do not disclose you modified the car. Granted, it's a risk when purchasing used. Still shady.

Besides, that's an AWFUL amount of work. Removing the supercharger, replacing the torque converter, radiator, suspension...

And I agree with pricing. I don't think it is unreasonable to add something to the price. That's why I say pennies on the dollar you spent. But I cannot tell you how many FRS's that I have seen modified that basically take the KBB value and then add practically the full cost of mods. Anyone want a $40000 FRS? It's on Craigslist!

And my attic is starting to get too damn full with stock parts.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:38 PM   #9
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Up to the owner to say if it was modded.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:35 PM   #10
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First generation,

When selling something modified I market it as such. I clearly list what it's been through, and will place a disclaimer in the ad that it's not something meant for your teenage kid, or someone just looking for some beater to get to and from work. I also add that there are higher maintenance costs, and things like the brakes and tires will run more than your average AutoZone parts and Walmart tires. I aim at enthusiasts and people looking for a vehicle where the work is already done for them, and done right. If it's a buyer like me, I doesn't hurt my feelings if they would rather have something stock. Again, a complete detailed history and a catalog of build photos is key, the buyer does what they will from there. From the night I listed my last Mustang I hand cash in hand and a happy new owner in just a couple days. I assure you I lost my *** on that sale, upside down buy 4 times what went into it.

There are some shady people who prey on the ignorant and try and get full retail for every item the put on. But those are easily spotted by anyone with half a clue. It's very easy these days to hop on Google and get an idea if your getting a good deal, or a very bad one.

*Buyer Beware*

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Old 08-18-2016, 07:00 PM   #11
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Perfectly stated Pony.

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Old 08-19-2016, 03:34 AM   #12
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Since everyone has agreed to these points, here is the follow up question. How do you sell your heavily modified car? Do you even bother? Afterall, if no one would want to take a risk then there is no market to sell your car after all that work.

I do keep all my records of all parts purchased, invoices of the install (if I paid someone), which ultimately means I did some work myself (am I a professional ), and invoices of all typical maintenance.

If that day comes, I was thinking of having a compression test done as well to alleviate concerns.

When it came to pricing, I am thinking KBB fair value plus some pennies on the dollar for all the work done. Maybe 20 cents for every dollar spent.
You modify the car for yourself and become married to it. It should not be sold at all or, if you do the buyer takes the risks. Indeed, who knows if the car was abused. Modifications in the car is a trip into the unknown. I, even though the car was modified under my control, had a small fire after modifications were made. It took me time to have it repaired (thanks to Jon Lund II and other people)
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:15 PM   #13
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Purchasing a used, modified car

A used car is a risk regardless. Someone could drive a stock car and beat on it, not change the oil regularly, and not do any maintenance. I usually handle it on a case by case basis and depends what I'm using the car for. If I'm buying a second car and it has 15k in mods on it I may take the risk of having to replace the engine or transmission assuming those were mods I would want to do.


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Old 08-29-2016, 03:59 AM   #14
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Buying a modded Mustang gives you no indication of how the car was driven or taken care of. Just because a car is modded doesn't mean the car was abused. One could easily beat the living snot out of their Mustang that was completely stock

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